Will Paintballs Dent Cars? Here Are the Facts

Everyone who’s into paintball has probably heard stories about car dents caused by paintballs. On the other hand, some people claim that paintball guns aren’t strong enough to dent cars. So, which of these claims is true: will paintballs really dent cars or not?

Paintballs will dent cars if they don’t break on impact and the gun has a high enough PSI. The distance from the target and the car’s build quality are other factors that affect it. Even if your paintball gun isn’t strong enough, you’ll never know if the car can withstand it until it hits.

Most paintball guns won’t be to leave a dent in a car though.

Aside from these factors, there are many other things that you have to consider before you start shooting paintballs at cars. Let’s get in-depth and address a topic that we hear from—mostly—non-paintball players.

And if you wonder whether you can wash off paintball paint from your car (it gets harder with car windows), then read a detailed howto article here.

The Truth About Car Dents With Paintballs

Before we discuss anything, let’s make sure that we’re on the same page here; we will talk about paintball guns and not the paintballs. Sure, you can throw paintballs on someone else’s car, but even if you use your full force to throw paintballs, it’s most likely that the worst damage it can cause is the paint itself. Using paintball guns to shoot cars, however, that’s a whole different story.

Paintballs breaking on impact with the car.
If paintballs break on impact they will most likely not leave a dent in the car. If you use cheap paintballs that often fail to break, then in some occassions it could leave a small dent in the card.

We’ve asked many people about their experiences in shooting cars with paintball guns. Some even experienced getting shot while driving, and we’ve got varying answers from them. This variance in the outcome is because there are varying factors that can cause damage to a car. That’s why some people complain about dents on their cars, while others are confident that paintball guns aren’t strong enough to cause that much damage.

But to make it short and simple for everyone: don’t shoot cars with paintball guns. Sure, there are paintball guns that aren’t strong enough, but some may even break parts of the car or leave a dent on it.

Even if there are varying factors to this, avid paintball players should always err on the side of caution. We’ll get into that later in this article, but first things first.

What Will It Take for Paintballs To Dent Cars?

If you’re planning to make fun of someone using paintball guns, you probably have read about people’s contradicting claims about it. But let’s talk about everything that can cause paintballs to dent cars. Here are some crucial factors that you always have to consider:

  • The paintballs’ durability: Think about what happens to paintballs when we’re on the field. Do all of them break on impact, like 100%? Some high-quality paintballs would, but most won’t. In fact, many paintballs would have shells anywhere in between too fragile or too durable, and you won’t know which is which until it hits the target. If you shoot a car and if it doesn’t break on impact for any reason, it’s definitely going to leave a dent.
  • The paintball gun’s PSI: There are paintball guns that work well for short-range combat, while others are excellent for long-range. One factor that affects it is the gun’s PSI. The higher the PSI, the harder it hits, and the higher the chance that it will dent a car.
  • Distance from the target: Often, the PSI doesn’t matter when you’re shooting at a short distance. Even if you’re using one with a lower PSI, it may still dent the car. If you’re shooting from a distance, then using one with a lower PSI may only leave the paint on the car, which, by the way, is still not fun for anyone who owns it.
  • Build quality of the car or truck you’re shooting: Let’s face it, there are cars that even a poke will leave dents, while others are built like a tank. This factor trumps everything that we’ve discussed because there are paintball guns strong enough to leave holes in a fragile car, while some won’t budge even with a strong paintball gun.
Video: Tesla vs Paintball Gun – Shooting Car with Paintballs. High-quality custom paint completely protects the car from paintball dents.

If you’re using a paintball gun with an average PSI, a paintball that will break upon impact, and you’re shooting from a distance, it won’t be enough to leave a dent on a well-built car.

But all of these are variables that may or may not be enough to dent cars—there’s no absolute answer to it. And given that fixing a car dent may be costly, we don’t think it’s worth all the fun that you can get from it.

So, even though most paintball guns won’t be strong enough to dent cars, there are still some that might. We even have a friend who made fun of his brother and shot several rounds on his brother’s car, not knowing that it hurts the car. After shooting, they found out that some of the shots even left holes on the front bumper—definitely not worth the fun.

Trying To Make Fun of Someone? Don’t Use Paintball Guns

We understand some people trying to make fun of their friends, and what they thought of is shooting their friend’s car with paintballs. After all, the goal is to force him to wash the car to remove the paint, right? So, here’s an idea. If you’re only after leaving paint spots on the car, just use your hands and throw paintballs. It’s safer and, we think, more fun.

Another reason why we must not shoot someone else’s car with paintball guns is that it wouldn’t really help promote paintball. We’ve already seen a steady decline in people’s interest in paintball, and scrutiny from non-paintball players is one of the factors that significantly affect it. So, shooting a person’s car with paintballs, especially if he’s not yet a player, would only hurt other people’s interest in our sport.

Shooting a car with paintballs isn’t something that any responsible paintball player should do. This sport has already received a lot of negative publicity from users who would shoot on anything that moves. That’s why even if you know that paintballs won’t dent cars, we still wouldn’t recommend it.

Is It Illegal to Shoot Cars With Paintballs?

There’s no law about shooting cars with your paintball gun as long as it’s yours or you have consent.

You can shoot at anything or anyone if it’s on your property or you’re not hurting someone without permission. However, if you’re shooting someone else’s property—a car or another person—without their consent, then it can get really bad for you.

Also, even if you’re shooting something in your property, say a tree, and the police saw you doing it, they can take the paintball gun and say that you’re brandishing it. Another would be shooting from a window where people might think that you have a real gun (without knowing what it really is). This incident can get you arrested—it happened before.

So, let’s all be responsible players and use paintball guns how and where all responsible players use them: safely and on the field with other players.

And luckily enough many paintball guns don’t look like real guns. That is also why they don’t have orange tips like other gun imitations from airsoft guns or gel blasters.


The truth is you’ll never know if a paintball can dent a car without trying it first. There are many variables in place to give you an absolute answer on whether paintballs can dent cars. We’re not saying that it will or won’t, but let’s all be responsible enough not to do it.

There’s already too much negative publicity revolving around paintballs and the damages they can cause, so it won’t really help if you start shooting other people’s cars. Again, you are free to try it yourself, but be sure that you have permission from the owner.