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Paintball pistols are a must-have tool in any paintballer’s arsenal. There are lots of reasons why you may find yourself unable to continue using your marker during battle: a malfunction, running out of air, or even cramped quarters. A paintball pistol is an excellent sidearm to keep handy for just such occasions.
The best paintball guns are mainly the more traditional, rifle-style markers. Having said this, there are quite a few truly excellent paintball pistol models on the market in 2023. Many major manufacturers like Tippmann and Umarex have expanded into the pistol market, and offer a variety of single-hand paintball guns that every player should add to their inventory.
There are also some dark horse options for paintball pistols – models that aren’t created by recognizable brand names but are value options nonetheless.
Here are our picks for the best paintball pistols of 2023.
The new Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber Paintball Pistol is an industry leader for its compact and lightweight design – exactly what you’d be looking for in a sidearm! It was specially manufactured to be easy to use and maintain, as well as being reliable and accurate. The marker features a non-slip ergonomic grip as well as a low-tension spring system and a military design.
The Tippmann TiPX is considered the best paintball pistol option out there for both long-time paintballers as well as newcomers. It features an intuitive “Tru Feed” magazine system for loading, an external velocity adjuster with an eight balls-per-second feed rate, and even a threaded barrel that allows for customization. Experienced enthusiasts will love the flexibility, quality design, and customization options, while new players will be happy with how user-friendly and dependable the TiPX is.
The Umarex T4E Walther PPQ is one of the most realistic-feeling paintball pistols on the market. The T4E is a heavier option and feels like the real deal. The gun is fully licensed by Walther Arms and is a high-end option for training and marking purposes. Plus, let’s face it – this gun is also very, very cool.
The T4E Walther PPQ is magazine-fed, with each magazine holding .43 caliber paintballs or other ammunition like pepper shot balls, rubbers, or dust balls. It is powered by 12-gram CO2 cartridges and boasts an 8-round drop-free magazine with a realistic mag release. This gun is so close to the real thing, it’s frequently used for training purposes.
In terms of construction, the Umarex T4E Walther PPQ includes a metal slide and barrel, with a polymer grip. It comes in a few different color options, with classic black being the most like the real thing. It even features an adjustable rear site, which is an added bonus that’s overlooked in most other paintball pistols.
There are two main drawbacks to the T4E Walther PPQ: the realism and the trigger. The pistol is quite heavy and features a pneumatic blowback mechanism to allow for different types of ammunition. While this is great for training purposes, it is not necessarily ideal for beginners who just want to play paintball. Furthermore, the .43 caliber size is a bit unusual and may need to be specially ordered.
Another great option from Umarex is the T4E TPM1. This paintball pistol is a little less fancy than the Walther PPQ but equally as dependable and accurate. The TPM1 also shoots .43 caliber paintballs and fits in duty holsters, making it a great training marker.
While the TPM1 may not look as flashy as the Walther PPQ, it is lighter, making it more appealing to some paintballers. It’s still quite heavy and realistic, however, there’s also a white warning message on the one side that really takes away from the overall effect.
On the complete other side of the paintball pistol spectrum is the JT ER2 Pump Pistol, which makes no effort to replicate a real gun. This is pure paintball and pure fun. The perfect choice for beginners, and one of the best paintball guns under $200. It’s a compact pistol that features a pump, which is a bit noisy but also a very unique (and satisfying) mechanism.
The ER2 features smooth pumping action and anti-chop technology provides all users with a seamless experience, regardless of skill levels. There are safety features like anti-double-pump action that make the gun extremely appealing to first-time players. The kit even comes with everything you need to get firing right away, including CO2 cartridges and ammunition.
The ER2 is not as accurate as other paintball pistols on the market, and in terms of aesthetic, the transparent grey plastic is not as pleasing as some other styles. Still, it’s a versatile little marker that’s well-worth its budget-friendly price tag.
Umarex is a major name in the industry, so it really should be no surprise to see it on this list many times. The Smith & Wesson .43 Caliber Training Pistol is another option that falls in the “replica” category; like the PPQ and the TPM1, the Smith & Wesson is very realistic, down to the actual blowback.
Overall, the Smith & Wesson is a quality paintball pistol that’s made well, is versatile, and appropriate for multiple purposes. It shares many of the same benefits as the previously mentioned Umarex models, like fitting in a standard holster. This particular model is a little less reliable, as several reviewers have noted problems with the magazines either jamming or breaking.
The First Strike Compact (FSC) is on the more expensive end of paintball pistols, but that higher price tag comes with quality craftsmanship. The compact design is perfect for a side piece, and the gun is fun to shoot. It uses .68 caliber paintballs and can accept both 8 and 12-gram CO2 cartridges.
FSC is a customizable marker that includes ambidextrous safety (making it a good option for lefties). In terms of accuracy, the FSC is not quite at the same level as some of the other paintball pistols listed, however, this can be improved with a long-range conversion kit.
While the FSC is great in terms of versatility and its compact size, it’s not quite at the same level as the Tippermann in terms of reliability. Using First Strike ammo is a must here as regular paintballs tend to jam.
The JT Splatmaster z100 Paintball Pistol is a solid addition to anyone’s arsenal. This extremely low-cost option comes in at under $40, making it hard to resist. The Splatmaster is a very basic paintball pistol, making it a good option for beginners and kids. It takes .50 caliber paintballs and is very low-power. While some may see the gun as “weak,” the lower velocity is perfect for younger children.
This is a very basic paintball pistol, and you get what you pay for. The gun can jam and realistically can’t perform at the same level as the much more expensive models. Still, it’s ideal for young players and goofing around in the backyard.
The last Umarex model on this list is the TR50 Revolver. This is a unique variant of the T4E line since, unlike the others that fire .43 caliber rounds, the revolver-style TR50 fires .50 caliber.
The TR50 is a lightweight paintball pistol with a surprisingly loud shot and rotary clip. Like the other Umarex T4E paintball pistols, the TR50 is very versatile, offering dual Picatinny rails for mounting add-ons like a laser or red dot sight.
The TR50 is also, unfortunately, one of the least reliable of the Umarex paintball pistols – which isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker but is worth considering. Because of its modern styling, the accuracy isn’t great. The cylinder mechanism is cool-looking but tends to misalign and jam from time to time. It’s a neat little marker to add to your collection, but one that will require frequent maintenance because of its design – both on and off of the field.
The final entry on this list is the Mercury Rise MUB .43 Caliber Paintball Pistol. This marker is a solid option for paintballers, as like the Umarex models, it shoots the .43 caliber paintballs as well as other ammunition types, making it a very versatile training tool. Unlike the Umarex pistols, this is a “non-blowback” model, which may be appealing to those who want an easier shooting experience. It’s also on the cheaper side of the .43 caliber options.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Paintball Pistol
We hope we gave you some fresh inspiration for your next paintball pistol buy for 2022 and beyond. With the top paintball brands on our list and easy accessibility, you definitely can’t go wrong with our top 9 picks.
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Alwayne is a Pro Paintball Coach in profession. He has a long experience as a Paintball Coach. Now, Alwayne is sharing over 10 years of experience of all tips and tricks about paintballs. The reviews and guide are elaborate at its best!