What’s the Point of Multiple Barrels?
By Jeffrey “Tigurius” Espejo
In truth having multiple barrels is something that tournament players mostly have. To a new player or those who do not care much for the physics and technicality of Paintball it does not seem it is worth to get more then one barrel other then looks, so for this I will brush quickly on why we have different sizes and lengths of barrels.
Paintballs are made to fit the 0.68 caliber size. Since Paintballs are made out of the same substance that those Tylenol gel capsules are made of; they can never be the exact same size and can expand and contract pending on the temperature outside. So really when it is hot it expands, when it is cold it contracts. This is why we have multiple barrel id sizes. Generally speaking a typical Paintball goes together with a 0.688-barrel on a normal day with a normal Paintball, on colder days a small barrel size, warmer days a larger etc. Of course this is just a general rule of thumb, when you want to choose which barrel to use with your paint and get the best fit and accuracy take a Paintball, insert it at the beginning of the barrel, put your mouth over and blow really hard fast. If the ball rolls out before you can even get a chance to blow, your balls are too small. If too much resistance and it doesn’t move at all, they are too big. Generally you should feel the ball resisting the air coming from your mouth, and then blowing down the barrel.
When it comes to length, generally speaking it is mostly about preference of the player, some like a longer barrel, some like a shorter barrel. Of course the longer the barrel the less gas efficient it is because it creates more friction making the ball move much slower requiring more air to push it out. So a big 22-inch barrel is pretty much useless but never the less fun to see. Of course this article is based upon my opinion and experiences; I’ve noticed that a lot of players (including my self) prefer to use a 12 or 14 inch barrel as it allows you to “push” an air ball bunker aside while still being able to shoot (more on this in a tactics article), as well as it is not too short or too long.
When most players are trying to decide on a barrel, they usually go for a kit that will allow them to change the barrel size “backings” to different sizes so they do not have to spend so much money on multiple one-size barrels. This not only helps on money in the long run, but also is very convenient as most barrel kits can be disassembled for a more compact storage. So this concludes this hopefully brief article explaining the differences of barrel sizes. See you soon!