Non-frangible rounds

Posted on: May 5th 2016

By: Kayleigh Stanton

Members of the UK Paintball Sports Federation are reminded that intrinsic to the legal definition of a paintball marker is that it fires frangible ammunition. If a paintball marker is used to fire non-frangible rounds, it ceases to be considered as a paintball marker and is regarded as a firearm.

Rounds such as First Strike and One-to-One rounds appear to the UKPSF not to meet the requirement to be frangible. Re-balls are a further example of non-frangible ammunition.

In reminding members of the legal significance of markers firing frangible ammunition, the Federation is exercising a general duty of care to pass on to members information about which they should be aware in order that their activities remain within the law.

The UKPSF has no power to impose bans. Nor does the UKPSF have power to enforce the law: individuals/companies have the responsibility to abide by legislation. However, it is the UKPSF’s position that to be sure of being lawful, only frangible ammunition should be used in paintball markers. Use of non-frangible ammunition is contrary to the UKPSF Code of Practice for Site Operators and may invalidate site &/or UKPSF player insurance.

Testing by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) was undertaken on airsoft rounds to clarify the lethality limits for BBs. This type of testing may be an option so far as paintball ammunition is concerned to address the frangibility issue. The UKPSF will undertake to explore whether the FSS would undertake such testing and at what cost. Consideration can then be given to how such testing, if possible, could be funded.

Hopefully this statement clarifies the position for members and corrects some of the misconceptions that have been in circulation.

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