Whether you need a backup gun to keep playing after you run out of ammo or just want to try running some games with a unique style of play, paintball pistols can fill your needs in a variety of ways. Some people see them as somewhat of a niche item, often collecting multiple other types of markers before even considering a sidearm.
However, those I know who own paintball pistols love them just as much or more than their main guns. Regardless of the reasons paintball pistols might seem attractive to you, you should know what features to look out for when going to buy one. Here are seven best paintball pistols to assist you in the field.
In a Hurry? Here’s My Quick Take:
- Budget Pick: JT ER2 Pump Paintball Pistol
- Value Pick: T4E Walther PPQ Paintball Pistol
- Premium Pick: Tippmann TiPX Paintball Pistol
Best Paintball Pistols- Reviews
#7. JT Splatmaster z100
With retail pricing of just under $25 in most stores, this cheap paintball pistol is designed to fit into a variety of different roles. It functions as a capable sidearm for even the most entry-level paintball setups but is cheap enough to use for other occasions as well. You could get a handful of them and organize small matches with friends who might not otherwise have the gear to go out and play a full game at a professional field. Or, if you want to get a look at how paintball pistols feel and factor into your play, this can be a great way to try them out without spending too much money.
Unfortunately, performance out of this pistol is worse than what most would consider acceptable. It might be the single cheapest paintball handgun on the market, and while it can hold a few rounds and shoot them reasonably straight, it doesn’t have much more than that going for it. If you have the money to spend on an upgrade, I think you should check out the next option on this list even if you’re looking for a trial gun.
#6. JT ER2 Pump Pistol
Imagine everything I just said about the last pistol still being true, except you also get a satisfying pump-action system and the ability to reload just as quickly as any other marker. JT Splatmaster’s ER2 is, in my opinion, everything their z100 model wishes it could be. It’s small enough to fit in your waistband but has superior handling, rate of fire, and reloading capabilities, perhaps enough to make it a viable option for competitive field play. If you’re in search of a functional sidearm but want to spend as little as possible, I think that the ER2 might be just what you’re looking for.
Compared to other pistols on this list, however, the ER2 falls behind quite a bit in accuracy, range, and durability. At half the cost of an entry-level Tippmann marker, this gun has to cut costs somewhere, and it does that by using cheap materials and low tolerances on most of its parts. Don’t expect a flashy high-end pistol here – it works surprisingly well for the price, but it’s no miracle worker.
#5. GI Sportz Menace .50 cal Paintball Pistol
There’s a steep jump in price between the #6 and #5 options on this list, but also an equally large difference in quality, too. This semi automatic paintball pistol should fit most standard-size handgun holsters and, more importantly, is a reliable backup weapon to use on the field. With magazine paint feeding and higher muzzle velocity than either of the pistols from JT Splatmaster, this weapon would look great in any high-end setup.
However, there are a few reasons that this pistol takes second place to multiple other paintball sidearm options. First of all, despite sharing aesthetics with modern semiautomatic firearms, this pistol has no gas blowback system. The only exterior moving parts are the trigger, hammer, and safety. Second, while tough and reliable, the overall finish and aesthetic of this pistol are somewhat lacking, betraying its cheaper construction. I would trust the menace as a backup sidearm, but as a primary play weapon, other options take the cake.
#4. T4E TR50 Paintball Revolver
There’s no shame in admitting when you’re a sucker for aesthetics. I certainly am, and I’m proud of it. If there’s anything this paintball revolver does well, it is aesthetic design. Featuring a sleek and modern look that combines functionality with style, the TR50 might be the best paintball revolver ever to hit store shelves. Made by T4E, a company that is well-known for their highly accurate and well-made paintball guns, these pistols are no different, delivering strong performance at even the highest levels of competitive paintball play.
While a 5-shot revolver may take much longer to reload than most other automatic paintball guns, the challenges imposed by the TR50 might strike a chord with those who wish to spice up their gameplay with something new. Accuracy with this gun is important since, after just five shots, you’re going to have to reload each round one-by-one. If you’re daring enough to take on that challenge, then try out the TR50. I wouldn’t want to face someone like you on the field.
#3. Tippmann TiPX
The final three guns on this list are all options that I would consider competitive paintball pistols. Out on the field, they should all be functionally similar to one another and can be relied upon as either a backup sidearm or even a primary weapon. This Tippmann pistol is perhaps the most common pistol seen at paintball locations, and for a good reason. With a longer barrel and a focus on precision, it is designed to perform as similarly to a full-size paintball marker as possible.
I deduct a few points because of the TiPX’s larger form factor and absent focus on realism. While it may fit many holsters, there is a clear focus on being able to function as a primary gun rather than as part of a larger kit. If you’re looking for the best paintball pistol to use on its own, the TiPX might be right for you. I recommend getting some extended magazines if you do take it out as a main gun, as it only comes with a seven-round capacity from the factory (extended mags can hold up to 20 paintballs).
#2. First Strike Compact Pistol
It was tough for me to choose a pistol to fill the #2 spot on this list since both of the final options are so good at what they are designed for. The First Strike Compact Pistol is a .68 cal paintball pistol intended to be small, lightweight, and ambidextrous. In other words, it is the perfect backup gun. If you have a sniper kit or otherwise need a reliable yet compact backup gun to switch to on a moment’s notice, this First Strike pistol was designed with you in mind.
If you’re looking to use this as your solo primary marker, you may be disappointed to find out that the only extended magazines available for it have an 8-round capacity (as opposed to 6). However, when you consider that real compact pistols tend to hold similar amounts of ammo, it makes sense that a milsim pistol like this would have a relatively low capacity. The main reason that this pistol doesn’t take the top spot is its price, I think you should be a bit hesitant to make the purchase unless you’ve got money to spend.
#1. T4E Walther PPQ Paintball Pistol
This .43 cal paintball pistol from T4E is a 1:1 copy of the Walther PPQ, a real-life handgun well known for its reliability and superior ergonomics. Every detail, including the wonderful grip texture and angle, is a direct emulation of the real gun, including the pistol’s all-metal slide and durable polymer frame. It even has a fully-functioning gas blowback system, making it arguably the best paintball pistol for milsim players and load-outs.
As far as handgun performance goes, this .43 paintball pistol probably lies closer to the First Strike Compact than the Tippmann TiPX. It is highly accurate yet surprisingly compact, but the lack of extended magazine support makes it a challenge to use as a primary weapon. If you have the skill and a couple of extra magazines, though, I think that you could have some fun competing with this as your solo gun.
With so many features and such influential brand names attached to this pistol, one would think that it carries a steep price tag. Somehow, however, T4E manage to sell this pistol at a lower price than either the FS Compact or the TiPX, making this a no-brainer choice for me. You get a lot of gun for your money, and perhaps the most impressive loadout on the field for any price.
Considerations to Make when Choosing The Best Paintball Pistol
I think the factor that should have the most impact on which paintball pistol you choose is what you hope to get out of it. If you’re looking for a backup gun, you’ll want something that can fire off a few shots at relatively short distances when someone gets too close. Snipers especially should have a pistol to back up their main gun when someone starts to push them. However, some people want the extra challenge and unique style of aiming that comes with a pistol. For raw competitive performance, a gun like the TiPX might be your best bet simply due to the availability of large extended magazines. However, keep in mind that a gas blowback pistol like the T4E PPQ can grant the pistol look and feel better than any competitor.
You should also think about your holster and gear when making a purchase. Guns like the PPQ and GI Sportz Menace will fit almost any holster you can find, but other pistols may not match their versatility. Plus, if you use a chest holster or otherwise don’t have a ton of space for your sidearm to go in, you may not be able to take a larger gun like the TiPX out on the field.
Price is also an important consideration to make. While JT Splatmaster makes some of the cheapest paintball markers around, they may not hold up long in a high-intensity field environment. Guns like the TiPX and First Strike Compact can carry a hefty price tag while delivering similar performance to handguns with a fraction of the cost, so don’t feel pressured to spend more money than you have on what is, ultimately, just a backup gun or cool alternative for most players.
Performance should be a consideration, but everything at or above the $100 price bracket should shoot paint with acceptable muzzle velocity and accuracy. As a primary gun, the long barrel of the TiPX might give you a slight edge, but the difference is relatively small so long as you use high-quality paint. With short barrel lengths, cheaper paintballs may not fly as smoothly, so you want to make sure you invest in tournament-grade rounds if you hope to hit targets at medium ranges.
Paintball pistols can be a high-end addition to an already-impressive kit, a quick backup for those who may be a bit too eager to use up their ammo, or even a primary weapon for those who want to shake up their usual routines. Regardless of whether you’re blasting targets in your backyard or looking to dominate the competition out on the field, pistols are a ton of fun and well worth their asking price.