As a professional player, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with unclean paintball guns. Picture this: you’re in the middle of an intense match, adrenaline pumping, when suddenly your gun starts jamming. You try to clear the blockage, but it’s no use. Meanwhile, your opponents are closing in, and you’re left defenseless.
All because you didn’t maintain your paintball marker properly before the match. It’s a frustrating and avoidable situation that can ruin the fun of the game for both you and your teammates. Proper maintenance not only ensures your gun operates at its best, but it can also prolong its lifespan, saving you time and money in the long run.
So, in this blog post, I’ll be sharing my tips and tricks for how to clean a paintball gun, so that you can avoid these mishaps and focus on playing to your fullest potential. Let’s get started!
A Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Paintball Gun
In this guide, I have used my Tippmann Cronus gun to illustrate the cleaning and maintenance procedure. Although the process varies slightly from one paintball marker to another, the fundamentals are the same. So, let’s move on to the details.
Step 1: Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
To clean your paintball gun, you’ll need a few supplies. I prefer to use a screwdriver or general toolkit box, a microfiber cloth, a barrel swab, a cleaning solution (I use dedicated gun cleaners, but isopropyl alcohol works too), a lubricant (I prefer a high-quality gun oil or grease), compressed air or CO2, paper towels or napkins and a neat, dry work area.
Here are some of the best cleaners and lubricants for paintball markers that I tested and highly recommend:
It would help if you used your phone or a camera to capture before and after photos or videos. This can make reassembly more manageable, which can be tricky the first few times you clean your paintball gun – you have less confusion while reassembling the marker.
Step 2: Remove The Air/CO2 Tank And Refill It
Every paintball gun is attached to a CO2 or air tank. Removing the tank allows me to disassemble all of the gun’s parts, making cleaning and maintenance easier. So, follow the user’s manual and locate the tank adapter on your marker to remove the air or CO2 tank. I find this step crucial to upkeep my guns systematically.
Then, start with the refilling process, which includes connecting the tank to a refill station or using a compressor to pressurize the tank up to a pressure of 3000-4500 PSI. After refilling the tank, prepare for the next step.
Step 3: Inspect The O-Rings
An O-ring seals off the air or CO2 tank to the adapter and doesn’t let it leak. Although it is a tiny element, it is vital to make the paintball gun work properly. So, inspect the O-rings for any signs of wear and tear. If any O-rings are damaged, replace them with new ones. If they’re still in good condition, lubricate them with a small amount of oil or grease before proceeding to the next step.
Step 4: Disassemble Your Gun
Disassemble your paintball gun according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to remove the hopper, barrel, and any other detachable components. Take your time and be careful not to lose any small parts. If you are doing it for the first time, always read the user’s guide and keep the workspace clean. You can follow these steps —
- To disconnect the hopper’s locking system, remove the hopper from the top of the gun.
- Take a toolbox and start to disassemble the bolts that hold the marker’s body and grip frame together.
- Remove the paintball marker body from the grip frame.
- Detach the feedneck that holds the hopper in place. Remove any internal pieces, such as the screw, valve, and regulator.
- Thoroughly wash each piece of the paintball gun using the cleaning liquid or rubbing alcohol. Also, take care to remove any paint residue and dirt.
Step 5: Clean The Barrel
The barrel of your gun is where paint residue tends to accumulate the most, so it’s important to clean it thoroughly. If possible, wash your barrel as soon as you return home from the battlefield, especially if you live in humid weather like me.
First, I insert the cleaning rod/ barrel swab into the barrel and push it through to remove any excess paint or particles. Although not necessary, I attach a squeegee to the end of the swab and run it through the barrel several times to remove any remaining paint residue or debris.
Then, I apply some cleaning solution to the swab and run it through the barrel several times. If I find the paint residue is stubborn, I soak the barrel in warm water for 10-15 minutes before the process. After that, I rinse it with water and dry it thoroughly with a dirt-free cloth.
Step 6: Clean The Rest Of The Gun
Using your microfiber cloth and cleaning liquid, wipe down the body, bolt, and other parts of your gun. I always pay close attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas, as these are often where dirt and grime can accumulate. For stubborn grime, I use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the components. Be sure to dry all the parts completely with an unstained cloth.
Step 7: Lubricate The Gun
Apply a light coat of lubricant to all moving parts, including the barrel, disconnector bolt, hammer, and grip frame, after the parts are clean and dry. This will protect them from rust, stain, and grime while also ensuring smooth functioning.
Be careful not to overdo it, as too much lubricant can attract dirt and debris. I always use clean cotton to wipe off any excess lubricant.
Step 8: Reassemble The Gun
Reassemble your paintball gun, including the O-ring, tank, and barrel from the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th steps, making sure all components are properly aligned and securely fastened. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging the gun.
Once I’ve reassembled my guns, I always dry-fire them a few times to distribute the lubricant and I also advise doing the same for your marker.
Step 9: Test The Gun
This is a crucial step as it ensures that the gun is safe to use and won’t malfunction during a game. To test the gun, you need to load some paint balls into the hopper. Once you have done that, you can fire the marker a few times in a safe and controlled environment to make sure it is functioning properly. This will give you an idea of how the gun is performing, and if there are any issues, you can address them before you head back to the field.
Step 10: Store The Gun Properly
After cleaning your gun, store it in a cool, dry place. It’s important to keep it away from moisture and direct sunlight, as both can cause adverse effects to the gun. If you’re not going to use your paintball marker for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to detach the tank and store it separately.
How Often Should You Clean A Paintball Gun?
If you want to get a long-term performance and win every game, a paintball gun should be cleaned after each match. Dirt, paint, and other grime can attract to the barrel. It causes accuracy concerns, and if left dirty for an extended period, you may need a replacement.
If you don’t use your marker frequently, it’s still a good idea to clean it at least once a month to prevent any dirt or residue buildup that could affect its performance. It’s also a great idea to lubricate the gun’s internals on a monthly basis — even without an event.
However, if you use your gun heavily or in extreme conditions, such as playing in mud or rain, you may need to clean it more frequently to ensure its optimal performance.
Ultimately, the frequency with which you should clean your paintball gun will depend on how often you use it and under what conditions. But in general, it’s always a good idea to take care of it as often as possible to keep it in optimum condition.
Also Read: 10 Things to Do with an Old Paintball Gun
Precautions To Take When Cleaning A Paintball Gun
When cleaning a paintball gun, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:
- Work In A Well-ventilated Area: Some cleaning solutions and lubricants can give off fumes that can be harmful if inhaled. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing in any harmful fumes.
- Wear Protective Gear: Wear protective gloves to avoid getting cleaning solution or lubricant on your hands, as they can be harmful to your skin. Eye protection is also recommended in case of any accidental splashes.
- Follow The Manufacturer’s Instructions: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when disassembling and reassembling your marker to avoid damaging the gun or any of its components.
- Use The Right Cleaning Materials: Use only the materials that are designed for use on paintball guns, such as a dedicated gun cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, microfiber cloths, and barrel swabs. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the finish or scratch the gun’s components.
- Store Cleaning Materials Properly: Keep your cleaning materials stored in a cool, dry place away from any heat sources or open flames. Also, make sure to store them out of reach of children and pets.
How Easy It Is To Clean A Paintball Gun?
If you overcome your laziness, it’s a cakewalk.
But it would help if you have patience and practice. After reading the step-by-step guide, you should not have any ifs and buts in your mind. Personally, I experience that cleaning a paintball gun can also be challenging, depending on the type of gun, how frequently it is used, and how well it has been upkeeped.
Regular monitoring, cleaning, and maintenance can keep the marker in good condition. It reduces cleaning time and effort. Once you have the expertise, it is easy.
Can You Wash Your Paintball Gun With Water?
No, you should not wash your paintball marker with water. Water can be harmful to the internal components of the gun, especially if it gets into areas that are not meant to be exposed to moisture. Additionally, water can cause rust and corrosion, which can damage the gun over time.
Instead, use a dedicated paintball gun cleaner or isopropyl alcohol to clean the marker. These liquids are specifically designed to dissolve and remove any dirt, debris, and paint residue from the gun’s internal and external components without damaging them.
It’s also important to make sure the paintball marker is completely dry before reassembling and using it. Use a microfiber cloth or paper towels to dry the gun thoroughly after cleaning.
Tips To Clean And Maintain Paintball Guns
- Be Gentle: When cleaning your gun, do not rush but be gentle with the internal components. Avoid using excessive force or abrasive materials that could scratch or damage it.
- Replace Worn Or Damaged Parts: If you notice any worn or damaged parts on your paintball gun, it’s important to replace them as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your gun performs reliably and safely on the field.
- Use Compressed Air To Dry Your Gun: After cleaning your marker, use compressed air to blow out any excess water or cleaning solution from the gun. This will help prevent moisture from damaging its internal components.
- Check Your Hopper Regularly: The hopper of your gun is where the paint balls are stored and fed into the gun. Check your hopper regularly for any paint residue or dirt buildup that could affect its performance.
- Store Your Gun With Care: When storing your paintball marker, make sure to use a gun case or bag to protect it from scratches and damage. Avoid storing your gun in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, which can cause damage to the gear over time.
- Take Your Gun To A Professional: If you’re not comfortable maintaining your paintball gun yourself, take it to a professional. A pro technician can ensure that your marker is in top condition and performing at its best.
Also Read: Do Paintball Stains Wash Out?
Cleaning your paintball gun is an essential part of ensuring its performance and longevity. By following the step-by-step guide that I’ve provided, you can ensure that your gun is always in top condition and ready for action.
Remember to take proper safety precautions when cleaning your gun, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the right tools and cleaner solutions, and be sure to take care of your marker regularly to prevent dirt, debris, and paint residue from affecting its performance.
By incorporating these tips and tricks into your paintball marker maintenance routine, you can enjoy a safe and fun experience while ensuring that it stays in top shape. So go ahead, grab your gear, and head out to the field with confidence, knowing that your gun is clean, well-maintained, and ready for action!