What Paintball Guns Do the Military Use?

  • Updated July 31st, 2023

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Anyone into paintball knows it is a civilian form of military tactical exercise. There’s something about getting out on the field and playing soldier that ignites a lot of people’s passions.

But the truth is that paintball isn’t only for civilians. The military uses it in simulated tactical skirmishes as well.

When it comes to the type of guns used in paintball simulations, or as they are called military simulations, the markers that are used will be those that look as close to the real-life guns the military uses as possible.

This means most of them will be mag fed. However, they also use other nonlethal options like pepper spray balls.

That being said, let’s look a little bit deeper into this. So that if you’re looking to execute an authentic MilSim session with your fellow paintballers, you are well-informed and ready for the task at hand.

Person aiming with a paintball gun leading on a metal drum - What Paintball Guns Do the Military Use?

What Kind of Guns Military Uses for Training?

Overall when looking at the type of gun the military uses in their training sessions, you’re going to find that they use replicas that are as close as possible to what they would be carrying.

Though they won’t be the same because most paintball guns are lighter weight than traditional guns, they will give the soldiers the feel of actually utilizing the government.

Who’s going to be mag fed as well?

That being said, the US army uses its paintball guns and training sessions to train its cadet’s fire control and covering concealment procedures. To do this, the army invested in Tippmann paintball markers primarily.

These guns, as we said, use magazines to feed the paintballs into them instead of hoppers, which would make them cumbersome. Also gives the soldiers a clear site line to give the simulation a more realistic bill.


Which Calibers do They Use?

When it comes to training and field exercises by the military depends on the division you’re in. For example, a typical infantryman will not carry the same paintball gun caliber as someone in the special forces.

For traditional infantrymen and other positions like it in the military, you’re probably gonna find them using a 68 caliber paintball gun.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with an airborne Ranger or member of Delta Force, they will probably train with a 50-caliber Tippmann paintball gun.

Why is Simulation with Paintball Guns Useful?

Though these simulations are primarily utilized in training recruits, they do occur later on in an individual military to keep their skills sharpened. There are multiple reasons why paintball guns are useful when it comes to simulation and training. Here are a few of those:


  • Ammunition is cheaper and more readily available.

  • Allows for non-lethal training of tactical and strategic elements.

  • More realistic feel for improved accuracy and skills.


What are Simunitions?

When you deal with paintball, there’s going to be some new words that enter your dictionary. One of the most commonly used words is simunition. What is a simunition?

Just as the name implies, is this form of ammunition non-lethal? In other words, a paintball or such that, when fired and hit, will not severely injure an individual.

These types of projectiles are not only used in the paintball world but also in real-life military and law enforcement situations.


Why Did the US Military Buy Pepper Spray Paintball Guns?

Utilizing non-lethal ammunition when you’re training is one thing, but the US military recently purchased pepper spray paintball guns to use in real-life situations. The intention behind this is that the forces in Afghanistan can disable threats instead of shooting first.

These pepper balls break up on impact and discourage large clouds of highly concentrated spray from immobilizing the target. This means fewer casualties, and that is never a bad thing.


Final Thoughts on What Paintball Guns Do the Military Use

It’s not surprising that US military training sessions are more cost-effective. On top of this, the fact that paintball guns are utilized in a way similar to what the soldiers would carry also gives them the ability to become accustomed to moving strategically and tactically with them.

In order to do this, they found the most realistic option in choosing the rifles created by Tippmann.