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Old 07-02-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The 9th gate to Hades, Indiana
Finally, we'll move into the last category:
The gun.
There are a lot of myths out there. The first is that guns affect accuracy. The second is that guns don't affect accuracy.
Let's take on the first one. As I mentioned before, take any two guns that have identical barrels, paintballs, and velocities, put them in a vise, and fire a shot with the same muzzle angle. They will, in theory, hit the exact same spot. The keywords being "put them in a vise."
We don't play paintball with guns in vises. And we most CERTAINLY don't shoot one ball at a time as a general rule. Even the conservative among use fire at least two or three round bursts. And this is why the gun does affect accuracy.
I really shouldn't say a gun affects accuracy. Moreover, the gun affects the user's accuracy. Through recoil. I know a lot fo you are saying "you're a wuss if you can't control a paintbal gun's recoil". I'm not talking about controlling it. I'm talking about eliminating it. Something you can't do.
Let's take a Tippmann 98, a popular beginner gun, and an excellent gun in many regards. However, it's big, it's heavy, and when you pull the trigger, 700 psi or more comes out of the gun, and a metal slug slams forward, and then backwards, recocked by a spring. Now let's put an e-frame on that Tippmann. Now that slug is slamming back and forth and 700 psi is rocketing through the gun many times per second, sometimes as much as 15 or more, depending on the rate of fire! The average guy will feel this, and brace his gun hard, but by no means are all the paintballs going to hit the same spot.
Here's why.
Take an aircraft going at 200 miles an hour. Put it on a heading of 190 degrees, and fly it for an hour.
Now take the same aircraft, put it on a heading of 195 degrees, and let it go for an hour. It's going wind up quite a distance away from the original heading! Paintballs are doing the same thing, but on a smaller scale. They aren't flying for an hour, but even the most minute change in barrel position will offset thier course by more than enough to miss a target down the field.
Back to our guns. The problem with the Tippmann 98, is that it operates on high pressure and has a heavy slug slamming back and forth. No matter how much you brace, you are still going to experiance minute changes in your aim during heavy firing. Keep in mind, during all this, you're also trying to rip on the trigger.
Now let's take a DM7, a high end spool valve electropnumatic gun. What does a cool $1000 get you in a paintball gun? A low pressure (200psi and less) gat with virtually no kick whatsoever. The more managable the kick is under heavy rates of fire, the less your aim will deviate. As a result, you can rip on this thing all day long, and if it weren't for the fact the gun makes a "phishphishphishphish" sound, you would hardly know it's firing. Go shoot a Tippmann. You KNOW when you've fired one of those.
Think about it. Nearly every gun that has had the "it's a (fill in the blank) so it's more accurate" myth has had one thing in common. Very little recoil.
It's not the gun, it's how the gun is affecting the user.

So now we understand that to acheive maximum accuracy, it is important that we:
a) Buy higher quality paint
b) Ensure that that paint matches our barrels properly
c) Ensure that the paint is bought and kept fresh
d) Certain guns have certain operating styles that help us maintain the accuracy granted to us by our barrels and paint.

There are certain internal upgrades that can help accuracy on any gun though. Here's what they are and why.

1) A new, lighter weight bolt. No matter how a bolt is designed, it will only help you if it's LIGHTER. This is because you're reducing the weight of the metal slug moving back and forth in your gun, and in turn, reducing the amount of recoil your gun is giving you. There's less weight, and hence, less recoil. The second thing is that a new, lighter weight bolt, require less effort on the gun's part to recock or propel. This means a lower operating pressure and less air can be used, which equates to less pressure flowing through your gun, and usually, less air, sometimes giving you some extra shots per tank fill.

2) A regulator. Better regulators are designed to make sure the same amount of air at the same pressure is used for each shot. This means each shot achieves the same velocity, and as a result, travels the same distance. It can help with Co2 (make sure that the regulator you buy is capable of taking Co2), and it virtually eliminates any problems you might have at all with compressed air.

3) Compressed air tank. Good tanks will run you in the $150-$200 neighborhood. If you're willing to deal with a heavy, steal tank that gives you much fewer shots, they can be had for $50-$100. High pressure air (HPA) is simply the air that we breathe, only compressed. It is not temperature sensitive like Co2 is, and as an added bonus, has a regulator on the tank that controls how much air your gun recieves. People with HPA can play in any weather and get the same results, typically +/- 5 FPS or better, and in good guns, the only thing that would alter the ball's velocity would be an odd paintball here and there.

4) Barrel kit. A barrel KIT (as opposed to a single barrel) consists of either multiple sleeves or multiple barrel backs. In the the case of sleeves, each sleeve has a different bore diameter marked on it (like the FREAK kit). Simply find the sleeve that fits the paint you're shooting the best, insert it into the backpiece of the barrel, screw on the frontpiece and go play! Mulitple barrel backs (like the Pipe kit, or the J&J Edge kit) have backpieces instead of sleeves. Screw on the appropriate back, thread the front onto it, and go play. Barrel kits allow you to change your barrel's bore diameter on the fly to accomodate whatever paint you're shooting. They can be had from $75-$200. I like my $75 J&J kit, by the way.

So there you are. What matters in accuracy, how to make it better, how not to make it better, and what to blow your allowance or paycheck on.

Have a good day, now stop buying 20" barrels.
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"Accuracy by volume is still accuracy nonetheless."
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