Originally Posted by SKI008
A paintball at 300 fps out of a poppit will not travel differently than a paintball at 300 fps out of a spool (barring anything weird like an Apex or flatline barrel but that's not based on poppit vs spool that's based on the barrel). If there is a difference based on more advanced physics than I know (ie related to fluid dynamics of air flow or something like that) then the difference is so small as to be negligible (because if it wasn't all the tournament players would have gone one way or the other).
And before someone brings up "Poppits lob spools shoot straight" that is also not true. The "Lob" you see is because the barrel is higher in relation to your hand so when the ball leaves the barrel and gravity starts acting on it you seem to notice it drop further. In reality if you took a spool gun at 300 fps and a poppit at 300 fps they wouldn't shoot any further than each other. (Well actually I guess the poppit since it starts from a tiny bit higher plane would get maybe a few more inches of distance but again, negligible).
To answer your question about paintballs all being slightly different and the barrel staying the same yes that is true. That is why high end paint costs more than low end paint. High end paint is more consistently round ball to ball (and usually has a more brittle shell and better fill as well). Your barrel isn't going to fit each ball perfectly, you just want the barrel to be as consistent as possible. That is why overboring and underboring lead to the most consistent shot and also why paint matters more than the barrel does. People don't like to hear that because expensive paint needs to be bought each time you go play while a barrel only needs to be bought once but that is the unfortunate truth.
I agree with Mr. Stealthy's factors but would actually reverse the order order and say consistent gas delivery is most important followed by paint. You can have the best paint in the world but shooting it out of a blowback running unregged CO2 is going to result in bad consistency. Once you have a compressed air set up, then it becomes all about the paint.
The two are fairly interchangeable and either can have a huge effect. However, I still feel paint is the larger factor and heres why. The paintball is disturbed the most after it leaves the barrel (atmospheric factors). Having oblong, inconsistent paint sizing, dimpling etc. is going to cause the ball to go be thrown significantly off of its flight path. If you have extremely consistent paint but inconsistent air regulation, the paint is still going to fly prety straight, but will drop off at slightly different rates. This is usually towards the end of its flight path unless your consistency spread is just absolutely insane. Ultimately consistency is not directly
related (but is a small factor) whereas paint is. If you have crazy paint, you can usually still achieve velocity consistency by having a quality regulator and either underboring or overboring the paint. However, when you shoot that paint it is still going to shoot poor groups once it leaves the barrel.
Also for a couple of the other users, marker type has absolutely nothing to do with it. The same paint leaving any barrel at 300fps is going to fly the same in any gun, period. Spools tend to give the perception of being more accurate due to how smooth and quiet they are. They simply seem like smoother platform. Comparing it to firearms, many people will simply shoot better with a firearm of a smaller caliber due to them being more comfortable with the recoil/blast, etc.
All the factors are important for achieving accuracey:
Bore fit: helps provide consistency, efficiency
Regulator: Helps provide consistency
Paint: Helps the paint fly consistently through the air and ensures it is disrupted less during its flight path.