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Paintball Accuracy

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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Paintball Accuracy

Unread postAuthor: ShowNoMercy » Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:56 pm

I really don't want to hear the amazing story of hitting a 2 inch group at 50 yards, but I am looking to make a decent performing but more aesthetically pleasing paintball rifle. And I am curious to find out the best setups for accuracy. Any ideas? Keep in mind I will be shooting paintballs.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:11 am

Through out my years of firing anything that shoots a round ball of any kind, i would have to say power equals accuracy! No dought about it in my mind. I seen it in action the last time i shot The Basterd, the low powered shots (30psi and under), seemed to curve in flight at much shorter distances. Vise-versa, the more power (30psi and higher), the further the super ball flew straight.

I also try to keep in mind that the super balls i'm shooting have a flex effect to them. That could be limiting my results. I'm useing a approximently 65yrd shooting range.

Sooooo, I think it depends on the build of the paint ball, you will have plenty of power for shooting, correct???
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Unread postAuthor: ShowNoMercy » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:28 am

I think I will have enough power :wink: I just want it to be able to actually hit people from a distance greater than ten feet.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:48 am

10 feet? You can throw a paintball that far and hit somebody. What are you guys doing? Lining up your oppenits in a firing line and letting them have it???? lol. :twisted: :P
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Unread postAuthor: grumpy » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:17 am

i do not know if you have ever played paintbal or not, maybe this will help.

Everyone who plays wants more range. Shoot further, get more distance out of your balls, all that. And to that end, people think the only way to get more range is to buy hop-up barrel like a Flatline or an Apex. This isn't the case. There are other things you can get, as well as techniques you can use, to get more distance from your paintballs. And they're all legal.

"Heavy Paint"

Let's talk mass at speed. Two objects moving at the same speed will go the same distance, unless the two objects are of different weights. The object with more mass, all other things being equal, will have more energy at the same speed as an object with less mass. The reason is the heavier ball has more momentum than the lighter ball, and the heavier ball retains that energy longer. "Momentum = mass * velocity" If the velocity is the same, and the mass of one object is greater, it will travel further.

In real world terms, you have two paintballs moving at 290 FPS. The heavier paintball will have more energy than the lighter paintball, which equals more distance traveled. More distance means more "range". So finding a heavy paintball will give you more range. You sacrifice air efficiency, as you need more energy to give the ball momentum, but if you need more range that's the best way to go.

What brands are heavier? I've found that "Evil" is a pretty heavy paintball these days. You can also look for "thick fill" paint for more mass per ball.

"Angle up"

You don't need to get a "hop up" barrel to backspin a ball to make it fly further. Simply applying more science to your game can make a difference. If you want maximum distance, you need to launch paintballs, not shoot them.

At 45 degrees of angle, you get the maximum distance to height ratio. At around 290 FPS, you can actually launch paintballs almost 300 feet. For the most part, you don't want to do this. At that range, you're lucky if a ball breaks on the opponent. But I will tell you from experience, it will make people stop advancing when you bounce paint off of them from an "Impossible range".

Realistically, learning how to launch paint from a 20-30 degree angle increases your range by 40-60 feet. That may not sound like much, until you take into account that most paintguns held parallel to the ground shoot an effective 120-140 feet. Add to that most players engage opponents from 50-75 feet. If you increase your effective range by 40 feet you stop teams before they get to you.

The only way to learn this is practice. And more practice. And then more practice. Learning your equipment, learning how to predict the arc of a paintball, and learning how to watch the ball in flight will help you. I can write for years, but in the end you need to judge what kind of arc you need to put a paintball in the right place. It's difficult to watch the ball in flight AND watch it hit the target, but you need to learn this skill. Also learning how to "cap" the ceiling of your paint is important. All the angling in the world is useless if you hit the canopy of branches and tree limbs with your longball shot. This is why most longballing is at a 20-30 degree angle, and not the maximum 45 degrees.

"Sun Tzu and Heights"

Sun Tzu wrote "The Art of War" in the 6th century BC. One of his observations is that all armies prefer the high ground. You would be wise to heed this, if you want more range.

When you get higher than your opponent, you're giving your paintballs more distance to fall once they're shot. It depends on the height you are at, as well as the terrain, but a rough estimate I've found is that every 10 feet up can add another 20-30 feet of range. There is a point you get no more range from height, however. Momentum does, in fact, decay. Eventually, you will run out of energy and the ball will simply fall straight down.

Plus, when a player is lower than you they have to shoot up. This means they sacrifice distance for height to try to shoot you. So the advantage works both ways. Your paint goes further, theirs doesn't.

"Buying more range"

So are there more ways to get more legal range? Barrels, guns, composites? Well, yes and no. You can't get "more", but you certainly can get less.

Having a good paint to barrel match is crucial for distance. Too tight, and the ball will drag along the barrel and lose momentum too soon. You lose distance. Too loose, and the ball can bounce around the barrel as it's being shot AND air used to launch the ball will go around the sides of the ball, losing distance. Do you need a kit with every barrel size from .675 to .699? No. If you have three sizes that's good. Loose enough for the ball to come out easily, tight enough so it won't roll out the barrel.

How about composites, or ceramics, or carbon fibers, or whatever? Not necessary. The ball doesn't care, it's about the paint to barrel match more than the stuff it's made of. If you like a lighter weight barrel or a heavier barrel, that may be the only real advantage for range.

How about guns? Umm, the ball doesn't care if you shoot a Spyder or an E-Blade. The ball doesn't know the difference between a Tippman and a Timmy. And closed / open bolt does not make a difference. 300 FPS is 300 FPS. The device used to launch the ball does not matter. I think the longest-existing lie of the game is that the paintgun makes more range. Unless you have an afterburner attachment, I don't think so.

In all, however, the way to get more range is to become CONSISTENT with your long-range shooting. Get on the range, and practice. Get 500 paintballs, and practice shooting everything from 50 to 250 feet. Learn how the ball arcs, learn what it looks like when the wind moves paint left to right, and learn how to make the impossible routine. Then, when people ask you how your balls go further, tell them the truth. "Talent."

At least that's what worked for me.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:32 am

Nothing about windage??? Launching at angles windage will play a big part in accuracy. The wind never blows the same from one second to another. To be consistently shooting like that will be tough, in fact, chance factors in greatly i think.
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Unread postAuthor: grumpy » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:32 am

@jrrdw, windage is mentioned in the bottom of the post, and yes you are right it does play a big part in accuracy , learning to compensate for the wind is something that is learned and takes practice lots of practice. you are also right that chance plays a big part also, in learning to hit your target you also start gaining confidence in being able to make the shot, thus greatly increasing the chances that you will hit it.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:48 am

Ahhhh, i see it now. I was wondering.....
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:45 am

I disagree on the proposed idea that paintballs go straighter with more velocity. In a normal case, they would, but most paint I shoot around here is extremely unstable after about 500 fps. They're just too light to handle the sudden acceleration most launchers that launch in that velocity range have to offer. Now, if you developed a system to increase the balls velocity to around 500 fps over a longer time period, (gentler acceleration), then you might get accuracy out of high velocities. But, for practical purposes, I recommend you keep the velocity low, to about marker range.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:41 am

markfh11q wrote:I disagree on the proposed idea that paint balls go straighter with more velocity. In a normal case, they would, but most paint I shoot around here is extremely unstable after about 500 fps. They're just too light to handle the sudden acceleration most launchers that launch in that velocity range have to offer. Now, if you developed a system to increase the balls velocity to around 500 fps over a longer time period, (gentler acceleration), then you might get accuracy out of high velocities. But, for practical purposes, I recommend you keep the velocity low, to about marker range.


Do you think the paint balls have a flex effect to them when the velocity gets above 500 fps? The way i picture the flex effect happening with the super balls, (1"), is once they slow down enough to return to round shape, it changes the way it cuts through the air. That creates spin, spin changes the direction/deflection against the air making it curve. I know.....dhaaaaaaa! Rite, rite.

At 30 psi the super ball breaks around 45 to 50 yards from the muzzle, and about 25 to 30 yards below 30 psi. It's that noticeable.

Sounds like you got testing to do, I'm interested in the results. What size paint balls are you using? Aren't they .40 caliber???
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:44 am

Gentler acceleration?
Longer barrels then ofcourse!
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:55 am

psycix wrote:Gentler acceleration?
Longer barrels then ofcourse!


Thats kind of a catch 22. It's still going to be launched at the same force from the beginning. I think thats where the potential problem is, the launch.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:37 am

Actually jrrdw, that's not really a catch-22, but you're right, there's no way to slow the release of pressure in a paintball gun without a nice anti-chop bolt. And I love the sun-tzu bit grumpy, nice one.

I personaly have a Spyder TL-R with a low-pressure chamber installed and a 14" rifled barrel. The places I've played typically don't require me to fire more than about 75' at a target, unless I'm just unloading some suppressive fire. I can't tell you group size, but I can hit a moving target at 40 or 50 feet pretty easily. The porting on my barrel starts about 10 or 11 inches down, and the whole thing isn't actually rifled, just the latter part.

I'd say your best bet is about a 16" barrel, and find you some good paint that doesn't chop easily. Heavier paint, as someone else said, is a better choice as it has more momentum. That means it's more likely to break when it hits, and even if it doesn't break, they'll know something hit them.

If you're building a gun and you can figure out a way to have the pressure released just a bit slower so it pushes the paintball out rather than slapping it out, you can definitely go with a longer barrel and higher pressures. I have seen normal barrels up to about 24 inches, though the amount of pressure that is needed to push a round up to 290 FPS necessitates a good bolt so the rounds don't break. The 24 inches is excluding a guy I saw who had a custom machined gun that was about a meter and a half long.
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Unread postAuthor: alex bennett » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:28 pm

I like my Tippmann A-5 with the flatline, great distance, and I can turn the barrel and shoot a curve ball around objects :twisted:
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