When Was Paintball Invented – History of Paintball

In this blog we will discuss in detail when was paintball invented, where was paintball invented, history of paintball and origins of paintball.

  • When Was Paintball Invented: Paintball was invented in 1976
  • Where Was Paintball Invented: New Hampshire


History Of Paintball

The sport of paintball was invented by a trio of friends in New Hampshire in 1976. They wanted a way to play cowboys and Indians without using toy guns, so they purchased two air guns and twelve boxes of paintballs. The game needed some rules so that it would be fun for everybody, so Charles Gaines wrote out the rules for the first game of paintball in order to avoid injury.

In 1976 a group of friends, including Charles Gaines, Hayes Noel and Bob Gurnsey came to New Hampshire for a game of cowboys and Indians.

They were surprised to find that the terrain was ideal for paintball; it had hillsides covered with trees and rocks so you could hide from your enemies.

The three men founded their own company in 1978 called Advanced Tactical Systems (ATS), which today is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of paintball guns and accessories.

Instead of playing with toy guns, they opted for something more realistic.

Origins Of Paintball

We found the origins of paintball from 80s. The first paintball was invented in the 1860s, when a British physicist named Thomas Blundell tested an early version of what would become modern paintballs. He created them out of gelatin and shot them at targets made from pig’s blood.

1880: William Dunn

In1880, William Dunn patented what he called “ideal” paintballs: spherical and made out of lead. His invention became popular among soldiers during World War I because it allowed more accuracy than other types of ammunition (which were usually round).

The game needed some rules so that it would be fun for everybody.

The game needed some rules so that it would be fun for everybody. The first rule was written to avoid injury:

The red player cannot shoot at a blue player’s head or eyes

A white player can only hit another white player with a bb gun or paintball gun, not at any other part of their body

Charles Gaines wrote out the rules for the first game of paintball in order to avoid injury.

1927: Charles Gaines

The first game of paintball was invented by Charles Gaines in 1927. In order to avoid injury, he wrote out the rules for the first game and made sure that everyone knew what they were doing before playing. The rules were designed so that there would be no injuries and all players could have fun together at once.

1970: George Milburn

Regarding the question that when was paintball invented, it’s also said that in 1970s an American named George Milburn invented paintball. He was inspired by a childhood game called Cowboys and Indians, where two teams of cowboys would face off against each other. The first paintball guns were air powered, but later moved to CO2 powered models. The first paintballs were made from glass beads, which were hard on your hands if you dropped them!

They purchased two air guns and twelve boxes of paintballs.

1983: First Paintball Championship:

Despite its early tournaments, NSG organized the first paintball championship in 1983. The Game of Inches rivalry produced a prize of $3,000 for the team of NSG that competed in Ontario, Canada. During those games, many players modified their markers, adding pump handles, barrel extensions, and bigger magazines, giving them an advantage. As other players voiced concerns about the unsportsmanlike modifications, the NSG organizers settled on official rules for the Game of Inches competition that enforced sportsmanship, resulting in players following the rules.

1984: New Paintball Markers:

PMI introduced new gun designs to replace older ones in 1984: NSG developed a paintball gun with a pump handle as the PGP or the Pursuit Gun Pump, becoming the first gun designed in short succession. PMI furthermore launched an entirely new paintball gun, the splat master.

Another invention was water-based paintballs which made it easier to clean and less likely to discolor clothes than oil paint in 1984. The name of The Game, Natural Survival Game changed to paintball.

1987-1998: Start of New Companies

WGP game products (WGP) began manufacturing paintball markers in their garage in 1987. They invented the first-ever WGP sniper paintball gun and the first paintball hopper, with a capacity of 45 paintballs. WGP sniper pump paintball guns enabled players to easily manipulate them as their individual parts were removable and changeable.

JT USA, a producer of motorcycle parts, entered the paintball industry and created a paintball mask based on motocross goggles. It was more comfortable and offered better protection and peripheral vision. It was a groundbreaking move in business, and soon paintball masks became essential equipment for players.

1989 – 1991: Speedball Arena

The largest paintball park in Southern California in 1989-1991 was Sat Cong Village’s newest paintball field named Speedball Arena, which was set up to test rough, action-packed games.

1990-1991: Europe & Paintball

Tippmann met the demands of the marketplace with his .68 caliber paintball gun. Tom Kaye introduced the .68 Auto-Mag, which is known for its durability, appearance, and functions.

Development of paintball guns in Europe New vacuum-filled tanks had greater efficiency than the type using pressurized carbon dioxide. However, the product did not gain swift commercial success due to safety concerns. Bud Orr debuted an auto-cocker kit called the WPG Semi-Auto that converted the Sniper II to a self-cocking semiauto. WPG acquired semiauto variant by default and expanded their sale much faster.

2010-2011: Shell Reform Act Guidelines

The Shell Reform Law of 2010 included several guidelines in this sector. According to a later BuzzFeed article, these guidelines revolutionized the gaming industry and led many supreme paintball makers to buy their business from 2010 onward.

New paintball manufacturers were acquired by Kee Action Sports. They were on its way to become a giant in this industry.

The stress of the paintball industry DLX Technology was one of the players of Kee Action Sports during the years Gino Postorive returned to this industry when he started distributing Valken.

2015 – 2021: Paintball; Popular Game

Paintball has become a popular game since 2015 with various varieties and scenarios. Professional players can earn a full-time living from participation in tournaments and sponsorships. Manufacturers regularly release new paintball gear, and electric paintball guns and protective full-head paintball helmets are becoming much more popular.

Future of Paintball Industry:

The paintball game and equipment industry is growing rapidly, with new technologies and products being developed all the time. While there are many different types of paintball games and equipment available on the market, the future of the industry looks bright.


There you have it! So, how did paintball come about? Was it invented by a group of friends? We may never know for sure but one thing we do know is that it’s super fun and exciting to play. So get out there with your friends, grab some guns and go paintballing!

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