Why Are Paintballs Falling Out of Barrel

If you’re a paintball enthusiast, then you know that one of the biggest frustrations is when Paintballs Falling Out of Barrel. And some players don’t even know why this happens and how to work it out.

I find it annoying to pick up fallen paintball rounds from the floor. Not only is it nerve wracking but it invites all sorts of problems.

From decreased accuracy to getting hit with paintballs early in the match to dirty paintball rounds that can affect the overall efficiency of the paintball gun

So why do paintballs fall out of the marker? The answer is due to mismatched caliber size or worn down ball detent, functionality error, and others.

I will address in this article their potential solutions as well that I learned over my paintballing years on the field. So let’s talk about this issue in detail!

Reasons For Paintballs Falling Out of Paintball Guns Barrels

There are a few reasons why paintballs may start falling out of your barrel. For starters:

Unmatched Barrel and Paintballs Calibre Size Or Overboring

One common reason is that the paintballs are not a tight fit. This can be caused by several things, including using paintballs that are the wrong size or shape, or by having a barrel that is too large for the paintballs you are using.

If the paintballs you’re using are too small for your barrel, they will just end up rolling down it. Too big will end up clogging the barrel which could result in the breakage of the paintballs inside it.

Overboring is the paintball term, which means that the size of ammo is TOO SMALL for the barrel size.

Many players are overboring intentionally because it helps you manage the balls better and you can easily clean the barrel. If you have done that then just don’t point your paintball gun downwards to avoid paintballs rolling out.

What is the diameter of a paintball gun barrel?

The diameter of a paintball gun barrel is 0.68 caliber, or about 21mm. Most paintballs are around the same size as marble, so they’re able to fit snugly into it.

Functionality Error

Another possibility is that the paintballs are not being fed into the barrel quickly enough. There could be several reasons behind a functionality error like 

  • A slow hopper
  • A blockage in the feeder tube
  • Or a problem with the paintball gun itself.

Using Old Paintballs

If your paintballs are old, they may have degraded and become brittle. This can cause them to break when they’re shot, and the fragments can clog up. 

Worn Out Ball Detent

Ball detents are an important part of paintball guns. Although their function differs depending on the type of the gun. 

Open bolt gun has ball detent to keep paintballs in position while not in use. Whereas closed bolt markers’ ball detent prevents double firing. One shot at a time.

Using Too Much Force

Using too much force on the paintball gun when shooting, will end up breaking the paintballs before they even leave the gun. 

How to Stop Paintballs Falling Out of Your Paintball Barrels?

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to solve this problem. 

Recheck the caliber size of both the barrel and paintballs

If the paintballs are too small for your barrel, you can try using different sizes. The obvious solution is to use paintballs that are the right size for your marker.

Try to get the caliber size as close to the internal diameter of the barrel as possible. It is one of the crucial aspects of playing.

Do a thorough inspection of paintball guns to lure out any functionality error

If the paintballs are not being fed into the barrel quickly enough, do a thorough inspection. 

You can try cleaning or replacing the hopper, feeder tube, or paintball gun. With a little troubleshooting, you should be able to get your paintballs to stop falling out of your barrel.

Even after all that you still can stop paintballs from falling then you could take the gun to your nearby shops for a professional to look at it.

Don’t use old paintball rounds

simply use fresh paintballs and don’t store up stocks of paintballs because eventually, they go bad. 

What we do is always buy fresh paintballs before a scheduled paintball match or get some new ones from the paintball field.

Replace Worn Out Ball Detent

always keep an eye on the ball detent of the paintball marker. This part tends to wear out or tear down more quickly than others. these parts help in keeping the paintballs in place and from double firing.

It could also be one of the reasons why paintballs fall down and out of your paintball marker. Replacing the ball detent on time will save you a lot from various expenses and problems.

Here is a video reference that I found pretty helpful and how I found out about ball detent.

Why are paintballs breaking in my barrel?

It’s a common problem paintball players face over time eventually and often. It happened to me recently because of a deformed paintball.

It usually happens when there is a problem with your paintballs, the size of your barrel and paintball rounds, or even the way you’re loading your marker.

Let me further explain this scenario:

Old Paintballs

One of the most common causes of paintballs breaking is they are old, stale paint, or deformed. Paintballs are made of a shell of gelatin that can dry out and become brittle over time. When this happens, the paintballs are more likely to break when they’re fired.

This is how you know if the paintballs have expired or not:

  • Deformed shape like an egg or oblong
  • Break down on dropping to the ground.
  • Blotches all over the surface.
  • Your paintballs must be a year old

So to avoid such situations

use fresh paint. If you’re using paint that’s older than six months, it’s probably time to get some new stuff.

Dirty Barrel Bore or Broken Breach

Another common cause of paintballs breaking in is a dirty barrel or broken breach. A paintball that’s been fired can leave behind a residue that will build up over time and make it harder for new paintballs to slide through the barrel. This can cause them to break when they’re fired.

The solution is to clean your barrel regularly with a squeegee or bore snake and punctually after each paintball match.

Wrong Loading of Paintballs

You might also be loading your paintballs incorrectly. If you’re using a hopper, make sure the paintballs are sitting in the feed neck correctly. If they’re not, they can get jammed in the barrel easily and break when you try to fire them. 

The only solution to this one is to check your hopper before each game and make sure the paintballs are sitting in the feed neck correctly.

Cold Paintballs

Paintballs can also break if they’re too cold. Paintballs that are too cold will be brittle and more likely to break when they’re fired. The same goes for being too hot, paintballs will melt. You need to store them properly because these rounds do get affected by the weather changes.

That is why I always suggest to my fellow players to keep the paintballs in a warm place but not too warm just the right normal room temperature.

Broken O-Rings

If you have a bad O-ring, it might not be sealing properly. This can cause air to leak out, which can break the paintballs. 

If you’re having problems with paintballs breaking in your barrel, try my solutions, gathered through a period of experience playing paintball.

“If the problem persists, it’s time to consult a professional”. 


The best way to avoid problems with your gun is to better know it first. Instead of freaking out as I did, take time to work around the problem.

After all, paintball is a sport that should be enjoyed by everyone, so don’t let broken paintballs ruin your fun or your time with friends and family. 

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