Paintball Barrel Buyer's Guide

Paintball Barrel Buyer's Guide

Improve Accuracy & Performance Instantly!

One of the best upgrades almost every paintball player can make to their paintball gun is the addition of an aftermarket, upgrade paintball gun barrel. An upgrade to the barrel of a paintball gun provides an instant performance improvement that is clearly noticeable in terms of accuracy and tighter shot groups and improved consistency over the chronography, which not only contributes to improved accuracy but improved overall performance and efficiency as well! Furthermore, a new paintball gun barrel will make almost any paintball gun quieter, making a player’s location harder to pinpoint by opponents while shooting – extremely useful in any playing environment but absolutely critical while playing paintball in the woods. Dollar for dollar, a new paintball gun barrel is one of the best upgrades a paintball player can make to their paintball gun!

But why? Why does one paintball gun barrel shoot better than the barrel that came on my paintball gun? The answer is simple – variety. The people who make a paintball gun have no idea what brand of paintballs you might shoot through your paintball gun and while all .68 caliber paintballs are just that - .68 caliber – there’s another number after that .68 that can make all the difference! From brand to brand, batch to batch, paintballs vary in size: some may be .688 caliber or bigger, while other brands may be .684 or smaller! Since a gun maker can’t know which brand you might use, they will produce and provide you a simple paintball gun barrel that can shoot them all fairly well. Needless to say, a paintball that’s way too small for the barrel will barely touch the barrel’s inner bore on the way out – and that will make for less than sniper-like accuracy, while paintballs that can barely squeeze through that barrel might break on the way out, ruining your game.

Then there’s the internal finish of the barrel. Aftermarket barrel companies go to great lengths to create a barrel with an inner bore that is slick, smooth and polished, allowing paintballs to breeze right through with as little friction as possible, helping paintballs fly straight and the paintball gun to shoot them more efficiently. 

Length. Careful with this one. While many paintball guns are delivered with relatively short stock barrels, aftermarket paintball gun barrels can be had from twelve to as long as sixteen inches in length or more. This keeps shots at long range in tighter groups and will allow players in the woods to press their barrel through brush or bunkers to make a shot without exposing their entire body and paintball gun to incoming fire. Most serious players prefer a paintball gun barrel between 14 and 16 inches, as this creates the best mix of accuracy, efficiency and weight. 

Finally, there’s porting. That’s all those holes drilled into the paintball gun barrel. Why? All those drilled holes in a paintball gun barrel serve to vent air as the fired paintball passes down the barrel, both making the barrel quieter during shooting and reducing the amount of turbulence each fired paintball has to fly through once it leaves the barrel and joins us in the world where it can go find a target and help you win.

J&J Ceramic Paintball Barrel

Basic Upgrade Paintball Gun Barrels

Even the most basic paintball gun barrels like those from J&J are a vast improvement over most paintball gun stock barrels. J&J’s ceramic internal barrel coating drastically reduces drag making paintball guns more efficient and helping improve accuracy, while plenty of porting reduces noise while firing. Available threaded for practically all the most popular paintball guns, a J&J Ceramic barrel is a great addition to a new player’s paintball gun like a Valken Blackhawk, Tippmann 98 or a Spyder, as it will instantly improve accuracy, reduce noise and improve overall performance!

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Acculock Barrel Kit

Barrel Kits

Paintball players figured out pretty quickly after the invention of paintball in the 80’s that upgrading and improving barrels made things better on the field. Then science kicked in. Once paintball players got their heads around the idea that while paintballs were .68 caliber, they might be .684 or .688 or some other number in that neighborhood, they figured out ways to make their paintball barrel fit various paintballs or adapt as weather and warmth altered the size of paintballs they were using by creating the paintball barrel kit. These kits introduced paintball to multi-piece barrels like the GOG Freak barrel or Field 1 Acculock barrel kit.

Barrel kits are comprised of various components like fronts, backs and inserts designed to be combined to create a paintball gun barrel that can best fit, and shoot, any paintball in any condition. A player need simply break out their barrel kit and open a bag of paintballs they intend to shoot, insert a few paintballs one at a time into each barrel back until the ideal fit – not too tight but not too loose – is found. Once the ideal fit is determined, they simply assemble the barrel kit into a complete paintball gun barrel by threading the components together and install that on their paintball gun and commence shooting accurately and efficiently! Paintball Barrel kits are by far the most popular option for serious paintball players both in paintball scenario games and in paintball tournament competition, and while they may be somewhat more expensive than basic paintball gun barrels, the accuracy, versatility and performance improvements they offer are well-worth the investment!

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For players who have fallen in love with the game of paintball and are looking to get the most out of their paintball equipment, improve paintball accuracy and generally be a more successful player on the paintball field, a new paintball gun barrel is one of the best investments available!

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