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Need help with X7 Phenom

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    Posted: 31 January 2014 at 9:17pm
I have had the X7 Phenom electro now for a few months and I am going crazy with barrels.

I have tried a Hammerhead Battlestyx barrel, as well as a Flasc, Lapco Bigshot with an Apex2 tip, the Tippmann Flatline as well as the stock barrel. Not happy with any since I see my paint veering left and right. The field I play at only allows field paint but I have seen other markers firing straighter and accurate than mine, so I have to live with the paint that I have and I can discount that it is solely the paints fault.

I am looking at the RAP4 raptor barrel (12 inch).

Has anyone had any experience with this barrel and if so, what is your review?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnfalto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2014 at 9:21am
As a side note, I play primarily woodsball in a heavily wooded area. As such I would like to keep my barrel as short as possible as a long barrel makes in difficult to move through the brush and bring your marker to bear quickly.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dazed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2014 at 4:43pm
What size is the field paint? A good "fit" is the most important thing you can do. Picking up a barrel that is just smaller than your paint's average size will help some.

But I'll also say that it's likely that the people you're watching aren't that much more accurate than you, it just seems that way from a "grass is always greener" perspective. Everyone is shooting the same little paint filled musketball, and has the same bad aerodynamics. There are things you can do to minimize it, but paint just isn't that accurate for anyone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnfalto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2014 at 10:44am
The field I play at uses G.I. Sportz recreational and premium grade paintball at .680. My Lapco and Flasc barrel is at .690 and the Hammerhead Battlestyx is at .683 but has a spiral rifling.

The RAP4 raptor barrel is straight rifled at .680.

I have a .683 and a .679 sizer which I believe makes the marker more air efficient but I have not seen any greater accuracy. 

I try to keep my speed around 280 when the field max speed is 300.

I know that paintballs are inherently not accurate, however I am frustrated when I take a field rental, and I can consistently hit a tree limb, 3 inches across about 40 feet away. Then with my Phenom, only about half the shots hit (not using an APEX2 tip), while the others I see veering right or left.

I started with paintball when it was called the "Survival Game" and used a pump action pistol with a CO2 cartridge. Got out of paintball when automatics started hitting the field and you had players doing "spray and pray". To me this was a non-honorable and low skill way of playing. Came back to paintball about 2 years ago, and between 3 markers that I have purchased and all the paraphernalia, I have dropped about $3g's.

Frustrated is where I am today, and thinking of either giving up, or going with a tournament style "space gun".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnfalto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2014 at 10:51am
Almost forgot. I recently purchased a 6" RAP4 recon barrel. These have threaded tips, are straight rifled and bored at .680. I like the length because of my style of play but when I put the APEX2 tip with a ported adapter I am getting barrel breaks that I have never gotten before. 

The 12 inch RAP4 Raptor barrel is end threaded so it can hold an APEX2 with adapter. Is straight rifled, .680 bore but also has porting on the end.

This set up is much longer than what I would want as it changes my style of play, but if it gives me greater accuracy I will go for it.

BTW I like the APEX2 as it gives me a more flatter trajectory. Have not tried any of the trick shots and I don't believe that I can use it because of the low hanging tree canopy and often dense brush. Never had a barrel break with my A5 flatline, but had several with the Phenom flatline.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2014 at 9:01am
If you're using an apex tip on every barrel you use, then that's going to be what is contributing to the inaccuracy. You have to remember that by putting backspin on a ball, you're increasing range and flatness, but at the cost of transversal stability. What's more, with shorter barrels (less than 12") you're giving the round less time to stabilize within the barrel itself. Any wobble or instability at 8-10" is going to be magnified a hundred-fold down range.

There are 4 major things that affect accuracy:
1) Paint to bore match.
2) Drag
3) Paint quality
4) External forces

Paint to bore match: This is more than just numbers. You can take the online databases of average diameters for brands and levels of paints, but over the years, I've found that paint varies from batch to batch and day to day depending on things like temperature and humidity. You can read that a paint is .690 and match it to your .690 insert, but that might not actually be the correct fit for that given day. It's always best to field test your inserts and barrels every time you play. I've even had instances in tournaments in the winter where the barrel I start the day with, and have the best match with, isn't the barrel that is the best fit and match later in the day when the sun starts shining. There's no substitute for the old "blow pipe test." The round should enter the barrel or insert without needing external force, but should not roll through. You should be able to blow the round out with a light puff of air. If you're struggling to blow the round out, or feel like you're blowing up a difficult balloon, it's too tight of a fit.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2014 at 9:02am
Drag: This is where several factors come into play. Is your barrel smooth and shiny all the way through? Do you have any nicks or burrs at the crown even if the bore is nice and shiny? Did you remember to wash your barrel after the last time you played with hot soapy water, and then dry it by running paper towels or cotton patches through it? Did you forget to take the barrel off your marker when you oiled it? Is there any residual paint or oil in the breech, power tube, or on the bolt? Is there any residual paint in or on any of these surfaces? Are your paintballs perfectly round, or did they get misshapen in storage?

Any of the above things will exert drag on the round. This will cause instability in flight as it leaves the barrel leading to inaccuracy. Some drag will always be exerted by the paint touching the barrel walls, this is why a barrel of 12-14" is optimal. It gives the round time to stabilize in the barrel, minimizing the effect of rapid acceleration and drag on the round from the contact with the barrel.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnfalto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2014 at 9:14am
I normally test and chrono the barrel first without any tips at all. Then recheck with the tip, whether an assault style (simply for look) or the APEX2.

With the 6 inch RAP4 Recon barrel I have, there is actually a 2 1/2 inch extender/adapter that I use for the APEX2 tip which brings the barrel length to just over 8 inches effectively.

With a sizer I can extend another 1 to 2 inches if needed

I have been staying away from 12 inch barrels because of the length and the woodsball style of play.

I have done away with stocks and if I have to go with a 12 inch for that additional accuracy then I will do it.

I like the APEX2 tip as it gives me a much flatter trajectory. Added distance is good, but unless I bring the air speed up, past the field limit, paintballs just bounce off their target. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2014 at 10:04am
I play with a 12" J&J Ceramic on my Mini and a 14" on my 'Cocker in both multi-field and woodsball play and never really have any issues with snap shooting, etc. I can understand the need for a shorter barrel when using a stock in conjunction with them, but without a stock, I've never had much of an issue. Even when I used my pro-lite for big woodsball games, I didn't have much of an issue. the fore-arm on that thing alone was 12" by itself. Anywho, it might be worthwhile to borrow someone's 12" and just give it a try and see if it affects your accuracy.
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