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How to Clean a Paintball Gun Barrel

Posted on January 27 2022

Cleaning your paintball gun barrel is not a hard task, but knowing what to do and some tools that may help will keep you firing your paintballs accurately!  There are 2 different strategies that can be used to clean your barrel including washing it as well as using specific paintball barrel tools called barrel swabs.  

Your first option on cleaning your paintball gun barrel is to run hot water through your paintball barrel.  For the most part, this will remove the majority of excess paint from broken paintballs.  This will definitely increase your accuracy.  Hot water is also nice because it allows for any paint and dirt that has got into the porting to dissolve for a clean looking barrel.  If there is old paint or dirt that is in your porting and will not come out, take a toothbrush and gently try to scrape it out from the inside of your barrel.  Using the toothbrush on the inside of your barrel will keep from removing the anno (paint job) off the barrel and/or causing major scratches.  

Most paintball players will also carry a barrel swab with them while playing paintball.  Most barrel squeegees are foldable and make it easy to store in your pant pocket and almost all paintball pants have a squeegee pocket.  Some barrel swabs are strictly rubber strings with ribs on them which you can pull through to remove any broken paint, dirt, or debris from the inside of the barrel. recommends running this type of squeegee through a barrel as the last step in their how-to guide. Other more common barrel swabs are the Exalt barrel maid as well as different options offered by HK Army.  These paintball barrel swabs will have a rubber disk which allows players to remove the majority of paint before using the fuzzy end which acts as a polisher / barrel buffer.  Lone Wolf Paintball suggests removing the barrel before using your swab.  If you are not in the middle of a paintball game, this is a great idea as the excess paint will not go into the gun breech as you push your rubber disk or barrel buffer in from the tip.

Punisher's PB recommends doing a combination of both to get your barrel back to the cleanest that it has ever been.  First, remove your paintball barrel by unscrewing it from your paintball gun.  Next, use your barrel swab to remove the excess of paint by pushing the swab through completely one way.  If you have a barrel swab that has a rubber portion, use that first.  If it has the rubber disk and barrel buffer, this may push any excess paint and debris into the porting.  The inside of the barrel will be clean after this, but will leave the barrel porting oozing with excess paint that was push out by the barrel maid.  We then recommend running the barrel under hot water to remove all the remaining paint in the porting out of the barrel.  Simply whip the barrel vigorously to then remove the majority of the water from the inside of the barrel.  You will want the barrel to be completely dry before firing your paintball gun again.  Even water inside the barrel can cause inaccurate firing.  


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