No... I will always be able to stick the end cap of my marker on the tip of my nose and look down my barrel and shoot just as accurately (when I say accuracy I'm referring only to the human factor) if not more accurately than I could with any sort of site. I have done a lot of fooling around with this sort of thing and paintballs aren't precise enough to use a site.
It's good to see a differing viewpoint here. Thanks! Does this skill transfer from marker to marker or, person to person? Do you have any ideas of how we can prove this?
I've also thought about how a sight could affect approximation of paint spread, by providing a center point representing true aim (assuming the sight has been set up properly.) I don't think we could get hard evidence on its effect, but maybe a tester questionnaire could provide insight on whether or not that helps a players judgement.
It's at times like this that I wish I could find a bore laser sight in .68 cal. Yeah, it'd be totally irrelevant for paintball 99% of the time, but I think we could get some interesting uses out of it on something like this.
I think that if there were ever to be a true paintball scope, it should include both a center dot and a larger outer ring that would approximate the spread of paint. Of course, that's easier said than done, given that paint spreads seem to vary between brands (given recent test results) but I think even if one were to establish an average across all paint, and then use that, you would still see some encouraging results from being able to gauge the general accuracy and effectiveness of your fire. That is, if this is even remotely possible.
And DRG is right, I think we had a discussion a lot like this in the philosophy of spread thread.
My comments in green, btw.
Actually there are two challenges to aligning a site to the barrel (i.e. using a bore-sighter). Paintball Drop and, Paintball Spread.
In regards to drop, when the paintball is fired, it drops 10" in 20 yards. So, bore-sighting would only be helpful at a bit more than 10yards.
challenge of representing spread is that paintballs do not spread linearly, they spread exponentially, meaning they deviate more and more, the further they get from the shooter. The resulting plots, if viewed from the sky, would look like a bell, rather than a cone. This is shown in the ranged accuracy test data. Therefore one ring in a sight, would not work as it could only represent the spread at one distance. I've had ideas on how this could be represented but, we'd have to find an optical sight manufacturer to do it for us and, I've since lost interest due to FS rounds.
That being said, only in specifically tuned firearms and optics does one get a setup where the dot covers the spread of the projectiles 100% of the time (not accounting for wind). That's why they make dots of varying size. This doesn't make a dot useless if your spread is larger than your dot. You simply align it to the center of your groups. In paintball, this same concept can be applied- align the dot to the center of the group.
So here is one, obvious, problem. Ideally, you should perform two tests, the ability to hit a target, and shot spread. The first is easy, but the for the second... not so much. The problem lies in the fact that since someone that is shooting a paintball marker really doesn't have an absolute point of reference, they will tend to compensate for misses by walking their shots to the target naturally. While you might argue that this would, simply, show the strengths of a dot site verses an unaided shooter, it really doesn't measure the repeatability of the unaided setup. It would test the repeatability of a dot site, and the ability for an unaided shooter to walk their shots on to a target.
If you could figure out some way to disguise the shot hit locations from the shooters (maybe reballs and carbon paper?), that would go a long way in testing the repeatability of a given setup... and it would be something that I would very much so like to see.
To determine the repeatability of the shots, you can have the shooter shoot at multiple targets from the same distance.
I think the 'walking the shots to the target' would be a subsequent test. It can be more complicated than just walking the shots in to the target. For example, consider how many shots per second? The greater the span of time between shots, it may be more difficult for either setup to adjust and maintain their point of reference.
I didn't highlight any examples of single shot scenarios that I imagine that the ability to aim makes a difference:
Small Targets- like heads, feet, pod packs (usually just the profile) poking out of a bunker, when at distances shorter than 75ft. If your first shot misses, your opponent may pull those targets back behind the bunker.
Large targets- Catching folks from behind or the side (torsos and heads from distances greater than 75ft). If you fire a string at the first guy, there's a higher chance his buddies will hear you and react. By firing a single shot, you reduce the chance of a reaction.