Do Paintballs Expire?

Do Paintballs Expire?

Paintballing is an exciting and thrilling recreational activity, but in order to maximize the fun, it’s essential to make sure you are using quality paintballs that are up-to-date. Knowing the shelf life of paintballs is key to determining if they’re still safe to use – so do paintballs expire? In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore all you need to know about expiration dates and safety tips when it comes to paintballs!

Two Major Factors That Affect How Long Your Paintballs Will Last

There are two major factors affecting how long paintballs stay fresh and ready for use: the type of paintball used and the level of care given.

The type of paintball you choose is important because not all types have the same shelf life. For example, high-end professional grade paintballs can last up to one year if stored properly. On the other hand, less expensive recreational grade paintballs may only last a few months before they need to be replaced. If you’re looking for a more durable option, it might be worth investing in professional grade paintballs.

The way you store your paintballs is also an important factor in determining their shelf life. Keep them away from extreme temperatures and humidity as much as possible. Keeping paintballs in a cool, dry place will help extend their shelf life and maintain their quality. You should also avoid leaving them out in direct sunlight, as this can cause the paintballs to break down faster. Additionally, if you aren’t using all of the paintballs that come in a single pack, it is best to store them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag until you are ready to use them. This will help prevent moisture from entering the container and affecting the quality of the paintballs.

Make sure to check the expiration date listed on the package before using them and take note of any changes in appearance or consistency so you know when it’s time to discard them. By taking good care of your paintballs, you can make sure that your next battle is a blast!

Two Major Factors That Affect

Moisture and Sunlight

Paintballs are highly sensitive to moisture and sunlight. After all, they are made of water, so it is important that the paintballs you buy are not exposed to any elements that can compromise their integrity. To ensure the longevity of your paintballs, it’s crucial to store them in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight, as the humidity levels in your surroundings can impact their durability. If the paintballs do get too wet or hot, then they will become brittle and break easily. It should be noted that even if you properly store your paintballs, they still have an expiration date which is usually about 1-2 years after purchase. In these cases, it’s best to discard old paintballs as soon as possible since expired paintballs may cause damage to the paintball gun and can be unsafe to use.

What Temperature Should Paintballs Be Stored At?

Paintballs should always be stored in a cool and dry place, at temperatures of 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit (20-25 degrees Celsius). [1]

You should also ensure that your paintball containers are tightly sealed at all times to prevent moisture from getting inside. If you ever notice that the shells of your paintballs look wet or sticky, then it’s likely they have been exposed to too much humidity and should not be used.

Paintballs Expiration Dates

Paintballs generally have an expiration date stamped on the packaging. This is important to pay attention to as paintballs that have expired can be less accurate and contain less vibrant colors. Paintballs are made with a type of oil-based paint that has a shelf life and should not be used after its expiration date. On average, paintball markers will shoot accuracy up to 250 feet, but with expired paintballs, the accuracy decreases significantly.

When purchasing your paintballs, try to make sure you buy enough for your next game, so they don’t expire before you use them all. Paintballs are also sensitive to moisture, so it is important to keep them in a dry place.

If you’re unsure of the expiration date on your paintballs, check the package for a “best before” or expiration date before use. Using expired paintballs can be dangerous and increase the risk of injury. If they appear wet or discolored, they should not be used as they have probably expired and become brittle from age or heat exposure.

It is always best practice to use fresh paintballs when playing the game of paintball for maximum accuracy and enjoyment – after all, no one wants to get hit with an old, smudgy ball! Fortunately, some companies offer lifetime warranties on their paintballs which guarantee that the product will always remain in good condition.

If you’re looking to stock up on paintballs, try to purchase them in bulk and find a way to store them properly. Doing so will ensure your paintballs stay fresh for when you need them and help save you some money!

Paintballs Expiration Dates


One thing to consider when trying to determine if a paintball has expired is the presence of dimpling on the ball’s surface. Dimpling occurs when there are tiny little indentations in the shell of the paintball, caused by a chemical reaction between moisture and nitrogen. This can cause an otherwise usable paintball to break irregularly upon impact or even mid-air due to the weakened integrity of its shell.

If you notice that your paintballs have become dimpled, it’s best to discard them and buy some fresher ones. Dimpling does not necessarily mean that the paintball has expired, but it does reduce its shelf life significantly and therefore should be avoided for use in any game or competition as much as possible.


Paintballs can be stored for a long time, but eventually they will expire. Paintballs are made with a gelatin shell that is filled with dye. This shell can start to break down over time and cause the paintball to flatten out, which makes it less accurate when shot from a gun. Additionally, the dyes inside of the ball may start fading or become lumpy over time.

When storing paintballs, keep them in cool, dry places like in your basement or closet away from any moisture or sunlight. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t leave them exposed to extreme temperatures as these can both shorten their lifespan.

Although most high quality paintballs can last up to a year, it’s always best to check the expiration date on your paintball cans as this will give you an accurate estimate of when they should be discarded. We recommend checking them every 3-6 months and discarding any expired or flattened balls.


If you’re an avid paintball enthusiast, you may be curious about whether or not paintballs expire. After all, with their bright colors and various sizes, it’s easy to assume that these small balls are like any other item in your home – they have a shelf life.

The good news is that no, paintballs do not expire! That doesn’t mean, however, that they have an infinite shelf-life and are always safe to use. Rather than worry about expiration dates, there are several factors you should consider when determining if your paintballs are still safe and ready for use.


But What If They’re In Good Condition?

Even if paintballs appear to be in good condition, they can still expire and become unsafe to use. Paintballs are made of a gelatin shell that contains food-grade dyes and fillers like glycerin, oils, and waxes. Over time, these substances break down and can cause the paintball to dry out or become too brittle; making it more likely to break inside your gun barrel or on impact with another surface. This could potentially clog your gun or leave you with an unnecessary mess to clean up afterwards.

In addition, old paintballs may contain contaminants like dust and dirt which can also affect their performance. Even if the outside of the ball looks pristine, it’s always best practice to run a cleaning and maintenance check on your gun before each use to ensure that the paintballs don’t cause any issues.

So, even if the paintballs appear to be in good condition, it’s important to remember that they may still have expired and can become unsafe to use. It’s always best practice to purchase fresh paintballs from a reputable supplier and store them properly in order to get the most out of your supplies.

Doing this will help you maximize their shelf life, as well as enjoy more reliable performance when using them in your paintball games. As long as you purchase quality products and store them correctly, you should be able to get a full season of play out of one batch of paintballs.

Paintballs Warnings And Care

When it comes to paintballs, there are several warnings and care instructions that should be followed:

  • Don’t leave your paintballs in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the ball to expand and possibly explode.
  • Make sure you store your paintball guns and accessories properly so they don’t get damaged or become clogged with dirt or debris.
  • Never use a paintball gun without wearing proper protective gear such as goggles and a face shield. Even just one impact from a paintball can cause serious injury if unprotected.
  • Paintballs should not be stored for more than three months as the shell of the ball may start to break down due to moisture, temperature changes, or other environmental factors.
  • If you’re using a CO2 tank with your paintball gun, check the pressure before each use to make sure it is safe and will not cause excessive wear or tear on your gun.
  • Before playing paintball, it is important to inspect all of your equipment for any signs of damage or wear and tear. This includes checking the air hoses, barrels, and tanks for any leaks or cracks that could potentially affect your performance.
  • Finally, always adhere to the safety rules formulated by paintball organizations in order to ensure everyone’s safety while playing the game. [2]

Paintballs Warnings And Care

Never use frozen paintballs

It is essential to not use frozen paintballs, as they are known to cause serious damage. The cold temperature of the paintball will cause it to become brittle and shatter upon impact. This could potentially injure you or someone else playing with you, so make sure that your paintballs are stored in a safe, dry place where temperatures are above freezing. If you think there’s a chance your paintballs have been exposed to cold temperatures, then don’t take any chances; discard them immediately and get some new ones. Also keep in mind that using expired paintballs can lead to clogging or jamming in your marker which can be dangerous.

Use a zip lock bag

When it comes to paintball expiring, the best thing you can do is make sure they are kept in an airtight container. You can easily do this with a zip lock bag. This will help keep your paintballs fresh by keeping out moisture and dirt. Make sure the bag is tightly sealed so that no outside contaminants can get in or any moisture can escape. If you want to go one step further, consider using vacuum-sealed containers or bags. This will ensure absolute air-tightness so no paintballs spoil over time due to oxygenation.

Rotate your paintballs

Even if you don’t plan to play any paintball games for a while, it’s important to rotate your paintballs. The heat and the dampness of most storage areas can cause the outer shell of the paintballs to become brittle or cracked. To avoid this, try rotating your paintballs so that no single batch is sitting in one spot too long. This will ensure that all of your balls have an even and consistent texture which helps ensure they won’t break inside your gun at an inopportune moment.

Rotate your paintballs

What Happens If You Use Expired/Damaged Paintballs?

Using paintballs that have gone bad — either because they are damaged or expired — could cause serious harm. Paintballs can become moldy, compressed, brittle, and even explode when used in a paintball gun. Not only will the ball not break on target correctly like it is supposed to do, but it could also ricochet off its intended target and cause injury to someone nearby. Additionally, using outdated paintballs can lead to malfunctions of your paintball gun as well. Keep track of when your paintballs need to be replaced in order to avoid any potential accidents or damage caused by faulty ammunition.

It is possible for you to play with out-of-date ammo; however, there are certain precautions that you should take to ensure the safety of your gun and yourself. Firstly, be sure to inspect each ball for any damage or discoloration before putting it in your marker. Ensure any paintballs used are fired at a low velocity (under 280 fps) as this will help minimize their risk of exploding on impact. Lastly, keep your eye out for other players who may be using expired paintballs — remember it’s not just about keeping yourself safe but others too!

Paintball Gun Malfunctions & Damage

Paintball guns are a lot of fun, but they can also be dangerous if misused. Malfunctioning paintball guns can cause injury to the user and other players, ensure your gun is functioning properly before you start playing with it. Common signs of malfunction include increased gas flow, erratic firing, or difficulty in reloading the magazine. If any of these issues arise during play, stop using the gun immediately and consult a professional for repair or maintenance. Additionally, do not attempt to repair the gun yourself unless you have experience working with firearms – otherwise you could potentially make the problem worse.

It’s also important to inspect your paintballs for damage before use. Paintballs should be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent them from drying out. Damaged paintballs can not only be inaccurate when fired, but also cause jams or misfires that could lead to dangerous situations. Inspect your paintballs for any signs of damage such as dents, cracks, or discoloration before each use and discard any damaged ones you find. Following these safety tips will help ensure your paintball experience is fun and safe!

Hurt Players

When it comes to paintballing, safety is of utmost importance. Paintballs can hurt if they hit unprotected skin and can even cause serious injuries in some cases. This is why wearing protective gear such as masks and gloves is essential when participating in the sport.

Another factor to consider when paintballing is the expiration date of the paintballs. If a paintball has expired, it could potentially break upon impact which could lead to an increased risk of injury, not only for you but also your fellow players. It’s important that all players are aware of any possible expiry dates associated with their particular brand of paintballs.

The average shelf-life of a paintball will vary depending on the manufacturer and type of paintball. Generally speaking, unopened paintballs will remain good for up to one year from the manufacture date. Opened pails of paintballs should be used within six months or less due to their tendency to dry out and lose their consistency over time. It’s important to always check the expiration date printed on each individual bag of paintballs before using them in order to ensure they are still safe and have not expired.

Of course, no matter what type of paintball you use, all players should take precautions when playing, such as wearing full protective gear and avoiding shooting directly at someone’s head or face. Paintballing can be a fun and adrenaline-filled sport as long as everyone plays it safely!

Hurt Players

What Problems Can Old Paintballs Cause?

Using old paintballs can cause a few problems. Most notably, it can clog your gun and make it harder to fire. In addition, if you’re playing in a competitive setting, an old paintball might break too easily when shot at high velocity. This could lead to inaccurate shots and put you at a disadvantage against your opponents. Furthermore, using outdated paintballs could potentially give away your position as the bright colors of the older balls are much more visible than newer ones.

It is also possible that old paintballs will not provide the same reliable accuracy as fresh ones. You may find that they fly off-course or burst prematurely due to their age. This could leave you blindsided in the heat of battle.

In short, using old paintballs is simply not worth the risk and you should always use fresh ones for optimal performance and reliability. Keep reading to discover how long paintballs last and how you can extend their life span!


Paintballs are made up of a thin outer shell that is filled with paint or dye inside. The combination of the two creates a round, bouncy ball that can be shot at targets in various games. However, with time, the thin outer shell of paintballs can dry out, leading to decreased bounce and stability. This could lead to your paintball gun not shooting accurately or the balls breaking when they hit their target. To ensure you get accurate shots every time and that your paintballs don’t break before reaching their destination, it’s important to keep an eye on expiration dates.

Squishiness and Brittleness

Paintballs become squishy and brittle with age, making them more likely to break. As paintballs are composed of a gelatin shell filled with paint, they begin to deteriorate as soon as they are exposed to air or humidity. Old paintballs can be identified by feeling for a significant amount of give when you squeeze them in your hand; if the ball is too soft, it should not be used. Additionally, these aging balls will often look duller and may even have cracks in their shells. If any of these signs of deterioration are present then do not use the ball because it is likely to burst upon impact and could cause injury or damage. It is important that players check all of their ammunition at the start of each game for any signs of wear and tear. If you find any then discard them and replace them with new paintballs for safety reasons.


Shrinkage of paintballs is another factor to consider when it comes to their expiration date. Paintballs are made from a gelatin shell that shrinks over time, especially if stored in hot and humid environments. Even in cooler temperatures, the heat from your hand may cause the paintball to shrink slightly after leaving the factory. The smaller size can cause problems with accuracy and distance as well as reduce the amount of impact they have when striking a target. This means you should be mindful of how long you keep a box of paintballs before using them. Ideally, they should be used within 6 months or less for best performance.


Barrel Clogs

Paintballs can also become dangerous if they’re stored for too long and start to clog the barrel of your paintball gun. This can cause a ballistic malfunction, which could be potentially hazardous. To make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s important to regularly clean the barrel of your paintball gun with a pull-through squeegee or a squeegee rod. Doing so will remove any dirt and debris that may have accumulated in the barrel and prevent it from becoming clogged.


Paintballs are, by their nature, prone to deterioration over time. The outer shell also deteriorates due to exposure to sunlight and moisture, making it more difficult for the paintball to properly break on impact when fired from a gun.

The expiration date on a paintball indicates the estimated period that it will remain in good condition. However, even before this time has elapsed the performance of your paintballs may start to decline. This is why many experienced players suggest replacing your paintballs every six months or so – regardless of whether they have reached their official expiry date or not.

It’s also important to remember that different brands of paintballs may have different expiration dates. Ensure to check the manufacturer’s guidelines before buying a particular brand, or use them as soon as possible after purchase. Expired or deteriorated paintballs can cause problems such as inconsistent firing and poor accuracy, which could lead to an unsatisfactory day on the field.


It’s worth noting that paintballs can get dented or diverted over time, especially if not stored properly. This can lead to them breaking apart mid-air when shot. As a result, it is important to inspect each paintball before use, as this will help ensure that none of them break inside the barrel of your gun upon firing. If any of the paintballs are dented or devoted you should discard them in order for your shooting experience to remain safe and enjoyable. [3]

Additionally, you may want to consider purchasing fresh paintballs from time to time, as they will be less likely to have been affected by storage conditions. Fresh paintballs are typically brighter in color and have a smoother shell than old paintballs, making them less likely to break apart during a game.

Finally, it’s important to note that if you’re playing on an outdoor field, the conditions can be harsher than those found in an indoor environment and may cause your paintballs to degrade faster. You should always check your paintball supply before heading out for a day of play. This will help ensure you have an enjoyable experience without any unnecessary breakdowns or mid-game interruptions due to poor quality paintballs.


How Long Do Paintballs Last?

Paintballs are designed to be used within a certain period of time for safety reasons. Generally, paintballs have an expiration date of one year from the date they were manufactured. After this date has passed, the paintball is no longer suitable for use and should not be used in any way.

Due to the nature of paintballs as a compressible material, they can degrade over time and become brittle or otherwise unusable due to exposure to air and light. The shelf life of paintballs will depend on storage conditions, however even with ideal storage conditions, one-year expiration dates remain standard among most manufacturers.


How long does paintball last?

Paintballs can last up to two years from the manufacturing date, but it is best to use them within a year. The shelf life of paintballs depends on storage conditions and how quickly you will be using them. If stored in cool, dry conditions, they can last longer than if exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity. [4]

What happens when paintballs expire?

Paintballs that have expired may become brittle and break easily when shot, reducing accuracy and flight distance. Expired paintballs may also contain bacteria and other contaminants that could cause skin irritation or even infections upon contact with the skin. Therefore, it’s always best to use fresh paintballs whenever possible.

How long does paintball ammo last?

Paintball ammo typically lasts for several years in ideal storage conditions. However, there are a few factors that can cause paintballs to expire faster than normal. Heat, humidity and sunlight can all speed up the breakdown process of a paintball shell, making it more likely to burst when fired. Additionally, if you’re storing larger quantities of paintballs, make sure they’re stacked neatly and not too tightly so air can circulate between them.

Another factor is the age of the balls themselves. Newer paintballs will generally be fresher and can last longer than older paintballs.

How do you preserve paintballs?

Paintballs degrade over time, just like any other type of food or product. To prevent this from happening, it is important to properly store paintballs in dry conditions, away from extreme heat or direct sunlight. It is also a good idea to keep them in an airtight container so that no moisture can enter the paintballs. Additionally, if you are not using all of your paintballs at once, it is wise to open up only one package at a time instead of having multiple packages open simultaneously. This will help ensure that each pack of paintballs stays fresh for as long as possible.

Another way to preserve your paintballs is by freezing them before use. This will extend their shelf life and make sure that they are fresh when you use them. You can either purchase special paintball containers that keep the balls cool, or you can simply store them in a zip-top bag and place them in the freezer for later use. Just make sure to label each bag and keep track of how long you have been storing them so that you don’t forget about them!

Finally, it is important to always check the expiration date of your paintballs before using them. If the date has passed, it is best to discard the paintballs since they may be too old to work properly. The last thing you want is to waste your money on ineffective paintballs!

How long do 100 paintballs last?

100 paintballs normally last for about one hour of play. It really depends on the size and number of players, as well as the type of game being played. Some games may require fewer balls than others, or even no balls at all, such as a woodsball or speedball game. Once you’ve emptied your hopper, make sure to always keep track of how much time has passed since the start of the game so that you have an idea of when it’s time to reload with fresh paintballs. [5]

Useful Video: Paint Management – More Important Than You Think


Paintballs do not expire exactly like food, but they can become damaged and less effective over time. Like any other product, you should check the expiration date on paintballs before use to make sure that they are still safe. It is also important to store your paintball guns in a cool, dry place away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. Doing this will help ensure that your paintballs remain safe for an extended period of time and that you get the best performance out of them during play. Finally, always wear and use protective gear when playing with paintballs to stay safe!