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Old 11-20-2001, 03:54 PM   #2
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Now lets talk about other factors that affect VELOCITY, since the weight of the ball will not change very much in one case, but the velocity from ball to ball can vary greatly.

Barrel length affects velocity fluctuations

The way that a ball bounces around the barrel or drags against the inside of the barrel can have a profound effect on velocity fluctuations. Ball will touch the sides unevenly sometimes and drag will slow the ball down. The longer the barrel is, the more pronounced these fluctuations can be.
For this reason, a shorter barrel will have less velocity fluctuation than a longer one.

Balls that are out of round will also vary in velocity both because they drag differently in the barrel, and because they have unequal air resistance as they fly.

Air density

The barometric pressure changes constantly. As an exaggerated example, is it easy to run through water? Of course not. The weight of the water makes it harder to move through than air does. Slight variations in air density can have the same effect.

What do vented (drilled) barrels do?

Barrels with holes in them do not affect the range of the paintball. Tom Kaye (owner of Airgun Designs) hired the people from Kodak to come out to his factory and shoot some high speed film of paintball guns firing to see what happens when the ball comes out of the barrel, etc. In one test, they had a
stream of smoke right at the end of the barrel. The barrel was SOLID and clear. When the ball emerged from the barrel, there was no "puff" of air that hit the smoke ahead of the ball. The only thing that hit the smoke was the ball. This debunks manufacturer claims that the holes in their barrels reduce air pressure in front of the ball.

Vented Barrels Continued

Another theory by makers of drilled barrels is that the holes somehow equalize pressure in front and behind the ball, making the ball regain shape as it goes down the barrel. The claim is that the ball is more round making it travel farther in the air. What the holes actually do is release the pressure behind the ball, causing it to stop accelerating. They also make the gun quieter. That is all they do.

Airgun Designs used computers to measure the acceleration and power pulse behind paintballs as they travel down the barrel. What they found is that in most paintball guns the ball accelerates in the FIRST 8-12 INCHES OF THE BARREL ONLY. This means that if a barrel is any longer than say 12", it is only slowing the ball down in the barrel. Barrels that are drilled usually only have about 6" of solid barrel. This means their EFFECTIVE LENGTH is only six inches. Shorter barrels have less distance to accelerate in, so the ball sees more force to go 300fps. Once the ball goes past the holes, the air pressure behind the ball is GONE. The ball immediately stops accelerating.

Wobbling Paintballs?

Another popular theory is that the ball "wobbles" through the air like a water balloon. I have even read and heard people say that the front and back of paintballs are almost flat as they travel down the barrel. This is just not true. The slow motion pictures from AGD show the ball travelling down and out the end of the barrel and guess what? They are PERFECTLY ROUND. When the air pushes the ball down the barrel, the air CONFORMS to the shape of the ball, actually "cupping" the ball. This is because the pressure behind the ball is distributed evenly. If the air where to accelerate the ball like a piston, the balls would break, because a typical paintball sees around 3,000 Gs. Thatís a tremendous force, but the ball can handle it because the PSI on the ball surface is only around 100psi.


Now you know the truth. Negating backspin-inducing bent barrles, the answer is none. What I mean by this is that there is not ONE gun that can out-range all others because if its regulator, valve pressure, air chamber , etc.

If you hear someone say "man that guy's gun really out-ranged me",then you know that this is usually not true. The human perception of the balls coming at you makes it appear that the opponent has greater range than you. This may be true, but only if his velocity is higher than yours and his balls are heavier. That's it. Most players cannot see their paintballs in the air after they travel a certain distance. Usually it is impossible to follow the ball all the way to the target. If the other player is not ducking for cover as you are shooting at him, it may be because he is less afraid of getting hit than you gave him credit for. To you, it looks like your balls aren't reaching him, but in fact they may be, but he just has a lot of nerve. Another thing to remember is that better players will hang out longer in a long-ball exchange like this. You may give up on hitting him because he is not flinching, but he knows that the best chance he has of hitting you is when you are out of your bunker shooting. Suddenly he hits you, and you say "man that guy out-ranged me". This is a tough lesson to take for most people, because they expect other players to duck when they shoot at them. Knowing this bit of psychology will help you to defeat long ball opponents.
Sunday, February 17 -- Quote of the day -- Remember......there is 3 types of people in the world...Ones that watch things happen. Ones that make things happen & Ones that wonder what the hell happened!

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