Special Ops Paintball: TIPPMANN FLATLINE FAQ - Special Ops Paintball

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TIPPMANN FLATLINE FAQ some good info on the Tippmann Flatline Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   ZAPCOnj 

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 10:12 AM

originally posted by Kreeper-X on the A-5 OG FORUM

The Tippmann A-5 Flatline Barrel System FAQ

This FAQ was written to answer any questions you may have about the flatline barrel system. It was also written to dispell some of the myths about the flatline that seem to be various in number and spread wide over the internet. It will be updated every so often when new information as it becomes available. Be warned though, this FAQ relies heavily on Physics and thus can be hard to understand at times.

What is the Flatline Barrel System?

The Flatline Barrel system is a Specially designed barrel that imparts backspin on the paintballs fired through it. This backspin causes the paintballs to generate "lift" which actually counters the force of gravity for much of the flight of the ball, resulting in about 50 to 100 feet MORE distance than ANY other barrel on the market.

How does the flatline work?

The Flatline is a unique barrel system. Instead of a straight, smooth, tight bore barrel, the Flatline is curved like a banana, has a rough internal texture, and is a huge bore (about .700).

As a paintball is fired into the flatline, the ball is forced up against the top of the barrel by a cushion of air and rolls along the rough texture of the barrel along the curve.

This forces the ball to pick up a consistant back spin, which in turn causes the paintball to form two pockets of air ournd the outside surface of the ball. A pocket of high pressure air forms under and slightly behind the paintball, pushing it up and forward, and a pocket of low pressure forms above and slightly in front fo the paintball. This is called the Magnus Effect and is the same force that is generated by an airplane wing, and the force that baseball pitchers rely on to throw curve balls and sliders.

As the ball flies through the air, the lift generated by the Magnus Effect counter acts the force of gravity, and reduces the turbulance in the air that the paintball moves through, making the paintball fly in an almost FLATLINE toward the target until the spin on the ball starts to slow down, then the outside forces of gravity and wind resistance begin to work on the ball just like any other ball. The thing is, that these forces don't start working on the paintball until it's already flown 75 feet. Thus, the barrel shoots the paintball further.

Interesting. Where do I get the Big Bore paintballs that fit the Flatline?

You don't want a large bore paintball with the flatline. Where as every other barrel systems work best when the paintball is almost indentical in size to the internal bore of the barrel (this is called "paint to barrel match"), the flatline requires a very loose fitting paintball, in fact, the smaller the paintball the better because paint to barrel match is meaningless with the flatline.

The smaller paintball will spin faster, and provides more room in the barrel for the cushion of air to form under the ball is i rolls along the barrel.

Will the flatline use more air that a normal barrel?

Yes, but the difference is only slight. The flatline has no porting, so while some of the air will escape below the paintball as it travels down the barrel, most of the air is still trapped behind the ball. It tends to slow the balls down slightly. If you were shooting a Bigshot at 280fps and switch the barrel to the Flatline, expect a drop to about 265 ro 270fps, however that's about the perfect velocity for the flatline.

What markers can I get the flatline for?

The flatline is available for the Tippmann Model 98 and 98 Custom, as well as the Tippmann A-5 and the WGP Autococker.

I have a spyder with an M98 barrel adapter. Can I use the flatline on my spyder?

No, you can't the M98 barrel adapters and the flatline barrel adapter are designed in such a way as to prevent these types of systems. The flatline adapter will sit at a 90 degree angle, destroying the function of the flatline barrel system.

I have a Pro-Carbine, and since the A-5 has Pro-Carbine threads, that means I can use the flatline on my Pro-carbine, right?

Nope, sorry. The A-5 has removeable barrel threads and you ahve to remove the barrel thread adapter in order to install the A-5 Flatline system, so it won't work.

How are the M98 and A-5 versions of the flatline different?

Good question. The systems are entirely different. First thing you'll notice is that the A-5 flatline system is all one piece. The barrel, the adapter, and the shroud come as a completely assembled single piece. You can break it down into it's components if you so desire, but there really is no point.

As it's all one piece and it's all integrated, all that is necessary to install the flatline is you loosen the front three bolts on the A-5 and take the old barrel adapter out then insert the faltline, twist it 1/4th a turn to the left and tighten the bolts. The barrel even has a screw on the top of the shroud that helps you align barrel accurately by lining the screw up with the front sight. This is a HUGE improvement over the 98 version with required a lot more to install and line up.

All the parts of the A-5 flatline have alignement markings, so if you do disassemble the system for some reason, you can line it back up perfectly by looking at the alignment marks.

The A-5 Flatline is right at 9 inches long where as the M98 Flatline is about 14 inches long. In fact the A-5 flatline also has a less pronounced curve to it than the M98 Flatline, most due to the new rough textured surface of the A-5 Flatline barrel.

Also, the A-5 Flatline has a metal shroud compaired to the plastic one on the M98 version, and looks less like a rifle stock and more like a Suppressor or the old water cooled machinegun barrels on WWI.

But that's where the differences end. The two barrels perform almost exactly the same. The M98 Flatline and the A-5 Flatline give you the same advantage of range and "flat" trajectory. There is NO noticibale difference between the performance of the barrels.

I have a friend who says the paintballs travel slower out of a flatline.

While this is true due to the fact that the perfect velocity is between 265 and 275fps, it's more of an optical illusion. At this speed, the spin and the speed of the paintball flys in the straighest flight path. The shots definately look slower, because they fly in a more predictable flight path that the eye can follow easier, even though the ball is only going 5 to 15fps slower.

In fact, a paintball fired from a flatline barrel retains it's initial speed longer than a paintball fired from a normal barrel because of the Magnus Effect, so at ranges of 40 to 60 feet, the Flatline actually is traveling faster than a shot from a normal paintball.

Tippmann did tests slowing an actuall 10 to 15% speed INCREASE between evenly spaced chronographs on a target range. Show me another barrel that can do that...

My friend says he can catch the paintballs fired from a flatline and put them in his marker and shoot them back at me because they move so slow. He also says he can dodge the shots easier. Is this true?

No. It's a big load of BS. Unless the guy with the flatline is standing about 250 feet away and the guy catching or dodging the paintball is Barry Sanders.

At extreme range, ALL paintballs move slowly enough to dodge easily, no matter the barrel they are fired from. But in typical paintball ranges (50 to 150 feet) these claims are a load of crap.

My friend also says that the flatline cannot handle high rates of fire.

This claim is also BS. Once installed properly, the flatline can handle E-Grips, RTs, and E-bolts.

Where most people get this idea is when they chop paint in the bolt because they are outshooting thier hoppers or becuase they failed to properly install the flatline, resulting in a small gap inside the adapter which can chop paint.

My friend says that the flatline isn't accurate at all

Again, this is BS. The flatline, when properly installed, shooting good quality small bore paintballs, and shot with the proper technique is MORE accurate than the stock barrel.

The thing is that people will run out and get a flatline, throw it on without readying the directions, dump some brass eagle paintballs into the hopper, crank the velocity as high as it can go, and then shoot the marker with it tilted at an angle to the right or left.

The marker MUST be fired with the marker straight up and down, tilting the marker left or right will result in curving shot that can go around objects in the field, which can come in handy, but make it seem to be inaccurate to the untrained user.

If you shoot crappy paint, expect crappy results. Paintballs with pronounced seams, paintballs with oily shells, paintballs with dimples or large bore paintballs will result in bad to horid results.

Also, keep the barrel cleaned religiously. Between games you should sgueegie the barrel out even if you didn't break any paintballs. A dry and clean flatline is necessary in order for the barrel to maximize the back spin effect.

Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the spin the flatline puts on the ball, everything you've already learned about shooting paintballs is wrong. The flight path is different and you have to become adjusted to this.

Also, wind can have a different effect on your shots due to the spin that the flatline puts on the ball. It's definately not an all weather barrel.

It's a different breed or barrel and you have to adapt your game to get the best results with it.

So, what is the best paintballs to use in the Flatline?

You want to find good medium shelled, small bore paintballs with little or no seam on them and dry shells. The seam can grab air and oily shelled paintballs can alter the flight characteristics of a flatline fired paintball, as well as reduce the friction needed for the barrel to grip the ball and create spin.

The Best paintballs to use are pretty much anything RPS Advantage Makes, such as Marbalizors, All Stars, El Tiger, Evil, Polar Ice, and Superswirls. Also good are Proball and Proball Platinum, and Nelson Anarchy paintballs.

Avoid anything medium or large bore, or oily or with prnounced seams

Does the Rough texture on the inside of the barrel wear off? Does that effect the range/accuracy?

Yes, yes and yes. But according to the guys from the Tippmann workshop, the problem with wear on the internal barrel texture should become an issue until you've fired off around 200,000 paintballs. Tippmann HAS tested the barrel before releasing it to the public. They also noted that a lot of the problem with pre-mature wear on A-5 Flatlines seems to be improper cleaning, use of anything other than a paintball (Rufus Dawg T-Balls can damage the barrel) or user error.

Proper cleaning of the flatline is with accomplished using warm to hot dish water with dish soap and a soft squeegie. Do not use abrasive brushes, straight shots and the like.


We've been warning people for a while about this rumor on the flatline and fighting a war on this FALSE statement. The flatlines DO NOT wear out after a couple cases of paint unless YOU are doing something wrong.

How much and where can I get it?

The flatline runs between $80 and $150 on the internet.[/color]

#2 User is offline   ncbbh88 

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 10:40 AM

ok this is off the tippy forum and its got some other things to add between these 2 posts every question can be answered.

4NSW3RS 70 C0MM0N1Y 4SK3D F147L1N3 QU3S71ONS

I'm really tired of little newbs asking alot of the same quetions about Flatlines so I made this post. I'm going to sticky this because I'm not sure who to PM for permaission. If any moderators want to unsticky it then I'm sorry for wasting that moderator's time. Sorry If this has been done a while ago but the newbish questions still pop up.

4b0u7 7h3 F147l1n3 B4rr31 Sys73m:

This is what Tippman says about the Flaltine: Introducing the Flatline Barrel System made exclusively for the Tippmann A-5, 98 Custom and Model 98. This system is now available complete or as a conversion kit for your existing A-5, 98 Custom or Model 98. The Flatline Barrel System is the first production back spin barrel ever produced. The principle behind the system is Tippmann's newly designed slightly curved barrel, which applies centrifugal force to the ball, creating backspin. Not only does this system offer increased accuracy and distance but also offers flat trajectory for thick brush and canopy play. By minimizing trajectory of the ball and increasing accuracy, you increase the amount of targets which would ordinarily be out of range. The Flatline Barrel System adds 100 feet of flat trajectory GUARANTEED.

Basically it adds backspin to the ball making the ball travel much farther than any normal (not curved) barrell. This backspin would, in zero gravity, cause the balls to curve in an upward motion. But, since we have gravity here on Earth, the gravity works against the upward curve which results in a straight line. The barrel only works on the A-5, 98 custom, and model 98.

BEST PAINT FOR FLATLINE: The absolute best paint for the Flatty are marbilizers. Zap and othe better quality rec paints work well though.

H4v1ng Pr0bl3ms?

If your Flaltine is not firing accuratly then there are a few quick things for you to check.

!!!: Practice with it! The barrel 7akes time to get used to so, before you become a Flatline hater, make sure it's not you who is causing the problems. Of couse if it is firing way off then check for these things...
1. Make sure you're using a good quality small bore paint
2. Make sure you installed it straight
3. Make sure your velocity is somewhere around 270 fps (the Flatline operates it's best at 270fps)
4. Make sure the barrel is clean
5. Check for abnormalities. like a bend to the right in the barrel or a dent. If you find any I'm sure the store would take it back or that Tippmann will send you a new one.

72h 1337 curv3b411:

I recently recieved a PM concerning this so I figured I'd add it here. If you tip your gun to the right or left the balls coming out of flatline will not have to work against the force of gravity in the same sence as before. This causes them to curve in the direction corresponding to the direction that the barrel is tipped. Some people, like myself, who have had considerable time to practice with this, find it to be a useful tool while others find it to be annoying.

S0m3 Rum0rs:

The Flaltine barrel jams alot.
Not true in the slightest. The Flaltine barrel will only really jam if you use crappy old paint or maybe Blue streaks or Walmart paint. If you know any other paint brands that are as bad as them or have broken in your experience with Flatline then PM with them. The Flatline is a large bore barrel but small-medium bore paint gets the best backspin.
I personally use Zap Paintballs with my flatline. I have played alot of games and have not had one single break and have had great performance from the barrell.

You can't use it with the R/T or E-bolt/E-Grip.
I don't even see the logic in this. When one of my friends told me this I had to try it so I got my friends gun who has R/T and put my Flatline on it and fired off a hopper full. Not one break. I hd to ask my local pro-shop about the E-bolt/E-Grip and he told me that I should have no problems.

The Flatline gives you bad accuracy.
Also not true. The Flatline has great accuracy up to the point where it goes farther than any other barrel could even dream of going. A common misconseption is that the backspin makes the ball more vulnerable to wind and other weather conditions. This is false. The ball is only more vulnerable to those things at longer ranges like any other barrel. The longer the ball is out of any barrel the longer it is effected by these conditions and the more the accuracy will decrease.

The Flatline slows balls down.
This barrel itself does not slow paintballs down and neither does the backspin. The balls appear to be moving slower because they are spinning and going much farther on a flatter plane.

It's hard to clean.
Not really. for quick cleans a squeegee will do fine but for a better clean you might want to disassemble it and put it back on. But that's only if you really REALLY NEED to clean it better than a squeegee will work.
A cool method of cleaning a ball break in the middle of a game was suggested a while ago. You take a bag with alcohol in it and put some cotton balls in it. When a ball breaks pull out the cotton swabs and put them in you gun manually (take off your hopper first and feed the swabas manually through the hole) and shoot them off. I don't know if this works because I have yet to have a ball break with the flatline but I will be trying it when I do have one.

Also, don't worry about the installation proccess. All the needed tools come with it and I, being 13, was able to put it on straight in one try with no help.


The Flatline RULES!... For woodsball. For speed ball it is kind of big and you need a more compact gun for speedball. This barrel is definitly a must have for woodsball palyers with enough money. You will enjoy a huge increase in range and good accuracy.

When peopel say bad things about the flatline it's really only because they personally dislike it. If anyone tells you something contradicting what I said here DON'T LISTEN TO THEM.

If you are considering buyng the Flaltine do not be disuaded! Unless of course you play speedball. Then you really should avoid it.
Thanks for reading this post. Hopefully it will help contain the amounts of Flatline posts.

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