How to Clean a Paintball Barrel With or Without a Squeegee

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A dirty paintball barrel is an inevitable reality for any paintball player – regardless of how good you are. When you own your own equipment, you have to learn to clean and maintain your protective gear. This not only includes your paintball clothing, your paintball mask, and your paintball gloves but your paintball barrel itself! And while this is easily the least fun part of the sport, but it’s an important part all the same.

Even the best paintball guns like the Tippmann Sniper Barrel won’t be reliable unless they’re regularly maintained. Keeping your paintball barrel clean is necessary for maximizing its performance and longevity. A dirty gun is likely to jam and paintballs can burst inside the barrel when there’s too much debris buildup. Keeping your marker in tip-top shape can improve your game, increase the lifespan of your equipment, and prevent costly repairs. Whether you’ve purchased a more costly or a cheap paintball barrel, it needs to be cleaned to get the most out of its life!

What You Need To Clean A Paintball Barrel

When you’re cleaning your paintball gun, you’ll need to clean each individual part, but the barrel is the most important and requires special tools. Generally, you’ll want a cleaning paintball barrel kit and paintball gun oil to get the job done. Paintball barrels are generally made of either aluminum, stainless steel, or a carbon fiber barrel.

To clean paintball barrels, you don’t need any custom products. You just need a tool that can wipe away debris and dirt from the inside. There are two devices to choose from: the squeegee and the swab.

What is a Paintball Squeegee?

The term “squeegee” probably brings to mind the rubber-bladed tool used to clean windows. A paintball squeegee has a totally different design but uses similar materials for a comparable function.

A paintball squeegee is made with stick rubber that can quickly catch and remove debris from within the barrel length. Most are made with an easy-to-use “pull-through” design and can be rolled up and stored easily in your pocket. This makes it a handy tool that can deal with any jams mid-game.

Preparing To Clean Your Paintball Gun Barrel

The first step to cleaning your paintball gun barrel is to disassemble the gun. Use caution: paintball markers can be dangerous if not handled correctly.

Before you do anything else, make sure to de-gas the gun. You’ll need to remove the CO2 or paintball tank. Make sure the barrel cover is on the end of the barrel as you work to avoid any injury from misfires. If your paintball marker uses batteries, it’s a good idea to remove them as well, as a precaution.

It should be noted that you want to avoid disassembling your marker frequently. Every time you take the paintball gun apart, you’re risking losing apart and reassembling it incorrectly. When you do disassemble the gun to clean it, this should be in an environment where you can take your time, focus, and keep the parts somewhere safe.

How To Clean Paintball Barrels With a Squeegee

close up of special protective mask placed on wooden table

After detaching the paintball barrel from the rest of the marker, you need to rinse it out, checking periodically for any debris stuck on the inside. This might be trickier to do with a longer paintball barrel.

Next, starting from the back forward, place the handle end of the squeegee into the barrel. The end should reach past the end, with the rubber disks sitting tight against the inside at the top. Simply pull the squeegee through – the disks will catch and whisk away any debris stuck inside.

How To Clean Paintball Barrels Without a Squeegee

paintball sport player playing paintball wearing protective mask

Although the squeegee is a very handy tool for cleaning your paintball barrel, it’s possible to do it without one. You will still need something to grab any paint, dirt, or other foreign material trapped inside. This is where the swab comes in.

A paintball swab is similar to the squeegee but uses softer and bulkier material. The approach to using it is different as well since you don’t have to detach the barrel before using it. The swab is inserted inside the barrel and then pulled back out, taking the paint and dirt with it.

Swabs are useful for a quick clean in the paintball field since you don’t need to completely disassemble the gun, and they come in a variety of options. However, you’ll get a more thorough clean from rinsing the barrel and using a squeegee.

Final Thoughts: How To Best Maintain Your Paintball Gun After Cleaning

After you’ve finished cleaning your paintball marker, make sure to properly scrub and oil it, then reassemble the parts carefully.

In addition to regularly cleaning your marker, you should be checking it for damaged components and keeping the actual body clean as well. Many find that an old toothbrush or cotton swabs help get into a paintball gun’s nooks and crannies. After cleaning, it’s important to carefully dry the gun.

Storing your paintball gun properly will also help maximize its lifespan. You’ll want to remove ammunition, as well as de-gassing it and removing batteries. It’s essential to make sure the gun’s pins and screws are lubed up, and that the gun is oiled to avoid damage when not in use.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that keeping your paintball barrel clean is going to be far more important than keeping your paintball shoes clean. While cleaning your paintball barrel can be easily overlooked, it can actually improve your game, making it one of the most important preventative steps you can take in making sure you play the best game possible.

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