Paintball Equipment Maintenance
All good players know how to keep their gear in working order
A cracked face mask is no good to a paintball player. Neither is a gun that won't shoot, or broken paintballs. If you're going to invest your money into playing the game, you should learn how to take care of all of your equipment and accessories properly.
If you perform routine maintenance on your gun it will last longer and be more reliable. Your gun should be regularly taken apart, cleaned and checked for problems. It's common for things such as o-rings to break and for paintball pellets to break inside the barrel of your gun. If you do get a broken paintball, you can temporarily clean it on the field with an accessory called a squeegee, but you should take the gun apart and clean it properly after the game. You may need to use a solvent, cloth, or lubricant. Make sure that you never work on a paintball gun with the air source still attached to it.
After cleaning the gun, you should oil it with specially-made paintball gun oil. Remember that regular old oils are generally petroleum based, and will ruin the o-rings and fittings in your gun. You should then fire the gun a few times while it's unloaded to blow out any remaining paint. If your gun has more serious problems that you can't fix, make sure you take it to a paintball store, or to the manufacturer, to have it fixed or to order replacement parts.
You also need to take care of your face mask. If you're shot and the lens gets covered in paint, you should leave the field and clean the lens with water and a soft towel or cloth so you don't scratch it. Don't use a paper towel. If you have a thermal face mask, make sure you use water and anti-fog treatment on the outer lens only. If you get any moisture between the inner and outer lens, it may ruin them.
The inside part of a thermal lens is pretty delicate - you should really only use a clean microfiber lens cloth to clean face masks so the lenses don't scratch. Make sure you don't use glass cleaners such as Windex, as they could ruin the anti-fog treatments and possibly weaken the lenses. It's a good idea to spray water or a 50-50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water on the lens instead of pouring it directly on. You can also get an anti-fog spray to cover the lens in a temporary fog-resistant film. If your mask comes with an anti-fog coating already on it, make sure you don't add any more to it as it can ruin the lens. You should also replace the face mask lenses every year and make sure you don't use a cracked lens.
To learn how to take care of paintballs, visit our How to Store Paintballs page.