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Splatter Pattern of Paintballs

Splatter Pattern of Paintballs

From: Matthew
"Hi, I'm in the 7th grade and doing a science project on the splatter pattern of paintballs."
Matthew, I hope this helps. It was kind of done in a hurry with the input from some of our trusty scenario players.

What paintball gives the biggest splatter?

I don't know but when you find out let us know ;)

Does the caliber of the ball matter?
I would think the larger the paintball caliber, the more paint 'fill' would be available to generate a splat. A normal paintball is .68 caliber and an airsoft paintball is 6mm. 68 caliber paintballs range in size from brand to brand as much as .01 or more.

Does the paintball barrels length matter?
The speed of the ball at impact would affect the splatter when it strikes. The barrel shouldn't have any affect on the splat action unless you're considering the barrel being responsible for the speed of the ball. Most fields require a marker to shoot less than 300 feet per second and many have a 280fps rule. A barrel over 14" generally slows the ball down in the barrel and requires a higher velocity adjustment in the marker to shoot the ball at 300fps than shorter paintball barrels. At some point of speeding up the ball, some of the paint would bounce away from the impact area instead of contributing to the splatter pattern. On the other hand, slowing the ball down at some point would result in a loss of energy needed to generate a spreading splatter pattern.

Can you suggest 5 brands of balls to test?
I'd try to get different brands, qualities and calibers of paintballs. Eliminator paintballs(thick fill), PMI Marballizer(less fill), Draxxus Blaze(heavy fill), some generic very cheap balls(wal-mart?) and a small diameter .40cal ball used for airsoft.

what distance should I shoot from?
Distance shouldn't have as much of an effect as ball speed at point of impact. If I had to suggest a distance, I'd say start at 30ft.

Do you have any paper targets?
No, but I'd use some thing heavier like a brown paper grocery bag.

Other things that may effect the splatter pattern are temperature and thickness of the fill. Most paintballs use crayon type wax as a thickener, some use more than others. See our How Paintballs Are Made page. The target its self could affect the pattern as well. If the target isn't perfectly flat or if it flexes during impact it could affect the action and direction of the paint spreading.

And always remember to practice safety when firing a marker. You and all people in the area should wear eye protection and have supervision ;)

I hope this helps, goodluck!

Posted by Redwood on 12/04/06

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