How lethal is a paintball gun

The question is; how lethal is a paintball gun? Paintball is a competitive shooting safe sport where players eliminate opponents by shooting them with paintballs at 200 mph with the help of a paintball gun.

As you know, a paintball gun is a device or gun that fires paint-filled pellets at high velocity between an allowed range of 250-300 fps.

This alone could be dangerous if a player is not practicing the general safety rules and regulations on the paintball fields.

The short answer is: Paintball guns are not lethal. They do inflict injury if not played by safety rules and regulations but is not a hazardous sport where your life could be in danger!

In this blog, we will shed some light on whether paintball guns are considered to be lethal or not. How much can a paintball player get hurt if he/she doesn’t follow safety rules? And so on.

Is paintball as dangerous as people say?

People often ask if paintball is a safe sport. The truth is, paintball can be dangerous, but it is no more dangerous than any other high-impact sport.

Paintball guns fire small round balls of paint at high speeds, and if those balls hit you in unprotected areas, they can cause bruising or even break bones.

However, the vast majority of paintball injuries are minor and can be easily prevented by wearing the proper safety gear and following the rules.

When played with the proper safety gear and under the supervision of experienced referees, paintball is one of the safest sports around. Much safer than sports like skiing

So if you’re wondering if paintball is safe, the answer is yes, as long as you take the proper precautions.

What are the risks of playing paintball?

It is a relatively safe sport, but there are still some risks associated with playing. Since paintball sport is more physical it requires running, sprinting, crawling, hiding, and jumping.

The most common injuries in paintball are:

  • bruises and welts 
  • Cuts and splinters
  • Strained Ligaments and ankles
  • Broken bones if being careless 
  • Genital, ear, and eye injuries if players neglect wearing safety gear or following safety rules.

“The most dangerous thing about paintball sport is the paintball gun and the CO2 gas tank.” 

You need paintball guns to shoot small spheres of paint at high speeds, and tanks to operate these paintball guns. 

What are the chances of being seriously injured by paintball guns?

According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the chances of being seriously injured by a paintball gun are relatively low.

Out of the estimated 20 million people who play paintball each year, only about 3,000 end up in the hospital with injuries.

However, this does not mean that paintball guns are completely safe. You should always take precautions and be extra careful while using or cleaning a paintball gun.

Is it possible to die from a paintball gun?

It is not possible to die from a paintball gun, at least not to our knowledge. However, if a player has a history of illness like heart attacks or heat stroke then there might be a high possibility of fatal situations.

Best Paintball guns are designed to be non-lethal, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause serious injuries. The chances of being killed by a paintball gun are very slim or should I write to none but getting seriously injured is another thing.

Is it possible to die from a paintball gun

Paintball markers fire gelatin projectiles at high speeds, and if they hit someone in the head or neck, it could be fatal. But to die from being shot by a paintball gun is impossible. 

Even though paintball markers can shoot paintballs at high velocity, it is still not enough to penetrate your skin, and those paintballs are not made of any hard material that could cause permanent damage.

Paintballs are generally spherical and are designed to break upon impact, leaving a visible mark on the target. And they are made of gelatin. Being hit by paintballs on the delicate parts of the body could be dangerous like the heart, windpipe, and head.

What are the consequences of being hit by a paintball gun?

If you are hit by a paintball gun, the consequences can be serious. If they hit you in a sensitive area, the results can be devastating.

And if you are not wearing any safety gear or following any safety measures then you could seriously be injured. While most of these injuries are not life-threatening, they can be extremely painful and cause lasting damage.

The common consequences that happen due to player’s carelessness are

  • Bruises
  • Welts
  • Sprained ankles or broken bones if not being careful while playing paintball.
  • Heat strokes
  • Skin breakage
  • Getting injured while mishandling the CO2 tank.
  • Eye Injuries, including blindness

How to prevent serious Paintball Injuries?

Safety rules and regulations are made for the player’s safety. Sure we can not stop accidents to happen but we can always be careful.

Taking a few precautions during Paintballing can save you from a lot of injuries and accidents. For starters:

  • Players should always wear proper safety gear when playing paintball. 
  • They should be aware of the risks associated with the sport.
  • Follow the proper rules and regulations of the paintball fields.
  • Don’t shoot opponents close approximately.
  • Always be careful while handling CO2 tanks.
  • Always use a barrel stop in the resting area or during paintball match break to prevent misfire or accidental firing.
  • If you are working with the tank make sure you are in a wide open place.
  • We always recommend consulting a professional or getting professional help if you are new to paintball or don’t have any prior experience, especially while handling paintball markers or paintball tanks.
  • If you can then also wear a vest, and elbow and knee pads along with the essential protective gear.
  • Keep the velocity of the paintball marker under the allowed range of 250 to 300 fps. 

Basic Safety Rules & Regulations of Paintball

You will find a different set of rules and regulations according to different paintball fields but these are the basic ones you will find everywhere.

Some may differ but the basics are the same which are:

  • Never take off a face mask during a paintball match.
  • Always wear protective gear for safety that includes a face mask or paintball goggles, head protector, vest, knee, and elbow pads, and gloves.
  • You can shoot an opponent too close. Even 8 to 10 feet away is prohibited in some paintball fields.
  • Put barrel stopper in between paintball matches break.
  • Don’t miss out on safety orientations that take place before each paintball match.
  • Wear proper footwear as well for stable footing to avoid any foot injuring during your run or jumping around.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. What I do is survey the paintball field beforehand to know where I need to be more careful while running or a good hiding spot.
  • Cover as much skin as possible to minimize the pain.
  • If you happen to shoot nearby, always shoot on the foot to avoid inflicting any serious injury to your opponent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can paintball guns be used in self defense?

It depends on the rules and regulations of that country or state. Mostly you can use them as self defense but as you know they are not correct or accurate to fire at a target so maybe you can’t try them for this purpose.

However many people still use paintball markers for self-defense and to keep wild animals off their property like foxes and raccoons.

What is it like to get shot by a paintball gun?

Getting shot by a paintball gun feels like a sting for me at least. The level of experiencing pain is different from person to person. 

Some might feel a sting, some feel more pain, some feel pain similar to a rubber flickor some might won’t feel a single thing. It all depends on each person. But this is a fact for sure that paintball is a dangerous sport for kids. 

Kids would need extra protective clothing gear and should play under adult supervision.

But let me state as well, the closer the range of the shoot is, the more it will hurt.


Though paintball guns are designed to be non-lethal, they can cause serious injuries if used improperly, so you must wear protective gear. In most cases, paintball gun injuries are the result of careless use or accidental misuse as we mentioned above.

A paintball gun is a device or gun that is used to launch paintballs. Paintballs are typically spherical gelatin capsules that are filled with water-soluble dye and designed to break on impact. So these are not hard enough to inflict serious life threatening injuries but still, it is wise to always be careful.

You must use paintball markers in the paintball field only so that you can play under the rules of paintball games. Since we can stop accidents what we can do is be extra careful.

To conclude, a paintball gun is not lethal. However, paintballs can cause serious injury if they hit someone in the eye or another sensitive area. Because they are flying at the speed of approximately 200-300 fps.

That’s why you must be careful about paintball marker usage and you must not shoot at someone with lethal force or on sensitive parts.

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