(Scroll down for a bit on range)
Things to do for good accuracy...
Buy good paint
If your shooting crappy paint, your going to have crappy accuracy. Shoot some Evil then go shoot some white box Walmart rubbish, you'll see the difference, the Evil will most likely have no curve balls and be ball on ball accurate upto a reasonable range, whilst the crappy paint will fly off inaccurately because of it's dimples. Same thing goes for old paint, if you shoot 6 month old RPS Premium against a fresh batch of RPS Premium the older paint may have the occasional odd shot and it's dimples caused by sitting in one place for a long time will cause the air to affect it differently, causing drag and pulling it away from your target. If you want to shoot accurately, buy good paint. Another thing is that if you have infinite cash and really care about accuracy, look into the Tiberius First Strike Rounds, they are miles more accurate than standard paintballs and go alot further too.
Clean your gun, barrel and loader
If you've been using your loader to collect mud, you store your barrel by digging a hole in a field and burying it in the ground and you use your gun to clean your toilet then obviously your going to have useless accuracy. I'm sure at one point in paintball you'll of got a broken ball and you cant shoot straight till you clean your barrel, this is the same idea. All the dirt and muck from the surfaces touching the paint is going to be stuck to it in-flight, so it will change it's aerodynamics and drag pulling it away from the target. If you want to to shoot accurately, your barrel, breech, bolt face and loader need to be spotless.
Purchase a gun with a regulator
This is the smallest factor, it's not really something to worry about and it's only really noticeable whilst using C02 or shooting fast. If your using a Tippmann or BT or some other unregulated gun, in some cases your consistency over the chronograph could be +/- 20, whilst a gun with a good quality regulator could be +/- 3. Consistency isn't huge when talking about accuracy, but it will have a small effect since the decreased range on low velocity shots will mean it hits the target further down and wind affects it easier at lower speeds so it goes further to the side sometimes. If your gun is regulated, good for you, if not then there's no reason to go out and buy a regulator if your only concern is accuracy, since its only really going to make a difference with C02 and in the cold.
Thats it. If you want your gun to be accurate, follow that, nothing else.
"My rifled barrel is SSSOOO accurate!"
Wrong. Rifling is proven to have no effect what so ever on accuracy, if anything rifled barrels are worse since they don't seal to the paint properly so your gun will be less efficient.
"My Ion has awful accuracy, I'm sick of missing so I'm going to go buy a Luxe"
Wrong again. All guns shoot exactly the same when it comes to accuracy (Unless one is dirty or it is extremely cold causing one to be wildly inconsistent). You could argue kick factors into it, but if you put both guns in a vice and shoot them side by side it will be the same, thats accuracy. Sometimes a marker can look less or more accurate because of things like its length changing how you perceive the trajectory, or because people forget to clean their barrel after a break.
"I'm glad I bought a pump, closed bolt guns are alot more accurate."
As has already been said, all guns have the same accuracy. Are pumps exempt from this? No. In case you dont know what a closed bolt gun is, basically with an open bolt gun (DLX Luxe, GOG Extcy, Tippmann 98 etc) when you pull the trigger the bolt slides forward, pushes the paintball past the detents and air is released firing the paintball. On a closed bolt gun (Autococker's, Azodin Kaos Pump etc) if it is a semi or electro, the bolt is at rest in the forward position, when the trigger is pulled the ram is released abd air fires the ball, then the bolt goes back, a ball rlls into the breech, it moves back forward and the cycle is complete. If it is a pump, the user pumps the gun bringing the bolt back and allowing a paintball to roll into the breech, then pulling the trigger simply releases the air. The idea why they are more accurate is because the paintball is perfectly still when fired, so there will be less spin and thus greater accuracy. But this is not the case.
"Glad I got rid of my Ego, this DM is much more accurate since its a spoolie!"
Unfortunately not chum, spools and poppets are just as accurate as one another. As has been said, all guns have the same accuracy, valve type does not effect this in any way shape or form.
"I'm totally buying a CP reg for my Ion, this stock one is hurting my accuracy"
Not necessarily, unless your stock reg is completely terrible, a new reg won't make your marker more accurate. Simply maintaining your reg as required is good enough, the desired consistency for optimum accuracy is 15FPS+/- or less, reach that and you're golden.
"Since I stopped matching my paint to barrel bore sizes my accuracy is horrible."
Nope. Shooting .685 paint through a .685 barrel is doing you no favors, since fluctuations in paint sizes means you will constantly be going from overbore to underbore between shots. We know that underboring increases FPS since it makes a better air seal and overboring decreases FPS since air can escape around the ball, so some shots could be of a higher FPS than others (not by alot), which links to what I was saying before about FPS fluctuations changing length of shot and it's variation side to side because of wind. Generally speaking, what bore you shoot makes no noticeable difference what so ever for accuracy, so don't go buy a Ultralite just because it's 0.003 smaller than your CP barrel, because it will make near no difference at all that you can notice. But going for a huge underbore (bad enough to break more paint) will hurt your accuracy, its pretty difficult to do.
"This Freak kit is beastly! My stock barrel was all over the place, but now I have this it's amazing accuracy!"
The only way one barrel can be more accurate than another (assuming FPS consistency is equal) is if one is damaged. Theres nothing about barrels that can effect accuracy.
"I want the X bolt for my X because this stock one has useless accuracy"
All internal upgrades do nothing for accuracy, Venturi bolts, Alien sweep bolts etc. They are widely thought of as being more accurate, but its simply not true.
"Hah! Look at that fool using C02, glad I'm using this super accurate Propane powered C3!"
Propellants, spring, air, C02 or propane, do not effect accuracy. However, this is only true assuming you've got your setup done properly so its not inconsistent, C02 can be very inconsistent in the cold, if you ever get the chance on a very cold day, like minus temperatures, go out and shoot an unregulated gun using C02, the differences are ridiculous compared to if you were using HPA. So, shoot your gun over the chrono and do some maths, if its under 15FPS +/- good for you, if its slightly over its no big deal, but if your jumping 50FPS or more between shots your going to run into some accuracy issues. Still, dosen't matter what you use to shoot the ball, its not like HPA has magical properties that makes it more accurate, they're all the same assuming consistency is the same.
"I just fitted a 28" barrel on my Spyder, its unbelievably accurate!"
The only relation accuracy and barrel length have is how longer and shorter barrels can be more or less consistent. The optimum length for barrels is 14", one piece unstepped barrels are best at about 12". Remember this is not accuracy, this is efficiency, too long a barrel and you increase drag and decrease efficiency, too short a barrel and the gas doesn't have enough time to propel the paintball properly so you decrease efficiency. One thing mentioning is that players (specifically pump) sometimes like longer barrels because they're a tad easier to point, since you will have a better reference point in your head, it's difficult to explain but you'd understand if you used a 16" then a 6" barrel. Too long is stupid though, no one needs a 30" barrel, I'd consider anything above 16" to be ridiculous unless you play pump with a 18".
"Hah, a Brass barrel? Are you serious? My Carbon Fiber barrel is much more accurate."
False. The material your barrel is constructed from means nothing, could be Titanium, Brass, Carbon Fiber or Gold plated Diamond, it doesn't matter as far as accuracy as concerned.
"My scope makes my gun amazingly accurate"
Uhh, not sure how that works, but obviously it has no effect. If anything adding a scope under normal circumstances is going to make you less accurate, since you'll end up aiming on the dot and your shots will fall short. If your using good paint and have terrible hand to eye co-ordination or use First Strikes, a scope may make you more accurate, but not the marker itself.
"Glad I got a Freak kit, the added control bore over my CP barrel makes it shoot more accurately!"
Nope, a longer control bore is good yes, but does it effect accuracy? No. It has a positive effect on efficiency and consistency, which are important, but it cant really effect accuracy, the added consistency isn't that much better, and your previous barrel would have to be pretty horrible to make your gun inconsistent enough to hurt accuracy on its own, there would of had to be other factors like dirt or bad paint.
"I'm going to put lube in my barrel, thats sure to make it shoot straighter!"
Alright people probably don't say this, but if you feel like you've done everything right, i.e. have good paint, cleaned your gear and checked for extreme inconsistency, it could be your over lubing your gun. Its a mistake quite a lot of people make, they drown their bolt in lube, then when they go to shoot it they wonder why they cant hit anything. Putting too much lube on your bolt wont decrease the amount of maintenance you'll need to do in the future, all you're going to end up doing is blasting lube all over the inside of your barrel, so until you clean it out you wont be able to hit a barn door.
TLDR- Clean your gun and shoot good paint, there's pretty much nothing else you can do to affect accuracy, barrels and guns are all the same.
Things that will make you shoot far...
Own an Apex or Flatline barrel
Flatline and Apex barrels give you an extra 30-50ft of range on your shots, as-well as keep a flat trajectory. If you have the cash and need a little extra reach when playing Woodsball, pick up an Apex barrel. Both work by putting backspin on the ball so it generates lift, so it can go further, simple really.
Shoot Tiberius First Strike Rounds
These are paintballs that have been chopped in half, then given a little skirt type thing on the back. They are designed to minimize drag as much as possible, so they can travel much further than an ordinary paintball, upto 500ft.
Keep your velocity at 300fps
If your shooting at 250fps then your shots aren't going to go quite as far as if they did at 300fps. Its not a massive amount, but definitely considerable if you really want to shoot that far. Paintballs traveling at 250fps will go roughly 280 feet, where-as at 300fps they will go almost 310 feet, so definitely a noticeable amount.
Thats about it, if you want to shoot far, do that. Just don't shoot First Strikes through an Apex
"My rifled barrel shoots for miles!"
Unfortunately not my good friend. Rifled barrels are proven to do nothing for range, so avoid them. Simple physics, provided the two objects have the same drag acting on them, are at the same velocity, fired at the same height and angle will go the same distance.
"My Ultralite shoots so much further than your crappy Freak"
Well now your just being rude, and wrong. All barrels (other than the Apex and Flatline) shoot the same distance.
"Wow! Your SL91 shoots way further than my Spyder!"
Nope. All guns shoot the same distance, could be a Victory, could be a BT4, could be an Axe. They're all going to shoot the same distance, yes even the Alien guns with the Sweep Bolt. Two objects of equal weight, spin, drag and velocity must go the same distance, the way it gains its speed is irrelevant. The only way this cannot be true is if your using a different caliber paint, .50 compared to .68 for example, since it has less weight it wont go as far.
"I need to get my 22" Sniper barrel back, this 8" barrel just wont shoot far enough"
All barrels regardless of length, will shoot the same distance. So long as you adjust your velocity to 300fps after switching them out.
"Glad I bought a GOG G1 over a GOG Extcy, its obvious woodsball guns shoot further."
Not sure how this one came about but I've heard it a few times, maybe its got something to do with woodsball engagements being at longer ranges than typical speedball shootouts, I don't know. Either way, its not true, its not like the manufacturers trade off range in their speedball guns for a different advantage, because its not possible for a start, they all shoot just as far as each-other.
"I'm buying a .50 kit for my Etek 3, so I can shoot further."
Actually, its the exact opposite. Bigger caliber paint shoots further since it weighs more (assuming you're at the same FPS obviously), so .68 shoots furthest, then .50 and then .43. The differences are quite small though.
TLDR- Unless your using an Apex or Flatline barrel, or shooting First Strike rounds, the distance of your shots is going to be exactly the same as everyone else. All guns and barrels (other than the Flatline and Apex) shoot the same distance.
Have a question? Post it up, don't worry about how stupid it sounds, the Newbie forum is for helping people. Also thanks to the guys at Punkworks and other members of TechPB who conducted a whole bunch of tests to get this information, and everyone who posted in the thread with suggestions for additions to the OP
Edited by Cookybiscuit, 29 August 2012 - 08:50 PM.