The Best Paintball Pistols

Our Top 8 picks of 2023

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Trying to decide which paintball pistol is the best for you? This guide is what you need.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Mike Tyson doesn’t offer much sage advice, but he’s spot-on with that one.

It’s easy to get excited about your new Etha 2, Empire Axe 2.0, or souped-up Tippmann A5, but what happens when you exhaust your ammo, gas tank, or battery while your opponent has you pinned?

That’s when you turn to your backup sidearm for close-quarter combat: your trusty paintball pistol.

There are a ton of different paintball pistols from compact .43 caliber models to powerful, .68 caliber, military-style replica handguns.

This guide has our top pick in each category so you can find the best paintball pistol for you.

Product Reviews

#1: Umarex T4E Walther PPQ .43 Cal Paintball Pistol

Best .43 Caliber Paintball Pistol

T4E Walther PPQ .43 Caliber Training Pistol Paintball Gun Marker, Black
Feature Highlights
  • Metal barrel and slide for realistic look, feel, and weight
  • 8-round, drop-free magazine with realistic mag release
  • Adjustable rear sight and fixed front sight
  • Picatinny accessory rail for easy mounting of lights, lasers, and other accessories
  • Fits duty holsters
  • 360 fps shooting out of the box
  • Self-lubricates for easy maintenance

T4E actually stands for Training For Engagement, meaning Umarex designed the T4E with the size, weight, and feel of an actual firearm. It shoots .43 caliber paintballs, powder balls, and rubber balls at about 360 feet per second (fps). Unfortunately, this is well above the maximum-allowed firing rate of 280-285 feet per second, so you’ll need to make some personal adjustments to make it field-legal.

#2: GI Sportz Menace .50 Cal Paintball Pistol

Best .50 Caliber Paintball Pistol

GI Sportz Menace .50 Cal Paintball Pistol
Feature Highlights
  • 7-round removable magazine (paintballs not included)
  • Powered by 12 gram CO2 cartridge (not included)
  • Non-blowback design makes it gas-efficient up to 70 shots
  • Ambidextrous safety
  • Grip frame window to see remaining paint
  • Stationary front and rear sights
  • 15 oz weight

The GI Sportz Menace is a .50 caliber paintball pistol with a 7-round magazine that uses 12 gram CO2 cartridges. It’s lightweight and well-balanced with an ambidextrous safety for comfortable use for both righties and lefties, and its realistic design only adds to its appeal.

#3: Tippmann TiPX .68 Cal Paintball Pistol

Best .68 Caliber Paintball Pistol

Tippmann TiPX Mag Fed Paintball Gun
Feature Highlights
  • 7-round Tippmann Tru-Ball magazines
  • Powered by 12 gram CO2 cartridge (not included)
  • Realistic blowback action
  • Gas blowback design makes it less gas-efficient with 25-30 shot capacity
  • Mock suppressor
  • External velocity adjuster and internal regulator
  • Set up for First Strike rounds

Tippmann doesn’t just do highly-customizable long-barreled rifles. They also have one of the best paintball pistols on the market: the Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber Paintball Pistol.

The TiPX features an effective shooting range of up to 150 feet and is small and compact for excellent control while shooting. It has a comfortable, easy-to-pull trigger, allowing you to lock in on your target and quickly add color to your opponent.

The realistic and stylish appearance of the Tippmann TiPX adds form on top of function and is the best great large-caliber option.

#4: GLOCK 17 Gen 3 6mm Paintball Pistol

Best Paintball GLOCK

Umarex Glock 17 Gen3 GBB Blowback 6mm BB Pistol Airsoft Gun
Feature Highlights
  • Replica of the original 9x19mm Parabellum model released in 1982
  • 7-round magazine
  • Powered by 12 gram CO2 cartridge (not included)
  • Realistic blowback action
  • Gas blowback design makes it less gas efficient with 25-30 shot capacity
  • Full metal slide
  • Fixed white front sight

Everyone knows the GLOCK 17, and this replica by Elite Force is just as effective as it is identical. It has comparable firing action and recoil to the actual GLOCK firearm with loudness similar to using a suppressor on the actual firearm, which is possible thanks to its realistic gas blowback action. However, all this noise and power this does reduce the GLOCK 17’s firing capacity to 25-30 shots. Its comfortable design and reliable performance make this GLOCK 17 paintball pistol great for either skirmishing or indoor target practice.

#5: Umarex T4E Walther PPQ .43 Cal Paintball Pistol

Best Paintball Revolver

Umarex T4E TR50 Revolver .50 Caliber Training Pistol Paintball Gun Marker , Black
Feature Highlights
  • 6-round rotary clip and comes with 5 magazines
  • Powered by 12 gram CO2 cartridge (not included)
  • Quick-piercing CO2 chamber
  • Non-blowback design makes it more gas-efficient with up to 70 shot capacity
  • Lightweight polymer frame
  • Dual Picatinny rails for mounting a red dot sight, laser, or flashlight
  • Charge indicator at the rear of the pistol, which lets you know if the CO2 cartridge has been pierced

Any of the best paintball pistols above would be effective in close-quarters battle on the paintball field. This Umarex T4E TR50 Paintball Revolver is more for show than anything else, but it’s incredibly powerful with up to 360 fps firing velocity that you’ll need to dial down in order to make it field-legal. It has a 6-round rotary clip and is powered by a 12 gram CO2 cartridge located in the pistol’s grip.

#6 JT ER2 Pump Pistol

Best Pump Paintball Pistol

JT ER2 Pump Pistol RTS Kit clear
Feature Highlights
  • Fires .68 caliber paintballs (30 included)
  • 10-round magazine capacity
  • Powered by 12 gram CO2 cartridge (2 included)
  • Realistic gas blowback design isn’t gas-efficient (25-30 shots per cartridge)
  • Pump-action reloading system
  • Smooth-firing pump handle
  • Lightweight composite construction
  • Smoked translucent body
  • Stick feed port
  • Anti double-pump action and ball stop system for safety

A fantastic entry-level paintball pistol, the JT ER2 Pump Pistol combines high-powered CO2 propellent with realistic hand-pump action to chamber each new paintball. You need to pump the handle several times to power it up before each shot, which really kills your rate of fire, but that’s the cost of doing business with an inexpensive, entry-level marker.

In a time when many paintball gun manufacturers focus on realism or extra cool features at the expense of user experience, JT went the other way with this ER2 Pump Pistol. It’s incredibly easy to use and is a fantastic beginner paintball pistol.

The JT ER2 doesn’t have the firing power or range of other pistols above, shooting up to 75 feet with accuracy to 30 feet, but pistols are used in close-quarter combat, so this gun still should get the job done. Plus, it’s rated up to 280 fps, which is the maximum allowable velocity at most fields anyway.

#7: JT Splatmaster z100 .50 Cal Paintball Pistol

Best Cheap Paintball Pistol

JT Splatmaster z100 Paintball Pistol .50 Cal – Blue
Feature Highlights
  • Hand-pump powered so it doesn’t need CO2
  • Realistic sliding action
  • 7-round capacity with quick-release magazine
  • Includes instructions and reusable target
  • Includes Cocking Assist handle for increased cocking leverage
  • Includes barrel plug and manual
  • Range of up to 75 feet with accuracy up to 30 feet

The JT ER2 Pump Pistol above is cheap, but this Splatmaster z100 .50 Cal is even cheaper (usually). It’s actually designed as an entry-level paintball pistol for kids, but that doesn’t mean it’s for kids alone. It’s suitable for people of all ages and fires purely with hand-cocking action with no CO2 cartridges or other propellants required. While convenient, that means the Splatmaster’s firing velocity tops out at just 140 fps.

Would I want to bring the Splatmaster z100 paintball pistol on the field in a competitive game? Heck no. But it’s a great entry-level marker and would make a serviceable backup sidearm should something happen to your primary, which hopefully is one of the other best paintball pistols showcased in this guide.

#8: H&K HK45 .45 Cal Airsoft Pistol

Best CO2 Pistol For Self Defense

HK Heckler & Koch HK45 6mm BB Pistol Airsoft Gun, HK45 Airsoft Gun
Feature Highlights
  • 7-round magazine capacity
  • Non-blowback design is gas-efficient
  • 20mm Picatinny accessory rail under the barrel
  • Adjustable hop-up
  • Ergonomically designed high-quality polymer grip
  • 30-day returns and warranty through Airsoft Station

Did you catch that?

The H&K HK45 isn’t a paintball pistol. It’s an airsoft pistol.

A lightweight, highly-efficient, non-blowback CO2 airsoft pistol, the H&K HK45 is yet another great replica by Umarex. It has a polymer frame instead of a full metal design with a 15-round magazine, and it features an adjustable hop-up and 20mm Picatinny rails to mount lights, lasers, and other accessories.

As a non-blowback gun, the Umarex H&K HK45 sacrifices a little realism for gas (and cost) efficiency plus extra accuracy, but it still checks enough boxes in terms of overall functionality to be a quality CO2-powered pistol at an amazing price point, and its authentic appearance makes it a great deterrent for self defense.