How To Clean A Paintball Gun & The Many Benefits
If you have invested hundreds, or sometimes thousands of dollars, into your paintball gun, it is best to know how to clean it properly. After all, if the excess paint and dirt are allowed to stay on your weapon, the performance of your gun will significantly diminish. That’s why it’s always important to clean it as soon after you shoot it as possible. Let’s look at the correct process of how to clean a paintball gun. (Remember, all guns will have different directions to take apart your gun so ensure you follow the instructions in your user’s guide.)
Gather the Proper Supplies
It’s necessary to have a few supplies on hand before starting to ensure you clean your gun the best you can. Most, if not all, of these, will already be in your house. If you don’t know where they are, ask your mom; after all, moms know everything. These supplies include:
The user manual for your gun, specifically the portion on disassembling your marker.
- Q-tips, cotton swabs, or an old toothbrush
- A Full roll of paper towels
- Warm Water
- Manufacturer recommended lubricant
- Tools needed to take apart your gun
After gathering all your supplies lay them out on a large workspace. You want to ensure you have enough room to work without risking losing any of the pieces to your gun. However, the kitchen table is not recommended unless you lay down some plastic coverings first.
De-Gas your Gun
Just as in cleaning a real gun, you want to ensure there is not a chance of a misfire before disassembling your marker. To do this, first remove the cO2 canister from your gun. Next, locate the ASA (Air Source Adapter) lever and release the gas in the tubes of your weapon. If your gun does not have an ASA lever, follow the user manual on how to de-gas it.
Disassemble your Gun
After removing the cO2 canister and any excess gas in your gun, it’s time to disassemble your gun. Again, there is not a single standard way to dismantle a paintball gun as each style gun is different. That’s why it is imperative to follow the user’s manual and ensure you take apart your gun properly. However, there are standard pieces you will want to guarantee are removed and cleaned. These include:
- Grip frame
Ensure you place each piece along with the screws and fasteners, in a safe place as you remove them. The last thing you want is to lose pieces of your gun. A good way of ensuring that you don’t misplace even the smallest parts is to place each item, along with the screws for that piece, in a small zip-lock bag. This way, even if the bag falls, you retain all the parts.
Clean the Body
Once you have disassembled your gun, you will be left holding the body of the weapon. This part may be one of the dirtiest portions of the marker as this is the portion the paintballs fly through. Take as much time as you want to clean this piece as leaving even the smallest particle of dirt could cause your gun to Jam.
Before you commence cleaning, check the user’s guide to see if it’s possible to clean your particular gun with a squeegee or rod. As this is the portion of the weapon the balls fly through, you want to be sure you don’t damage it in any way. If a squeegee, or cleaning rod, is allowed, start by using water and running the squeegee through the body.
Once you remove the biggest portion of the dirt and paint with the squeegee, begin using the Q-tip or toothbrush. Using one of these will ensure you can accurately, and thoroughly, clean every edge and crevice of your gun where the squeegee could not get. This step may be tedious but always keep in mind that it’s not possible over clean your weapon.
Once you complete this portion, take several paper towels and completely wipe down the body, removed any excess water. Ensure the weapon is completely dry before setting it aside. Because most gun bodies are metal, even a tiny amount of moisture can cause irreparable rust damage.
Cleaning the Barrel
Handle the barrel with extreme care. This portion of the gun helps with the accuracy of your weapon. Therefore, any damage to the barrel will cause the paintballs to fly off the mark. Use the same process when cleaning the barrel as when you washed the body.
Start by using a pull-through squeegee and remove the biggest portion of paint and dirt. Remember, always pull the squeegee completely through; never stop half way. Stopping before pulling it completely through will result in an improper cleaning and could cause damage over time.
The inside of the barrel will be completely smooth so there should be no need to use a Q-tip or brush. However, you still want to ensure it is completely dry before laying it aside by using paper towels in the same fashion you did the squeegee.
Cleaning the bolt and hammer
These portions of your gun may not have much, if any, paint residue on them, unless you had a paintball explode in your gun. Therefore, to properly clean these pieces, simply wipe them down with a paper towel and warm water and then dry completely.
Once the pieces are dry, check the O-rings on both for any signs of wear and tear. Though a small amount of wear and tear is ok, it’s never a bad thing to replace these O-rings. Because they are inexpensive, we recommend replacing them every few cleanings just to ensure you have no problems in the field.
Cleaning the Grip Frame
This portion of your gun gets dirty and muddy during paintball action. You will want to ensure removing even the tiniest particles using your Q-tips or toothbrush. Delicately wipe the frame down, ensuring you do not affect the trigger assembly.
Unless you are a professional gunsmith, do not under any circumstances, disassemble the trigger assembly. There are tiny pieces assembled in a complicated and concise way. Removing the trigger assembly without knowing how it works will cause you to lose function of your gun.
Pre-Assembly Check and Lubrication
Once you clean the major pieces of your gun, you needed to do a pre-assembly inspection of the entire weapon. Not only are you looking for any dirt or paint residue; you also want to check every O-ring and spring to ensure they are in proper working order.
O-rings should be free of any cracks or stretch marks. All springs should be straight and tight. If you determine any of these pieces need replacing, now is the best time to do so. Malfunctioning springs and O-rings will not only affect the performance of your gun but will cause you to use a considerable more amount of gas and could damage your weapon.
Once you have ensured that the pieces are in proper shape, it is time to lubricate your weapon. Ensure you are using the oil recommended by your gun’s manufacturer as any other oil may damage your marker. When lubricating, ensure the O-rings receive a light coating of oil also as this ensures they last longer. Follow the steps on the oil to apply it to your gun and be careful not to use too much or not enough.
Assemble the gun
Once you have lubricated the pieces, you are clear to reassemble to the gun. Again, ensure you are following the steps correctly according to your marker’s user manual. Also, ensure each screw is tightened completely and has no play in it as this could also cause damage in the field.
Proper care and maintenance of your paintball gun will ensure your gun will last for many years. Not to mention, cleaning and maintaining your weapon properly at home will go a long way to diminishing the amount of emergency maintenance you have to complete while in the field. That means more time playing and less time fixing.