Paintballing is among those exhilarating games that allow you to pass time with friends and family not forgetting other avid paintballers. Although the game is just 30 years old, major improvements have been evidenced from a simple test of survival to a multi-million dollar sport of highly evolved high-tech guns and high profile venues. But, despite all the improvements, one boring and daunting part of this highly evolved game is cleaning your paintball gun. If you’re a beginner, how to clean a paintball gun is one area you need to be keen on.
And why exactly? Well, if your gun is left unattended for a long time, severe damages can be evidenced such as your gun getting dirty, getting less accurate over time and worse of all, paintballs can get clogged inside the barrel causing you to suffer heavy costs of repair or even buying a new gun altogether. So, to avoid affecting the performance of your paintball gun while on the field, this short guide will discuss a simple process you can consider to effectively clean your paintball gun.
How to Clean a Paintball Gun: Step by Step Guide
Gather Your Tools and Supplies
Before you commence the process of cleaning your paintball gun, you should always start by referring to your gun’s owner’s manual to understand the process of cleaning. Remember, each paintball gun is different, and going through the manual will help you to avoid damaging your gun.
Remember, when cleaning your paintball gun, you need to clean each part individually from the barrel, the body to the hammer and bolt. So, to get rid of any lingering dirt and paint, you need to have the right cleaning kit that includes brushes, needles, bristles, squeegees, swabs, and lubrication oil. Additional supplies include;
- Paper towels
- Warm water
- Tools for disassembly
Step 1: De-gas Your Gun
When cleaning your gun, safety should always be your foremost priority. Here, you need to start by detaching the CO₂/Air Tank from the gun to avoid any unexpected fire accidents that might happen. If you’re not sure about the de-gassing process, you can always refer back to your owner’s manual for reference.
Step 2: Disassemble the Paintball Gun
Now that you’ve safely gotten rid of the CO₂/Air Tank, the next part is to disassemble your paintball gun to get it ready for cleaning. Now, paintball guns are built differently meaning the process of disassembling will differ from one gun to another. If you’re feeling lost and troubled, however, here’s a simple procedure you can consider.
- Follow Your Owner’s Manual: The user manual is always the first point of reference. This is where you get your manufacturer’s recommendations on how to clean the different pieces. It also notifies you on which pieces you shouldn’t disassemble.
- Keep Your Working Area Clean: The next step is to take care of your working area. You see, your paintball gun contains lots of small pieces that can easily disappear in thin air if you’re working in a cluttered work area. You, therefore, need to keep your area clean to keep track of all the pieces.
- Organize Your Work: Lastly, disassemble all the pieces in an organized manner. You can use your manual to do this, or you can simply use any available YouTube videos that might be available. Remove each piece in an organized way by keeping similar pieces together for an easy assembly process later on.
Step 3: Start the Cleaning Process
I believe this is what you’ve been waiting for, right? Since you’ve already disassembled all the parts, it’s now time to start the cleaning process starting with the barrel.
- Cleaning the Barrel: The barrel is one of the critical parts of your paintball gun that can affect your performance either positively or negatively. Since it’s responsible for releasing the paintballs at high speeds, this section of your gun can get jammed with paint and dirt making it impossible to use. However, cleaning is not as hard as you only need to use any of these kits.
- Squeegee: This is one of the best tools you can consider when cleaning your gun’s barrel. In fact, most guns come with a squeegee to make the cleaning process easier. So, with a squeegee, all you need to do is to squeeze it right through the barrel several times to get rid of any paint or dirt that might have clogged in the inside.
- Swab: A swab is another perfect alternative you can consider. With a swab, all you need to do is to squeeze it right inside the barrel as far as possible to pull out any dirt and clogged paints.
Once you’re done cleaning the barrel, use a damp cloth to wipe the inside thoroughly to make sure it’s perfectly clean. Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe out any water to leave the barrel dry and clean.
Step 4: Cleaning the Grip Frame
Now that you’re done with the barrel, the next part of your paintball gun that will need some serious scrubbing is the grip frame. During paintballing, the grip frame is the area you’ll be in direct contact with for most of the time. Therefore, this part will need to be cleaned pretty often to keep it in good shape. So, here’s a simple step-by-step process you can consider when cleaning this part.
- Number one, do not dismantle the trigger assembly whatsoever during the cleaning process. You see, this part is very complex, and taking anything apart will make the assembly process very difficult later on. If you happen to assemble it badly, the accuracy and the performance of your gun on the field will suffer severely.
- Start the cleaning process by using a Q-Tip to gently remove any dirt and paints from the grip frame. You can consider dampening the Q-Tip in case the dirt/paints are hard to get rid of.
- Depending on the intensity of your paintballing, sometimes it might be hard to remove all the dirt using the Q-Tip. At this point, you can consider using a bristled toothbrush to remove any stubborn dirt from the grip frame.
Step 5: Cleaning the Body
With the gun already disassembled, it’s time to focus on the body of the gun to make it clean and ready for the next paintballing event. The best thing about the body is that it’s one of the easiest parts to clean. So, here’s a simple process you can count on.
- Start by wiping the body of the paintball gun with a dump rug. This will help you to get rid of any excess dirt and paint from the surface.
- When you’re done, use a Q-Tip to get rid of dirt and paint that might have accumulated in those hard to reach spots. The reason why a Q-Tip is the best is due to its small size. This is quite different from a squeegee which is way bigger to fit on those tiny nooks and crannies.
- In case there are stubborn dirt and paint stains at this stage, then you’ll need to get more aggressive in your cleaning. Here, you can consider using a scrub or a bristled toothbrush to get rid of those stubborn stains from your gun’s body.
Step 6: Cleaning the Hammer and Bolt
The next part of your paintball gun that requires some serious cleaning is the hammer and the bolt. This part is very critical as it’s the one responsible for cocking your gun when you’re getting ready for some shooting action. So, to keep these two pieces spotlessly clean here’s a simple process you can consider.
- Start by wiping both of these pieces using a wet rag. This is a smart way of getting rid of excess paint and dirt that might have accumulated over time.
- When you’re wiping the parts, dry them up with a dry towel/rag to get rid of excess water. This is a very important step as you won’t wish to assemble your gun with excess moisture on the hammer and bolt.
- Lastly, check the condition of the O-rings before you can call it done. Now, the O-rings are responsible for connecting various pieces together to prevent them from grinding against each other.
This extremely hefty task exposes the O-rings to rapid wear. So, to keep these pieces in good shape, you need to inspect the O-rings for any damages and signs of wear marks. In case the rings are completely worn out, then you can simply replace them with new ones at this point.
Step 7: Inspect the Gun for Further Damages
Now that you’re through cleaning your paintball gun, the next step is to inspect the various parts for any signs of damage/wear and tear before you can assemble it back again. Some of the parts you’ll need to be keen on are the O-rings. Since these rubber pieces are tasked to perform some of the toughest duties, they’re usually susceptible to regular wear and tear. Regular inspection is hence inevitable if you wish to keep your gun in good shape.
Other than the O-rings, inspect other parts of your gun such as the springs and the screws to ensure that everything is looking great. Make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary during your inspection to avoid damaging your gun.
Step 8: Oil and Lubricate the Parts
Now that each piece of your paintball gun is thoroughly cleaned and inspected for any signs of damages, it’s time to lubricate the parts to add some life into them. But, oiling and lubricating your gun is not an easy process as there are some “Dos and Don’ts” you need to adhere to.
- One, before lubricating your gun, you need to ensure that there are no wet parts whatsoever. All the pieces must be dried completely before you can proceed to oil them.
- Secondly, you need to ensure that the oil you’re using is specifically intended to lubricate your specific paintball gun. In case you’re in doubt, don’t shy away from referring to your owner’s manual for reference.
- Thirdly, use the right amount of oil to lubricate your gun. Don’t make it too much until it drips from your gun and don’t make it too little to a point that it won’t serve its intended purpose.
- Finally, the O-rings will need to be lubricated to maintain their great shape and serve their purpose pretty well. Therefore, you need to cover them with oil but not too much of it.
Step 9: Reassemble the Paintball Gun
You have now reached the last step of cleaning your paintball gun. You started off by disassembling the gun, cleaning the various parts, inspecting it for signs of damages, and finally, lubricating the parts. In this last step, you will be putting the different parts back together to give the gun a new shape.
During assembly, make sure that you follow the schematic you used previously during the disassembly process to avoid leaving any components behind. Make sure that you use the right screws and fasteners to install each component to its rightful place. Once you’re done, store your paintball gun in a safe place to keep it ready for the next paintball game.
As you can see, the process of cleaning your paintball gun isn’t as easy as it initially appeared. There are nine steps you need to follow while paying maximum attention to each of them. Although some people will think of using shortcuts here and there, this guide has offered you a complete step-by-step process you can count on to clean your paintball gun to improve its accuracy and performance.
Finally, each paintball gun is different. Before you commence the cleaning process, you should follow the owner’s manual to the latter to avoid messing up on your way such as using the wrong oil or failing to clean the components correctly.