Mag Fed Paintball Guns: Here’s How They Work

If you are a woods ball player or MilSim enthusiastic, your face brightens at the sound of mag-fed paintball guns. The mag-fed paintball guns make the game more real and easier than it was before. However, to enjoy these games the most, you must first learn how the mag-fed paintball guns work.

The mag-fed paintball guns work by using a magazine in place of a loader. When loading, you press the mag release button to release the magazine from the marker. When the mag is released, twist the winding machine and then load the paintballs one at a time until the magazine is full.

Sure, it may seem more complicated to use a magazine than a loader or a hopper. However, when you understand exactly how the process works, you will see that it is way easier this way. Dive in for comprehensive information on how mag-fed paintball guns work.

How Do Mag-Fed Paintball Guns Work?

As mentioned above, mag-fed paintball guns are like other paintball guns with a slight difference in that they use a magazine in place of a hopper. Additionally, in the mag-fed guns, the magazine uses a coiled spring to load the firearm, similar to an actual firearm. If you are familiar with how to load the magazine, you can enjoy the benefits that the mag-fed paintball guns have over other paintball guns. 

Here is how you load the magazine:

  1. Press the mag-release button to release the magazine from the marker. This is a crucial step since it is impossible to load the magazine when it is still attached to the marker. Here is a video which demonstrates how to do this: 
  1. Twist the winding mechanism at the top of the magazine as much as possible. This helps reduce the friction of the magazine when in operation.
  2. Load the ammunition one after the other until the magazine is full.
  3. Reattach the magazine to the marker, and it is then ready to fire.

When loading the paintballs on the magazine, ensure that you have the right paintballs for this magazine. You can check on the paintball box to know whether they are right for the mag-fed gun you have. In case you are not sure whether or not this is the right paintball, consult an expert. Other safety precautions you should observe when loading the mag-fed paintball gun include:

  • Point the gun in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger after you start loading.
  • Ensure that the muzzle is not covering anything valuable.
  • Unload the mag-fed paintball gun.

If you did not exhaust the paintballs in the gun, ensure that you unload them before storage. When unloading, ensure that the gun is pointed in a safe direction and press the mag release button to eject the magazine. Use your thumb to press the top of the magazine and push out the paintballs.

What Are the Differences Between a Mag-Fed and a Hopper?

Both the hopper and the mag-fed have similar purposes but with differences in functionality. If you are a beginner in the paintball sport, you should go for a hopper-fed paintball gun or one that uses both a magazine and a hopper. 

Mag-fed paintball guns like Tippmann TMC or Planet Eclipse MG100 easily convert the mag-fed to a loader. This is because a magazine is limited to carrying only about 20 paintballs while the loader takes up to 100 rounds. Therefore, the loader will allow you to have more fun without reloading it from time to time.

Video: Shooting Tippmann TMC Paintball Gun – Magfed and Hopper. See how easy it is to transfer it from mag-fed to a loader

Nevertheless, magazines shoot First Strike Rounds, which is not possible with the hopper. Additionally, the magazine is more accurate than the hopper. This is because the magazine gives you a clear field of view above the gun.

The hopper interferes with the field of view, thus, making it inaccurate. When using a hopper, your opponent is more likely to spot you when they see your marker on top of the gun. However, when using a magazine, it gives you a chance to adequately hide from your opponent without selling you out.

Given the differences between a mag-fed and a hopper, it is safe to say that you have a better experience when using a mag-fed. Although you will need to reload it more often than a hopper, it gives you a better experience when shooting. This is especially true if you are already familiar with the concept of using paintball guns.

Are Mag-Fed Paintball Guns Reliable?

It is safe to say that mag-fed paintball guns are reliable and better than most paintball guns in a gist. These are the best military simulation guns that make you feel like you are actually in the military. 

However, you need to ensure that you get the best mag-fed paintball gun for you to enjoy the convenience of a mag-fed paintball gun. Unfortunately, if you are unsure of what to look for in an ideal mag-fed paintball gun, you may end up purchasing an unreliable mag-fed paintball gun.

Factors To Consider When Buying a Paintball Gun

Some of the details that you should look at to help you make an investment that you shall not regret to include:

The Capacity of the Magazine

As stated above, magazines have a low ammunition capacity as compared to other paintball guns. However, some magazines with a low carrying capacity will inconvenience you based on how you intend to use the gun. These magazines have a capacity of about eight to ten paintballs. In this case, you may need to carry several magazines, which is not allowed in some tournaments.

In case you settle for such a mag-fed paintball gun, ensure that it has adequate space in the harnesses to allow you to carry the extra magazines. Otherwise, buy the mag-fed paintball gun with the magazine’s maximum carrying capacity; that is around 20 paintballs.


A mag-fed paintball gun is an item that you buy from time to time. For this reason, when looking for an ideal gun, get that which is most durable. You can tell the durability of the gun by checking its material. The material should be resilient and able to withstand possible wear. 

Additionally, the material should be light enough to make it easy for you to use the gun. Carbon fiber models are good on mag-fed paintball guns since they make them durable and good-looking.


A good paintball gun is one that makes you feel like you are using a real firearm. For this reason, when buying a mag-fed paintball gun, consider the gun with the real authentic military aesthetics. Fortunately, most mag-fed paintball guns are designed to look like firearms, meaning that you will not struggle much looking for the right one. Nevertheless, do not focus a lot on appearance and aesthetics and forget other crucial details, such as quality and functionality.

Customization Properties

You would need to make many adjustments to your mag-fed paintball gun based on your preferences. For this reason, a reliable mag-fed paintball gun is a customizable one. Most mag-fed markers come along with the essentials that you will need when using them. Nevertheless, you must get one with a chance for upgrades. These upgrades make the mag-fed gun more personal since it meets your preferences.

Video: 5 Must Have Accessories for Magfed

Dual Feed Functionality

It is advisable to get a mag-fed paintball gun that supports dual-feed functionality. This is a paintball gun that uses both a magazine or a loader, especially with an adapter’s help. Such a dual-feed functionality paintball gun is necessary, especially if you are a beginner in the paintball guns’ sector. 

It will help you experience using both a magazine and a loader without necessarily having two different guns. Additionally, it is easier for you to switch between a magazine and a hopper based on your need or preferences at a specific time.

Sure, getting a mag-fed gun that meets all the preferences above is easier said than done. However, proper research and window shopping will help you land the perfect gun that will be worth your investment. With such a gun, you are assured that it is reliable in tournaments and in other ways that you may prefer to use it.

When Do You Need a Mag-Fed Adapter?

As mentioned above, it is possible to get a paintball gun that uses both a hopper and a magazine. In this case, if you intend to use the hopper-fed as a mag-fed, you will need to use a mag-fed adapter.

Most of the time, this mag-fed conversion kit comes as part of the package when buying the paintball gun. However, if you already have a hopper-fed paintball gun and want to convert it to a mag-fed paintball gun, you will need to buy an adapter. Luckily, there are several of these adapters available in the market.

Different mag-fed adapters convert different loaders into magazines. Therefore, when buying the adapter, ensure that it is the best type for your gun. Additionally, the adapter should be compatible with the type of balls that you use.

Ideal mag-fed adapters include:

PZ98 Adapter  

If you have a Tippmann paintball gun with a 98 standard feed-neck, the right adapter for you is the PZ adapter. You can use the 12 round mags, 7 round mags, and the Zeta mags with this adapter. It is easy to install and use an adapter since all you need to do is replace the existing feed-neck with the mag-fed adapter, and you have a mag-fed setup. In case you intend to change it to a hopper fed, you remove the adapter and replace the standard feed-neck.

Unlike the normal mag-fed paintball gun, the PZ98 adapter does not shoot First Strike rounds since it is not compatible with them. Nevertheless, the adapter has other features that make you feel that you are using the real mag-fed gun. For instance, the adapter is small enough, making it easier for you to hide from your component when using the paintball gun.

Other features that you will love with the PZ98 adapter included:

  • It is easy and quick to attach and detach.
  • It has a vent hole which helps reduce the blowback of the gun.
  • It is a low-profile design adapter.
  • The internal feed is angled downward, which supports positive feed.
  • The adapter is ready for use and does not require any assembly.
  • It has an ABS 3D printed body and printed latch.
  • It has an extra ABS latch, which helps make it long-lasting.

Here is a video to guide you more on how to use the PZ98 adapter:

The MAK Adapter

The MAK adapter converts the stock class phantom into a mag-fed setup. As in the PZ98 adapter, you remove the paintball gun’s horizontal feed block as use the MAK adapter in its place. The MAK adapter is used with the 7 round mags, 12 round mags, and the Zetamags. Additionally, the adapter is accurate, reliable, and consistent.

Another similarity of the MAK adapter with the PZ98 adapter is that it does not use First Strike rounds. When the First Strike rounds are used on it, they end up flipping or jamming. However, this is a great adapter to use with the CCI phantom bodies, such as the ASP Roundhead Autococker threaded bodies. When you buy the adapter, you buy along all the hardware required to fix it on the paintball gun and load the paintballs.

You will find a short screw that is for reverse feed and a long screw for standard feed. Additionally, there is the setscrew, which prevents paint and debris from entering the breach.

Other features of the MAK adapter included:

  • It has an ABS body and latches.
  • It has left and right-hand variants.
  • It comes along with all hardware needed when in use.
  • It has an extra ABS, which makes it durable.
  • It has a low profile design.
  • It is easy to attach and detach from the hopper fed paintball gun.

Here is a video to guide you more on how to use the MAK adapter:

Universal Zeta Mag Adapter

The universal zeta mag adapter is an adapter that uses seven, twelve, and Zeta rounder Tippmann magazines. The adapter has incredible features, such as a big magazine release lever, which increases paintballs from the magazine. 

Additionally, this adapter is compatible with almost all paintball markers and is acceptable in tournaments. The adapter also has a pica tinny rail where you can mount small cameras to better see your opponent. It also has a 27mm OD feed-neck, adjusted to make the neck-feed tighter and better.

Find out the adapter that your paintball gun needs to convert it to a mag-fed and enjoy the benefits of using a magazine over a hopper.

Safety Tips and Precautions

It is safe to say that paintball is one of the safest sports with few accidents. This becomes possible because they are safety rules and precautions that players follow to help them avoid accidents. Understanding and following each of these precautions are necessary to make it possible for you to continue enjoying the sport for a long time.

Rules and Regulations

  • Avoid blind firing. Blind firing is a case of shooting without seeing your target. This is risky since you may end up hurting somebody or destroying valuable property. Whether you are in a tournament or not, blind firing is highly discouraged. Always ensure that you can see your target before firing.
  • Always have your paintball mask on. It is one of the essential rules and warnings for anybody using mag-fed paintball guns. This is because you risk blindness if a paintball shoots you on your face. Therefore, it is not worth the risk of staying without your paintball mask on. You should consider the NINAT Tactical Paintball Mask from
  • Avoid alcohol or drugs when using the mag-fed paintball guns. When under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you are likely to make risky decisions in the field. To help avoid such situations, ensure that you are 100% sober when using the mag-fed paintball guns.
  • Raise your hand to inform when you have been eliminated. This helps your teammates know that you are no longer playing and prevent your opponents from balling you. Call a paint check if you are unsure whether you have been hit to make other players stop shooting.
  • No climbing. This is a strict rule that forbids players from climbing on trees, walls, or windows, among other places, in the game. The rule is to avoid possible accidents that may occur when somebody is trying to climb when paintballs are shooting.
  • Buy quality mag-fed paintball guns. Quality mag-fed paintball guns are durable and safe for use. Therefore, when buying, pay close attention to the quality of the paintball gun. In case you are unsure whether or not the paintball you have is of good quality, consult an expert.
  • Ensure that the mag-fed paintball gun is legal. If you are using the gun in a state where it is illegal, you risk getting into loggerheads with the authorities. Therefore, ensure that paintball is legal in the state where you are using it. Additionally, confirm whether there are any recommendations on how to use the gun.


Are you a paint-baller looking forward to making your sport more of a challenge? If yes, consider shifting from the hopper fed to the mag-fed paintball guns. These guns have innumerable reasons why they are the perfect choice to go for. Although you have a chance of shooting only about 10-20 paintballs at a time, they give you the perfect MilSim experience, thus, making them worth it.

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