Activities Sports & Athletics Pump Paintball What's the big deal about playing with a pump? Share PINTEREST Email Print Copyright 2009 David Muhlestein, licensed to About.com Sports & Athletics Paintball Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By David Muhlestein David Muhlestein is a paintball and woodsball enthusiast who has been playing since the mid-1990s and has extensive knowledge of paintball equipment. our editorial process David Muhlestein Updated August 20, 2017 Pump paintball guns are extremely simple. You pull a handle back which both allows a paintball to load into the firing chamber and cocks the gun so it is ready to fire. The simplicity of the gun generally results in an extremely reliable gun but also slows down the rate of fire. As many players have never played with a pump paintball gun they wonder what the big deal is all about. History of Pump Paintball Guns When paintball was first played, pump paintball guns were the only available option. These guns, which were originally designed to mark trees and cattle from a distance, were not designed for a fast-paced sport but were intended to shoot an occasional paintball with reasonable accuracy. Thus, the beginning guns were extremely slow to shoot and were limited to only a few shots with their 12-gram CO2 tanks. As paintball progressed from its humble beginnings, players sought after a competitive advantage that came from improving accuracy, getting better air efficiency by using larger tanks and by increasing their rate of fire. As semi-automatic paintball guns improved, these faster, more accurate guns became more popular. Pump Paintball Strategy While pump paintball is no longer anywhere near the dominant form of paintball, it is still enjoyed by many players today. While there are much more efficient guns available, pump players still enjoy the challenges, the accuracy and the price of playing with a pump. Playing with a pump is not a game of shooting countless balls and hoping you hit someone. Due to its slower rate of fire, pump play requires you to be careful, cautious and accurate when you shoot. This strategy adds a whole new element to the game as players are no longer concerned with just moving, coordinating strategy and communicating with their team, but they must focus on their skills with their paintball gun. Pump Paintball More Affordable Option An additional benefit of playing with a pump paintball gun is the price. Due to its slower rate of fire, players use less paint when they play with a pump. After a day of paintball it's very easy to go through a case of paint, but with a pump, you rarely will even go through a bag. In fact, many players use smaller hoppers (such as a 50-round hopper or a 10-round feed tube) so that they do not carry as much paint onto the field. Even with less paint on the field many players find that they often do not need any more. The result is the same amount of paintball with a significant reduction in cost. Pump Paintball More Beginner-Friendly One final reason that players enjoy paintball is that it is simpler and lighter to play with. High-volume firing requires larger tanks, electronic hoppers and guns, pod packs and lots of paintballs. When playing with a pump it is very common for a player to go out onto the field with just a small tank, a gun and a small hopper. The freedom from the extra weight of pods and gear not only improves your ability to play but often makes the experience more enjoyable. For inexperienced or younger players, pump paintball allows them to get used to the game at a slower pace with a lighter gun.