Long Range Paintball Guns
What makes a good long range paintball gun? Paintball guns typically shoot a maximum of 150 feet. Their accuracy at longer ranges quickly degrades. Most markers are designed for rapid fire with accuracy being a secondary consideration. That can make it challenging for those who want to play a true sniper position.
Paintball marker accuracy is dependant on several factors with the shape of the paintball being most important. The roundness of the paintball affects the predictable path the ball will travel. A ball that is more oval in shape will create a curved path the farther it travels. This kills the consistency of where your shot will hit and can make your marker's sights/scope useless.
Paintball to barrel bore fit is another contributing factor. A ball that has a comfortable fit to the barrel will efficiently move through the barrel with a smooth glide as it enters its flight path. Although barrel porting and rifling can help control this process, they are features that are often over hyped.
Ambient temperature and humidity can also play a significant role in accuracy. High humidity can affect the way the ball fits through your barrel. A cold or hot paintball may be misshapen by the pressure of the marker launching the ball causing it to fly like an oval ball.
Firststrike paintballs, although special purpose, can create some opportunities for a sniper with a marker designed to shoot these specialty shaped paintballs. RAP4 has the 468 marker with Firststrike compatibility and the options to build the marker as a sniper rifle. This is an expensive option, but a very high end milsim paintball marker.
The Tippmann Flatline barrel puts a backspin on the ball to extend its travel. Although it gets a lot of complaints about accuracy, it shoots beyond where any other barrel can reach - about 250 feet with a flat trajectory. The ability to shoot 100 feet further than any other barrel actually makes it more accurate at that range since other barrels can't compete. Tip: If using a Flatline consider practicing with an assortment of paintballs to find which one works best with the barrel in your conditions.
Pic from Paintball-Online.com
The BT APEX barrel can also put a spin on the ball to create more distance or a left/right curve. The APEX certainly serves its purpose, but its adjustability can make for unpredictable sniping.
One of our previous write ups (here) was about the most accurate marker we've ever shot. At the time it was an older Black Magic Autococker with a 14 inch JJ Ceramic barrel shooting PMI Premium paintballs. Although limited to the 150 foot reach of a typical marker, it was consistently accurate - making it easy to sight in a scope or reddot for sniping. We've found that JJ Ceramic barrel in the 14 inch model to be very accurate on most markers with the right paintballs and conditions.
If you're straight up looking for long range we'd recommend the Flatline barrel. If you're on a tight budget you could get a new or used Tippmann 98, 98 clone, or US Army marker and install the Flatline. It would probably be the cheapest marker setup to reach out to 250 feet. The accuracy wouldn't be perfect, but the reach would put you well into the long range sniper category.
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Posted by Redwood on 10/08/2014