Top 5 Best Paintball Pistols [2019] Reviews & Buying Guide

This post was updated on: Wednesday, August 1, 2019

Are you interested in giving paintball a try and you need the perfect paintball pistol for the job?

Well, the good news is that paintball players nowadays have more options available on the market than ever!

The bad news, however, is that choosing the right pistol for your needs can be a pretty daunting task.

So, take your time, go through the best paintball pistols reviews listed below, and take note of the pros and cons of each model – we’re sure you’ll have a personal favorite by the end of this guide.

5 Best Paintball Pistols out of the 11 we tested

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  
Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber Paintball Pistol
Tippmann TiPX Rating: 90/100 Click for Latest Deal
First Strike Compact Pistol
First Strike Compact Rating: 86/100 Click for Latest Deal
T4E Umarex .43cal Walther PPQ Paintball Pistol Black semi auto CO2 Magazine W/Free 50 RUBBERBALLS
T4E Umarex .43cal Rating: 84/100 Click for Latest Deal
Tippmann TPX Paintball Pistol Starter Kit - Black
Tippmann TPX Starter Kit Rating: 83/100 Click for Latest Deal
JT ER2 Pump Pistol RTS Kit
JT ER2 PUMP PISTOL RTS KIT
 
Rating: 76/100 Click for Latest Deal

Want to learn more about why these made the cut?

Let’s dive right in!

#5 JT ER2 Pump Pistol RTS Kit

JT ER2 Pump Pistol RTS Kit
  • 0.68 caliber paintball pistol
  • 2 12gram CO2 Cartridges
  • 30 Paintballs

If you’re looking for the best paintball pistols in the budget-friendly range, let us introduce you to the JT ER2 – one of the most affordable models on the market!

It’s an easy-to-operate paintball gun that features a relatively smooth pump mechanism that gives it an old-school feel, and a single-trigger pull. It’s basic yet efficient.

You’re getting more than just a pistol here, too – the starter kit also includes two CO2 12-gram cartridges, three extra packs of paintballs (for a total of 30), as well as a barrel plug, which means it’s ready to use straight out of the box.

Although it’s highly regarded as an excellent choice for beginners, our experience with this model was somewhat different:

While we agree that the price and overall performance are beginner-friendly, the pump stroke will be tricky to grasp for a total newbie. It’s relatively smooth, but it’s insanely heavy, which leads to slow firing rates – you won’t stand a chance going up against semi-automatic paintball pistols.

We weren’t the biggest fans of its translucent body, either. Being able to see inside the actual pistol was pretty cool, but at the same time, it gives it this cheaply-made, plasticky feel.

Pros:

  • Features a pump action reloading system
  • Single-trigger pull
  • Lightweight and easy to operate
  • Comes with essential starter kit accessories
  • Suitable for players of all ages

Cons:

  • The pump stroke is quite heavy
  • The translucent design looks cheap and plasticky

#4 Tippmann TPX Paintball Pistol Starter Kit

Tippmann TPX Paintball Pistol Starter Kit
  • Metal Trigger Punctures C02 On First Pull, Self-Locking 7 Ball Magazine Clip
  • Quick Release Magazine Feed System, Under Barrel 12 Gram C02 Air System, Easy To Load 1/4 Turn C02 Cap
  • External Velocity Adjuster, Internal Regulator, Ability to Add Remote Line

For those of you who are paintball newbies, buying a starter kit such as the one we have here might be the best option.

You’re going to have to buy additional equipment, anyway, so why not kill two flies with one swat?

And if you’re going to step into the exciting world of paintball, Tippmann is the way to go!

We already mentioned that this is a starter kit – and it includes a holster, a maintenance kit, a user manual, as well as three magazines.

The pistol itself is a magazine-fed, semi-automatic one, equipped with an under-barrel CO2 air system.

Granted, it’s a bit bulky, but it’s surprisingly lightweight for its size, probably due to all the plastic parts.

One issue we’ve had with this particular model was the seal – there a bit of room for improvement there, as the CO2 cartridges seem to leak and lose their charge even when you’re not using the pistol. It doesn’t happen every time, but it can still be a somewhat costly design flaw.

Also, the holster is not of the best quality, and the Velcro straps don’t do a particularly good job at holding the gun in place.

Pros:

  • Semi-automatic with a velocity adjuster
  • Easy to load CO2 cartridges
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Easy access to internal mechanisms for maintenance
  • Comes with all essential accessories
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • The CO2 cartridges are prone to leaking
  • The holster is poorly made

#3 T4E Umarex .43cal Walther PPQ Paintball Pistol

T4E Umarex
  • FREE 50 T4E Rubberballs INCLUDED
  • Fully licensed by Walther Arms
  • Fires .43 cal Paintballs, Dust Balls, Rubber Balls!

The first thing we noticed about the T4E Umarex – a fully-licensed Walther Arms paintball pistol – was how realistic it felt, both regarding pistol’s dimensions and the actual blowback. Not only does it seem like a pretty decent replica but it fits standard holsters, too, so that’s one less piece of equipment for you to buy.

Then, this gun is versatile:

As long as the ammo fits the .43-cal profile, the pistol accepts everything from dust and rubber balls to pepper balls – and, of course, paintballs.

Overall, build quality felt pretty decent, too. The pistol combines a nylon fiber polymer frame with aluminum interior parts, including the barrel, magazine, slide, and slide catch, which helps keep its weight down. It weighs less than two pounds, and it’s easy to maneuver out in the field.

If there’s one thing we didn’t quite like about this model, it’s the long trigger pull – but we figured that’s because the pistol was designed to resemble a double-action trigger. It wasn’t a deal-breaker for us, but it’s something worth noting, nonetheless, as the long rest combined with medium-strength trigger weight could affect your experience with this paintball pistol.

Pros:

  • Semi-automatic firing mode
  • Engraved ergonomic grip
  • Fires paintballs, rubber, and dust balls
  • Has a trigger safety mechanism
  • Fits standard holsters
  • Realistic blowback
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with 50 rubber balls

Cons:

  • Long, medium-strength trigger pull

#2 First Strike Compact Pistol

T4E Umarex
  • Compact .68 Caliber Pistol
  • 20% Smaller Grip than standard 8.1 Pistol
  • Two 6 round magazines included

When it came to this model, some mixed opinions were going around – which is why we decided to test it ourselves!

The first thing about the First Strike Compact Pistol worth mentioning is that it’s pretty much a cut-down version of the Tiberius model, so two things you can expect from this pistol are quality design and construction.

It’s designed with a more compact frame, and a grip 20-percent smaller than the standard 8.1 model.

One thing to remember here is that it comes with 8-gram CO2 cartridges. The good news is that, due to its highly customizable nature, you can use the 12-gram CO2 cartridges here, too – but that means spending even more money on a new set of magazines.

Even though the grip is noticeably smaller, we noticed that it’s not very ergonomic, at all. Moreover, it feels a bit “blocky,” which could be an issue for those with small, dainty hands.

Also, due to the design of the magazine – it serves as a CO2 cartridge, too – whenever you release the magazine to reload it, some air will escape from it.

Pros:

  • Features an under-mount rail
  • Very compact and easily concealable
  • Comes with two six-round magazines
  • Works with 8-gram or 12-gram CO2 cartridges
  • Highly customizable

Cons:

  • The grip isn’t very ergonomic
  • Releasing the magazine causes CO2 leakage

#1 Tippmann TiPX Paintball Pistol Marker

Tippmann TiPX
  • Lightweight, compact paintball pistol with easy-to-maintain design
  • 2 Tru-Feed straight stack magazines with low-tension spring systems
  • Under-barrel 12-gram CO2 air system with metal trigger

Last one up in our round-up of the best paintball pistols is a well-renowned model, the TiPX by Tippmann – a brand that’s made its name, and built its reputation in the paintball industry. If you’ve ever rented a paintball gun before, chances are it was a model by this exact manufacturer.

Right off the bat, it’s clear that it was modeled after military firearms – it’s a .68-caliber, magazine-fed, semi-automatic model that has both the feels and the looks of a real handgun. It’s still surprisingly lightweight, though, weighing a little over 1.5 pounds.

The pistol is equipped with quite a few handy features, too, including two Tru-Feed magazines with low-tension spring systems, an external velocity adjuster with eight-balls-per-second feed rate, a regular threaded barrel that allows customizations, an under-barrel CO2 12-gram air system, and an ergonomic grip.

Plus, it comes with a carrying case, as well as a maintenance kit!

The only drawback is the trigger safety switch. It feels a bit too stiff for our liking, as it requires quite a bit of force. You can’t turn it on and off with just your thumb, which can be an issue when you need to react fast.

You can read more about all the little things that make the TiPX the best pistol, and the one thing we didn’t like about it in our in-depth Tippmann TiPX review.

Pros:

  • Tru-Feed magazines with low-tension spring systems
  • Has an external velocity adjuster
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Customizable and easy to use
  • Comes with a maintenance kit and carrying case

Cons:

  • Somewhat tricky safety trigger

Different Types Of Paintball Pistols (And What You Need To Know About Them)

best paintball pistols

We get it, it’s confusing – but it doesn’t have to be!

Here’s a quick overview of different paintball pistol types to give you an idea of what each of these categories has to offer to the user:

Pump

The most basic kind of paintball pistols is the pump gun – simple in design, but sturdy and reliable. They get their name from the pump mechanism that sets the next paintball in place and prepares the pistol for the next shot through a backward-then-forward pulling motion.

The old school folks still prefer a pump paintball gun over anything else – there’s a good chance that you’ll see them at Stock Class paintball events.

Semi-Automatic

Next, we have the semi-automatic models – here, making a shot requires pulling the trigger. Relatively simple in both design and functioning, these pistols are further divided into two subcategories:

  • Manual
  • Electro-Pneumatic

You’ll come across a lot of semi-automatic models in your search for the best paintball pistols, as they’re a relatively popular option – and they’re most commonly used in entry-level paintball games, too.

Three-Shot Burst

Much more advanced than the previous two, this category features electro-pneumatic paintball pistols equipped with two firing modes – semi-automatic and three-shot burst. They get their name from the ability to fire three consecutive shots with one pull of the trigger.

The constant switching between firing modes makes these a not-so-popular option in the field, especially when it comes to beginners – but skilled players may still appreciate the option of choosing different firing modes at different times.

Ramping

If you’re looking for a fast-firing paintball pistol to use in the field, ramping models are the way to go – as you keep the hold of the trigger, the circuit boards inside the gun ensure that the firing rate continues to increase gradually.

However, keep in mind that individual paintball tournaments may not allow these since their firing rate is known to reach up to 20 rounds per second and could cause serious injury to the opponents.

Fully-Automatic

Fully-automatic paintball pistols are equipped with similar features as ramping ones, and they’re also the go-to choice for fast firing in the field. The differences lay in the fact that they come with a set firing rate (although it can still vary from model to model), and the fact that you don’t need to pull the trigger over and over again:

As long as you’re holding the trigger, the gun keeps firing at a consistent rate.

Also, if you’re looking for the best tournament-friendly paintball pistols, skip this “category” altogether – they’re often prohibited due to the risk of serious injuries.

The Machine Gun Controversy

Although you’ll hear people referring to specific models as “machine guns” as if they fall into a category of their own, the truth is, a lot of the times those people don’t know what they’re talking about here.

“Machine gun” is an umbrella term that covers a broad range of paintball pistols that have a high firing rate including ramping and fully-automatic guns – and if they’re fast enough, semi-automatic pistols can end up in this category, as well.

In short, this isn’t a wholly new and separate category!

Essential Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Paintball Pistol

Top 5 Best Paintball Pistols [2019] Reviews & Buying Guide 1

Things can get pretty overwhelming when you’re not sure what to look for, which is why we took the time to break down the critical factors you should consider when searching for the best paintball pistols!

Mechanical vs. Electronic

Paintball pistols designed to be operated mechanically – also known as mechanical markers – work solely through mechanisms and CO2 or compressed air. They are beginner-friendly, reliable, require minimal maintenance, and repair costs are usually quite low. They do lack the accuracy and speed of electronic ones, though.

Electronic markers, on the other hand, employ battery-powered circuit boards for firing paintballs, which lends them their accuracy, consistency, and speed, as well as the lightweight and compact design. The trigger pull is light and short, too, since you’re not physically activating the firing mechanism. They do usually come at a higher price, though.

Ease of Use and Quick Disassembly

Although it’s not a feature that could make or break a model, we’d say that ease of use – and more importantly, ease of disassembly – matters here, too.

As with any other types of guns, you should be prepared for even the best paintball pistols to jam from time to time – and when it does happen, you want disassembly to be quick and hassle-free so that you can get back in the game as soon as possible.

Weight

Weight of the paintball pistol should have a place in your final buying decision, too, since it plays a vital role in the model’s overall comfort and performance out in the field. Try to go as lightweight as possible – a pistol that weighs two to three pounds would be ideal.

Material and Overall Construction Quality

Different materials significantly affect the pistol’s weight, accuracy, and durability – so, choose wisely.

The most commonly used material is aluminum, as it keeps the paintball pistols lightweight and affordable. The trade-off is that aluminum barrels don’t feel as sturdy, and tend to bend if not handled with care.

Stainless steel barrels are a far more durable option, and can stand up to a lot of wear and tear – but they tend to be on the heavier side.

Lastly, you can opt for carbon fiber material – it’s durable, lightweight, and cleaning and maintenance is a breeze, too.

How Much Are You Willing To Spend?

Last but not least, you need to ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend on the best paintball pistol, which can be a lot trickier than it seems. Buying a paintball gun often includes additional costs of add-ons, equipment, and protective gear, so take that into account when deciding on a budget.

Most importantly, though, no matter what your budget is, make sure that you’re getting a good value for your money.

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

So, now that you’re armed with all this knowledge, we’re sure you’re more than ready to make your choice. But to make it even easier for you, here’s the winner of our round-up of the best paintball pistols:

Tippmann TiPX
  • Lightweight, compact paintball pistol with easy-to-maintain design
  • 2 Tru-Feed straight stack magazines with low-tension spring systems
  • Under-barrel 12-gram CO2 air system with metal trigger

Whichever one you choose, though, remember to always – and we do mean ALWAYS – wear a paintball mask and other protective gear!

Have fun, and stay safe!

If there’s anything you’d like to add to the discussion, leave a comment below – we’d love to hear about your experiences with some of these paintball pistols!

Last update on 2019-08-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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