How To: Improving Accuracy - Paintball Forum - Paintball guns and gear forums
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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How To: Improving Accuracy

I'm a newbie to paintball and just ordered a Battle Tested(Ben Tippman/BT) TM-15 and I'm building a sniper(marksman) rifle out of it. What can I do to greatly improve accuracy once my marker gets in? I'd like to spend no more than 300 dollars total. I'm already looking for an aimpoint sight and plan to practice alot with my marker. What kind of upgrades can I make to greatly increase my accuracy long-term? Thank you for your time


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Old July 6th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Practice practice practice. Good paint to barrel bore match. Thats it, that and Tiberius First Strikes.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Number one way to increase accuracy is to simply get closer >.<

In paintball, there's only so much you can do to improve accuracy. The simple nature of paintballs is they are inaccurate. Think of the mini balls used in Civil War era: they had horrid long-range accuracy because of turbulence. Once the transition to a cone shaped bullet transpired, accuracy went way up.

As peaches has stated, paint to barrel match is going to be the greatest factor in accuracy. The best way to ensure this is to either get high quality paint that you know matches with your barrel, or to get high quality paint and a barrel kit. I suggest the latter, if you can afford it, because it goes a long way towards improving accuracy. Personally, I have used an Evil Pipe Kit on my G3 (cocker threaded) and it has gone a long, long way to improving my gun's accuracy.

Another important factor is the settings on your gun itself, dwell, air pressure, etc. Dwell or pressure set too high/low can both have negative impacts on the accuracy of a paintball gun.

Finally, although controversial, there are barrels made by (ironically) Tippmann such as the Apex and the Flatline that are said to improve range and accuracy. Having shot neither of these, I can't personally verify what they can/can't do, but I'm sure some on here can.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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First and since no one else has said it I will.
Forget the idea of extreme long range accuracy that comes to mind with a real snipers rifle, such things do not exist in paintball. In paintball a "sniper" panitball marker is about the way it looks not the way it shoots.
All markers that use high quality barrels, use good paint and have a good paint to barrel match will have essentially the same range and accuracy.

Now to my opinion on barrels.
Forget the flatline and apex, both of them trade accuracy for the ability to curve a paintballs trajectory.
The flatline does this to increase your distance by maybe 8-10 feet, at that slightly longer distance the paint no longer has enough speed to break reliably so what is gained?
The Apex has a rotating front barrel element that allows you to control which direction the paintball curves and to some degre how much it curves, both sound good in discussion but neither work well out on the field.

There are rifled barrels on the market like the Hammerhead that claim to increase accuracy. Some say they do not, some of us that use them all the time say that they do. The real problem in this debate is how and why do we experience that accuracy increase, some think it is simply because they are high quality well made barrels, others think the spin imparted by the rifling is the reason either way they do work better than the cheaper barrels on the market although there are some problems unique to rifled barrels.

And then there are the plain smooth bore high quality paintball barrels like the Evil Stove Pipe, Freak, Stiffi carbon fiber and the list goes on. These barrels improve accuracy through careful manufacturing and especially a fine polish on the internal surface of the barrel.

Which is right for your needs? unfortunately only you can answer that question.
I will agree with the theory of a barrel kit with interchangable backs giveing you the ability to adjust your barrel to better match the paint your shooting that day.

G12
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Old July 6th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Honestly, a rifled barrel I doubt does anything to increase accuracy. Adding more twist to the barrel won't make it go farther like a bullet and the ball doesn't follow the groves to make it spin. A football (bullet) if twisted can travel farther, less air resistance all that crap. Try it with a soccer ball, all it will do is curve. The fact that they are high quality won't really make a difference either. Some are quieter, lighter, some are not. Same effect. Same smooth surface. The difference is the bore. Underbore and you will get the best results.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Better accuracy?

Only one way to get it, BUY BETTER PAINT. Bore matching, barrels, gun pressures will not have nearly the same effect.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Guys BUT

Thanks guys but let me say this; I'm not looking for some crazy accurate marker at long range. I'm looking for a marker that will hit where I point and will of couse require compensation for distance along with luck. I just want to keep my paint from curving so easily at distance. Let me remind you that I have yet to fire my new marker and the only one I've shot recently has been a rental Tippmann 98 which lost accuracy at 60 FEET. That's just pathetic. I want a "Recon" type gun. One that is silent(which is why I bought a BT TM15) and accurate for me to sneak around on CTF games and lay down the heavy fire when I need to. I want a gun that says, "Hey, I'm the leader" but doesnt make me a target. One that says, "I'll come CQB if I must and stealth's my thing, but if I want to I can sit on a hill all day and pick you off as you come for our flag." Just a general idea of what I'm looking for. I'm thinking of adding a 18" rifled barrel with an Apex Tip. I've heard that setup is pretty good on a BT TM15 but I'm just wanting to slightly increase my accuracy in anyway possible. Like a fine-tuned set up. Thank you guys so much for the quick response and please respond to this as I hope it helps you, help me! HAHA :-D thanks again guys.

ALSO: My main field here doesn't allow people to bring their own paint and you can permantly expelled from the field for it. So I'd rather stick with buying there's... they sell "Breach" and some other type which is more expensive(probably a higher grade) so maybe I'll try that this time around. Thanks again..again. Bye.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You'll be far, far better off with a barrel kit that allows you to interchange control bores than you will be with some oversized, rifled gimmick of a barrel. Slightly underboring your paint increases efficiency as well as shot-to-shot consistency over the chrono, which translates to accuracy.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Riddler236 View Post
You'll be far, far better off with a barrel kit that allows you to interchange control bores than you will be with some oversized, rifled gimmick of a barrel. Slightly underboring your paint increases efficiency as well as shot-to-shot consistency over the chrono, which translates to accuracy.
Okay thanks, I just want that 16" to 18" sort of for looks. Could you reccomend a barrel kit or brand? And "allows you to interchange control bores"? I'm a newbie :P
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Old July 6th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some kits, like the Evil Pipe, have a two piece system: you have the front, which is universal to any Pipe back. Then you have the back themselves, which are different bore size (.689, .70, etc) and they are specific thread wise to the gun you have (IE, spyders are spyder threaded, 98 customs have 98 custom threads, A-5 have A-5 threads, etc). You match your paint to whatever bore size you need, screw the tip onto the back of the corresponding bore size, and away you go.

Some kits, like the popular Smart Parts Freak Kit, use a different system. You buy one front and one back for your gun (again, fronts are universal to that kit, if I remember correctly). Then, the inside of the individual back has a type of sleeve system; the sleeves themselves are set to specific bore sizes. So you pick a bore/sleeve size that fits, put the correct sleeve in the back part of the barrel, screw the back to the front, then the entire barrel into the gun, and you are good to go. The advantage of having the sleeved bore system is that you only need one front and one bore set for multiple guns (with different threads). You just need to buy a new back for whichever gun has a different thread on it.

Picture of the Evil kit (this one fits on Mini's, I believe). The black pieces are the backs, the silver piece is the front. Each back piece is sized differently, and screws directly into the gun (and the tip screws into the front of that).


Picture of the Freak kit. Top two are the different styles of fronts they offered, middle two are the sleeves, and the bottom two are the backs.


Also, there are some 1-piece kits out there, basically you buy 3-7 different barrels from the maker, each one being a one-piece with a different bore size. The advantage of going that route is that the one piece barrels are theoretically more accurate, but with today's technology it's a moot point (1 pieces don't have to worry about the gap between the front and the back of the barrel, but in reality there is no real difference between a 1 and a 2 piece because of that gap. More often, it's the quality of the barrel itself (materials, machining accuracy, etc) that will determine paintball accuracy).
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Old July 6th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Indeed. Our so-called .68 caliber paintballs vary in size from brand to brand and batch to batch as widely as .675"-.695", though they've been trending on the small side, at least in my neck of the woods, in recent years. Having the ability to fit the paint to your barrel with a modest 'underbore' every time you play, no matter what field you're at or what make or model of paint you're shooting, is a huge advantage.

When I say 'underbore,' here's what I mean: the bore of the barrel is just slightly too tight for the paint. This snug fit will enable the gun to propel the paintball in the most efficient manner, with the least amount of wasted air.

The best way to test this on a given day at the field is simply to grab a few paintballs from the case of paint (or bag; whatever) that you just bought, and attempt to blow them through your selection of barrel backs (or inserts, depending on your kit of choice). You're looking for the barrel back that provides a fair bit of resistance, but it's still possible to blow the paint through it. If the balls roll out, try a smaller barrel, and if they're too tight a fit to blow out or easily push through with a squeegie, you're likely better off going up a size.

Here's a real life example for you from just this past weekend, when I was chronographing an autococker in my backyard:
I have a case of Marballizer laying around that happens to be about .684", I was using a .682" Freak barrel insert, and the gun was shooting mid 270's. Now, I had a minor mishap (didn't turn the hopper on, heh) and chopped a ball, so I grabbed a clean barrel I had handy that happened to have a .691" Freak insert in it. My velocity immediately dropped to the 220's with the significantly larger bore barrel, and it wasn't as consistent as before. If I'd have been playing with that barrel, I'd have wanted to crank up my HPR to get my velocity back up to field limits, thus tanking my air consumption. And then there's the fact that I lost a bit of shot-to-shot consistency, which hurts accuracy. So all in all, it's a really wise idea to slightly underbore your paint.

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Old July 6th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Indeed.

When I say 'underbore,' here's what I mean: the bore of the barrel is just slightly too tight for the paint. This snug fit will enable the gun to propel the paintball in the most efficient manner, with the least amount of wasted air.
Agreed, just so long as you don't underbore to the point where you are having chops. An inaccurate paintball leaving the barrel is better than an accurate getting chopped in the chamber
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Old July 7th, 2010, 07:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Honestly, a rifled barrel I doubt does anything to increase accuracy.
Just wondering, how many years of experience you have shooting rifled barrels?
And which ones you have shot?

G12
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Old July 7th, 2010, 07:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Honestly, a rifled barrel I doubt does anything to increase accuracy.
Just wondering, how many years of experience you have shooting rifled barrels?
And which ones you have shot?

G12
I have only seen and shot with one. I don't need years of it since I know that a rifled barrel is useless on a round object.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 08:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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from the mouth of the one and only Tom Kaye:

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Originally Posted by Tom Kaye
It was asked in another post what effect do riffled barrels have on spinning a paintball, not drilled holes, actual rifling like in real guns. This is a good question and one that was explored by our research team.

In theory spinning a projectile on the axis of flight adds gyroscopic stability as well as averages out any imperfections in the surface air flow. Paintballs leave a bad turbulence wake behind them that "walks around" the back of the ball as it flies through the air. This is the main cause of a paintballs inaccuracy as the turbulence tail drags the ball around sideways in flight. Spinning the ball should create a tornado like vortex in the back of the ball thereby evening out all the turbulence so the ball is not pulled any particular way.

So great you say lets do it and get more accuracy!! Well if it was possible it would already have been done. The problem is the liquid fill, when you rotate the shell, the liquid tends to stay where it is. The best example of this is a glass of water with ice floating in it, when you rotate the glass the ice stays in the same place (you have all seen it). So if you can grab the ball hard enough to go from 0 to about 10,000 RPM's in 5 thousands of a second (remember TechTip #1?) Yes the shell is spinning but the fill is not. When the ball leaves the barrel the viscosity of the fill slows the shell down but the fill's rotation is speeding up from the shell too, so you get an almost instant reduction of the RPM's out of the barrel. The balls rotation does not come to a complete stop because the shell does impart some spin to the fill. In order to test this properly we actually developed a gun that spun the barrel, with the ball in it, up to 30,000 RPM's and then shot the ball out.

In this way we knew the ball and the fill were completely up to speed when it left the barrel. We had visions of a spinning barrel paintgun that would make that high speed turbo wine! Unfortunately this didn't improve the accuracy because the ball is still too light.

As a final test we developed a barrel that had three razor edged knife blades running down the length of the bore. Using our plastic paintballs they wedged in the blades perfectly and we spun up the barrel and fired more test rounds. Because the knives would cut the ball we could examine them after the fact to see if they were rotating in the barrel etc. Again unfortunately we saw no improvement in accuracy and gave up.

Based on this data we believe round paintballs are too light and have lousy aerodynamics to expect any more accuracy than what we are currently getting. When the military came to us and wanted a more accurate non lethal system we made a bullet shaped, spin stabilized paintball that far outperformed any equal weight round projectile. Accuracy by volume has been, and will remain, the best way to score eliminations.
source: Automags Online - Tom's Tech Tips - Spinning Paintballs, Tech Tip #3
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Old July 7th, 2010, 09:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks! I am actually bookmarking this page because I'm not smart enough to explain that stuff.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Double post :[
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Old July 7th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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That is exactly what I love about Tom Kaye and the Automag group; they did real, scientific experiments to prove/disprove paintball myths and ideas, and helped advance the sport by leaps and bounds.

Something you have to remember too is effective range of your gun. Are you going to be shooting in from far enough away that the minute things like wind turbulence are going to be a factor? If so (and this is going back to my first post ) then you probably need to simply get closer before you take the shot
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Old July 7th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I have only seen and shot with one. I don't need years of it since I know that a rifled barrel is useless on a round object.
My friend bought one of SP's rifled barrels (Progressive, methinks?) for his Ion. We tested it at a range against the stock barrel, a Freak Barrel kit (with the correct bore size) and another barrel that someone had (can't remember what it was, wanna say a CP one-piece). It did perform better than stock, but not better than the other two. The rifling didn't seem to have any effect on it at all, but we were testing within "shooting range" on a speedball field (from one end to another).
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Old July 7th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I don't recall SP ever making a rifled barrel. The Boss Progressive (and Teardrop version) was a 1-piece, typically 12", medium bore barrel, usually gloss black.
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