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Do Barrels Wear Out?


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#1 David A.

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:00 AM

I have a Deadlywind Fibur Barrel and shoot the .679 Freak insert most of the time. While I have not kept track of the number of cases shot, I would guess about 20 cases through this insert. I have noticed the anodizing on the insert is showing some streaking and erosion.

I wonder if this compromised bore will effect performance?

I hear people that play with re-balls often use a different barrel, back or insert; since re-balls are re-used and the grit damages the barrel...

Has anyone done a test of barrel performance of new verses older barrels?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Do people replace barrels with worn bores?

If so, what is the life of an aluminum barrel?

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#2 ShadowZero

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:29 AM

It'd take quite some time before it's rendered unusable. Only thing that you're seeing is the anodizing being worn off. It's common on the barrel tip from the constant air coming from behind a paintball. It's just anno wear. That's all.

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#3 David A.

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:06 AM

It'd take quite some time before it's rendered unusable. Only thing that you're seeing is the anodizing being worn off. It's common on the barrel tip from the constant air coming from behind a paintball. It's just anno wear. That's all.

Thank you for your note, the wear I am concerned with is on the breach end of the barrel, not necessarily the tip, but only because I did not think wear on that end would have any effects on performance. I know there will need to be a lot of wear before the barrel is unusable, I am more interested at what point peak performance will be affected?

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#4 cockerpunk

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:04 PM

the air an balls arnt wearing the surface, its the grit and dust and sand that get fed through the gun that does that.
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#5 David A.

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:51 PM

the air an balls arnt wearing the surface, its the grit and dust and sand that get fed through the gun that does that.

Agreed, it is not the air or the gelatin, however the pearlescent colors in the paintball shells are Titanated Mica (titanium dioxide and mica) - so it may not be dirty paint. The metalic looking shells may be wearing away the inside of your barrel?

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#6 The Bacon Man

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:30 PM

I hear people that play with re-balls often use a different barrel, back or insert; since re-balls are re-used and the grit damages the barrel...


It's a couple of reasons.

Even when you rewash them every time you use them, dirt can still be stuck, since they are so soft.

The surface also has a lot of friction. Take a fresh paintball, the outside is smooth and has no friction, and if it's old, it may even be slippery. Now the re-ball. It is less shiny and has more friction. I find that after I use re-balls, the little bit that wore off in the barrel is a bitch to clean up. Soap + Hot Water + Scrub with swab.

#7 THE EXTREMIST

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:45 PM

My brothers tippmann model 98's (not a 98 custom) barrel is definitely worn out the anodizing is completely gone and the inside of the barrel is very ruff still works but I do think barrels do wear out.

#8 crich775

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 03:15 PM

What material is your freak insert? Aluminium, SS, or Brass?
Keep in mind, that even if your barrel wears off a small amount, your shooting a fancy water balloon, the barrels tolerances FAR exceed that of the item going through it, it won't make much of a difference if any at least for a LONG time.
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#9 Eskimo

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:16 AM

Now heres a question:

When your shooting balls aplenty down range, the air has small micro debris with it, (as cocker said) Sand, dust, small pieces of love ect ect.

So Does that act as a "Sand blaster" and do a very honed micro polish and actually make the sides of the barrel more smooth,

Or is it detrimental to the barrel causing micro divots and cracks and crap which make the surface of your barrel more "rough"

I have little knowledge on the tools used to make barrels (outside of a machine that puts a hole in a aluminum rod, then one that drills holes in it, then another machine that smooths it out... basically.) so if anyone with more knowledge on the subject shed some light I'd appreciate it.

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#10 rntlee

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

Now heres a question:

When your shooting balls aplenty down range, the air has small micro debris with it, (as cocker said) Sand, dust, small pieces of love ect ect.

So Does that act as a "Sand blaster" and do a very honed micro polish and actually make the sides of the barrel more smooth,

Or is it detrimental to the barrel causing micro divots and cracks and crap which make the surface of your barrel more "rough"

I have little knowledge on the tools used to make barrels (outside of a machine that puts a hole in a aluminum rod, then one that drills holes in it, then another machine that smooths it out... basically.) so if anyone with more knowledge on the subject shed some light I'd appreciate it.


Most barrels are anodized inside, so much of the original "polished" surface is degraded. They're really not terribly smooth to begin with. I took some pics of the inside surface of a couple of barrels-

at 100x:

Posted Image

Posted Image



And at 200x:

Posted Image

Posted Image




Looks like the moon, no? :)

#11 rntlee

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

To give some scale to the above pics, here's 1mm gradations on a ruler-

at 100x:
Posted Image


#12 andrewthewookie

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:21 PM

What barrels were those?

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#13 rntlee

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

One was a well known aftermarket brand, I won't say which. One was an APEX barrel (taking these pics requires destroying the barrel of course). I have others I could post up too, but they're all similar.
Anodizing the aluminum creates this finish. If you look down the bore, they all look quite shiny and smooth, but they're not actually.</div>

Edited by rntlee, 01 November 2012 - 06:08 PM.





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