Top 5 Best Paintball Pistols of 2021 | Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

best paintball pistol

Thinking about buying a paintball pistol, but aren’t sure which one to purchase?

Or maybe you’re confused by the different caliber sizes and can’t decide whether to choose .43, .50, or .68?

Don’t worry, choosing the best paintball pistol is fairly simple once you know what you’re looking for. And as far as caliber options go, I’ve explained everything you need to know in the buyer’s guide further down the page.

I’ve also gone ahead and listed all of the items needed to use a paintball pistol and what the best accessories are in case you’re new to using painbtall pistols and could use the extra information.

However, if you’re already an experienced paintball player then I simply recommend you my reviews of the top 5 paintball pistols listed below. 

Let’s begin.

Top 5 Best Paintball Pistols

Below are the top 5 paintball pistols (still being made) that I recommend you purchase if you’re considering buying a new sidearm (or even a primary weapon). Paintball pistols that would’ve made the list (but are no longer being made) are the Tiberius (now First Strike) 8.1 and 9.1.

If you’re interested in buying a used paintball pistol then here are the best places online to buy used paintball gear.

Tippmann TiPX 

Tippmann TiPX with extended magazine, foregrip, red dot, and barrel tip

One of the best paintball pistols of all time is the Tippmann TiPX.

Don’t believe me?

Go and watch any of the most popular paintball videos where players are using a paintball pistol as their primary weapon. Nine times out of ten I guarantee they’re using a Tippmann TiPX.

Why the TiPX?

Besides being a great paintball pistol (and it shoots regular paintballs), the TiPX is also a great paintball gun overall. I’ve had the opportunity to use the Tippmann TiPX on a few separate occasions and I have to admit I was always highly impressed. 

Now there are two different ways to use the Tippmann TiPX. 

You can either purchase a pack of 12-gram Co2 canisters and use the TiPX as it comes out of the box, or you can purchase a few key upgrades and use it as your main weapon. Heck, I’ve even seen players dual wield two TiPX’s at the same time like they were Neo from the Matrix. 

I guess that makes three different ways.. 

So what are these “key upgrades” I was referring to?

The first and most important upgrade for the TiPX is the Tippmann Remote Line Adaptor. This nifty little device allows you to use any paintball tank you want (Co2 or HPA) by simply threading a small metal piece into the back of the marker. 

The next best upgrade for the Tippmann TiPX is the Long Range Conversion Kit or the First Strike Breach by Killhouse Weapon Systems. Both of these upgrades essentially do the same thing, which is to convert the TiPX so it can shoot First Strike rounds. But it’s up to you if you want your TiPX to be First Strike compatible or not.

The last few upgrades I would recommend for the TiPX is a new 8-inch A5 threaded barrel (make sure to buy a barrel built for the TiPX or it may not fit), a TechT MRT bolt, a body upgrade with a top rail, and some 12-round magazines to increase your firepower a little bit. Or you can go all out and buy a body kit (such as the CMP-18 from MCS) for your TiPX that comes with a buttstock and a top Picatinny rail to transform your paintball pistol into a full-fledged magfed paintball gun.

Top it all off with a mock silencer and you now have the coolest looking paintball pistol the world has ever seen. Well, that I’ve seen at least..

Specifications

  • Caliber: .68 caliber
  • Magazine capacity: 7 rounds
Pros
  • Shoots regular .68 caliber paintballs
  • Can be upgraded to use a remote line
  • Can be converted to shoot First Strike rounds
  • Lots of upgrade options
  • Comes with a bottom Picatinny rail (allows the attachment of flashlights, foregrips, lasers, etc.)
Cons
  • Has no top Picatinny rail
  • Can’t shoot First Strike rounds without being upgraded

First Strike FSC 

First Strike FSC paintball pistol

If you’re looking for a paintball pistol to use as a secondary weapon, but still want to be able to shoot regular 68 caliber paintballs, then I recommend the First Strike FSC. 

The main advantage the FSC has over the other 68 caliber paintball pistol (the Tippmann TiPX) is that it’s much smaller in size, hence the name First Strike Compact. Being smaller in size makes it both easier to carry and to equip/unequip from your holster. 

Now don’t get me wrong, the FSC can be just as good of a primary weapon as the TiPX, but I would recommend using a remote line and a regular-sized paintball tank. Otherwise, you’re going to be limited to using 8-gram Co2 cartridges that you have to place in each magazine. 

The main downside of using 8-gram Co2 cartridges (other than the fact they only hold enough air for 10-15 shots) is that you’re going to have to order them online. While you may be able to find a pack of 12-gram Co2 cartridges at your local Walmart or sporting goods store, I seriously doubt you’ll find any 8-gram Co2 cartridges at any retail store nearby.

However, the design of the FSC and its use of 8-gram Co2 cartridges does have its benefits as well. The main benefit being that you won’t have to waste time reloading 12-gram Co2 cartridges every 20 +/- shots like you would with the Tippmann TiPX.

Sure, you’ll have to place an 8-gram Co2 cartridge in every single magazine before you go to play, but at least you won’t have to reload any Co2 cartridges until you’ve refilled every single magazine and used it again. Eventually, you’ll have to reload all of your Co2 Cartridges at the same time (or one after another), but you typically do this between games anyways. 

The best part about the First Strike Compact, however, is that it can shoot First Strike rounds right out of the box. No upgrade needed.

The FSC also comes with a wide variety of upgrade options that can transform your FSC into a whole new paintball marker entirely. Some of the best upgrades for the FSC include the magazine extender (15 round capacity), rifled barrel, folding stock, and optics rail. Just take a look at the First Strike FSC Socom if you want to see the end-game result. 

Specifications

  • Caliber: .68 caliber
  • Magazine capacity: 6 rounds
Pros
  • Shoots regular .68 caliber paintballs
  • Shoots First Strike rounds
  • Can be upgraded to use a remote line
  • Lots of upgrade options
  • Comes with a bottom Picatinny rail
  • Ambidextrous safety mechanism
  • Easy to carry around (compact size)
  • Wide variety of color options
Cons
  • Has no top Picatinny rail
  • Uses 8-gram Co2 cartridges

First Strike Roscoe

Roscoe revolver

The coolest paintball pistol ever made is none other than the First Strike Roscoe. 

However, unlike the FSC and the TiPX, the Roscoe uses 50 caliber paintballs and 50 caliber First Strike rounds. Yes, you heard right, 50 caliber First Strike rounds. 

These tiny, fin-shaped paintball rounds are extremely fun to shoot, just don’t expect to achieve the same range and accuracy that you receive when using the 68 caliber First Strike rounds. 

You should also check in with your local paintball field(s) and see if they allow 50 caliber paintballs and 50 caliber First Strike rounds. There’s a chance they may allow 50 caliber paintballs but not 50 (or 68) caliber First Strike rounds.

“50 caliber paintballs are roughly half the size of a regular 68 caliber paintball and travel about half the distance”

If your local field does allow 50 caliber paintballs then the next question to ask yourself is do they sell them? If not, then you will have to order your own 50 caliber paintballs online, and you may want to ask if they have any color preferences when it comes to the fill color (do your research first to see what color fill options are available) of the paintball.

Now that I got that out of the way, let’s get to the advantages and disadvantages of using the First Strike Roscoe.

The advantages of using the Roscoe (besides its cool looks and First Strike capability) is that it’s highly affordable (less than half the price of the FSC), has top and bottom Picatinny rails, uses 12-gram Co2 cartridges, and it’s made mostly from aluminum, except for a few parts such as the pistol grip, trigger, trigger frame, and the cylinder holding the paintballs.

The First Strike Roscoe also functions like an actual revolver (for the most part) so that gives it a few bonus cool points in my book. I’m especially a big fan of the trigger safety mechanism as it’s similar to the Safe Action safety on a Glock firearm.

However, my favorite feature of the Roscoe is the realistic hammer that you can pull back and lock into place. Whenever I use the Roscoe as a secondary weapon I find myself pulling it out just so I can pull the hammer back and hear the “click”. 

Unfortunately, you can’t spin the cylinder holding the paintballs as they do in the wild west movies. So disappointing…

Some of the other disadvantages of using the Roscoe is that it’s front-heavy (aluminum in front, plastic in back), there are not many upgrades, and you have to purchase a High Impact or Low Impact Air Valve if you want to change the velocity of the paintball marker (it comes set at 280 fps).

The last thing that I want to mention is that the Roscoe utilizes a break-action design where you press down on a lever (located on the left side of the hammer) and it pushes the barrel-end of the pistol downwards to expose the 6-slot cylinder where you load your paintballs and First Strike rounds. Once you’ve loaded all 6 rounds you simply lift the front-end of the pistol upwards until it locks in place and you’re ready to go.

Specifications

  • Caliber: .50 caliber
  • Magazine capacity: 6 rounds
Pros
  • Looks awesome
  • Functions similarly to an actual revolver
  • Can shoot (.50 caliber) First Strike rounds
  • Can be upgraded to use a remote line
  • Comes with top and bottom Picatinny rails
  • Comes with a trigger safety mechanism
  • Highly affordable compared to .68 caliber paintball pistols
Cons
  • Can’t be used at most paintball fields because it shoots 50 caliber paintballs
  • Not many upgrade options compared to the FSC and TiPX

Umarex HDP 50

best paintball pistol for self defense

If you’re looking for a paintball pistol for self-defense then it’s hard to find a better option for the price than the Umarex HDP 50.

This bright orange paintball pistol shoots 50 caliber rubber, powder, and pepper balls at a velocity of 375 fps (feet per second). However, the HDP 50 is not designed to shoot regular 50 caliber paintballs as the high velocity can cause the paintballs to break inside of your barrel or breach. 

The Umarex HDP 50 is known as a less-than-lethal (or non-lethal) weapon, but it can still inflict a great amount of pain and agony if you shoot someone with a pepper round up to 60 feet away. Even if you manage to miss them entirely, it will still do some damage as long as they’re within a 12-ft range of where the pepper round breaks (although I can’t say that I’ve tested this myself). 

Some of the cool features on the HDP 50 include fiber optic sights, a trigger safety (like a Glock), and a bottom Picatinny rail for adding accessories. A nifty little cleaning rod is also included that allows you to effectively clean your barrel without pushing pepper spray or powder further into your breach. 

This is accomplished by hiding the squeegee in a long-thin tube so it can be inserted into the barrel without the squeegee being exposed. Once the tube is fully inserted into the barrel you then use the handle on the opposite end to push the squeegee forward.

Warning: Be extra careful when using the cleaning rod if you have a pepper ball break inside your weapon. If you get it on your hands and accidentally touch your eyes (or somewhere worse) you will feel the pain immediately.

The Umarex HDP 50 runs on 12-gram Co2 cartridges and can hold up to 6 rounds at a time. To load this paintball pistol you simply have to load the 50 caliber rubber, powder, or pepper rounds into the circular-shaped hole under the barrel of the pistol.

The Umarex HDP 50 can not be sold in the following states or countries: California, New York, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and Canada.

Specifications

  • Caliber: .50 caliber
  • Magazine capacity: 6 rounds
Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Great for self-defense (375 fps)
  • Comes with an effective cleaning rod
  • Comes with a trigger safety mechanism
  • Comes with a bottom Picatinny rail for accessories
  • Looks similar to an actual firearm
Cons
  • Can’t shoot regular 50 caliber paintballs (high velocity = too many breaks)
  • Not a fan of loading paintballs under barrel
  • Can’t be used at most paintball fields because of the 375+ fps
  • Can’t be used at most paintball fields because it shoots 50 caliber paintballs

Umarex TR50

The most affordable paintball pistol on this list is the Umarex TR 50.

Unfortunately, the TR 50 shoots up to 360 fps so it won’t be allowed on most paintball fields as it exceeds the maximum velocity rule of 280-300 fps that most fields have in place. 

However, since 50 caliber paintballs are only about half the size and weight of a 68 caliber paintball, they don’t hurt nearly as much when traveling at the same speed. Plus they require a higher velocity to be able to break upon impact. 

Maybe the paintball field owner or manager will be aware of this and will allow you to use your high-velocity paintball pistol, but then again e maybe not. I would contact the local paintball field owner beforehand if you plan on buying the Umarex TR50 to use on their field. 

Okay, now that I got that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to discussing all of the cool features that make the Umarex TR50 such a great paintball pistol. For starters, the TR50 was the original paintball revolver since it was released before the First Strike Roscoe. So take that First Strike!

 Just kidding…

To use the Umarex TR50 you simply have to slide the locking device forward (located on the front-left side of the revolver) until it locks into place and then you can remove the 6-round cylinder out of the pistol by pushing it out with your finger or thumb. 

Read More: Top 10 Best Paintball Guns Ever Made | Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Once the 6-round cylinder is removed from the revolver you can then reload it one (50 caliber paintball, rubber, pepper, or powder) round at a time and afterward pop it back into place and then slide the locking device back to its original position. You can also keep some loaded spare magazines in your pocket or pouch if you want to carry extra ammunition. 

Other cool features on the TR50 include top and bottom Picatinny rails, a trigger blade safety, and a polymer plastic design that is extremely lightweight. You can also expect to get around 30 shots from each 12-gram Co2 canister so it’s fairly efficient as well.

Just make sure to bump the bottom of the pistol grip (where you screw in the Co2 cartridge) fairly hard with your hand or another object to engage the 12-gram canister. And while I’ll admit I originally thought of this as a major flaw, in all honesty, it’s actually quite fun to do so I guess it’s up to you how to judge this interesting feature. 

Specifications

  • Caliber: .50 caliber

Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

Pros
  • Extremely affordable (costs less than $100)
  • Can shoot up to 30+ shots from a 12-gram Co2 cartridge
  • Comes with a top and bottom Picatinny rail for accessories
  • Comes with a trigger safety mechanism
  • It’s a revolver for Pete’s sake!
Cons
  • The high velocity may cause paintballs to break in the breach or barrel more often
  • You have to hit the bottom of the grip with force to pierce the 12-gram Co2 canister
  • Can’t be used at most paintball fields because of the 360+ fps
  • Can’t be used at most paintball fields because it shoots 50 caliber paintballs

Ultimate Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Paintball Pistol

If you’re new to paintball pistols then I recommend you read this buyer’s guide (at least skim through it) before you make the plunge and purchase your first paintball pistol.

It may just save you from wasting money on the wrong type of paintball gun.

Or maybe you’ll realize buying a paintball pistol and all of it’s accessories is far more expensive than you think.

Let’s find out.

Choose the Right Caliber

The most important thing to consider when buying a paintball pistol is what caliber of paintballs does it shoot? The three different caliber sizes are 43 caliber, 50 caliber, and 68 caliber.

 Below I’ll discuss each caliber size and you can decide which one is best for you. 

68 Caliber

The caliber size that most paintball guns use are 68 caliber paintballs.

68 caliber paintballs are also typically the only size of paintball round you’ll find at paintball fields.

Most paintball fields won’t even allow you to BYOP (Bring Your Own Paintballs) as most of the money they make is from selling you paintballs themselves. And since most paintball fields only carry 68 caliber paintballs, this will be all you’re allowed to use.

50 Caliber 

Some paintball fields do allow (and sell) 50 caliber paintballs, but they’re typically used for when younger children want to play. It’s referred to as low-impact paintball. 

And while you would probably guess that 50 caliber paintballs are only slightly smaller than 68 caliber paintballs, they’re actually about half the size. This means they won’t hurt nearly as much when fired at the same velocity and may not even break upon impact.

Now some 50 caliber paintball pistols shoot at a higher velocity than 300 fps, but these typically won’t be allowed on most paintball fields. For this reason, most high-velocity (50 caliber) paintball pistols are used for target practice and self-defense.

Some of the different types of 50 caliber rounds you can buy include pepper rounds, rubber rounds, and powder rounds.

43 Caliber 

The smallest size of paintball you can purchase is a 43 caliber paintball.

Being slightly smaller than 50 caliber paintballs, 43 caliber paintballs are typically used for target practice or some form of police or military training. 

43 caliber paintballs also come in rubber rounds, pepper rounds, and powder rounds.

And while some paintball fields will sell abs allow 50 caliber paintballs, not many fields sell or allow 43 caliber paintballs. Although you will always find that one paintball field that’s extremely relaxed with their rules and usually won’t bother you unless someone complains. 

Items Needed to Use a Paintball Pistol

Here are all of the items needed to use a paintball pistol. Make sure you consider everything you need before you purchase your first paintball pistol so you can budget correctly. 

Co2 Cartridges (Or Another Air Source)

To use a paintball pistol you’re either going to need to use Co2 or HPA. 

However, most paintball pistols operate on 12-gram CO2 cartridges that you typically buy in a pack of 12 or 15 at a time. 

Some paintball pistols (such as the First Strike FSC) even use 8-gram Co2 cartridges.

Sidearm Holster

Unless you want to use a paintball pistol as your primary weapon then you’re going to want to invest in a sidearm holster.

The best place to attach a holster to your body is either on your leg or belt. 

Some people even attach a holster to the center of their chest, but I’ve found having a chest holster can sometimes get in your way when using your primary weapon. 

MOLLE Vest or Belt

MOLLE vest with paintball holster

If you decide to place a holster on your belt or chest then you’re going to need a Molle belt or vest to attach it to. MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, which is essentially a fancy way to say thick strips of nylon that’s weaved together.

Read More: Best Tactical MOLLE Vests for Magfed Paintball

Some of the items you can attach to Molle webbing include all kinds of pouches (dump pouch, grenade pouch, walkie-talkie pouch, map pouch, etc), magazine holsters, sidearm holsters, hydration bladders, and much more. 

Magazines

Every paintball pistol has a magazine of some kind.

Some paintball pistols (such as the Umarex HDP 50) have a magazine built into the pistol itself, but for the most part, magazines are a separate attachment just like an actual firearm. 

Most paintball magazines are loaded either one at a time or (my preferred way) by pressing the spring down until it locks into place (you’ll hear the click) with a long thin object (I use my squeegee) and then loading the paintballs. 

To make things easier, I just fill a 10-round tube full of paintballs and then dump it into the magazine. 

Magazine Holsters

Of course, if you’re going to buy extra magazines for your paintball pistol then you need to buy magazine holsters (also referred to as magazine pouches) as well.

If you’re only using your paintball pistol as a sidearm then you can probably get by with only having one or two. However, if your paintball pistol is going to be your primary weapon then you’re going to need many more.

Paintballs

As said before, there are three different types of paintballs (43, 50, and 68 caliber) so make sure to purchase the right kind that fits your paintball pistol.

If you have a 68 caliber paintball pistol (or any magfed marker) then I recommend buying Valken Graffiti paintballs (link to Amazon.com) as their hard outer shell makes them superior to other (softer shelled) paintballs when used in a magazine.

Best Accessories For a Paintball Pistol

While you can technically attach anything to a paintball pistol that can fit on a (small) Picatinny rail, the best accessories for a paintball pistol are flashlights, lasers, barrels, red dots (or scopes), buttstocks, foregrips, and mock silencers. 

Below is a brief description of each accessory and why you may want one. 

Flashlight

Flashlights can be useful in night games and low-light conditions.

While flashlights are typically used to help you see better in the dark, they can also be used as a way to alert the teammates of your position (flash once, twice, etc).

Some flashlights even come with a strobe light effect that’s useful for blinding players at night or in the dark (indoor games). Just make sure that your local field allows the use of the strobe light feature. 

Laser

paintball laser on pistol

Much like the strobe light feature on a flashlight, most paintball fields aren’t going to allow you to use lasers as it can be blinding to other players. Especially if the laser reflects off of their lens and possibly their glasses as well. 

However, if the paintball field does allow lasers then it can be highly useful to use one, and not just for aiming purposes either. My favorite way to use a laser in paintball is to point out the enemy’s position to my teammates. Or to point out anything really (maybe an important prop or a bunker I’m running to).

You can even use some lasers during the day (if they’re powerful enough) so they’re not just meant for nighttime play either. 

Barrel

If you want to improve the accuracy of your paintball pistol then you’re going to have to buy a new barrel. Of course, make sure to do your research to ensure the paintball barrel you’re buying is better than the stock barrel you already own. 

Unfortunately, not all paintball pistols come with aftermarket barrel options, but the high-end models usually do.

Red Dot (or Scope)

While I wouldn’t recommend attaching a red dot on your sidearm, I would attach one to a paintball pistol used as your primary weapon.

You can even attach a scope to your paintball pistol if you purchase one that comes with extended eye relief. They’re typically referred to as pistol scopes or scouting scopes. 

Buttstock

Using a paintball pistol as your primary weapon?

Then you may want to consider attaching a buttstock on the end of your pistol to improve your accuracy and stability (and because it simply looks awesome).

Check out the Tippmann TiPX CMP-18 or First Strike FSC Socom if you want to see a fully customized paintball pistol with a buttstock.

Foregrip

If you’re going to attach a buttstock on the end of your paintball pistol then you might as well attach a foregrip to your pistol if you want to further increase your accuracy and stability.

Just make sure there’s a bottom Picatinny rail on your paintball pistol or you’ll have nothing to attach it to. 

Mock Silencer

Now attaching a mock silencer on the end of your barrel isn’t going to increase your performance any, but it certainly looks cool and that’s enough to convince me to buy one. 

After all, who doesn’t want to look cool when they’re on the paintball field? 

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Woodsball player, magfed player, automag owner, paintball sniper. Have played woodsball and scenario paintball (on and off) since 2007 and still loving the game!

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