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The Paintball Dictionary

12g : 12 gram CO2 "powerlets" used for many years in pellet rifles. Powered the early paintball guns.

50 : The (usually imaginary) line that cuts the field in half.

ACE (Anti-Chop Eye) : Any infrared LED "eye" system which is used to detect the presence of paintball in the breech to avoid chops. Can be either a multi-part break-beam system with a transmitter on one side of the breech and receiver on the other side, or an all-in-one transmitter/receiver unit which reflects light off of the paint. Sometimes used as a verb, such as "I need to ACE my gun."

Airball : A type of Speedball which uses inflated bunkers. Different shaped bunkers are typically referred to as follows, but can be called many other things:

  • Dorito : pyramid-shaped bunker with 4 faces, each one shaped like the chip
  • Dot : A shorter (less than 4') stand-up
  • Ladder : A specialized Snake with sections that jut out perpendicular to the bunker
  • Rocket/Pikachu : A short cylinder with two small triangles
  • Snake : usually a series of long, low bunkers at the 50
  • Stand-up/can : A tall (6'+) cylindrical bunker

Anti-Siphon Tank : A special CO2 tank designed to prevent the gun from sucking in liquid.

ASA (Air Source Adapter) : Any air source connector that uses standardized Tippmann CO2 bottle threading, such as most vertical adapters and bottomline setups.

Barrel Plug : A plug that goes in the business end of the marker's muzzle. It prevents projectiles from accidentally leaving the gun.

Blind Shooting (tournament) : Using the trajectory of paintballs to arc a shot over a Bunker to hit a target you cannot see directly. You are looking where you are shooting, but can't see exactly where the paint ends up. Bunkers with good "blind shots" are typically very key in tournament play.

Blind Shooting (recreational) : Shooting your gun somewhere where you are not looking--that is, your line of site is not down the barrel while you are firing. Not allowed at fields, since it can lead to multiple close-range shots to other players and referees.

Blowback : Excess gas which escapes around the bolt while firing which can push balls back up into the feeder slightly, causing slower rates of fire. Also used to refer to mechanical guns which use CO2 to push the hammer assembly back to cock.

Bonus Balling : Shooting a player who has already been eliminated. Sometimes done in tournaments to prevent a possible Dead Man Walk.

Bottom Line : Usually refers to the local of the CO2 tank on the bottom rear portion of the marker's pistol grip. Desired since it makes siting the gun with a mask on much easier.

Bounce (Ball) : A paintball that bounces off of your body instead of breaking.

Bounce (Electronic Trigger) : Electronic trigger bounce is caused by the imperfect electric connection in an electronic switch. The trigger is not "on" or "off," it is a series of uneven pulses sent to the board. If the pulse is uneven enough that the board thinks there were two trigger pull events, the gun will fire twice. Raising the debounce setting on the board will help alleviate this problem.

Bounce (Mechanical Trigger) : Mechanical trigger bounce is when the trigger pull is so short that the recoil of the gun moves enough to fire the gun again. Typically only a problem with electronic guns, due to their very light trigger pulls. Raising the debounce setting on the board will help alleviate this problem.

BPS (Balls Per Second) : How many balls a paintball gun can fire in a second. Usually grossly exaggerated, usually referring to CPS. Also see CPS.

Break : No, not when it's time for a smoke. This is the very first part of a match where everyone is running for their Primary Bunkers and/or Keying/Laning.

Bunker (noun) : An object or embankment on the field that a player uses for cover.

Bunker (verb) : To charge a bunker and eliminate, at close range, any players hiding behind it. Can be done over the top, right to the side, or down the middle of the field at longer range.

BYOP (Bring Your Own Paint) : You may bring outside paint to the field (also see FPO)

CA (Constant Air) : allows marker to use bulk CO2 tanks rather than 12 gram.

Chop : If a bolt is in the firing cycle when a paintball isn't fully loaded into the breech, it can push the paintball against the feedneck hard enough to break the paint. If it's not pushing the paintball hard enough, it's said to pinch the paint--the bolt bounces off the paint, or just pushes against the paint until the cycle can be completed.

Chronograph : A device used to measure the velocity (speed) of a paintball coming out of a barrel. The safe maximum speed of a paintball is 300 feet per second.

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) : Compressed gas used to power markers. Originally used because CO2 turns into a liquid at 'room temperature' at around 850psi, so bulk storage was reasonably cheap, and small 12g cartridges were readily available and could accomodate a number of shots. Has since been replaced by HPA tanks at the higher levels of the sport.

Compressed Air : See HPA

Cover Fire : Shooting a lot of paint at an opponent's bunker so a teammate can more easily move.

CPS (Cycles per Second) : How fast a paintball gun can cycle without paint. Not very important to the overall quality of the gun, and usually reports of the fastest CPS of a particular gun aren't full cycles that could actually fire a paintball at 300fps.

Dead Box : Where a player goes when they are eliminated in Speedball. Each team usually has their own, and each team usually Breaks (starts the game) from their dead box.

Dead Man Walk : A player who looks like they are walking towards the dead box after being eliminated, but is not actually eliminated. At some point during their walk, they will either dive into a bunker they want to get to, or start shooting opposing players. Also the reason for (most) intentional Bonus Balling.

Debounce : When the trigger pull of a gun is shorter than the movement caused by recoil, the act of firing the gun can cause double (or more) trigger pulls. Debounce is a feature added to the programs in electronic guns that will ignore trigger pulls which happen within a certain window of time after the trigger is pulled. This keeps the guns from 'running away' into full auto.

Detent : Keeps paint from rolling either forward or backward at the very bottom of the ball stack, in the breech. Prevents the bolt from chopping paint due to a ball moving down the breech prematurely, and another ball partially loading behind it. Also see chop.

Dry Fire : Cycling a paintball gun with air but no paint.

Dwell : How long the hammer remains foward during the firing sequence. In other words, when you shoot the gun, the hammer is driven foward by air and held in that postion for a few milliseconds. this allows more or less air to flow through the valve depending on how long the Dwell is set for. the longer its foward the more air is let through the valve and vice versa. Only used in reference to Electropneumatic guns.

Electropneumatic : A fancy term which refers to a paintball gun that is operated with a solenoid-driven ram.

Eyes : Electronic components that are used to detect whether or not paint is in the breech. There is either a transmitter on one side and a receiver on the other, called break-beam, or a reflective system on one side.

Fanning : Using your (usually) middle finger to pull the trigger while your trigger hand is not touching the gun. Please don't do this, it makes you look ridiculous. Also see Raking and Walking.

Feeder : see Hopper

FPO (Field Paint Only) : You must buy paint at the field (also see BYOP)

FPS (Feet Per Second) : The measurement of speed at which the paintball travels. 300fps is the maximum velocity a paintball may travel safely. 300fps is approximately 200mph.

FSDO (First Shot Drop Off) : When the first shot has a low velocity, or doesn't even leave the barrel. Typically only evident after a gun hasn't been fired for at least a few minutes.

Gogged : Hit in the goggles by a paintball.

Guppy : see Pod

Harness : see Pack

Hopper : A large "hopper" which holds paintballs (typically between 100 and 200), and feeds them into the gun, either by gravity (up to ~9bps), agitation (up to ~13bps), or force-feed (limited to the paint's brittleness, probably up to around 30bps in the future, right now around 23bps).

HPA (High Pressure Air) : High pressure compressed air (3000 to 5000 psi) is usually used instead of CO2 in tournament paintball. The use of HPA requires specialized high pressure tanks and regulators which lower the output pressure to what the paintguns can handle. HPA tanks can store nitrogen or compressed air--the performance of both is identical. HPA tanks can be constructed of aluminum or steel for 3000psi tanks, or a small aluminum or steel canister surrounded and bonded to carbon fiber for extra strength to store 4500 or 5000psi while reducing weight.

HPR (High Pressure Regulator) : A regulator with an output pressure above approximately 200psi. Outputs the operating pressure of the gun. Also see regulator, LPR, and operating pressure.

Hyperball : Large plastic pipes used as bunkers in a speedball field.

IPPA : International Paintball Players Association Although this organization has disbanded.

Key : see Lane (verb).

Lane (noun) : An open area in a field which will likely require movement through, such as the space between likely primary and secondary bunkers.

Lane (verb) : Shooting through a Lane (noun).

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) : A (usually) rectangular display used to display complex information like text or graphics. Usually only one color in paintball applications. Require a backlight to be easily read in the dark or direct sunlight.

LED (Light-Emitting Diode) : A very small electronic component that emits light when electricity is supplied. They consume very little power and can be very bright. Typically used as an on/off indicator in electronic paintball guns.

LPR (Low Pressure Regulator) : A regulator with an output pressure below approximately 100psi. Supplies the solenoid with the proper pressure to drive the ram/hammer. Also see regulator and HPR.

Mutual : When two opposing players shoot eachother in short enough of a time interval that the referee cannot determine who was shot first, both players are pulled.

Nitrogen (N2) : see HPA

One-for-One : A "minor" penalty where the person committing the penalty is eliminated, along with another (usually their closest) teammate. Also see Mutual and Two-for-One.

Operating Pressure : The pressure of the gas used to actually propell the paintball down the barrel. Typically 200-850psi.

Pack : Belt/harness system for carrying Pods of paint so that a player may reload their feeder/hopper on the field during play.

Paint Check : When you want the referee to check you for hits, usaually called in a game when you have been hit but aren't sure if it broke, one yells "paint check," sometimes accompanied with pointing to the area you want the ref to check.

Pinch : see Chop (not the same thing, but related)

Playing On : When a player keeps playing after they know they have been hit. If the hit is very obvious (being Gogged, for instance), a penalty is usually incurred.

Pods : Containers that hold extra paint you may need during a game. Typically hold 140 or 100 paintballs and held in a Pack.

Post : Staying out of your bunker in relation to the target and holding aim on that target, periodically firing short strings of paint.

Powerfeed : A special feedneck which reduces Blowback into the ball stack.

Primary Bunker : The first bunker one attempts to move to off the break. Also see Secondary Bunker.

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) : A measurement of pressure. Sea level is approximately 14.7psi.

Raking (the trigger) : A way of activating the trigger in which you move 1 or 2 fingers up and down over the trigger. Can only be done on a trigger that has a hump in the middle. You lose a lot of accuracy doing this, but it is a bit faster than walking. Also see Fanning and Walking.

Regulator : A device used to lower the pressure of a source to the desired pressure. Paintball guns typically have a 200-850psi operating pressure. Also see HPR and LPR.

Remote : Hoses and fittings which allow the CO2 or HPA tank to be detached from the manufacture's intended location on the gun, then located elsewhere (e.g. in the player's pack).

Response Trigger : A special trigger that uses excess gas from the cycling process and a piston behind the trigger to "reset" the trigger forcefully. Illegal in tournaments and most fields because, when set up and held just right, the gun "fires itself" from the combination of recoil and response trigger.

ROF (Rate Of Fire) : How fast a gun can fire. Grossly exaggerated in most cases.

Sandbagging : Entering a tournament at a lower division than you should. For instance, a pro team entering a tournament as amateurs. Large leagues have ID systems to prevent this from going on. Can also be used as a noun: i.e. That team's a bunch of sandbaggers--they should be playing at least amateur!

Sear-tripper : A type of paintball gun that is mostly mechanical, but instead of the trigger being connected directly to the ram, it is connected to a circuit board. The circuit board determines when to release the sear to let the gun cycle. The main advantage of a sear-tripper over a purely mechanical gun is a higher rate of fire is achievable due to the lighter, shorter trigger pull.

Secondary Bunker : The second bunker one attempts to move to. It should always have more angles on the other team than one's Primary Bunker. Also see Primary Bunker.

Siphon Bottle/Tank : A special CO2 tank (the difference from other CO2 tanks being the valve) designed to suck liquid CO2 into the gun. Bulk CO2 tanks used to fill CO2 tanks use siphon tubes (sometimes called Dip tubes), so they only draw liquid out of the tank.

Shootdown : When firing rapidly, if the recharge rate of the pneumatics is slower than the rate of fire. The velocity of each shot will lower according to the pressure the pneumatics can sustain under that speed of fire.

Shooting Hot : Shooting at a higher velocity than the field's limit.

Snap Shoot : Quickly coming out of your bunker, firing off a few shots at a predetermined target, then moving back behind the bunker. Typically done to minimize exposure to heavy incoming fire. Improves greatly with practice.

Solenoid : An electronic device that uses magnets to change energy into linear force. Simply put, when you pull the trigger, the solenoid "shifts" slightly. Depending on what type of gun, this "shift" will trip a sear (e-frames) or shift a pneumatic valve to move a ram (angel, timmy, pulse etc).

Speedball : Speedball is a game played on small fields with little natural cover. Bunkers usually consist of wooden pallets, tires or other man-made barricades. Speedball fields are designed to allow spectators to see the action. The first speedball field was set up at SC Village in Corona, CA.

Spool Valve : A bolt design where the bolt and valve are in line with eachother, where as most guns (such as Spyders, Angels, Intimidators, etc) have valves that are perpendicular and below the bolt. Seen in the Matrix and the 2003 and newer Shockers.

Squeege : A device used to clean paint from the barrel of a marker.

Stacked-tube : A paintball gun design in which the ram/hammer is in a lower tube, and the bolt is above it, connected with a bolt pin. The ram/hammer moves the bolt forward and back, and holds the valve open when in the forward position. (Please note that ram and hammer are not interchangable terms, but in a stacked-tube gun, they are the same thing--if anyone has an example of a stacked-tube gun that this is not the case, please let me know).

Sup'Air : A company which manufactures Air ball bunkers.

Sweet Spot : see Lane (verb)
Also a term regarding regulators on Autocockers. Check the Article on Sweet Spotting your reg.

Tape : The borders that runs the length of the field.

Two-for-One : A more serious penalty where the person committing the penalty is eliminated, along with as two more teammates. More serious penalties can also be excised, but those continue the naming trend (e.g. Three-for-One, etc). Also see Mutual and One-for-One.

Walking (the trigger) : Alternating your index and middle fingers to depress a double trigger repeatedly. You can imagine why it's called walking if you do it. Walking is the best technique for fast firing and accuracy. Also see Fanning and Raking.

Walking (the field) : Before playing, walking from bunker to bunker on a field to devise a good strategy for playing the field. It helps you determine which bunkers are key to winning on that field, good blind shots (to and from) at bunkers, and other useful information.

Wipe : Intentionally making a hit "disappear."

XBall : Format of paintball which is based on 5-man. It is played in 4 quarters, 10 minutes each. Each game, the team who hangs the flag gets one point. Any number of points can be scored in a quarter. There is a 3 minute break between each game, and the next game starts whether 5 players are ready or not (any number of players, up to 15, can be on the roster). Each team also has a coach who can communicate with them during the entire course of the match. Each team has a pit crew as well to help fill pods, get air, clean players off, etc. Penalties can also be given to players during a match, and vary in length based on the severity of the infraction. During these penalties, players play short-handed.


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