Top 5 Best Paintball Guns Under 300

Best Paintball Guns Under 300
Best Paintball Guns Under 300

There was an interesting discussion on Reddit the other day about the best paintball gun under 300. The guy asking the question was obviously a noob who got more information than he bargained for.

That brought back some fond and some unpleasant memories and we decided to create this article to share our experiences with budget priced paintball guns.

It’s been 9 years since we got our first paintball marker and jumped head first into a speedball game with zero experience or practice.

Being stuck on the field with a sub-par mask that started to fog after a while and being hit incessantly by balls as we fiddled with a gravity hopper wasn’t too great a first experience.

Can you believe that? Speedball with a gravity hopper!

That’s a rookie mistake folks. One that you are most likely to make if you don’t ask yourself some questions first.

Before we add our two cents to this discussion, we recommend that you decide what type of gameplay you are interested in. Budget for the necessary paintball accessories.

For speedball, you need a bloody good mask, an electronic hopper, a compressed air tank and lastly, a good marker.

For tourneys, get a gun with multiple modes that you can toggle as the gameplay advances. For woodsball, a pump or mechanical marker will be your best bet. Lesser the electronic parts, fewer the chances of the gun conking off.

Here are some great all around paintball guns if you want a larger list.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a quick peek at our picks for the best paintball guns under 300.

$300 is a good price bracket for an entry level gun that can be used in different types of games. We started off with a used Ego 07. Picked it up at PBnation for a rock bottom $200 in 2009.

Guess what, we still have it and it can still stand its own against the newer (and meeker) babies.

That’s the thing about paintball markers. You either get a very good one for the price or a gimcrack.

Thankfully, we are here to help. Let’s take a look at our reviews of these guns.

1 – D3FY Sports D3S Paintball Gun

We were highly impressed with the accuracy, the lightweight profile and the easy programming modes in the D3FY DS3.

This is a great entry level gun for anyone looking to learn the ropes without having to tinker too much with the settings. Just pick one of the preset firing modes that best suits the gameplay and fire away.

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By the way, there are 11 preset modes to pick from covering almost all possible gameplay styles. These are 3-round burst, unlimited semi-automatic, PSP ramping, custom ramping, adjustable semi-automatic, NXL full-automatic, millennium ramping, PSP 3-round burst, auto-response and full automatic.

Easy on the Hands

The D3FY DS3 weighs a pleasant 2.1 pounds and features a contoured grip system that allows you a firm grip while you are on the move. The aluminum and polyvinyl chloride chassis can take a beating and hold its own. The its vibrant colors can be a giveaway in tactical games though. Maybe you’d like the black and grey version for tourneys.

Accurate and Fast

Give it a good electronic hopper and it shines in the field. The F2 Bolt engine allows extremely low operating pressure. (Read sub-150 PSI). Club that with a 14-inch two-piece barrel and you have an accurate and fast marker that gets the job done. If you would like to keep ramping, just switch on the dedicated tournament lock and no more auto shut offs or missed trigger pulls.

Minimal Chopping

Some of the other notable features include the ACROS beam laser optical system that minimizes ball chopping especially when you are low on ammo, the LED display system for battery life and eye status and the on / off ASA that improves airflow into the barrel.

What We Liked the Most

  • Budget-priced entry level marker
  • Aluminum and polyvinyl chloride chassis
  • 1 pounds and 20 inches only
  • 11 preset modes
  • Dedicated tournament lock for ramping or continuing with any of the modes without cycling
  • Low operating pressure

What Could Have Been Better

  • The D3FY DS3 needs more O2 than some of the other models that we have tested. If you are looking to stay on field all day, then maybe you can check out some of the other markers in this list of the best paintball guns under 300. Otherwise, we wouldn’t call that a deal breaker.

Is This the Marker for You?

Definitely yes if you are a beginner or a casual ball player who’s not looking for advanced or custom features. It works great out of the box. It is fast, accurate and reasonably priced!

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2 – Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker

We had the misfortune of being the first few people to get our hands on the original Empire Mini and we hated the sight of it ever after. We weren’t the only ones though who felt that the pathetic excuse for a marker should be pulled off the market.

Empire went back to the drawing board and redid the entire gun inside out. The newer version is a beast. It is hands down, one of the top contenders for the best paintball gun under 300.

It’s called the Empire Mini GS and it is a fast, petite and accurate marker that can give a lot of higher priced speedball guns a run for their money.

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Pocket-Sized Powerhouse

Notice how we mentioned, ‘petite’? That’s cause the marker is among the smallest in the business. If you are into an all-day session, you’ll appreciate the lightweight aluminum chassis. It weighs a feeble 1.90 pounds and comes with a 12” barrel. The contoured and rubberized fore grip gives you excellent control though. Another great feature is the redesigned trigger area. There’s more room for your fingers now. Also, the trigger wobble with the original mini has all but disappeared. The new self-lubricating trigger is responsive and crisp as you press down on it.

New Feed Neck & Asa On/Off Switch

The Mini GS comes with an upgraded feed neck that can be secured with an allen wrench or a clamp that is included in the package. The result is that there are less chances of the hopper getting stuck, or, the threading wearing out prematurely. Also, we love the ASA On/Off Switch on the GS. This is a high quality switch that is found on some of Empire’s plus $1000 markers. It offers just the right amount of resistance and doesn’t hurt your fingers one bit.

Excellent Performance out of the Box

The Mini GS offers excellent performance out of the box. Multiple firing modes, top speed of 15 bps and reasonable accuracy. You can always upgrade the barrel to a better one if you are seeking more accurate firing though. Kickback is negligible while the integrated break-beam minimizes ball chopping.

What We Liked the Most

  • Lightweight, compact form factor
  • Completely new design
  • 15 balls per second that can be upped to 20 balls per second
  • Multiple firing modes
  • Minimum kickback
  • Rubberized grip
  • Self-lubricating micro switch trigger
  • ASA On/Off switch

What Could Have Been Better

  • For such an amazing marker, the poor quality user manual is a letdown. You can always download a better one off the internet though.
  • If you are tall and have large fingers, you might find the gun a little too compact. But that’s subjective. Personally, we love the feel and performance of the GS.

Is This the Marker for You?

The Empire Mini GS is one of the best paintball markers at any price point. It’s a well-rounded package that offers great performance in speedball. With some minor tweaks, you can make it your go-to gun for tourneys too.

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3 – Tippmann A5

There comes a time when you outgrow your first entry-level marker and are looking to delve deeper into custom mods and accessories. The Tippmann A5 is the perfect marker for players who are looking to up their game.

This rapid fire mechanical paintball gun caters to both rank beginners as well as intermediate players.

Why, we own one of these and with 9 years of paintball under our belt, we do consider ourselves to be close to experts. It is one of our favorite markers for wood ball and tournaments.

It is consistent, fast and accurate. You won’t miss shots and the balls are rarely chopped.

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Your Reliable Scenario Game Marker

The A5 is available in black and silver. But the camouflage one edges the rest due to its application in a scenario game. The body is a combination of metal (Aluminum) and high density plastic. It feels like a heavy duty gun in your hands. It weighs a very manageable 3 pounds, measures 19 inches and comes with an 8.5-inch barrel (base model) that fires accurately over 150 feet. Players looking for more out of the gun can always upgrade the barrel to a 14-inch one.

Rapid Firing

The Tippmann A5 features the famous patented cyclone feed system that relies on an air powered hopper system. The base model has a semi-automatic fire mode which allows you to fire at a top speed of 15 balls per second with minimum jams or broken balls. However, if you are looking to play on field, we recommend the E-Grip upgrade. It is much better than the Response Trigger and allows you to switch modes on the fly.

Mod It the Way You Want To

And undoubtedly, the most important reason why the Tippmann A5 is the blue-eyed baby of many an experienced paintball enthusiast is because you can strip it down bare and upgrade it for cheap. You can pick from body kits to make it look like famous real world firearms, add optics to give you the edge on field, add a flat line barrel, upgrade to a double trigger or add a chamber kit. You can choose from Nitrogen, O2 or CO2 to power it. We don’t recommend that you add an electronic hopper to this. It works flawlessly without one. Why tinker with something that works?

What We like the Most

  • Budget-priced fully customizable marker
  • Lightweight with minimum kick
  • Cyclone feed system that works without a battery
  • 15 balls per second
  • No missed shots or ball breaks
  • Perfect for scenario games, wood ball or tournaments
  • Two-year warranty

What Could Have Been Better

  • The Tippmann A5 is the one of most complete packages that you can find under $300. But it could have been a little lighter maybe. Especially when most of the competition weighs close to 2 pounds or lesser.

Is This the Marker for You?

Are you looking to expand your skills and grease your elbows along the way? Get the Tippmann A5. It will become one of your favorite markers and it only improves as you learn to strip it down and swap some of the parts for better ones. Highly recommended!

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4 – Tippmann Gryphon

 When it comes to cheap paintball guns (read the sub-100 price bracket), you are treading a very thin line between features and on-field performance.

But the Tippmann Gryphon is different. This is a good quality starter paintball gun that can be used in tourneys or for general shooting practice. It fires with reasonable speed, is accurate enough and ball chopping is limited.

Most importantly, the very affordable price tag makes this a great choice for beginners who are looking to dip their toes into paintball before making more substantial investments.

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Lightweight Frame

The Gryphon features a lightweight composite body with a hint of metal. It is lightweight and rightly so because it is aimed at complete newbies who’d prefer a marker that they can walk with and manipulate easily. The casing is available in four colors with funky graphics thrown in for good measure. We love the black and the carbon personally. On the front of the casing is a ribbed receiver that gives you a good grip. The trigger is fairly decent and you can easily go at it with two fingers.

Tippmann’s In-Line Gas System

Tippmann has managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat by introducing their famed in-line gas system in an entry-level marker. This keeps the profile of the gun sleek and clubbed with the center feed design, makes for a very comfortable experience on-field. It can fire up to 8 balls per second. But may struggle a little if you are looking to ramp or exceed this speed. There is negligible kick back when firing balls.

Upgradable Aesthetics

Most beginners won’t think of upgrades or mods until they spend a few months or years learning the tricks of the game. But, if you are looking for an upgradeable gun from the start, then you’d be happy to know that there are plenty of mods possible for the Gryphon. However, most of them are aesthetic mods or body kits. You can replace the casing to make it look like an M16 or any firearm of your choice. Coming to the tactical part, you can replace the barrel for a more accurate one and up the CO2 tank capacity.

What We Liked the Most

  • Lightweight, accurate gun in the sub-100 price bracket
  • Composite and aluminum body that’s durable
  • Tippmann’s in-line gas system
  • 10” barrel
  • Up to 8 balls per second
  • Easy to use on field
  • Low on maintenance

What Could Have Been Better

  • This is an entry-level marker for beginners and that’s precisely what it is advertised as. We have no complaints or nits to pick with the gryphon.

Is This the Marker for You?

If you are looking for a first paintball gun that doesn’t break the bank and gives you a good idea of the fundamentals of a paintball gun, barrel, loading system, then there’s no better choice than the Tippmann Gryphon.

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5 – US Army Project Salvo

Last but not the least, we have the Tippmann US Army Project Salvo, another excellent upgrade to the original Tippmann 98. As evident from the name, the Project Salvo draws inspiration from the AR15 sniper firearm used by the US army.

And it is one of the most widely used paintball marker in simulation and tactical games.

Its appeal goes beyond the look and design though, for this is a very sharp paintball gun that can shoot balls accurately. It is quintessentially Tippmann with a very reliable in-line bolt system, a die cast receiver and is highly customizable too.

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Heavy Duty Marker

You’ve got to hand it to Tippman for creating a marker that mimics a real life firearm, right out of the box. The marker features an AR style barrel shroud with four fully functional picatinny rails and a folding stock (six positions) that can be collapsed to just 11 inches. There is a sling mount that lets you attach accessories easily. But the badass looks come at the cost of added bulk. This weighs a whopping 9 pounds when fully loaded with balls. However, we must mention that despite the weight, it feels comfortable and easy to use on-field.

Quiet and Consistent

Just like its predecessor, the 98, the Project Salvo is a very consistent marker. You can shoot ball after ball without breakage or jamming. The caveat is that the rate of fire is limited to 8 balls per second. Also, you will feel the kick while firing this, especially if you are a beginner. More measured players will be able to mitigate the kick by handling the firearm better. It comes with a gravity fed hopper that screams for an upgrade immediately. Do yourself a favor and get the cyclone hopper to bring out the best from this marker.

Tons of Upgrades

You can modify the hell out of this marker. Right from the hopper to an e-grip, to sights, bipods, flashlights, barrel and fore grips, there are tons of upgrade options. Keep in mind though that adding unwanted accessories will add to the weight of the gun.

What We Liked the Most

  • Complete AR15 replica
  • Fully functional Picatinny rails
  • Folding stock to six positions
  • Consistent firing at 8 balls per second
  • Die cast aluminum receiver
  • Tippmann’s in-line gas system

What Could Be Better

  • The weight? 5 pounds without paintballs seems heavy enough when most paintball markers weigh 2 or 3 pounds when empty. However, going by the popularity of the gun, that’s hardly a deal breaker.

Is This the Marker for You?

With Tippmann’s reliability and a rugged military appeal, this might be the best paintball gun under 300, if your gameplay is mainly tactical, milsim or scenario games.

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To Sum It Up

There you have it. Those are our picks for the best paintball guns under 300. Tippmann Gryphon is the budget shoppers dream marker whereas Project Salvo is the best pick for milsim lovers.

For beginners looking for a great marker that they can pick up and start shooting out of the box, there’s no better choice than the D3FY DS3. And if you prefer something that you can upgrade and tinker with, go for the Tippman A5.

What is your favorite best paintball gun under 300?


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