Build a Paintball Gun

You can build a paintball gun with a handful of plumbing parts and simple tools. Paintball guns use compressed air to fire their rounds. A valve connected to the trigger releases the compressed air. PVC is used for the construction of this simple paintball gun.

Materials To Build A Paintball Gun

Note: All PVC and connectors should be schedule 80, not schedule 40-the heavy-duty parts will help avoid bursting.

  • 3/4" PVC pipe
  • 3/4" PVC End Cap
  • (2) 3/4" PVC Tee connectors
  • (2) 3/4" PVC Elbow connectors
  • Tubeless Tire Valve
  • 3/4" PVC Ball Valve
  • Plumber's Adhesive
  • PVC Glue
  • PVC Primer

Paintball Gun Assembly

  • PVC surgery. Cut the PVC pipe into three 1' long pieces and four 3" long pieces. The pieces that are the same size should be cut as accurately as possible to simplify assembly.
  • Connecting PVC. You'll glue the PVC components together using PVC primer and glue. Apply the primer liberally to each component first, allowing it to sit for a minute or two and then apply the glue to each component and attach them together.
  • First assembly. Begin by attaching one Tee connector and one elbow connector to a 1' long piece of PVC. Lay the pieces flat on a work surface so they maintain the same orientation. The Tee connector should attach to the pipe using one of the arm connections, not the perpendicular (base) connection. Repeat with another 1' section of pipe and the other two connectors.
  • Body assembly. Connect the two components you just completed using two 3" PVC sections. The body of your paintball gun should be in the shape of a rectangle. The two long sides are the components previously assembled and the two short sides are the 3" PVC sections.
  • Add the trigger and barrel. Lay the gun body on your work surface with the elbow joints facing right. On your left, are two Tee connector openings. The upper opening is for the barrel and trigger valve; the lower opening is for the air-loading valve. Attach a 3" PVC section to the upper opening and then attach the PVC ball valve. Add another 1' PVC section to the ball valve for the barrel.
  • Add the air loader. Drill a hole in the PVC end cap just big enough to admit the stem of the tire valve. Coat the inside of the PVC end cap with plumber's adhesive and insert the stem of the tire valve through the end cap hole. Seat the valve firmly, making sure the adhesive forms a complete seal around the valve stem. While the end cap dries, attach the final 3" PVC section to the lower open Tee connector opening. Finally, connect the end cap to the 3" PVC section.
  • To operate. With the ball valve closed, attach a bicycle pump to the tire stem and pump air into your paintball gun. You'll need to experiment with the number of pumps required, but start with five or so. Do not over-pressurize your gun! Disconnect the pump and load a paintball into the barrel. To fire, open the ball valve with the gun pointed at the target.
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