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Wow. The newest innovation from PMI can simply be described with one word: wow. PMI has recently began using their patented Advantage ® system to produce their paintballs. This technique, which was patented over 7 years ago, has finally been used to manufacture paintballs.
The Advantage ® is unique in that the paintballs come out of the machinery dry and ready to go. Anyone who visited a paintball factory knows that paintballs normally come out wet, swollen, and bloated. Then they must be dried down to the proper size. But no more. The Advantage paintballs come out dry and properly sized from the machine. No waiting, no drying, and no problems.
According to Mike Lukas of PMI, "This helps keep the size very consistent and very very round. There is a seam, but it really isn't a seam. I think that this system creates the most perfectly round paintballs around." Our staff agreed. These paintballs are truly round and extremely consistent, as you will see from our comprehensive barrel and paintball test of 2001.
The new Advantage ® paintballs are extremely unique. They are dull. The finish is not shiny or smooth, just plain dull. We were able to get our hands on a few different types of new Advantage ® paintballs, everything from Big Ball to Marballizer to El Tigre. All of them have the dull finish and very round shape. According to PMI, the paintballs made with the new system all range between .682-.685 and are made to very exacting tolerances. See below for our measurements.
We began to think about the dull finish to try to understand it. We thought of golf balls, they come in all types of finishes and surface types. In golf, generally the more dimples on the surface the better and farther it travels. Golf pros explain that the dimples trap air under the ball and help it float farther. Perhaps the new duller finish helps the balls travel farther longer.
We ran a number of tests on the Marballizer paintballs, the first of which was the drop test. We drop the paintballs from a height of 6 feet and noted how many broke. We dropped five paintballs onto a concrete surface.
Some of the other tests we ran were firing them with over 14 of today's top barrels, velocity testing, consistency testing, roundness, dimples, and more.
The Marballizer paintballs broke the best. Of the 5 dropped balls 2 out of 5 broke. This was the highest of all the paintballs we tested. Of course, since testing 5 random balls of each paint, we can not really draw any confident conclusions.
Of the paintballs tested, the Marballizers produced the most consistent velocity readings from all the barrels. In some of the barrels the Marballizers shot three shots in a row with 283 fps. That is unheard of in today's paintball industry. This consistency is a testament to the paintballs roundness and overall consistent ball to ball shape and size.
We also found that Marballizers shoot best from the Freak barrel system with the 14" All American tip. Also interesting, the Marballizer paintballs shot best with longer barrels. We feel that this has more to do with the quality of the paint than the actual barrel. Other barrels that Marballizer did very well in was the 14" PMI Razzor and the 14" J&J Two Piece barrel.
The Marballizer paintballs always ranked in the top 3 paintballs for each barrel. More commonly than not, the Marballizer was the number one paintball for each barrel.
None of the Marballizer paintballs were dimpled or out of shape. We tried very hard to get them to dimple, it seems that the new Advantage® paintballs are just impervious to the common problems encountered with other paintballs. If you feel them in your hand you will notice they are very different and unique in many ways. Our staff has found that they simply can not dimple.
The Marballizer paintball were measured around the seam and then around the shorter side (no seam). The balls were measured with a digital measuring device with an accuracy of 0.0005 inches. Three balls were measured and the results are below.
Basically ball one measured 0.681 around the seam and 0.681 around the short end. As you can see, these results show that the measurements are very close and provides a very round paintball. Further, ball to ball consistency is also very acceptable.
Keep in mind that we chose three random paintballs and this is not considered statistically significant.
We found that the paintball itself makes a far larger impact on the accuracy of a paintball marker (gun) than any other factor. What are the factors? The brand of the barrel, the length of the barrel, the material the barrel is made of, weather conditions, or any other variables. Of all of these variables, the actual paintball itself had the greatest impact on the performance.
When our paint and barrel results are published, you will find that the best paintballs did well in any barrel and the worse paintballs didn't do well in any barrel. The paintballs themselves made all the difference in the world.
With that in mind, purchase a good barrel, and then stop skimping out on paintballs. Paintballs are not all the same. The paint you use, does make a difference.
We would like to thank Mike Lukas of PMI for accepting our invitation to review the new Marballizer paintballs, Erich Garber of Toledo Indoor Paintball for providing us with the Radar Chronograph, Sharif Joseph of Toledo Adventure Games for helping us with setup and measurements, and NTC Computers Consulting and Networks for helping us with the data input and analysis, providing