Thread: A-5 FAQ
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:34 PM   #5
The Kampfer
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Flatline Barrel System FAQ

What about the Flatline Barrel System? What is it?
The Flatline Barrel system is a Specially designed barrel that imparts backspin on the paintballs fired through it. This backspin causes the paintballs to generate "lift" which actually counters the force of gravity for much of the flight of the ball, resulting in about 50 to 100 feet MORE distance than ANY other barrel on the market.

How does it work?
The Flatline is a unique barrel system. Instead of a straight, smooth, tight bore barrel, the Flatline is curved like a banana, has a rough internal texture, and is a huge bore (about .700).

As a paintball is fired into the Flatline, the ball is forced up against the top of the barrel by a cushion of air and rolls along the rough texture of the barrel along the curve.

This forces the ball to pick up a consistent back spin, which in turn causes the paintball to form two pockets of air ournd the outside surface of the ball. A pocket of high pressure air forms under and slightly behind the paintball, pushing it up and forward, and a pocket of low pressure forms above and slightly in front of the paintball. This is called the Magnus Effect and is the same force that is generated by an airplane wing, and the force that baseball pitchers rely on to throw curve balls and sliders.

As the ball flies through the air, the lift generated by the Magnus Effect counter acts the force of gravity, and reduces the turbulence in the air that the paintball moves through, making the paintball fly in an almost FLATLINE toward the target until the spin on the ball starts to slow down, then the outside forces of gravity and wind resistance begin to work on the ball just like any other ball. The thing is that these forces don't start working on the paintball until it's already flown 75 feet. Thus, the barrel shoots the paintball further.

Where do I get the Big Bore paintballs that fit the Flatline?
You don't want a large bore paintball with the Flatline. Where as every other barrel systems work best when the paintball is almost identical in size to the internal bore of the barrel (this is called "paint to barrel match"), the Flatline requires a very loose fitting paintball, in fact, the smaller the paintball the better because paint to barrel match is meaningless with the Flatline.

The smaller paintball will spin faster, and provides more room in the barrel for the cushion of air to form under the ball is rolls along the barrel.

The Best paintballs to use are pretty much anything RPS Advantage Makes, such as Marbalizors, All Stars, El Tiger, Evil, Polar Ice, and Superswirls. Also good are Proball and Proball Platinum, and Nelson Anarchy paintballs.

Avoid anything medium or large bore.

Will the Flatline use more air that a normal barrel?
Yes, but the difference is only slight. The Flatline has no porting, so while some of the air will escape below the paintball as it travels down the barrel, most of the air is still trapped behind the ball. It tends to slow the balls down slightly. If you were shooting a BigShot at 280fps and switch the barrel to the Flatline, expect a drop to about 265 to 270fps, however that's about the perfect velocity for the Flatline.

How are the M98 and A-5 versions of the Flatline different?
The two barrels perform almost exactly the same. There is NO noticeable difference between the performances of the barrels.

Does paintballs travel slower out of a Flatline?
While this is true due to the fact that the perfect velocity is between 265 and 275fps, it's more of an optical illusion. At this speed, the spin and the speed of the paintball fly in the straightest flight path. The shots definitely look slower, because they fly in a more predictable flight path that the eye can follow easier, even though the ball is only going 5 to 15fps slower.

In fact, a paintball fired from a Flatline barrel retains it's initial speed longer than a paintball fired from a normal barrel because of the Magnus Effect, so at ranges of 40 to 60 feet, the Flatline actually is traveling faster than a shot from a normal paintball.

Tippmann did tests slowing an actual 10 to 15% speed INCREASE between evenly spaced chronographs on a target range.

Someone says he can catch the paintballs fired from a Flatline and put them in his marker and shoot them back because they move so slow. He also says he can dodge the shots easier. Is this true?
It is true only if the guy with the Flatline is standing about 250 feet away.

At extreme range, ALL paintballs move slowly enough to dodge easily, no matter the barrel they are fired from. But in typical paintball ranges (50 to 150 feet) these claims are not true.

Can the Flatline barrel handle high rates of fire?
Yes. Once installed properly, the Flatline can handle E-Grips, RTs.

Someone says that the Flatline isn't accurate at all.
No, it is not true. The Flatline, when properly installed, shooting good quality small bore paintballs, and shot with the proper technique is pretty accurate.

The thing is that people will run out and get a Flatline, throw it on without readying the directions, dump some brass eagle paintballs into the hopper, crank the velocity as high as it can go, and then shoot the marker with it tilted at an angle to the right or left.

The marker MUST be fired with the marker straight up and down, tilting the marker left or right will result in curving shot that can go around objects in the field, which can come in handy, but make it seem to be inaccurate to the untrained user.

If you shoot crappy paint, expect crappy results. Paintballs with pronounced seams, paintballs with oily shells, paintballs with dimples or large bore paintballs will result in bad to horrid results.

Also, keep the barrel cleaned religiously. Between games you should sgueegie the barrel out even if you didn't break any paintballs. A dry and clean Flatline is necessary in order for the barrel to maximize the back spin effect.

Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the spin the Flatline puts on the ball, everything you've already learned about shooting paintballs is wrong. The flight path is different and you have to become adjusted to this.

Also, wind can have a different effect on your shots due to the spin that the Flatline puts on the ball. It's definitely not an all weather barrel.

Is it true the Flatline Barrels on the A-5 Wear out? What can be done if they wear out? And how must they be properly cared for to avoid this wear?
Tippmanns Response:
These barrels shouldnt wear out for a long time, years even. If it does wear out, we will re-sandblast it for free. You shouldnt have a problem if it is kept clean with water and a squeege.

Last edited by The Kampfer : 07-29-2003 at 09:53 AM.
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