I am a Canadian independent Paintball journalist and my largest project yet is underway (and has been in planning for years). I will be doing a Mass barrel review that will probably take the greater part of the summer to complete. Virtually every mainstream barrel producing company has taken interest and has either sent or is sending me barrels for review.
Now, before I go any further let me clarify the meaning of “Mass barrel review”
The barrels will NOT be reviewed competitively, the facts and data will be collected through various tests to give you a feel for each barrel and help you as a potential barrel consumer find the one that best fits your style of play and the type of paint you use.
The barrels will have SOME tests done in unison to ensure the humidity, barometric pressure, and other ambient factors are the same so the quality and validity of the data is as good as it can get.
The purpose of my post today is to see if you, the average paintball player, have any insights into my testing process, things to add or amend. I would gladly hear your thoughts on the matter. I am open minded to new methods/testing categories if they are applicable to this study. I have a testing template that will be uniform to all barrels I will be reviewing, and I want to hear what you have to say!
Companies that are participating (Some have sent their barrels in, some are pending to, some may not, new ones may sign up, this list is not yet in stone)
In alphabetical order;
A+ Machine Paintball
Ben Tippmann Paintball
Custom Products Paintball
Deadly winds Paintball
Extreme Rage Paintball
Hammer Head Paintball
Palmers Pursuit Shop
Rap4 Real Action Paintball
Redz Comfort Paintball
If you represent a barrel company or know someone who does and do not see that company on this list and would like it to be included, please express your interest to the appropriate sales rep and get them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Current template (all tests are subject to preliminary testing that may edit, add, or remove from them as needed to make the data more valid/understandable):
1: Range test – Depending on how many balls our paint sponsors are willing to give us per barrel. Likely 3-5 ranges. One range will be taken as “standard range” as the base performing range for other tests. Ideally 40 balls will be used per range. Every shot will be chronoed and the results will be put against the standard deviation of the stock barrel.
2: Element test – Heating a barrel to what would be considered a warm day of paintball, and Cooling the barrel to what would be considered winter ball. Misting the barrel with an ultrasonic humidifier to simulate a humid/rainy day. Fired at standard range.
3: Barrel break test – Forced break in barrel to measure how well a barrel will self clean. Fired at standard range.
4: Volume test- Measure the decibels produced by the report of a barrel
5: Weight test- Weigh barrel via Digital Scale
6: Manufacture consistency test - Barrels will have their bores measured and length measured and put against what the companies actual advertise them as being.
7: Accuracy test with first strike, Golf balls, and Reballs – Same as regular range test, budget / sponsor depending for how intricate it will be.
8: Spin Algorithm Test (depends if I can still rent a high speed cam when it comes time to do it) – Measuring how much a unique barrels (Ie straight, spiral, backspin) effect the balls, and then possibly using physics equations to find out how to best achieve the ideal conditions and rate of spin (or lack thereof of straight rifled barrels). Will also measure Stability exit test; measuring the stability of a paintball as it leaves the barrel to map the amount of turbulence imparted on the ball by the barrel itself.
9: Player test (giving players from a selected teams a chance to use the barrels in a paintball game to be filmed when playing) Barrels will be covered with a sock so players don't know which barrel they are using.
10: Player Interview –players who sampled the barrels for their thoughts / preferences.
Each barrel will have its own video displaying the tests, results, barrel/paint used info, and so on.
Paint sponsors will be contacted after all barrel sponsors are confirmed and have their barrels to me.
Tests will be performed with 2 markers. One for autococker threads, one for tippmann a5 threads ( some barrels only come in A5 threads) both markers will have the standard deviation of their regulators and stock barrels mapped out prior to tests. Unless a company donated a marker to do the testing on as a sponsor, the markers used will be covered and never known.
As I said before, I am open to general input and thoughts. Either post here or email them directly to:
Hitman Paintball Reviews
Youtube Channel - YouTube - HitmanPaintball's Channel
Blog - Hitman Paintball