A paintball barrel is one of the most important investments for your paintball setup if you are looking to get consistent and reliable shots from your gun.
Upgraded paintball barrels are made with a lot more precision and care over the stock barrels on most guns. Aftermarket paintball barrels use different technology through their manufacturing process.
There are many different factors of a paintball barrel that cause a barrel to be more or less accurate. Most stock paintball barrels are not able to disperse excess air quickly enough in order for the paintball to attain maximum velocity when it leaves the end of the barrel. When this happens in most cases, there is an extra burst of air once the ball leaves the end of the barrel that easily throws off your trajectory.
Paintball Barrel Machining - The Care and Quality of Upgraded Paintball Barrels
When you purchase an upgraded paintball barrel, know that your barrel was machined with care. All of the upgraded paintball barrels are micro honed and micro polished to give the inside of the barrel a slick and smooth look.
The paintball barrel manufacturers do not do this for aesthetics but for performance. When you feel the inside of any aftermarket paintball barrel, you will feel that there is nothing to slow down the ball or any resistance.
Most stock paintball barrels have machine lines internally which are caused by running the machine too quickly during production as well as not spending enough time internally polishing the barrel. If you want a quality paintball barrel, check out our selection of aftermarket paintball barrels.
Paintball Barrel Porting – Different Porting on Paintball Barrels
The above problem ties into the great science of porting paintball barrels to get the least amount of noise and best accuracy. Paintball barrel porting is the set of small holes usually in the second half of the barrel. The porting holes in paintball barrels disperse the excess air flow to increase the accuracy of the paintball.
The second big advantage to having strategically ported paintball barrels is the noise reduction. Some paintball barrel manufacturers have patented porting patterns that will significantly lower the sound of your gun shooting.
Paintball Barrel Length – Choose The Right Length of Your Paintball Barrel
One of the biggest misnomers in paintball is; the longer the barrel, the more accurate it will shoot. This is only true to a certain point which is why you will be hard pressed to find any paintball barrels over 20 inches in length.
Paintball barrels come in a variety of lengths which usually start at 10 inches and reach a max of 20. The most common length for a paintball barrel is 14 inches since tests have shown that anything over the 14 inch length only have a minimal impact on your accuracy.
When you start to dabble with paintball barrels under the 14 inch mark you will notice significantly less consistency and accuracy of your paintballs. Some paintball are willing to take that loss of accuracy in order to knock some weight off their gun and give them a more compact and maneuverable paintball gun setup.
Don’t think that there are not reasons on the other side of the argument to go with longer paintball barrels in the 18 – 20 inch range. These types of paintball barrels are more commonly referred to as sniper barrels. A lot of players choose sniper type paintball barrels for the key advantage of staying protected by heavy brush or cover while having a barrel that is long enough to make accurate shots through the brush.
It all comes down to preference when choosing the length of your paintball barrels, but know you will get the best maneuverability as well as accuracy combination if you choose a 14 inch total length barrel.
Paintball Materials - Great Variety of Materials to Choose From
Over the years, the materials that are used to make paintball barrels have changed to give paintball players exactly what they are looking for. The four main types of paintball barrels are aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and carbon fiber.
Aluminum has always been the most desirable choice to make a paintball barrel out of. Aluminum is the easy choice since it is light weight, fairly inexpensive and is easy to machine. When aluminum paintball barrels are machined to perfection, they will give you some really great performance.
Stainless Steel paintball barrels were a fairly short lived fad in paintball since there were not many advantages to them over aluminum. Stainless steel paintball barrels were much more expensive to machine and bring to market due to the following factors.
- The Stainless steel paintball barrels are about 4-6 times heavier than a standard aluminum barrels. This means a much higher material cost.
- The Stainless paintball barrels have to be machined at much slower speeds which drastically increase the amount of time the barrel would stay on the machine for.
- The cost of the raw materials between a stainless steel paintball barrel and aluminum paintball barrels is very drastic.
Titanium paintball barrels are another barrel material that did not last for long. The titanium barrels are much lighter than stainless steel and a little bit lighter than aluminum. The downfall to the titanium barrels is the cost of material and machine time. Once titanium barrels were released, customers decided they were not interested in paying over $200 for a complete barrel.
Carbon Fiber has been the most recent and innovative material used for the mass production of paintball barrels. Carbon fiber paintball barrels are great because they are lighter than their titanium predecessor and are stronger than aluminum. The carbon fiber that is used to make these paintball barrels is expensive, but they have been designed to require minimal amounts of material to manufacture a complete barrel.
One Piece or Two Piece Paintball Barrels
When paintball started, every barrel on the market was a one piece design with the same inner diameter running through the entire barrel. As designers continued to improve accuracy, they came to the conclusion that a two piece barrel design was working the best.
A two piece paintball barrel design allows you to choose a barrel back for your gun as well as different length barrel fronts. The barrel back pieces come in a variety of sizes so you can choose one to best fit the brand of paintballs you normally shoot. The front is always a larger size inner diameter in order to quickly exhaust extra air flow before the ball is to leave the end of the barrel.
With the two piece paintball barrel theory in mind, your velocity is generated from the tighter back portion of the barrel while the front portion of the barrel is larger to improve for optimal accuracy.
Paintball Barrel Kits
There are a ton of different barrel kits available and you need to choose which one is best for you. You can choose from barrel kits which include multiple backs and fronts, kits that work off an insert system or kits that provide one barrel front and many backs.
The most popular barrel kits on the market right now are the carbon fiber kits. With a carbon fiber paintball barrel kit, you would order a full carbon fiber front as well as a barrel back kit. These kits start at about $130 but give you great options to size the paint you are shooting to your barrel back.
Barrel kits are designed for paintball players that will spare no expense to have the best accuracy and tournament paintballers. Tourney players always have paintball barrel kits since most paintball tournaments require you to use the field paintballs provided. They always have a barrel kit in their gear bag so they can quickly size up their paint and barrel back and have the advantage of optimal accuracy.
Different Paintball Barrel Bores
As you research more into paintball barrels, you will see that you can select different bore sizes. The most common bore size of a paintball barrel is .689. The .689 measurement is thousandths of an inch for the inner diameter of the barrel. As you play more, you will come to find that paintball sizes range anywhere from .698 which is almost 70caliber, all the way down to .674.
If your paintball barrel is too tight for the ball, you will have many issues with your gun breaking paint. If your barrel is too large for the ball, you will lose a lot of accuracy and you gun will become very inconsistent. Those two reasons are why it is very important to get a barrel back that is matched up closely with the type of paintballs you most often shoot.
Key Paintball Barrel Manufacturers
There are a few key manufacturers that supply great quality paintball barrels to the industry.
The first and most common paintball barrel at most fields is the Custom Products 1 Piece barrel. More commonly know as the CP barrel, you will get a variety of options to choose from when ordering. This will give you the exact barrel length, color and bore diameter you desire. These barrels are so popular not only due to their plentiful selection of features, but to the price tag of UNDER 30 Bucks!
The Deathstix barrel kit is one of the more expensive barrels on the market, but you get what you pay for. The Deathstix kit comes with 4 different size paintball barrel backs as well as a carbon fiber front. This kit will make your paintball gun one of the smoothest shooting guns on the market.
Gog paintball barrels, formerly known as Smart Parts paintball barrels, are famous for their accuracy and precision. The GoG Freak Barrel Kit is the best selling paintball barrel kit of all time. The Freak Barrel Kit has multiple inserts of different bore diameters so you can match the paint you are shooting to the right bore. If you get a new marker with a different barrel thread, just get a new Freak Back.
Tippmann offers a variety of custom barrels and in particular, the Flatline series. The Flatline paintball barrels are banana shaped and put a backspin on the ball. This barrel is one of the only on the market to actually increase accuracy. This is a great paintball barrel for anyone who wants to be a paintball sniper.
Overall, we hope this information has helped you to make a good selection when choosing the paintball barrel that is best for you and your style of paintball.