Paintball is a unique team sport – the players shoot at each other, yet nobody gets hurt. A paintball marker, also called a paintball gun, is usually used to play this sport, but an increasing number of people have been using slingshots to shoot paintballs. This alternative may seem like a good idea, but you must never do it.
So, why should you never shoot paintballs with a slingshot? You should never shoot paintballs with a slingshot because a slingshot can shoot paintballs at a higher speed than paintball guns. Using it to shoot paintballs can cause significant pain and injury to the people you target.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about why it is not safe to shoot paintballs with a slingshot. You’ll also learn a few safety tips that you should remember when playing paintball.
7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Shoot Paintballs with a Slingshot
Before we give the reasons that a slingshot must never be used to shoot paintballs, you should know that paintball guns have to be calibrated to a safe shooting velocity. If a paintball gun shoots at a very high speed, the paintball can injure someone or damage anything it hits.
As such, most fields have a cap on the speed a paintball gun can shoot. In most cases, it is about 280 fps or 200 m/s. In Germany, the maximum legal speed is 65 m/s or 212 fps, whereas in the United States, it’s 92 m/s or 300 fps.
That said, here’s why you should never use a slingshot to shoot paintballs:
- A slingshot will propel the paintball much faster than the recommended safe speeds.
- You cannot set the slingshot to shoot at a specific velocity; hence, you cannot fully control your shots.
- A paintball traveling at a very fast speed can injure someone or damage something.
- The field owner will never allow you to use a slingshot to shoot paintballs.
- Paintball insurance will not cover any injury or damage to property caused by playing paintball using a slingshot.
- The paintball can break before you shoot it.
- Using a slingshot can take the fun out of the game; it’s more fun to play on even footing against other paintball gun users.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured by a Paintball Shot From a Slingshot
As mentioned above, using a slingshot to shoot a paintball can cause injury to other people on the field.
Although minor paintball welts and bruises may resolve on their own in a couple of days or weeks, it is imperative you get treatment to soothe the pain and reduce the swelling.
Here are a few things you should do if you sustain any injury (whether mild or serious) caused by a paintball shot from a slingshot:
Clean the Affected Area
It’s essential to clean the affected area with warm soapy water before applying any treatment. This gets rid of any debris, dirt, and blood sitting in the wound. Washing the area also helps to prevent wound infection.
You should also dry the bruise gently with a cloth. And make sure you avoid applying excessive amounts of rubbing alcohol to open wounds, as it can hurt the tissue and delay the healing process.
Apply a Hot or Cold Compress
Applying an ice pack will help to constrict the blood vessels in the affected area. This action reduces the flow of blood to the area and relieves swelling.
When the swelling reduces, apply a hot compress to soothe the pain and reduce the inflammation. Alternate hot and cold compresses in intervals of 15 minutes.
Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
If the injury is severe, it will be particularly painful and hard to deal with. In this case, you may want to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Follow the directions on the packaging to ensure you get the proper dose.
Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath
If the affected area is sore, you can soak in a bath of Epsom salt water for approximately 20 minutes. This simple remedy helps to relax the sore muscles and reduce inflammation.
Although soaking in Epsom salt water may not get rid of the bruises, it will reduce the associated pain.
Elevate the Affected Part
You may also want to keep the affected body part in an elevated position. By elevating the affected area, you reduce the blood flow to that area, thus minimizing inflammation and swelling.
To do this, you can stack pillows on top of each other and place your arm or leg on top of them.
Can You Shoot Paintballs With Anything Besides a Paintball Gun?
You can technically use a slingshot to shoot paintballs, but it is very dangerous, as mentioned above. The paintball gun is the most appropriate tool to use in shooting paintballs.
A paintball gun is an air-powered device that compresses air behind the paintball and propels it down the barrel and out of the gun at a preset velocity. It is not possible to achieve a predetermined velocity when you are using a slingshot or even throwing a paintball by hand.
The permitted shooting velocity of the paintball gun is intended not to harm any person the paintball hits, and that’s why the paintball gun is the only recommended tool for shooting paintballs.
Additional Paintball Safety Tips
Here are a few safety tips you should always keep in mind when shooting paintballs with a paintball gun:
Always Wear Your Mask
You must wear your mask at all times. This safety measure should not be overlooked, as some of the most severe injuries in paintball occur after someone removes their mask at the wrong time. You can only safely remove your mask when the barrel plugs are back on all loaded paintball guns in the area.
Make sure you wear anti-fog paintball masks. They don’t necessarily cost more, and not having to deal with foggy lenses helps you aim better.
Don’t Play Under the Influence
If you have taken alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medication that may alter your alertness, you will have to wait until you are sober to play paintball. It’s always important to stay safe and only play when you are in your best state of mind and physical well-being.
Don’t Fire Blindly
Don’t shoot for the sake of shooting. This behavior is common among many players, but you should avoid it if you want to stay safe when playing paintball.
When you fire without looking, you are likely to hit the referee, someone leaving the field, or other objects you shouldn’t be shooting at.
Offer (And Accept) Surrenders
As you may already know, close-range shots are more painful than long-distance shots.
It’s a rule of thumb to offer a surrender to any player within a range of 20 feet. In the same spirit, you must accept surrender if another player is within the same range.
Adhere to the Shooting Speed Limits
Keep shooting velocities under 300 fps. You can use a paintball chronograph, which is available at most pro shops, to time your gun speed. A paintball that shoots at a velocity of 280 fps may cause minor bruises. Anything that travels faster is likely to cause severe injuries, including broken skin and bleeding.
Make Use of Barrel Plugs
When you’re not wearing masks, block all guns with a barrel plug. Although safeties are useful and should always be used, there are times that they fail. This is where physical protection from a wayward paintball becomes a must.
Also, you should never take out barrel plugs unless you all have your masks on.
You should never use a slingshot to shoot a paintball because slingshots shoot at a velocity that can hurt opposing players. While using a slingshot seems like a fun and novel way to play the game, you need to adhere to the rules and only use a paintball gun that has been calibrated to shoot at a safe velocity.