Paintball Gun Barrels
With all of the paintball gun barrels available, what one makes the most sense for you? I've posted before trying to answer several questions about paintball gun barrels. I am still getting lots of questions concerning what barrel is best, barrel bore to paintball match, and several questions about gimmick barrels.
Some of the Great Brands of Paintball Gun Barrels
The latest paintball gun barrels out for the new season seem to be pretty basic with no major new ground breaking designs. Smart Parts and Dye seem to be leading the way in popularity of barrels in the local tournament scene here. Tippmann and Spyder brand barrels tend to dominate the woods.
Every one wants an accurate barrel. Lot's of people also want a barrel that will be quiet so they can remain hidden. Some of the specialty barrels can make your paintball gun shoot further or curve the ball around bunkers. What it all comes down to at the end of the day is a barrel that is consistent is going to help the player put the ball where they expect it to go. This should get you more eliminations and be a more successful paintballer.
What company is doing it better? I suppose we all have our favorites, most of us Wolfpack players have found the very affordable JJ ceramic barrel to be incredibly accurate on an autococker in a sniper type situation. But when it comes to a true fire fight, the autococker and JJ barrel doesn't cut it. Instead you will see us reach for an electric gun with a bore adjustable barrel. The Stiffi barrels have given us a good performance in the last year or two.
Length and porting are some of the more common questions posted to us. People tend to go out with several paintball gun barrels and choose their favorite. However, some people can only afford one paintball barrel for their gun. These people are looking for advise before they buy.
I think there are some good standards in place for choosing a barrel, such as a tournament barrel length being between 10 inches and 14 inches. Most people will argue that after 14 inches the barrel will cause the paintball to lose velocity with no benefit to accuracy. Other feel the need to look the sniper part with a 21 inch monster pointing out the front of their paintball guns.
The Tippmann Flatline and BT Apex barrels certainly add their value to the sport. Although, the Flatline may not be the most accurate barrel at close ranges, its ability to put a paintball beyond the reach of any other barrel on the market can not be argued with. The Apex barrel also serves it purpose, but takes a lot of patience and practice to put a ball any where near your target. It's consistency is questionable at best.
Another area of concern for our paintball friends is the porting designs in a paintball gun barrel. This gets to be a hot topic revolving around spinning the ball and quieting the shot. I would agree that porting the barrel is a great way to soften the sound and help smooth the transition of the ball as it leaves the barrel. I don't agree with any type of method used to spin a paintball. Paintballs are not perfectly round and definitely not consistent from one ball to the next. Spinning them would add a strong inconsistency to your shots.
Rifling in a barrel also falls into the "don't spin the ball" category. Although, some paintball gun barrels have a type of straight rifling that can reduce the barrel to ball contact in a positive way. For the most part, the rifled gun barrels have become close to extinct.
People also often ask about the effect that a muzzle break can have on the shot. I would imaging that if you are in a sniper one shot one kill type setting, it could be an effective use of a muzzle break. As soon as you start to rapid fire, the muzzle break couldn't disperse the gasses fast enough to be effective. Remember that changing the sound to a less recognized tone can be more effective than trying to eliminate the sound all together.
Several people have asked how badly they are going to be affected by compromising their paintball gun barrel choice because they are building a scenario gun and there is a certain barrel that they need to complete the milsim look they are going after. This question is definitely a dinger! Most people in the end, opt for the scenario barrel and learn to live with it. Don't rule out taking your favorite barrel and modifying it to accommodate your paintball guns look. Some people have found they were able to complete the look with a little inventive crafting.
Tippmann owners commonly ask what the "best barrel" is for their A5, 98 or X7. That's not something we can answer here. Go out in the field and ask around. Look at what others are shooting and see how accurate it seems to you.
One thing we've found for sure is that the "best" barrels aren't always the most expensive ones. If you are serious about paintball gun barrels, you need to test several models.
Many Kingman Spyder owners have found great success with Core and Lapco brands. They come in interesting sizes and lengths and it works if you can adapt it to your style of play. Most of these gun barrels are affordable.
With the new trend of .50cal paintball guns and equipment just around the corner, a whole new set of rules could be brought to light concerning paintball accuracy. These smaller balls will have less wind resistance but carry much less mass. The internal forces of the paintball gun barrels will have a much larger effect on the balls as they pass through. Maintaining a clean smooth bore will be essential to accuracy. You could see paintball barrels drop from a common 10-14 inches down to a 6-10 inch. The smaller mass will lose velocity faster and have to be managed more carefully. It will be very interesting to see what innovations are born to combat obstacles created by these smaller paintballs and how they can be applied to .68 balls.
What it all comes down to, like I said earlier, is that you need a barrel that will put the ball where you expect it too. Consistency is the most important attribute of your barrel. What ever you choose to be your main paintball gun barrel, remember there is always a more consistent barrel out there waiting for you to try it out.
Shop for paintball gun barrels now.
Posted by Redwood on 10/06/09