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Old 11-20-2001, 04:07 PM   #3
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Barrel choice usually does not affect accuracy

A paintball does not care what barrel it came from or how slippery the inside of the barrel was after it has left the gun. Accuracy is affected mainly by what happens to the ball AFTER IT HAS LEFT THE GUN. If the ball has paint on it or is dirty, the paint will alter the flight of the ball due to irregularities in the flow of air over the surface of the ball. If wind pushes on the ball, it forces it off course and it wonít go where you thought it would. If the seam is not formed well, or the ball is out of round, the air will not flow evenly over the ball and it will go off course.

Here is a list of possibly factors (in no particular order) that will affect your accuracy:

Velocity too high ( over 280 can cause curving)
Paint in the barrel
Dirt in the barrel
Oil in the barrel (after lubing gun)
Dirty paintballs
Out of round paintballs
Cracked paintball
Uneven fill mixture (old paint)
Dimpled paintballs
Barrel bore too tight
Bent barrel

Ball spin does not affect accuracy?

The problem with spinning a paintball is that it is not solid like a lead bullet. You can get the shell of a paintball to spin, but the fill may not spin in sync. Ever spin a glass of water that has ice in it? The ice stays in one place. The fill of the paintball acts the same way, and after the ball leaves the barrel, the ball quickly stops spinning. Tom Kaye suggests that spin in not a factor below 3,000 rpm. I'm not sure I agree with him, but it is important to note that balls that curve badly after going through a dirty barrel do do because the paint/dirt that is on the ball does not allow the air to flow evenly over teh surface of the ball. Aerodynamics of a round ball are not so great because of the turbulence behind the ball, and when you shoot a ball through a dirty barrel it only makes things worse. Any variation in the shape of the ball will make it go off course. Many players assume that a dirty barrel causes a ball to spin, which makes it curve. The paint residue on the surface fo the ball has a more profound effect on the curve of the ball.

Turbulence affects the accuracy more than any other factor

There is a reason why the army does not shoot musket balls anymore. They arenít accurate. The shape of a sphere going through the air causes turbulence behind the ball that can send it off course very easily. So basically the way that the air travels over the ball will affect itís flight. Combine that with a paintballs low weight, and you get a projectile that is ill suited for long distance accuracy, and is easily thrown off course. Perhaps this is why so many players are obsessed with the "perceived" accuracy performance of their guns.

The worlds most accurate barrel

Hate to disappoint you, but there is no such thing. What you want to look for in a barrel is one that loads the ball gently, has an effective length of 8-12 inches, doesn't double feed, and has a bore that best matches the balls you are using. When I get mail asking "what do you think of barrel XYZ", I just laugh. There is no one barrel that is the best. If you play in competitions or travel from field to field, you are going to be forced at one time or another to use field paint. You cannot guarantee the balls are round, or that the fill is mixed evenly, or that the shell is not dimpled, or that the size of the ball will match you one "favorite" barrel. My advice on barrel selection is to get a few barrels that seem to perform well with the paint brand and color that you use most often. Having barrels of varying inside diameters will come in handy when the tournament paint doesn't work in your favorite barrel.

The worlds most accurate paintball

Hate to disappoint you, AGAIN, but there is no such thing. EVERY brand of paintball has good and bad batches. They vary slightly in size, weight, and shape. The best way to test a paintball is to drop them from about 4 feet high onto a concrete floor. If more than one or two breaks out of 20, then the shell is too brittle. You can fix this if you are stuck with brittle tourney paint by placing an open glass of water inside the case bag and sealing it up. Leave it for a couple of hours. This basically humidifies the balls and makes them more resilient. Ever seen a wet paintball after a rain? Well this isn't nearly quite that extreme, but you get the idea. The balls will break less in the gun.

Do heavier balls go straighter.

They can, but paintballs are not always round. Spin, weight and shape of the ball. Use heavier balls and they should go straighter, further, and they should hit the target harder.

Which balls are heaviest?

Usually the thicker the fill, the heavier the ball. Waxy filled balls are slightly heavier than other balls.An RP Scherer rep told me that their "gold" series paint has a nasty thick fill and is a heavy ball. Thatís what you want to look for. RP Scherer Premium Gold would be my choice.
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