Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: West Side Massachusetts
The right barrel length for you!
Well, I noticed a lot of questions constantly being posted about the length of a barrel, so I decided I'll help to put an end to all of the confusion. Barrels come in many different lengths, they can vary from 5-21 inches generally. A barrel needs at least 8 inches of unported material to reach its maximum velocity. Anything else beyond 8 inches is just to help quiet down the ball with porting or other random things, which I'll explain later.
So your looking for a new barrel and you want to know what length is right for you? Well there are a few questions you should ask yourself beforehand, such as: What position do you play, and more importantly, what type of paintball do you play. There's people out there that can use any barrel for any game at any position. These people have it made, but others, need/want to have a certain length for the type of paintball they are playing. I have found that the most effective length in my opinion for every game/position. In woodsball, there really arent positions but I have found that 14"+ barrels tend to be the best, and let me say why.
When in the woods, usually nothing is set up exactly the way you want it, and more often than not, you will find that you need to shoot through brush or other substances like that. What the longer barrels helps you achieve is being able to poke your barrel through the brush so you can shoot at your oponent but not have them shoot back at you. It can give you a great advantage.
When playing speedball, position matters. If your right up front, you will generally want to use a smaller barrel, anywhere from 8-12 seems to work out good. Just because when your snap shooting, you need to come around the side of your barrel, if somebody see's a few inches of a barrel pop out before they actually see you, they'll duck back in and your snaping efforst will be pretty useless. So with a shorter barrel, you can come around the side and shoot with exposing less barrel before you expose your entire marker. Its a good concept thats worked out well for me. If you are playing in the middle of the field, the length doesn't matter as much since your not snap shooting as much, I have found that a longer barrel is easier to aim with. In the middle your main objective is to shoot out the other teams back players, and usually in midfield you have a lot more time to aim than if up front, so a longer barrel can hold to your advantage if you like to sight down your barrel when shooting, I know I do. And its generally the same for when playing back, longer barrels can help you aim better and you rarely need to snap shoot in the back so you really can have any length you desire just make sure you can aim with whatever your using.
Hyperball is very much like speedball, except the bunkers really are what changes the game. Since hyperball fields are made of pvc pipes, they naturally have their little ridges in them. And most players will take advantage to this. When up front, or in any position really, I find a 16inch barrel works the best for me. Since I can stick the barrel inside the ridges of the bunker, so I can tilt my loader in and expose less when snapshooting, or shooting in general. Given you can do this with a shorter barrel, but you pose the risk of tilting the barrel when tilting the loader and acidentally shooting the bunker which will do nobody any good. A longer barrel will keep you pointed straight at your target when aiming at somebody, despite how you tilt your loader.
And finally, Airball. My favorite of the 4 main types of paintball. This game is really where the choice of a barrel length can make or break your game, and trust me, I've learned this the hard way. In airball the bunkers are made out of well, basically rubber, just thick rubber thats been inflated. A pretty simple/wonderful concept. And I have found like in hyperball in any positionf or airball a longer barrel WILL help you, if you can use it right. So once again my ideal length for airball is 16inch barrels, despite the position. I have found that when snap shooting there are parts of the bunker you can push in since its just filled with air, they are very manoverable. With the longer barrel, you can push in more of the bunker and the more you push in, the less you expose when snap shooting or shooting in general, and basically the less you get shot. First time I played airball I was using a 12 and couldn't push a single thing in, from here on out, I will not go to an airball field without a 16inch barrel in my gear bag.
I hope this thread has put an end to all of your barrel length questions, considering they run about an average of 10 a week on "Which is better 12 or 14??" When essentially they all shoot the same, it just depends, how, what, and where you play the game.
P.S. Dont say "Yeah he's just trying to get a sticky" This is actually put out here to help you.