The Paintball Marker Has An Interesting History

By Samantha Kay

The Paintball marker of today has definitely come a long way since the introduction of the Splat Master years ago. The term itself "paintball marker" is relatively new. It tends to be more marketable then the words "paintball gun" to parents who have teenagers begging to get started in the sport.

Funny though true, the first paintball markers where used on cattle ranches. In a large herd of cattle where cows all bare very similar markings, it can be very hard to single one out of the herd. This is where the paintball marker proved to be a valuable tool. This was done usually to separate a sick animal from the herd. Once a cow had been marked, it was easily picked out of the herd.

From cattle ranches to playing fields, the sport of paintball evolved and continues to do so.
The Splat Master was one of the first markers available. It was a pistol made totally out of plastic. It was powered by small 12 gram Co2 cylinders and could only hold ten paintballs at a time. The rate of fire was also slow due to the fact the marker first had to be tilted back so a paintball would drop into the firing chamber. It then had to be cocked by pushing a button on the back of the handle.

Although even playing the game with this type of marker was extremely fun, it wasn’t long before players wanted something better, and they got it with the creation of the pump action paintball marker. The pump marker had a much faster rate of fire and could be modified with upgrades to improve performance.

Another great change that came with the pump marker was the introduction of metal parts that could be replaced. With older plastic markers, when parts wore out, a new marker was needed. Also the upgrade of "constant air" came about. Instead of using the 12gram Co2 cylinder, which was good for about 15 shots, the gun was equipped with a bracket that held a 12 ounce Co2 tank which was good for about 200 shots.

Constant air was a real breakthrough for the sport and was no doubt a huge stepping stone for the next step in the paintball marker evolution, which was the semi-automatic marker.

Compared to the pump markers, these guns had an incredible rate of fire. A player with a good trigger finger could pull off nine shots a second! With fire power like that, the invention of large capacity electric hoppers came onto the scene. These hoppers were mounted on the top of the guns and could hold up to 250 paintballs. They also were equipped with a small rotating arm inside the hopper which helped feed the paintballs to keep up with the much faster rate of fire.

The semi-automatic marker was truly a groundbreaking event for the sport, but the question still hung in the air would there ever be full auto?

That was question was soon answered with a paintball marker called The Angel, but what made the Angel a real marvel is that is was computerized. It was equipped with a small motherboard inside the handle of the gun. This allowed the user to select several modes of fire, including fully automatic.

Today's markers have followed the same road map that the Angel laid out, and we can only wait to see what the next generation of paintball markers will bring. brings you the latest on paintball. Paintball is gaining in popularity, and we want to bring you the most up to date information online! Be sure to check out our latest information page on paintball markers

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