The 101 on Paintball Barrel Kits
What Is A Barrel Kit?
Paintballs are filled with a mix of gelatin, glycerin, and other materials and can easily be affected by environmental conditions. As the temperature and humidity levels within an environment change, so too does the size of the paintballs. Though produced to be .68 caliber, most paintballs fluctuate in size as conditions change.
In fact, the gelatin or cornstarch shell expands and contracts with corresponding temperature changes. For example, warm/humid air causes the shell to swell and become bouncier than normal. Alternatively, colder conditions can cause paintballs to shrink in size, resulting in brittle shells that are prone to breaking.
This fluctuation in the size of the paintball can present difficulties when it comes to accuracy, air efficiency, and sound report. For example, if a paintball is too loose, you will lose accuracy as the paintball marker uses excess air to propel the paintball down the barrel. With a less-than-tight fit, the marker will also be louder. At the same time, a tighter fit isn’t always better, as it can cause your paintballs to break before they exit the barrel.
Barrel kits provide a reliable and flexible solution to the change in paintball size. Most systems will include multiple barrel diameters. This allows you to find the optimal fit without the risk of breaking paintballs. The best barrel kits match the paintballs you’re working with at that time for a better overall experience.
Most barrel kits come in either a one-piece, two-piece, or three-piece setup. One-piece barrels incorporate multiple inner diameters for the best fit possible. Popular Custom Products Barrel Kits feature a two-piece barrel, comprised of the barrel front and barrel back. The barrel backs come in various-sized inner diameters. Similarly, three-piece barrel kits, such as the GOG Freak Barrel Kit, include a barrel front, barrel back, and inserts/tubes that range in size that set the inner diameter.
How Do You Use A Barrel Kit?
Most barrel kits don’t require much more than 10 minutes and some light instruction to install.
Using a barrel kit requires you to test the paintballs you’ll be using on the field that day. If you test before a game, you’re likely to get better results than if you were to test days before. Take a few of the paintballs you’ll be using and place one in the end of the barrel kit.
Notice how the paintball fits in the barrel. If the paintball rolls straight out the other end, the bore of the barrel is too large. If you were to run that barrel's inner diameter, you’re sure to experience issues with air efficiency, accuracy, and the noise level of the paintball marker.
However, if the paintball doesn’t move at all, the inner diameter of that barrel is too small. Broken paintballs tend to come from bores that are too tight.
When you’ve found a bore that feels as though the fit is snug but not too tight, you can test it. Simply place your mouth on one end of the barrel and attempt to blow it out the other side. Optimal inner diameters allow you to easily blow the paintball out of the maker while still fitting comfortably against the bore.
Note that if you are playing with brittle paintballs and/or on a cold day, you should choose a barrel kit inner diameter that is one size up from the optimal bore size. This will help accommodate the paintballs as they get warmer during gameplay.
1. Freak XL Aluminum
Complete with a convenient carrying case and color-coded barrels, this Freak XL Aluminum barrel kit makes it easy to choose the right barrel for your scenario. This system comes with a barrel back, a freak tip, and a total of eight inserts you can use to ensure you’re getting the most out of your paintball marker.
Choose the right barrel threads for your marker to ensure the barrel kit you receive is compatible. Insert sizes include inner diameters ranging from .679 to .695. You can easily store these inserts in the provided carrying case, which features a convenient zipper closure and carrying handle for ease of use.
2. Dye UL-S barrels
With a centering two-piece design and plenty of customization to express your unique style, the Dye UL-S barrels pair effortlessly with DYE barrel tips on paintball markers with Autococker Quick threads. The barrel itself features dynamic porting that optimizes harmonics and deadens sound at the same time. Plus, you can purchase the barrel tips and the barrel back in two different colors.
This kit includes four bore sizes: .678, .680, .682, .684, and .686. These common sizes allow you to adjust your barrel for gameplay conditions and have fun doing it. Take advantage of the precision honing and lightweight construction found in this barrel kit to dramatically improve your gameplay results.
3. HK Army LAZR Kit
If you’re looking for unrivaled performance, the HK Army LAZR Kit should be your go-to barrel kit. These high-quality two-piece barrels are made from aluminum and come in a variety of colors. Plus, the barrel back grip is available in red, black, grey, and blue as well.
One of the coolest features of this barrel kit is the included paintball sizer. The Ball Sizer speeds up the process of having to find the perfect inner diameter as we described above. Instead, you simply insert the paintball into the openings of the Ball Sizer until you find a snug fit.
4. Carbon SS8
Customization is king with the Carbon SS8 barrel kit from Freak XL. Choose your insert kit, color, and barrel threads to ensure the barrel kit you order fits your particular paintball marker. This two-piece design prioritizes weight, and the back sleeve features injected carbon fiber that sets this barrel kit apart from the rest.
Again, you’ll have the option of choosing color-coded inserts ranging in size from .679 to .695. Each of the inserts fits within the carrying case that zippers closed for later use. Even when inserted into the barrel, these inserts can be seen through dynamic ports near the center of the barrel.
Choosing the right barrel kit for your marker and the environmental conditions is key to having a great time on the paintball field. Too much ball breakage or inaccuracy can quickly make the game turn frustrating rather than fun. For a full selection of paintball barrel kits and other accessories, please visit Lone Wolf’s online store.