The Sport of Paintball
There you are. You’re hiding behind a hastily constructed bunker made to protect yourself from enemy fire. You can hear the enemy firing on your position, and you can feel the shots screaming above your head. The firing ceases for a moment. You pop out, fire off a few rounds, and duck back in; but as you are going back in the shots start up again, and you feel the rounds whizzing past your head and ear. One catches your sleeve. You glance down. No damage. Suddenly you have a fellow fighter there in your bunker with you. He tells you he’s going to try to take the enemy bunker out. Before you can stop him, he charges out of the bunker, gun blazing. A burst of fire, and a cry. You glance out, and see that your teammate has been hit. Anger sweeps over you. You check your ammunition; close to full. You make a conscious decision to take them out. Taking a breath, you burst from your haven at speeds you did not know you could achieve. The enemy is surprised by this boldness. They doubted you, and are now caught off guard. You fire upon the exposed enemy. You see one of your shots find it’s mark, and he goes down. There is one more. Maintaining fire to keep him pinned down, you sweep past his bunker, and place three shots in his chest as you pass. You are victorious.
Now, where are you? Are you in Iraq? No. Are you in Vietnam in the past? No. You are in the average American town, and you are out with your buddies live a game of paintball. You are still pumped up on adrenaline, and eager for the next game.
One may wonder, what is paintball? Paintball is a sport similar to laser tag but with live ammunition. Players are given a paintball gun, a protective mask, a gas source, and usually some spare paintballs. A paintball gun, also called a marker, uses a pressurized gas source to propel a marble-sized ball out of the marker at anywhere from 250 to 300 feet per second (fps). This ball is fired at another player who is (or at least should be) similarly equipped. If the ball strikes the player, the ball breaks, and the gelatinous, colored filling leaves a bright mark on the player. This is called being “marked”. The player who was hit is usually out of the game at this point. Some people play multiple hit rules, such as three-hits-and-you’re-out, or scenarios like that. This is a basic overview of the sport of paintball.
Now we shall look at the aforementioned items in more detail. First of all, the paintball gun. Most paintball guns, or markers, look vaguely similar to real firearms. The basic design is similar to a firearm, much like a large pistol. There are a few paintball markers that are held in the style of a rifle, like the Tippmann A-5, Pro/Carbine, or the Armotech SIM-4. But for the most part, markers are built like a large pistol. There are also paintball markers that look like a true pistol, and the differences will be explained shortly. The barrel of a paintball marker is approximately .68 calibers, although it can vary a...