If you are looking for the best paintball guns for self-defense, you’ve come to the right place.
Before we get into listing the guns, I thought it beneficial to discuss this topic of paintball guns as a means for self-defense. It’s also important to know in what circumstances a paintball gun may be an option compared to other more-traditional tools such as Mace (pepper spray) or a real gun.
According to the UCR, there are approximately two and-a-half million burglaries in the U.S occurring every year, 66% of which are home intrusions (Source: Alarms.org). Even as home burglary rates dwindle (although slowly) within every given year, the fear and risk of such occurring remain well-etched into the minds of homeowners of all varieties (especially now).
Yet, in spite of these overwhelming fears, only 43% of adults live in a household with a gun and even fewer consider the use of paintball guns as being a viable means for self-defense and home-security (Source: NewsGallup). Regardless, paintball guns have been used by military and police personnel for both training and anarchical suppression for decades since they were first made.
The idea that paintball guns would be powerful enough tools to ward off violent criminals has remained somewhat looked down upon by gun enthusiasts, but any weapon that shoots pellets or other projectiles over 230 fps can pose exceptional risks to any unprotected target (Source: AAP).
Both paintball guns and true, “powder” rifles shoot projectiles at high speeds and should be handled with care. It seems that the sole reason for the diminutive respect paintballs receive from users is that they are made accessible to and oftentimes designed for younger consumers.
So, are paintball guns good for self-defense? The answer is yes. There are many instances where unsuspecting users have become unsuspecting victims by sustaining oftentimes permanent and serious injuries (Source: NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).
For any person or animal, unprotected by official paintball gear, the impact of a paintball anywhere above the shoulders or in the groin will not only be enough to incapacitate them for a considerable portion of time, but even permanently debilitate them (especially when hit in the eye, mouth, or eardrum).
In addition to this, paintball markers when used with a powder-like irritant, such as that of oleoresin capsicum, are capable of suppressing more than one person at a time and can leave them blind and sore for over 90 minutes.
It takes proper equipment to negate all the potential hazards that paintball guns create, and a set of precautions that all players incorporate into their game to limit the amount of injuries that occur. With all this said, let’s cut to the chase.
Anything that efficiently allows a potential victim of violence or burglary to get an edge over his/her combatant is a viable tool for self-defense. Paintballs work well to combat against home intruders and stout vermin due to their range and force of impact.
Additionally, paintball guns can use pepperball rounds which can increase the amount of time one might have to get away safely or to call the authorities. As for portability, there are laws within certain states that prohibit the possession of paintball guns in public areas with higher populations (see chart at the end of this post).
If you want a compact weapon that you can carry around with you while shopping or heading to work, it’s ideal that you purchase something smaller like pepper spray rather than carrying around a whopping paintball gun. However, whether it be during a camping trip or an everyday stay at your own house, paintball guns can do a lot to protect you against burglars and animals.
Paintball guns allow the user to maintain their distance from an intruder without the risk of killing it and can incapacitate them (when used with specific ammunition) for 45-90 minutes.
It’s important to note the differences between traditional, “speedball” markers, and “woodsball” markers, as this will help hone in on the perfect rifle.
Speedball markers can take an assortment of different caliber ammunition, the most prevalent of which are the 65 and 50 caliber pellets but tend to use flimsier paintballs to prevent serious injuries.
Woodsball markers can shoot different caliber pellets as well but offer more tactical customizations to the marker itself and can shoot firmer paintball pellets.
You can find woodsball markers of all varieties, the most important of which being MAGFED rifles and Hopper-MAG Hybrid rifles. The MAGFED rifles, simply put, are those that use magazines to load paintballs into the chamber of the gun.
If you are intending on using a MAGFED paintball gun for self-defense, the most appropriate magazine markers for you would be those that are CO2 operated since they will shoot at higher velocities than mechanical markers.
With a hopper-MAG hybrid, you, as the user, will have the choice to switch between reloading through magazines and using an attached hopper to load your paintballs.
When using a hopper on a hybrid marker, it is important to know that the hopper will oftentimes be situated on the top of the gun which can block your field of vision, and will most of the time be sold separately from the marker itself.
However, it all depends on what you are comfortable with and how much you intend to spend.
If you are determined to buy a paintball gun worthy enough for self-defense, then you would be best interested in buying a high caliber, MAGFED, woodsball marker that is capable of shooting at velocities higher than 250 fps.
All paintball guns, including woodsball markers, are capable of firing pepperball rounds so long as the size of the pepperball matches that of the marker’s (the gun’s) barrel size.
Additionally, and fortunately, most paintball markers have detachable and customizable barrel divots that allow you to change to whichever bore size you need. Anyway, the most popular and highest quality woodsball markers come from the beloved Tippmann company that has been manufacturing and designing paintball guns and rounds since 1986.
Here, on this list we’ve included two of their paintball markers which have maintained a reputation of themselves as being two of the best woodsball guns that money can buy.
Again, it is important to note that the U.S. military uses pepperballs for combat training, and in no way should a paintball gun of such a caliber and design be used lightly.
You can kill somebody if you shoot them anywhere above the shoulders or if they have pre-existing conditions, so be careful.
The first and foremost on the list is that of the Tippmann TMC MAGFED marker. Not only does this model allow for a variety of scope attachments on its weaver threading but allows for both hopper and magazine compatibility as well.
Additionally, the TMC comes with two magazines each with a 20-pellet capacity, a retractable stock, and an iron-sight preinstalled on the picatinny rail. Load up the Tippmann TMC with a red dot sight, a package of pepperballs, and a can of CO2; and you will find out just how fantastic a weapon it is.
The TMC mimics the feel and look of a real semi-automatic rifle and has been used in military simulations since 2017. It maintains an accurate shot up to about 150 feet and has an adjustable velocity gauge that can fire paintballs up to 325 fps.
Though it doesn’t offer the acute impositions that real rifles do, the TMC will no doubt propel intruders and vermin into a bout of horrendous terror and incapacitate them long enough for you to get to safety (See “What are Pepperballs?”).
Though not quite as imposing as the Tippmann TMC, the Tippmann TiPX offers equal velocity and can shoot pepperballs (see chart above) all the same. Since the TiPX requires smaller CO2 cartridges and, as a result, can only fire 25-30 shots before the canister needs to be changed.
However, don’t think that these shortcomings make the TiPX more of a peashooter than a tool for self-preservation. Just like the Tippmann TMC, the TiPX pistol packs a whopping punch and can seriously injure someone if shot.
Combine it with some pellets containing mace instead of paint, and you’ve got a weapon of an incredible capacity. Holding and firing the TiPX is like shooting a can of pepper spray 150 feet away at 325 fps and letting it explode into a horrendous plume of smoke onto your combatant.
The TiPX comes with four additional magazines and a divot at the back of the frame that allows the user to attach an external CO2 canister with a larger capacity than the 12-gram ones you’d initially insert under the barrel.
The A-5 threaded barrel can be removed as well, and the frame is compatible with most paintball barrels you’ll find on the market; so, if you are dissatisfied with the accuracy of the thread, you are always able to change it as you please.
When you are looking for something specifically designed for self-defense, the TCP Tactical Compact Pistol is the choice!
Pepperballs are “non-lethal”, frangible pellets filled with a pepper spray-like powder (oleoresin capsicum) used by and accessible to both law enforcement and citizens over the age of 18 (depending on which state you live in).
When fired through the chamber of your weapon of choice, a pepper ball will splatter on contact with your targets and release an irritant that will stun and immobilize them. The effects of oleoresin capsicum will last consistently for about 45 minutes but will linger for up to 24 hours.
The eyes of your target will begin to mildly swell and tear-up, and they will begin to cough violently. The principles of pepper spray originate from the chemical found with spicy peppers, called capsaicin.
Capsaicin is an inflammatory and has supposedly been used in pharmaceuticals and tactical weapons by the ancient Aztecs and Chinese (Source: Aversiontech). There have been numerous studies as to the viability of capsaicin for self-defense and criminal containment.
As of 2020, most studies have concluded that the deployment of officers using pepperballs is the most humane approach at incapacitating large crowds and individuals, and serve as a better alternative than that of higher caliber ballistics (Source: LEMIT).
It is not advised to shoot pepperball against the wind, as the powder will blow back against you. Neither is it advised for you to shoot pepperballs close to yourself. The appropriate pacing when shooting the pellets is about 150 feet.
Yes, as with any high-velocity rifle, a paintball gun can seriously hurt or even kill someone if shot right (or wrong, depending on what you intended). Though the use of “non-powder” firearms inhibits the potential of seriously injuring or killing your target, such incidents where an adolescent or a young adult was shot with a high velocity paintball marker in his/her vital or more fragile organs have resulted in their untimely deaths.
It is important to use anything that projects pellets at or above 150 fps with great care. Of course, the advent of someone dying via a blow from a high-powered paintball marker is slim.
Even when shot in the eye or stomach, a person over the age of 18 has an extraordinary chance of surviving and an increased rate of recovery. Accordingly, the highest chance of mortality when involving a low-powered and even high-powered paintball gun comes from being shot in the temple of the skull or the eye.
Normally, even with the use of pepperballs, users of a paintball marker would do better by shooting near the stomach of their combatants than at the head. Though it is possible to die from a paintball shot, the chances of such occurring are slim, and the majority of those who have died from such were either under the age of 8 or had pre-existing conditions.
It should be mentioned that those with asthma or other biological disorders involving the pulmonary system, should not use nor be tested on with oleoresin capsicum. The irritating effects of this substance will trigger an asthma attack and can result in death (Source: Pediatrics)
Given the Second Amendment, if you are over the age of 18 and are put in a threatening situation by someone burglarizing or violently trespassing through your property, you are legally allowed to defend yourself and the value of your property. So, the answer is yes no matter what state you live in.
Laws permitting the sale, possession, or trade of paintball guns, airsoft guns, and other “non-powder” firearms vary depending on which state you live in. Here is a link and table with a comprehensive list of all states who issued laws concerning the sale, use, and possession of “non-powder” firearms.
Please adhere to all regulations set in place by federal and local law, and do not modify your marker in any way that transgresses such precepts.
|Illinois||Prohibits the use of paintball guns anywhere other than the confines of a “target range”. Prohibits the sale and possession of a paintball gun to minors 13 years and under.|
|Pennsylvania||Prohibits the use of a paintball gun on anyone who is not participating in a paintball game. Damage dealt to public property with a paintball gun will be penalized. Prohibits the carrying of a paintball gun within an automobile unless the marker is fully unloaded, turned off with a security cap over the barrel, and inaccessible to the driver.|
|New Hampshire||Prohibits the sale and possession of paintball guns to minors under the age of 18.|
|Rhode Island||Prohibits the sale and possession of paintball guns to minors under the age of 18.|
|Virginia||Prohibits the use of paintball markers in public, heavily populated areas where the use of which would most probably result in injury and/or death.|
|All Other States:||In all other states, there are no local laws pertaining to the use of paintball markers. Connecticut has attempted several times to petition laws regulating the use of paintball markers, and exempting paintball guns from the classifications of true “firearms”, but none have been amended.|