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Can physics be a major player in paintball? For those that consider themselves pioneers or even pro players of this sport can understand that physics plays a major roll in how the sport is played, but what about the new guys?
Maybe I can shed a little light on the subject. Putting it in laymen terms, the physics of your gear effect how fast you’re able to maneuver. It’s basically one rule of thumb, more weight equals less speed and less opportunities for tight maneuvering which in turn results in losing. Understanding physics can help out in a major way if you want to get the most out of your game and become one of the smarter players on the field.
At the beginning, most players lean more to the belief that it might hurt to get hit with a paintball traveling at nearly 300 feet per second. Later on, as their skills improve and they become more agile, they discover that the heavy “rap star wannabe down-filled coat” is no longer necessary for avoiding the sting. Players then begin to shed a few layers and some go as far as buying a jersey specifically made for the sport of paintball. What does this have to do with physics? Simple. Less weight and less mass, allows for the player to move faster and be more maneuverable. Learning this early on, can save you a lot of money and save that huge coat that looks more like a sleeping bag, for impressing the chicks on the sidelines.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that having a smaller profile and weighing less makes playing a game as fast-paced as paintball, easier. There are positions in the sport that allow for the bigger guys and gals but for the most part, everybody wants to maintain a smaller profile as to avoid contact with any paint. But did you know that the same physics that affect your game play could affect the performance of your paintball marker?
Just so we can gain a better understanding of what I am talking about I will use the Kingman Spyder as an example. When you air up the marker, cock the bolt and hammer back, it is ready to fire. Simple enough right? Well, try to understand what is going on when the marker is then fired. The hammer and bolt being connected together in this particular marker are forced forward by way of a large spring. The hammer then strikes the valve opening the airway allowing the gas from the tank to enter the bolt and eject the paintball from the chamber. Then with the excess gasses from the valve, the hammer and bolt are forced backwards until locking on the sear. It’s one of the simplest designs in any paintball marker but there are still ways to make improvements on both accuracy and efficiency.
In understanding physics, you would have already caught at least two ways to improve on your efficiency and accuracy using this marker. The first step would be to lessen the weight used in the internals. Like a player's gear, the less weight the better the movements. In a paintball marker, the less the internals weigh, the less they have to work to perform the same task as any stock internals. With the hammer and the bolt weighing less, the markers operating pressure would be decreased allowing for a better efficiency.
The second improvement on the marker would be removing any excess friction caused by a lesser degree in quality. Now it’s a known fact that the better the internals the pricier the marker due to how stringent the manufacturers quality control is. Cost is inevitable when making a better marker so companies like Kingman make a marker that performs well for the price you pay but in the end, you can make it perform much better by taking the time to fine tune your gun.
Removing the friction caused by your internals is as easy as taking some very fine grit sand paper and some polishing cream used for cleaning up chrome rims. I use Mothers Mag Polishing Cream and a light grit emery paper. It takes some time but when your done, you will notice that not only does your gun fire more shots off of the same tank but it has less kick due to lighter internals. These are only two ways to improve the Spyder and Spyder-like markers. There are so many more ways that I cannot even come close to describing how many things you can do to make a simple blow-back marker perform so well.
Other markers that may seem more complex can also be supped up to make them more accurate and more efficient. The Impulse for instance can use a slightly lighter hammer and a delrin bolt to keep from kicking like a mule and the use of a better ram assembly like the New Designz assembly along with their RIP valve, the gun can actually gain hundreds more shots per tank fill. Physics play a major roll in the sport of paintball not only in the choice of gear you use but how you upgrade you marker. Playing smarter, not harder can lead to more wins. It’s a proven fact.
As I say, who am I do disagree with leading scientists when I say that understanding physics will only make you the better player?