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Ravenwulfe Saturday, July 29th, 2006
The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion below.
Period of
Product Use:
3 months19 of 19 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
Smart Parts 14" Progressive, good barrel, just hasn't worked as well for me.
Marker Setup: Tippmann A-5 Basic, Black Finish
Smart Parts Tactical 20" barrel
BT Designs Carbine Stock
Brass Eagle 20oz Co2 tank
Atomic Energy 12 oz Co2 tank
Crosman red dot sight
Raised sight rail
CP gear Canadian Forces helmet scrim for the barrel
Recommended
Paintballs:
Any that is a proper fit, small are dececent, however.
Strengths: -Very accurate
-Great looks
-Thus far, no breaks
-Not very picky with paint
Weaknesses: -Length takes adjusting to
-Only comes in 20"
-Air efficiency (explained)
-One piece
Review: While my Progressive has done me well throughout the years, there comes a time where everyone finds that their first upgrade barrel that was fairly inexpensive just isn't living up to what you wanted. It just didn't seem to be getting the accuracy that I wanted. All the Progressive is is the next step up from stock, needless to say, there's steps above even that.

So after a couple year with my Progressive I found myself taking more carefully aimed and longer shots, and keeping people's heads down, if not taking them out. While the Progessive was killer in my charges and close encounters, I've found myself taking the side road more often than going right into the thick of things. After all, sneaking up behind people's much more satisfying.

So I go to my team's semi-sponsor and I decide to take back my BT AK-47 barrel (didn't like how the parts were mounted to it and it performed worse than the Progressive, accuracy wise, in my practice shots), and turn it in for the Tactical Barrel on the wall, I thought it was also that 16 inch beside it (didn't see the "flash suppressor" at first), and he hands me the 20 inch. My friend loves his 20" barrel, so I thought "sure, this could be fun." After all, I've heard it was very accurate and it was rifled. Me being a former soldier knows how rifling is a wonderful thing.

Now, some of you people may be of the opinion that rifling doesn't do anything in a paintball barrel, as range isn't as much of a factor. It does if you have the right paint to bore size match, as rifling works like this: Even in a real firearm, when the bullet is fired, it is pushed out of the barrel and the rifling grooves carve miniature notches into it that cause it to spiral. They aren't very deep or noticeable usually, but they do make a great effect and they put a horizontal spin on the projectile. It's the same deal for paintball rifling, but if your ball's too small, it won't matter anyways.

Anyways, my first test was a rainy, crappy day that effected everything and everyone from the most seasoned veterans to the newest of new player, fogged EVERY SINGLE MASK on the field (My V-Force Profiler fogged, the ref's Dye Invision was fogging, et cetera), and everyone was worried about moisture homehow getting into their hoppers.

Well, this barrel did me some justice.

Dispite the fact that I could barely see what I was shooting at, and my manual accuracy was effected a bit from discomfort and bad positioning, I was still able to keep the guy's head down with single shots (I had to manually feed my cyclone on my A-5 because my wrachet stripped and wouldn't catch in that game), but whenever I shot, the guy would keep his head down, because the shots were landing very close to him, and I was shooting at a vauge blob of black. I probably could have hit him easier if I had a proper paint-to barrel match, but this is only a one piece barrel, and it was field paint only, which happens to be a bit smaller than the bore size.

But when I could see people clearly, I was hitting very close to them when I was in a pinch, and I managed to get my first up close goggle shot of somebody. I was a very happy camper. One thing I had to get used to with the barrel was the added length, which I ended up having the barrel in the dirt when I was reloading my pistol (I wanted to try that in a game for a change), I safetied the marker and cleaned out the junk best I could, and the accuracy wasn't effected afterwords, and dispite there still being some dirt in the barrel when I cleaned it, most of it was gone. Not bad.

The next month, I got a red dot and I adjusted my Crossmann superscope to fit on my A-5 and decided to shoot a couple hundred rounds to sight them in. I was pleased to notice that the paintballs struck in very close proximity to each other, so sighting in was fast and painless for my red dot, and the only problems I had sighting in were entirely that of my superscope, which requires a lot of tweeking to make much of a difference. I can't get it to sight in any lower for some reason, but the shots were consistantly just below the point where the crosshairs met. Very impressive.

The barrel is more of an 18" with a 2" flash suppressor (I measured), and it stops hugging the paintball after the 18" as there is a slight, I estimate, just under 1mm drop when it gets to the flash supressor. So for those of you hearing that 20" is bad for efficiency, and 18" inches are the extreme maximum, I am of the opinion that this is basicly a 18" barrel with an extra 2" of cosmetics that don't have any effect on accuracy, consitancy, or efficiency. There are four large cut outs in the "flash suppressor" that easily let the gas behind the paint escape from the barrel before it's even out of the flash suppressor. While this is better than a 20", I believe (I havn't done any extensive testing between the two to tell you for sure, but this is just my fair logic) that it's still a bit less efficient than say, 16" or less because long, goofy barrel lengths like 18" and 20" start to effect your efficiency, regardless of what some people tell you. But if you play at a field with free refills, than I wouldn't even consider it a problem, because you just fill up between games.

Now, the barrel just looks awesome. It's got nice styling and cuts, and the flash suppressor part, while adding unnessessary length, definantly makes this an appealing military-appearance barrel. If you put a kit over this, it would defininantly look like it belongs. This barrel will get you some nice comments as well (when I went to the field last, people were calling for "the sniper", while waving me over because they wanted me to make long shots just because I had a ridiculously long barrel, a stock, and a sight rail with no sights (I used the sight rail so I can use it for an iron sight with my mask, as the stock gets in the way). I felt flattered and humoured at the same time, because most of the people had more camoflauge than I did, as my combat uniform is olive drab.

Just keep in mind that it's the barrel's quality in construction, paint to barrel match, and the player's skill when it comes to accuracy, not the length. Having a super long barrel will not help your accuracy (unless it somehow boosts your confidence and you believe in yourself more or something), but this barrel certainly is an improvement over first-upgrade class barrels. While it's certainly annoying that it's only a one piece, this allows it to be consistant throughout and is rarely a problem. Just hope your field paint is a close enough size (if you want a quick test, if your paintball rolls out of the barrel with no resistance, it's way too small. If it gets stuck barely in the barrel, it's too big. If it gets stuck part way through but a light blow in will knock it out, it's probably about right.)
Conclusion: This is a great barrel for recreational and scenario paintball, and if you can find the right size paint for it, it will be a great shot. It's accurate with cheap and small paint as it is, but aim for a medium bore. If you think that a long barrel will be in your way, see if you can try out a 20" from someone you know to find out for a few games and decide. It is very accurate and it certainly fit my bill.
Rating:
8 out of 10
 

Review Comments
Donster 125 Monday, July 31st, 2006 | 3:31 pm PST
So you say the barrel is accurate correct? Would you recommend it to paintball snipers? Secodly, why did you only give it an 8/10? is that because of the length, or was it because it wasn't accurate enough? I'd be glad to hear your thoughts. BTW, Great review!
   

Ravenwulfe Tuesday, August 1st, 2006 | 7:10 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by Donster 125
So you say the barrel is accurate correct? Would you recommend it to paintball snipers? Secodly, why did you only give it an 8/10? is that because of the length, or was it because it wasn't accurate enough? I'd be glad to hear your thoughts. BTW, Great review!

I'd be happy to explain!

Don't take the 8/10 as a bad thing, I usually start a product off at a 10, and if significant issues arise, I will consider removing a point from it's overall score. This way, it ensures that, in my eyes, the product is being giving an honest review.

The barrel is extremely accurate in the right conditions (like I said, barrel to paint size match is key here, though it still shoots smaller paint well), and if you are a good shot to begin with. I would definantly recommend it as a viable option for snipers, whether they play ambush or long shots, as it isn't as loud as some barrels (I would still move after one or two shots, because sound is a great indicator of where someone is.) I play a squad commander and marksman role (I define a marksman as someone who is a good shot, but generally moves with a squad. They can do sniper tasks like survalance and patiently waiting in a concealed position for long periods of time if the situation calls for it, though), so I'm generally in the middle of the group.

Anyways, my reasoning for the 8/10 was that since it's a 1 piece barrel, it's much harder to make a barrel to paint match and people like that versatility. Generally two piece barrels have different bore sizes to have proper sizing. The other reason was the length, not because it takes some adjusting to get used to it's size, but for gas consumption. As I mentioned in my review, anything longer than 16 inches generally doesn't offer any greater accuracy benefits but it takes more gas to get thet ball out of the barrel. This means less shots per tank, which is never a good thing. =p

I hope this helps!
   

Donster 125 Saturday, September 2nd, 2006 | 1:16 pm PST
HOw does this barrel differ from say an 18" Opsgear barrel? Is it better or worse (with correct paint size in each case)? IM worried that i bought the wrong barrel for accuracy and sniping. Did i make the right choice in barrels? Is this an ideal (minus the lack of 2 piece construction) sniping barrel? Id love to hear your thoughts.
   

Ravenwulfe Sunday, September 3rd, 2006 | 7:35 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by Donster 125
HOw does this barrel differ from say an 18" Opsgear barrel? Is it better or worse (with correct paint size in each case)? IM worried that i bought the wrong barrel for accuracy and sniping. Did i make the right choice in barrels? Is this an ideal (minus the lack of 2 piece construction) sniping barrel? Id love to hear your thoughts.

I've yet to actually use the Opsgear 18 inch M82 sniper barrel, but I believe that either would probably be a fine choice for your purposes if you get the right paint for either of them. I have heard nothing but good things about the Opsgear 18 inch, and for what 2 inches are worth, the Opsgear one may be a better choice just by length. However, I do not believe it is rifled, and if we're talking about equal quality paint with the correct sizes of bores, I do believe the rifling will make a substantial difference if it's the exact size.

In regard to how loud it is when fired, I havn't heard the M82 barrel yet, so whichever is more quiet is preferable most of the time. If you're planning on going towards ambush sniping, the 32 Degrees Whisper barrel might actually be an excellent choice. But at extreme ranges (like 200ish feet), it really comes down to how you arc your shots. I'm not a bad shot, I can suppress people easily, if not hit them, from that range with a clear view. I still have to angle my shots, though. But you can snipe with anything, as I have seen a guy I was hanging with at my last scenario who was hitting things I couldn't with a stock Tippmann 98 rental.

Bottom line is don't regret your purchase, because I'm sure you made a good choice and learn the ins and outs of your barrel. I'm sure it'll do you proud. =) And practice, practice, practice!
   

OneWingedGunner Wednesday, January 17th, 2007 | 2:08 pm PST
great review! i own this barrel, and i have two issue with it, could you offer a bit of advise? 1)speed, i had to drop my 98c's speed to 260 to get a straight shot. what do you shoot? and anything i can do to get my speed up. BTW i shoot RPS premium. 2) accuracies suffers at higher ROF. do you have this problem? or is it operator error. im not a sniper i was just looking to out do my sp linear 16'' . thanx onewinggunner
   

Ravenwulfe Thursday, January 18th, 2007 | 4:54 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by OneWingedGunner
great review! i own this barrel, and i have two issue with it, could you offer a bit of advise? 1)speed, i had to drop my 98c's speed to 260 to get a straight shot. what do you shoot? and anything i can do to get my speed up. BTW i shoot RPS premium. 2) accuracies suffers at higher ROF. do you have this problem? or is it operator error. im not a sniper i was just looking to out do my sp linear 16'' . thanx onewinggunner

This is a bit of a interesting question. My barrel shot well at 300 feet per second (except for that one time I was using old paint and had breaks because they were that old and probably misshapen from external factors) and generally, accuracy works well. Another possibility is that maybe the paint you're using is too big for the barrel, long shot, but make sure that it's big enough to be a bit tight going through but a light blow will get it out. If it rolls out, it's probably too small and might hook a bit. If it's too big, it might break. If you're curious if it's your own shooting, which I doubt, because you'd realize it, try going into your back yard or somewhere with very little impact from wind and set up a solid target (I just shoot at my wood fence). If you want to make it really stable, find some stuff to make a base out of and try to shoot for the same spot over and over.

Are you trying to use it in the winter? This may also be the problem. Both my progressive and tactical barrels, as well as the BT AK 47 barrel I had, don't perform as well in the winter because the cold has some nasty ass effects like curving shots and breaking. I don't know why this is, but I imagine it might be uneven freezing from the paintball's path because paintballs kind of are lubricated. However, I don't know this for sure, it's just my guess.

Try washing out your barrel and pulling through the squeegie a few times to get some water out. When it dries, hold it up to the light and see if you can find anything uneven in it. There may be manufacturing errors or some kind of junk that may deter the flight path.

Usually shooting fast lowers your accuracy because the force of your finger's pull can, and will, pull the gun off its target slightly. This is really hard to try to fix, especially in tight situations, but if you have the distance, try squeezing the trigger evenly instead of tapping or jerking it, because that doesn't move the marker around. You may not be able to fire as fast as other methods, but it's the most accurate one.

I hope this helps you out! If none of these fix your problem, I would suggest you exchange it for another Tactical barrel and seeing if you have the same problem. If the problem continues, it may be something to do with your 98's gas system, and you may just need to replace something like your spring or an O ring or something like that. Let me know how it turns out!
   

OneWingedGunner Friday, January 19th, 2007 | 12:35 pm PST
cool. thanks for the tips. im testing it out this weekend w/ air instead of co2. i'll let you know how it works. peace OneWingedGunner
   

Ravenwulfe Sunday, January 28th, 2007 | 7:48 pm PST
quote:
Originally posted by OneWingedGunner
cool. thanks for the tips. im testing it out this weekend w/ air instead of co2. i'll let you know how it works. peace OneWingedGunner

How'd it go? I forgot to mention that compressed air might work better because Co2 likes to freeze and stuff. Hope your problem's been fixed. =)
   

peedinashes Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 | 4:41 pm PST
Hey. I read your review and the comments and it seems you know allot about barrels. So I was just wondering if you could tell me something about the HammerHead products. Preferably the HammerHead Dominator.
Thanks and great review!
   

fenske Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 | 10:39 pm PST
Dispute:
this barrel comes in sizes 16" and 20" not only 20"
   

Ravenwulfe Thursday, April 19th, 2007 | 4:48 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by fenske
this barrel comes in sizes 16" and 20" not only 20"

Read the date. This was loooooong before the 16 inch version came available. Apparently Smart Parts realized that most woodsballers don't want a 20 inch barrel.
   

Ravenwulfe Thursday, April 19th, 2007 | 4:50 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by peedinashes
Hey. I read your review and the comments and it seems you know allot about barrels. So I was just wondering if you could tell me something about the HammerHead products. Preferably the HammerHead Dominator.
Thanks and great review!


I haven't had any experience with the Hammerhead barrels, I just review what I have used. I've heard that for the most part, they're pretty good barrels. Just be wary, anything less than 8 inches will kill your accuracy and anything over 16 will start sucking up gas. Next time you play, ask about those barrels in the proshop, most guys and gals there are pretty honest. =)
   

Ravenwulfe Thursday, April 19th, 2007 | 4:51 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by fenske
this barrel comes in sizes 16" and 20" not only 20"

Read the date. This was loooooong before the 16 inch version came available. Apparently Smart Parts realized that most woodsballers don't want a 20 inch barrel.
   

Donster 125 Thursday, April 19th, 2007 | 7:11 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by fenske
this barrel comes in sizes 16" and 20" not only 20"

remove yoru dispute, when this review was made, it did not come in 16". only recently did they come out with a 16" version.
   

Donster 125 Thursday, April 19th, 2007 | 7:14 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by peedinashes
Hey. I read your review and the comments and it seems you know allot about barrels. So I was just wondering if you could tell me something about the HammerHead products. Preferably the HammerHead Dominator.
Thanks and great review!


hey i too have heard a lot of god stuff about Hammerhead products, but apparently, once you break a bal, your accuracyp goes down quite a bit. Furthermore, because of the rifling, it is very hard to clean. i have seen this up close, and the rifling is very prevalent and noticable, and i have been told by a user that the referse porting allows for a huge reduction in noise.
   

Paintballr4life Saturday, January 12th, 2008 | 5:45 pm PST
Great overall review
   

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