How Do Mag Fed Paintball Guns Work?

how do mag fed paintball guns work

Mag-fed paintball guns have exploded in popularity since the release of the first mag-fed marker. Loved by woodsball players and Milsim enthusiasts alike, mag-fed paintball guns bring a new level of realism to the sport that simply wasn’t there before.

No longer do paintball players have to convert to playing airsoft just to feel like they’re using an actual firearm. Now players can simply buy a magazine-fed paintball gun and feel like they’re an actual soldier in a real war. 

But how do mag fed paintball guns work?

Mag-fed paintball guns operate by using a magazine instead of a loader. And just like an actual firearm, the magazine uses a coiled spring to load the ammunition (paintballs) up into the gun. When you’re ready to load a magazine, you first have to detach the magazine from the marker by pressing the mag release button. After the magazine is released, you then have to twist the winding mechanism at the top of the mag as much as you can. Once that’s done, you can then slowly load the magazine one paintball at a time. After the magazine is fully loaded, you can then reattach it to the marker and fire when ready.

Sounds complicated, but it’s actually very simple.

Now if you’re thinking about buying a mag-fed paintball gun, then I recommend you continue reading the rest of the information below. Not only will you learn the pros and cons of using a mag-fed marker, but you will also learn the difference between magazines vs. loaders, as well as if I think mag-fed paintball guns are good or not. 

Let’s find out below.

Are Mag Fed Paintball Guns Good?

Yes. Mag fed paintball guns are good. And in some ways, they’re even better than regular paintball guns.

How so?

For starters, some of the mag fed paintball guns can shoot First Strike paintball rounds. This type of paintball round is extremely accurate and can shoot up to 50% further than regular paintballs. I typically refer to my First Strike paintballs as sniper rounds.

Related Article: Best Paintball Sniper Rifles

Unfortunately, only SOME of the mag-fed paintball guns can actually use First Strike rounds. So if you do plan on buying a mag-fed marker, then you need to make sure that the one you’re buying can accept FS rounds before you make the purchase. 

There are many other benefits to using a mag-fed paintball gun, but we will get to that further below. 

Mag Fed vs. Hopper

If you’re new to playing paintball, then I would honestly recommend that you first purchase a paintball gun that uses a hopper (also known as a loader), or at least a paintball gun that can use both (mag-fed and loader).

The reason being is that you would probably have more fun as a beginner using a loader that can carry a few hundred rounds at a time, versus a magazine that limits you to only using 10 – 20 rounds at a time. Fortunately, some mag-fed paintball guns such as the Planet Eclipse MF100 and the Tippmann TMC can convert from magazine to hopper in a minute or less.

Then there’s also paintball guns such as the Dye Assault Matrix that can convert from magazine to loader with the simple flip of a switch!

However, using a loader does come with its downsides as well. The main downside is that you won’t be able to shoot First Strike rounds as you could with some magazines. Hoppers are also bad for accuracy since they interfere with your field of view over the top of your gun. Whereas mag-fed markers give you a clear field of view over the top of your marker.

In addition, using a loader gives your opponent an easy target to shoot at since it’s the first thing they’ll see when you stick your marker out from behind the bunker. 

Advantages of Using a Mag Fed Marker

Using a mag-fed paintball gun comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the advantages below:

  • Some are capable of shooting First Strike paintballs
  • Feels like you’re using an actual firearm (fun to switch mags)
  • Clear field of view over top of marker
  • Save money on paintballs
  • You can play mag-fed only games
  • Makes you a better player (limited paintballs)

Disadvantages of Using a Mag Fed Marker

Here are some of the disadvantages below:

  • Limited paint supply
  • Magazines are expensive
  • Mag-fed paintball guns tend to be heavy
  • First Strike paintball rounds are expensive
  • Magazine springs cause feeding issues with soft paint
  • Hard to clean magazines when paint does break
  • Have to buy a magfed vest


Mag-fed paintball guns have a lot of good things going for them. Switching mags during a game is a lot of fun, First Strike paintballs increase both your accuracy and your range, and there’s a clear field of view over the top of your marker. Combine the clear field of view with a tactical red dot or scope, and you now have a true Milsim paintball gun. 

But of course, mag-fed paintball guns aren’t for everyone.

Only being able to shoot 10 – 20 paintballs at a time can put you at a huge disadvantage when you’re facing against players that are using electronic paintball guns with 300-round hoppers. But if you’re up for the challenge and want the “true Milsim experience”, then maybe a mag-fed paintball gun is right for you. 

If you really want to test out a mag-fed marker before you buy one, then you may want to check your local paintball fields and see if any of them have mag-fed markers for rent. You’d be surprised at the number of fields that cater to mag-fed players nowadays. Or if you’re lucky, you might be able to buy a conversion kit for a paintball gun you already own (such as the Tippmann 98 Custom) and transform that into a mag-fed marker.


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