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How to Pick a Paintball Barrel

Learn how to pick a paintball barrel from paintball pro Mike "Pev" Peverill in this Howcast video.


My name is Mike Peverill. I'm here at Pev's Paintball Park in Aldie, Virginia. I've been playing paintball nearly 30 years. I've played professional paintball with numerous pro teams all over the world. This facility here was built from the ground up for paintball, kind of like a paintball Disney Land. Our website is Hopefully you can come out and visit us sometime.

Picking a barrel size has some science to it and some personal preference to it. A lot of people pick a barrel because it's the longest one we have. I mean they'll go for the longer one just because they think it'll shoot further. But in all reality, it's not going to make a difference in how much further it shoots. The recommended barrel size that you'll want to have is always around 12 inches or longer — not less than 12 inches, because you want it to have accuracy.

Another thing that is important about a barrel is not only the quality — like this one is a CP barrel, which makes fantastic barrels — but also the porting. You'll see the porting on it with all these holes that are drilled in the barrel. What that does is it allows the gas — the air — behind the ball as it's traveling down the barrel to stabilize near the end. So when that ball comes out the end of the barrel and that big explosion happens where the air dissipates all around the ball, it doesn't cause it all to have so much energy that it hooks one way. So what happens is that most of the energy is used to create velocity and speed as it works all the way down the barrel. And as it gets down to the last couple inches of the barrel, it dissipates some that energy. The ball comes out and all that energy breaks evenly so that ball doesn't hook. The ball stays stable and gives it a straight shoot. So that's why I tell everybody that it's important to go with a barrel that's ported. If you have a barrel that's not ported or has a muzzle brake, I would not use it. It's going to only make your balls shoot everywhere that you shouldn't be shooting.

The other big category for the barrels is the caliber. Paintballs are made by different manufacturers, so they are different calibers. So what I suggest you do is go to different paintball fields and ask them what caliber paint they're using. If you're unsure, you can always purchase yourself something like this. It's a caliber measuring device. What happens is you take the ball and you stick in the hole to find out what caliber it is. And like this one one here, it's a little small for the 686, and it's right on the money for a 683. So typically you want a barrel size that is a 685 caliber bore size that's not too snug but snug enough that air is trapped behind it and pushes it evenly and pushes the ball all the way to the end of the barrel. If you have a really big bore size and a very small ball, when that ball travels down the barrel, it's going to wobble. And when it comes out the end, it's going to lose its trajectory of being accurate and you don't want that to happen.

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