How Modern Tippman Valves Work

How Modern Tippman Valves Work

The valve assemblies found in paintball guns manufactured by Tippmann Pneumatics Inc. aren’t particularly designed for easy disassembly, and realistically there is no reason they should be. Leaks or other problems with Tippmann valves are rare, and in those rare cases Tippmann is very good about repairing or replacing the assembly as a whole. The company does not recommend owners disassemble the valves. Most owners of Tippmann guns will never see the inside of the valve system. This page is for those who are curious about how modern Tippmann valves work.

In the early days of paintball, Tippmann Pneumatics entered the scene with one of the first autoloading paintball guns, the SMG-60. Where pump guns of the day utilized a valve system to release gas to propel the ball, the SMG-60 had a valve which released gas to not only propel the ball, but to also blow the action of the gun back into a cocked position. Early Tippmann guns used a floating valve, which actually opened on two ends to let gas escape and perform the required duties. This system was used on the companies first “box fed” or “gravity fed” semi-automatics such as the .68 Special and Pro am. The rear bolt (a.k.a. hammer or striker) would strike the back of the valve, moving the entire valve assembly forward. As the assembly would impact the rear of the valve tube, plungers on both sides would be pushed opened to allow gas to escape.


With later guns, such as the .68 Carbine, Pro Carbine, Model 98, and A-5, a stationary valve is utilized, releasing gas from only one opening. After it leaves the valve, the gas is routed in two directions to both propel the ball and blow the action back into it’s cocked position. The valves are made of aluminum, with brass and steel internal parts. In the .68 Carbine and Pro Carbine, the valves are mounted directly in the gun bodies, behind aluminum valve tubes which direct gas through the front bolt to impact the ball. On both the Model 98 and A-5, the valves are mounted inside of a black plastic valve tube, making for a conveniently sealed unit which can be easily replaced as a whole.

The animation shows a Model 98 valve. When the trigger is pulled, the sear releases the rear bolt. The rear bolt is carried forward by the drive spring and strikes the valve plunger. The plunger moves allowing gas to escape the valve. While part of the gas rushes rearward to blow the rear bolt backwards, part of the gas rushes over 4 channels milled into the outside of the valve, and forward through the valve tube to impact the ball. The valve spring then pushes the plunger back into a closed position.

There are some differences in modern Tippmann valves. While the newer Model 98 and A-5 valves have four milled channels on the outside over which gas passes toward the front of the gun, the older .68 Carbine and Pro Carbine valves have two flat sides. Although the internal diameter is the same, due to length and internal parts size differences the Model 98 and A-5 valves have a slightly larger volume capacity than the older .68 Carbine style valves.

The A-5 marks at least the fourth production model in which this same basic valve system has been used. The simplicity in the design of the modern Tippmann valve systems, along with the use of quality materials, translates into an almost unmatched level of reliability in the paintball industry – which obviously translates into success for the company.

Tanker Tips

Tanker Tips


The military calls it mechanized.  You call it riding around in some kick $@% vehicle last weekend when you played paintball.

I love the fact that paintball has evolved into what it is today. My father introduced me to paintball in 1989. The Sheridan pump pistol was all they rented. And those with the Bushmasters ruled. But what I wanted even then was to go to a game where a hundred or more would do scenarios. So here we are today and we even have people who bring mock military machinery to use in these hundred to even thousands of people scenario games.

How to deploy from a vehicle while under fire or even just deploying into Indian country.

  • 1. Watch your body parts while entering and exiting the vehicle. It’s very easy to have a body part slammed, pinched, and banged around while entering and exiting under hostile circumstances.
  • 2. Prior positioning (and training is the key for this so train) get together and say “ok when we get out you will go here and you will go here etc. .”
  • 3. You must cover every angle and keep low. The gunner for the vehicle will be going to town on the enemy if you are in a hot zone. Have 360 degrees covered. That means out of all the men you have, adding everyone’s position and field of fire they will equal up to having every angle covered.
  • 4. Get 10-20 meters away from the vehicle the minute you exit. The vehicles draw fire and you are in the path of those rounds. Plus, if the vehicle detonates it can take you and your men out.
  • 5. Once you have drawn your weapon; exited the vehicle and taken your assigned position, you will now go prone (laying down position). This gives the enemy less of a target.
  • 6. Your team leader will decide to either Charlie Mike (Continue Mission), OR scramble back onto the vehicles and get out of dodge going cyclic on the weapons.
  • 7. Deploy smoke to block their view if you must move from the area on foot. A good I.A.Drill is best for moving from the hostile area on foot.
  • 8. Engage targets and move when told by team leader. You can deploy ordinance if you are within range. Your team will not get up until killed or told to move.

In today’s battles victory is not won by man or machine alone. The tank cannot survive without soldiers protecting it. In today’s military tank platoons are accompanied by mechanized ground pounders. If a tank is ambushed by many targets then the mech comes in to help out. I DON’T SEE THIS IN PAINTBALL! I can’t tell you how many times I’m off the road watching the enemy tank go down all by itself into no mans land. Where is the support? A tank commander should talk to his general and have no less than 3 men assigned to just follow the tank around. It is too too easy in paintball to take out tanks. So here are some tips for ground pounders who run with the tank.

  • 1. Stay 10 feet away from the tank! It’s the Rules! (at most fields) You wouldn’t stand right beside a tank in the real world anyway. They rotate on a dime and you will loose a leg or even worse all of you.
  • 2.  If the tank engages a target make sure you have your flanks secured. Expect a flank attack on the opposite the tank is engaging.
  • 3. Engage what the tank is targeting as well if you have the right ammo for the job. It will save ammo for one of you. And that other could save you later on.
  • 4. Let the tank take point but don’t be so far back you can’t see his front view as well.
  • 5. If the tank is hit the least you can do is avenge his death. It will also clear the way for the next tank if there is one.
  • 6. Use what they have against them. If you have enough anti tank guys; assign them to the mechanized group. Let them fire right back at those who are hiding in bunkers and bases attacking the tank. DO NOT SHOOT AT INDIVIDUALS WITH A LAUNCHER! Do I need to repeat it?
  • 7. In most cases if a tank is hit it just has to drive back to its insertion point. Wait for it till it comes back if you are assigned to it. You can set up an ambush and kill many just waiting for it to come back. Plus, gather info and help out a unit till it gets back. If that unit pushes on, after helping it stay and wait for the tank.
  • 8. Once reunited follow step 1-6.

I have never ridden in a tank(on it, yes) so I don’t know a lot but I will tell you what I know from having a tanker father who also went Airborne and Mp. So these are not SOP for military but what I would do if I was riding around in a coffin.

  • 1. Make foot soldiers follow me .Not just ride around in it.
  • 2. Make a cannon to fire nerf footballs. I can’t tell you how many alleged tanks I have seen which do not have a cannon, but instead have port holes and double paint ball guns. You can make a launcher if you take the time and want to spend about 100.00 bucks. I mean you took the time to make a vehicle into a paintball toy, why not go all the way.
  • 3. Do not use plexiglass for your windows. You will not be able to see after your first go around on the battlefield. Use netting! ITS ONLY PAINT,.IT WILL WASH OFF OF YOU!
  • 4. Assign someone to retrieve your rockets. Even if they are eliminated trying to get it, I can’t imagine someone telling them they couldn’t get it AS long as they didn’t run back up to the tank to let them use it again.
  • 5. Destroy everything!
  • 6. Wait for another tank to help assist on hitting a well defended target. Even if the enemy anti-tank team gets one tank, the other has a chance of spotting and hitting the target.
  • 7. Be safe driving out there.

For tips on Paintball Tactics you can check out our article here.

Game Variations for small groups


Sniper rules offers a chance for players to improve both teamwork and individual skills, while enjoying a unique playing experience. It’s basically an all vs. one game, but can that too can be modified. The idea is for a sniper to bury himself in the woods, and the rest of the group to hunt.

The sniper is allowed time to set-up and hide before the hunters are let loose on the field. The win conditions are set before the game starts and depend on what kind of challenge both the sniper and hunters want to take. For example, the conditions might be that the sniper wins if he eliminates only one of the hunters. This offers more of a challenge to the hunters who must operate in a fashion designed to protect everyone. The conditions could also be that the sniper has to eliminate a specified amount of the hunters to secure a win. This obviously puts more of the challenge on the sniper.

A variation is to limit the ammo capacity and rate of fire of the sniper (such as using a pump gun). In return, the sniper gets to shoot at a higher velocity than everyone else. For example, while the sniper is allowed to chrono at 300 f.p.s.,  other players must chrono to a maximum of 260 f.p.s.  This gives the sniper some advantage in range.


In Tag, the group of players are divided into two equal teams, and switch teams when they get eliminated. The game is over when everyone is finally on the same team. When a player gets eliminated, he becomes neutral and must first tag up with the player who shot him before he becomes a part of that player’s team. It is the eliminated player’s responsibility to go to the player who shot him. The neutrality rule keeps the eliminated player from immediately getting shot again by his former team mates, and the tag rule keeps the eliminated player from immediately switching sides and simply shooting people around him.

Tag can end very quickly or can go on indefinitely depending on how events transpire. A 3 on 3 situation can quickly deteriorate to 5 on 1, then within minutes go right back to 3 on 3 with a completely different combination of players from the original teams. The situation can continually change with no apparent end in sight, which means it may require a lot of paint and air, unless a time deadline is set. In Tag there is no clear cut winner – the game isn’t about winning. It’s about playing time. No one sits out on the sidelines while others continue to play, and players get a chance to try out a variety of team combinations.


This game is a fairly common theme in paintball, but there are several variations that can be applied to keep it interesting. The way we play this game is to put a smaller amount of players on the top of a hill with better cover such as a fort, while the larger group tries to advance up the hill and take the position. The defenders up hill also have the advantage of altitude which means less lobbing for longer shots. Since they are stationary, they can also keep more supplies in the fort. The goals for each team can be set in one of several ways, such as elimination of the opposition, or reaching a certain point on the field of play. Restrictions can also be set on where the teams are allowed to go, such as prohibiting the defending team from traveling outside the immediate area of their fort.

Our field is set up where despite having smaller numbers, the defenders definitely have the advantage and sometimes enjoy a situation in which they are shooting fish in a barrel. The attackers have a challenge to face and absolutely have to use team work to achieve their objective. It’s not easy, but that’s part of what makes attacking a favorite among some of us.