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hunterseeker5

Discussions on barrel features, dynamics, theory, design, and brands

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A very frequent question on the forums:

 

I have X barrel and I want better performance aspect Y (accuracy, power, both, etc) which barrel do I buy? This guide is intended to be an overview of what is necessary to select your own barrels. Brands are always subject to change, so I'll strive to speak generally on universally applicable subjects before offering a few specifics at the end.

 

Bore Diameter:

The first subject to cover is bore diameter. Virtually all barrels come with a nominal bore, usually ranging from 6.01mm to 6.08mm. What do these mean? There have been a variety of myths circulating about these bore numbers. There are a few important things to get down first.

These numbers are NOMINAL ONLY. Multiple brands have been tested, and its been shown that they aren't always entirely truthful in their labelling. In some cases they're unable to hold precision down to the hundredth of a mm, so it may even vary down the length of the bore let alone be consistent between barrels of that same production run, in some cases there was a tooling failure, and in some cases its an identical product re-labeled because bore ID is used as a selling point because some users are lead to believe a particular bore will be higher performance. The OEM then is really, IN A PERFECT WORLD, interested in making a product which will yield the highest performance to the end user, so will build that and label it with whatever bore ID is in vogue at the moment. Its critical to note CALIPERS ARE NOT PRECISE ENOUGH TO ACCURATELY MEASURE YOUR BORE, NOR IS YOUR BARREL'S DIAMETER AT THE MUZZLE OR CHAMBER NECESSARILY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BARREL.

 

Lets get something obvious out of the way: smaller bores aren't Really Cool sensitive to dirt contamination as compared to larger bores which "don't need to be cleaned." The average particle of sand is significantly larger than .1mm, so just about any particulates can seriously jam your bore regardless of its diameter. Equally as important is accuracy, and your barrel will start producing absolutely atrocious accuracy LONG before you're in danger of a compression jam. Also most bbs are are about 5.95mm in diameter, often smaller, so the difference in gap between 6.01 and 6.08 isn't 1:8 its 6:13, a vastly less radical ratio. Why hypothetically anything tighter will be less forgiving, in reality your accuracy will have gone to pot long before you're risking a jam from plastic/dirt/bio build up so cleaning your barrel is necessary at the same intervals regardless of bore ID.

 

Another myth to dispel. Contrary to popular belief smaller diameter bores are NOT better in all aspects. A smaller diameter bore will, all else being equal, produce higher muzzle velocities and LOWER ACCURACY. Conversely larger diameter bores will produce slightly lower muzzle velocities and better accuracy. This seems counterintuitive, but its important to understand that airsoft is distinctly different than something like say a firearm. When the bb is traveling down the barrel, unlike a bullet, its not touching all sides of the barrel simultaneously. It is actually riding on the barrel ceiling (the inside top part) picking up spin as it goes. This has been demonstrated now by multiple independent experiments, although the mechanism for how is only speculated. The hypothesis as to why larger, to a point, is better has to do with what happens when there is an imperfection. If bbs were perfect and barrels were perfect, according to this hypothesis, there would be little if any observable difference. The difference occurs because bbs are not perfectly spherical, and barrels are not perfectly round and flat. As a result the bb bounces occasionally inside the bore. Every time a bounce is so severe it contacts another wall of the barrel, it induces off-axis spin on the bb. This happens unpredictably, thus reducing accuracy. Larger bores have slightly more tolerance of this, so produce higher accuracy, or so the hypothesis goes.

 

Unusual Barrel Designs:

These are frequently asked about so, while mostly irrelevant, are worth addressing if for no other reason than to sate curiosity.

 

The first up is the TK Twist. This barrel has more myth and hype surrounding it than just about anything else in airsoft. Interestingly, unlike other hyped things, these are relatively available and not terribly expensive either. At the time of writing this, the author can only say that the myths suggesting these only work at low velocities seem unfounded, and likewise myths suggesting impossibly good accuracy are also unfounded. Some users have reported issues, likely regarding in-barrel pressure, with accuracy leading to premature conclusions about velocity incompatibilities. These have been tested, and broadly dispelled, but the myths persist. The best advice pertaining to these the author can offer is to purchase one and try it if your curiosity is sufficient.

 

The LRB. LRB stands for Long Range Barrel, a term originating from classic airsoft guns in the pre-hop days. A variety of LRBs existed, including ones with a step cut into the chamber which “kicks” the bb to the ceiling, where it will then accrue spin, others used an arced bore and thus centrifugal force to drive the bb to the ceiling and apply backspin. Today this term is abused to include all manner of garbage including barrels bent in the middle over a user's knee and barrels with straight bores held at angles to the gun's outer barrel. While the former may technically throw the bb at the ceiling at some point its hardly the precise arc which allows the LRB to properly and accurately apply spin, and the latter is equivalent to pointing your gun downward slightly. The modern LRBs of efficacy broadly tend use a relatively precise flex, most often in an aluminum barrel as they're most tolerant of it, of the bore to create an even arc. Why the mythos surrounding accuracy in the LRB? In short because it works. The bb is held more firmly on the ceiling (reference the above blurb on barrel dynamics) preventing undesirable contacts and the induced off-axis spin.

 

There are other bore hypotheses regarding precision grooves cut into the full length of the barrel, or eccentric bore profiles outright, to produce a variety of effects. The author is currently investigating these concepts, but at this time can offer no conclusive insights on the subject.

 

Cleaning:

A topic oft overlooked, yet absolutely critical to barrel performance. A shockingly large number of people do not clean their barrels often enough, or ever, and others simply do so incorrectly. The following method is based on experimentation, including methods applied to help the barrel further resist contamination particularly when playing in dirty environments or using high residue ammo such as contaminant laden high mass ammo or biodegradable ammo.

 

--Apply a generous amount of a light silicone to a fresh cleaning patch. Assure the hop is turned all the way off for this. Swab the bore, assuring silicone is allowed to wipe the entire length. DO NOT USE A SPRAY SILICONE, the propellants and solvents contained herein are often powerful and are unsuitable for use around hop buckings. CRC branded products, even their “safe for plastic” versions, are particularly bad offenders. Why use silicone instead of water or a stronger solvent? Water, particularly containing ions, can be rather corrosive particularly to brass barrels. Its also a particularly poor solvent for the mix of silicones, plastics, rubbers, and whatever else is in your barrel. Stronger solvents will take those out better, but can also damage your hop rubber. And there is an additional benefit: silicone will remain in the pores/micro-imperfections/whatever in your barrel and bucking. These are the spots where dirt likes to start building up in the first place, and silicone will help your barrel resist this improving hop up consistency and bore cleanliness/performance. This was discovered inadvertently when searching for a reason why particular hops were being contaminated particularly badly by biodegradable bbs for some individuals, while others with identical ammo, hops, etc were not.

 

--Swab the barrel dry with multiple patches as needed to remove all silicone. Your barrel should ideally be clean and dry. (yes as mentioned above, some will remain in the micro-pores, just be sure the patch comes out clean and dry and you're fine)

 

--In some cases the patches come out dry, but are still dirty. This may require restarting the process, or moving to the solvent step.

 

--Reassemble, adjust hop, allow to bed in being sure to always end adjusting the hop on not off, and the process is complete.

 

--If residues are stubborn or large remove the chamber and bucking and use isopropanol, mineral spirits, or in severe cases acetone to strip the deposits. Repeat swabs with solvent until they come out clean, then swab dry. Be sure to use personal protection, assure your cleaning rod itself does not melt, and keep the barrel away from your bucking during this process. For a regular cleaning, skip this step. If this step is used, perform a regular cleaning afterward as outlined above.

Additionally it is worth noting that, should a bore anti-adhesion or anti-corrosion coating be applied it should be done so BEFORE silicone is applied to the bore in order to achieve maximum effect. That said such coatings should be regarded with a certain amount of skepticism, as any liquid or lubricating coating will likely have severe detrimental effects on accuracy.

 

Barrel Material:

There are three basic materials: brass, steel, and aluminum.

 

Brass – Often found on stock barrels, and a few fringe high end options, this is a surprisingly common material. This is likely due to its ductility, machinability, and ease of finishing. This allows barrels to, by a variety of technologies, be inexpensively formed and sold. At its best, brass can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best. The issues arise from low hardness and oxidation. The low hardness of these barrels means they scratch quickly and easily from both cleaning and shooting, they deform under impact quickly from high hardness rounds, and this combined with low flexibility means when stressed they tend to bend rather than flex and return. Oxidation is the other issue. Brass, exposed to the air, water, or worse a corrosive will quickly give up its high finish for a sticky, inconsistent, messy surface which reduces performance. The result is that the author tends to think of these barrels as somewhat short lived. They are relatively easy to lap or otherwise modify, giving them their benefits, but they are not the author's top choice for performance and longevity. This material's reputation is not enhanced by its application on low-end stock barrels.

 

Aluminum – A naturally rather sticky metal, these barrels are virtually always found coated. They're also, almost without exception, cheap. Their hardness is relatively low, but coatings (usually hard anodizing or teflon) sometimes compensate to some extent. These barrels are viewed by the author as being primarily a budget airsofter's best option if parts swapping is the goal, particularly hard anodized ones. Teflon tends to be rather short lived, but no coating lasts forever. When the coating fails in one of these barrels, its life is essentially over and it may be discarded. Its important to note though that these barrel's flexibility makes them often the preferred choice for warp LRBs where flexibility is critical.

 

Steel – Generally accepted to be the premium barrel option, the difficulty in machining and polishing makes many of these barrels have a much lower bore surface finish than is implied given the fancy polishes on the outside. Its also important to note that “budget” steel barrels tend to be worse performers than their aluminum counterparts, likely due to finishing difficulties and lack of flexibility in inexpensive steels improperly heat treated. Higher end steel barrels tend to be the author's preference for barrels.

 

The Importance of Crowning:

Seems like a small thing, and it is. Never the less a variety of clever crowns have been applied to great effect as of late. For those of you not aware, the concept behind the crown is to evenly dissipate the “muzzle blast” which surrounds the bb as it exits the barrel for a cleaner more consistent “release” into the wild. The traditional crown is just a V shape cut, usually on a lathe, into the muzzle end of the bore. A number of brands have deviated from this however. Most notable of these are a grooved type of crown which appeared on the market a few years ago, and an extended “crown” where a significant portion of the bore is really just ultra large diameter. The former used a series of grooves, about 1.5 inches in length, extending into the bore from the muzzle end. These allowed air to escape along these grooves ahead of the bb. The extended crown took this further by going a significant way down the barrel (~½ way?) with a bore too large to hold reasonable seal. The idea is that the bb would be fired, and after riding along the ceiling for a period, would be suspended in air touching nothing until exit. While the mechanism has not been tested, reports from users are highly positive although what fraction of this this is attributable to this design feature, another prominent design feature, and placebo still is open to debate. Tools also exist to modify the crown of a barrel to replicate this effect on a wide variety of other barrels, thus either demonstrating or refuting the concept, these tools, and resultant modifications, have largely been untested as well leaving this development wide open to speculation. Another feature in the same ilk is the barrel port. Depending on the design these suffer from a number of issues. Burs, and otherwise catching on/bouncing the bb is one, but more notably is how a surprising number of ported barrels provide no means of air evacuation once its exited the ports, necessitating the end of the barrel to be free floating in order to function. While the theory behind ports is sound, the application requires a fair bit of finesse, arguably EDM, and their relative obscurity makes this old somewhat “obvious” technology relatively unproven.

 

Ammo Selection:

This is perhaps an amusing anecdote for this thread. All this chatter about barrels requires at least a brief overview of the ammo required to pass though them. Hardness and composition are issues already addressed, the more important note here is diameter consistency, both between and within rounds, and average diameter actual. Many many users, sold by marketing on the merits of “tight bore barrels” purchase absurdly small diameter bores, to the point of 6.00mm barrels existing. They then proceed to try out ammos and, lacking a keen and penetrating scientific mind, unwittingly select a ~5.91mm ammo as opposed to many of the 5.98mm ammos out there. The irony of this is not lost on the author, or other techs “in the know” as the war on bore size leads to ever “tighter” bores, the war on ammo leads to ever smaller diameter ammos which ultimately hurt everyone involved due to the exponential relationship regarding surface area of a sphere to its volume. In layman's terms that means the correlation between the surface area and volume of a sphere is non-linear ergo larger projectiles will have the opportunity to perform better. This is especially true given the limitations of production technologies, as plastic casting +/-.02mm is a significantly larger percentage of a 3mm bb than it is of a 10mm one for example. The musing regarding whether or not airsoft will eventually become a nominal 5.5mm projectile will undoubtedly continue until this latest fad in bores is curtailed. In summary it should simply be noted that a barrel is only as good as the ammo which performs in it, ergo given the plethora of barrels and the limited selection of high quality ammo, it is logical to choose the barrel by the ammo not the ammo by the barrel if one were to seek optimal performance. Demonstrably the finest rounds ever marketed have been in 5.93mm, so users looking to partake in the absolute best should design and purchase accordingly.

 

Longevity:

This was touched on briefly, as it pertained to barrel materials, but is worth devoting a section to in and of itself. That is to say that barrels purchased should be done so with the player's career in mind. Depending on the ammunition fired, application, and intended life expectancy, users should select barrels accordingly. It would be, for example, a waste for a player to purchase an extremely high end cold hammer forged steel barrel if they intend to occasionally play a close range role for one maybe two seasons. Likewise it would be equally wasteful and silly for a committed long range support gunner who will process a million rounds a year or more (don't laugh, they exist even non-support gunners) to purchase an inexpensive short lived coated aluminum barrel which will provide sub-optimal performance when new and degrade from there. This highlights a “right part for the right job” philosophy, assuming finances are finite. Aluminum barrels are disposable, there are no two ways around it. All of them which have decent performance, that the author is aware of, require a coating to achieve such and are to be discarded when said coating wears though. It is a short term, low hardness ammo, solution to improve accuracy. Brass barrels perform well, but can degrade in performance during the off season as they slowly oxidize. Bore protection during the off season can reduce this, and lapping can refresh and/or dramatically improve used, scratched, oxidized barrels. It is critical to note at this junction that longitudinal lapping is dramatically different from spiral polishing, the two having distinct contradictory methods and often results the former sometimes being able to breathe life into otherwise useless stock barrels. Steel barrels, at least high end ones, possess higher hardness and often exceptional corrosion resistance. This allows these barrels to be, in many ways, the premier choice for long wearing high performance barrels. Lower end steel barrels are often little more than iron, minimal carbon, and whatever chromium is necessary to achieve stainlessness. Lacking an appropriate heat treat, they are easily bent and do not flex back. These barrels are considered by the author to be the lowest form of barrel available, worse even than raw aluminum, as they do not even have specialty applications such as LRBs.

 

It must be noted however that the surface finish on the outside of barrels, and this is not relegated to steel barrels, often conceals a shockingly low finish bore. Particularly of note are the First Factory barrels, which appear mirror chromed on the outside, but which appear at best “bead blast” finished in the bore. Amazingly they still perform well, although improvement of this finish will in most cases improve performance further. Barring abnormal performance effects, and all else being equal, higher finish bores tend to perform better.

 

Length Myths:

Too often has the author heard statements about purchasing some absurdly long barrel “for accuracy.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Volume balancing, which to anyone who has bothered to calculate such obviously does not mean equal volumes, is clearly critical to performance but that aside anecdotal evidence suggests a barrel of approximately 450mm will produce optimum accuracy. Returning to bore dynamics theory, ideally a bb will accelerate, stabilize, then immediately exit the barrel. These barrels are shorter the higher the power expected given a fixed volume. Any additional time past stabilization spent in the bore will only decrease accuracy, as detrimental contacts with the bore wall will reduce accuracy. The only reasonable application for extremely long barrels is in non-fixed volume systems. These systems, while relatively low pressure (~200psi max), are able to continue dumping gas and thus accelerating the projectile as long as there is barrel. Accuracy is still reduced, but to these users presumably power trumps ultimate control.

 

Brand Musings:

It is critical to note, before launching this section, that brands are constantly changing so the information contained herein may be out of date at the time of posting, let alone any time after. These notes are based on the author's experience, experimentation, and research. They are not necessarily accurate.

 

Angel/Matrix:

In short if these barrels are an upgrade to something, the author is unaware of what that would be. These are Evike house brand barrels. They do not necessarily represent any single brand, so are difficult to pin down specifically regarding performance. The author has tested multiple, and found several features common among them:

-extreme low quality in regards to bore diameter consistency, finish, finish consistency, barrel straightness, barrel hardness, barrel flexibility (likely leading to low straightness given non-existent padding/packaging from the retailer)

-twin hop retention slots. This is done so, presumably, the barrel is compatible with both standard AEG and M14 style hop units.

-Incorrect hop retention slot placement. Why this is an issue, the author can only speculate. Some of the barrels apparently had hop retention slots, which interface with the C-clip on hops, placed such that they could not be properly seated and retained. The only solution was for the user to re-cut the slots, or tolerate an un-retained barrel. Why a company would chose to deviate from established specifications is unfathomable, so incompetence combined with an absence of quality control is the most likely cause.

 

DBC DeeBee Customs):

A boutique barrel manufacturer, this brand pushed heavily for 6.01mm barrels. The results were not highly pleasing to the author. This may be due to limited sample size, or something else. The author simply does not see the price/performance ratio with this brand.

 

EDGI:

RUMORS EXIST THAT THIS BRAND HAS BEEN SOLD TO A CHINESE COMPANY. If this is true, statements and experiences regarding quality stated below are likely, at best, untrue. Until it is established what this new OEM's performance is like, it is advised by the author that this brand be avoided. For amusement, the experiences on this brand will be left here for posterity:

A fringe high end barrel manufacturer, these brass barrels have the advantages of being good quality, available with a variety of custom enhancements, and can be built to order. This allows a level of customization not available with other brands. Regrettably the author finds the window shape annoying, and they are limited in that they are brass. Still if an unusual configuration is desired, they are one of the few options and their quality is undeniable.

 

JBU:

A teflon coated aluminum barrel, these have not been a serious option since Madbull entered the scene. Prior to that they were a short lived thrill, being a competitor with SystemA for the entry level “upgrade” barrel market.

 

Lonex:

A coated mild steel barrel, these are neither a wonderful nor horrible option. They may be a superior choice if a budget barrel is preferred to shoot high hardness ammo. Otherwise their advantage over other budget barrels may be questionable.

 

Madbull:

A separate article tested both Madbull's 6.03 and 6.01 barrels and found the difference was merely nominal. The author's experience is that, while price is broadly good, the consistency is low. Window sizes vary greatly, as does bore quality. In some cases bores are excellent, in others it appears as if the hob were damaged and so a deeply ridged barrel was produced. This is generally considered to be the premiere budget barrel option, and certainly on average it offers good price/performance ratio. Of course users who purchase just one, and were unlucky enough to receive a trash barrel, likely will not feel this way even though on average users fare well given the price.

 

Modify:

Broadly this company's products are built around the lowest possible quality necessary to hock product. Their barrels appear to be no exception. While certainly not the worst, issues have arisen regarding the performance of their purpose-built bucking for this barrel, and bucking compatibility in general. This barrel, and brand for that matter, are not recommended by the author. Likewise Modify products in general are not recommended due to poor quality and poor performance. It is also important to note that Modify has also engaged in a number of unethical business practices, so are generally frowned upon by the airsoft community.

 

Orga:

These brass barrels have become extremely popular as of late. They have three main features which are precision construction, an extremely long and shallow crown running down the bore, and a feature which allows the so called “flat hop” to be applied with zero modification to the hop bucking. As stated previously reports from users are highly positive although what fraction of this this is attributable tothe extended crown, the flat hop feature, and placebo due to the high price still is open to debate.

 

PDI:

Cold hammer forged steel allows these barrels to have excellent characteristics. Bore surface finish isn't amazing, but is still good. The packaging also tends to allow barrels to arrive rather straight. The premium price is unsurprising given the packaging and manufacturing technology, but when performance is contrasted against lesser barrels the cost/benefit ratio struggles to justify these barrels. Additionally the windows are incompatible with most if not all of the modern cutting edge hop systems. It is worth noting that PDI is one of very few companies to research actual barrel dynamics, and advise their customers accordingly. While many brands are selling 6.01mm barrels as the premiere source of performance, PDI has for years now been correctly stating that 6.01 barrels are for maximum efficiency (power) and their 6.05s are the best option (from their lineup) for accuracy.

Their “raven” budget priced barrels have suffered from a number of quality controlled failures, and broadly should not be associated with the brand.

 

Prometheus:

A favorite of many, this is about as cheaply as quality steel barrels can be acquired. The mirror finish surface conceals a shockingly low finish bore. Windows are at least a decent length and consistent depth although not always deburred to the level the author would prefer. Its important to note that quite a few counterfeits of this barrel have entered the market, so if a price seems to good to be true it is. Genuine barrels have a true orange (not yellow-ish) flame on the front, and multiple bar-codes one the back all but one redacted by hand with a black marker. Prometheus' budget barrel line, called ASH, is some sort of hard coat brass. Unlike most coated brass barrels, the coating actually runs the full length of the bore. (many hard-chromed barrels only have chrome on the ends and on the outside, likely because proper circulation of the electrolyte did not occur) The composition of the coating, and its means of application, are unknown. Performance is good, although it should be noted that the price for a “disposable” brass barrel is rather high.

 

Stock Brass Barrels:

These are worth noting as, almost without exception, they come performing poorly. Many can be vastly improved with a good thorough cleaning as they come loaded with grease and worse. Still others are of good enough quality that a variety of after market modifications can put them on par or better than higher end upgrade barrels. The key here is recognizing the inconsistency which lies herein. Some will be good, others not so much. If you have one which performs well keep and/or improve it. If you have one which is beyond help, it can be experimented on or discarded.

 

SystemA:

Not a particularly relevant name in upgrades these days, these brass barrels are tolerable at best. They are not a leading choice in budget barrels, and certainly not competitors for high end barrels.

 

 

Please note brands may be added/modified at any time and without notice.

Edited by hunterseeker5

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A note to mods:

If you'd like a proper word doc of this to review, edit, distribute, etc please shoot me an email and I'll happily send over a copy.

 

*edit*

If the mods could please alter the title of this thread I would greatly appreciate it. Updated title:

"Discussions on barrel features, dynamics, theory, design, and brands."

 

*edit2*

Anyone who says TL;DR should get punched in the face/banned. This is an open policy I have as applied to ALL uses of TL;DR.

Edited by hunterseeker5

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QUOTE (hunterseeker5 Apr 3 2013, 08:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ammo Selection:
*snip*
In summary it should simply be noted that a barrel is only as good as the ammo which performs in it, ergo given the plethora of barrels and the limited selection of high quality ammo, it is logical to choose the barrel by the ammo not the ammo by the barrel if one were to seek optimal performance. Demonstrably the finest rounds ever marketed have been in 5.93mm, so users looking to partake in the absolute best should design and purchase accordingly.

Did you mean 5.953mm, as in 15/64" ceramic rounds? While talking about BBs is a little off topic from barrels, would you agree that SGMs and BBBMAXs have been and are held in high regard (despite their relatively limited availability and usage now)? And if so, what are your thoughts about whether performance (with regard to BBs in a barrel of any given diameter) is related more to their nominal diameters or to the consistency of the BBs (and disregarding weight as much as possible)? Those three BBs types come from fairly different ranges in the diameter spectrum, with SGMs being marketed as 5.97mm (the largest average diameter I've personally measured in any BBs), ceramic rounds being 5.953mm (right around the "middle" but slightly larger than "average"), and Biovals averaging close to 5.90mm (some of the smallest on average).


QUOTE (hunterseeker5 Apr 3 2013, 08:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Prometheus:
*snip*
Its important to note that quite a few counterfeits of this barrel have entered the market, so if a price seems to good to be true it is. Genuine barrels have a true orange (not yellow-ish) flame on the front, and multiple bar-codes one the back all but one redacted by hand with a black marker.

Also, regarding the counterfeit Prometheus barrels, I'd say the packing on the genuine barrels is more more on the yellow side of orange, and the counterfeit packaging is on the red side of orange. But, just to put reference the particular thread that may help with identification, Counterfeit Prometheus Barrels has some pictures.

Edited by airborne101

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Personally I use rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) to clean barrels as they're strong enough to get the gunk out but not adversely affect hop rubbers. If you use silicone oil and leave small amounts in the micro pores, they'll just attract more dirt. Also worth mentioning chromed barrels as they're much, much easier to maintain. On the side, you seem to have missed ORGA barrels altogether.

Edited by renegadecow

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Obviously there is a butter zone somewhere in there for the tolerance between a bb and the barrel. Consistency in the round and barrel are larger factors of course, but the irony was not lost on me when Biovals burst onto the scene right around the time 6.01s and 6.00s were going nuts. The people using them clearly didn't realize they were just buying tighter barrels and smaller diameter ammo. Why not then go in the opposite direction and run a 6.10mm barrel and 6.01mm ammo? :P

 

 

 

Personally I use rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) to clean barrels as they're strong enough to get the gunk out but not adversely affect hop rubbers. If you use silicone oil and leave small amounts in the micro pores, they'll just attract more dirt. Also worth mentioning chromed barrels as they're much, much easier to maintain. On the side, you seem to have missed ORGA barrels altogether.

 

Testing of mine, and a number of players I associate with, have found that the reverse effect happens and in fact silicone for cleaning directly reduces particularly bio bb buildup on the rubber and in the bore. Of course other treatments are being experimented with to further enhance this effect. Hops varied greatly. Test barrels ranged form stock brass to Prometheus. Ammo was predominantly Bioshot if I recall correctly. Silicone actually has an unusual property among oils in that it tends to repel dirt, at least to a greater extent than petroleum based lubricants. This, for example, is why high end bicycle chain lubricants are usually silicone based. This may have something to do with the fact that it is clearly not hydrophilic, and yet will not blend readily with most hydrophobic things. This, of course, is just conjecture. The mechanism for a bb's deposition of plastic/bio residue is not well understood. The fact that filling the micro-pores helps suggests its not merely a sprinkling/cling sort of scenario where the contaminant would have otherwise been able to simply fall away. Its remarkably stubborn adhesion to the bore wall, suggests its being wiped on potentially at elevated temperatures due to friction and forming some partial bond with the wall. The mechanism of course, as stated previously, is just conjecture.

 

The Orga barrel had been covered in the crown section, but just for you I put in a section specifically for it.

 

 

 

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You do realize that there are lots of different types of coatings for aluminum, right? Type 1 anodizing is relatively soft and easily scratched, but Type III (the stuff they use on real AR receivers) is incredibly hard and will not be worn through by plastic BBs.

 

Are you saying that there are no airsoft barrels that use Type II or III anodizing, or some of the newer surface treatments like Nickel Boron (the current "taticool" favorite for AR barrels)?

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Because of Mr. Renegadecow's insistence, and apparent discounting of previous data, I decided to run a test on a piece of sheet steel I had kicking around the finish if which is about comparable to a First Factory bore. The video of the full test will be released later, but I thought I'd get this image up ASAP to make sure nobody is mislead about anything.

 

Below you can see silicone on the left, denatured alcohol on the right. (yes it absolutely is that stark) Full methods will be discussed in the forthcoming video.

 

60602_4999617982281_223469436_n.jpg

 

You do realize that there are lots of different types of coatings for aluminum, right? Type 1 anodizing is relatively soft and easily scratched, but Type III (the stuff they use on real AR receivers) is incredibly hard and will not be worn through by plastic BBs.

 

Are you saying that there are no airsoft barrels that use Type II or III anodizing, or some of the newer surface treatments like Nickel Boron (the current "taticool" favorite for AR barrels)?

 

 

 

Hard anodizing? Never. I'm shocked. :a-shocked:

 

The stuff used on MB barrels is actually pretty hard and pretty lubricious, and surprisingly thick.

 

Unfortunately you missed a couple key points. First is that BBs aren't plastic, at least most aren't. The density of styrene means that basically everything other than .12s and .2s aren't straight plastic they contain a variety of additives some of which are metallic in nature or otherwise abrasive. Additionally the dirty nature of the environments in which we play means silica particles will also end up in your bore abrading it. Aluminium is also quite soft beneath the hard coat ano, so high hardness rounds will also damage it despite the high surface hardness. For the record I do believe the madbull barrel treatment is NOT type 1 ano, although madbull does not specify. Its worth nothing though that even they are aware of the fact that their bores scratch. Nothing is forever. ;)

 

http://madbull.com/catalog/index.php?main_...;products_id=33

 

You are correct though, ano such as Madbulls, particularly when used with softer and more "normal" rounds have a relatively long life expectancy. The teflon coated bores of barrels like JBU less so.

 

I'm unaware of any airsoft barrels currently using nickel boron coating.

Edited by hunterseeker5

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...

--Reassemble, adjust hop, allow to bed in being sure to always end adjusting the hop on not off, and the process is complete.

...

 

Great article-- Thanks! What is the theory on the hop setting? Are you saying it should be all the way on? Or at normal shooting setting?

 

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In your hop up there is a certain amount of slack, and friction which will hold that slack. If your last adjustment is off, in lets say an M4 hop, your cam will be partially disengaged from the arm but the arm itself may not have moved and there WILL be slack in the gear train because you last moved it in the opposite direction from which it normally applies force. As a result firing will, over time, drive it upward, eventually shifting the gears too, to its final position. If however your last adjustment is "on," as opposed to "off," all this slack will have been taken up and your hop will bed and find its stable setting more quickly if not essentially immediately.

Edited by hunterseeker5

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Sorry, I was being a bit facetious. ;) I have AR receivers with thousands of rounds through them that have no noticeable surface wear. Assuming a barrel manufacturer actually uses Type III anodizing, I would imagine it could stand up to hundreds of thousands of rounds before exhibiting enough wear to affect performance. Considering how airsoft tends to take its cues from the "real steel" world, I wonder how long before we have NiB treated barrels?

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Sorry, I was being a bit facetious. ;) I have AR receivers with thousands of rounds through them that have no noticeable surface wear. Assuming a barrel manufacturer actually uses Type III anodizing, I would imagine it could stand up to hundreds of thousands of rounds before exhibiting enough wear to affect performance. Considering how airsoft tends to take its cues from the "real steel" world, I wonder how long before we have NiB treated barrels?

 

 

And some of them may well. It depends on how abrasive the environment you're subjecting it to is. If you open up a normal barrel, you'll be surprised by the number and depth of the scratches on the barrel ceiling.

 

That said airsoft guns have life expectancies into the millions of rounds. Nobody has accurately measured, at least that I am aware of, the actual life expectancy of various airsoft barrels. We're left then to extrapolate from user accounts. Barrels which have major life expectancy problems, like teflon ones, show up pretty quickly. Things like madbulls? Some people damage them, few "wear" them out because most airsofters (particularly us chairsofters) don't ACTUALLY play that much. So we hypothesize.

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In your hop up there is a certain amount of slack, and friction which will hold that slack. If your last adjustment is off, in lets say an M4 hop, your cam will be partially disengaged from the arm but the arm itself may not have moved and there WILL be slack in the gear train because you last moved it in the opposite direction from which it normally applies force. As a result firing will, over time, drive it upward, eventually shifting the gears too, to its final position. If however your last adjustment is "on," as opposed to "off," all this slack will have been taken up and your hop will bed and find its stable setting more quickly if not essentially immediately.

Got it-- that makes sense. For storage purposes, do you recommend dialing the hop into the "off" position?

 

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Doesn't matter really IME, but all my guns run R-hop variants which take stress off the bucking and don't degrade over time like some hop rubbers so..... I guess in all the years before I was playing around with these hop mods if I were running my variant of a "flat hop" (pre-dated the name "flat hop" and was slightly different in design and application) I'd sometimes turn it off if I were going to store a gun for a long period. Probably not though. Usually if your hop bucking is going to degrade and die, the first thing that happens is the surface goes to :pain: and gets all hard so it won't spin the bbs right anyway long before the bucking itself will tear. Thats just my experience though. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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Doesn't matter really IME, but all my guns run R-hop variants which take stress off the bucking and don't degrade over time like some hop rubbers so..... I guess in all the years before I was playing around with these hop mods if I were running my variant of a "flat hop" (pre-dated the name "flat hop" and was slightly different in design and application) I'd sometimes turn it off if I were going to store a gun for a long period. Probably not though. Usually if your hop bucking is going to degrade and die, the first thing that happens is the surface goes to :pain: and gets all hard so it won't spin the bbs right anyway long before the bucking itself will tear. Thats just my experience though. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

 

Man, has anyone ever told that you're a forkin' genius? I mean... I'm learning about manufacturing processes and materials used and all that good stuff in a dual credit course, and I haven't gone to the extent you are...

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Lonex is a coated steel, not necessarily stainless, barrel which has a window I'm not exactly in love with hence my lack of experimentation with them.

 

Action I know literally nothing about. Maybe its a rebrand of something we know, maybe not. They're certainly cheap enough that it'd seem likely they're using the cheapie ACM OEMs and just putting a shine on that. Nothing wrong with that at such a low price point, assuming its inside and out, but its possible if not likely they just polish the outsides and sell them as golden. Its all too common a game in the barrel world to put a high finish on the outside and just let your customers assume the beauty is more than skin deep. It certainly looks like the bore, and even the window, are all oxidized and shitted up in the stock photo:

action_pt_inn230_m.jpg

 

Maple Leaf is the new name of A+ studios (the same guys as were behind REAPS) and I'm not aware of them making a decent product yet. After all they screwed the pooch so badly with their REAPS products they had to change their name to try and ditch the bad reputation. I can't definitively call their barrels bad, as I've not used them yet, but they seem to have priced themselves out of the cheap barrel market for sure. Its possible its a product that'll compete with the big boys, but I'm guessing they won't even meet low end levels of performance. Just look at the absolute :pain: bore finish IN THE STOCK PHOTOS NO LESS:

mltw_ib_290_m.jpg

Edited by hunterseeker5

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I know this is an old thread, but after I read it I was left pondering a few things. First of all, thankyou OP (hunterseeker5) for posting this, there is a great amount of info for anyone looking into this type of aftermarket upgrade; I learned more than a few things myself, thanks!

 

Second of all, after reading through this I concluded that ALL aftermarket tightbore barrels are BAD and so is the stock barrel; which CANNOT possibly be the case right?! I dunno maybe I missed something, but I only read negative things about each barrel brand. Is there a "BEST" stainless steel barrel ("best" aluminum, "best" brass, "best" coated) or are all of them garbage and stock/inner barrel polishing the way to go?

 

Another thing to remember too (which was ALREADY noted on here) is that yes, while the BBs are not "perfect" and the barrels are not always "perfect"; hypothetically, to get one of these into the ballpark of "perfect" would help reduce the variables of inaccuracy and should improve overall accuracy despite not having a "perfect" version of one or the other.

 

Also, on the topic of bore size and accuracy (based on number of times that BB bounces on the inner walls of the barrel); stated in the original post : Does the larger bore have better accuracy because the FPS is greater in a larger bore than the FPS in a tightbore, so the BB bounces on the inner walls less?

 

Just trying to learn, I really do appreciate and recognize the time it took for OP to post this, just wanted to confirm a few things.

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Buy prometheus. #lifeproblemsolved

 

Ugh. No.

 

Buy prometheus if you have to spend twice as much to have something 1% better. Otherwise, go with the madbull V2s. The only reasons to buy an aftermarket tightbore is A. you want the extra FPS, or B, you want/need a different length, IE for a DMR hurling heavy ammo. The majority of performance comes from your hop up. I had a madbull 407mm in performing as good as a 430mm prometheus. Both AEG barrels and the prometheus was in my bar-10, which has 60 fps on the AEG.

 

As far as the authors comments on the madbulls, he is not the end all and be all of everything airsoft. Ive purchased 3 madbull V2 barrels, all different lengths over a period of 3 or 4 years, so while a small sample, its fair to say this is a very random sampling of barrels, and they all have a great finish on the inside, and all hop up windows are identical.

 

Also...hashtags are :censored2: gay.

Edited by mad scientist

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I really hope you notice I was joking right?

 

Madbull are good but because of the material, in the later years they start falling. Prommy doesn't.

 

... .... ... Extra FPS does NOT come from barrel... Oh my god.

YOU DO not need a longer barrel to hurl heavier ammo -.-

I hope you notice barrel is for the diameter which a stock one is 6.08 and most tbb people get is a 6.03 which gives them better grouping...

 

Your point between a AEG barrel vs a prommy barrel in your sniper makes no sense. You are comparing a (PDI since that's the only chamber that uses aeg barrels in a bar-10) vs an aeg hop up...

 

 

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I really hope you notice I was joking right?

 

Madbull are good but because of the material, in the later years they start falling. Prommy doesn't.

 

... .... ... Extra FPS does NOT come from barrel... Oh my god.

YOU DO not need a longer barrel to hurl heavier ammo -.-

I hope you notice barrel is for the diameter which a stock one is 6.08 and most tbb people get is a 6.03 which gives them better grouping...

 

Your point between a AEG barrel vs a prommy barrel in your sniper makes no sense. You are comparing a (PDI since that's the only chamber that uses aeg barrels in a bar-10) vs an aeg hop up...

 

Making sense to you != to making sense. Im sorry if you cant comprehend the comparison. Unless your trying to argue AEG hop-ups are more accurate than a BASR with TDC mod...then I feel bad for you. Never the less, they were both flat hopped, so incredibly similar spin characteristics anyway. BTW, its a laylax chamber from nearly 10 years ago when the only TBB for the VSR10 was the 430mm laylax (prometheus) aeg barrel, just to give you an idea how long ive been tinkering with airsoft guns.

 

Extra FPS does come from a longer barrel, Newbie. AEGs are not designed with heavy rounds in mind. Use a full cylinder with a 250mm barrel shooting heavy ammo, then put in a longer barrel. Chrono. You will have more muzzle energy. Cant believe people post dribble like this.

 

One more point, plenty of people will argue bore has little to do with groupings.

 

Lastly, unless you have pictures or first hand experience with madbull barrels "falling", stop posting worthless conjecture. And yeah, highly doubt you were joking since the few guns I browsed in your FS thread have prommy barrels, but I digress.

Edited by mad scientist

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Cleantune, I think what HS5 was getting at, is that there is no "perfect" barrel. I know part of the reason he created this thread was because he (and many other users) are getting tired of the "I want the best barrel, best blah blah blah" posts. It is entirely dependent on YOUR individual system, and what you want out of your gun, as well as what you are willing to spend.

 

I have 2 guns with Madbull barrels. Neither are my primary. I decided to go a little bit cheaper on those because I wont use the guns as much. I don't need them to be pin point accurate, nor do I need them to last millions of rounds. I decided to save a few bucks at the cost of performance (slightly) and personally, I am ok with that in these back up guns.

 

However my primary (and soon my DMR) have Prometheus barrels in them. Why? Because I am willing to spend a little bit more for them because they wont wear down like the finish on the Madbull. They are also a little bit better, and in these cases I do want these guns to be pin point accurate. I can also lap these barrels to further improve them, whereas I can not do that with Madbull. In this case, I chose performance and product life, and the sacrifice of my wallet. And in this case, I am ok with that.

 

FPS in a large bore is less than that of a tightbore. Reason being that in a large bore, more air can escape around the bb. Larger bores tend to offer a bit better accuracy because they allow more air to escape around the bb. This creates a "cushion" that helps keep the bb from bouncing off the barrel. However, I am sure there are some diminishing returns. Going too large of a bore will allow too much air to escape and not enough to power the bb. Similarly, going to small will decrease the air cushion and allow more contact with the barrel. The general consensus is that a 0.08mm gap between the bb and barrel is fairly optimal. Hence why you will notice as barrels get tighter, so do the bbs. I believe some of the orginal bbs produced were 6.00mm. Then they decreased to 5.98, 5.95, and even 5.92. Do the math between the barrels too. 6.05, 6.03, and 6.01, and you will notice that the differences between the two is close to 0.08mm in each case.

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There is another point here I think somehow got lost in the fray, which is consistency between barrels. Lets make an analogy first. You can buy a cheapie 20$ SHS gear set, or a 100$ SC gear set. There will be three critical differences between them: consistency, performance, and longevity. You'll find plenty of people who run SHS gears, and they they work "just fine" for them. Failing to discern the difference between two things, or finding two things to perform equally within a narrow band of constraints or with an extremely small sample size of say three or four, doesn't make things equal. That doesn't necessarily mean that the item is the wrong choice for a particular individual, but again there are still critical differences. Going back from the broad to the specific, of madbull vs. prometheus, at their hypothetical best and when brand new, from the perspective of the bore itself Madbull should actually be hypothetically superior. Why? Because hard coat ano is both harder and slicker than steel. Why then am I not a madbull fan? (I do recommend them from time to time actually, so keep that in the back of your head) This gets into consistency, performance, and longevity. First off is consistency. I don't mean the consistency of a single bore, I mean the consistency between one barrel and another across the brand, or in other words if you invest 35$ in a madbull whats the probability you'll have an unfavorable outcome? Brace yourself, its about to get technical. Madbulls are extruded aluminum tubing thats then hobbed and hard anodized. They're also, for what its worth, somehow gripped other otherwise undergo some interesting process in the center of the outside. (notice how each one has two bumps one in the middle of the bull's :censored2: and the other on the opposite side of the bull. I don't honestly know what causes that, but presumably its how they grip the barrel for the anodizing process) Anyway back to the bore. Hobbing (which you can look up in your own time) is a tolerable process for forming a barrel bore. Not as good as cold hammer forging for example, but at its best its livable. Why then bring it up? Quality control. I've now seen several madbulls where there was either a failure of chip extraction or the hobb was damaged or otherwise improperly calibrated and the result is a ribbed bore. So while some people may get lucky, or otherwise be unable to tell the difference, others end up unlucky. Similar can be said for other consistency factors. Madbull in part gets away with it because they have such a slick coating. So for comparison, what does the inside of a prometheus barrel look like? I wish it were perfect, but its not. Its surprisingly, especially given its performance, its actually quite pitted. Its difficult to describe (you can go surf up pictures I've posted of it) but I'd almost liken it to a sandblasted finish. So whats the likelihood of a bad prometheus? Very very low. The only issues can even be associated with damage in transit, namely being less than optimally straight. Thats not to say there aren't ones which could potentially have other issues, but in the hundreds I've worked with none had such an issue. Its a good bet then that, given sample size, your chances of getting a bad one are extremely low. So this gets into performance. Its true that, the average madbull, isn't worlds behind a Prometheus. Thats why users looking for a cheap upgrade barrel are often recommended madbull. Of course the closer to "optimal" performance you come, cost increases exponentially. Machining aluminum is significantly easier than machining high chromium steel, so why its a subject of shock or outrage that anyone would prefer Prometheus which is (usually) less than 2x the cost..... wait a minute. I just went to surf up prices at ASGI for this comparison. WHAT IS GOING ON? Almost 45$ for a freaking aluminum madbull barrel whereas a Promy goes for 60-65$?

http://www.airsoftgi.com/product_info.php?products_id=6603

http://www.airsoftgi.com/product_info.php?products_id=6073

Well that sort of puts a bit of a crimp in the whole "buy madbull its cheaper and almost as good" argument, since for ~20$ you can have a promy..... I guess I'll wrap this up quickly then.

Longevity. Some users don't play that much, don't get dirt in their gorgeous guns, have never seen a madbull's coating flake off, etc. If you don't get to that point its fine, but for those relatively new to the game *cough* a few of us remember the days of teflon bores in aluminum barrels. Same debate was had then as well, but the results were on a shorter time scale because the teflon wore out much more quickly than Madbull's hard ano. The difference in surface lubricity between sticky aluminum and slick ano/teflon WILL be seen as severely degraded performance. Given that the life expectancy of a quality airsoft gun is measured in millions of rounds, a quality barrel makes sense. If you're just playing the disposable game though, buy a KWA and run it for a season or two, then it doesn't..... or at least when MBs were significantly cheaper it didn't. Those who want the extra performance can get it from Promy, those who don't...... have to find another cheap barrel option. Seriously since when are people paying that kind of $$$ for MBs? I'd be :censored2: miffed if I'd paid 45$ for a freaking ribbed aluminum barrel. Back when they were 30 or less it was one thing but.....

 

As an only marginally relevant addendum, some of us shoot from time to time high hardness ammo. Some of these items are over 60 on the Rockwell C scale, others can not be represented on the rockwell scale, and so are measured on the Mohs scale. (among others, this isn't an invitation to debate the merits of impressors as a metric of highly brittle substrates such as ceramics) The point, simply, is that for users shooting rounds like this, through hardness as opposed to surface hardness is highly relevant, and will more accurately forecast barrel life in such applications. Its also worth noting here that this is part of why PDIs are so expensive. Many people have argued, and I'm one of them, that its difficult to see the value of PDIs over Prometheus despite being better, longer lived, and coming in vastly superior packaging. (grain structure alignment and better alloys and packaging in a machined aluminum case buffered at both ends resulting in harder and on average straighter barrels) Is the extra small % worth it? You can easily see my triage. To me, the performance jump from MB to Promy is worth it for most of my guns. (LRBs excluded) But the jump from ~60$ retail to ~200$ retail isn't. That doesn't make PDIs inferior, it just makes them expensive. :P

 

A quick note on sample size, because sample size matters. I say this having handled at least dozens if not over 100 madbulls, and several hundred Prometheus barrels. This isn't the meandering ranting of someone who has bought 3 or 4 barrels. I remember when the MBs first came out, and were the first of a new breed of cheap barrels which had most of the performance of the big guys and which didn't degrade immediately.

 

 

The other thing you should be aware of is that Mad_Scientist has some sort of vendetta against me, which he elucidated in his manifesto, and so when he does show up here to post, spends his time taking one pot shots at me because apparently thats what makes him happy.

 

Second of all, after reading through this I concluded that ALL aftermarket tightbore barrels are BAD and so is the stock barrel; which CANNOT possibly be the case right?! I dunno maybe I missed something, but I only read negative things about each barrel brand. Is there a "BEST" stainless steel barrel ("best" aluminum, "best" brass, "best" coated) or are all of them garbage and stock/inner barrel polishing the way to go?

 

I try not to label "best" for two reasons. First, if I call something "the best," tomorrow someone else will roll out with something "better" and there will be a nice big debate over it, usually lead by people like Mad_Scientist who are just looking for a good pot-shot to take at me. Second is, best can be relative. You'll gain velocity from a smaller diameter bore, and accuracy (to a point) from larger. Or lets say you want to run a next-gen hop, but can't/don't want to modify your window so you'd rule out PDI right there, because their windows are very short. And then there are off-shoot features, like the Orga. And on top of it all, there is always *gasp* the factor of cost, so of what use would "best" be really? :P So thats my reasoning. None of the existing barrels are perfect, and I tend to try and point out flaws, so perhaps it seems I'm being negative (maybe I even am) but the day a perfect barrel arrives on the market I'll be sure to post a glowing review and crown it with thorns.

 

Another thing to remember too (which was ALREADY noted on here) is that yes, while the BBs are not "perfect" and the barrels are not always "perfect"; hypothetically, to get one of these into the ballpark of "perfect" would help reduce the variables of inaccuracy and should improve overall accuracy despite not having a "perfect" version of one or the other.

 

The ZrO3 bbs from BB :censored2: (hope that doesn't get censored, but it really is their brand) I tested were perfect to the limit of my ability to measure, certainly far more perfect than any barrel I've ever worked on.

 

Also, on the topic of bore size and accuracy (based on number of times that BB bounces on the inner walls of the barrel); stated in the original post : Does the larger bore have better accuracy because the FPS is greater in a larger bore than the FPS in a tightbore, so the BB bounces on the inner walls less?

Its not FPS, its a hypothesized mechanism, which deals with off-axis spin being imparted on those contacts.

 

And instead of dancing around the subject here, let me address Mad_Scientist directly:

The only reasons to buy an aftermarket tightbore is A. you want the extra FPS, or B, you want/need a different length, IE for a DMR hurling heavy ammo. The majority of performance comes from your hop up. I had a madbull 407mm in performing as good as a 430mm prometheus. Both AEG barrels and the prometheus was in my bar-10, which has 60 fps on the AEG.

 

Also...hashtags are :censored2: gay.

A) Decreasing bore diameter will bump you up by a few FPS, but for all intents and purposes its really negligible, less in almost all cases than would be gained by going up to the next more powerful spring. (10m/s jump)

B) Given that you referenced a DMR, broadly, it may be assumed you're referencing a fixed volume system (eg. AEG). It should be noted at this point that, with correct volume balancing, you do not see an increase in output from a longer barrel.

 

All this goes to support my point which is that you simply don't have the performance in your rifles to see the performance difference, which to a greater degree renders your argument moot.

 

Nice homophobic slur though.

 

Making sense to you != to making sense. Im sorry if you cant comprehend the comparison. Unless your trying to argue AEG hop-ups are more accurate than a BASR with TDC mod...then I feel bad for you. Never the less, they were both flat hopped, so incredibly similar spin characteristics anyway. BTW, its a laylax chamber from nearly 10 years ago when the only TBB for the VSR10 was the 430mm laylax (prometheus) aeg barrel, just to give you an idea how long ive been tinkering with airsoft guns.

 

Extra FPS does come from a longer barrel, Newbie. AEGs are not designed with heavy rounds in mind. Use a full cylinder with a 250mm barrel shooting heavy ammo, then put in a longer barrel. Chrono. You will have more muzzle energy. Cant believe people post dribble like this.

 

One more point, plenty of people will argue bore has little to do with groupings.

 

Lastly, unless you have pictures or first hand experience with madbull barrels "falling", stop posting worthless conjecture. And yeah, highly doubt you were joking since the few guns I browsed in your FS thread have prommy barrels, but I digress.

 

 

Lets break this down into some more bite sized points.

 

Unless your trying to argue AEG hop-ups are more accurate than a BASR with TDC mod...then I feel bad for you.

There is nothing inherently superior about either chamber. While you can make tangential arguments regarding sealing, feeding, etc the slider adjust converted to TDC A) isn't unique to the VSR platform and B) has no inherent advantage over certain AEG chambers. As an amusing anecdote, several winners and top-competitors of the 30m challenge, have done so with AEGs. So if you like to crudely reference "pics or it didn't happen" arguments, feel free to find some actual supporting evidence or mechanism of your (thus far demonstrably false) hypothesis.

 

Extra FPS does come from a longer barrel, Newbie. AEGs are not designed with heavy rounds in mind. Use a full cylinder with a 250mm barrel shooting heavy ammo, then put in a longer barrel. Chrono. You will have more muzzle energy. Cant believe people post dribble like this.

The personal insults are completely unnecessary, but humorously you're now lashing out at random people. Please to attempt to refrain from them, as they don't add to your argument.

Your point, regarding longer barrels, in that specific example is correct if you assume a full stroke; if you fail to volume balance, optimize your system, moving another component towards optimization will increase output in this case. It, however, is a null argument. You can volume balance to see peak output from a 250mm barrel. Similarly, even in your example, once you cross (dependent on spring rating) ~500mm you won't see a power increase if you move up to 600, or from 600 to 700.

 

One more point, plenty of people will argue bore has little to do with groupings.

Yes, but plenty of people, you included, also argue that longer barrels increase power. People who actually test things instead, tend to find this not to be the case. Among these different individuals/groups, are PDI who openly state that larger diameter bores, all else being equal, increase accuracy. Since you seem to prefer anecdotal evidence though, or at least you use them in your arguments frequently, I'll provide an example along those lines. BBs from 10 or so years ago, as you'll recall, aimed for as close to 6mm as they could manage safely without straying over. BBs advertised 5.98/5.99mm +/- whatever small amount. Now though BBs are much smaller, down in the 5.95 region or even lower. This coincided with the decreasing average bore size, the craze for "tight bores." The irony of this wasn't lost on me. People shoot what they like, including those silica biovals. They shot well in part because they were a quality material, but also because they were about 5.93mm IIRC. OEMs shrink the barrels and the BBs, the question is when will airsoft become a 5.5mm sport. :P

 

stop posting worthless conjecture.

This is as opposed to the vastly "superior" content you've been posting namely gross falsities, personal attacks, and slurs?

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Hello HS5 and others that have added to this thread.

 

I've read all the way through this very interesting thread. I have nothing to add, but a question to ask.

 

HS5, what are your thoughts on the Raptors Airsoft Stainless Steel 6.02mm barrels?

 

I have 4 of them in various guns that my son and I own. My son has a rebranded Raptors AS 6.02 x 509mm in his M16 with a full cylinder, basically a direct swop-out for the stock barrel. I have a 363 x 6.02mm Raptors in my ICS MP5A4 with one of your R-hop patches. I have to tell you that this gun is now one of my favorites to shoot. Amazingly far reaching and very accurate. Its just a joy to shoot.

I have two other guns, both with the same Raptors AS 6.02 SS TBB, a M4 with a 363mm and a MP5-PDW with a 247mm. Again, both guns are a lot better now (to me) with the heavier, SS, TBB than with their stock barrels. The M4 had a stock Lonex barrel (6.05mm??) and the MP5-PDW had a whopping 115mm stock barrel. The M4 gets a R-Hop patch next!

 

Anyhow, thanks for your products and knowledge in this thread. Its been interesting to hear your thoughts. I guess what I also would like to know is this, what barrels do you use in your guns and which ammo?

 

I play mostly at outdoor fields where Bio ammo is required. I have used both Bioval and Elite Force bio BBs. It just what we have to use to keep playing at these fields. Thanks again.

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Raptors Airsoft barrels? Is this a rebrand which is an exclusive to Raptors Airsoft? (the distributor)

http://www.raptorsairsoft.com/catalogsearc...at=0&q=6.02

 

If I knew the OEM, maybe I'd be able to offer a useful comment. As it stands though, I haven't a clue I'm afraid. If you like them though, don't let me stop you. :P

 

What do I use? I get this question a lot, with all sorts of things, and I never really give a satisfactory answer. Why? Two reasons. First, what I use wasn't necessarily chosen with the same sort of decision making paradigm that you would want/use. Maybe I'm optimizing for cost in a different way than you would. Maybe I'm going for some other effect entirely (like deliberately reducing precision to increase spread and thus hit probability in CQB). Or maybe I'm just working with something I'm developing, or have otherwise modded the barrel such that its no longer representative of what a stock barrel would be.

 

Besides my never-ending work with hops, I also tend to lap and at least slightly enhance the crowns on my barrels. (when I'm building for accuracy that is) Because I'm often testing something, that'll tend to be a lapped-crowned, and custom-length stock POS brass barrel. And thats just for economy. As much as I wish I could, its not practical to do often irreversible experiments on 100$ steel barrels. A number of very generous supporters and fellow techs have donated many many stock brass barrels to me though. These go through a process of checking for gross deformities, straightness, lapping, and crowning before being used as mules for the insane idea du jour. To be completely frank, if you caught me on any given day chances are thats what you'd find in my gun, not because its the best, but because its what I'm working on ATM.

 

When I'm running some holds barred, Prometheus steel 6.03 (not their coated brass 6.05s) barrels are often my go-to barrel. No holds barred, its easy enough to reach for PDI, although the windows on the older ones aren't necessarily optimal. You're not likely to catch me having bought a PDI myself though, I'd rather lap a prommy. :P

 

Of recent interest though are these new ZCI steel barrels. I just got a bunch of them in, and I've been playing with them. There was a thread about them over on AM where I replied a bit more in-depth, but in short they at least visually appeared gorgeous. (bore finishes are visibly higher than Prometheus) They were also clearly packed by someone with OCD. :P We'll see how end-line users like them, but I see good reason for guarded optimism. If I were to make a wild guess, they might also be the same OEM as your Raptors barrels as you complimented their performance and there are relatively few (that I'm aware of) inexpensive steel barrel manufacturers on the market.

 

I'm also going to need to get a moderator to edit this OP, because Madbull is launching some promising looking steel barrels.

 

*edit*

Its also total dumb luck that I saw your post. This thread doesn't "come to the top" so to speak, when posted in. As such, I don't have any really overt indication that it requires my attention. If you put a post in here that I don't see for a few days, its alright to send me a quick PM asking if I'd poke my head in. That said, occasionally I do sleep, eat, shower, and *gasp* I think I may even go on vacation once every few years so don't panic if I don't respond to a post/message for a few hours or days.

Edited by hunterseeker5

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I'm also going to need to get a moderator to edit this OP, because Madbull is launching some promising looking steel barrels.

 

 

I'm in the process of buying 3 new barrels and then having an rhop done (330mm, 363mm, 455mm). I was going to test out the zci barrels, but not enough info on them yet.

I'll probably wait for the new madbull ones and/or get the pre installed rhop from clandestine. Since non of these items are in stock anywhere, this will also give me some time to video my current range/accuracy, then compare it with the new setups.

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wow. long read. well thought out I have to say. I must have missed this thread in the time I was away from asf

 

I have bought multiple element brass 6.04's, a g&g steel 6.04, several madbull 6.03's, and a matrix steel 6.03

...and I don't think ill ever buy another tb unless the situation really calls for it. ill stick with quality buckings and nubs as I see better consistency and performance out of those than replacing a hop up or adding a tb

 

ive seen great range and accuracy out of my stock guns like real sword, kwa, g&g, and a few clones & ive seen no need whatsoever to upgrade a single part in the hop & barrel area

I have also seen pretty decent and satisfying range and accuracy out of stock clones and have not felt the need to upgrade those either

I personally have never noticed any difference in range or accuracy with barrels that have crowning, no crown, or have been cut down

usually I have just cleaned my barrels with a fleece cloth strip using hot soapy water. never have had any problems with corroding

I also do not like bio bb's. I bought 5k of them once and never again. they had crappy accuracy and after shooting them you could look into the barrel and see it full of white streaks inside

 

my tb experiences have been:

 

element brass 6.04's: a cheap barrel not regarded as being a good tb. well I liked them a lot in my jg, cyma, & d-boys aeg's. a good accuracy boost over the stock parts even when paired with the stock hop up and bucking. wish I could still get these barrels

 

g&g steel 6.04: hated this barrel. it sucked. I had this in a cyma ak I sold. im pretty sure the stock cyma barrel got either better range or accuracy than the g&g tb. I was not even impressed with the near non-existant accuracy boost

 

"star tb": I dunno if this was even a true part or a stock part made better than most and then performed better than the norm. I had this barrel in the old custom rpk I sold. it worked well in the gun. nothing special nothing impressive nothing much

 

madbull black python 2 6.03's: ive had a couple of these with mixed results. I was pretty sure I had 3, but I cant remember what the third one could have been. I forget what the length is. it was like 590 or 690mm. its a really long one. I put it in my real sword svd. it works really well in that gun, but then I bought a 509mm for in my sl-8. terrible range and accuracy! a good deal of time later I ended up having to dremel off 2.5 inches from that barrel. suddenly it performed the way it was supposed to. go figure. I just don't like 509mm. I don't really trust the longevity of these barrels because of their inner bore coating. when it wears off or scratches then the barrel is crap I guess

 

matrix steel 6.03: I got this one back when evike started selling these advertising them as "prommy types". it had what looked like a really good crowning, a second set of cuts for hop barrel clips, and 2 or 3 rings cut towards the end of the barrel for clip on stabilizers. I got a 509mm for in my a&k sr-25. the accuracy and range were in my opinion superb. I liked this barrel better for accuracy than any other tb id owned. only problems were that it seemed to decrease fps and it had to be cleaned regularly because the inside would get streaked up by bb's

 

aps stock "low quality" steel barrel of unknown bore: I have been impressed with this barrel. its inner bore polish and shine looks way better than the matrix steel. it had some great accuracy with its stock hop and bucking which were both crap awful. the hop up looked like a generic metal 1 piece with some layers of metal peeling away from it. the bucking was an odd hardish dull rubber. nothing soft & smooth like a cyma or jg bucking. so ive decided to keep this barrel and ive paired with a cnc hop up and madbull red shark bucking with an h-nub. I have not reassembled to test performance so I am really looking forward to seeing how well the range and accuracy will be compared to its 100% stock form

 

some companies like real sword and kwa just get all of these parts perfect right away. my rs ak might as well be a legit sniper rifle with .25's no joke. I cannot see what improvement it would make to put even the bestest highestest qualityest barrel in a gun like this. I feel as though you would see no increase to a decrease

I really feel as though the most important factors are the bucking and bore quality paired with whether youre using the proper cylinder for your barrel length

 

when these companies get the barrel right then I see that as proper manufacturing that negates the need for a tb upgrade. so if more companies if not all started making their barrels with higher quality bores regardless of bore size I wonder if people would no longer see a need to use tb's and if then they would just die and become a thing of the past

Edited by Zemanova

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What are your thoughts on the Prometheus 6.20mm Delta Strike Barrel? It seems promising despite the plastic hop window, and the finish appears to be better than that of the "miracle" barrels, yet the price is close to the ever so popular madbull barrel. Everywhere I have looked people speculate how these could potentially be a refined miracle barrel thus making the magic box version obsolete. Im not particularly excited that prometheus chose to make the window plastic, as this may affect durability down the line, but I'm not entirely sure this would render the performance of this barrel that of lower quality barrels.

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Okay, I have a question regarding inner barrels; Are most if not all barrels the same Outer Diameter regardless of manufacture or pistol model it is installed in? Reason I ask is I'm aware that a miniscule difference in barrel length is not going to impact performance that greatly, but say I want to take the 94.5mm brass inner barrel out of my Hi Capa 4.3 and replace it with a black steel 91mm barrel (no other reason other than I just hate having the brass muzzle crown visible when looking into the muzzle). Does it matter if the 91mm I found is for say a Glock 19 or PX4 (examples only, I don't know what length these pistols use)? Or are there outer diameter differences that will bind or otherwise interfere with fitting the Outer Barrel? I suppose I could just replace it with a Hi Capa 3.8 inner barrel but I'd like to know anyway.

Edited by gunnerk19

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Hi, I have read this explanation but there is one thing that I do no understand.

Maybe is translating-error or a my mistake of understanding.

I referred on the section that says that a small barrel is LESS accurate than a LARGER one...

I not understand the explanation! So, I can understand that if a barrel have a lower diamiter the BB touch it many time that a barrel with a bigger diamiter. But, this can Decrease, maybe, the range of the BB (because more touch are more friction so lower speed exiting) but... it will be more accurate exiting the barrel because more "touch" correspond at more "route-correction" to the best one, or not?

What mistake I do?

Sorry for the question :-(

thanks,

Max

 

edit: another info: Here, in Italy, were sell "precision-barrel" and typally have a lower diamiter.

I , personally, try my Marui Sig 552 upragded to 1J with and without precision barre: maybe is a "placebo-effect" but I found that the precision barrel, that is 6.02, is more accurate than the stock (that I suppose is 6.08)

Edited by holyhope

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Here we go again...

 

All Airsoft barrels are smooth bore and here are the issues:

 

Barrels that are to tight causes the bb to act like a plunger. This will reduce velocity and cause the bb to wobble in the barrel. This is called turbulence. Turbulence causes inaccuracy and range loss.

 

You want a barrel that is consistent and you want to shoot a bb that is on average .08mm larger than your bb.

 

As for your barrel being more accurate. That is subjective, with out knowing your details and having targets as proof. Your concept of it being more accurate is unsubstantiated.

  • Upvote 1

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Hi, Many thanks to all of two.

Something is lost in translation, so I missunderstand.

When you speach of "consistency" what you mean? I suppose that I translate in a wrong way. For me is tha quality of the barrel that is IDENTICAL in all pont of it, so there is no different size of barrel inside (what I understand is that a barrel consistent is a barrel that is 6.08, for example, in all point of them and not, for example, 6.081 at start and 6.079 ad the end)

 

For my rifle I try to shot on a target placed at the distance of 35m. Before upgrade I see that BB are in largest circle than after uprage; in fact I see, shooting about 200BB per test, a circle of 50cm of diameter with stock marui barrel and about 25-30cm with precision-barrel. So maybe is a placebo effect and there is because there are different condition at context (like wind or my stability on hand).

This is only to let know you because I say that the precision-barrel that I upgrade my ruifle (that is a 6.02) is more accurate that my old marui stock barrel (6.08 I suppose)

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And the brand of bbs you are testing with? The weight?

 

If you are doing this outside, yes wind pressure will affect accuracy.

 

However, did you ever clean your TM barrel with a solvent?

 

Your definition of consistency is the same as ours.

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Hi,

I use 0.23 BB weight!

I never clean my barrel, never with solvents never with scottex (or similar)

 

Ok now I try to read another time the explanetion in the first topic for better understanding.

 

Meanwhile can I ask another information?

I contact my preparator and speack about my Mp5kurz. Now the barrel is the original stock and my rifle has a spring to 0.84J... he tell me that if I change my barrel with a precision barrel (6.02) lenght 4 or 5 or 6cm plus the lenght of the stock barrel, my wepon automatical increse power and can reach 0.95 or 1.00J .

How it is possible? He tell me that if I mount a very long barrel my power decreese but if I mount a few cm plus long barrel I can get over 1 Joule...

How it is possibile?

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It is a Physic's Property called an Impulse.

 

AEG's are a system, not a video game gun where how things work in binary. The pressure wave caused by the piston moving forwards in a cynlinder is called a pressure impulse or wave. Understand how a pressure wave works and the constrictions of the output inside a barrel and you will know why the velocity will increase to a point and then start decreasing again if it is to long.

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