5 Best Paintball Pistols in 2023

Paintball pistols are one of the most trusty sidearms you can have at your disposal for an intense game, but buying a new one may get confusing because of all the different options available on the market. What are the best paintball pistols to consider? 

The best overall paintball pistol in 2023 is the First Strike Compact Pistol because of its high-quality design and excellent construction, customization options, and its smaller frame and grip. However, in some situations, other pistols may be a better fit. 

However, this pistol isn’t the best option in all cases. The only instances in which I wouldn’t recommend the First Strike Compact Pistol are if…

In this article, I’ll take you through some of your best options for paintball pistols and highlight the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision about which one to buy. Let’s get started!

Best Overall: First Strike Compact Pistol

Best Paintball Pistol Overall

First Strike Compact Pistol(FSC)

First Strike Compact Pistol

My favorite paintball pistol is this sleek and compact .68 caliber option from First Strike. This pistol is special because it has a smaller grip frame and shorter length, so it won’t slow you don’t or be a burden as you fight against your enemy. The grip is 20% smaller than the standard pistol, so you’ll definitely notice the difference during gameplay without losing any functionality. 

One of the best advantages of having a smaller overall weapon is that it’s more easily concealable while you’re playing, making all the difference in a close game. Furthermore, this pistol’s construction is sturdy, as long as you take proper care of it. It should last you a long time and become a trusted paintball weapon. Check out my article on how to care for paintball equipment for tips and tricks.   

Additionally, this pistol is one of the most customizable options available, as it accepts 8.1/9.1 barrels and 8-gram or 12-gram (0.28 or 0.42 oz) cartridges. It’s also compatible with many T8.1 and T9.1 accessories, so you can really make it your own and improve your gameplay with customized grips and more.    

There aren’t many downsides to this pistol, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the one glaring problem I see with it: because the magazine’s design serves as a CO2 cartridge too, when you release the magazine, some CO2 escapes.  

Bottom Line: If you want a small, sturdy, and customizable pistol, look no further than the First Strike Compact Pistol. As long as you don’t mind the carbon dioxide leakage from the magazine, this pistol is an excellent option that is sure to last you a long time.


Smaller and more lightweight than most pistols

Sturdy construction

Compatible with T8.1 and T9.1 accessories

Accepts both 8-gram and 12-gram (0.28 or 0.42 oz) cartridges

Highly customizable

Easily concealable



Magazine occasionally leaks air

Unsuitable if you want a larger paintball pistol

Video: First Strike FSC .68 Paintball Pistol Review

Product Specifications 

Rounds 6
Caliber .68 
Weight 1.75 pounds (0.79 kg)
Cartridges8-gram or 12-gram (0.28 or 0.42 oz) CO2 cartridges 
First Strike Compact pistol product specifications

Best for Beginners: Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber Deluxe Paintball Pistol Kits

Best For Beginners

Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber Deluxe Paintball Pistol Kit, Black

Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber

The Tippmann brand has an excellent reputation in the paintball community, and this model is a great one to get beginners started because it’s so easy to use, load, and carry. I also think it’s a fantastic option for a beginner because it has a more ergonomic grip than alternative pistols, which minimizes the amount of force and effort needed to get a response from the gun.  

In my opinion, it wouldn’t take a beginner more than an hour to figure out how to use this weapon.  

You may have already used a Tippmann paintballing weapon at some point as a beginner, as many rentals at paintballing venues are Tippmann models.  

This model is a .68-caliber, magazine-fed, and semi-automatic model meant to mimic the feel of a real handgun. It offers plenty of additional features, including the following: 

  • 2 Tru-Feed magazines 
  • A threaded barrel 
  • An under-barrel CO2 air system 
  • An external velocity adjuster 

I also appreciate the aluminum trigger, which hardly ever jams, so you won’t be left high and dry in the middle of a paintball game.  

Furthermore, this is a great purchase for beginners because it includes the pistol itself, a reversible holster, and three magazines, so you don’t have to spend more money on accessories to be ready to go. 

If you’re a beginner, you may also have questions about what to wear for paintball. If so, check out my head-to-toe guide

Once you have a better feel for your preferences during gameplay, you can adjust your Tippmann and add accessories and customizations to improve your game. Paintball pistols can be expensive, so it would be a shame to spend a lot of money on something you outgrow too quickly. Luckily, because this Tippmann model is so customizable, you wouldn’t have to worry about replacing it too quickly. 

The most noticeable downside to this weapon is its size. This pistol is bulkier than other options on this list, which may be beneficial to those first learning to use paintball pistols, but it can be quite cumbersome to those who already have a good grasp of the game. Another potential downside is buying specific magazines tailor-made for this model.  

Bottom Line: If you want a pistol that’s easy to use and understand and comes with magazines and a carrying case, the Tippmann TiPX deluxe pistol kit is a fantastic option. I also appreciate that this pistol is customizable, so as you improve your game and get more acquainted with your playing style and preferences, you can adjust the gun to suit your needs. 


Tippmann is a reliable and well-known brand

Ergonomic grip

Simple to understand and use

Two magazines

External velocity adjuster


Purchase comes with a holster

Fast reload



Slightly bulky

Have to purchase specific magazines

Cartridges can freeze up in extremely cold conditions

Small magazine

Video: Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber Paintball Pistol review

Product Specifications 

Rounds 20 
Caliber .68 
Weight 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg)
Cartridges12-gram (0.42 oz) CO2 cartridges 
Tippmann TiPX .68 Caliber product specifications

Best for Experienced Players: Umarex Smith & Wesson .43 Caliber Training Pistol

Best For Experienced Players

Umarex T4E Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 .43 Caliber Training Pistol Paintball Gun Marker, LE Blue

Umarex Smith & Wesson .43

This pistol is a bestseller for a reason: it’s highly realistic, versatile, and works great. Experienced players will likely have a marker with them too, so what they need from their pistol is a reliable and fast sidepiece, which this model absolutely is. A popular feature of this model is the Picatinny rail above the gun body. This allows you to add your chosen accessories and to customize it.

One of the best things about this pistol is its high quality. The robust metal and polyester construction are sturdy and long-lasting, even through intense games. Another benefit is that it accepts paintball rounds and rubber balls as long as they’re .43 caliber, so it’s versatile, and you can use it for various reasons.   

Most experienced players probably already have a holster, and the good news about this pistol is that it fits into any standard-size holster, so you won’t have to go out and buy a new one. 

Bottom Line: Most experienced players probably won’t use a paintball pistol as their primary weapon, so this Smith & Wesson pistol is a great option because it’s the best sidekick for those who already have the game all figured out. The pistol is lightweight and fast, so it won’t be a burden to add to the professional’s gear, and it can be a great asset in a pinch. 


Made with high-quality materials

Accepts paintballs and rubber balls

Realistic feel


Trigger safety mechanism





It may be unsuitable if you’re on a tight budget

Unsuitable for beginners

Complicated to take apart (however, this shouldn’t be a problem for experts)

Video: Smith and Wesson M&P Paintball Pistol review and in action show case

Product Specifications  

Rounds 8
Caliber .43
Weight 1.69 pounds (0.76 kg)
Cartridges12-gram (0.42 oz) CO2 cartridges 
Umarex Smith & Wesson .43 product specifications

Best Value for Money: GI Sportz Menace .50 Caliber Paintball Pistol

Best Value For Money

GI Sportz Menace .50 Cal Paintball Pistol

GI Sportz Menace .50

This pistol from GI Sportz Menace is significantly less expensive than some of the other options on this list, so if your budget for a new paintball pistol is a bit smaller, this is a great option. The lower price doesn’t mean less quality, and thanks to the ambidextrous safety design, it works just as well for left-handed players as it does for right-handed players. 

This pistol features a 7-round magazine with no blowback. I also appreciate the grip frame window, which allows you to see how many paintballs you have left in the magazine so that you can use them wisely. 

Another great quality of this pistol is how lightweight it is. If you have a lot of gear already, this pistol is the perfect sidearm because it won’t add too much extra weight or bulk. However, just because it’s lightweight, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t durable and long-lasting. This pistol’s construction is sturdy and made for longevity. 

Bottom Line: Having a smaller budget for your paintball pistol doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice functionality and quality. The GI Sportz Menace Paintball Pistol comes with a lower price tag, but it’s a great, 7-round, lightweight option for those who still want to add a pistol to their play setup but don’t want to break the bank.




Easy to handle

Helpful grip frame window

High-quality construction

Balanced design


Experienced players may find this model too basic

Not as many impressive features as more expensive models

The 7-round magazine may be insufficient for players without a marker

Video: GI Menance .50 Paintball Pistol review

Product Specifications 

Rounds 7
Caliber .50
Weight 1.75 pounds (0.79 kg)
Cartridges12-gram (0.42 oz) CO2 cartridges 
GI Sportz Menace .50 product specifications

Best for Training: Umarex T4E Walther PPQ .43 Caliber Training Pistol

Best For Training

T4E Walther PPQ .43 Caliber Training Pistol Paintball Gun Marker, Black

Umarex T4E Walther PPQ .43

For some people, the most important feature in a paintball pistol is a realistic appearance. If that sounds like you, I highly recommend this Umarex model because it’s highly realistic in weight, size, and controls, and the trigger feels the most similar to a real pistol of all the other options on this list. This pistol also only costs 9 cents per round, so if you’re focused on training, you can do so affordably.  

I also appreciate the build quality of this pistol. Its components comprise premium-quality metal, and allow you to use it as often as you like without worrying about wear and tear. 

Additionally, the piece’s frame is made of polymer, which is sturdy and well-balanced. 

This pistol is .43 caliber, powered by CO2, and averages 300 frames per second. If you’re a good shot, you’ll most likely experience high accuracy with this pistol. 

Furthermore, while this pistol isn’t the most customizable option in the world, it can still be tailored to your preferences. For example, you can adjust the rear sight, but the front sight isn’t adjustable. While this may seem a disadvantage at first, it will ultimately improve your accuracy in the long run, which should be the main goal of owning a training pistol.  

Finally, while this may not be the most important part of choosing a paintball pistol, the gorgeous appearance of this model is a fantastic benefit. It looks realistic, and the design is beautiful, so you’ll be proud to carry it at your side.

Bottom Line: If you want your paintball gun to be realistic and aesthetically pleasing, this option from Umarex is the best choice. With this pistol, you get an authentic feel and look, which is ideal for training.


Highly realistic appearance

Cheap per round

Great for training

Impressive build quality

Good for target practice

Customizable in some ways


Unsuitable for beginners

It may feel slightly bulky to some


Video: Umarex Walther PPQ M2 T4E Review

Product Specifications 

Rounds 8
Caliber .43
Weight 2 pounds (0.90 kg) 
Cartridges12-gram (0.42 oz) CO2 cartridges 
Umarex T4E Walther PPQ .43 product specifications

Key Takeaways 

There are many impressive paintball pistols available, and the right one for you depends on your skill level, budget, priorities, and preferences. Ultimately, my top recommendation is the First Strike Compact Pistol, but a different pistol may be more suited to you.

Don’t expect that pistol will be as accurate as the most accurate paintball guns. Unlike classic paintball guns, paintball pistols come with a minimal barrel, affecting their accuracy.