Monday, November 18, 2013

Barrel Extensions: Part 2 (Final)

With all the data out there, it simply comes down to usage of these Barrel Extensions.  I've read LOTS of great articles and gone through a lot of testing on my own to come to the conclusion that there are certain unavoidable facts that either make these accessories useful to you or if they really just get in the way.

Probably the most helpful/indepth analysis I've found was by noneother than torukmakto4.  His findings can be viewed here.  In a pinch, his findings are quite clear although they only pertain to the N-Strike Elite Retaliator barrel.  It's best summed up in this comment he posted.
"It is a given that "guide barrels" can only act as a velocity reducing device. Usually, velocity and range can be considered the same parameter, so the usual observation that the smaller-bore extensions reduce range test results makes sense.  Effective range and accuracy effects are more complex, though. If you are going to properly quantify them, you must account for the instability of many of our darts at higher velocities; in a very common situation such as a 100fps Retaliator or Stryfe, nerfing the muzzle velocity slightly will often itself yield an accuracy increase independent of any other effect (such as correcting initial yaw, or reducing the effects of muzzle blast on projectiles, which have both been theorized about with these barrel extensions)."
Then there's other types of barrels, namely the Longstrike and Spectre barrels that have a larger diameter bore.  I think most folks would argue that the Spectre barrel is more for looks as it is very short and has no ability to add accessories to it (which is often an advantage for other barrels), but the Longstrike barrel has quite a bit of length.  irishknots came to the same conclusion I had... the wider diameter barrels don't do as much to accuracy/range with these darts.  I think that's probably why I prefer the Longstrike barrel (that and I think it looks killer).

I'd say that barrel extensions like the Longshot and Recon are probably a waste at this point.  Longstrike and Spectre barrels haven't really done a lot to effect much of anything because of their diameter.  Numbers have been crunched on the Retaliator's controversial "rifled" barrel enough to be helpful for stock AND modded blasters.  So if you are going to use one, use one that's useful to you.

In the end... it seems like if accuracy is really your thing... a clip-fed blaster that uses barrel extensions is probably not for you anyways.  Singled blasters always seem to have a leg up on straightline accuracy and power over that of one in a chamber.  What this information REALLY does is make sure that high-capacity users who favor clip-fed blasters know what variables they're facing when they utilize accessories like a Barrel Extension.

As with anything, certain choices can add a feature while sacrificing another.  It's up to the user to utilize the information out there (and there's a lot) to figure out what works best for them.


  1. I agree with your statements.

  2. You don't mention flywheel blasters which i think would yield different results and you should go into this deeper.

  3. The Longstrike barrel is my favourite as well