Originally a manufacturer of collectible, half-scale replica machine guns, family-owned Tippmann entered the paintball industry in 1986 when gun law changes forced them to re-evaluate their business.
At the time, the Tippmann's were afraid that paintball was just a passing fad that would have about as much staying power as the hula hoop. But it seemed like a natural transition for the company anyway. After all, they knew how to make guns, and paintball markers shared the same basic principles as the machine guns they were manufacturing.
Thinking the sport would never last, they entered the paintball industry with a goal: to make high-performance, durable products that people could afford. Because of their experience in the gun industry, the Tippmanns' products were light years ahead of the competition. They built the very first semi-automatic and full-automatic paintball markers, and the sport never slowed down. Tippmann went from having eight employees in 1986 to 120 in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Tippmann Sports Europe in Tournai,