After you’ve washed the paint off yourself, and treated the bumps and bruises that come along with the game of paintball, it’s time to clean up your paintball gun. Cleaning your gun will keep it in the best condition for the longest amount of time possible. Not only this, but it allows you to inspect your gun for damage.
Wear and tear from broken paintballs, strikes from others, and the debris that you may encounter in the field all lead to a messy gun at the end of the day. If you clean it right away, it’ll be easier than if you wait, and your gun will be ready for the next game to come along.
Gather Your Supplies
Before you embark on the task of cleaning your gun, make sure you have ample supplies to allow you to properly clean and prepare for its next use. Before doing anything, make sure you have the schematic or manual for reference. If you don’t have it, you should be able to find it online.
De-Gas the Paintball Gun
While many people degas their paintball guns when not in use for safety, if you don’t usually degas your gun after use, it is vital to do so before cleaning it. If your gun has the feature, turn off the Air Source Adaptor (ASA) to depressurize before removing the compressed air tank. Commonly, the ASA can be found at the base of the grip frame, but refer to your manual if you’re unsure. Your tank should be screwed into this. It is near the ASA that you should find a lever or wheel that will let you bleed the gun and remove pressure.
Disassembling the Paintball Gun
To best clean your gun, it is important to disassemble it first to allow all parts to be fully cleaned. This is where your Allen key will come into handy, along with those schematics. Refer to your instructions if you are unsure what to do, but it’s common to begin with the hopper. You’ll then remove the bolt, the hammer, the barrel and grip frame. While you are disassembling, it is important to keep any screws, bolts, or moving parts together to make sure everything is where it belongs when the time comes to reassemble. Many people lay out the parts the way they belong when the gun is assembled, which makes putting it together when finished much easier.
Cleaning your Disassembled Paintball Gun
The barrel of the paintball gun sees a lot of paint from burst paintballs, and if you allow it to build up, it could result in low accuracy, or jamming which could really leave you in a jam on the field. The pull through squeegee is your best friend when it comes to ensuring a clean and clear barrel to your paintball gun. Run the squeegee through the barrel until clean, and use a damp paper towel or rag to wipe down the outside of the barrel. Use a dry paper towel or rag to completely dry the barrel.
Using the toothbrush, paper towel, and warm water, clean the body of the gun. The toothbrush or cotton swab will allow you to remove grime and debris from small areas, while the paper towel or rag will allow you to wipe the surfaces and keep it dry. If your gun allows for a squeegee to run through it, do so before drying the outside of the body. Take extra care anywhere with moving parts that could seize up or jam if not properly cleaned.
The grip frame is best cleaned with a toothbrush or cotton swab. This allows you to reach small areas that a paper towel wouldn’t reach. Take extra care around the trigger, but unless you are extremely experienced, you should not disassemble it for risk of malfunction. While cleaning the grip frame, look for any areas of damage that could affect the usability of your paintball gun. When you are done cleaning the grip frame, use a cloth to ensure it is completely dry.
Hammer and Bolt
The hammer and the bolt can be cleaned with a damp rag or paper towel, making sure to use this time to inspect the quality of the o-rings. If you have any concerns about the quality of the o-rings, it may be time to replace them. Once the entire hammer and bolt is clean, be sure to completely dry using a dry paper towel or rag.
Lubricating the Paintball Gun
Before reassembling the gun, use a recommended paintball gun oil to lightly coat all the parts to protect them and keep them moving properly. Pay extra care to the o-rings, as they can dry out and crack if not properly lubricated. Don’t go overboard with lubrication, or you may have a difficult time putting it back together.
Just before you put everything back together, take a final look at all your parts and replace any pieces that show damage or age. Screws can strip, springs can bend or lose their bounce. O-rings often wear out, and a faulty o-ring can lead to the loss of air pressure or result in low velocity shots. If all looks well, it’s time to put your paintball gun back together.
Reassembling the Paintball Gun
Using the schematic, put the gun back together in the order in which you disassembled it. Make sure that you don’t have any leftover screws or springs at the end, and always refer to the schematic if you have a question about placement.