While I usually enjoy the practicality and ease of use that comes with a hopper, there is a particular challenge and attractive draw that comes from a high quality magfed marker. These realistic paintball guns are a cut above the entry level market, and some manufacturers don’t even market their products to consumers, instead preferring to court law enforcement agencies that prize the accuracy and training potential of them. There is no shortage of magfed options to choose from, but not every model is equal to its competitors. These are some of the best magazine fed paintball guns on the market, and you might be surprised by how strong some of them can be.
In a Hurry? Here’s My Quick Take:
- Budget Pick: First Strike Tiberius Arms T9.1
- Value Pick: Tippmann TMC Magfed Paintball Marker
- Premium Pick: Dye Assault Matrix (DAM)
Best Magfed Paintball Gun- Reviews
The Spyder MR6 is the only entry level magazine fed paintball marker around, and while it has some attractive features for those new to this style of gun, a few problems keep it at the bottom of this list. First, let’s look at the good things about this gun. It supports a dual feeding system, so if you decide that magfeds aren’t right for you or you don’t want to deal with magazines for the day, you can attach a standard .68 caliber hopper and play like you would with any other marker. The aesthetics of the gun are good and work well with a milsim loadout. The MR6 also supports First Strike shaped projectiles, but a few problems come up when you start trying to use it in this way.
The reasons the MR6 is not a marvel with its low price point and shaped projectile support are due to its reliability problems. The bolt on this gun is harsh on paintballs, meaning that only high grade thick shelled paintballs should be used with the marker. This also means that shaped projectiles, which can be damaged easier than other paintballs, have major reliability issues when used with the MR6. In my experience, guns like this that get picky with their paint are more trouble than they’re worth.
The Tippmann TCR is a milsim paintball gun designed to fill a very specific niche. As a compact PDW style gun, it works best for close quarters fighting, as opposed to the woodsball focus of many other milsim paintball guns. Like the Spyder MR6, this is a low capacity gun, holding only 12 rounds in the extended magazines and 7 rounds in the standard mag. But, because this is designed to be an ultra compact CQB gun, I don’t think that such a low capacity will be a significant issue provided you have good aim and reflexes. Plus, with an adapter, you can also mount a hopper on this gun to enjoy it in standard play.
However, like the MR6, this gun has some reliability issues. Air leaks are, unfortunately, a common problem in this gun. For the relatively high price point, it is disappointing that repairs and maintenance must be so frequent to keep the gun in working order. Plus, its lack of versatility compared to other options on this list keeps the Tippmann TCR in its status as a relatively weak contender. If you’re looking to set up your first ever mag fed paintball loadout, I’d recommend something else on this list.
Make no mistake: the First Strike T9.1 is one of the best milsim paintball guns on the planet. With reliable manufacturing and support for shaped projectiles at a relatively low price point, the T9.1 is an underappreciated beast of a marker that can quickly become the pride of someone’s collection. It looks great, has tons of room for attachments and modifications, and supports a dual feed system if you decide to run a hopper for the day.
This is, however, by no means a beginner paintball gun. Like the two previous entries on this list, the T9.1 can have problems with reliability, especially if you use weaker paint. I recommend only buying very tough round paintballs or exclusively shaped projectiles if you want to use this gun. You’ll also need to clean the T9.1 even more thoroughly and regularly than other markers and carefully monitor your air pressure if you want to avoid malfunctions. If you know what you’re doing and want to get a versatile and reliable gun to fire shaped projectiles for as low a price as possible, the T9.1 is the choice for you. Otherwise, you may want to check out the T15 (which appears later in this list).
If you’re a first time magfed player, the Tippmann TMC is probably the perfect choice for you. Unlike other options in its price range, the TMC is known for its reliability and ease of use. Its magazines have a 191 capacity to give you room for error with your shots, the entire platform is designed to mimic real firearms and magazines, and the marker is overall well built. It even has a functioning charging handle.
It’s hard to find flaws with the TMC. The only minor problem is that its stock barrel isn’t very high quality and may reduce your accuracy. It ranks in at the #5 spot not because of anything it does wrong, but because of the sheer performance that the (much more expensive) other options bring to the table. This gun will perform well in woods ball, speedball, or any magfed paintball event. There are plenty of rails and swappable parts to customize your setup; too, making this one of the best milsim paintball guns available that doesn’t cost a fortune.
The TM4 from Umarex T4E is not a recreational paintball gun. Its primary purpose is to serve as a law enforcement training device. It mimics a real life M4 down to the smallest details: it has the same form, roughly the same weight, the same sights, and most excitingly, the same recoil thanks to its gas blow back system. Even the most advanced milsim setups rarely incorporate gas blow back systems to mimic real life firearms truly, but with the TM4, you’ll have that extra bit of realism out on the field.
Because this incredibly realistic paintball gun is designed for law enforcement training before recreational use, there are a few quirks that you’d need to overcome if you want to own one. First of all, the grip, hand guard, and magazine are all painted blue. This is done to help police easily set them apart from real firearms (since they are otherwise identical). These parts aren’t very difficult to paint over, but it would be an extra bit of work. Second, you will find very little aftermarket support for these guns and may have to rely on expensive replacement parts straight from T4E if anything breaks. However, that shouldn’t happen very often, as law enforcement agencies demand that these guns work well even after extended use.
Just like the previous entry on this list, the T4E HK416 is designed to be an incredibly detailed replica of a real life firearm, gas blowback system included. What sets this magfed paintball marker slightly above the TM4 is its ability to accept attachments thanks to its quad rail system. Whereas the TM4 mimics a basic M4 carbine, which has very little room for accessories or different optics, the real life HK416 was designed to support special forces units and all of the attachments that they use. If you want the most realistic paintball gun possible while still being able to use your optics, grips, and other attachments, there really is no other option.
Like the TM4, though, this is a law enforcement product first and a paintball enthusiast product second. If you want to repair or replace any part of this marker, you may struggle to find compatible parts or knowledgeable technicians. You’ll also want to paint over the blue parts, which is a bit harder on this model since the stock has blue paint on it as well. But, if gas blow back and realism is important to you, there may be no better option than the T4E HK416.
The First Strike T15 is, for most players, the best milsim paintball gun they can get. It looks almost identical to a mil spec assault rifle, has a large aluminum air tank built into its stock, and is designed from the ground up to support the milsim play style. As First Strike’s flagship paintball gun, you can be assured that shaped projectiles feed and fly flawlessly from the T15. One of the best parts about the T15 is its aftermarket support. There are many different configuration packages to choose from and tons of replacement parts available if something goes wrong. If you want an upgrade package right away, I recommend looking into the DMR variant that includes an elevated optic mounting point, an upgraded barrel, a high quality hand guard, and a new stock.
Unfortunately, you probably will need to replace at least one component in this gun soon after buying it. The O rings inside the T15 are notoriously weak, although I’m not sure whether this is due to poor quality rings from the factory or the gun being unusually harsh on them. Either way, expect to need to do some tweaking and fixing to get your T15 working right. However, once you’ve done a few fixes, you should have a reliable magfed paintball gun to use in any type of gameplay.
The Dye Assault Matrix is, without a doubt, the best mag fed paintball gun ever made. I like to imagine that the people at Dye put their heads together to think up the most awesome, ridiculous, and expensive paintball marker possible, and the DAM was what they came up with. This monster of a magfed is incredibly accurate and built from the ground up to fire shaped projectiles over long distances it’s a popular sniper gun for that same reason. But, beyond simple accuracy and reliability, the DAM has a few features that set it apart from any other marker. It has three firing modes (semi-auto, burst fire, or full-auto) that can all be changed at the touch of a button. It has a competition grade bolt, trigger, and feed system. It even supports a box magazine designed specifically for the DAM that holds up to 325 (non shaped) rounds.
The reason why I say that the First Strike T15 is the best mag fed paintball marker for most players is due to the DAM’s price. With a starting price of $1500, the Assault Matrix is one of the most expensive paintball markers on the planet. Adding upgrades to the gun, like that box magazine, will set you back hundreds of dollars more. Unless you’re an experienced paintball player who knows that even an impressive marker like the T15 isn’t enough, the DAM might be nothing more than an example of what is possible with enough money and ingenuity.
Mag Fed Paintball Marker Buying Guide
Most people get a magfed marker because they want to take the extra step to complete a milsim paintball loadout. Paintball companies know this and specifically tailor the aesthetics of these guns to support your choice in play style. But, if you just want a milsim loadout and don’t want to use low capacity magazines, you should still be able to complete your milsim loadout with a dual feed system marker equipped with a hopper. Or, you can check out Tippmann’s line of US Army markers that, while hopper fed, deliver a compelling milsim experience.
In general, I think the best milsim paintball gun on the market for the average person is the Tippmann TMC. It’s reliable, fun, and stylish, but still holds a very reasonable price point compared to most of the other guns on this list. If you want to save money while still having a great milsim setup, the TMC is probably your best option. Or, if you have a bit more technical knowledge, the T9.1 from First Strike might also be a solid choice.
Those with a bit more money to spend should probably go with the First Strike T15 since it is a high-performance marker with no significant drawbacks. However, the gas blow back systems and realistic aesthetics of T4E’s paintball guns for law enforcement training make them some awesome (if expensive) choices as well. Any of those three magfed markers represents a significant step above the Tippmann TMC, but can’t hold a card to the Dye Assault Matrix. Honestly, unless you’ve been playing milsim events for a long time, I don’t think there’s much reason to spend $1000 extra to get a DAM over a T15. You get full auto fire and slightly better accuracy, but is it really worth that price increase when you could get a whole second setup for less?
Also, if you do go for a magfed setup, don’t forget to equip yourself with a pistol as well. I made another review article comparing some of the best paintball pistols on the market, and some of them perform just as well as the expensive markers on this list. Alternatively, you could strap the Tippmann TCR to your side and use it as an alternative weapon for close quarters action. Just don’t make the mistake of neglecting the rest of your kit in favor of a high end primary weapon.
While many magfed markers require a bit of tweaking to work as they should, I think the extra expenses and ammo limitations are well worth it to capture a more authentic experience. Plus, if you go for a marker like the First Strike T15, you can use shaped projectiles that offer greater accuracy than any bolt, barrel, or feed system upgrades could ever provide.