Can Paintball Guns Kill? Facts and Safety Information


Paintball is a competitive team shooting sport where players set out to eliminate opponents from the game by shooting them using spherical dye-filled gelatin capsules known as paintballs. It’s interesting that military forces, law enforcement, and security organizations also use paintball technology. That raises the question: can paintball guns kill?

Paintball guns can’t kill someone instantly because they don’t shoot fast enough, and their gelatin projectile isn’t heavy enough to cause a one-blow death. However, paintball guns can be dangerous to kids and small animals. For safety, players must always wear protective gear during a game.

Generally, paintball is a safe sport if you follow all of its safety rules. Paintball, however, can be dangerous if people abuse paintball guns to inflict injuries on others. Read on to learn about paintball facts and how to stay safe while playing.

Video: SHOT WITH 1000+ PAINTBALLS IN SLOW MOTION + 3 days after.

Has Paintball Killed Anyone?

Paintball guns don’t kill people the way real-guns do. Many people who died from paintball died from wounds they got after a game. There was also a case in which men had died from a heart attack shortly after a game.

Paintball is a game that gives players a rush because they know that opponents can appear anywhere, ready to shoot them out of the game. For someone who has a heart problem, an instant shock could put them over the edge. Players with a preexisting condition must seek advice from their doctor before participating in paintball.

According to The Telegraph’s report, a 39 years old man suffered a stroke and died just a few days after playing paintball. The man had a shot to the back of his head. He was shot by a player 8-10 feet away.

Paintball guns cannot kill you instantly, but they can cause injuries or shock that can potentially result in death. Paintball projectiles can travel up to 200 mph. That said, players must be careful with where they’re shooting — avoid shooting the head or the eyes — mainly when players shoot nearby.

Another way a paintball gun could kill a person is when the gun shoots multiple times at close range on a particularly fragile body part that has no protection whatsoever. The most delicate body parts are the head, windpipe, or heart. Any damage to the soft tissues could be fatal.

How Dangerous Are Paintball Guns?

Paintball guns’ speed is measured in feet per second (fps) due to the markers’ short range. An average paintball marker can shoot 300 fps or slower. In most paintball fields, players can only shoot a maximum of 280 fps for safety reasons.

Paintball can travel about 200 mph. 1 fps is equivalent to .68 mph. Mph = fps x 0.68

So, 280 x 0.68 = 190 mph (307kph).

We cannot conclude that paintball guns are deadly weapons because they are not the same as real guns that are deadly when shot at vital organs. However, we can say that paintball guns are dangerous to the eyes and can cause severe eye damage or, worse, eye loss. Eye accidents usually occurred when players didn’t wear a mask or removed a mask during a game. That is why it is mandatory you wear a protective paintball mask and goggles.

Paintball is only dangerous if players are careless. A study on injuries from paintball related activities in the United States from 1997 to 2001 showed that 95.5% of injured persons were treated and released. According to the National Injury Information Clearinghouse 2003’s study, paintball is safer than popular sports like running or bowling.

It is undeniable that paintball is not a dangerous sport, as long as players are careful and follow paintball safety guidelines.

However, not everyone reports their injuries from paintball guns. In reality, it is difficult to know the exact number of people who have been injured by paintball guns.

There were instances where people accidentally shot themselves while working on their paintball guns. Sometimes people get randomly attacked on the streets. Some victims chose not to seek medical advice.

What Injuries Can Paintball Guns Cause?

Paintball is a sport that requires good agility, so often, players trip, sprain their ankles, or have cuts and bruises on their bodies. Some players even had genital, eye, and ear injuries. These injuries may lead to more severe problems, like temporary loss of vision.

Players with heart diseases may suffer breathing difficulties. Some players also have internal injuries, which, if left unchecked, could lead to severe health conditions. Many players had reported having concussions after getting hit during a game.

Players must understand paintball velocity to prevent injuries to themselves or others. Players should always stick with anything slower than 300 fps because anything faster than that is considered too fast. On a paintball field, if you shoot too fast, your fellow players will call you out.

Following basic paintball rules, like always wearing protective gear, will ensure that you’ll have a fun, safe game. Failure to wear proper equipment may result in severe organ injuries. You can’t always control how other players play on the field, but you can at least protect yourself from the dangers that other players might inflict on you.

Video: Shot with frozen paintballs. Don’t do this at home!

What Is It Like To Get Shot by a Paintball Gun?

Getting shot by a paintball gun hurts, and the severity may vary by where you get hit, whether or not you have protection on, or how fast the paintball was moving. Most players will experience cuts or bruises at least once throughout their paintball experience. The pain is similar to that of rubber band flicks on the skin.

The closer the shooting range, the more painful the shots will become. Unless the injuries are severe, cuts and bruises will usually disappear in only a few days. Always take safety measures during a game to prevent injuries.

Three gun types can hit you:

  • Normal 68 caliber
  • 50 caliber or low impact
  • 50 caliber spring-loaded guns

All of these guns give pain that is similar to getting hit by a wet towel.

How To Prevent Paintball Injuries

All paintball games put safety first. You must follow all paintball guidelines to prevent injuries. Here are some tips for lowering paintball injury risks:

  • Make sure the referees are qualified and alert at all times.
  • All participants should take a safety orientation before the game.
  • Always use well-working protective gear, such as ANSI-approved safety goggles.
  • Do not remove eye goggles during a game.
  • Wear proper footwear.

You must always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you have good communication with your teammates. Playing paintball is often more effective when played as a team rather than as individuals.

It would also help if you surrendered when told to prevent getting hit at a shorter range. If you are the person shooting the opponent (who won’t surrender), perhaps you may want to shoot the foot instead of the body, especially in close proximity, to minimize the pain. Wearing long-sleeve shirts will also be essential in protecting your arms and legs.

If you happen to get a paintball welt, it is important you treat it properly, and it will go away much faster. I have a detailed article about the best ways to heal paintball welts faster.

Final Thoughts

Paintball is a safe sport as long as players follow its basic safety guidelines. While injuries are common, severe injuries that can lead to death are rare. Players mustn’t shoot above 280 fps as anything higher than that is considered to be unsafe.

Although death or severe injuries from paintball are rare, players must never take safety measures lightly. Players must always wear protective gear to protect fragile organs, such as their chest, eye, and heart. It would also be helpful if players could avoid getting at a close range.

Recent Posts