Paintball is a popular game first played in June 1981 in New Hampshire, USA. In this game, players shoot paint balls at each other using a special type of gun. The paint balls contain colors or dyes which explode on hitting a target and splash thus marking the target as hit and eliminated. The basic game play involves trying to hit another player while simultaneously defending oneself from getting shot. Rules of winning a game of Paintball can vary from eliminating all the players in other teams to capturing a marked equipment placed within the playing field.
To play Paintball, a person needs five basic items. These are a paintball gun, a propellant tank, a hopper, a mask and paint balls. The function and details of each gear is explained below.
A Paintball gun is the most important equipment to have while playing the game. It is also commonly called a Paintball marker. A Paintball gun utilizes a propellant tank filled with compressed gas or air which helps the paint pellets to be released when the gun is fired. The acceptable velocity for most Paintball guns is 90 meters per second or 300 feet per second. A higher velocity may cause tissue and skin damage when it hits another player. Paintball guns usually come in two types – mechanical and electro-pneumatic. You can visit paintballguide.net to read paintball gun reviews and get some tips on how to gear up for the game.
A propellant tank is basically a glass bottle in which a form of gas or air is stored under compression. When the Paintball marker or gun is fired, gas or air from this propellant expands and pushes the paint balls out of the gun with high velocity. Carbon Dioxide and High Pressure Air are the two most common forms of compressed gas used to load the propellant tanks.
A hopper is used to store the paint balls from where they can be loaded into the Paintball gun for firing. It is equivalent to that of the magazine of a gun used to store ammunition. Hoppers are also commonly known as Loaders. Hoppers come in three basic types. These are gravity-feed, agitating and force-feed. Gravity-feed hoppers cause the least whilst force-feed hoppers are the most expensive type.
The shots fired can cause damage to sensitive body parts like the face and the eyes if unprotected. A protective mask is therefore always worn during playing for safety. Most Paintball masks cover the eyes, face, nose and ears of the player.
Paint balls are spherical pellets made out of gelatin filled with dye and other non toxic substances. They are equivalent to bullets in a Paintball gun. The most common standardization of Paint balls is .68 caliber or 17.3 mm. They are sensitive to light and moisture and should therefore be always stored in a cool dry place.
Other than being played as a recreational and a competitive sport, Paintball has a few other applications as well. Paintball is used by military and police personnel world over as an effective training method and a non lethal way to manage unruly crowds.