What Is The "Perfect" Barrel Length?
When you’re talking about barrel length, there are a few things you must consider.
First thing: Porting. Now, there are many gun barrels, which have porting. What porting does is cut down the effective barrel length of your barrel. What is effective barrel length? Well, effective barrel length is how many inches of your barrel a paintball uses for guidance. Effective barrel length is basically the length of your barrel without porting. Now many people like ported barrels because they’re quieter. Well, that is true, but you also must consider that ported barrels use more gas to push the paintball out of the barrel than non-ported barrels.
Second thing: Barrel Length Itself. Some people have certain views about the perfect barrel length. This can be from 8 or below to 18 or above. You really only need about 5 inches to get good performance out of a barrel (some may argue about the End-Game Three Inch). This is ideal since barrels such as this a very maneuverable and light (lighter than longer barrels; I’m not talking Stiffi right now). Others may argue, this makes the aft of your gun heavier and unbalanced in comparison to longer barrels. The reason for 18 inch and < barrels: #1: Style; #2: Sound Signature; #3 Balance (In some cases); #4: Intimidation. 18 inch and < barrels are very good looking. They are also very intimidating. Most 18 inch and < barrels are quieter than shorter barrels. And in some cases, these barrels balance out your gun. Now the cons of a longer barrel: #1: Uses more gas than shorter barrels; #2: Can put your gun out of balance (works both ways); #3: Not maneuverable at all; #4: Some people may laugh at you. The cons are pretty self-explanatory.
In Conclusion: I would say that a 12 inch barrel would be the best barrel length in regards to effective barrel length, sound signature, gas efficiency, and maneuverability; not in regards to your personal playing position or what type of paintball you normally play; you must answer that for yourself. Its really your decision to what length of barrel you want. There is not a huge amount of difference between a 3 or a 21 inch barrel. One topic which is very important is really just what works personally for you. You may have success with a longer barrel, you may have success with a smaller barrel. It really is important that you get what works for your game, not just works for another guy's game.
A Bit About Paint To Bore Match: Where The Accuracy Is Really At
Now a good bore to ball match: that is where the accuracy is at. Like I said, "There is not a huge amount of difference between a 3 or a 21 inch barrel." It is most important that the type of ball you use matches your barrel. This is the most crucial part for people who use one-piece aftermarket barrels. If you use different types of paintballs, get a good barrel kit with inserts (such as the Freak) or two piece barrel and buy different sized bore backs for each type of paint (such as the All American or Snapshot). The ball should not roll out of the barrel or be so you can blow it out. You can also get a ball sizer (Rufus Dawg sells them) to match paint to bore if you are buying off the internet. If you are not, you can take your paint to the store and you can see what barrel works best with the paint.
This post has been edited by PAINTBALLACE: 04 February 2006 - 05:15 PM