This barrel is fairly unique. Other barrels I've used include J&J Ceramic, DYE stainless, LAPCO stainless, DYE BoomStick, Lucky 15, JT 2-piece, Infinity, and probably others.
A marker for every occassion!
ProBall from 1994? Today, Marbs work decently.
Cleaning, accuracy after a barrel break, loud
OK, I picked up a Tippmann SL-68II new in 1992, and immediately ordered up an Armson for it. I had a buddy who did some work for PTP, so I was getting gear through him. Sadly, Armson/PTP, like most barrel makers, no longer make a tube for that particular gun.
On to real-world use: One of the early things we did with this barrel was to run a hone through it. Yeah, that's some old-school barrel tinkering! In removing 20-25% of the rifling, the interior was polished to an absolute mirror finish. I found it shot more accurately after the hone job. These days, I can put paint pretty much right where I want it at almost any reasonable range, but I've had this same setup on my SL for 14 years now. Is it the gun/barrel, or is it my familiarity with it?
The drawbacks to the Armson barrel are as follows: The barrel is difficult to clean after a barrel break. Since it is polygon rifled, a Straight-Shot style squeegee, or any disc based squeegee, won't catch all the paint. You have to follow up with a soft swab. If you do wind up with a barrel break, you MUST clean the barrel. Trying to put shots through a wet Armson is a guaranteed miss. Sure, you get a neat corkscrew shot, but that's not terribly predictable as far as where that ball will wind up. I've also found that follow-up shots after a barrel break tend to also break. The Armson is also quite loud, although that doesn't bother me too much. My SL/Armson has a distinct bark when fired.
If I had to buy a barrel again for my SL, I'd have gone with a straight, solid barrel instead of the Armson. It's really no better than any other well-built barrel... don't get me wrong, the Armson is a quality product, but I think some of the engineering that went into it was misguided. In the world of modern barrels, there are much better choices out there.