The easiest way to narrow down the best $400 paintball gun is to first look at what type of paintball guns you want. There are four main marker or paintball gun categories: mechanical, electronic, pump and mag-fed.
The Mechanical category historically has been dominated by Tippmann. Tippmann for nearly three decades have made some of the best and most popular paintball guns. The Tippmann A5 and Tippmann 98 are almost synonymous with paintball, most of the paintball fields around the world, still use the Tippmann 98 as their main rental markers. Over the past few years though Tippmanns, like the Stormer and Cronus have become more popular.
In the summer of 2018 Planet Eclipse released the Emek 100 and right away Tippmann’s dominance was called into question. The Emek flew off the shelves (and still is), many paintball fields also started using it as their main rental.
The Emek has a bolt system like a high-end gun, its much lower pressure than a Tippmann at only 200 PSI, where’s a Tippmann is 750 PSI. This makes the Emek much quieter, kick less, more air efficient, softer of paintballs, in every shooting metric the Emek is better.
The main complaint about the Emek is the look, some people like the look of the Tippmann’s more and for them Planet Eclipse made the EMF100(MG100) a magazine fed version of the Emek.
The Planet Eclipse Emek 100 is the best mechanical paintball gun under $400.
• Durable GRN Construction
• PAL Compatible
• Push Button Safety
Picking a top electronic gun is a bit more difficult. There are guns like the Dye Rize CZR, Mini GS, DP G5 and Azodin Blitz 4 they are all under the $400 and all viable options.
The Mini GS is going to be the pick though.
The Mini GS is higher build quality than the other options giving it a more premium feel, that higher quality also adds to higher quality control and improver reliability. the 2pc barrel on the Mini GS is great and on par with the barrel on the Rize CZR. The On/Off on the Mini GS and the lever feed-neck are the best in anything under $500. The Etha 2 from Planet Eclipse may have a nicer on/off ASA and feed-neck but it over our budget.
The best part of the Mini GS is the trigger. I love the trigger on the Mini, I can shoot it very quick. The trigger feels great, it is responsive, and adjustable.
The Empire Mini GS is the best electronic paintball gun under $400.
• 2 Piece 14in Barrel
• 180 PSI Operating Pressure
• On/Off Air Source Adapter and Clamping Lever Feed-neck
• Ultra-lightweight small design
Honestly picking a pump gun is pretty easy, there just aren’t that many options.
If you want to buy a new pump in 2021 under $400, you have a few options. Azodin, CCI, JT and thats about it, you may be able to find some old stock but that about it in 2021. The JT ER2 is worthless plastic thing, the Azodin guns a good and so are the CCI guns.
Azodin make three pumps the KPC, KPC+ and the KPIII, and I’m picking the KPIII.
I’ve for a long time been a fan of the KPIII, I have always really like the feel of the pump handle, it kind of reminds of pump handle of the CCM T2 a $1000 pump 🤯. I also like the dual pump arms on the KPIII, the on/off ASA works fine and the 2pc barrel is a really nice additions.
Biggest drawback of the KPIII is does not have auto-trigger like the KPC+.
The Azodin KPIII is the best pump paintball gun under $400.
• 2 Pc 14in Barrel Kit (.685 and .681)
• Lever Feed-Neck for quick hopper removal
• On/Off Air Source Adapter
• Delrin Pump Handle
Mag-fed is another category that is jammed with options, first you have to pick where you want a pistol or a full-size marker. I’m going full-sized and nearly everyone else does too.
Main brands we could look at are First Strike, Planet Eclipse, Tippmann and MCS all make mag-fed markers in our price range. Planet Eclipse and First Strike are little too high though.
The Tippmann Stormer Elite is a great option because it actually priced at about half our budget leaving room for some extra magazines. Tippmann makes some of the best magazines in paintball they are affordable, hold 20 rounds and are extremely durable.
The Stormer paintball guns are all cover in picatinny/weaver rails so you can add all types of attachments: scopes, flashlights, lasers anything that is picatinny will fit.
The best part about the Stormer Elite is its versatility, you can use it in its mag-fed setup or you can use it with a normal 200 round hopper in a classic paintball configuration. It only takes minutes to change over, you simply remove the magazine and install a hopper elbow.
The Tippmann Stormer Elite is the best mag-fed paintball gun under $400.
• Internal Hose Design - No external hose or gas lines
• High-Impact Composite Body
• Holding Flip Up Rear and Front Sights
• 6 Position Collapse Stock