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Why 300fps?


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#1 Toat

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:01 PM

I like history and the reasons behind things. So my question today is what is the history behind 300fps being decided upon as the univeral max velocity for safety in paintball?

#2 Myrkul

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:13 PM

I think it was either Tom Kayne or Bud Orr ( I want to say Tom Kayne) who talked with a couple different doctors about what would be the highest safe velocity to use. They used the mass of the paintball and the speed to calculate how much force was exerted on impact. The reason they started looking into it was because some people were getting broken fingers....
Sorry I don't have exact information or a link, I read the article ages ago. Hope this helps :D
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#3 zuchaka

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:29 PM

well when the balls go over 300 fps the paintballs will start to curve a lot yes they will go further but your accuracy goes down the tubes and they hurt a lot more and the risk for injury becomes too great , in the 80's when i first started playing a lot of velocity adjustment on markers was literally just a knob you could turn so people could literally adjust their velocity up and down during a match without tools. So ref's kept an eye on people to make sure they didn't crank it up too high, Co2 back then was not regulated like it is now so it would fluctuate much more with the temperature and you could actually see your shoots gaining or loosing velocity based on the temperature changes. So that is part of it

#4 BillNyePBGuy

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:02 PM

310 fps can break fingers.
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#5 Cookybiscuit

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:19 PM

By law its air 'weapons' are only allowed to transfer a certain amount of energy on impact, at-least thats why in the UK, we have 280FPS. It's not like you'd want to shoot higher than that anyway, guns get less efficient, louder, kickier and so on, and getting shot at 350FPS would hurt like hell.

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#6 Pyrate Jim

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:31 PM

Yes, it was Bud Orr who took it to the supreme court in 1986 and shot paintballs into styrofoam heads in front of the judges.
The determined number was that it takes eleven pounds of force to break a finger.
A paintball that weighs 3.2 grams travelling at 300 fps delivers about ten lbs of impact energy. That's enough to leave a welt, but safe enough to become a standard for the industry.


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#7 Toat

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:00 PM

Interesting...thanks for the info everyone

#8 invictus

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:01 AM

it still kills to get shot in the fingers.

#9 Jaccen

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:57 AM

If the spambots are just going to quote people, could they at least quote the correct answer?

#10 Kynan

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:54 AM

A couple weeks ago I got shot pointblank in the ear from this kid who we later found out was shooting 330 FPS. Yea it sucked... I had a burning feeling in the ear for about a week after.

#11 Jarz

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:32 PM

I think now most fields don't even have you chrono at 300. I usually see 280-290.
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#12 IwannaWAFFLE

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:32 PM

I think now most fields don't even have you chrono at 300. I usually see 280-290.

Yea, because most guns arent consistant enough to shoot 300 +/-2.. so they have to account for fluctuation.. and just to be a little bit safer overall

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#13 pb=life

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:11 PM

A couple weeks ago I got shot pointblank in the ear from this kid who we later found out was shooting 330 FPS. Yea it sucked... I had a burning feeling in the ear for about a week after.

how'd you get shot in the ear? Every mask that I know of has something covering your ear, even the proflex.

#14 IwannaWAFFLE

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:17 PM


A couple weeks ago I got shot pointblank in the ear from this kid who we later found out was shooting 330 FPS. Yea it sucked... I had a burning feeling in the ear for about a week after.

how'd you get shot in the ear? Every mask that I know of has something covering your ear, even the proflex.


Soft ears dont offer THAT much protection... tahts why i wish companies made either a harder soft ear, or like a hard frame, ith soft in some parts so it doesnt hurt the ear.

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#15 NJC

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:34 AM


A couple weeks ago I got shot pointblank in the ear from this kid who we later found out was shooting 330 FPS. Yea it sucked... I had a burning feeling in the ear for about a week after.

how'd you get shot in the ear? Every mask that I know of has something covering your ear, even the proflex.


ear shots hurt like a bitch with proflexes

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#16 invert mini king

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:09 PM

sadly my field isnt to strict on chroning.I think I am the only one who chronos.The refs are to lazy to chrono the rentals themself or at least teach the renter how like they did at a field I go to every once and a while.


edit:I read a book about paintball (500 ish pages) and the finger breaking thing is true.

Edited by invert mini king, 26 September 2012 - 07:11 PM.

well that changes everything!

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#17 canon fodder

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:01 AM

By law its air 'weapons' are only allowed to transfer a certain amount of energy on impact, at-least thats why in the UK, we have 280FPS. It's not like you'd want to shoot higher than that anyway, guns get less efficient, louder, kickier and so on, and getting shot at 350FPS would hurt like hell.



In the UK an air rifle is allowed up to 12ft/lb which translates to about 330fps, pistols are only allowed to 6ft/lb which would be about 165fps. The 280 / 300 fps site limits are for safety rather than the law.

#18 naterab

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:24 PM

Just curious. If 300 FPS is about 10 pounds of energy, then about how many FPS would 11 pounds of energy be? 330? I hope there's a decent window between 10 and 11 pounds of force.

Edited by naterab, 05 October 2012 - 06:31 PM.

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#19 AMcNett47

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:03 AM

I believe the way to calculate it is using the formula for kinetic energy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe its Force=Mass X Velocity. Again, its been a while since I've been calculating that stuff, so take this with a grain of salt.

#20 naterab

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:10 PM

I believe the way to calculate it is using the formula for kinetic energy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe its Force=Mass X Velocity. Again, its been a while since I've been calculating that stuff, so take this with a grain of salt.


I'm not exactly sure what we would be calculating. The formula for kinetic energy is 1/2mv². I put in the information, changing grams into pounds, and I got like 55 fps or something lol.
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#21 andrewthewookie

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:26 PM

I'm not exactly sure what we would be calculating. The formula for kinetic energy is 1/2mv². I put in the information, changing grams into pounds, and I got like 55 fps or something lol.

We can calculate the energy of a paintball at 300 fps. In the case of 3.2g and 300fps, we get 13.37 joules, which is 9.86 ft-lbs.

In Germany, I believe they regulate the paintball gun so that it cannot shoot a paintball that has more than 7.5 joules of energy. Taking that with the weight, we have 7.5 = 1/2 (.0032)v2. Completing that equation gives us a velocity of 68.57 m/s, which is just under 225 ft/s

The test of "shoot it and see what seems reasonable" is adequate in my opinion, since there's been no calls for reducing the limit under 300 fps. Many fields voluntarily choose to use a slower limit, but nobody considers up to 300 fps dangerous compared to 285 fps or slower.

Edited by andrewthewookie, 08 October 2012 - 01:47 PM.

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#22 AMcNett47

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:44 PM


I believe the way to calculate it is using the formula for kinetic energy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe its Force=Mass X Velocity. Again, its been a while since I've been calculating that stuff, so take this with a grain of salt.


I'm not exactly sure what we would be calculating. The formula for kinetic energy is 1/2mv². I put in the information, changing grams into pounds, and I got like 55 fps or something lol.


yeah I knew that wouldn't be right. Let's use your formula. Someone mentioned 3.2 grams as the mass of a paintball so let's use that. 3.2 grams equals .0032 kg and 300 feet per second equates to 91.44 meters per second. Using the formula that equates to 13.37 joules, 9.86 ft/lbs. But that's assuming that the paintball will hit a target and dump 100 percent of it's energy at point blank. For a paintball at range you would have to calculate gravity and air resistance and I'm not in the mood to do that. So yeah, I have no idea if I answered you're question

EDIT: andrewthewookie literally posted exactly what I just typed lol

Edited by AMcNett47, 08 October 2012 - 05:45 PM.


#23 canon fodder

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:00 AM

I forgot the squared part in the calculation of ft/lb, so I'm probably wrong with my suggestion of 165fps as being legal for pistols in the UK. Can someone with more brains work out 6 ft/lb with a 3.2g ball?

#24 slinkyaroo

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:59 AM

Insurance companies restrict outdoor to 300 FPS and indoor to 250 FPS.

Only a few companies will insure PB in Canada and this is part of the TOA. I read them and there is a few other things involved.

#25 andrewthewookie

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:48 AM

I forgot the squared part in the calculation of ft/lb, so I'm probably wrong with my suggestion of 165fps as being legal for pistols in the UK. Can someone with more brains work out 6 ft/lb with a 3.2g ball?

6 ft-lbs is 8.13 joules, so when plugged in we get 61.24 m/s, which is about 201 ft/s.

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#26 Deftone

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:49 AM



A couple weeks ago I got shot pointblank in the ear from this kid who we later found out was shooting 330 FPS. Yea it sucked... I had a burning feeling in the ear for about a week after.

how'd you get shot in the ear? Every mask that I know of has something covering your ear, even the proflex.


ear shots hurt like a bitch with proflexes

Yes they do...I have the scar to prove it. I had to have surgery on my right ear lobe because of that...Back when I was cool kid and had gauged up ear rings I was diving into the snake on a hyperball field and took one right on the ear lobe/ear ring "Small soft ears on a JT Proflex/Flex7" and the trauma from it caused scar tissue in my ear lobe..Dr. cut it open, cut all the scar tissue out and sewed it back up...No more ear rings for me, lol.




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