The Chemistry of a Paintball Gun


A paintball gun, or marker as it’s really known, is the device that shoots paintballs. It, like most pneumonic weapons or devices, is powered by compressed air or CO2 compressed in an aluminum air tank. The base of the marker along with the barrel is made of aluminum as well. The stock of the marker along with the hopper, or loader, is made up of plastic. However, the stock is made up of a much more dense plastic in order to to be much more durable. I chose this because I grew up with paintballing and it is always a good time for me. It brings me much joy to go out and shoot non lethal guns at one another for fun and merriment.

Composition of ...

CO2 is compressed inside aluminum tanks that have been pumped and compressed into larger tanks in order to fill the tanks that the markers use. Aluminum is created in a factory with certain molds as they pour the aluminum into the molds to form the actual markers. The end result is man-made.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

The two main ingredients within a paintball marker are simply Al and CO2. Aluminium is used in the paintball marker as the barrel, body and bolt and is used to make the gun more light weight. CO2 is used in the marker to propel the bolt forward sending the paintball gun through the base and out the barrel to simulate a bullet shooting out of a gun

Chemistry's Role

Molding the aluminum and compressing the CO2 is the chemistry of the paintball markers. The force of the CO2 pushing a paintball out of the gun is the physics of the paintball gun.

Background Research

Paintball markers are simply created in factories and are made with plastic and aluminum. They work like any other pneumonic weapon or device by being powered with CO2 or compressed air.


This site shows a brief description of an average paintball marker

About the Author


Derek Wulf is currently a senior at senior high school. He loves to go paintballing as often as he can (obviously) but also likes to play or watch hockey on his off time. Ice skating is also a great pastime. He is currently planning on attending the University of Montana (GO GRIZ) and will study wildlife biology in the aquatic field. After that he plans on going to Western Washington to study marine biology.