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Old 05-21-2016, 07:09 PM #1
ry_goody
 
 
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I have been through so many barrels.

So I went on a mission to find the perfect barrel system. I purchased and tested:

-inception stella
-Egeinbarrel set
-Macdev Shift2
-Pooty Paintbal Superlight back + PE front
-Deadlwinds fibur x
-GOG Carbon fiber
-GOG freak
-GOG freak inline

I really didn't intend to do this. It just kind of happened. I am an engineer, and occasionally go a little OCD on things. This happened here. Unfortunately I didn't document everything scientifically, cause I just don't care that much as basically it would just be a big ad for the barrel company that wins. Maybe if I ever manufacture my own barrel I will perfectly document all tests and make sure mine is perfect and the winner

But anyway, what I have found is this.

2 piece barrels are bad because the front and back never perfectly aligns. The cheaper the barrel the worse this is, but all of them have this issue to some degree. I really think 2 piece barrels are just a bad idea. It's not an upgrade if you can't manufacture the front and back to align as perfectly as 1 piece!

Most freak backs only have 1 o-ring to stabilize the insert, thus the insert is not perfectly centered.

Cheaper barrels or barrels from newer companies tend to have subpar internal finish.

Longer control bore does not do anything. I could not measure any difference between stella, eigenbarrel or just a standard freak. Thus length of control bore is not important, but rather there being a full range of .03 spaced bores available, like the standard freak kit, that is important.

I am just going to go down and list my issues with each barrel, and there is a winner at the bottom. So this is not in vain.

-Stella
Internal finish is the worst I have seen of any high end barrel. Also the front and back pieces do not perfectly align. The control bore backs are also spaced at .05 each.

-Egeinbarrel set
Internal finish is subpar compared to GOG, PE, DYE. Although better than stella. But the front and back pieces on this one are horribly misaligned.

-Macdev Shift2
I really had high hopes for this one as it has a nice rubber back, and they put a lip on the insert to solve the issue of perfectly centering it, which is a great idea. But the front and back pieces do not align perfectly, their alignment was better than eigenbarrel, about comparable to GOG freak.

-Pooty Paintbal Superlight back + PE front
I may have gotten luck of the batch on these because the front and back appeared to be in very close alignment. But it only has 1 o-ring to stabilize the freak insert so the insert has wiggle room and is not perfectly aligned.

-GOG Carbon fiber
Only 1 internal o-ring to stabilize the freak insert thus the freak insert is not held perfectly centered and stable in the barrel.

-GOG Freak
Front and back pieces do not perfectly align

-PE FR Back
I just did not even order this one because I do not like the idea of adding another 'lip' on the back of the barrel which the ball must go over.

-PE Backs
Missing way too many bore sizes

-Dye
Discluded because of price and selection of control bore sizes

-Deadlwinds fiber x
1-Piece so front and back are perfectly aligned. The front of the chamber which holds the freak insert is tapered, so when you put forward pressure on the insert it perfectly aligns. BUT the chamber which holds the insert is just a tad longer than the insert. So the insert does not actually get pushed into the tapered front to remain perfectly stable. I shot balls through it, checking each time if that centered the insert and it does not. The insert jostles around a little after each shot. Deadlywinds could be perfect if like .2 mm was shaved off the back of the barrel so when it screws on, tension holds it against the tapered front and centers it.

-GOG Freak Inline
This is strangely the winner. This one had zero issues at all. It is 1 piece, front to end, so the whole thing is in perfect alignment. The internal finish is perfect, top notch. The front of the chamber that holds the insert is tapered like the Deadlywinds. But the chamber is made to be about .1 mm shorter than the actual insert. So when you screw the barrel onto the gun, the gun pushes the insert forward and holds it perfectly aligned. This is literally the only barrel that you screw onto your gun, shoot a paintball through, and then look down the barrel, and the entire thing from tip to bottom, freak insert included, is perfectly centered aligned.

So you get all freak control bore sizes, perfect internal finish, and perfect center alignment. Plus I really like the milled ridges that you can see the insert through because it makes it really easy to grab and screw on extra tight. Congrats GOG on making the freak inline. The only barrel that is perfect. And it's only $60

Last edited by ry_goody : 05-21-2016 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:49 PM #2
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Nice write up!

I too, in a not so scientific approach have been on the same path...

I recently came across Parabolic barrels. They are pretty new to the scene and I have only found them at my local field off a sponsored player and Facebook.

The theory behind the design is much the same as you have discovered, create a minimal, but some variance between the first part of the bore and second part of the bore and maintain a consistent finish that results in less turbulence on the ball thus creating more accuracy than I have ever seen with a barrel.

I have been shooting them for a couple weeks now and going to sell all my other systems
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:44 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lander_sir View Post
Nice write up!

I too, in a not so scientific approach have been on the same path...

I recently came across Parabolic barrels. They are pretty new to the scene and I have only found them at my local field off a sponsored player and Facebook.

The theory behind the design is much the same as you have discovered, create a minimal, but some variance between the first part of the bore and second part of the bore and maintain a consistent finish that results in less turbulence on the ball thus creating more accuracy than I have ever seen with a barrel.

I have been shooting them for a couple weeks now and going to sell all my other systems

I saw those and was interested but they weren't for sale.

How is the internal finish on them? Based on past experience I am actually highly suspicious of the internal finish quality as none of the barrels from newer, or smaller companies had top quality internal finish. Is it on par with GOG, Dye and PE?
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:29 AM #4
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I would say yes to all the above...

Search Facebook again, I just bought two barrels this week.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:29 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_goody View Post
I saw those and was interested but they weren't for sale.

How is the internal finish on them? Based on past experience I am actually highly suspicious of the internal finish quality as none of the barrels from newer, or smaller companies had top quality internal finish. Is it on par with GOG, Dye and PE?
Ive got 13 left in .685 but no kits for the next few months.

I just want to touch on one point with your ideas.
The alignment actually doesn't matter unless the bore creates a lip over the control bore. As soon as the ball gets passed the control bore, it rides along a pocket of air and does not touch the walls of the tip section. The exception to that is if your shooting a gun with a back spin bolt or barrel design.

I figured there was an effect there for years but my data never reflected it in tests.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:52 AM #6
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Here we go again

The Deadlywind FiburX does center the insert into the taper every time- when air pressure is pushing the ball forward, the insert is also pushed forward and held centered. It might relax backward some after each shot because the oring holding it in the rear unwinds a few thou.

We chose to not reley on the breach holding the insert forward for many reasons.. The main reason being barrels should bottom out on the external lip on the nose of the gun and this always leaves a slight gap inside between the end of the barrel and the breach (except guns like the Xmag! ). This distance varies slightly from gun manufactures and thread types, so there is no way to rely on this as a constant. Then some people place an oring on the outside of the barrel thread which adds another few hundredths spacing into the mix. No bueno!

Relying on the freak to be in any sort of compression between the barrel and gun (to prevent any movement at all) will damage the thin lip of the insert. We saw this on our older Fibur barrels on Phantoms.

The GoG carbon, last time I cut one open, does not use a taper. They use a really close fit bore for the insert to hold it as close as possible.. Which if you're an engineer, you'll know this still says there is room for it to move.
Only $60? I think you mean only $99 or $85 sans freak insert. Which still isn't bad for a barrel made in Taiwan.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:08 PM #7
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Originally Posted by Nicad View Post
Here we go again

The Deadlywind FiburX does center the insert into the taper every time- when air pressure is pushing the ball forward, the insert is also pushed forward and held centered. It might relax backward some after each shot because the oring holding it in the rear unwinds a few thou.

We chose to not reley on the breach holding the insert forward for many reasons.. The main reason being barrels should bottom out on the external lip on the nose of the gun and this always leaves a slight gap inside between the end of the barrel and the breach (except guns like the Xmag! ). This distance varies slightly from gun manufactures and thread types, so there is no way to rely on this as a constant. Then some people place an oring on the outside of the barrel thread which adds another few hundredths spacing into the mix. No bueno!

Relying on the freak to be in any sort of compression between the barrel and gun (to prevent any movement at all) will damage the thin lip of the insert. We saw this on our older Fibur barrels on Phantoms.

The GoG carbon, last time I cut one open, does not use a taper. They use a really close fit bore for the insert to hold it as close as possible.. Which if you're an engineer, you'll know this still says there is room for it to move.
Only $60? I think you mean only $99 or $85 sans freak insert. Which still isn't bad for a barrel made in Taiwan.
Not the GOG carbon, the GOG freak inline, its new

https://www.gogpaintball.com/product/freak-inline/

You are probably right though.

Last edited by ry_goody : 05-22-2016 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:01 PM #8
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Not a PHD physicist.

I would think as long as you do a slight overbore or under the misalignment is negligible. Finnish does appear to matter as an unclean or wet barrel makes horrible consistency.

Paintballs are not perfectly spherical, nor are they a rigid body. Also, if the ball is not filled to capacity there now is a variable center of mass.

There are so many other factors to consider, but #1 being barrel cleanliness and #2 is ball quality/cleanliness. Then you've got environmental, propeller(marker), the player, barrel length...
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:32 AM #9
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I heard some very interesting discussion this weekend about mirror polish type internal finishes on barrels, and that such a finish is actually pretty terrible for paintball use. I'm not an engineer, but the gentleman sharing the information most certainly is, and one of some standing inside and outside the paintball community.

FWIW, the Freak system is inherently a two- or three-piece barrel. Additionally, did you happen to check the tolerances on Freak inserts? I'd heard from some folks who are aware of the tolerances that .001 variance is acceptable in the manufacture of Freak inserts.

For myself, IF it came down to shooting a Freak insert based system, I'd absolutely be looking at a Deadlywind. DW has maximized the Freak system.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:49 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pump Scout View Post
I heard some very interesting discussion this weekend about mirror polish type internal finishes on barrels, and that such a finish is actually pretty terrible for paintball use. I'm not an engineer, but the gentleman sharing the information most certainly is, and one of some standing inside and outside the paintball community.

FWIW, the Freak system is inherently a two- or three-piece barrel. Additionally, did you happen to check the tolerances on Freak inserts? I'd heard from some folks who are aware of the tolerances that .001 variance is acceptable in the manufacture of Freak inserts.

For myself, IF it came down to shooting a Freak insert based system, I'd absolutely be looking at a Deadlywind. DW has maximized the Freak system.
Would you care to elaborate on what exactly makes mirror finishes terrible for paintball use? I know it was not directly from you but I'm curious as to what the other person said regarding them. I am no engineer, but in theory wouldn't a mirror finish cause less drag on the paintball causing a higher achieved velocity? I could understand mirror finishes would be harder to shoot through compared to a finish that is not mirror quality finish though. But again I am no engineer and am simply an IT guy.

I'll agree with the OP in that the Inception barrel backs finishes do not seem to be very high quality and I was a little disappointed with the alignment of the barrel back and tip. With that said I have thoroughly enjoyed my Inception barrel and it is the quietest barrel I have used, but I think I am going to go back to my trusty Ultralite after using a CF Boomstick for the past couple years before the Stella barrel.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:31 PM #11
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Well from a physics point of view...if you only consider the "mirror finish"(least roughness achieved) and a ball, his statement makes no sense.

However, the ball is not perfectly round and there is air rushing through. On a mirrored finish the air would generally take a lower Reynold number which means increased coefficient of friction. On a rough surface air would be a higher Reynolds number. The boundary layer of air would be a better lubricant with a rougher surface.

Now we need to ask ourselves, what is the real world condition of the ball going through a pipe. Underbore means more ball to pipe contact. Overbore means more air between the ball and pipe. So, when looking at the two extremes....it would suggest

Underbore - least rough finish
Overbore - rougher finish

This is all a guess based on equations. I didn't crunch any numbers to review what the magnitudes are and thier net effect on total frictional force. The difference in Reynolds number may be so little that it becomes irrelevant, in which case a rougher surface would always be worse.

Unless....it is a directional roughness. In which case it would no longer appear mirrored(visually), have the least contact with the ball, and maintain a high Reynolds number air flow.

Last edited by MoeDisc : 05-25-2016 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:48 PM #12
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I think the question that comes to mind reading this is whether misaligned backs and fronts actually has any affect on direction or consistency? I think a number of previous tests have suggested that there isn't much difference between one and two piece barrels in general, but I don't recall anyone specifically looking at alignment.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:50 PM #13
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yeah this interest me @lawpass
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:39 AM #14
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One of the more notable effects of the surface in a barrel is the Lotus Effect and its ability to shoot through broken paint.. In which case a microscopically rough surface is desirable.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:14 AM #15
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Pulling an answer out of my ***.

Yes, it does as the ball will orient based on rotation and barrel exit angle.

No it is not all that relevant as most players do not have a ranged sight. They look down the barrel, so their viewing angle is skewed. The skewed viewing angle effects accuracy way more than a slightly offset barrel alignment.

As long as the ball spin is consistent the player adjusts accordingly to be more accurate.

To put things in perspective, my two piece shaft 4 barrel (.689) on a gtek is significantly more consistent/precise than my one piece progressive (.690) on a tippman 98.

The marker(propeller) and ball quality is way more important than the nuisance of slight barrel misalignment.

Consistency/precision has more value than accuracy. A player can adjust to a precise shot to be accurate.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:35 PM #16
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Very good discussion. All very informative.
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:53 PM #17
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It's informative to note the differences in design and quality, but why not actually test if it makes any difference? Set the gun up and shoot some groups or something?
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:33 PM #18
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What did you use to measure the bore finish and alignment? If it was just your eye. then no offense but that's not really saying much.....
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:01 PM #19
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This vid is a little old, but here's what two engineers found when they shot dozens of barrels and carefully measured every shot.

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=197yZ859h74[video]

*Mod edit - videos from these guys and those they associate with can be questionable, caution. We've generally not allowed them to be posted here, as one of these guys is BOS. Thanks.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:41 PM #20
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So I decided to try the PE FR barrel, Dye Ultralite.

Dye Ultralite I disliked because not all the backs align perfectly with the front.

The Planet Eclipse Freak ready barrel I have to add to the list of one of the best next the Freak Inline. Amazingly the PE FR aligns perfectly all three pieces! Not even Dye could align perfectly their two pieces, and Dye was the best aligned two piece system I've seen. My PE FR, which is three pieces, perfectly aligned. The insert also has two o-ring to hold it stable, so the insert is centered as well.

Initially I didn't like that the PE FR back has an added tapered lip on entry. But I realize this is ideal for pump guns. Because if you underbore on a pump, your pump stroke will have to push the ball into the tighter insert. The tapered lip makes it so you never encounter any resistance from this in your pump stroke.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:45 PM #21
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What did you use to measure the bore finish and alignment? If it was just your eye. then no offense but that's not really saying much.....
In the case of the stella barrel, the bore finish is obviously much lower quality. It very easy to visually see.

In the case of the eigenbarrel, the back misalignment is huge. Some of the smallest bored backs were almost flush with the front.

If there is any difference between bore finish between PE, Dye, Macdev, Deadlywinds or GOG. I can't tell, you would need an instrument to measure, which really at that point I'd consider them all good enough to not care.

If there is any different in alignment between GOG, Dye or Macdev. I couldn't tell, they were generally too close it seemed to tell.
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