May 31, 2019

How To Choose The Right Paintball Barrel For Your Play Style

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Welcome to the best barrel article on the internet! I hope that, like myself, you need help to learn and understand the reasons why you would need or want different barrels. Since all markers come with a stock barrel what would be some of the different factors in choosing an aftermarket part and how could this benefit your game?

The reason why you base your barrel choice on your play style is due to the issues you have differ depending on the role. When you play as a back end player you want to launch a lot of paint downfield into an area, so a longer barrel will give you better accuracy for distance. If you are a front end player you need a short barrel as you are shooting close and need the maneuverability to run around obstacles where a long barrel would just lengthen the travel needed to fire.

Now that we have clarified choosing barrels based on play style lets explain other benefits and drawbacks to specific barrels and how they can be of use in different game types or roles.

Why Are There Different Barrel Lengths?

The barrel length changes accuracy, movement and tactical speed and motions which can lead to problems if not understood. The shorter your barrel the less accurate at longer shots but you will be able to adjust and re-target faster than someone with a longer barrel. This makes your power seen in the front of the charge, leading the way, as you can clear areas fast with the shorter barrel around corners clearing the way.

The longer the barrel the more accurate but the less mobile and less agile you become, this makes a longer barrel a better choice when you plan to be a back end defender. The longer barrels make excellent spacial defense and can help hold other teams at bay while the front players go in for the finish.

What Is The Best Barrel For Quiet Shooting?

There is no one specific paintball barrel that is quiet versus the others. What you would want to look or is more porting down the length of the barrel which would allow some of the gasses to escape before the end of the tube.

The loud pop noise is generated by the gas leaving the end of the tube all at once, the porting would allow more of the gas to leave before this occurs which creates less noise and leads to more quiet shots.

Longer barrels are typically nowhere near as gas efficient but they tend to shoot quieter, especially when they have quality porting, which are holes drilled along the barrel’s length.

What Is The Best Barrel For Accuracy?

There isn't necessarily one "best barrel" for accuracy as all markers fire the same rounds and the same speed. You can choose the barrel that fits your needs or you can find a nicely ported barrel which "may" help your accuracy.

Does A Longer Barrel Increase Accuracy?

The longer the barrel doesn't specifically impact the long distance accuracy. Effective porting along the barrel length is a better measure of how accurate a barrel will be in use.

Longer barrels do provide other benefits like being easier to shoot from cover like inflated tournament air bunkers. This extra barrel length provides you the ability to press your barrel into the bunker which allows you to shoot while maintaining cover.

What Types Of Barrels Are There?

There are typically 3 sizes or lengths of barrels which help fulfill roles on the field. The short barrel, medium barrel and long barrel. These each perform very well within a specific need of on the field play and can have shortcomings when not used within their roles.

Short Barrel

These barrels are commonly chosen by players who love to be up front in close range frequently to the opposing team. A shorter barrel means quicker ability to turn and re-point at each opponent.

This may seem like a little thing but in the close up front game in paintball that extra .25 seconds can be the difference between you being shot and you shooting your opponent.

Medium Barrel

These are in the 12-16" range and are the typical barrels which come standard on markers along with the one most players feel the most comfortable using. They allow for you to play forward mid or back end and be functional for any role you would need to fill in the game.

A little less accurate from longer range, shots having a little more variability and a little harder to use up front as you can't turn and fire as fast as a short barrel would allow.

Long / Sniper Barrel

This is a fallacy within paintball but people still ask non-stop. "Snipers barrels" are the extra long barrels, they are typically somewhere between 18-21 inches in length. They lend themselves to taking really good, long distance, and sneaky sniper paintball shots by minimally being visible but being able to open on enemies.

The sniper barrels allow you to stay well behind cover and to use concealment in your favor as you slip the barrel through brush or bunkers. This allows you to snipe out opposing team players without exposing yourself.

What Is Barrel Threading?

Barrel threading is tied to where you screw the barrel onto your marker. This "threading" is the way the threads line up and contrary to what you would expect there are multiple types of threading available.

This means you need to know what the threading is on your marker before looking to purchase an aftermarket barrel or you may not be able to use it without buying a different marker. Make sure to read up if you are buying a barrel to ensure the one you buy will fit your marker threading.

The most common threading type is Autococker threading, followed by Tippmann and Ion threading. Most markers are Autococker threaded, the only Tippmann threaded markers I have found were all Tippmann markers so that should help you in deciding on threading.

How To Choose The Proper Barrel Bore

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, a long barrel doesn't necessarily make you any more accurate than a short barrel. In fact, the main driving factor in amazing accuracy is in purchasing quality paintballs! If you want to shoot more accurately then always buy the best paintballs you can afford and properly take care of them at home and at the field.

This is why the bore on a barrel and the paint need to be the correct match. Many paintballs and bores can be a little different from one another which will reduce accuracy and make you more inefficient in your air use.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a barrel, while it seems pretty straight forward, has a lot of nuance to it as you have to know your typical role or position. Typically the further you move backward on the field of play the longer a barrel players will purchase and run on their marker.

This is to drive shots more accurately to where you point the marker as the further you move back the more distance between you and your opponent there will be. You will need to lay more paint to ensure one breaks on the player as you will get far more bounces at longer ranges due to momentum on the ball being lost over distance.

I would love to hear any feedback from you, my readers, on topics I could better expand on or if I hit a perfect shot on the article. Let me know in the comments section below!

How To Choose The Right Paintball Barrel For Your Play Style
Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!