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First of all there is the main body that everything else attaches to. The main body has something in it called a bolt. The air flows through the bolt and the bolt pushes the paintball out. The main body also includes the cocking mechanism. This is either a pump or an automatic system that recocks the gun. Recocking means placing another paintball in the firing chamber. The chamber or breech is where the ball awaits the rush of air that fires it. Near the chamber is something called a ball detente. This mechanism holds the paintball in place so it doesn't roll out. It also serves to not allow more than one ball to feed into the chamber.
The paintball is fired out of the chamber and through the "barrel". The barrel is a long tube that guides the paintball in a straight path as it leaves the gun. Different kinds are available and they screw into the main body. Many say that brass barrels are the best because they have the least friction on the paintball (they are the cheapest). Others swear by heavier stainless steal barrels. Some only play with aluminum. A lot of designs have a bunch of holes drilled into them in different patterns, this helps air get out of the paintball's way, but is a mess to clean.
Another important part is the hopper. Basically a plastic inverted bottle that holds your paintballs and allows them to feed into the chamber by gravity. Some however, are motorized and insure that another paintball will fall into place after one is shot. If you are firing rapidly, make sure you have one of these. They come in all sorts of sizes, some hold only 40 balls, while others can hold up to 300. Depends on your style.
The air tank is also crucial and can be attached to your gun in various locations. On most guns it hangs horizontally off the back, and they are just screwed in. Some prefer a vertical mount to keep the liquid (bad) CO2 on the bottom and out of the gun. Which is good of course. The mosty comon gas is CO2. It is a tank with a flat bottom. Almost all rental places give you one of those. some rental places have moved up and only use Compressed Air. CA is just regular air, it won't freeze or turn to liquid in the cold. It is often called Nitrogen. CA is typically stored in a rounded bottom tank. These have very high pressures (as high as 3000psi) and poeple fear that if they explode, one can be seriously hurt, if not dead.
Other Useful Accessories
Remote: A long tube that allows you to carry your air tank on a back pack or belt. A light tube is attached to the gun. This is useful because it takes weight off your gun and makes it lighter and more versatile. It is a cheap addition. A good used one runs about $30-40 bucks.
Belt Pack: Usually something worn around the belt that holds extra supplies. Extra air, extra paint, maybe even smoke bombs. Typically they are called 4-1 or 8-1 or 6-1. The "1" is usually a verticle recepticle for an airtank. The other numbers signify the amount of horizontal paint tube holders.
Mask: This is a protective 'helmet' that covers the front of your face and ears. You can get some for $30-$40, but the better ones run at about $80. If you have glases and plan to wear it over them, get a Scott mask. It fits better. These are very important!
Sight: A sight can be any extra device added that allows you to aim better than point shooting. Some have scopes, some have red dot sights, and some have lasers on them. Usually these are all useless. I have not seen anyone use a sight and actually be accurate. Paint guns are not accurate and neither are the paintballs. I added a laser sight to my autococker just for kicks, but probably will never run into a situation except , backyard target practice, to use it. By the time you aim and get ready to shoot I would have put 30 paintballs in your face.
Clothing: Dark clothes are fine. I hate camouflage. Dress warmly and in layers.