Paintball Barrels and Barrel Accessories
A paintball gun without a barrel would just be a portable air compressor so it’s no wonder that one of the first things players upgrade is the barrel. Fortunately there are a number of different ways to improve barrel function through inserts, fluted barrels, two-piece barrels, and more. Beyond this, players must consider whether or not their makers can support autocockers and if they need other accessories such as barrel maids and barrel covers.
Paintball barrels come in three main varieties–one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece. One-piece barrels normally come stock with whatever paintball gun you purchase. These aren’t bad barrels, but they generally don’t have the modularity that comes with two and three piece barrels. Two piece barrels have barrel backs and barrel tips which is also the case with three piece barrels. The only difference between two piece and three piece barrels is the use of a third piece which would be the barrel insert.
Fluted and Non-Fluted
Paintball barrels may or may not come with fluting and even the kind of fluting can vary from barrel to barrel. Fluting has three main functions normally:
1. Fluting helps reduce the weight of the paintball barrel which therefore reduces the overall weight of the assembled paintball marker.
2. Fluting can, in some cases, reduce the amount of noise that a paintball gun emits.
3. Some fluting is arranged around the barrel in a spiral formation which gives a small amount of spin to the paintball. This helps with range and accuracy.
Paintball Barrel Inserts
Barrel inserts are useful for playing paintball in different weather conditions. Barrel inserts are meant to be inserted into the barrel to match the bore exactly with the diameter of the paintball. Paintballs are made to be .67 however, this can increase or decrease with the ambient temperature and cause the paintball to shrink or expand. When the paintball shrinks, this causes more air to escape around the sides of the paintball as it’s traveling down the barrel instead of the air pushing the paintball along. Barrel inserts close the gap between the paintball and the internal bore of the barrel to create a snug fit and therefore increasing velocity, range, and efficiency. Check out our helpful guide on how to choose the best barrel insert or barrel back for your paintball gun below:
Paintball Barrel Maids
A barrel maid consists of a flexible rod or shaft with an absorbent material on one end, usually foam or microfiber cloth. Barrel maids help you clean out the paintball barrel when paintballs break and leave residue or fragments that affect accuracy. Players use the barrel maid by inserting the absorbent end and wiping away any paint or debris which promotes straight shots and reduces the risk of further breaks. Players frequently carry barrel maids on the field for regular cleaning, or leave them readily available in their bags.
Paintball Barrel Covers
Barrel covers, barrel bags, and (of course our favorite) barrel condoms, are used as a safety feature when a paintball gun is live, but players aren’t on the field with protective gear yet. These help keep stray shots from injuring other players before and after matches.