Hellfire was used for the test on the 684 back. Very sweet!
The Longbow is a featherweight, wow! While the Ti/Al construction is not completely new to paintball, this is by far the coolest homologation I have seen thus far. I was fortunate enough to be able to test this system while playing X-Ball down at World Cup 2002, and under those extremely harsh playing circumstances, the Longbow proved to be the most able system I have seen yet when it came to shooting through breaks. The two (and only) times when my IR3 chopped paint, the Longbow made quick work of the fragments and mess in no more than 2 shots! What made this even more amazing is that it did so without turning the gun upside down and using just air to clear the breach/barrel, rather it cleared while continuing to put rounds down range and on target no less! Additionally, the precision and accuracy (they are different) of the Longbow system are top notch as well.
For me, the first odd chord struck by the Longbow was the bore size selections. It would seem that the more common and traditional selections of 684, 688 and 690 were traded in for 687 and 689 (684 was retained, as that is what I tested). Undoubtedly, the engineers at Titanium Paintball had reasons for this selection. However, in terms of performance, this seemed to be a non-factor, as I saw no problems with fit whatsoever.
Naturally, as with most gear in paintball, cost is always an issue. The Longbow's amazing performance in accuracy and ability to shoot through breaks does not come cheap. Again, we are back to a saying that my Dad always told me: "Son, quality only hurts once." If you can be disciplined enough to put those desires for immediate gratification on hold and save up to acquire the Longbow, you will not be disappointed as it will deliver time and time again. Despite the seemingly high cost of the complete system, Titanium lets have the option to build the system over time (unlike other companies that make complete barrel systems) if you so desire.
Speaking strictly in terms of performance, there are no serious downsides to this system. It is merely a simple cost-benefit analysis as it relates to your game and your pocket book.
There is little doubt that with the Hardbore finish and the use of high-grade Titanium, the guys over at Titanium Paintball are really on to something hot. If you are a serious player, be it in tournaments or recreationally or in scenarios, this barrel system will not let you down. As I previously stated, this merely comes down to a simple cost-benefit analysis on a personal level: how much do you want to reach a higher level of performance on the field? If the answer to this question for you is a resounding "a great deal," then you need to find a way to get this system. Period. A 9.5 would be my ideal rating, price and appearance would be my only issues preventing the Longbow from achieving the coveted "10." I think that a fine muzzle break could help the Longbow a great deal and the price issue is player to player. As I stated before, for the serious player with a serious gun, there is no reason that this barrel is too expensive. Just think about how much you spend on entry fees...