Skill Breakdown: Running and Gunning

hipjaw // Reading Entity // #22
Apr 8, 2011
I know there's a thread already up on running and gunning at the moment with good videos to demonstrate, but I've attempted to break the skill down a bit further with my own take on the skill and practicing it.

Skill Breakdown: Running And Gunning

A hard but important skill to master, Running and Gunning benefits you from the start to finish of your game​

What Is The Aim Of Running And Gunning?
Whenever you want to get somewhere on a paintball field, the chances are your opponent will be trying to stop you. If you can shoot paint accurately back at them whilst moving between bunkers, you have a higher chance of surviving the move if they have to dodge your paint – you might even hit them!

Why Is Running And Gunning Important?
If you can master this skill then it will benefit you when getting G’s off the break, getting you to your next bunker safely mid-game, then getting you all the glory points and female attention with that point winning run through. It’s a very hard skill to master and it takes a lot of work to use it effectively. When starting out, it’s very easy getting into the habit of simply running into your bunkers, but invest some of your time into this skill at every training session possible and it will pay off dividends in the long run.

Stance & Form.
Okay so to start with we’re going to look at your breakout stance. If you’re running and gunning you’re probably going to be starting on the edge of your start gate, anyone running straight to their primary bunker will likely be starting in front of you. Stand in a nice balanced stance – as if your behind a stand up bunker, feet facing forward, legs bent, back straight, head up, looking at your targets (stare through their eyes and into their souls whenever possible).

You will ALWAYS hold your gun in the same hand as the direction you are running

If you are running out to the left, your gun is in your left hand – no ifs or buts! If you are running right, it’s in your right hand. Start with your gun in the correct hand, bottle in the opposite shoulder, stand as far from the gate as you can with your barrel touching it. You need as good a head start as you can especially when there’s a feature in the middle of the field blocking the view of your target.

“10 SECONDS!” don’t look at your barrel on the start gate, don’t wave to that guy on the sidelines you have a crush on, stare straight at the guy opposite. Look at him, stood there with his trendy headband/sandana/beanie combo, thinking he’s a boss. Imagine a paintball leaving your gun and hitting him in his poor choice of headgear, imagine how deflated he will be walking off before he’s started. Okay now focus your ears for that buzzer, because once it goes off, you’re putting your first ball in that smug little face over there.

When the whistle blows, NOTHING but your arms move. You keep your torso still, move your gun across the front of your body in as straight and small a motion as possible, with your head still in the same place and you take your first shot. Now it has left your barrel it’s too late to worry about where it’s gone because you gotta start moving your legs and hauling ass to your primary bunker, shooting the dude that’s stood there trying to shoot you.

To The Training Field
Okay so now you know the situation that you’re going to be in on the field, we need to take that concept onto the training field.

When practicing off the break running and gunning you will mainly want to practice hitting the laners who are standing still / moving the least at the start of the game. This is mainly because a moving shooter is more likely to hit a static shooter than another moving shooter. The purpose is ideally to hit your opponent, but failing that you are disrupting that guy whilst he is trying to shoot you and/or your buddy.

Set up a target where the laner is most likely to be stood, start with your gun touching as mentioned above, move NOTHING but your arms and gun to take your first shot and then start your run. You have to start slow at first as accuracy is MORE important than speed. If you’re sprinting into your bunker but hitting nothing more than the floor, the netting and the back of your team mate’s head then you might as well just be running faster without your gun up.

When it comes to the technique of the run there are different styles, some run with their legs facing the direction they are moving whereas some sidestep their way over. How ever you feel comfortable, keep your torso facing towards your opponent and keep staring at them. If you start to look where you’re going you will instantly lose 100% of your accuracy. Don’t worry about where your bunker is, with practice it will become second nature but for now your peripheral vision will do a good enough job for you.

I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH that it’s important to get your paint on target. When drilling, take your first steps at a walking pace to get your paint on point, then accelerate and then, if you’re feeling like a superstar, dive/slide into your bunker.

Whilst running always keep your legs bent to take the impact. Your waist upwards should be as still as possible as that is your shooting platform. The smoother you can make your steps the more accurate your paint will be down field.

  • Start with your gun in the same hand as the direction you are about to run
  • Take your first shot before you begin your run
  • Keep your eyes on your target
  • Keep your legs bent to cushion your steps
  • Aim your paint slightly past the target in the opposite direction of your run
  • Accuracy is better than speed


Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2015
Nice post. It's always good to keep reading about paintball basics.