This is probably the most common question I get asked when people see my videos and are amazed by my accuracy. Since the dawn of time, man has tried to make advances to their weapons to make them more accurate. Paintball players are no different, as we are hunting others in the woods/fields each weekend trying to tag them with paintballs. Any advantage we can gain in that endeavor is helpful and may keep us playing for a few more minutes, instead of heading for the deadbox!
The single most important factor when talking accuracy is the paint you are shooting! Learning to buy good paint is CRITICAL in your ability to have accurate shots. And many people fall into the trap of thinking “X” brand of paintballs are the best. This, from my experience, isn’t the case at all, as all paintballs can be ruined by storing them improperly! And proper storage isn’t an easy thing. Paint must be rotated and stored in a cool, climate controlled area.
I actually place my bags flat on a folded up towel in my basement. I rotate the bags every few weeks, sure it is a lot of trouble, but playing with good paint is WORTH the trouble! I also use silica packs inside my bags if I am storing a long time, or if the paint is opened. If paint is stored inside the carton, the case puts too much paint on top of itself allowing the paintballs above to “dent” or “dimple” the ones below. This ruins the accuracy of those paintballs. So buying “fresh” paint is very important as long as it has been shipped properly. This is one of the reasons many players won’t buy paint at box stores, as you have no clue how long it has sat on that shelf.
Here is a video I made on the subject, you can see the paintballs were stored improperly and made the paint worthless as it went everywhere but where the guy was aiming!
Broken paintballs inside a new bag of paint will cause other accuracy issues as well, the oil from the broken paint will line your hopper, and get into your breech and barrel, and the shots after this happens will not fly straight. So check your paintballs BEFORE you buy them. Open each case, and look at each bag to see if there are any dimpled or broken paintballs in the bags. If there are, find some that are better! It will make your day on the field SO much more fun.
Learning to buy perfectly round paint, with NO dimples, and no visible seam will get you shooting straighter than any barrel or gun upgrade you can think of.
This is often the first upgrade players make when they desire to upgrade their accuracy. There is a noticeable difference when you make this upgrade, if you are going from a low end barrel to a better quality barrel. But again, the biggest difference will always be good paint. I myself am a backspin guy. I prefer being able to shoot long range, as well as shooting “flat”, and I don’t want to buy expensive first strike rounds. I am using my custom MonsterSpin barrel now (a new style Tippmann Flatline with an Apex 2 tip tape modded to the end, custom made). I think this barrel is the best I have ever used, and I have tried a TON of barrels over the years.
Here is a video showing what changing the barrel can do to your accuracy!
You can also buy sizers for some barrels to allow you to match your paint to your barrel size. This will allow you to choose a smaller bore size insert as most paint now is smaller than even a few years ago. And the better fit you have, the better your shot to shot consistency will be.
A consistent paintball marker
You need a chronograph to test this, or you can do it next time you are at your field. What does your marker shoot, shot to shot? If you are using good round paint, you should see a +/- 3 fps (range of 6fps) range between shots. Any more than 10fps between shots, and you will see fluctuations in your shot to shot accuracy when using perfect paint. I’ve only had one case of perfect paint in all my years playing paintball. That is how rare perfect paint is! So learn how to maintain your marker so it has consistent shots. This means putting in new o-rings whenever you start to see fluctuations in your fps between shots, and keeping it properly oiled and maintained. See your owner’s manual for how to do this.
Consistent air source
Many players are under the impression that compressed air is the only air source that is consistent enough for +/- 3 fps shots in their paintball marker as it is pretty much the industry standard for accurate paintball guns. I’ve been using Co2 since I started playing, and with a remote line (acts as an expansion chamber allowing the air to expand prior to entering the marker) you can get this same type of performance with a blowback style “low end” paintball gun. Most high end guns don’t work on Co2 so you need compressed air for them anyway. However, it is possible to get very consistent shots with either compressed air or Co2. You can use regulators as well to keep the same volume of propellant going into your marker with each shot.
Depending on your rate of fire, you may not need compressed air to have a blast on the paintball field, and Co2 may be good enough for your playing style. Here is a video where I show +/- 3 fps ability with one of my Tippmann A-5’s using Co2 and a remote line.
After all this, there’s the whole First Strike rounds and guns niche that should be discussed when it comes to accuracy. You can read What Are First Strike Rounds if you are not familiar. First Strike is beyond the scope of this article but it’s definitely worth looking into if you are serious about accuracy.