Are Paintball Guns Loud?


Before purchasing or using a paintball gun, you should understand how much noise it’s going to make. Whether you’re using paintball guns at an official site or somewhere around a neighborhood, the loudness of your marker might bother people and cause some unwanted issues.

are paintball guns loud?
Paintball guns aren’t loud at all. But you can find different levels of sound that paintball markers produce, depending on the type and the quality of the design.

So, are paintball guns loud? Paintball guns are not too loud. Most paintball guns make a hissing sound, while very few of them produce a popping noise. The actual volume depends on the quality of the paintball gun, whether it’s electronic or mechanical, and a few other internal factors.

In the rest of this post, you’ll learn about the following topics:

  • The noise levels of electronic and mechanical paintball guns
  • Which parts of the paintball gun change the sound
  • How to increase the volume of your paintball gun

Paintball Gun Noise Levels: Electronic vs. Mechanical

Before we dive into the sound of a paintball gun, we have to break down the two main types: electronic and mechanical.

What Is An Electronic Paintball Gun?

electronic paintball gun
Electronic paintball guns are usually more expensive than mechanical ones. But they do give you a faster shooting rate.

First, there’s an electronic paintball gun, which are markers that use a circuit board to tell the gun to fire. The circuit board is activated by the trigger

These models run with a battery that can be charged through a 12V wall outlet. The only real downside is that you might need to carry an extra battery with you if you plan on playing paintball all day. This isn’t too much of an issue if you purchase a high-end gun, though, as the batteries tend to last a bit longer.

What Is A Mechanical Paintball Gun?

Mechanical paintball guns use either CO2 or compressed air cartridges to power the projectiles. This is done by releasing a small amount of pressure each time you pull the trigger. 

The air in the canisters that fuel mechanical guns is pressurized so much that even a slight burst of it will shoot paintballs hundreds of feet before they drop. In high-quality models, you might even experience a shot that shoots up to 500+ feet.

You can read more about the differences between mechanical and electronic paintball guns in this article.

Anyways, onto the sound! 

Electronic Paintball Gun Sound

Electronic paintball guns make a faint hissing noise. It’s very slight – you’d have to strain your ears to hear it. From far away, it’s nearly impossible to hear a high-end electronic paintball gun if the marker is built correctly. 

The noise might be a bit louder if you’re using a low-end or low-quality electronic gun, though. Even so, it only comes out as a louder hiss that’s still hard to detect without listening closely.

YouTube video of electric paintball gun shooting. Around 80 Decibels. The electric paintball gun in the video is among the louder paintball guns.

The battery of an electronic gun doesn’t make any sound, so the only sound from an electronic paintball gun comes from the spring, bolt, valve, and the projectile

I made a detailed research of what electronic paintball guns people like the most, this is what I found out:

If none of this is for you, then read a post with best automatic paintball guns you can buy, I am sure you will find some that would be great for you.

Mechanical Paintball Gun Sound

Mechanical paintball guns are louder than their electronic counterparts. The gas or air release causes a popping noise, although some mechanical guns can also emit a hiss. 

mechanical paintball guns
Mechanical paintball guns are good enough for a casual paintball get together with your paintball buddies.

If you end up purchasing a low-quality mechanical paintball gun, it’ll sound much louder than almost any other type. It doesn’t have anything that lowers the sound or reducing the impact of CO2 or compressed air, which results in heavier kickback and volume.

Directly comparing the two, the average mechanical paintball gun will almost always sound louder than an electronic paintball gun. However, you can still get a top-notch mechanical paintball gun that’s relatively quiet compared to cheaper options.

If you have to be quiet around your neighborhood or in your backyard, it’s best to try out an electronic paintball gun. They’ll be significantly less noisy, and you’ll still get a decently powerful product.

One of my favorite mechanical paintball markers is:

  •  Planet Eclipse EMEK 100 Mechanical Paintball Marker – Link to amazon

How the Bolt and Valve Impacts a Paintball Gun’s Sound

The bolt and valve are two integral parts of a paintball gun – and both can impact the noise level of a gun

The valve in a paintball gun directly changes the volume. This is due to the sound that it produces made by more or less air efficiency. 

A spool valve is usually quieter, and it comes with very little recoil compared to other valve types. It also tends to weigh a bit less, although the weight difference is hardly noticeable in most cases. 

paintball tank valve
Valve in a paintball gun directly changes the volume.

The downside of a spool valve is that it usually isn’t as efficient, meaning it uses more pressure per shot. This can result in you having to change out the cartridges more often.

Another disadvantage of using a spool valve is that it requires much more maintenance on the O-ring. The O-rings are also much more sensitive to lubricant, which can end up harming the valve quickly if not done properly.

The other type of valve used in a paintball gun is called a poppet valve. These valves are much more efficient, using significantly less pressure per shot. This saves you money and time replacing cartridges in addition to the ease of O-ring maintenance. 

However, it comes with a sacrifice. The kickback is a bit more in a poppet valve, although it’s still not much of an issue in any paintball gun. 

The main downside to poppet valves is that they‘re louder than spool valves.

You might also dislike the additional weight that comes with a poppet valve, but many players enjoy the increase. It makes the paintball gun easier to control in some cases, decreasing aim sensitivity and creating a more durable gun all around. The weight of a poppet valve is also welcomed if you prefer the realistic side of paintball.

The bolt of a paintball gun hardly affects the sound produced, but it’s worth mentioning. 

A bolt’s job is to direct a single paintball into the chamber, sealing it off. This prevents other paintballs from flowing into the chamber while also pressurizing it to increase the velocity that it comes out with. 

Cheap bolts often produce a louder sound simply because they’re clunky. In addition to a poppet valve, you might find the combination to be quite a bit louder.

How to Increase the Volume of a Paintball Gun

While most people prefer to make their paintball guns a bit quieter, some want to increase the sound

In most cases, this adds to the realistic effect in military simulations. It’s also good to have a semi-noisy paintball gun to notify other people of your presence to prevent unwanted injuries.

You can increase the volume of your paintball gun in a few ways.

  • Choose a paintball gun with a poppet valve or replace the valve in your current setup.
  • Choose a mechanical paintball gun over an electronic paintball gun.
  • There are barrel attachments that echo the volume, increasing it and altering the sound a bit.
  • The holes around the barrel, aka the porting, lowers the volume. Use electrical tape to seal a few of the holes to increase the volume produced from the barrel.

Some people suggest that you remove the buffer O-ring. However, this can slowly deteriorate the gun, so it’s not recommended. Steer clear of any modifications that’ll damage the paintball gun since they often cause problems that can’t be repaired.

Summary

Paintball guns can be loud or quiet, based on several influential factors. In this article, you’ve learned all of the variables affecting the noise level of a paintball gun, including:

  • Poppet valves are louder than spool valves.
  • Mechanical paintball guns are louder than electronic paintball guns.
  • Taping the porting around the barrel a bit can increase the volume.
  • High-quality paintball guns sound quieter than low-quality guns in most cases.

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