Can You Shoot a Paintball Gun Without A Barrel? Learn The Facts!

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If you’re a paintball lover like “myself” then you may have considered investing in your own paintball gun. However, you should keep in mind that paintball guns are made of a wide variety of components and can cost from a few bucks to a couple hundred dollars. You might be wondering if all the paintball components are necessary in order for the paintball gun to work.

So, can you shoot a paintball gun without a barrel? The answer is yes, even though you will be able to shoot your paintball gun without a barrel, you should know that you won’t be able to make a accurate shot without a barrel attached to your marker. Attaching a barrel to your paintball gun is very important which will eventually help to improve your shot’s speed, distance and accuracy.

In this in depth guide we will help you understand why it’s important to attach a barrel to your paintball gun whenever you’re planning on using it. First, it’s a great idea to take the time to properly understand the mechanics of a paintball gun.

How Does a Paintball Gun Work?

Can You Shoot a Paintball Gun Without A Barrel

The first thing that you should keep in mind is that when you press the trigger if a paintball gun, usually a combination of mechanics, compressed gas, and velocity works together in a very unique way to force the paintball out of the gun at a fast speed. What the gun does is launch the paintball with a powerful force, and when it contact its target, then the paintball splatters.

A paintball gun’s components include:

The body – The body of your paintball gun is pretty much the frame for all the other components and help to hold everything in place such as the valve, the bolt and the trigger frame. It also makes up most of the aesthetic aspects of the gun. This is the aspect you will want to pay close attention to when choosing the best marker for your needs. Bright colors tends to look appealing, but they also stands out more if you are trying to hide from your opponents.

The hopper – The hopper is located at the top of the body and helps to store the paintballs that will be launched. When it comes to paintball guns, there are three types of hopper, gravity-feed, force-feed, and agitating loaders. If your goal is to have high firing speed, force-feel or agitating loader might just be the one you are looking for.

The tank – The tank is what contains either the CO2 or compressed air. At times you’ll have a choice between the two and other times you have to use a specific tank if you don’t want to risk breaking your gun. Most paintball players tends to go with CO2 because it is much cheaper.

The barrel – The barrel is a cylindrical tunnel that you simply attach to the body of your marker. Apart from that, the barrel has the ability to affect how far the paintball flies, how accurately it flies, how fast it flies and the loudness of your paintball gun.

By pressing the trigger on your paintball gun it will cause a bolt to push the paintball from the hopper into the barrel. Another thing is that the valve in the gun will then release the carbon dioxide as well as the high-pressure air, which does a pretty decent job at forcing the paintball through the barrel.

Why is the Paintball Barrel Important?

The barrel that you choose to attach to your paintball gun can affect your shot in many different ways. A barrel can determine your shot’s:

Speed – Attaching a shorter barrel to your paintball gun will without a doubt help your paintballs to travel at a faster speed. The reason for this is because the paintball will travel quickly through the barrel allowing it to be released into the air faster.

Distance – Using a barrel that is considered long will affect the distance that your paintball travel. As the paintball proceeds through a barrel that’s long, you can expect its velocity and speed to decrease. So, what will happen is that the distance becomes shorter.

Accuracy – Having a longer barrel on your paintball gun is very important as it helps you to make a more accurate because it actually help you to aim far better.

Sound – If you look closely you’ll notice that there are holes near the tip of the cylinder that are known as porting. What these hole does is allow the air to escape from the gun faster, which will eventually reduce the noise the air makes as it is released. Using a paintball barrel that comes with good porting will definitely help in making quieter shots.

What Happens If You Shoot a Paintball Gun Without a Barrel?

It’s possible to shoot paintballs from your paintball gun without a barrel. However, you’ll have much less control over your shot. Here’s what you can expect to happen if you use a paintball gun without a barrel:

You’ll definitely lose out when it comes to making a accurate shot. The reason for this is because you don’t have a barrel to guide you.

Without a barrel attached to your paintball gun, you’ll see an increase in the shot’s speed. While an increase in speed is usually a good thing, having a high paintball velocity may be somewhat dangerous. If you’re playing paintball with your friends, shooting paintballs from a gun without barrel may cause injury to the person it make contact with.

So as you can see, shooting paintballs from a gun without a barrel can somewhat be dangerous and drastically affect the accuracy of your shot.

What Type of Barrel Should You Use?

Most paintball gun on the market comes with a built-in barrel, which means you don’t have to worry about spending money on buying one.

However, if you have your paintball gun for some while now and you’re ready to invest in a few new equipment, then you can choose to get an upgraded barrel.

Here’s a few things you need to consider when choosing a barrel:

The material – Paintball gun barrels are made out of a wide variety of materials including aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and carbon fiber. While the materials don’t necessarily affect the quality of your shot, they certainly impact the weight of the gun and how comfortable it is to use while playing. You’ll mostly see barrels that are made of carbon fiber because they are insanely strong and light. If you’re on a tight budget then you should go for the aluminum option.

The length – Another important factor to consider when choosing a barrel is the length. Most barrels are typically between 12-14 inches (30 – 35 cm) in length. The length of the barrel plays a very important role in terms of accuracy as well as maneuverability. With that said, you should choose the length of your barrel base on your personal needs. A longer barrel will help you aim better and works extremely well for sniper. Having a shorter barrel attached to your gun makes it easier to handle and will help the paintball travel at a further distance.

The diameter – It’s also essential to match the size of the paintballs you use to the size of your barrel. You should know that if the barrel diameter is too small, then the paintball may actually burst in the barrel before it even leaves it. On the other hand, if the barrel is too big, then it may affect the gun’s velocity.

The porting – As mentioned above, the porting is the number if holes that the tip of the barrel has. The more porting that’s located on your barrel, the more quieter you can expect your shot to be. However, the porting actually causes the air to leave the barrel faster, which means you can expect a reduction in speed of your paintballs. You should take the time out to decide upon the amount of porting you need base on the purpose of your paintball marker.

Another thing is that paintball barrels come in either one or two piece variants. Having a two piece barrel gives you the ability to change the back or front of the barrel since it is divided into a back and front. Changing the back will all depends on the size of the paintball sizes you’re shooting. While, changing the front depends on the size of the paintballs, and the accuracy that you’re looking to receive.


Having a barrel is very important, but it’s not the main focus of your paintball gun. A paintball gun can be operated without a barrel. However, shooting paintballs from a marker without barrel will be inaccurate and possibly dangerous. If your goal is to use your paintball for recreational or professional purposes, it’s always best to attach a barrel to it. Using a barrel will help to improve your shot’s speed, accuracy and distance.

As mentioned earlier, most paintball gun on the market has an in-built barrel. However, these barrels are detachable, which means you can constantly upgrade your barrel over time. When changing the barrel on your marker, make sure to take the length, porting, and diameter of your barrel into consideration.

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