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nbossi1 Wednesday, October 11th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
1 year7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
Freak barrel - not a reasonable comparison, but about as good, certainly heavier and louder
Marker Setup: Gold 2003 Shocker w/ Vision
Main barrel - 14" Stiffi
Backup barrel - Black Freak barrel system with gold AA front (14")
Black CCM clamping feedneck
Black PHAT Flame drop and on/off
Black CP Reg
Black NDZ 15* ASA with SP 300 psi gauge
Black NDZ Roller-Bearing Trigger
Black NDZ Stinger v3 bolt kit
Black custom anno'd bolt guide (from Punisher's PB)
Virtue Board (HOLY CRAP, it's SWEEEET)
PMI Pure Energy 88/4500 HPA tank
Halo B with v35 board, and Zenitram delrin drive cone
Recommended
Paintballs:
PMI Premium work well (my personal top choice)
Mid-Evil is ok
Proto Darts were not as good
Strengths: Light
Accurate
Quiet
Weaknesses: Single bore (not adjustable)
May FEEL fragile (is NOT)
Review: I bought my Stiffi about a year ago, and have been loving it ever since!

STRENGTHS

Weight

Quite simply, this is the lightest barrel you will ever hold, unless someone makes something out of aerogel (haha, google it, this stuff is genuinely cool, for us science nerds). I has the approximate heft of a good metal pen (or heavy mechanical pencil). To compare it to something you may be even more accustomed to, it feels about as heavy as an ALUMINUM freak insert (lighter than a stainless one). If you have your gun setup perfectly balanced with your current barrel, then this may throw it off. If you are like me, and are competent and coordinated enough to adapt to a lighter front end, then you will notice a pleasant difference in the overall weight of your gun.

Accuracy

This barrel, with a good (doesn't even have to be perfect) paint match, will shoot circles (except ropes) around my freak, even with the perfect insert. With decent paint, EVERY shot will be ball on ball.

I do disagree with the people who claim that this barrel shoots extremely well through breaks, as I have found it to be comparable to when I break paint in my freak. You are not going to get back that squeaky-clean accuracy after breaking paint, especially if you are using decent paint (a thick fill is not just going to be cleaned out by shooting more paint through it). That said, it certainly is no WORSE at shooting through a break, so it's more of a moot point (that is, not a truly important aspect).

Noise Level

This is bar none the quietest barrel I have used on my shocker, there is no doubt in my mind. I don't have any sort of fancy sound level measuring device, but my ears are still pretty good. This barrel will be quieter than your current barrel, simply due to the nature of carbon fiber (low resonance tendencies).

WEAKNESSES

Single Bore

To clarify, and to keep people from thinking that I am retarded, yes I know it is a stepped bore barrel, where it increases in diameter partway towards the business end. What I mean is that it is not a "kit," with multiple bore sizes for different paint. I only list this as a drawback because if you go to a place that is FPO (field paint only), and YES they still do exist, you are not going to have the luxury of being guaranteed to find that perfect fit. If you play someplace that permits you to bring whatever paint you like, and you have a reliable source of paint that you like, then, again, this is a moot point. You will not have any problem finding paint that fits this barrel, and you will love it as much as I do.

The field I play at has a pretty good selection of paint, and I have not had any problems, to date, finding a good match for this barrel.

Other issues

The only issue I ever had with this barrel was when I somehow managed to get a piece of shell lodged in the porting (yeah, I don't know how...). It would cause every other ball to break right at the end of the porting. I tried to pick at it to no avail, and thought (mistakenly) that it was the carbon fiber unraveling. I brought it to my local pro-shop, and they ran the barrel under some hot water, dissolving the shell enough to dislodge it. I had tried everything BUT that, and was at my wit's end, but with the piece of shell removed, this barrel shoots just as sweet as it did when I first got it.


In other words, in over a year, I have had NO (zero, zip, zilch) serious problems/complaints with my Stiffi barrel.
Conclusion: In case you couldn't tell from the review, let me break it down for you:

Strengths:

-Light
-Accurate
-Quiet

Weaknesses:

-Um, nothing, really...

If you want a lighter, quieter, and overall better barrel than whatever you are currently using, BUY THIS BARREL. It will run you under $100, comparable to most other QUALITY barrels, and it will be one of the best upgrades you make. And you can quote me on that...

-NB
Rating:
10 out of 10
 

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