Paintball Pistol Turned Sniper Rifle


There’s a huge price discrepancy between paintball pistols and paintball sniper rifles. So the [Fresh-Prints-of-3D] decided to print himself an sniper upgrade kit.

He started with the classic Tippman 98 Custom pistol , which is a tried and true industry standard when it comes to reliable paintball guns. Using Sketchup he designed a side loading hopper adapter, a fixed stock, a magazine adapter, various brackets, and even a bipod fore-grip. He then printed the parts out at his local hackerspace; Innovatrix Labs, which is in Northeastern Pennsylvania. A Portabee 3D printer was used for some of the first prototypes but the final parts were all printed on a large MendleMax2 which has a build area large enough for the entire fixed stock!

The best part? He’s only been using SketchUp for a few months. Once the design and build is completely finalized he might release it under a CC license. 

It just goes to show that 3D printers are really breaking down various markets of overpriced plastic components — 3D printers only print trinkets? Pfft.

[Via Reddit]

43 thoughts on “Paintball Pistol Turned Sniper Rifle

  1. It looks nice, but I’m assuming he went with form over function. That long barrel doesn’t make it more accurate, and is going to be a PITA when moving through the woods.

  2. Oh, I hate sketchup with a passion. I have had people give me parts they want to make and I always had to go and redraw the parts to make it work. Sketchup just does not do real curves, it does a settable amount of facets that approximate a curve. Plus the software never output a file type that would read in my CAM correctly.

    1. For some “makers” using wrong tools for the job is considered as a “hacking”. Using SolidWorks or Catia is so much easier and more efficient than dealing with SketchUp.

      1. They’re both pretty obtuse and esoteric for first time users. Even for learned users, which is why I usually fall back to sketchup when I need to, you know, sketch something up to proof a concept or somesuch.

    2. That’s more down to how you use Sketchup. It’s a polygon based modeller – that’s that it does. If you want better curves, use more facets.

      And if you just set things up by clicking and dragging it won’t do a precise job and the objects won’t actually be solids, which is why they won’t print. You get all sorts of extra facets and internal geometry, and impossible geometry that’s not visible in the rendering, which is why you’d be better off using the Pro version and making your objects out of unions and interesections of primitive shapes made into components. You can do a whole lot more complex shapes a lot quicker that way anyways, and hence it becomes more like using a proper CAD program.

      You have a “make solid” tool in Sketchup as well that you can use to make sure they are. It complains when your objects have weird geometry, and will simply refuse to work until you draw the object correctly.

  3. ” 3D printers only print trinkets? Pfft.” ……. While they can print more than trinkets, silly toys are not really a great example of their more productive and “worthwhile” use. If you had to pick between shelter, food, water, healthcare, transportation, and toys….. Which one would you eliminate?

    1. Well, if you can sell these toys to other people for enough money, it becomes all of the above. Or if you’re set upon using them yourself, it *may* leave you more money to spend on the shelter and food junk.

    2. Shelter, food, water, healthcare, transportation and toys… And of these six there is only one thing you can make on a 3D printer…so it the only one mentioned that is worthwhile and productive…

  4. should have saved his money and gotten a flatline barrel. its a barrel that causes the ball to have massive backspin doubling and almost trippling the normal distance a paintball marker(thats the proper name btw) can travel. used to play paintball all the time loved it to death and in wood ball these guns were king.

    1. Doesn’t it have a massive problem with tearing the balls, and making it fly unpredictably because it’s got the whole magnus effect going on that makes it impossible to adjust the sights to any distance because the ball isn’t going on a ballistic trajectory and will curve strongly to one side or another depending on how you hold the gun?

      And a gun is a gun that shoots stuff, stop mincing words you ponce.

        1. Shoot your “marker” at a paper target, it goes through no? How’s that different from an air gun that shoots lead pellets?

          See the difference in whether the gun destroys something is what you point it at, so by your definition regular guns aren’t guns either – until you happen to point them at something breakable.

      1. No, you ponce, you can’t use the word you’re trying to define in it’s own definition. Paintball marker is the name of the device. They were originally designed to mark trees for removal by forestry agents and to mark livestock.

        1. Then how about a dictionary definition:

          “Weapon consisting essentially of a metal tube from which a missile or projectile is shot by the force of exploding gunpowder or some other propellant.”

          ” a normally tubular weapon or other device designed to discharge projectiles or other material (…) The means of projection varies according to design but is usually effected by the action of gas pressure”

          The only thing you have left to bicker about is the definition of “weapon” there, until you realize that you’d have to argue that proper guns are not weapons unless you point them at a person or an animal, or any object, which is to say, you don’t have an argument and a paintball “marker” is a gun no matter how you want to butter it up.

          And frankly I don’t understand why you would, unless you had some hangups, perhaps about being compared to kids who bounce around popping toy guns at each other and you take yourself a bit too seriously?

          1. Dax, eat a Snickers, ’cause you turn into a troll when your hungry.

            They were called MARKers because they were used to MARK. Calling them a weapon outside of their intended use is like calling a rock a weapon because I lobbed one at you. Sure I COULD use it as a weapon, but that wasn’t the intended use.

            And second, why you gettin so mad over nothing. All he said was that a flatline barrel might have also improved the guns range. I mean, if you want to get mad over somtehing be mad about the ’98 being called a pistol (not your fault James, it does kinda look like one stripped down)

    2. They may move a paintball further but for the most part this isn’t really useful as at these ranges, paintballs generally just bounce off the target. And they have accuracy issues. Neat trick, but distance isn’t everything.

  5. It isnt a sniper rifle, and although I dont play, from what i’ve seen it isnt a game which is designed to support a player playing as a sniper.

    First off the longer barrel isnt going to do anything. On real guns longer barrels are used to achieve higher velocities. They have the downside however of (generally) having worse harmonics.

    The bipod VFG is dumb mall ninja idea for this purpose. First off all the cheap chinese polymer bipod VFGs are well known for easily breaking, even the real American made ones with steel reinforcement are known to break. This one made from ABS or PLA isnt going to last.

    Using a bipod without a free float tube attached to the receiver, rather than attaching it to the barrel will cause the barrel to bend. This has significant effects on accuracy on real rifle barrels made from 4140 steel hardened to 60 RC, I can only imagine what effects this would have on a (presumably) thin walled aluminum barrel.

    Using a bipod VFG is a bad idea since for a sniper rifle since you want the bipod to be as close the muzzle as possible to reduce how sensitive it is movement.

    And god only knows what kind of cheap POS red dot it has. Ignoring that a sniper rifle wouldnt use one as a primary optic (if at all), I wouldnt be surprised if its POI changes when it is dropped or banged in to things.

    tl;dr: this guy is a mall ninja who should have spend this effort either on real guns, or at the very least airsoft.

    1. And to clarify on “First off the longer barrel isnt going to do anything.” what I mean by this is that ranges generally limit the velocity of the guns, and I’m sure this in its stock form could already break these speed limits.

      1. The fields limit the velocity, but you can control the pressure of the air/CO2 hitting the paintball at the beginning of the barrel. So his 14″ barrel (maybe 16″) will have higher pressure to start, but still be hitting the required velocity when it leaves the barrel. If he does nothing to adjust the pressure and puts a shorty 4″ barrel on he would well exceed the allowed velocity on a field. Any serious (as in, they have insurance) field I’ve played at will make you chronograph your marker at the beginning of the day and spot check people as games are played.
        You can also play the game in a sort of sniper way. I’ve gone on fields in full ghillie and snuck into places where I could take slow shots at people to keep them down where they never see me. The key to that game is more a QUIET marker than a “sniper” one. An Apex tip or a Flatline barrel will put a nice back spin on the balls and let them go farther, but sometimes there is a loss of velocity at larger ranges so that you don’t always get a break and eliminate the other player. I don’t always care about eliminating them if my shot can make them move out of their position or put their head down so the rest of my team can move in and eliminate them.
        And sometimes the red dot is just fun. It adds to the look of the marker and that is all the reason to do it if he wants to. Personally I would drop it to lower the profile on my marker so I could keep down better, but if he likes it then he likes it. With the max range of a marker and limited velocity by a field, a red dot is perfectly acceptable on a paintball “sniper” rifle.

      2. Yes, but with a projectile which is propelled by compressed gas the pressure decreases as the barrel increases in size. This is due to the fact that the amount of gas used to propel the paintball is limited, to more or less, a fixed amount upon firing and the volume of compressed gas increased to propel the projectile from the the barrel. Without increasing the amount of gas used to compensate for the longer barrel, it really just increases friction, lowers the pressure of the barrel when the projectile escapes it, and overall reduces the power of the gun.

        I have been working on a ping-pong ball gun, and this very problem exists. There is a factors in play, but in the end a longer barrel by itself is just cosmetic and not functional.

  6. Re: Longer Barrel
    The longer barrel will help with accuracy and there is a trade off on loss of air efficiency with it. While putting a 50″ barrel on a paintball gun is ridiculous, the 14″ or 16″ barrel he used to replace the stock 7″ or 8″ barrel is a worthwhile upgrade. Especially since you can get better barrels with inserts to more accurately match the paint balls you are shooting. I doubt he is worrying about air efficiency if he is only loading 10 to 20 shots at a time. Drop an Apex tip on that thing and he is someone to watch for on the field. Given that he’s in northeast PA, I will keep an eye out for that marker at some of the fields up there when I play next.

    1. “The longer barrel will help with accuracy”

      how? as I said above in my comment, real guns use longer barrels for the increased velocity, not because it magically makes them more accurate.

      1. It works the same way longer smooth bore lead ball muzzle loaders from pre-Civil war were more accurate than shorter barrel variety. Essentially the paintball is bouncing around the inside of the barrel on it’s way out. It also lets the air stabilize around it especially with some of the porting on the side of the barrel so you are less likely to get some weird spin off to the side. I’ve played with short 4″ barrels where I am clearing buildings, and I’ve played on open fields with a 14″ barrel. The longer barrel is more accurate. The 4″ is great for under 30′, but I won’t use it for times when I’m not that close or expect to be. Paintball barrels don’t have rifling and the balls don’t get the spin needed for really accurate shooting. A slightly deformed ball with wing off to the side no matter what size barrel you are using. Anything over 14″ is really helping anymore, but the stock 7″ or 8″ barrels that come with most markers can be upgraded. Just google “paintball longer barrels more accurate” and the first page is full of people saying the same thing I am. I’ve played paintball for over 15 years and my go to barrel is a 14″ JJ Ceramic for most anytime I play.

        1. they werent more accurate, they simply allowed greater velocity resulting in less bullet (well technically ball) drop.

          muskets didnt let the ball bounce around, even smooth bore ones. it is why you put a patch around the ball.

          air isnt going to stabilize the round

          people say a lot of stupid and incorrect things on the internet. it isnt my job to make your argument for you, or to disprove every incorrect comment out there.

          you still havent explained HOW a longer barrel would increase the accuracy. all you’ve provided is a fundamentally flawed anecdote.

          1. “they werent more accurate, they simply allowed greater velocity resulting in less bullet (well technically ball) drop.”

            I forgot to include that they also allowed a greater sight radius, something which isnt applicable either for paintball guns since they generally dont have iron sights.

          2. Okay, my “anecdote” wasn’t perfect. I understand you put patches around the balls, but when that gunpoweder goes off, no matter how tight you made the patch, it will compress and the ball won’t go perfectly down the center of the barrel. But lets put that aside. I’m not going to explain how to you since I’ve tried a couple times. Let’s just go with this: you’ve said you’ve never played and I have played over 15 years, using multiple types of markers and barrels, it works. It’s not perfect, there are longer barrels that will shoot worse than some shorter barrels, but in general it works. Go to a paintball field and figure out how for yourself.

          3. You havent explained it once, all you’ve offered were flawed anecdotes. And no it is not “in general [how] it works”. Barrel tolerances, concentricity, etc have to do with it. This is basic ballistics.

    2. scientific tests have proven that a good bore match actually worsens accuracy. For best accuracy you actually want to _under_ bore it so the paintball has to squeeze through.

      1. As long as you have a smooth interior on your barrel, otherwise a rough patch will grip the ball and put an awkward spin on it. There is a guy that markets a barrel insert as “squeeze your balls” or “Give your balls a squeeze”, something like that. When I get my paint I will pick an insert where I have to give a slight blow to get a ball through. Then check it again mid day as the paint and marker warm up.
        On the opposite side of the coin, a lot of the stock barrels are just too large of a bore and room for the balls to wiggle around.

        1. Yeah I do it the same. But a perfect fit is worse than a loose fit (I choose a 692 for bad paint) because a perfect fitting bore will be wildly different for the slightly small or slighter large balls. In that case it’s better to be ‘consistently larger’

  7. I understand what your saying about the longer barrels, I to have been playing for quite a while, and the longer barrels do tend to be more accurate. It makes sense though, the longer the barrel the more time the paintball has to stabilize.

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