Special Ops Paintball: .50 cal - the New Best Way to Heavy Gun? - Special Ops Paintball

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.50 cal - the New Best Way to Heavy Gun? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Rathje 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:38 AM

Hi guys.

I've been thinking about the new .50 cal paintballs and the line of guns for them. I don't really like .50 cal for the way I play (I tend to do a sort of ghost-flanking/light rifle sort of style). It doesn't penetrate bushes, trees and shrubbery very well, and my style requires all shots to count. From what I hear, the stuff is horrible and punching through soft cover, and requires a different style of shooting (targeting masks, hoppers, and other hard targets). But people who've shot it claim they don't see too much difference in range or accuracy. Of course, there are no Flatline barrels or Apex barrel tips for .50 cal. Since just about every Heavy probably wants to be running one of those, range advantage still goes to .68 cal.

But, .50 cal still offers some definite advantages over .68 cal that Heavies will probably want to consider.

Here's the big one - .50 cal absolutely SMOKES .68 cal for sheer volume of fire. You can just sit on the trigger at full auto and unload paint for ridiculously long periods of time - on JUST ONE HOPPER. And for the same weight on your vest or pod pack, you can carry a TON more paint if you are doing .50 cal. If you are providing covering fire, .50 cal keeps you in the game a lot longer and shooting more.

You can get a sense of the sheer fire volume of this caliber here:



And what's more, the ammo is probably cheaper overall going with .50 cal. You carry more paint for less money. Given the hard economic times a lot of us are going through, this advantage cannot be overstated.

Now, drawbacks.

Penetration of soft cover is a definite disadvantage of .50 cal and will probably turn some people off to the stuff.

But I think that this problem isn't a really big deal in the case of Heavies. Heavy Gunner's main purpose is to lay down suppressing fire - to keep heads down. Racking up kills is a secondary role - not unimportant, but still secondary. You can still score kills by volume though. But point is, you can pump a lot of fire into those bushes and make sure no one pokes their heads out. And you don't need to actually be cutting through the brush to do that. And the sheer volume kind of makes up for losses in punch.

Which means the only real loss is in range. If they ever develop an Apex tip for .50 cal guns, this drawback will disappear. In the meanwhile, it simply means that a Heavy would have to play closer.

Like I said, I'm a light runner and don't shoot much. I run point, spook the enemy, fade back and pull flanking moves. I have absolutely no use for .50 cal in my own play - I need all my shots to count. But I definitely wouldn't mind running next to a guy who was pumping a gazillion .50 cal rounds into the bushes. I could make really good use of that I think.

What do you think?
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#2 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:49 AM

I could see them jamming up loaders if two went down the feedneck area at the same time. I remember seeing a video of Mike from TechPB unloading a Pinokio with the nosecone though... 1200 balls or so. It got jammed a couple times, but he cleared it with a few shakes. Still - that could cost you if being fired upon.

Are there many .50 loaders? Haven't looked. You might be able to mod some to handle them better though.
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#3 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:54 AM

I think that many many years ago there was more than a few different sizes in the paintball industry. And through the use of these differing sizes the folks who really cared (the players) came to a conclusion.

.68 is best balance between all the contributing factors. Wieght, energy need to shoot the ball, consistant breaking on target and durability, and overall cost.

The added benifit of more rounds carried by the smaller size is totally ruined by the number of shots you need to make to get the elimination. Soft cover and loose clothing will have you shooting two to three times the amount of paint in a day. There goes you savings in paint purchases.

I see no reason what soever to make the switch. In fact, I see the .50 stuff not making an impression big enough in the market to survive much longer. Then you will be forced to make purchases for parts and paint through specialty stores and it will simply get more spendy than the current standard .68 stuff.

Plus, with the onset of Hyrotech just around the corner I see the .68 market stengthening. Good reliable paint will make the game better for all...of course tha means I will probably get shot out more often now....but I'm hoping to swing those bennifts in my favor as well.

As for the whole cover fire idea...you do not need a gazillion shots to hold player in fear. What you need isa very skilled player who can acurately put paint on target as well as predict who will poke their head out. If he can keep just a little paint near the face of those pinned they simply will not take the risk...or they will attempt snap shooting which can get them in trouble just as fast when you are making your moves on the flanks.

Skill out wieghs volume....even with a Broadsword and Sabre.


View Postcdrinkh20, on 04 February 2011 - 09:49 AM, said:

Are there many .50 loaders? Haven't looked. You might be able to mod some to handle them better though.

Ebay...they are all over the hopper section.

This post has been edited by Krazy8: 04 February 2011 - 10:56 AM

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#4 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:10 AM

Yeah, I'm excited for the Hydrotech balls... won't have to be so careful with storage, among other things.

I just hope fields adopt them more quickly than I think they will (at least up North here). And hopefully their paint won't shrink so much either... I think they said they wanted to go .686 +/- 0.003?

Cause I've already shot some 0.670 -_-
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#5 User is offline   Rathje 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:20 AM

You don't run .50 cal with a regular paintball marker. You have to run a special marker designed for .50 cal. Same goes for the loader. Mike over at TechPB did engineer a fairly reliable feedneck fix to allow your loader to feed .50 cal paintballs. But there are also some dedicated .50 cal-only loaders on the market out there. If I find out where, I'll post links. So worries about double-feeding and stuff are kind of irrelevant here.


Krazy8, I don't necessarily disagree, but I do have a different spin on it. Like I said, my style is to flank up and then pump about four or five quick shots into the side of the opponent. I need those shots to have the best chance of punching through and breaking. So I don't have much use for this stuff.

But that's not the point here necessarily. You don't need a ton of fire volume to suppress. I was aware of that. I've actually effectively suppressed guys with a fire rate of a constant 2 or 3 balls per second. Hardly "wrath of god" stuff.

But from a suppression standpoint, you don't need to punch through and score kills to keep heads down. I don't think you're going to see any different psychological reaction from the guys you are suppressing, regardless of caliber. .50 cal is likely to keep heads down just as effectively as .68 cal - for the SAME amount of rounds. I don't think you have to shoot more with .50 cal to suppress than with .68 cal. Kills, yes. Suppression, no.

As for how the stuff breaks on people, I think that's open to trial and error. I've seen some people argue that it really breaks just as well on an actual person and clothing as the other stuff. I'm taking a "wait and see" stance on that one.
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#6 User is offline   redthirst 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:34 AM

Here's the problem with .50 - it's significantly lighter than .68. That means that the wind affects it's flight path more, drag slows it down faster, and, if the round manages to get to it's target, the kinetic energy will be drastically reduced.

A lot of that is mitigated by the sheer volume of fire and the fact that you're trying to keep heads down as opposed to eliminating anyone. Still, having half the effective range and accuracy of nearly everyone else on the field is kind of a huge drawback. I imagine most smart players will simply eliminate a .50 cal player before they get in range.
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#7 User is offline   Rathje 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 01:31 PM

Here's some of the data the guys at Punkworks (UV Halo) posted over on TechPB:

Max range for 3g .683 paintball: 94yards, impact energy @ range: .453ftlb
Max range for a 1.21g .50 paintball: 86yards, impact energy @ range: .160ftlb
Max range for 3g First Strike Round: 173yards, impact energy @ range: around 2.2ftlbs

All figures measured at 300 FPS.

Take those stats however you will.
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#8 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 02:28 PM

But... is that effective range, or just the furthest they could get the sucker to launch?
Did it go way off target? Did it break?
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#9 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:17 PM

Well based on the way the data is presented they had to hit a target to get the foot pound readings.
If they broke...that is another story.
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#10 User is offline   Rathje 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:22 PM

I asked some people over at TechPB for a summary of discussions of .50 cal effectiveness and they gave me a bunch of interesting stuff. Changes some of my opinions on the subject.

Accuracy-wise, I'd check this out:

http://www.punkworks...x.php?p=7&id=33

And this thread:

http://www.techpb.co...showtopic=65591

I'll note I don't think there is any adjustment for variables like wind (like redthirst noted). I think all tests were conducted indoors. At ranges of 50 to 125 feet, there seemed to be no appreciable difference in accuracy. There was only one bounce with the .50 cal and one miss with the .68 cal. But all other test shots broke. But this was also conducted on a hard board with a grid drawn onto it.

This video does comparative drop tests where the GI Milsim .50 cal performed favorably against Draxxus and Evil:



Seems to indicate that thin shell is really important to get breaks with .50 cal - moreso than 68 cal (since .50 cal carries less energy). The Punkworks guys claim that this guy's .50 cal paint appears more brittle than the stuff they were shooting. Also, it seems that concrete isn't the most reliable surface to test on - since even smooth concrete has small ridges and points that alter drop results.

This conversation here indicates that .50 cal has significant problems with drag and inertia, since it doesn't have enough mass to keep it going at full velocity. So you see a sharp drop off in velocity toward the end of its flight. You'd have to shoot .50 cal at 450 FPS to maintain comparable velocity to .68 cal (not really practical). This causes more problems than mere questions of range. If you are shooting a .50 cal in the upper end of its full range, the ball is simply going to take longer to fly there, because it'll lose more speed at long range. This means people will have an easier time dodging the balls. We all know you can actually dodge a .68 cal paintball at range - most of us have probably done it ourselves. This problem is worse with .50 cal. See here:

http://www.techpb.co...showtopic=96867

and here:

http://www.punkworks...x.php?p=7&id=34

I can only assume that this problem would be a major factor in the event you slapped an Apex tip on the barrel and gave a .50 cal round some backspin. Sure it flies farther, and the loss of velocity just gets worse.

For what it's worth - .50 cal also seems to be more air efficient since less air is needed to launch the projectile.

Anyway... it seems apparent that this stuff is simply not effective for the traditional concept of "heavy" gunning - suppression fire at long range. It gets the first part, but not the second part. This means that .50 cal only works as a suppression tool at closer ranges - making it a tool more for front line duelers rather than the "artillery" guys.

I think .50 cal probably has an effective place in a woodsball match. But that place certainly isn't the back line - that seems clear enough.
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#11 User is offline   maniacmechanic 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:38 PM

the biggest question is , are there any fields local to you ( do you know of any field ? ) thats carries 50 cal paint ?? markers ?? support parts for markers ?? . All the field owners that I know aren't ready to invest in more stock ( 50 cal. paint , marker's ect. ) in a market that is suffering badly to begin with

Do you think it would be worth it to retrofit your marker ??

And while your throwing paint in the air , i'm flanking you & on your six before you can drop a pod :ninja:
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#12 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:43 PM

to be totally Honest .50 cal would be fantastic for renters,
Why?

Because then it forces them to MOVE UP.
Gawd.

plus, its way more air efficient and they don't hurt at all, I had a guy shoot me in the arm from 5 feet just to see how they felt. .50 cal is cool. If you get a good set-up going it can be REALLY cost effective.

His set-up

some old ass cocker with the .50 cal pump conversion ( remember when those were sold about a year ago)
the kingman .50 cal hopper
and a 13Ci tank
and one of those cheap .50 cal barrels. not sure where he got it from.

anyways, small hopper, still holds 200 balls. gets nearly 300 shots from a 13ci tank, (mind you he also has a tornado reg on his cocker.....)
yea, for a light and tight set-up its pretty fun, and as he plays pump anyways he's pretty much always up front so the whole "well it doesnt work after 50 feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


doesnt really apply.
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#13 User is offline   kaosukoden 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:25 PM

.50 Cal is a joke if you ask me. It seems like it's a waste, and here's why: .68 will simply fly further due to sheer mass. This means that while paintball is a limited distance, .50 cal will make it even shorter. It has it's purposes IF YOU HAD TO FIND ONE. Why limit your distance if you don't have to? All paintballs are shot at less than 300 fps, with a smaller mass, the .50 cal will not be able to fly as far...
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#14 User is offline   Sniper Cowboy 

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:37 AM

I don't think that .50 cal is a good push for this reason:

As far as heavy gunning and suppression goes, high rates of fire (which is the one thing I see going for .50 apart from being more air efficient) are really unnecessary and can negatively impact the sport in the long run by intimidating new people and turning off longtime players. Yes, they may not hurt as much when shot by just one or two, but I don't think you're not going to feel it when you get lit up by a 10-15 round rope of paint. On a regular basis. Which is really unnecessary when most of us are just playing in the bush or on a recreational field, and it only takes 3-5 balls per second to suppress someone, if that. We're not all professional players trained to work around suppression techniques.

The way I see it, .50 cal is just another fad to get us to buy the newest shiniest toy out there, and that a high ROF is only going to negatively impact the sport.
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#15 User is offline   Rathje 

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:18 AM

Good point Cowboy.

Personally, I think if anything woodsball ought to be moving more toward limited ammo. But that's just my own preference.

This post has been edited by Rathje: 05 February 2011 - 08:19 AM

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