I'm quite familiar with the consistency issues of the .683 Lapco/Tib rifled barrels. And the tweaks to input pressure that have been done to help deal with it. (We've been running 600psi input for our testing) Been doing quite a few tests with Chicago on Lapco vs the Hammerheads (both the 8" and '14"' styles). I've also seen the mysterious breach breaks on the Lapco .683. Just not with quite the same frequency as you.
More testing is needed. But after 50+ rounds of testing on each barrel type so far. (Lapco Rifle, Hammerhead Rifle, and Flasc smooth bore.) A few things are clear:
- FPS consistency and efficiency of the hammerheads have been much better. There's a 50-60 feet per second advantage to the 14" (11.5") hammerheads over the Lapco 14". Lapco shooting low 280's and Hammerhead shooting high 330s with the same reg setting.
- The hammerhead consistency at this point has lead to less vertical deviation at this point in testing. Immediate followup shots have been within +/-4 fps on the hammerhead 8". Where with the Lapco 8" it is common to see +/-10 fps on the followup shots. Even more deviation on the Lapco 14"
- Lapco rifled and hammerhead rifled are producing much better shot groupings than smooth bores. The smooth bore Flasc (and some testing with the stock) have been getting groupings 18-24" from center at 40 yards. While the rifled barrels are getting groupings within 6-8" at 40 yards.
- Mock silencer/suppressor tips (Flasc, Hammerhead M50, Lapco) ... While many help to redirect the sound back towards the shooter to help us stay unnoticed for followup shots... have a measurable negative impact on the shot groupings of rifled barrels. Smooth bore barrels have little if any accuracy degradation due to the tips. Sadly this testing has immediately convinced me to stop using my beloved Flasc mock suppressors on my First strike setups, and use them exclusively on my older paintball only (smooth bore) Tiberius setups.
At this point over 50 FS have gone through the hammerheads and no mysterious breach breaks. I know that at this point it's a small sample size, but it's still encouraging.
Once satisfied with the initial sample size I hope to run a small batch of the same tests on a different 9.1 to verify that the amazing consistency I'm getting on the hammerheads isn't just a fluke with that particular 9.1.
... Note this is all done with First strikes. No paintball testing has been done. Seems kinda silly.