Barrel Bore Size to Paint Bore Size Match
This is by far the most important consideration that you can make. you need a paint that is an excellent match to the size of your barrel, there is no questioning that. If you want the best possible performance, then this is your first consideration.
If you have a good paint to barrel match, your shots will become much more accurate, and you will experience less breaks in the barrel as well. This is an easy way to make your accuracy much more effective. You don't even have to put extra money into your marker to get this added benefit. Although, I will add now that you should get the best paint that you can afford.
So how do you know that you have a good match? Well, you can always use the handy charts found in this link to give you an idea of all of the paintball and barrel bore sizes. Some might not be included though. If that is a case, there are other ways of determining a good match. Here is a link to the charts:
First off, just drop a paintball into the barrel of the gun, WITH the barrel OFF the marker. Kind of obvious, but just in case. If it drops right thorugh then the paint is probably not large enough. If it sticks in there and won't even come through when you blow on the barrel pretty hard, then it is probably too big.
It is wise to try more then just one or two paintballs, because not every paintball, even in the same bag, is going to be the same as the last. Also, I would like to add that if you have a favorite paint that you absolutely cannot go without, you can always match them up the other way around. Instead of getting paintballs that match the barrel, you could get a barrel that matches the paint. This is not possible though if you can't get the barrel you want in different bore sizes.
For The next few things, you are more then likely going to have to buy some of the paint in order to test it out. You should probably get at least a few hundred of each kind just so you will have enough to make a good choice. I think that it is wise to try at least 3 types as well. while this is not something everybody can or will do, I think it is a good step in makeing the perfect decision.
Another consideration is the mass of the paintballs. If you want to get extra distance, a paintball that weighs a little bit extra will travel further. Read this thread if you want to learn more:
First off you are going to want to feel the paintballs over and give them a good look. Do any of them have dimples? Are they all a uniform round? How does it look when I slip it into the barrel? These are all important questions.
The bore size should be good based on the fact that you hopefully used the charts to figure out what your samples would be. For the sake of being sure, do the barrel check test I mentioned earlier. You can also check the roundness of the balls by putting the barrel up to a bright light with a paintball inside. The light that you can see thorugh the barrel should be a nice uniform circle all of the way around the edges of the paintball. If not, your paintball is not perfectly round. Check a few to be sure your results are accurate.
The paintballs can be rolled on a flat surface to look for roundness as well. If there are any dimples, it could very well be this batch of paint only. But be careful. You don't want to get a paint that is consistently found with dimples or breaks in the bags. You want to have a paint you can trust will be at its best.
How They Work On The Field
Now it is time to test. There are some vital things you are going to be looking for as you shoot. It is also wise to shoot at targets which will represent the ideal distance you will be shooting, and are going to be consistent for each test.
The first thing you are looking for is accuracy. Try them out and get a feel for which types travel the straightest. They should all do fairly well because they are matched to the bore sixe of your marker. Whatever the case, one type will probably work the best. Remember, there are a lot of weather variables that will effect different paints in different ways too. You may have to do tests in different conditions as well to be sure of the best paint.
You want to look for how often the paint breaks properly on the target. You can always wrap a target in foam to get a good idea of how well the paint breaks. It would not be surprising if few of them broke on the foam. But the paint that breaks in your barrel very little if none at all, AND breaks on the target the most often is more then likely the best choice.
You can also try shooting at different distances. Som pf the paintballs will have different ideal distances and this should be taken into consideration. The only way to know for sure is to test, and do a lot of it.
This is the tim to add that the ideal paintball only be found through extensive testing. There is no way you are going to be able to find the best paint in a single day. Once you determine the ones that work the best, take them out on the field for a day of use and see how they work in a real game. That is the best testing ground. You won't find the best paint overnight. Always record the conditions you play in too. This will help you determine which paint works better in certain conditions. You don't have to use the smae kind ALL of the time.
This one is also very Important too. Not everybody can afford the best paint. Generally, you want to get the best you can afford. Even though that is true, the best paint for your marker is not always the most expensive you can find. Some paints work better with different setups then others. It is always best to experiment with all of the factors listed above before you base your entire decision on the price range of the paint. You might find that a really expensive paint is worth it to buy once you have tested it out. Don't base eveything on price. Yes, you want to stay in your range, but don't be afraid to experiment.
Good paint can still be found pretty cheap, but it is just not as common. The more expensive kinds are usually rounder, fly straighter, break well, and have a thicker fill. That is just a generalization, but for the most part is very true.
In my opinion, pbreview.com is one of the best resources for finding good paintball information. While many products get biased reviews because people favor the brands they own, I have found paintballs to be one thing that will get a very honest review. People Will tell you if a paint is garbage, simply because anybody who has had some will hate an ill-performing batch of paintballs. It is one of the things in painball that can really invoke anger. People are just very honest in how they feel about certain kinds. I recommend you use this resource. I would add links to all of the popular types, but there are just so many!
If you want some reviews, you can find them here: http://www.pbreview....roducts/cat/29/
This post has been edited by Femur Breaker: 24 January 2006 - 12:51 PM