How to Stop Paintballs Falling Out of Your Barrel

Paintball guns are fussy and unpredictable devices. You can use some paintball guns for years without experiencing any issues, whereas others may require checking and repairing once in a while. 

One of the most common problems encountered by paintball gun users is paintballs falling out of the barrel. This issue is annoying and potentially game-ruining, so it’s essential you learn how to fix it. 

how to stop paintballs falling out of barrel
Paintballs falling out of the barrel is a very common problem for paintballers.

In this post, you are going to learn how to stop paintballs from falling out of the panel. We’ll also discuss some other common problems that paintball gun owners deal with. 

Preventing Paintballs from Rolling Down the Barrel 

Paintballs often fall out of the barrel if they are either too small for your gun barrel, or you have a worn-out ball detent

If your barrel has a large diameter and you use paintballs with a small diameter, they may easily fall out.

If the ball detent is worn out, you have to replace it. Replacing the ball detent depends on the model of the gun you are using. 

How to Fix a Worn Out Ball Detent 

As mentioned above, one of the most likely reasons that paintballs are falling out of your barrel is a worn-out ball detent. Here are the steps you need to follow to fix it:

  1. Get the correct key for your screw size.
  2. Use the key to remove the screws, ensuring you don’t leave any screws unremoved 
  3. Gently pull out the backside cover.
  4. In most cases, the sear will pop out of its position.
  5. Now pull off the front part (the receiver part).
  6. You should now be able to see how the gun looks inside.
  7. On the left side, just below the front bolt, you’ll see a slot that looks like it has been made for a ball detent. It’s in this slot that you are going to fit your new ball detent.
  8. Place the ball detent into the slot. Try a few more times if it proves to be challenging the first time.
  9. Allow it to sink into the slot and sit behind the front bold. 
  10. Now make sure each part goes back to where it was initially. 
  11. Place back all the screws in their respective places and tighten them.

This process should fix a worn ball detent. If the issue isn’t fixed after this, keep reading for other possible causes. 

How to change the ball detent in a paintball gun.

Choosing the Correct Barrel Size for Your Paintballs

The wrong barrel size can cause a lot of problems, including balls rolling out of the barrel. But you can solve this problem by choosing the right barrel size for your paintballs

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Know the Different Paintball Sizes

There are different paintball sizes on the market, depending on the manufacturer. There is also a slight difference between batch sizes. These differences are usually minor, sometimes only amounting to the thickness of a human hair or even less. 

I wrote a detailed article on what are the most popular paintball sizes and how to choose the right paintballs for your paintball – check it here

However, that tiny size discrepancy could make the difference between the paintball flying out of the barrel tightly and falling out of the barrel. The ball could also break in the barrel, rendering your paintball gun inaccurate. 

paintball barrel .68
The majority of paintball guns are marked as 68 caliber, but most of them are not actually 68 caliber.

Understand ‘Caliber’

The term ‘caliber’ is a measurement of the diameter of the paintball or barrel bore. Caliber is measured in either hundredths or thousandths of an inch. This means 68 caliber is .68 inches or sixty eight-hundredths of an inch. 

Know the internal diameter variations of the gun and barrel 

Although nearly all modern paintball guns on the market are marked 68 caliber, most of them are not 68 caliber. 

The reason for this indifference is that no trade organization has been officially endorsed or any globally recognized industry standards put in place. Over time, the internal diameter of paintball guns has changed significantly. Today, there are paintball barrels with internal diameters that measure .686 to .696

Understand the Different Paintball Diameters 

As you may already know, there are different sizes of paintballs. Although most manufacturers label their paintballs as 68 caliber, they try to find a size compromise as they look to manufacture balls that can shoot through a wide range of internal diameters that are used today.

Leading paintball manufacturers are striving to make paintballs that are too small for bigger guns and too big for smaller guns. If you take a closer look at paintballs made today, you’ll realize that 68 caliber brands range from .675 to .697. Most of them measure somewhere between 68 and a half to about 69 caliber range

Other Problems Related To Paintball Guns 

Other than paintballs falling out of the barrel, you may also experience other problems with your paintball gun. 

Paintball Gun Won’t Recock 

A paintball gun may fail to recock because of several factors

To solve this problem, you have to start with simple solutions and then proceed to complex ones. The simplest explanation to this problem is that the air tank is empty, which means the solution is to get the tank refilled

If that’s not the problem, check if your gun is clean inside. For example, if paintballs previously broke inside the barrel and were not cleaned properly, then the bolt and hammer may be stuck in the gummy structure and unable to move properly. You can fix this problem by simply cleaning the chamber and ensuring all the internal parts are lubricated

Another reason why your paintball gun does not recock is when the hammer has inadequate pressure. Try to increase the tension on the hammer. If this solution doesn’t work, you may want to replace the hammer spring

Double Firing 

If you pull the trigger once and the paintball gun fires twice or several times before recocking, you are experiencing a double firing problem. This problem can happen when your air tank is low. Getting a newly filled tank should fix the problem. 

YouTube video on what causes double firing and how to solve it.

But if the sear spring is worn out, then you are dealing with a more serious problem. The sear is the part of the trigger mechanism that’s responsible for holding back the hammer until the right amount of pressure is applied to the trigger. In this case (worn out sear spring), you have to replace the sear or sear spring and carefully install them. 

Air Leaking Down the Barrel 

When air is leaking from the air tank down the barrel, the repair is usually a bit more difficult, but there is a short-term fix

You can fix this issue by adding a few drops of oil into the Air Source Adapter of the paintball gun and fix the air tank. Check if the problem has gone away. However, keep in mind that this fix usually lasts only for a short period.

If this solution doesn’t work, then most likely the problem is caused by a worn-out cup seal. In this case, you have to get a replacement cup seal that fits the specific gun you’re using. Follow the instructions in the user manual to replace the cup seal. 

To get more in-depth instructions on how to fix your paintball gun leaking air, read this article.


If you paintballs are falling out of your barrel, then your paintballs are too small for the barrel, or your gun has a worn-out ball detent. Paintballs come in different sizes, but the standard size is 68 caliber. It’s important to get the correct paintball size to stop paintballs from falling out of the barrel. 

You may also want to replace the ball detent to see if it will fix the problem. The process is quite simple, but you can refer to the gun’s user manual for guidance. There are also other paintball gun-related problems such as double-firing, air leaking down the barrel, and paintball gun not recocking.