Paintball Sizes? Picking Your Ammunition

Paintball Sizes

There are several paintball sizes to choose from, and making the right choice will greatly affect your performance in the arena. 

Even the best paintball gun will be useless unless you get the right paintball size to use with it.

Each size has advantages and setbacks that you must consider carefully before making a final choice. 

The paintball gun you use will also weigh in on the final choice. Let us break this topic down and come up with everything you need to know about paintball sizes;

Paintball Sizes

Paintball caliber and performance comparison

Paintball caliber

So you have your new paintball gun, and you want to know the best caliber of paintballs to use. There are two common options for paintball calibers, and you must know each one to figure out the best one for you; let’s get into the details;

There is a big difference between 0.68 and 0.50 caliber, and your final choice will depend on the type of games you are into. 

There are many caliber options, but the most common is .68, which is the standard for most competitions.

0.68 caliber means the paintball has a 0.68-inch diameter. There are smaller caliber options like 0.40 and 0.43, but they aren’t so common since they need specialized barrels to work properly. These are ideal for low-impact games and don’t sting as much as 0.68 calibers.

Another popular choice for low-impact paintball is 0.50 caliber, and some people use 0.62. 0.50 caliber offers nearly as good performance as 0.68 while reducing how much the paintball hurts when it makes contact with the skin.

The paintballs you use will also depend on the marker you intend to use, and you should think about the paintballs before choosing a marker. If you already have the marker, you must modify it to use the caliber you want.

Conversion kits will help change your gun from a 0.68 caliber to 0.50 or the opposite. If you use the wrong caliber, it will affect accuracy, performance, and efficiency. It’s important to know that the paintballs aren’t exact sizes.

The paintballs are irregularly shaped; therefore, they might be smaller or bigger than the caliber. This discrepancy makes it crucial to get the right caliber gun for optimal performance. 

If you get a big caliber and use it for a smaller caliber, paintball air will escape on the sides when firing. 

This will be inefficient and reduce the velocity and power of your paintballs. The escaping air could also alter the ball’s direction and limit your accuracy.

If the gun’s caliber is lower than that of the paintball, then you will have paintballs breaking in the barrel. 

Sometimes the gun will not have enough power to shoot the paintballs, and it will ruin your experience.

0.68 Caliber Paintballs

0.68 Cal paintballs are a popular option and the industry standard for most serious paintball players. They are versatile and usable in many field terrains and game variations, contributing to their popularity.

Their mass means they can achieve high velocities and always break when they hit the target, which is important for paintball. The mass is also advantageous since the wind affects the projectile’s trajectory less.

The wind will move lighter paintballs, reducing accuracy for long-distance shots. 0.68 paintballs are heavy enough to retain their line, so they will give more accuracy, especially for long-distance shots. This makes them an ideal choice for users with paintball sniper rifles.

The weight is an advantage and a problem. Since they are heavy, 0.68 Cal paintballs need more power to fire; therefore, they need bigger and heavier guns. Additionally, their large size means you can’t feed as many of them into a hopper.

This can be a problem for beginners who have low accuracy, but professionals are used to it and enjoy the game. 

Of course, the increased weight and size mean the paintball packs a punch. This might irritate newbies, but it becomes part of the fun as you advance.

You need more air to propel the heavy 0.68 Cal paintballs; therefore, you should get a big tank. You should not use 0.68 Cal paintballs for children since the pain might ruin the fun. But if you want a professional game, 0.68 Cals are the best option for you. 

0.50 Caliber Paintballs

0.50 paintballs have become a popular choice for some groups of paintball players, especially newbies and children. 

Most people call them low-impact paintballs, common in indoor arenas and for casual play among kids.

You can use them for office outings or family fun times for anyone who wants the fun of paintball without the sting. They are half an inch in diameter and lighter; therefore, they will hurt less when they hit. 

The smaller size brings a few challenges, some being that they will reduce the paintball’s velocity and distance. 

A lighter paintball will have less power coming out of the barrel; therefore, it won’t travel as far as 0.68 Cal.

The reduced velocity also means the ball doesn’t hit as hard; therefore, it won’t always break on impact. 

It can be frustrating to shoot opponents but never mark them. Their reduced mass means the wind can easily sift their trajectory; therefore, it limits accuracy.

The advantage of the small size is that you can fit more paintballs in the hopper, so you need to reload fewer times while playing. Many players find this advantage in speedball and other scenario games.

For woodsball, a 0.50 Cal paintball will allow you to shoot through bushes and eliminate targets without them spotting you. 

This penetration is a challenge for 0.68 paintballs and a plus for 0.50. Another major advantage of 0.50 paintballs is their lower price.

The guns and paint for 0.50 Cal paintballs are cheaper from a value standpoint. You get higher volume and more shots; therefore, it is cheaper than 0.68 paintballs. It also needs less air to shoot; therefore, you must visit the paintball fill station less often.

What To Look For In A Paintball

The ammunition you fire in paintball can significantly impact your performance. Some details will help increase accuracy and elimination rates. 

You must reduce paintball breaks when they exit the gun, as it can get messy and lead to your elimination.

With all these factors in mind, here are some aspects you should be keen about when selecting a paintball;

1. Consistent shape and size

You should aim for round paintballs that will have the same amount of air on each side. The rounder the ball, the better the accuracy you get from it. If the ball has irregular edges, air will escape on the sides and alter its trajectory, reducing accuracy.

Size is also important since guns are for specific paintball calibers. If the paintball is larger or smaller than its caliber, it will affect accuracy and velocity and could lead to ball breaks in the gun.

2. Thin and firm shells

The shell determines how well the paintball can handle temperature changes and impacts. You need a firm shell that can maintain the paintball’s shape and size regardless of temperature increase.

Firm shells will also prevent the paintballs from breaking when you fire the marker; thus, you will have fewer messes. 

If the shell is thin, it will break on impact when you hit the target; therefore, you will make and eliminate your opponents.

3. Thick opaque fills

Paintballs are most effective when they mark your opponents and help you figure out who you eliminated. The fill should be easy to spot from a distance so that opponents can’t cheat.

Bright neon-colored fills are also a popular choice for most recreational paintball players. They look cool and are easy to spot; thus, they make the game fair. Since they are illegal, you can’t use neon, or fluorescent paintball fills in professional competitions.

Types Of Paintballs 

Types Of Paintballs 

Apart from sizes, paintball properties place them in three major grades. You must choose between recreational grade, tournament grade, and reusable paintballs. All these paintballs are available in 0.68 and 0.50 caliber, depending on your needs.

The final choice for the paintball to use will depend on the game you want to play and your marker of choice. Each option has advantages and setbacks that make it ideal for specific groups of paintball players.

1. Recreational Grade paintball

These are for middle-level general play or practice. They are ideal for most beginner paintball guns, and you will find them in most commercial arenas. You can purchase them at major sports stores in boxes of more than 2000.

They have a firmer and thicker shell, making them more durable in the field. The downside to the shell’s thickness is that it sometimes does break when you shoot an opponent; therefore, it gives players a chance to cheat.

They are compatible with almost all markers, provided you get the correct caliber. Recreational paintballs have minor inconsistencies in their shape, which can reduce their accuracy. The problem will get worse when the temperature is high, as they can break in your gun.

They are the cheapest option for paintballs, and they come in bulk. This wholesale-like nature of their packaging and movement is why they are so popular in arenas. It is also available in many colors with fluorescent and neon options.

2. Tournament Grade Paintballs

Tournament paintballs offer the highest quality of all paintballs. These paintballs are specifically for professional speedball and woodsball competitions, and you can see it in their performance. 

You need a high-end paintball gun to utilize these paintball’s capabilities. Their high-quality design and shell increase their accuracy and reliability. This increase in performance and precision makes for a more intensive game.

The tradeoff is that they come at a steeper price than recreational paintballs. Their shell is thin but firm; therefore, it always breaks on contact with the target. Their shape is more consistent; therefore, they have a straight flight pattern for increased accuracy.

They have bright paint, which will make it easier to spot any players that have been eliminated. They don’t have neon colors since these are illegal in professional tournaments. You will have to spend a little extra, but it will be worth the cash for high-end performance.

3. Reusable Paintballs

The last type is the reball or reusable paintball, which resembles BB gun ammo. Reballs are made of foam, a nice and cheaper alternative to paintballs. They are similar in size to paintballs but are heavier and have no paint filling.

The initial idea was for them to help teams save money on ammunition while training. You can fire the paintballs, and after the game, collect them and reuse them. Some paintball parks have dedicated themselves to using these paintballs in their games.

The indoors are ideal for reballs since they will be easier to find. It is also easier to clean since they don’t splatter paint in the playing area. The biggest concern is that it is easy for the players to cheat.

There isn’t any visible mark to prove whether or not a player was shot; therefore, it is hard for field marshals to tell who is in the game. 

The buying cost for reballs is higher than regular paintballs, but you can reuse them, so they are cheaper in the long run.

Reballs won’t break on impact; therefore, you should reduce their firing velocity to reduce injuries. These are not ideal for children, especially if they use high-end paintball guns.


You should be comfortable enough to choose between the various paintball sizes on the market. Ammo is important in paintball, and choosing the correct caliber can make a big difference. The standard is 0.68 Cal since it offers optimal performance and accuracy.

You can opt for a lower caliber, like 0.5, if you want to reduce the pain, which is a good idea for children. Make the necessary adjustments to your marker to fire the paintballs accurately. Always remember that environmental factors will affect your paintballs, so keep them cool.

John Henrick

My name is John Hendricks, and I am a passionate paintballer who loves to play and compete. I have been involved in the sport for many years and have a wealth of experience to share.
I believe that paintball is a great sport for people of all ages and skill levels and should be accessible to everyone. That’s why I created this website – to provide a one-stop shop for all things paintball.

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