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Old 05-03-2004, 03:59 PM   #1
STO Balla 22
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Everything You Want To Know about Paintballs

Everything You Want to Know about Paintballs
Hopefully, this will answer all your questions about paintballs. If you have any suggestions, or have something to add that would be helpful, feel free to pm me.

What makes paintballs good or bad?
There are many different kinds of paintballs, but not all paintballs are created equal. Most of the more expensive paintballs are higher quality. There are a few things that determine whether a paintball is good or bad.
The shell should be fairly brittle, so that it will break on impact, but not brittle enough that it will break in your gun. For determining how good the shell is, try the drop test. Take 8-12 balls. Take one of them, and hold it up about 6 feet from a hard, flat surface. Drop it, and catch it after it bounces, don’t let it bounce multiple times. If the ball broke on the first drop, then it is too brittle, and it will break in your gun. Take it and drop it again. It may break this time. If it does, then it’s a little too brittle, but you most likely will be able to use it without having too many problems. If it doesn’t break on the second drop, drop it again, and repeat those steps with the rest of the balls. On average, the balls should break with 2-4 drops; 2 being a little too brittle, and 4 being a little too soft. Heat will make the shell softer, and will result in more bounces, while cold weather will make the shells more brittle.
The fill is probably the second most important part of a paintball. The fill is important because with a dull, watery fill, a hit will be easy to wipe. High quality paint, such as tournament paint, has a thick, bright fill, which is almost impossible to wipe. I have found that Evils have the thickest fill, and Marballizers and Chronic have the brightest fill.
The seam is the line that runs through the center of the ball. Some paint, such as Marballizers, do not have seams, but most do. Usually, the bigger the seam is, the worse the accuracy. PMI Big Ball has very large seams. The seam should be perfectly straight, any curves in it will affect accuracy greatly. Brass Eagle paintballs are known to have crooked seams.

Paint to Barrel Match
Paint to Barrel match is one of the most important things to consider when buying paint. The paint you use should be smaller than your barrel, but only by .002 inches or so. For example, if you have a .688” barrel, then your paint should be .685” to .688.” The Blow Test is good for determining if you have a good paint to barrel match. Take 5-10 balls. Take your barrel off your gun. Put a ball in the back of the barrel. You should be able to blow with fairly little effort, and the ball should shoot out and land a few yards away. The balls should not be able to roll out of the barrel. So obviously, if the balls are rolling out, then your paint is too small, and if the balls are getting stuck, then the paint is too big. It is better to have paint that is too small than too big, because your ball detent will usually keep the ball from rolling out, but if it is too big then you will have worse efficiency, accuracy, and you will have a better chance of breaking a ball in the barrel. Paint to barrel match is very important in closed bolt guns (ie Autocockers), because without a good match balls can roll out. In an open bolt marker (most markers), a good paint to barrel match is only important for accuracy. DISCLAIMER- Paint to barrel match and its relationship to accuracy has not been proven, some people believe in it and some do not, I do believe some of it, but I think it is overhyped.

What is the best Paint for the Money?
I think that Zap and Diablo make the best paint for your money. You can buy a case of Tork on www.paintballgear.com for $40, or you can buy spank, which is very similar to Tork, for $35 on the same website. They have good shells, although sometimes they don’t break on impact, but most of the time they do. They have bright fills, not as thick as tournament paint, but not watery either. Zap is my personal favorite for Rec Paint. Many people also like Diablo for Rec paint. Diablo Dusk is good if you need to buy paint from Wal-Mart or a similar store. It has a good shell and a decent fill, but it is small bore paint, so you won’t have a good paint to barrel match unless you have a small-bore barrel or a barrel kit. Nelson Hot Spot is also supposed to be good rec paint, although I haven't gotten a chance to use it myself.

What is the best Rec Paint?
There really is no “best” rec paint, but there are many kinds that are good. PMI Big Ball is good, especially if you have a large bore barrel. If your barrel is standard bore size, then you might have problems with balls breaking in the barrel. Just try the blow test, as explained in the Paint to Barrel Match section. Zap Tork is another good kind of rec paint, as well as Zap Spank and Zap Primer. Most of Diablo’s paint is good for rec, but it is usually fairly small. PMI Premiums are another good choice for rec paint. I have also heard that Nelson Hot Spot is good. Competitive Edge, Brass Eagle, and Zap Rec Series are types of paint to stay away from. Competive Edge is bad all around, Brass Eagle is oily, smells bad, has crooked seams, is oddly shaped, etc; and Zap Rec Series will stain clothes and cars. Zap Rec Series has been banned at all fields in Texas as far as I know. I’m not sure about the other states, but stay away from it. IMPORTANT: Some fields do not allow you to bring your own paint to the field, you must buy it there. Check with the field before you go to see their prices, if they allow paint from outside the field, if certain paint is banned, etc.

What is the best Tournament Paint?
In my experience, PMI Evil is the best tournament paint. It has an incredibly thick fill, and it is also very bright. Evil is close to impossible to wipe. Nelson Anarchy is also good tournament paint, although it is overlooked many times. Zap Chronic and PMI Marballizers are also all good types of tournament paint.

What Paint should I use for Hot or Cold Weather?
There are a few types of paint that are specially designed for hot or cold weather. For cold weather- Diablo Arctic Inferno, PMI Polar Ice and Zap Chronic work well. For hot weather- try to use tournament paint because cheap paint will become very soft and will not break on target in hot conditions.

So a ball broke in your bag?
Sometimes if a bag of paintballs gets jostled around, a ball will break inside the bag, causing paint to get on the other balls. Don't shoot this paint, it will be inaccurate and bad for your gun. Instead, clean it. Take a towel/paper towel and put the balls in it. Do not use water, or the small layer of oil on the balls will come off, creating a drag on the ball. Roll the balls around in the paper towel gently in your hand. Keep doing this until the paint comes off. The paint should be ready to go after you do this.

Where Can I Buy Paintballs?
Many Paintball Pro-Shops sell paintballs, as well as other stores such as Wal-Mart and Meijer. Wal-Mart and Meijer usually sell paint that is fairly old, and low quality. I wouldn’t recommend buying from them unless you have to. Academy and Oshman’s are usually decent, but I would still recommend buying from your field or online if possible. Most Paintball Fields also sell paint, but many times it is overpriced. Paintball websites also sell paint. When I buy paint online, I buy from www.paintballgear.com . They have very good prices on paint, especially Zap. Many times websites will have a deal for free shipping or some kind of discount if you order paint in bulk. www.firstcallpaintball.com is one of those places. They sell paint in bulk and give free shipping if you buy in bulk. This is good if you are on a team and have a tournament or something like that, but if you let paint sit around for too long it will go bad.

Paintball Storage
After playing, Paint should be stored in a cool area out of the sun. DO NOT leave your paint in the garage or any hot, humid area. It should not be kept too cold either, or the paint will get hard and brittle, and might break in your gun or hurt other people. A closet is a good place to store your paint, it is cool and out of the way. If you have a sealed bag of paint, don’t open it until you have to, because the sealed bag will help keep it fresh.

Helpful Links
PBReview's Bore Size Chart
How Paintballs are made
Everything you wanted to know about range and accuracy!
Very Important Article- Warpig Test
One of the crucial things this article states is that a paintball with a much bigger bore size than the barrel will get better efficiency. It also states that a matching bore size and a short barrel tip will give you the best accuracy.
Thanks to CoolT for the above link and information.
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Last edited by STO Balla 22 : 06-09-2004 at 04:27 PM.
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