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Proper Paintball Storage

The shell of a paintball is made with gelatin and glycerin.  The shell contains very little water and is brittle.  Both the gelatin and glycerine will dissolve in water.  Since the shell contains so little water, it will absorb water like a sponge when it is humid.  Cold air is relatively dry and will pull water from a paintball shell.  Extreme hot and cold temperatures will adversely affect a paintball's performance.  Throw in high humidity at high temperatures and a paintball will give you more difficultly than a burr in a barrel.  But the buck doesn't stop at the shell.  The paint is also water soluble and interacts with its surrounding(s) - the shell.  The paint does not contain water either so when the shell starts to pick up extra water, the paint starts to draw in some of the extra moisture. When things start to dry up on the outside, the water in the paint goes out the proverbial window as well.  The whole situation adds up to a challenge for the most experienced heating and cooling technician - let alone a paintball player.  Considering all this, here are  some practical storage and handling tips for all weather conditions....
There are recommended storage conditions for most brands of paint.  Optimum temperatures range from 59 to 86 F (15 to 30 C) and 40 to 50% relative humidity. Temperatures and/or humidities beyond either end of those ranges will adversely affect the performance of a paintball.  The longer the exposure to these extreme conditions, the less reversible the effects.  How long is too long?  In very extreme conditions, 20 to 30 minutes exposure may be enough.  An exposure of 45 to 60 minutes in moderate conditions will be sufficient.  Humidity will have less effect if the paintballs are kept in the plastic bags and securely closed by twisting the bag and tightly sealing shut with the twist tie. 



  1. Korian D. on March 19, 2009 at 12:42 AM said:
    Yes, very correct, but one thing, the ingredients in a paintball WILL separate into different density levels, rendering them useless if left in one position too long. So if you're storing paintballs for an exessive amount of time (months), be sure that you store them in a flippable container, so that every month you can flip the container, thus reversing any seperating that may have started. Other than that, if you do everything in this thread, you should be able to keep paintballs stored for YEARS on end.
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