Special Ops Paintball: Marker Customization - Special Ops Paintball

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Marker Customization Disambiguation Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Shipwreck! 

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:13 PM

Hey everyone. I'm really bored right now. I don't really feel like playing video games, my bike's a little out of shape so I'm not going offroading :( , there's not really anyone posting on the forums right now (although there's ALWAYS a handful of users just hanging around not posting anything... I don't get it). So it looks like my best bet at entertaining myself right now is another painfully long paintball rant! Brace yourselves.

My subject this time: marker customization in general! And I'm not talking about really cool space gun and/or camo paintjobs that make your gun look cool, or milsim products that... make your gun look cool. Because I personally don't care for or believe in those things. I'm talking about what works best for actually making markers work their best. Because what matters is shooting people, not how your gun looks when you do it.

So I'm going to go over all the various options and my logic/physics/experience (in that order from most to least important) based opinion of them. And tell you what's out and what's in! IMHO that is.

Working our way from front to back the first category is:

BARELS

First and foremost: Long barrels are OUT! Sorry guys.
I don't expect the following is the case on this forum in particular, but a lot of people I've met personally on paintball fields subscribe to the misconception that longer barrels equate to longer ranges. I imagine this is due to that fact that it's more or less common knowledge that generally speaking longer barrels DO equate to longer ranges. Which is the case with actuall firearms. But this is due to a very specific reason that ISN'T the case in paintball. While most people know longer barrels = longer ranges people who mistakenly apply the concept to paintball appearently don't know WHY. In firearms there is no limit to muzzle velocities, and since the point of firing a firearm is to waste some poor bastard, the faster the velocity the better. Also one might notice that when a firearm fires a lot of energy in the form of an explosion escapes the muzzle after the projectile fires. By lenthening the barrel some of that escaping energy can be harnessed to propel the projectile, rather than being allowed to escape. The longer the barrel is, the longer the explosion is pushing the projectile, the longer the explosion pushes the projectile the higher the projectile's muzzle velocity, the faster the projectile is going once it leaves the barrel the further it can go in the same ammount of time it takes the projectile to fall to the ground either way, and the longer the projectile's range. Since acceleration due to gravity is constant all bullets fall at the same rate once they leave the barrel no matter how fast they're going, but the faster they're going the further they'll go before they hit the ground.

But as we all know this doesn't work in paintball. In paintball our muzzle velocity is always limited to 280fps. Therefore no matter how long your barrel gets, you're never going to be shooting paintballs any faster than anyone with a shorter barrel, so you're never going to get longer ranges by lengthening your barrel. As with bullets all paintballs fall at the same rate once they leave the barrel, but we're not allowed to make them go faster, so lengthening the barrel won't make them go further.

In firearms it is as always a trade off. Is it more important to have enhanced manuverability, or enhanced range? Short barrel or long barrel? Depends on what you need to do with your gun, but either way you go you'll sacrifice one type of performance but gain another. In paintball you don't get any range bonus for a long barrel, but you do make the gun longer take on the disadvantage of a less manuverable marker. Basically you give up manuverability but get nothing in return. So long barrel is a no go, it's all drawback and no benefit.

That said there is one work around to the paintball range limitation which I'm sure we're all familiar with:

The Flatline/Apex Barrel
As I mentioned before our velocity is limited so we can't increase our range that way. But the workaround of these systems is not to change the velocity of the paintball but to change the aerodynamics of the paintball. Now when air moves along a surface, it is known that the faster the air moves along the surface the less pressure it exerts on the surface (forgot the name of the principal but I know for a fact that a lot of you know it already, keep in mind I'm writing this more to entertain myself than educate you haha!). This is how the wing and a pitcher's curve ball work, the wing diverts air over a longer path over the top of the wing forcing air to move faster over the top than under the bottom, resulting in a pressure difference between the top and bottom of the wing, with more air pressure exerted on the bottom pushing up. The difference in pressure is what holds the plane up against the force of gravity. In the pitchers curve ball the ball is spun hard in one direction on a verticle axis. The increased friction between the surface of the ball and air as it passes over the surface due to this spin diverts more air over one side of the ball (a longer path) forcing the air to move faster over that side reducing air pressure on that side. The normal higher air pressure on the other side of the ball actually pushes the ball in opposite direction resulting in a horizontal curve. The Flatline and Apex barrel systems use this same principal but spin the paintball on a horizontal axis, forcing air to move faster over the top of the ball than under the bottom, creating a lift force just like the wing. This lift force counteracts the force of gravity and holds the ball up in the air, eventually the ball slows due to air resistance (the entire time actually), as it slows the pressure diferential that holds the ball up reduces, and eventually the ball falls down like a normally fire ball would. But for those few seconds that it's generating enough lift to hold it up it delays the fall, and this allows the ball to travel further even though it's fired at the same speed as any other paintball. This is the ONLY way to increase a normal paintball's range, so only markers with barrel systems designed to put that backspin on the ball actually shoot further than any other marker. Basically no matter how long your long barrel gets (so long as you're chrono'd properly) you're not going to be shooting any further than anyone else, and some people who have Flatlines/Apex's or other similar systems are going to be shooting further than you, AND at the same time still be more manuverable. Basically we as paintballers get something actual firearms manufacturers would kill for. The ability to increase range WITHOUT sacrificing manuverability!
So Flatline and Apex Barrels are IN

Something important to mention at this point is

The First Strike Round
Although it's technically not a round because it's not self contained with its own propellent. As I mentioned before the only way to increase a paintballs range is the backspin which is not possible with the non-spherical shape of the FS. This paint projectile (more accurate than "round" or "ball") doesn't actually have a longer maximum range than a normal paintball, in fact due to it's flat rear end which probably causese more of a "suction" effect at the rear aerodynamically, it might have a shorter maximum range than a normal paintball fired normally. Anyway the trick of this projectile isn't that it increases range, it's not going to fire any further than a painball, what it does do however with it's bullet-like "self stabilizing spin" is increase accuracy over longer ranges. It doesn't shoot further it's shoots "straighter" on the horizontal. It won't curve unexpectedly left or right making it much easier to hit targets at longer ranges that normal paintballs can achieve just without the accuracy. In effect it has the same MAXIMUM RANGE but a much longer EFFECTIVE RANGE. But that in and of its self is a pretty nifty trick.
That said having a longer effective range in paintball is highly effective/awesome therefore:
First Strike Projectiles are... IN!

Hoppers and Feed Mechanisms

Electronic Hoppers
Alot of the "speedball" guns these days incorporate electonic hoppers to force feed paintballs. Now I have no experience actually using these so my assesment is strictly logic based. That's the best way to assess something afterall, but logic isn't fool proof. Sometimes logic is flawed, especially the more complicated and theoretical it gets. Reality has a tendency to be utterly impossible to predict using logic alone. So unlike my physics and experience backed assesment of barrels this is going to be a far cry from the end all be all TRUTH about electo-pneumatic systems. But I will keep my logical premesis simple to enhance their reliability, and also base my assessment on my observations of other people's experiences. So here we go.

There are a few fundemental (and by my logic undeniable), flaws in the basic concept of the electronic force feed. First off it takes batteries. It just will not work without them, which means A: You have to buy batteries. Is it that expensive to? Certainly not. But you know what's less expensive and still works perfectly fine? A regular gravity feed hopper. And B: This makes them inherently less reliable. Batteries die. Granted the occassion on which they die may be rare, and you may be wise enough to always bring spares. But even someone who always brings spares eventually forgets to. Even with spares batteries can die in game, and as if loading projectiles and propellent seperately were a big enough pain, now you've got to change batteries in game too. I'm sure that won't be a hasstle and/or result in your getting tagged out because you were trying to change your batteries in game. But you know what never "dies" and still works perfectly fine? Gravity.

Secondly, these are electronic systems. Electronics are also inherently more suceptable to damage and failure due to dust, dirt, water and/or shock than any mechanical component. Don't believe me? Throw a mechanical marker and your laptop in a river, see which one comes out working better. That's not a fair comparison, and I'm sure that the electronic components in these electro-hoppers are somewhat well protected by some kind of rugged housing. But no housing is perfect and it's always going to be a possibility that dirt, dust or water will get in there and break something; and it will never be a possibility with a simple gravity feed hopper, which will work just fine.

And my observations: I've never been to a game with a lot of electro's in play where someone wasn't have a hard time with theirs, whether it's battereies or a short or a catashtrophic failure, SOMETHING, SOMEWHERE always seems to go wrong. On the other side I've seen mechanical markers fail in game and ruin someone's whole day... but only a handful of times in six years. All that said, again, I have no personal experience running electro-hoppers so I don't really know first hand. But IMHO
Electo hoppers are... OUT.

Standby for updates...

This post has been edited by Shipwreck!: 07 August 2011 - 11:41 PM

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#2 User is offline   Eagle Eye 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 07:53 AM

I disagree with the Electronic hopper analysis. Yes, batteries and such, which can also be applied to the marker itself, but all electronic boards in paintball are designed to withstand the elements to a degree (they have a protective film on the circuit boards to keep out moisture and such). Would I submerge my Ego in a river? Not if I could help it, but then again big boy rules apply here, you can't protect fully against stupid people (not directed at you, but it would be stupid to throw an electro in a river). I've playing in pouring rain with electronic markers and hoppers, and both continued to work just fine. Afterwards I did have to do some marker maintenance (aka, clean and dry things off), but that's just required upkeep for all markers. Even if I left my Tippmann 98c in the trunk after playing in the rain, I guarrantee it will have some rust. That being said, electronic hoppers are not for everyone. If you are shooting semi or pump ( > 8-ish bps), then you don't need a $100 high speed hopper. If you are the kind of guy to lay down a lot of paint in a short amount of time, then you are going to want an electronic hopper that can keep up with your marker to prevent chopped balls and dry fires.

The exception to the rule is the cyclone feed. A pneumatic assist hopper that effectively pre-chambers the ball, it can keep up with rapid rates of fire up to the 20 bps mark, even further with some upgrades. No loading system is perfect however, as the cyclone feed uses more air, is prone to breaking the stock plastic sprocket (which kills your whole day unless you have a spare), and sometimes the pneumatics itself with cause problems (kinks, won't cycle properly, the air hose disconnects/get a hole).
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#3 User is offline   Private Silver 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:46 AM

View PostShipwreck!, on 08 August 2011 - 01:13 AM, said:

Snip.
BARELS

First and foremost: Long barrels are OUT! Sorry guys.
I don't expect the following is the case on this forum in particular, but a lot of people I've met personally on paintball fields subscribe to the misconception that longer barrels equate to longer ranges. I imagine this is due to that fact that it's more or less common knowledge that generally speaking longer barrels DO equate to longer ranges. Which is the case with actuall firearms. But this is due to a very specific reason that ISN'T the case in paintball. While most people know longer barrels = longer ranges people who mistakenly apply the concept to paintball appearently don't know WHY. In firearms there is no limit to muzzle velocities, and since the point of firing a firearm is to waste some poor bastard, the faster the velocity the better. Also one might notice that when a firearm fires a lot of energy in the form of an explosion escapes the muzzle after the projectile fires. By lenthening the barrel some of that escaping energy can be harnessed to propel the projectile, rather than being allowed to escape. The longer the barrel is, the longer the explosion is pushing the projectile, the longer the explosion pushes the projectile the higher the projectile's muzzle velocity, the faster the projectile is going once it leaves the barrel the further it can go in the same ammount of time it takes the projectile to fall to the ground either way, and the longer the projectile's range. Since acceleration due to gravity is constant all bullets fall at the same rate once they leave the barrel no matter how fast they're going, but the faster they're going the further they'll go before they hit the ground.

But as we all know this doesn't work in paintball. In paintball our muzzle velocity is always limited to 280fps. Therefore no matter how long your barrel gets, you're never going to be shooting paintballs any faster than anyone with a shorter barrel, so you're never going to get longer ranges by lengthening your barrel. As with bullets all paintballs fall at the same rate once they leave the barrel, but we're not allowed to make them go faster, so lengthening the barrel won't make them go further.

In firearms it is as always a trade off. Is it more important to have enhanced manuverability, or enhanced range? Short barrel or long barrel? Depends on what you need to do with your gun, but either way you go you'll sacrifice one type of performance but gain another. In paintball you don't get any range bonus for a long barrel, but you do make the gun longer take on the disadvantage of a less manuverable marker. Basically you give up manuverability but get nothing in return. So long barrel is a no go, it's all drawback and no benefit.

snip


That is only partial logic, as not all bullets are the same weight, and seeing as we don't shoot in a vacuum (would be damn fun though), air resistance should be factored in, causing lighter bullets to slow down and drop faster than a heavier bullet going the same speed.


But thats was just a FYI, not really important at all ;)

As for barrel lengths not making a difference...........that's a slippery slope to be walking on. Sure, it won't give the same range capabilities as a firearm barrel would, but they do give their own "ups" if you will. There was a test someone did on here, can't find it now though, where they tested out a variety of barrel lengths on a single gun to test various things, and if i remember correctly, the major point between having a 3in barrel or 13in barrel was not range, but accuracy/air efficiency. Sure, there are the goofy people that are walking around with 20in+ barrels, and they need an air fill every 20 shots, but thats just being slow on their part. I think the optimal barrel length for an accuracy POV was around 11-14 inches. Now sure, porting comes into play at some point, but I don't feel like getting into that.



As for Electric hoppers, I'm with Eagle on this one. While it isn't a necessity, it is generally viewed as a helpful upgrade, as you know you will always have a ball in the chamber no matter how fast your shooting. Before I got my rotor, I ran with a grav feed simply because i was a cheap bastard (B)), and i had numerous times where after a dead sprint and shaking the gun wildly throughout in the act of running, the balls were still jammed up in the top of the feedneck.
Oh, and as for battery consumption, most of them are getting intelligent these days. I left my rotor on by accident and checked it a day later because i heard a noise and it was just starting to fully lose power. And that was with rechargable batteries, which generally don't last near as long as the regulars.
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#4 User is offline   Eagle Eye 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:36 AM

yes, the "sweet spot" of barrel lengths is in the 12-14 area, but I know some guys who swear by their 16's. A longer barrel has a longer control bore, and the extra barrel length (along with good barrel porting) allow the air cushion to propel the paintball in a longer controlled fashion, rather than venting in a burst at the end of a shorter barrel. Again, the sweet spot for this is in the 12-14" area, so you sacrifice a little with stubby barrels. And those guys running around with 20" barrels.... unless its some super-custom sniper rig, and even then it's a little much IMO.

This post has been edited by Eagle Eye: 08 August 2011 - 11:43 AM

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#5 User is offline   IrishMack 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 12:01 PM

I don't have the motivation to address the barrels, but as far as the hopper goes, while electronic hoppers can fail they can jam, have dead batteries, and I've had wires snaps, sensors break among other problems, that does not make them bad. There are some good gravity feeds that can shoot several balls a second, but even my Tippmann can outshoot a lot of standard gravity fed hoppers, I also find gravity feds to jam far more often then my electronic hoppers, and then I have to sit their shaking the hopper trying to get the balls to unjam, a rather unfun situation in a gunfight. But, at the same time, I have been in gunfights and had a break in the hopper, or have it jam. But the overall added speed, is important to me, and I'll take the risk of my electronic hopper breaking over fairly consistant jamming and overall decreased speed.

P.s...if you are worried about water effecting the hopper...just get a rotor...it can take most anything, and..well it might jam temporarily if you get dirt in it...if you get dirt in your grav fed I would hope you stop playing so you don't put it through your gun...so either way...but the rotor is almost as easy to clean as grav fed.
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#6 User is offline   Eagle Eye 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:04 PM

Rotor has real easy disassembly for cleaning. It also has a back-up lever-thingie that backs up the feed arm to try and clear a jam in the hopper. The Halo series/Empire Reloader B had the rip drive(?) so you could manually operated the feed cone to un-jam the hopper, and run it manually in case your battery died (i've had to do it before, it was like playing stock with an electro. Spin-Burst-Spin-Burst)
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#7 User is offline   Chill_balla 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:29 PM

Yea I have one of the rip drives, and they are useful for longer scenarios but usually aren't really worth it in rec play...
I agree with everything you said except the electro hoppers, since on a lot of markers they are pretty much essential. And I know tippmann's have cyclones which are non-electro, but from what I've heard they're more trouble than they're worth...
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#8 User is offline   ger 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:06 PM

Your statements about both barrels & hoppers where generally fine, but you were really only focusing on one aspect of each. There are certainly more to each than just maneuverability & simplicity.

As you stated, there certainly is a real difference when comparing real-steel barrel lengths: long = distance, short = maneuverability, but that doesn't completely translate to paintball. The distance issue is simple... a 20" barrel isn't really gonna shoot any further than 4" (except that it could conceivably shoot 16" further - seems silly but it's true in ideal situations). In all honestly, the extra distance is a moot point, the shorter barrel will always win if maneuverability was the only deciding factor, but it doesn't have to be. Accuracy, sound signature & air efficiency can all be considered as well when deciding on a barrel. Generally, all three of those are found to be better in barrels at least 8" long, generally best in the 11-16" range - but lots of factors there.

Mann's barrel test... kinda the be-all-end-all barrel thread.

Hoppers - true, gravity always works but batteries don't. But, I can shoot sideways & upside down w/ my Rotor in spite of gravity... which has been pretty handy in more than one occasion. As far as the electronics in poor conditions go - I've used an A-5 w/ e-grip & a Geo/Rotor in sub-freezing temps & torrential downpours but didn't have a single problem w/ either. Go ahead & throw your mech/shake-n-bake in a river along side an electro/force-feed - neither are going to shoot because the paint in the hopper will be swollen :D. Besides that, comparing the two hopper types is kinda like saying "I don't want to drive my car 38 miles to work because gas & maintenance is too expensive, I'll just walk since it's free." The car's disadvantages are far outweighed by the advantages.
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#9 User is offline   Shipwreck! 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:12 PM

Thanks for the input guys! Totally forgot to adress stub nose barrels, and good point about shooting in different positions Ger. Like I said, will be updating later.

EDIT:

View PostPrivate Silver, on 08 August 2011 - 09:46 AM, said:

That is only partial logic, as not all bullets are the same weight, and seeing as we don't shoot in a vacuum (would be damn fun though), air resistance should be factored in, causing lighter bullets to slow down and drop faster than a heavier bullet going the same speed.


But thats was just a FYI, not really important at all ;)


Well... as long as we're calling technicalities on eachother: the less massive projectile with less inertia does slow down faster due to air resistance but that doesn't cause it to "drop faster". Again accelleration due to gravity is constant, regardless of the bullet's speed it is always accelerating DOWNWARD at the same rate. So assuming that both the more massive and less massive projectiles are fired at the same time, at the same velocity, at the same level and over level terrain; they are both droping at exactly the same rate the entire time. The difference is the lighter bullet slows down more and therefore doesn't go as far before it hits the ground while the heavier one retains more of its initial velocity and goes further before it hits the ground. But both drop at the same speed and hit the ground at the same time.

So technically you're right and you're wrong. All other considerations equal, a more massive projectile will have a slightly longer range. But it's not because one drops any slower or faster than the other. The downward component of their velocities is identical, the muzzle velocity is identical, it's only the difference in their overall average velocities that accounts for the range difference. There is no "faster drop".

But I assume you know this and just mis-spoke. Anyway, I'll be back later do adress more of the comments and expand the OP right now I gotta do stuff (I hate doing that), but I couldn't pass up an oportunity to call your technicality's technicality haha!

This post has been edited by Shipwreck!: 08 August 2011 - 02:26 PM

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:24 PM

First things first: First strike rounds do travel farther than regular paintballs, for the same reason bullets travel farther than musket balls.

Also, i would like to agree with the efficiency of shorter barrels as well. It has been tested (i think on punkworks) that the paintball is actually finished accelerating at around 9-10 inches. Anything beyond that is merely controlling the ball for longer.
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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:11 PM

So this was a thread written by someone from Tiberius???

What is in or out is DIRECTLY related to the style of play. If you want to play speedball with your Tiberius non-electrofed barrels decoration...go ahead. But you WILL get smoked...SMOKED.

Right now what is "in": Invert markers, Dye Rotors, cosmetic upgrades to Phenoms (stocks, rails, flashlights, etc...)

What is "out": Ions, Angels, Cockers, A5s, Flatline barrels, Paintball in general

But the cool things about this sport is that what is "in" and "out" changes every few years.

I saw a resurgence of paintball when the Ion and A5 came out...and Tippmann releasing the X7 shortly thereafter (we'll forgive them for the propane powered nonsense) kept the woodballers around. And because of that, the woods ball, Mil Sim stuff is still rather "In"...despite paintball being down overall.
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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:49 PM

Ok for my assesment of the original posting and yadda yadda

Barrel, long = out.
Its been addressed that 12-14 is ideal and I will agree competely with that but the idea that 22 inch isnt better I can offer a counter argument.
True 22" does not shoot further and true it does consume more gas but back in my early days compairing my prolite to a buds, mine with 12" his with 22" he did have a superior grouping at distance than I did. We used the same paint from the same bag both running C02 and his marker did outperform at ranged targets. Now with this nugget of info in mind I still do not recomend anyone gets a 22" barrel and if you need accuracy then focus on paint barrel match and always keep your barrel short enough to proper duck into cover with you. On a side not whatever happend to the ramrod barrel that was able to self clean because the barrel was only 3" but had guide rails to make it a 14"?

First strike, well I gotta pass on this one. I have absolutely no experience with them so my knowledge of them is only trivia.

Flatline and apex.

Im a flatline user and have been for along time, maybe since day one.
I do not recoment a flatine to a new player and instead of going into the why I simply recomend the apex for anyone wanting to experiment with the system.

Electro hoppers,
The basic logis in original post was electric is unrealiable vs gravity. Im the simple version this statement is true, gravity wont quit but if its only unreliable because of battery operation then all pacemakers are unrealable as well. Nothing in this world frustrates me more than any form of misfire and jammed gravity feeds have the most occurance of that frustration. A good simple electro is worth its cost, weight, and mass for any dedicated paintballer. That being said you can get carried away with a hopper. A halo B rip drive on a phantom is overkill but the old school Revilution on a Matrix would be the polar opposite. Ive always been found of simple paddle hoppers and they have worked for me on all markers that Ive used and if they failed due to batteries or that major downpour in a lowland swamp on an allready humid day they can still work as gravity hoppers.
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#13 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:51 AM

The 22" barrel gives better groupings because it give you a longer sight line to aim with. You can achieve the sam accuracy at any range with a 3" barrel...you just need to know the gun well enough to aim with the limited sight line of the body. I can not begin to tell you how many folks think they could outgun me when I use my PGP Stroker. The entire gun is shorter than the hopp er that sits on it, but I can still hit targets at range while shotting 12bps on a mechanical gun...it is a little bit on the loud side however.

As for getting smoked on the speedball field due to gun choice...invalid point. I can hold my own using a pump in speedball. And i know of many tourny players who can do the same.
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#14 User is offline   stinkfingr 

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

:tup: :tup: this
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#15 User is offline   aslanprime 

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:12 PM

View PostKrazy8, on 27 February 2012 - 11:51 AM, said:


As for getting smoked on the speedball field due to gun choice...invalid point. I can hold my own using a pump in speedball. And i know of many tourny players who can do the same.


Absolutely impossible.

Think about it, if a pump gave you an advantage on a speedball field...why on God's green Earth would ANYONE choose to use electro markers??? Why? They break easier, are super expensive, go through more paint...so WHY??

The bottom line is...if you have a pump and I have an electro....and it's just you and me left on an air ball field...you're DONE...give up. Because I can start firing at a very low-moderate rate at your position as I simply walk towards it. You would have to make a 1 in a 100 shot between my string of paintlballs OR hope that my gun jams...you'd be SMOKED. You know this...and your only argument is....on a field of noobs...you might still win because noobs don't know how to play. That's the equivalent of saying, "I play basketball really good and could hold my own wearing dress shoes....if I'm playing against 3rd graders..."

Sorry Charlie....it's not called "Pumpball"...it's called "Speedball"...ROF rules those fields...despite killing paintball in general in the process, etc, etc, etc....
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