February 5, 2020

How Many FPS Can a Paintball Gun Shoot?

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I don't know if you are like me, but my first question the day I walked onto a field was how fast do paintballs shoot? I think a lot of my worry was that it was going to hurt like being hit with something very hard, I can say that it was very mentally taxing at the time but I am so glad I took the time to play.

How Many FPS Can a Paintball Gun Shoot? Most paintball markers will fire at 280 fps, or feet per second, as this is the typical field limit for the safety of players. Many markers can fire up to 300+ fps when not fully dialed in. To test this speed the field uses a chronograph, a device that reads the speed the ball leaves the barrel.

Now that you know what FPS is about and how it is managed at the field we can dig into some more of the details around measuring speed and adjusting the FPS on a marker.

We will also explain how trying to shoot with more FPS is almost certainly less beneficial to the overall accuracy and why you want to Chrono correctly.

How Do You Measure FPS On A Paintball Marker?

Whenever someone brings a marker from off the field, or in other words, a personal marker they need to check the firing speed. This is done on a part of the field setup with a chronograph, the purpose is to ensure that the marker fires at the regulated speed the field requires.

When you Chrono your personal marker you will bring it to this field area and lay it over the measurement device. When you fire the marker there will be a readout on their display showing the speed of the paintball.

If this speed reads too low or too high you will need to adjust your marker to get to the correct speed. Then you will have to test fire again to see if your changes were enough to get you to the threshold, over time you will know how to adjust this by second nature.

You FPS Speed Can Change Based on Weather

One thing new players don't know is that weather can play havoc on your overall FPS and pressure settings. When the temperature is cold CO2 performs less well and is much less efficient, this means the marker could underperform and need adjustment.

When you play with CO2 you must make sure you Chrono often, that's my main concern with CO2. This is why when you Chrono using CO2 in the morning, especially like with my Texas heat, you should set the FPS at or around 240-250 because you'll hit the limit of 280 as the day warms.

The difference in FPS between a cold tank and a warm tank could very well be 30fps up to 100fps!!

When the temperature is too high then you can get issues with firing rate being incorrect also. Though your CO2 tends to last longer so you should get more shots overall in a single fill.

If you want to read more here about CO2 versus compressed air in my post.

How Do You Adjust the FPS on a Paintball Marker?

The way you adjust the velocity on a paintball marker is typically pretty straight forward, your marker should have come with steps specific to their model. Today I am going to cover the generic way which should work on most markers.

You will want to make the adjustment on your paintball marker itself, for most markers there is an adjustment screw somewhere on the side that is specifically to adjust the velocity and FPS.

When you turn this adjustment screw on your marker clockwise it lowers (or limits) the flow of gas into the marker which causes the FPS speed to drop. Should you turn the adjustment screw counter-clockwise this will increase the flow of gas which will increase the FPS of your paintballs.

There are also additional methods, depending on your marker and setup, to adjust your velocity. Some markers will feature adjustable bolts which can be used to regulate the gas flow.

These bolts also can come in a large variety that offer restrictions to air-flow, if you have a marker and budget that would support this it could be worth investigating different bolts to find the best match for your paintball marker.

Use of a Regulator For Velocity

Another option which could be available is that the installation of a regulator onto your paintball marker. These devices basically attach by screwing directly onto your marker and allows for super fast way to adjust your velocity while on the go.

Unlike most the other velocity adjusters this could be a part of your tank already so it is worth looking into, this will look like a gauge which shows you on a display how much pressure is being put into your marker. These are typically adjustable right on the tank itself through set screws, these are to limit changes while in the field of play.

Due to this all adjustments to be made on a regulator before or after matches and aren't something that can be done without tools in most cases.

Player diving across the turf on a NPPL field - How Many FPS Can a Paintball Gun Shoot

Does More FPS Make My Marker More Accurate?

Firing at a higher FPS must help the marker be more accurate right? Increasing the feet per second that your marker fires may sound like it could help you hit your targets at a further distance, unfortunately, this is just not the case for real play.

When you increase the firing power the paintballs themselves tend to come out with less accuracy. This is due to paintballs themselves being a gel-based substance instead of a more solid material.

Additionally, too much velocity (fps) or too little can cause paintballs to break inside the marker.

Josh

This allows the ball to change shape and these little deviations when traveling through the air can cause the balls to spin off in very random feeling directions. This will cause you to have poor accuracy and impact your ability to stay in the game and to take out opponents in the game.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you have learned some awesome information about how you can manage FPS on your paintball marker. Also you now understand why firing at a faster FPS won't necessarily give you better results in your games and matches.

If you are new to the game then I would suggest taking a look at what you should bring in your paintball gear bag, and learn about the more common or standard field rules.

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Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!