In the 90’s as new technology entered the paintball sport, paintball pistols became less sought after. These 12 gram co2 powered markers just weren’t the latest and greatest. Most players wanted semi-auto markers that could shoot more rounds with a bigger air source. Skip ahead to present time and you’ll find that paintball players have gotten their fix on the newer technology, and are looking for a trusty paintball pistol to act as a backup for their primary marker. The jump back into scenario/woods play has also helped rebirth life into the paintball pistol market.
Nowadays, the world of paintball has split into multiple sizes. By sizes I mean calibers. By calibers, I mean different sizes of paintballs. What used to be a .68 caliber dominated sport, has become a sport of different calibers. In the realm of paintball pistols, you can find two dominant sizes – .43 and .68 caliber round. These are the most popular rounds used by paintball pistols.
The general rule is the smaller the caliber, the more shots you can expect to get per 12 gram co2 cartridge – which is exactly what power paintball pistols. However, the drawback to using a smaller caliber pistol is they tend to not shoot as far or as accurately. This is due to basic physics, as the mass of the projectile is lighter, allowing to react to the resistance of the air and wind on a different level then the weightier .68 caliber round.
To determine which caliber of pistol is best for you, you should pick which features are more important. If you go with a .43 caliber paintball pistol, then you will have to buy and use separate paintballs than your primary marker uses. While you would assume that .43 caliber paintballs would be cheaper, they aren’t always. They nearly cost the same as .68 caliber paintballs. However, some players just like having a pistol that shoots smaller rounds because they feel it simulates the real deal for effectively.
In the end, it all boils down to preference, and you should get the pistol that best suits you.