How Do Paintball Barrel Inserts Work?

Anyone acquainted with the sport of paintball knows that the barrel you’re equipped with can have a dramatic impact on the accuracy and efficiency of your amarker. Thankfully, using a barrel insert kit can significantly improve the potential accuracy of your barrel. Still, many wonders, how do paintball barrel inserts work?

Paintball barrel inserts work by providing the player with the most accurately sized barrel in correspondence with their paintballs. Paintball barrel inserts typically come in sets and vary slightly in size. This allows the user to equip the most suitable barrel, which improves firing precision.

In this article, we will be providing the reader with a general overview of how paintball guns work and the function of all their components. Next, we will go over the different types of barrels and all the variabilities that influence them. Lastly, we will explain how paintball barrel inserts work, their purpose, and where to purchase them reliably and safely. 

Video: How to Choose a Barrel Back or Barrel Insert

The Anatomy of a Paintball Gun

Paintball guns have a relatively simple design structure. Although they vary greatly in shape, size, and outer appearance, they all have a few key components in common that allow them to function properly.

What sets one paintball gun apart from another, despite them all functioning similarly, is the subtle differences between the minor components that, when fine-tuned, improve the accuracy, speed, recoil, and comfort.

Here we will briefly discuss the different elements of a paintball gun and describe the task which they perform. We have left the description of the barrel absent from this section as it must, necessarily, have its own section for the purpose of this article.

The Hopper

The hopper of a paintball gun is, essentially, a container that stores your paint or ammunition before it is fired. In addition to storing your paint, the hopper also feeds the paintballs into the chamber. There are three different types of hoppers that are differentiated by the way in which they feed the rounds into the chamber: gravity feed, force feed, and agitated.

Certain hoppers are known as “magfed.” This simply means that the paint is stored in a realistic-looking magazine instead of the more classic style hopper.

The average hopper is capable of holding roughly 200 rounds of paint.

Most hoppers are universal.

The Body

The body of the marker is the main part that holds everything together. 

The body contains the firing mechanisms, such as the trigger, the venturi bolt, and the cocking knob. This is the system responsible for the chambering and firing of the round.

Bodies come in an extremely wide variety of shapes, sizes, and weights, but their components and functionality are all the same.

The Tank

The tank of a paintball gun is its key to its firing power. 

Tanks rely on either CO2 or compressed air (HPA) to provide the force needed for the paintball’s trajectory out of the barrel.

Some paintball guns can use either CO2 or HPA, while other markers are limited to only one or the other and cannot function universally.

The tank screws onto the body of the paintball gun near the rear.


There are many upgrades and accessories that can be added to a paintball marker to improve certain elements of its functionality.

One example of a paintball gun accessory is a shoulder stock. Shoulder stock is an attachment that is fixed to the back of the marker and comfortably braces against the shoulder to eliminate recoil and enhance comfort and accuracy.

Another example would be a scope/laser sight. Scopes and lasers can be mounted to your paintball gun to provide the user with a better visual reference, greatly enhancing accuracy and precision, especially in a long-range.

Video: Stock Install on a paintball gun

Paintball Gun Barrels and the Role They Play

Now that we have expanded on all the other main parts of a paintball marker, it is time to explore the barrel. 

Paintball gun barrels are the tube that the paint must travel through once fired from the chamber. 

The barrel of a paintball gun is the greatest determinant of accuracy. If a barrel is dented, bent, dirty, or compromised in any way, the trajectory of the paint will not be aligned, and your accuracy will be lousy and diminished.

Different Types of Paintball Gun Barrels

If you wonder if you can shoot a paintball without a barrel, then read this article.

Below we will quickly elaborate on the different factors that determine the quality of a paintball gun barrel.


Barrels can be fabricated from different materials, such as aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel. 

The material used does not necessarily influence accuracy directly. However, better materials can lighten the marker’s gross weight, making it easier to handle and, consequently, improving accuracy.


As a general rule, longer barrels can help to improve the accuracy of the gun. This is because the paint will straighten out as it travels through the barrel.

While longer barrels enhance accuracy, the objective is not to simply install the longest barrel physically possible. If a barrel is excessively long, it will require too much force for the paint to be propelled through it by the chamber and yield diminishing returns. Hence, finding the balance between these two variables becomes key.


Not all barrels and paintballs are the same size in diameter.

Paintballs range in size from .43 to .71 caliber, with .68 cal being the most common.

If the barrel you are using is too large for the paint in your hopper, this will cause the paint to bounce around through the barrel as it is propelled from the gun, providing lousy accuracy.

Conversely, if the barrel is too tight for your paint, it can jam up and bust open in the chamber or barrel.

Due to their organic nature and the materials they are made from, paintballs are subject to shrinking, swelling, dimpling, and becoming misshapen when exposed to natural elements such as heat or cold.  

Paintball Barrel Inserts: How They Work

Now that we have familiarized the reader with the in-depth workings of a paintball marker and its barrels, we can now get into the main topic of discussion: barrel inserts and how they work.

Paintball barrel inserts are barrels, which typically come in a set and vary slightly in size to provide the most accurate fit possible for the balls you happen to be using. This, as mentioned earlier, will give the paintball the most accuracy possible.

If you want to know which paintball guns are the most accurate by default, then read my detailed buyers guide on the most accurate paintball guns.

To determine which paintball barrel insert is most appropriate, take the insert by itself along with one of the balls you are planning to use in your hopper. Next, drop the ball into one end of the inserts. If the ball falls through and out the other end, then the barrel insert is too big. Ideally, the ball should fit into the barrel but get slightly stuck an inch or two inside. This indicates that the barrel is properly sized to your paint.

Where To Buy a Paintball Gun Insert

If you are interested in purchasing a professional-grade, highly accurate paintball barrel insert kit, the Loremaster Smart Parts Freak Kit offers eight fiber barrels ranging from .679 to .695 caliber. 

The Loremaster inserts will improve your distance and accuracy; they also come with a sleek carrying kit for quick access during play. For the price, this product cannot be matched.

Video: Smart Parts Complete Freak XL Carbon Fiber Barrel Kit – Review


In this article, we wanted to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of how paintball barrel inserts work.

Put simply, paintball barrel inserts come in sets and vary slightly in caliber. This allows the user to select the insert, which is almost perfectly sized for firing the particular paintballs they happen to be using. Having the right sized barrel insert will improve the marker’s accuracy immensely.