How To Get Started With Gel Balling – The Ultimate Guide

If you have ever been paintballing, you most likely came back with a colorful collection of painful bruises. Even with all the armor and the protective gear, paintballing is a harsh game, which is probably why it hasn’t gained the kind of mainstream popularity gel balling has. Moreover, the burst of colorful paint upon the impact of a paintball leads to messy situations. One of the main reasons for wearing protective eye gear is not just to keep yourself safe from the paintball itself, but also the burst of paint on impact. Moreover, if you have tried getting into paintballing as a full-time hobby, you are probably familiar with how expensive the equipment can be. Not to mention, the running costs of paintball guns and accessories are also quite high. This is why most people prefer to play paintball at paintball parks and extreme sports centers since they can conveniently rent the equipment and not have to worry about getting carbon dioxide tanks and servicing the weapon or buying accessories.

gel blaster in field inside pulse

Gel balling works on the same basic principles of paintballing – it is a sport for those who love shooting sports against human opponents. Though it’s not a bad choice if you just like to do target practice either, however,  you won’t get the same mental satisfaction of out-witting your best friend in a potentially “do or die” situation.

If you have just come across gel balling and have no idea how it works, this guide is going to get you up to speed with all the lingo, the equipment, and what you need to do to get started.

Equipment

While gel balling requires guns that shoot high pressured projectiles just like paintballing does, the way that the weapons work in gel balling is completely different. You might have also noticed that gel ball weapons look a lot more realistic whether that is in the form of a pistol or an assault rifle, and this has more to do with the mechanics of the gun. We’ll look at the different machinery and how they work later on, but keep in mind that the machinery in a gel blaster (gel balling term for guns) can be modified, so we are adding a little bit about that in the equipment section. This section will tell you about the basic things that you will need to get started, you can later modify your gel blaster or get a completely different type according to what you prefer and what your game strategy is.

 Gel Blasters

Unlike paintball guns, gel blasters are designed to replicate the look of real guns. More than the looks they also replicate the behavior in terms of loading mechanisms, reloading styles, rates of fire, and even build material. So even though gel blasters are meant to be toys, these are dangerous devices that should be used with caution. If you are getting a gel blaster for a child do not get a full-sized, full-powered version; gel blasters for children are very different. Let’s go over some of the most commonly used types of gel blasters for adults.

gel blaster inside pulse
  • Pistol Gel Blasters

Drawing inspiration from real weapons such as the Beretta, the Glock, and the Revolver, pistol gel blasters are single-hand-held devices that can accommodate a variety of gel balls.  The information provided with Gel Ball Undercover explains how to better accessorize your pistol blasters. They go on to explain that generally, pistol-style gel blasters are loaded with a magazine just like normal pistols and are mostly single-shot devices. Some exceptional devices do offer automatic firing and this option goes best with larger magazine solutions or even drum magazines.

  • Shotgun Gel Blasters

Definitely one of the most fun types of guns to shoot would have to be the shotgun. The pump actions, the slugs, the double-handed grip, and the massive impact that they have all make the shotgun very satisfying. You don’t have to worry about the legality of these blasters because even though they look like real weapons, gel blasters are legal in most areas. Usually, shotgun-style gel blasters will have a lower firing rate and less range, though some models do offer both single-shot and buckshot style firing abilities.

  • SMG Gel Blasters

If you plan on playing close-quarter combat, SMGs are the way to go. These types of guns give you incredible firepower, very high rates of firing, and plenty of space to store ammunition. While these are best suited for short-range use, with some practice you could use these quite effectively for long-range shots. SMGs typically have tons of accessories that you can add on and you can make several changes to the layout of the gun to suit your style and needs.

  • Sniper Gel Blasters

If you enjoy playing a little discreetly, finding a vantage point, and keeping your enemy confused about where the shots are coming from, snipers are the way to go. If you enjoy target practice, then these are going to be amazing weapons for that purpose, but they are equally capable on the battlefield, in the right hands. Sniper-style blasters also offer a lot of options you can get manually loaded, automatics, mag-fed, hopper-fed, long barrel, etc. The options are endless with snipers.

Ammunition

The gel balls that are used as ammunition for the blasters are water-absorbing balls that pop into a gel upon impact. They are made from Sodium Polyacrylate which is a very environmentally friendly water-absorbing polymer. You simply soak the beads in water, and in a few hours, they swell into the gel balls that are ready to be loaded into your weapon. Sizes range from 6mm to 8mm in diameter for these gel beads, though when they are dry, they are significantly smaller than this size.

If your gel beads are still dry, then storage is not a problem, if they have been exposed to water and they have swollen to their full size you can store them in a fridge for 10-15 days. Even though these are not toxic and don’t pose a threat to the environment, storing beads for longer than this will ruin their structure and you won’t get the same performance out of them. 

The best type of gel ball will depend on the weapon that you are using and the kind of gameplay that you prefer. You can get gel balls with different hardness ratings, while the harder balls will have a stronger impact, it’s not as bad as a paintball. Also, if you are looking to shoot longer ranges a harder gel ball will be better suited to this purpose.

Firing Mechanism

One of the big differences between paintball guns and gel blasters is the firing mechanisms that these devices use. While paintball guns use CO2 tanks to pressurize the chamber before a shot, gel blasters use technology that is very similar to aerosol guns. It has a battery-powered motor that is used to fire the pellets from the gun. Different guns will have different sized motors and batteries which have a big influence on the rate of fire, the feet per second speed of the gel ball, the range of the entire gun, and also the accuracy of the device.

Some higher-end devices aim to replicate the behavior of their real-life counterparts without causing as much damage to the enemy. Similarly, some people choose to modify their weapons and upgrade various components to achieve a certain kind of performance from the blaster. It wouldn’t be a good idea to modify standard gel blasters that are meant to be used in stock form. Gel blasters for modifications are quite different internally from standard models and standard models lack the room to accommodate modifications.

Accessories

Just like real guns, you can get a massive variety of accessories to personalize your gun according to your taste. While some accessories are just for aesthetics, certain accessory items also influence device performance. While you can add lasers, scopes, and even barrels to nearly all blasters, things such as the motor and the battery pack can also be changed on models that allow these upgrades.

While most gel blasters are designed to fire beads between 6mm-8mm in size, you can add on accessory items that further enhance this ability. You can also get certain stock devices that are built from the factory to handle pellets that are 12mm to 14mm in size.

Maintenance

As gel blasters have a very simple design and the firing mechanism is not very complicated at all, there isn’t much that can go wrong with these devices. The models that are made out of plastic can be a little less durable than steel counterparts, but you won’t experience anywhere near the same number of problems that you would with a paintball gun. There is no problem with gas leaking, chambers getting damaged, or misfiring.

Occasionally you might get a jam due to low-quality pellets that aren’t of a homogenous size, but that can be solved with higher quality ammunition.

If you would like to disassemble the gun to clean and service it, that is quite easy to do and you can get it done with basic tools. Over time, your motor might weaken, batteries will need replacements, and gears might also need replacements, but this is all after hundreds of hours of extensive use. When you get a brand new gun it will be quite a while before you have to worry about these things.

When it comes to modified gel blasters these will need a lot more caution and care. If you aren’t starting out with a quality machine, modified devices can be very unreliable and prone to problems. As a newbie, get a good quality stock gun and then work your way up if you need to.