The 6 Best Pump-Action Paintball Markers to Change Up Your Playstyle

Best Pump Action Paintball guns

Pump paintball guns add a unique challenge to your gameplay that no other gear item can. By eliminating the ability to rapid-fire dozens of shots in just a few seconds, pump guns force you to control your rate of fire and pick off targets with greater accuracy. That challenge is why I recommend semiautomatic markers for beginners, but if you’re looking for something new to add to your collection and shake up your play style, one of these top-notch pump guns might be right for you.

In a Hurry? Here’s My Quick Take:

Best Pump-Action Paintball Markers- Reviews

#6. JT ER2 Pump Pistol

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Small
CONS

  • Cheaply made
  • Very low range
  • Only designed as a backup gun
JT ER2 Pump paintball Pistol
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I’ll make this entry short because, unless you want exactly what the JT ER2 is, you’re going to be better off with one of the other options on this list. The ER2 is a pistol – it’s small in size, short in range, and not designed to compete head-to-head with other markers out on the field. However, if you want a backup gun and don’t want anything that would take up too much space or money, the ER2 might be what you’re looking for.

5. JT Splatmaster z200

PROS

  • Small form factor
  • No air required
  • Inexpensive
CONS

  • Poor construction
  • Weak range
  • Low ammo capacity
JT SplatMaster Z200 Shotgun
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The first entry on our list that I’d recommend bringing to the field is a cheap pump paintball gun from JT Splatmaster that is designed more as a sidearm than as a primary weapon. Made with almost entirely plastic parts, this gun uses a spring action to fire paintballs. That means that it requires no air tank to fire, but also that it cannot match the range of a standard marker.

I wouldn’t recommend the z200 as a primary weapon to face off against competitors with simply due to its limited range. Where it does come in handy, however, is as a sidearm. It may be a bit bulky compared to holstered pistols, but it is inexpensive and can handle close-range threats reasonably well. Strapping it to your side and using it when enemies come too close could be a potential use for the z200. However, even in this role, it suffers due to its limited ammo capacity. It does not accept a hopper, limiting you to just seven shots stored below the barrel.

4. Valken Gotcha Paintball Tactical Shotgun

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Feeds from a hopper
  • Full-size shotgun
CONS

  • Plastic exterior feels cheap
  • Weak range
  • Only comes in bright colors
Valken Gotcha Paintball Tactical Shotgun - 50 Cal
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Although this marker cannot be used as a sidearm like the z200, the Valken Gotcha otherwise exceeds it in every performance metric. Similarly, it is constructed from mostly plastic components and requires no air tank to operate, instead relying solely on its spring action system to propel paintballs forward. This mechanic means that, like the z200, it has less range than standard paintball markers.

However, I think this marker definitely can find its place on a competitive field. If you use it the way a shotgun should be used (at close range), then you should find that the Gotcha delivers reliable accuracy and a fire rate that is almost on par with the much more expensive pump guns further down on this list. Plus, with a 120-round hopper attachment, it can carry more than enough ammo for most speedball tournaments. If you primarily play in close-range arenas and indoor facilities, this might be a great budget option for a pump action paintball gun.

3. Azodin KPC

PROS

  • Durable and reliable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Good performance
  • Value
CONS

  • Weaker accuracy than top options
Azodin KPC Pump Paintball Marker
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Although this pump gun only takes the #3 spot on my list, I think it may be the best option for most players. People looking for pump action paintball markers usually have one or two other guns that they can rely on for superior accuracy and competitive play. A pump gun, therefore, doesn’t need to have top-notch precision, range, and reliability as if it were a competition gun. The Azodin KPC is designed to be a pump gun that’s great for everyday use, fun to operate, and built to last a lifetime.

Although the KPC lacks specific attention to grips and ergonomics like the top two options on this list, I found it surprisingly comfortable to hold when I got the chance to try one out. The pump was a bit on the small side but, thanks to its rounded shape, was satisfying and easy to use. It has good weight distribution and was surprisingly light thanks to its simple construction and minimal internal components. I think you might do well to use this marker with a light gravity-fed hopper to keep its weight to a minimum.

The KPC is probably the best pump action paintball gun for most players. Its simple construction and high-quality materials mean that it performs reliably and lasts through harsh conditions while being easy to clean and maintain. While it may not match up to the tournament-grade accuracy and quietness of the top 2 options on this list, it still boasts an advantage in both regards over most other markers seen on the field. For its very reasonable asking price, I think the Azodin KPC is an excellent pump gun for any player.

2. Empire Sniper

PROS

  • Superior accuracy and reliability
  • Ultra-quiet and low pressure
  • Comfortable grips and ergonomics
  • Auto-fire trigger
CONS

  • Pricey
Empire Paintball Sniper Pump Marker
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I recently picked up an Empire Sniper, and I love it. This gun shoots more accurately than any marker I’ve ever tried outside of dedicated sniper rifles, is exceptionally reliable out on the field, and really looks the part of a tournament-grade paintball gun. If you’re looking for the most accurate and competitive pump gun around, the Sniper makes absolutely no sacrifices in delivering top-notch performance. It features a high-end barrel, some of the lowest pressures possible in any paintball marker, and grips that are textured and structured in a way that makes your hands feel comfortable even after hours of high-intensity use. Plus, it also features an auto-fire function to increase your fire rate over other pump-action guns.

What strikes me the most about the Sniper is that it feels so solid. What I mean by that is that this marker is almost full metal in its construction and is a very well-put-together piece of technology when in operation. Every part is made exactly as big or as precise as it needs to be to perform optimally, and nothing is done to save on materials or costs.

So, why do I place the Sniper in my #2 spot, even though I own and love it? Unfortunately, while this may be the best pump action paintball marker available, it holds that title with a very high price. The #1 option on this list comes close or matches the Sniper in almost every metric while being over $100 less expensive. I went with the Sniper because I loved the way it felt to hold and use, but the smarter purchase may be the #1 option on this list.

1. Azodin KP3.5 KAOS

PROS

  • Tournament-grade performance
  • Excellent value
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Great appearance
CONS

  • Not as comfortable to hold
  • May need a trigger upgrade
Azodin KP3.5 KAOS Pump Paintball Marker
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Azodin is known to many as the king of pump-action paintball guns, and the KP3.5 KAOS is the key to their success. This flagship marker brings the same quality and performance seen in the Empire Sniper at a much more reasonable price point. The ergonomics might not be as comfortable, but every ounce of quality and performance seen in the Sniper is present here, too. I got the opportunity to try the two markers out side-by-side and couldn’t notice a difference in their range and accuracy when using the same paint and air tank. One big difference, however, is that the KP3.5 cannot fire as fast as the Sniper’s auto-firing mechanism.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find this gun to be very comfortable to use compared to either the Sniper or its lower-priced counterpart, the KPC. While I can imagine that the rectangular pump shape might grow on me with time, I found myself favoring the cylindrical shape used by the other two markers. Plus, its pistol grip was just OK – the angle was fine, but unlike the Sniper, there was nothing added to it that could enhance stability or make the gun rest more comfortably in the hand.

The KP3.5 improves over the KPC through its high-quality internal components. Precision engineering and manufacturing allow this marker to provide enhanced accuracy, deathly-quiet shooting, and more efficient use of your air reserves. Plus, it comes in a variety of cool color schemes that are sure to turn heads at the field (or black, if you’d prefer to stay simple).

Considerations to Make Before Choosing The Best Pump-Action Marker

Before you go out and spend big money on a pump paintball gun, you should think about what it is you’re purchasing and why you want to buy it. Many players look for a pump gun because they expend less ammo and are thus cheaper in the long term than other types of paintball markers. While that may be true, even the base-grade Azodin KPC carries a heftier price tag than entry-level paintball guns from Tippmann, Spyder, and other well-known companies.

Unless you’re spending hundreds of dollars on paint every year, you probably won’t be saving money by buying a pump action marker. If you do want to save money, though, I strongly recommend going with the KPC. It should give you the performance you crave without breaking the bank. Although its fire rate may be lower than other types of markers, it should compete toe-to-toe with most electronic paintball guns in accuracy and range metrics.

If you’re looking for tournament-grade performance out of your marker, there are two options to choose from, the Empire Sniper or the Azodin KP3.5. Both perform similarly as far as range and accuracy go, and have about the same noise when firing (I could be wrong, but I think the Sniper is a bit quieter). But really, unless you’re playing in a pump-only event, even the best pump markers will probably get dominated by high-end electronic guns in a competitive environment.

Ergonomics are especially crucial for pump guns. Because you have to move your hands with each shot, finding a gun that is both stable and comfortable is more important than with other types of markers. Personally, I found the Empire Sniper to be the most ergonomic option I could find, but that all comes down to preference. If you’ve never felt one of these markers before, try and find one you can borrow at a range or visit a pro shop to see how they feel in the hand.

Finally, if the style of your gun is important to you, you may want to forgo value and performance in favor of something that looks cooler. The Valken Gotcha will hold its own in most close-range environments while imitating the aesthetics and feel of a real-world shotgun. The real cake, though, goes to Azodin’s pump markers. Both come in a variety of color and style options that really turn heads when they go out on the field. These markers look like they cost two or three times as much as they really do, and if you’re as vain as I am, that’s a huge advantage.

Conclusion

Unless you have the money to get the best possible gear or want to bring your pump gun to a competitive environment, I strongly recommend going with the Azodin KPC. It provides the best balance between price and performance of any high-quality pump action paintball gun and will last you for years of use. If you want competitive accuracy and range out of your marker, then the KP3.5 or Empire Sniper should fill your needs just fine. Unless you really don’t care about price (or feel as strongly about the ergonomics as I do), then I would recommend Azodin’s offerings over Empire. Any of these options, though, should be an excellent addition to your collection of paintball guns and offer a unique style of play when taken to the field.

Jeff

Hi, my name is Jeffrey Alan. I've been playing paintball and airsoft for years, having started out small and slowly making my way into bigger and better events while learning as much as I can about the sport.  Read More

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