Paintball Terms - The Complete Paintball Dictionary
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1. The mechanism by which something is operated, as that
of a gun.
2. A military encounter, as a battle or skirmish.
3. Actual combat with enemy forces.
1. A machine or device for agitating and mixing.
2. In reference to paintball, it is a device that is attached
to a paintball hopper or incorporated into the design of
the hopper. It has a shaft that enters the inner enclosure
of the hopper with some type of impeller attached to the
end of it. When activated the agitator rotates the impeller
which moves the paintballs around inside of the hopper allowing
them to align with the feed port, located at the bottom
of the hopper, and fall freely into the hopper feed nipple.
The abbreviation for Air Source Adapter. See “ASA
Also referred to as CA Adapter. A device that is designed
to allow a constant air tank to screw into it and let the
Co2 gas in the tank pass through it. In most cases, the
ASA Adapter is designed with a actuating pin. When used
with a constant air tank that has a pin valve, the ASA Adapter
pin actuator presses in the pin valve’s pin and allows
the flow of Co2 gas from the tank into and through the ASA
Adapter. The gas then goes to the paintball markers valve mechanism
either directly or indirectly via some type of gas line.
Continuous firing and reloading of paintball gun as long as the
trigger is held down.
1. Partly automatic.
2. Automatically recocking of paintball marker and loading the next
paintball but requiring a squeeze of the trigger to fire
A trigger and sear design used with pump action paintball guns,
that allows the user of the paintball marker to have the marker fire
each time the pump handle is pulled back allowing gun mechanism
to be cocked and then pulled full forward. The marker will
fire automatically when pump handle is returned to full
forward position each time the pump handle is cycled from
front to rear and back as long as the trigger is being held
BACK BOTTLE SYSTEM
Refers to a constant air system design whereby the marker’s
ASA adapter is located at the rear of the paintball marker and that
is where the constant air tank is attached. The constant
air tank is used as the gun’s shoulder stock and may
or may not have a butt plate attached to it. Pump action
paintball markers usually have the ASA adapter in-line with the
barrel and cocking mechanism. Semi Auto paintball guns usually
have the ASA adapter in-line with cocking mechanism.
BACK BOTTLE ADAPTER
An ASA adapter which is attached to the rear of a paintball marker,
that is used to connect a gas supply to the gun and is usually
in line with either the barrel/cocking mechanism or just
the cocking mechanism.
A safety device that is inserted into the front end of a
paintball marker barrel to prevent a paintball from exiting the
BARREL CONDOM/SOCK A bag that fits
over the business end of the marker's muzzle. It prevents
projectiles from accidentally leaving the gun.
BARREL, RIFLED, INTERNAL
A barrel that has internal grooves, either straight or in
a spiral pattern.
The internal part of a paintball marker that is common to Stock,
Pump Action and Semi Auto paintball markers. The bolt usually has
a O-ring(s) at the front end of it. The O-ring acts as a
seal between the bolt and the inner wall of the paintball marker
barrel when the bolt is in the full forward position. The
bolt performs two functions
1. It is the device that moves the paintball from where
it is loaded into the chamber of the paintball marker, to the bore
of the paintball gun barrel.
2. It is the device by which Co2 gas is transferred from
the paintball gun valve system to the rear of the paintball via
the front of the bolt.
One of two design criteria by which semi auto paintball markers
are manufactured. The closed bolt design means that the
bolt is in the full forward position with the bolt O-ring
sealing against the inner wall of the paintball gun barrel when
gun is ready to be fired via the trigger. This is with respect
to the paintball gun being connected to a Co2 gas supply (constant
air tank or remote air system) and fully pressurized.
One of two design criteria by which semi auto paintball guns
are manufactured. The open bolt design means that the bolt
is in the full rear position with the bolt just behind the
feed nipple port (the port that allows the paintballs to
flow into the paintball gun body) when paintball gun is ready to be
fired via the trigger. This is with respect to the paintball gun
being connected to a Co2 gas supply (constant air tank or
remote air system) and fully pressurized.
A bolt with a concave face. The face of the bolt will have
multiple holes in it. These holes are known as thrust ports.
BORE DROP LOADING
Guns using bore systems load into a receiver the same size
as the barrel or directly into the barrel itself. This keeps
the ball from having to load over any large seams or steep
1. Slang for tank.
2. A portable container for holding liquids or gases, having
a neck and mouth.
3. In paintball it is the container part of a constant air
paintball gun’s leakage of Co2 gases between the bolt
and the inner barrel wall and/or leakage of Co2 gases from
the cocking mechanism between the gun’s hammer and
inner wall of the gun’s housing. Blowback may occur
for two reasons. First, and easiest to fix, is that the
O-rings on the gun’s bolt and/or hammer need to be
replaced. The second reason for blowback is more complex.
It has to do with the positioning of the gun’s components
at the time that the Co2 gas is released into the gun’s
A style of constant air system where the ASA adapter is
located at the bottom of the paintball gun’s grip
frame. This ASA adapter is where the constant air tank is
connected to the paintball gun. The ASA adapter may be designed
into the grip frame so as to be part of the grip frame or
it may be a after market ASA adapter that is mounted to
the bottom of the grip frame. If it is a after market ASA
adapter it will have to have a gas line connecting it to
the paintball gun in order to allow gas to flow from the tank
into and through the ASA adapter to the gas line and then
to the paintball gun.
Abreviation for ball per second. Generally used to explain
shooting speed of a marker.
BREECH DROP LOADING
Guns using breech loading systems load into an area larger
than the inner diameter of the barrel. The ball must then
be up into the barrel.
BREECH LOCK SYSTEM
A design that prevents the paintball gun from being accidentally
pumped twice before it is fired once. Breech locking guns
must be fired before the gun can be pumped again.
A device that fits on to the end of a tank allowing it to
be used as a shoulder stock.
BUNKER (noun) - An object or embankment
on the field that a player uses for cover.
BUNKER (verb) - To charge a bunker and
eliminate (hopefully), at close range, any players hiding
With respect to a paintball the diameter of a circular section.
With reference to a paintball gun the diameter of the bore of
a gun taken as a unit of measurement.
A style of constant air system developed in California in
the late 1980’s that consisted of a paintball gun, a ‘L’
shape shoulder stock with a constant air tank holder located
on the bottom side of it, a constant air tank of either
7 or 10 ounce in size with a Thermo on/off valve that would
be held in the shoulder stock’s tank holder and a
hose with fittings that would connect the tank to the paintball gun.
Also known as CO2. A colorless, odorless, incombustible
gas that has many purposes such as dry ice, the carbonation
in carbonated beverages, and in fire extinguishers. CO2
is present in the atmosphere and formed during respiration.
CO2 is a compound gas made of oxygen and carbon. CO2 stores
it’s energy when it is in a liquid state and releases
it into a usable force through expansion into a gas. Used
in paintball guns as a pressurized gas (power source) for shooting
paintballs out of the paintball gun’s barrel. With respect
to semi auto paintball guns, CO2 is also used for recocking the
Denotes Compressed Gas Association. Usually used to refer
to a cylinder valve outlet connection detailed in the CGA
Allows substance (such as gas, liquid or solids) to flow
in only one direction. Once passed the check valve the substance
cannot flow back through check valve.
Electronic device that measures the speed of an object directed
The abbreviation for Carbon Dioxide.
A terminology developed in California in the late 1980’s.
It refers to the use of a refillable gas tank that is connected
to a paintball gun and supplies the CO2 gas necessary to power
the operation of the gun. The term “Constant Air”
was derived from the fact that the paintball gun would have a
prolonged supply of gas and would be able to get 300–1000
shots per tank of gas, depending on size of tank and type
of gun. This was opposed to paintball guns that used 12 gram
CO2 cartridges and only got 15–25 shots per cartridge
on the average.
The temperature above which liquid phase cannot exist.
The saturation vapor pressure at the Critical Temperature.
Indicates the number of cycles a paintball gun can perform per
Sometimes called ball stop, anti-doubler, wire nubbin. A
device that keeps no more than one paintball from loading
into the chamber of a paintball gun when the paintball gun is executing
one cycle. It does this by maintaining the paintball in
a stationary position until the paintball guns bolt pushes the
paintball into the barrel of the gun.
The temperature and pressure at which the liquefaction of
a vapor begins.
A system by which paintballs are fed directly into the paintball gun
chamber or barrel via a feed nipple. The feed nipple is
usually fastened to side of the paintball gun at a 45 degree
angle. Feed nipples on pump action guns are usually 1”
in diameter and feed nipples on semi auto paintball guns are
usually 7/8” in diameter.
A small copper disk in the valve of a tank that is designed
to rupture if the pressure in the tank becomes too great.
The rupture disk is usually held in place by a safety plug
that has vent holes in it.
Slang for ASA Adapter.
Abbreviation for Department of Transportation whose Title
49, Code of Federal Regulations regulate the movement of
Requiring only one pull of the trigger to cock and fire.
Slang for hopper adapter.
A device which conditions CO2 gas by allowing it to expand
before it enters the paintball gun’s valve system.
Also known as feed port. The feed nipple is a short tube
that is connected to the paintball gun housing at an angle of
45 degrees. It provides the passage by which paintballs
move from the paintball hopper, through the hopper adapter,
which attaches to the feed nipple, and into the chamber
of the paintball gun. Commonly, feed nipples for pump action
paintball guns are one inch in diameter, while semi auto paintball guns
have seven eighths inch feed nipples.
A plug at the bottom of a power feeder that angles the balls
into the feed port. It can also be turned to stop the balls
from feeding into your gun.
A paintball storage container tubular in form, closed at
one end and open at other end with some type of lid covering
the opening. When playing paintball the player uses the
feed tube to reload his paintball gun’s hopper.
Slang for hopper.
An apparatus consisting of at least one valve used for exhausting
pressurized fill hose, a fill hose and some type of fill
adapter for connecting a constant air tank to one end of
the hose. It is used for filling smaller constant air tanks
with liquid CO2 from larger siphon fill tank. The large
siphon fill tank is usually 50 to 60 pounds in volume weight.
FITTING, ELBOW, (90 DEGREE)
A fitting that allows the connection of two items at a 90
degree angle to each other. Such as a CA hose to make a
ASA adapter or paintball gun.
With reference to the game of paintball, this is a team’s
base camp and is the location where a team’s flag
is kept. It is also the location where a team must return
the opposing team’s flag in order to win the game.
1. The extreme right or left side of an army or fleet.
2. To stand or be placed or posted at the flank or side
3. To defend or guard at the flank.
4. To menace or attack the flank of.
This refers to those times when a person’s breathing
and lack of movement will cause the lenses of a persons
goggles to fog over, severely reducing visibility.
A horizontal grip generally located on the front of a gun.
This grip is generally grasped with the players off hand;
i.e. the hand not on the trigger frame; to stabilize the
gun for shooting.
Abbreviation for ‘feet per second’. This is
the standard method in the U.S. for determining the speed
at which a paintball gun is shooting.
Refers to the amount of shots a gun gets in relation to
the amount of liquid CO2 it uses. Similar to miles per gallon;
i.e. getting 350 shots from a seven ounce constant air tank.
Eye protection worn by players to prevent eye damage. Paintball
goggles are specifically designed for the sport of paintball
and should not be substituted with goggles made for any
other application other than paintball.
Refers to liquid CO2 entering the paintball gun before it has
had a chance to expand into a gas or vapor.
Components that fit on the paintball gun grip frame and provide
surface area by which the shooter may grip the gun. Grips
are replaceable on many types of paintball guns. Different styles
of grips can provide greater comfort and ease of use for
the individual paintball player. Different styles of grips
include rubber, wood, and wraparound types.
Slang for Hopper feed tube.
Also known as The lower bolt or the striker. This component,
when released from the cocked position, strikes the valve
assembly and forces it open. When this striking of the valve
assembly by the hammer occurs, CO2 is allowed to pass through
the valve assembly from the gas source to the paintball gun barrel.
Refers to pulling the trigger, putting paint on someone
is a sudden and intense manner, seizing the moment on offense
by showering a target with paint.
The part of a gun that retains the hammer in a fixed position,
usually under main spring pressure. When the trigger is
pulled by the shooter’s finger, it pushes against
the sear allowing it to release the hammer and thus allowing
the hammer to strike the valve assembly.
The combination of straps, pouches and other parts forming
the working gear worn by a paintball player to carry paintball,
CO2 cartridges, tanks, squeegee and anything else he/she
requires to play the game of paintball.
In paintball a hose is used to transfer gas from one component
to another. Such as from a constant air tank to a ASA adapter
on a paintball gun.
A tool that is mechanically rotated and has abrasive tip(s)
for polishing or enlarging holes to precise dimensions.
A container used to hold paintballs, usually with a lid
that covers the opening where the paintballs are loaded
into it, and has a feed nipple at it’s bottom.
Refers to consistent rapid firing. A tactic typically used
when pinning down an opposing player.
HPA Compressed Air High-pressure compressed
air (3000 to 4500 psi) is usually used instead of CO2 in
tournament paintball. The use of HPA requires specialized
high pressure tanks and regulators, which lower the output
pressure to what paintball guns need.
A container test required at definite intervals by DOT to
determine the wall thickness via measuring elastic expansion.
Purpose of the test is to assure the container is safe for
Abbreviation for inner diameter.
Refers to the manner in which the bolt and hammer of a paintball gun
are positioned in relation to each other. An in-line configuration
indicates that the bolt and hammer are in line with each
other one behind the other.
A dual lens system. The outer lens is made of a super hard
polycarbonate material. The inner lens is made of a different
polycarbonate composition that allows anti fog jell coat
to stick to it. The two lenses are attached to each other
by means of a rubber gasket that makes an airtight seal
between the two. The space between the two lenses is called
a thermal barrier and helps to reduce fogging on the inner
Slang for hopper feed tube.
Slang for CO2 in liquid form.
The mouth, or end for discharge, of the barrel of a gun,
1. A pattern of holes or slots machined into the end of
a barrel that act as exhaust ports.
2. A machined add on part with a pattern of holes or slots
machined into it that fastens to the end of a barrel either
by press fit or set screw fatteners.
The speed at which a paintball is traveling when it leaves
the muzzle of a paintball gun barrel.
Refers to pump guns (most pump guns) that were designed
after the original 007. Nelson based guns have an in-line
bolt and hammer system.
Refers to Nitrogen gas. A colorless, odorless, relatively
non-reactive gas which is compressed to high pressures.
The difference between Nitrogen gas and CO2 is that Nitrogen
is measured by pressure while CO2 is measured by weight.
Refers to normal temperature and pressure which is defined
as 700 F and 14.696 PSI.
Abbreviation for Outer Diameter. Outer diameter refers to
distance across an object.
A ring of pliable material, as rubber or neoprene, used
as a gasket.
OFFSET SIGHT RAIL
A sight rail that is mounted at an angle away from top dead
center of paintball gun body. The off set sight rail allows a
sight to be mounted so that it is unobstructed by other
parts of the paintball gun.
A round capsule filled with brightly colored water-soluble
dye that is designed to break upon impact leaving a splat
mark on the object it hits. Paintball sizes are .50 Cal.,
.62 Cal. and .68 Cal., the last being the most current size
and readily available. The .68 caliber paintball offers
much better range, accuracy, and breakability due to its’
size and mass.
A mechanical device, usually powered by CO2 gas, used to
propel paintballs. Sometimes called a marker.
The time at which a player is checked for splat mark(s).
A paint check may be called by referee or player, but may
be only invoked by a referee and game may only be restarted
by referee. Misuse of the paint check rule by a player is
cause for that player to be removed from current game.
A feed nipple design that incorporates the blowback from
the paintball gun to increase the rate at which paintballs
are fed into the paintball gun. Most power feeds are designed
into the paintball guns, but there are some after market bolt
on power feeds available for guns like the VM-68 series
of paintball gun and others.
An icon developed by the air gun industry for CO2 cartridge.
In paintball, it refers to 12 gram CO2cartridge.
Regulates the pressure of gas flowing through it. Some regulators
are preset to psi, and some are adjustable.
Abbreviation for pounds per square inch.
A pin fastener which can be removed quickly to speed disassembly
of a player’s paintball gun.
A device that is either a part of the paintball gun or a separate
unit that connects to the gun, usually via the ASA adapter.
It allows the rapid loading and unloading of a 12 gram CO2
Usually made of stainless steel or brass, this unit is composed
of two parts, a male fitting and a female coupler that connect
together to form an airtight connection. In paintball the
quick disconnect is used by the player to quickly disconnect
the CO2 source, such as a remote system, from the paintball gun.
The main body of a paintball gun where the bolt and hammer are
usually housed. A gun’s feed nipple is typically a
part of your receiver.
Also known as a “Remote” or “Remote Set-Up”.
The system usually consists of a constant air tank that
is carried on the player’s body, usually in a pouch
or fanny pack, and a high pressure gas line with quick disconnect
and all the fittings required to connect it to the paintball gun.
A network of fine lines, wires, or the like placed in the
focus of the eyepiece of an optical instrument. The crosshairs
of a scope.
Also know as External porting. With reference to paintball
gun barrels, it is a spiral hole pattern which is drilled
into the barrel. When a paintball is shot through a ported
barrel, the ports allow the air in front of the paintball
to escape as the paintball pushes forward. The loss of air
restriction in front of the paintball allows the paintball
to shoot straighter and further. The barrel porting also
breaks up the sound made when the gun is fired, thus the
paintball gun operates much quieter.
Grooves or raised points in a barrel that are either straight
or spiraled in pattern.
Refers to those guns that are based on or are similar to
the original Sheridan family of guns. A Sheridan based gun
is generally discernible by its stacked design. The hammer
and valve system are in the lower section while the bolt
is in the upper section.
Allows the mounting of a sighting system to a paintball gun.
SIGHT RAIL, RAISED
A sight rail that is raised up off the body of the gun.
The purpose for this is to allow the shooter a better field
SIGHT, RED DOT
An optical sighting device powered by a battery that produces
a red dot reticle. Red dot sights do not project a dot on
Adapters to mount your sight to the sight rail. (Note. Different
rings are required to mount different sights to different
1. A fight between small bodies of troops.
2. Any brisk conflict or encounter.
1. The invisible line between two opposing teams that have
confronted each other.
2. A formation taken where by players are positioned beside
each other in a line.
Slang for when a ball has broken in the barrel of a paintball gun
and coated it with paint. A slimed barrel will not shoot
Amount of heat required to raise a unit mass of substance
one degree of temperature at either constant pressure or
constant volume. Usually expressed in BTU per pound per
Volume of a unit mass of substance at a given temperature.
Expressed as cubic feet per pound at 700 F.
Speedball Speedball is a game played on
small fields with little natural cover. Bunkers usually
consist of wooden pallets, tires or other man-made barricades.
Speedball fields are designed to allow spectators to see
the action. The first speedball field was set up at SC Village
in Corona, CA.
The residue sprayed on a player by a paintball when it makes
impact with a object close to that player.
The spring that drives the hammer.
The spring that closes the valve after it has been opened
by the hammer.
Any small group of persons engaged in a common enterprise;
a team or sub-group within a team.
A device used to clean the barrel of a paintball gun.
Refers to the manner in which the bolt and hammer are positioned
in relation to each other inside the paintball gun receiver.
A stacked configuration indicates that the bolt and hammer
are stacked one on top of the other.
A gravity feeder, usually made out of PVC material, which
holds the balls stacked in a line one on top of the other.
A shoulder stock that is shaped like an ‘L’
laying on its side. This stock usually fastens to the bottom
of the paintball gun’s grip frame and may have a constant
air tank holder attached to it.
A shoulder stock that is shaped like a ‘T’ laying
on its side. This stock usually fastens to the bottom of
the paintball gun’s grip frame and may have a constant
air tank holder attached to it.
A tubular device that is press fitted onto the front end
of a paintball gun barrel designed to reduce the amount of sound
that is made by the gun when it is fired. Also known as
Refers to a tank that has become very cold due to rapid
pressure loss. This may be caused by rapid firing or purposefully
releasing the remaining air pressure in a tank. (Note, a
tank must be chilled before it can be filled with CO2).
TANK, CONSTANT AIR
A container or structure for holding a liquid or gas. In
paintball, a tank is made up from two components, a valve
and a bottle.
A tank designed to allow only vaporous CO2 gas to exit the
tank through the tank valve.
A tank specifically designed to draw liquid CO2 from the
bottom of the tank. This is accomplished by a gas line that
is attached to rear end of the tank valve and weighting
down the other end of the gas line so that it remains located
in the bottom area of the tank.
Also know as Bottle cap. A protective cap that screws onto
a tank valve. This keeps the valve from being damaged while
not in use.
TOOL, VELOCITY ADJUSTING
Also called Adjusting tool. A tool used specifically for
adjusting the velocity of a paintball gun.
A cap which covers a gun’s velocity adjuster so that
the velocity cannot be adjusted during game play, normally
required for tournament play.
Aftermarket product that fits on the trigger of a gun to
provide the trigger finger with more surface area to grip
the trigger and comfortable feel.
Slang for 12 gram CO2 cartridge.
A small cigar-like tube used to carry 10 paintballs.
Refers to a player who has focused so intently on the player
or players directly in front of him that he is not aware
of players moving to the side of him.
UN (United Nations) Number
The DOT (Department of Transportation) Number found on the
Cylinder (bottle) label. For example UN1066, the “UN”
prefix to this number indicates that 1066 is recognized
throughout the world as identifying nitrogen. Sometimes
“NA” (North America) will appear as a prefix.
NA numbers are recognized in the USA and Canada.
A component of a paintball gun (usually a set screw) that when
turned in either clockwise or counter clockwise direction
will increase or decrease the paintball guns muzzle velocity.
Any device for halting or controlling the flow of something,
such as a gas or liquid, through a pipe, out of a bottle
neck, or other passage.
The enlarging or drilling of additional holes in a valve
body so that more gas will be released when valve system
All the internal parts in the paintball gun which control the
flow of gas through the paintball gun.
A hexagonal tool which comes in various sizes and is used
to turn screw fasteners such as hex or button head screws.
They are also used to turn anything that has a hexagonal
hole. In paintball they are used to adjust the paintball
gun’s velocity as well as disassemble it.