The Ultimate Guide to Paint and Barrel Match

paint to barrel match

Paintball to barrel match is one of the biggest factors in determining accuracy of your shots.  In fact, without proper paint to barrel match you will never be able consistently hit where you aim. If you want to go straight to the chart then scroll to the bottom of the page.

In collecting this database I have learned that paint varies widely even the same brand from shipment to shipment.  The data here is based on the case or two that I tested for each brand but Paint Brand XYZ is not ALWAYS going to be .687 or whatever it listed.  It all varies, some more than others.  The single best recommendation I can get is always buy fresh paint.  Paint ages, It deforms and gets brittle as it gets older, most paint swells as it ages and then will “blow up” when you try to shoot it.  Fresh paint is best found a good local shop

How to do your own bore match test for your barrel.  This is also known as the Blow test.  Take whatever barrel you will be shooting and take 10 paintballs that you intend to used and put a paintball in the barrel and blow it through.  A good fit will act like a blow gun but can be blown out with some effort.   If it falls straight through its too small.  If it gets stuck and you can’t get it out its too big.  You want a snug fit but not too tight.

The other test that is often performed is the drop test.  Take your paint and drop it from about 6′ high on a hard surface, don’t let it bounce but catch it, and repeat.  If it breaks in 1-2 drops it’s fairly soft. 3-7 is mid-range, 7-10 Hard, 10+ too hard.

The best paintballs are: Zap Chronic, and PMI/RP Evil.  The Chronic is by far the Heaviest and brightest paint I have ever tested, it is mind blowing how straight it shoots and how hard it impacts.  They use Clay for added weight and patented Fluorescent Dye in the fill.  The fill is extremely think and sticky, it the most un-wipeable paint I have ever seen.  The downside is that Chronic is soft and inconsistent.

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The other paint that simply rocks is Evil, its bright, heavy and good shell hardness.
Major Manufacturers: One of the best kept secrets in paintball is that there are only a handful of actual encapsulation facilities.  So despite all the brand names they are all made by a hand full of companies, like Milk.  If you look on a milk gallon it will have a plant number such as 47-8, all the brands in the local grocery store come from the same milk processing facility despite the different prices and brand labels.

Major Manufactures are: In the US are RP Scherer distributed exclusively by PMI and Nelson.  Nelson makes a ton of other “paint brands”.  In Canada there are also to two Major Manufactures Accucaps (Zap) and Procaps, (Diablo).  Most other brands of paintballs are made by one of these 4 major companies.   For Example RP makes JT, Nelson makes Kick’N, Zap makes Proball, Diablo makes 32 Degrees, etcetera.  Of course most of the brands claim “We have our own special machine, blah, blah, blah”   I call BS! Most good paints have lot’s on them and can be traced since each Major manufacturer uses a similar lot # code even if the boxes are different colors.  Just like Milk.

Minor Manufacturers: There are also a number of smaller manufacturers popping up but they are far less reliable in general.  Point Blank is Robinson Pharma, Severe is rumored to be from a Brazilian Encapsulator, and Great American is made in Reno Nevada, TC Paintballs from Florida.  I’m sure there are a few others but not many.  I just find it amusing when players claim brand X sucks but brand Y is great, when in fact they are both made by the same factory to the same specifications.

Other than buying the right paintballs to match your barrel, you should also make sure you buy the best paintball marker that you can afford. Now, you don’t need to spend over a thousand dollars just to get a good paintball gun, but I would highly suggest you at least get a marker over $100. Most paintball guns beyond the $100 price range just seem to be way more reliable and better for overall accuracy.


Paintball Guide

Paint Brand Bore Match Bore Category Comments
32 Degrees: Competition .688-.692 Medium In consistent Size & hardness
32 Degrees: Team Colors .685-.687 Small In consistent Size & hardness
Brass Eagle .674-.705 Large Poor seams, often old
Brass Eagle Top Brass .689-.691 Medium Often old
Bullseye Super Turbo .689-.690 Medium East Coast brand
Diablo Blaze .685-.687 Small
Diablo Blitz / Comp Edge .689-.692 Medium
Diablo Hell Fire 0.684 Small
Diablo Inferno .684-.687 Small
Diablo Midnight .689-.692 Medium
Draxxus: All Types See Diablo.  The name change was stupid!
Get Some Balls .688-.689 Medium Very Soft Shell, Strange “whipped” fill
Great American .688-.689 Medium Big Seam, Poor Gelatin
Great American Competition .688-.689 Medium
I&I Adrenaline .689-.691 Medium Same as Powerball
Java Classic .691-.693 Large
Java Supreme .688-.689 Medium
JT Maximum 0.686-.689 Small If you can get it fresh its good, Made by PMI
Kick’N Metalix .687-.688 Small
Kick’N Premium .689-.692 Medium
Kick’N Premium + .688-.689 Medium
Nelson Anarchy .686-.688 Small
Nelson Challenger .691-.693 Large Poor seams
Nelson Gold .691-.693 Large
Nelson Hot Spot .691-.693 Large Good Cheap Paint
Nitro Duck 1st Choice .692-.694 Large Soft Shell, often broken in cases
Paintball Junkies .688-.689 Medium
PMI / RP Big Ball .689-.690 Medium
PMI / RP Evil 0.686-.689 Small Great Heavy Paint
PMI / RP Evil Ultra 0.685-.687 Small Tournament Only Paint, very soft, very small
PMI / RP Gold .689-.690 Medium
PMI / RP Marbalizer 0.685-.688 Small
PMI / RP Premium .687-.689 Small
Point Blank: Kryptonite .689-.690 Medium Glows for about 15 min
Point Blank: Point Blank .688-.692 Medium Hard shell, ugly seam.
Point Blank: Steel Balls .689-.6920 Medium Too Soft & old
Power Ball .689-.692 Medium
Pro Ball 0.687-.691 Small
Pro Ball Lite .688-.689 Medium In consistent shell hardness
Pro Ball Platinum 0.687-.689 Small
Severe .690-.693 Large Nasty looking Gelatin shell
Sheridan Ball .689-.691 Medium Typically Old
Smart Paint .689-.691 Medium
TC Viper Venom .688-.691 Medium In consistent Size, Shell hardness
WDP Victory .686-.689 Medium In Consistent Quality
Worr Paint .690-.693 Large Worr quickly abandoned this paint. It sucked!
Zap Chronic 0.686-.688 Small Bright, Fluorescent, Heaviest, paint made!
Zap Primer .689-.692 Medium In consistent shell hardness
Zap Pro 0.688-.692 Medium
Zap Pro Sport .689-.690 Medium