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Paintball markers or more often called 'paintball guns' are originally made for marking cattle and trees in by the farming and forestry industries in the early days. The earlier version of paintball guns (like of many of today's paintball guns) are powered by carbon dioxide cartridges. However, earlier versions of paintball guns are poor in range and have second-rate accuracy. The 'cattle and tree marking' paintball guns were modified to reduce the velocity to prevent injury in the paintball game. The first paintball gun manufactured to be used specifically for the paintball sport was the 'Splatmaster'. Made entirely of plastic, the 'Splatmaster' had to be manually cocked in each shot.
Most of the modern paintball guns are semi automatic. They can fire up to twenty-five paintballs per second (don't forget to duck if your opponent uses this type of paintball gun.). However, there is also a 'stock-class' paintball guns for players who want to play a game with a low rate of fire and low ammo capacity. Pump action paintball guns are powered by a 12 gram carbon dioxide catridge or sometimes regular gas tanks. Pump action paint markers only have ten paintballs per ammo tube and is not spring loaded which results to what is commonly known as 'rock and cock' action wherein the player must rock or shake the marker so that the paintball will drop into the chamber before cocking the paintball marker.
Another type of paintball marker is a sidearm. Sidearm markers are usually a pistol with a carbon dioxide cartridge for its power. Sidearm markers are either pump action or semi automatic and have a magazine with eight to twelve rounds attached to the gun. The use of paintball sidearm is very much discussed among paintball players. Some argue that sidearm paintball markers are essential on the battlefield when your main gun jams or runs out of carbon dioxide or ammo while some players think otherwise.
Paintball markers that are designed to look like real guns are called 'mil-sim' or short for military simulation. Most of these military simulation markers are used in woodsball games. Military simulation markers are clunkier than other high-end speedball markers and they are painted in black or camouflaged to blend with the shadow or foliage. There are some paintball players who like to use hoppers on their markers while there are others who use magazines that are very much alike with real automatic weapons. Lots of paintball markers come with shoulder stock so that it will have a more realistic look.
Although many say that it is the player that makes a team win in a paintball game, there are also others who claim that having the best and more realistic paintball marker is definitely cooler than winning the game.