What's in a Paintball Barrel?
For more than 20 years, customers have been asking us,
"What is the best upgrade for my paintball gun?" In most cases, our
answer is simple, Upgrade your barrel!
Take a look at the typical paintball barrel that comes stock
with a new paintball marker - it is short, lacks porting (the holes drilled
along the length or at the end of the barrel), and does not have a nice mirror
finish on the inside of the barrel. Why is this the case? Well, the shorter the
barrel, the less money it costs to produce. Less porting means less machine time, which in
turn also means a lower cost of production. Likewise, with the polishing on the
inside of the barrel it takes time to polish a barrel, and time is money.
Length - Does it matter?
The length your paintball marker barrel makes a difference
to the range, accuracy, and efficiency of your paintball gun. Paintballs guns
are not firearms, however, and it does not hold true that the longer the barrel
is, the more accurate it will be.
Although there is no consensus on the optimal length of a paintball
barrel, most would agree that anything beyond 14 inches will not significantly
improve your accuracy, and anything beyond 18 inches will simply create so much
friction on the paintball as it travels through the barrel, that overall performance
will be greatly reduced (more friction means more resistance, which means more
gas will be used to propel the paintball out of the barrel).
While accuracy is important, you might choose a shorter
barrel to lower the weight of your paintball gun, or to make it more maneuverable.
You might opt for a longer barrel to better penetrate the bush and to allow you
to stay under cover while making your shot.
The overall look of your paintball marker is also important,
especially for scenario players. In some cases, you might choose a longer or
shorter barrel to achieve the look you want with your paintball marker, and
this is perfectly fine.
When it comes to choosing the length of your paintball barrel,
your personal preference will influence your choice. For the best combination
of maneuverability and accuracy, Badlands recommends that you choose a 14 inch
long paintball barrel.
Porting - Do all those holes make a difference?
The porting on a paintball barrel makes your paintball gun
more accurate, because it vents the gas that is used to propel the paintball out
of the barrel before it reaches the end of the barrel. If a barrel lacks
porting, when the paintball leaves the end of the barrel, it will be caught up
in a swirling mass of gas, which will buffet the paintball, and throw it off
its trajectory. This is especially true for paintballs that are not very round,
as any inconsistency will be exaggerated by the swirling gas, and the paintball
will be more likely to curve and slice off its intended path.
Porting also serves to quiet your paintball marker. The more
gas that the porting on your paintball barrel can vent before the paintball
leaves the end of the barrel, the quieter your shot will be. Without porting
the gas propelling the paintball explodes noisily from the barrel all at once.
Of course, not everyone want s to be quiet for those who want
to announce to the world where they are, we recommend the LAPCO Bigshot Assault
with the Dishka Thunder tip.
Polishing - The importance of a mirror-like finish
A good quality paintball barrel will have a very smooth,
mirror-like finish, on the inside of the barrel. Simply put, the smoother the
inside of the barrel, the less friction there will be on the paintball, and the
less gas can be used to get that paintball out of the marker. The smoother the
inside of the barrel, the more shots you will get from your tank.
Paintball Barrel Bore
Size - Why it matters
Bore size refers to the inside diameter of your paintball
barrel. Most paintball barrels are made with an internal diameter of 0.689 or
0.690 of an inch.
Even the best paintballs are not consistent in size, and the
diameter of a paintball often varies substantially, especially between
manufacturers. You should use a barrel that best matches the paintballs that
you shoot. This will improve the accuracy and consistency of your paintball
marker, and can also reduce ball breakage.
If your barrel is too tight for the paintballs that you are
shooting, then you are more likely to break paint in your barrel. If your
barrel is too large, then the paintball will not create a good seal as it travels
down the barrel, and this will make your paintball marker less efficient and
A paintball is considered to have a good fit in your
paintball barrel when you can place it in the end of the barrel that screws
into the marker without it rolling out of the other end of the barrel, and when
you can blow it out of the barrel like a blow gun without trying so hard that your
face turns blue.
It is always preferable to use a larger bore paintball barrel
then it is to use one that is too tight. A barrel with a larger bore will
accept a wider range of paintballs, and is less likely to break paint.
Paintball Barrel kits
- How they help
A paintball barrel kit, like the Eclipse Shaft Boost Kit, or
the TechT iFit series, help the performance of your paintball marker by
allowing you to better match the paintballs you are using to the bore size of
Many kits also allow you to change the tip of your paintball
barrel, increasing or decreasing the length of the barrel.
Specialty Barrels- Empire
BT Apex2 and the Tippmann Flatline barrels
Some paintball barrel manufacturers offer specialty barrels
that will greatly affect the performance of your paintball marker.
Both the Tippmann Flatline barrels and the Empire BT Apex2 put
a back-spin on the paintball as it leaves the end of the barrel. This back-spin
creates lift and vastly increases the range of your paintball marker. You will
be able to shoot incredibly far with one of these barrels, far outdistancing
any other barrel.
Do not believe any
claims that the Flatline or the Apex2 will increase your accuracy they will
not. It is very important that you use a high quality paintball with these
barrels because if the paintballs are not very round, then your shots are
likely to spin and slice off as the back-spin exaggerates the egg-shape of the
paintball. You cannot use crappy paintballs with these barrels and expect good
The Apex2 has an advantage over the Flatline, because with
the Apex2 you can adjust the amount of back-spin applied to the paintball, allowing
you to fine-tune your range, or you can turn off the back-spin altogether and
use the Apex2 as a regular barrel.
Still have questions? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org