Looking After your Paintballs
You will be issued with paintballs after the safety talk, and believe it or not how you treat those paintballs will affect your day.
A paintball is a biodegradable product that is made to incredible tolerances, in a sterile environment and are very susceptible to temperature and moisture.
So we just rip the top off the bag and pour them into the hopper, and chuck the bag into a locker expecting them to work perfectly.
Most paintballs are designed to be used at about 15 to 25 degrees centigrade and once out of this optional range will start to perform differently, in winter months we will use “winter” formula balls but the same rules apply but at a different temperature range.
The paintballs will have been stored at 20C and in winter months if you put your hand into a bag of paintballs you have been issued, you will feel that they are still warm. You need to keep the paintballs at the temperature that they were when issued to you if possible. So don’t load your hopper right up and take loads of pots of paintballs out in pods if you are not going to use them that game. Load up what you need, seal the bag up, and wrap it up in a coat or something to keep it warm, put it back in a box to keep it out of the wind, and tuck the box somewhere sheltered. If it’s a sunny still day, put the box out in the sun so that it warms up and keeps the contents warm.
Paintballs are biodegradable, and moisture is the main catalyst that causes them to break down. On a normal day this is not an issue, but on rainy days can be.
The first sign of a paintball breaking down is that it starts to swell, and softens slightly. This swelling may only be .01 of an inch, which is undetectable to the naked eye, but it will prevent the paintball entering the breach of the gun. This causes the paintball to be smashed in the breach of the gun as the bolt tries to chamber the round, the knock on to this is that the gun might jam and once freed the residue paint in the barrel will cause subsequent paintballs to veer off target when fired, wasting paintballs.
So how can we prevent this?
- Take out what you need for a game, and seal your bag to prevent atmospheric moisture getting to them.
- If you get shot on your hopper, use only tissue to remove the paint. If you use water it can get thru the join and start to break down the paintballs inside.
- Don’t pick paintballs off the ground. One paintball that has been on the ground, worth 7p, can destroy a hopper full worth £14.
- If it’s raining, only fill your hoppers in the shelters, not in the rain, unless you are out on the field
- If you drop paintballs in the compound only pick up what you have dropped, others might be there from yesterday and will cost you more than you save.
Paintballs have to be strong enough to withstand firing from the gun, and weak enough to break on target.
So when you get them and they feel hard, you must still treat them like a tray of eggs. Don’t throw them onto the benches in the team huts, when you are playing, treat your hopper like a tray of drinks, if you are going to slide into a barricade, you go first, the gun and hopper come second.
Why. The paintball is designed to be weakened by firing, so it bursts on impact, if it has already received several “knocks” before chambering, it is more likely to burst in the barrel on firing.