Can You Shoot Pepper Balls With A Paintball Gun: Yes, But How?

I recently came across an online discussion that was arguing on whether a paintball gun can shoot pepper balls or not. I never even thought of doing that. But, since I always like to experiment, I decided to try shooting some pepper balls using my paintball gun. To be frank, it was very interesting, but, at the same, we should be very careful.

So, can paintball guns shoot pepper balls: Yes, a paintball gun can shoot pepper balls. For example, 0.68 caliber pepper balls are the same as that of most common paintballs. In fact, it’s exactly the same; just instead of paint, a pepper ball contains powdered chemicals.

If you’re just looking for the best 0.68 caliber pepper balls for your paintball guns, these are by far my favorite.

The Paintballic’s Pick

By far the best 0.68 cal pepper balls for paintball guns.
• A powerful concentration of PAVA pepper powder.
• Trusted by the U.S. Army and Marines overseas and by hundreds of law enforcement agencies nationwide.
• Ultrasonically welded.
• 100% waterproof, Operational temperature of -30°F to 150°F.
• Non-flammable.
• Area saturation. Does not need to directly strike the target to be effective.
• Proudly made in the USA.

Before we move ahead and start shooting pepper balls using our paintball guns, we must be aware of a few crucial aspects of it.

What Is A Pepper Ball?

A pepper-spray projectile, also called a pepper-spray ball, pepper-ball, or pepper-spray pellet, is a frangible projectile containing a powdered chemical that irritates the eyes and nose similarly to pepper spray. These projectiles are fired from specially designed forced compliance weapons or modified paintball guns.

As per Wikipedia, pepper balls contain chemicals that can irritate the nose and eyes, similar to pepper spray. It is mostly used by the police when they need to control a violent mob. In a way, it is used to irritate people’s noses and eyes so that they move away from that place.

This means it can be an extremely useful home defense tool.

Pepper Balls vs Paintballs

If you are already into paintball, you might know that modern paintballs are made of edible biodegradable substances. Paintballs are nonlethal equipment that at maximum can bruise a person if hit without safety gear.

On the other hand, pepper balls are made from chemicals that can severely irritate the eyes, nose, and mouth to the point of barely seeing or breathing.

Is It Legal To Use Pepper Balls

Pepper balls and pepper spray are considered the same when it comes to their legality. The restrictions on using pepper spray vary from state to state. So, to avoid any legal complications, it is always a good idea to check whether pepper balls are allowed in your state. You can visit this page to check.

However, you need to be at least 18 years old without any criminal record to buy pepper balls

Pepper spray and mace are available through gun shops, sporting goods stores, and other business outlets.

Can A Paintball Gun Be Used For Self Defense?

They can, but you really shouldn’t use paintball guns for self-defense. In a nutshell, it is not a good option because it needs some necessary items to operate, such as a hopper, compressed air, etc. Assembling these parts and firing immediately is difficult unless you have everything set and ready.

If you do have everything ready-to-go, paintball guns can be used with some decent effect, although you shouldn’t rely on it to repel every single criminal (some are quite aggressive and committed).

How To Use Pepper Balls For Your Safety

You might be thinking why someone will go for using a pepper ball with these much confusions. You can use pepper balls for self-defense if needed.

For example, if you live in a place with a lot of chance for human or wild animals ( eg bear), a pepper ball will be handy for yours. A pepper spray does the same irritation to animals. Thus shooting a pepper ball from far away using a paintball gun will keep you safe.

Warning: Never use pepper spray at any animals unless you are in the stage of an attack.

How To Shoot Pepper Balls With A Paintball Gun

You might be thinking that there are multiple pepper guns available in the market and why one should even use a paintball gun. Well, pepper guns with such a high shot capacity are quite expensive.

If you already have a paintball gun at your home, you don’t need to spend the extra 400$+ buying a pepper gun.

Steps On Shooting Pepper Balls Out Of A Paintball Gun

  • Unpack your pepper balls from the box.
  • Connect the CO2 or HPA tank with your paintball.
  • Feed the pepper ball to the hopper.
  • Hold your paintball in a vertically down position.
  • Check whether the balls fall out of the barrel. (If they fall, then your gun’s caliber and pepper ball’s caliber are different.)
  • Cock your paintball gun.
  • Fire the pepper ball at a vacant area.

Can All Paintball Guns Shoot Pepper Balls

Some paintball guns have different calibers. But if you can buy pepper balls that match the same caliber of your paintball, then you can use it for sure.

Just make sure to double-check your paintball gun before you buy some pepper balls.

Can Pepper Balls Kill You?

No, a pepper ball cannot kill; it is not a lethal weapon. Pepper balls or pepper sprays are made from chemicals that can irritate the eyes, mouth, and nose upon contact. However, if shot continuously, they can make it quite difficult to breathe.

My Experience

To understand if we can shoot a pepper ball with a paintball gun, I bought a pack of pepper balls online. (It is legal to purchase pepper balls or pepper spray in my state.)

I double-checked the size of the pepper balls before I placed the order online. And one day, when I got some free time, I decided to try them on my sister. No, no, in the backyard.

By the way, I have a big backyard that has walls that are safe to test on (I do not recommend testing this in a small yard or shared fences). I loaded my gun with pepper balls and… shoot.

Yes, it worked. Similar to the paintballs, the ball exploded upon impact. Only instead of a splash of paint, there was a small cloud of powder.

I decided to keep the pepper balls as a backup emergency home defense tool.


So, we can use a paintball gun to shoot pepper balls as long as the caliber matches that of the paintball gun. Pepper balls are legal in many states with certain conditions to follow. And, if it is legal in your state, it will save you a couple of hundred bucks that you would need to pay for a decent pepper ball gun.

It’s overall an excellent choice as a backup home defense tool. So, are you going to try it? Let me know in the comments below!

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