How To Clean A Paintball Gun — Simple Maintenance Tips

The starting point for playing the paintball game is getting the equipment ready for use. Top of that equipment fit is your paintball gun, or what is also referred to as the paintball marker.

Ownership of a paintball gun goes beyond the exhilaration of having something close by to use when you want to, it is also about keeping the gun fit for use.

There is a way to clean your paintball gun. There is a way to maintain your paintball gun. This is important, as you don’t want to get pumped up for a game only to realize that your gun is jammed, dirt-filled, won’t shoot, or leaks somewhere.

So, whether you are using your gun for recreational or professional purposes, it is vital that you know how to clean a paintball gun and to make sure it well maintained.

How To Clean A Paintball Gun
Photo by Maxim Potkin on Unsplash

What Do You Need?

To begin the journey of cleaning, there are certain items you need to set apart from the outset:

  • User manual/gun’s schematics
  • Toothbrush or Q-tips
  • Barrel swab/squeegees
  • Allen keys
  • Paper towel
  • Warm water
  • Lubricant (preferably recommended)
  • Bowl for removed screws and other body parts

Essential Guide on How To Clean A Paintball Gun

Essentially, having your cleaning items ready means you are closer to your goal than you first started. Then you morph into the step-by-step guide to cleaning your gun

Step 1: Get Familiar With The User Manual

Every manufacturer’s product comes with helpful suggestions on how to carefully, adequately, and properly maintain the devices. The same is true for your paintball marker.

It is vital that you read the user manual and get clear indicators for the precise cleaning and maintenance instructions that relate to your paintball gun type.

One of the reasons is that the lubricant or oil that you need to clean the gun is mostly suggested here. Also, it helps you with clear guidance on how, what, and where to clean or repair when you disassemble your gun for cleaning.

While it is advisable to always clean your gun before use (with elaborate reference below), your manual might indicate the safe window for taking your gun apart and it can show what screws fit into where, what they are there for and why you can be absolved of making egregious mistakes when fixing them back.

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Step 2:  De-Gas Your Gun

The next step, which is perhaps the first in touch-to-clean activity, is to de-gas your gun entirely. What this means is that you must remove the gas in your air tank.

The reason this is advocated for is so that potential accidents could be curbed and nipped in the bud early. Accidental shots could be fired if the gas isn’t emptied, and that’s a risk you wouldn’t want to take while getting to clean.

The proximity of the gun to you would show in the impact outcome, considering the landing force of the velocity speed at such close quarters.

You basically take out the air tank, find the ASA lever and de-gas from that end. There are guns where those levers are unavailable, one of the reasons your manual can be helpful guide from onset. It will give the information on how you could de-gas your gun totally.

Step 3: Pick Apart The Gun’s Parts

Picking apart is simply about disassembling, and your whole gun must be caught up in this. This is where the schematics are useful to unpack the gun parts correctly.

Start with the hopper. You remember what that is, yeah? The hopper is like your gear-like box where you put your paintballs, and they are mostly affixed to the top of your gun.

Then remove the gun’s bolts, barrel, hammer and the grip frame. You can unpack to the bowl you had set apart to keep these body parts. 

Step 4: Clean The Barrel

You want to start with the barrel and clean out any dirt or debris on the outside with your brush or cloth. When you are done with cleaning the outside, you take your barrel swab and run it through the inside of the barrel for thorough cleaning.

You must clean vigorously so that no scrappy, left-over paints or paintballs are lodged in your barrel. The danger of leaving that casually is that it can evidently affect your gun as this is what makes most guns to get jammed.

After inspecting the inner space of your barrel through the holes and you are not sure it is squeaky clean, use your squeegee to clean it.

Feed one end of the squeegee through the hole, when the hooks get placed on the rings, pull out at the other end. That should work for whatever debris is left there. 

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Step 5: Clean The Other Disassembled Parts

You can start with your hopper. Make sure you wipe off any visible dirt on the outside of your debris. That means, working your way through the other body parts of the gun.

You can get your towel or damp cloth and wipe till clean. You can also get your toothbrush for use here. Put in your set warm water, and carefully scrub through the gun body, the edges, open spaces, and others.

There are people who generally use the squeegee for the gun part but that can be risky. Make sure that the paintball marker model you are using is suited for the squeegee to be used on it. It negatively affects some paintball guns. 

That said, your wet toothbrush or even the Q tip will do the magic here. When you are done using the wet toothbrush, make sure you wipe your gun’s body with the cloth so it can be dry.

The other part you can clean with your toothbrush is your grip frame, and you have to do that with a lot of focus. Carefully clean your grip frame without messing up the trigger assemblage, it is not often easy to bring it together. 

Step 6: Disassemble The Clam Shells

You are doing that to gain access to the inner parts of the gun. When you do that, you want to do so carefully because of spring tensions and other smaller items in the gun that must not be taken off their place.

When you disassemble the clam shells and have access to the moving parts, check again to clean off obvious dirt or debris with your toothbrush.

Check all the metal to metal contacts and springs to make sure they are in good shape and clean them off with your towel.

As a complementary intervention, at this point, clean your bolt and hammer, too. Make use of paper towels for proper clean up.

You might also want to investigate here if there are parts that need fixing or possible replacing. Start with the O-rings, if the wear is pronounced, a change is necessary. In all, keep them clean and good for use.

Step 7: Lubricate 

While the clam shells are off and the inner parts of your gun are well taken care of, after inspecting for damage or part replacement, too, lubricate the parts carefully.

It is important that your paintball oil is the recommended lubricant on your manufacturer’s manual. To lubricate, use your Q-tip on the O-rings for light coating. 

Step 8: Reassemble Your Gun

At this point, your gun is deemed perfectly clean and you can go ahead to carefully reassemble the unpacked parts again.

Follow the schematics that assisted with the unpacking in reassembling the parts again correctly.

You must master the nuances carefully and realize that this is the last link to your gun working perfectly and normally again. If done well, the gun will be fit for use again.

Important Maintenance Tips

Keeping your gun in good shape is not only about how well it is cleaned; it is also about how well it is maintained.

A good maintenance culture means a longer use of your gun for its quality. To this end, you must attend to the following:

1. Keep your gun in a gun case. This lessens the possibility of it gathering dust and debris when not in use.

Not only that, make sure the gun case is kept in a dry, safe place. Dryness is not the same as excessive heat. Make sure that the gun is not exposed to direct sunlight, especially if the air tank contains Co2.

Co2 expectedly expands when temperatures are high and the tank can be prone to both sun and heat damage. 

2. Oil and clean your gun frequently, not haphazardly. However, oiling frequently must not be equitable to oiling excessively.

Oiling the O-rings lightly before gameplay is a good way to ensure that the gun remains well lubricated. As mentioned earlier, use the oil recommended for your gun so as not to risk damage if used with the wrong one.

3. Make sure that you have full grasp of grip of how major parts of your gun work. Most operational challenges are down to electrical, Co2 bottle, and O-rings issues.

If the paintball gun uses battery and it runs down, or the O-rings are bad, your gun might not work well. You easily solve those challenges through periodic checks and replacement of damaged parts. 

4. As it bears mentioning again, get familiar with the user manual before touching your gun.

You are not far from clarity of instructions where expectations about how to manage your gun, disassemble, reassemble, clean, right lubricants for cleaning, et al, are stated and obvious. 

How Frequently Should You Clean The Gun?

There are no doubts that, as mechanized guns become more and more improved upon, the maintenance demands begin to drop quite low as well. But the more you use your gun, the more prepared you ought to be to keep it clean.

There are few people who play the game as an everyday pastime. Perhaps the average play per week might generally be between 3–4 times. Whether you play consistently, or within little day breaks in-between, or once in a blue moon, a default rule should be that you clean your paintball guns a day before use it.

That keeps your gun consistently lush and clean for use every time you need it to work. It is not an OCD symptom, it is being preemptive and open to keeping yourself and your equipment in shape for every game. 

Is It Fun To Clean?

Maybe not. Your gun cleaning won’t appear to you as the fun part you signed up for in playing the paintball sport.

Cleaning is hard work. Maintenance is hard work. More so, they can appear monotonous and inevitably dull. But you must keep your eye on the reason you are doing the cleaning. That is, like the ‘dirty, boring work’ which is the antecedent to the lively, fun, entertaining work of playing the game.

The best paintball games are motivated by the best paintball equipment, and that’s not just about the cost or sophistication of these equipment, but how you keep them in shape.

Ultimately, you avoid incurring more cost, either for repair or seasonal new purchases, if you maintain the one you have properly.

Understand that your gun can give you a maximum, quality, accurate, and precise functionality if you keep it well. The fun might not be in the cleaning, but it is in the value you get from cleaning your gun. 

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