Some good stuff here. In retrospect, on the oil deposit issue, reason suggests this shouldn't matter. One way or another a base surface should be as nice as possible, within limits.
And Alpha, got it on the surface area issue of friction and finish. Rather like the racing slick phenomenon for motorsport newbs. They see what appears to be a smooth, 'bald' tire and wonder how it is supposed to stick to the road without all the tread.
So point definitely taken on that. But in an interesting way, we might run into the Wet Banana/Slip-n-Slide effect here, especially with the mild oil residue on paint. A racing slick in rain is bad news for grip. In the same way, try sliding on a Slip-N-Slide with no water. Ouchy.
But put even a fine coating of water or other lubricant on and away you go. If we can't prevent some oil from the surface of paint, then maybe we can make it work to our advantage.
Just a thought, and again, testing will help to confirm or disconfirm this one way or another.
Agreed on the basic inconsistencies of paint. Again, there are so many variables in the whole system, and paint is definitely the weakest link. But we can still work on the other links in the meantime. And yes, taking the trouble to actually size each ball would be worth it for testing at least.
Thanks kindly. You simplified it nicely.
Your experience seems to be but one in a chorus of similar voices. I completely pooh-poohed flex honing ages ago, and until recently would have laughed at the very idea. But learning that the hones used and advocated by folk like agentSmith seem much more refined than the crude sort used for other purposes, and noting some discrepancies in my own barrels, even accounting for other differences, the matter of the finish is becoming much harder of late to cast aside as irrelevant.
Is it possible there is a placebo effect or commitment bias going on with honing? Sure. I perform a procedure and, because I believe it should work (or simply need to justify the process and possible expense), I imagine to myself that my performance does in fact improve. Perhaps unconsciously I also drift toward better paint to 'maximize my gains', without realizing I'm adding other things into the equation but not taking account of them.
Or maybe I'm engaging in a kind of confirmation bias, conveniently ignoring bad performance and recalling only the really amazing hits, and use this to steer my judgment.
But all that aside, I have to admit that, measure for measure, there are certain barrels through which paint just seems to behave better.
It's almost a kind of meta-cognitive thing. We aren't talking about dazzling differences. We are talking about differences so slight they are barely noticeable. And yet there they are. Change out barrels between games, re-chrono, everything should be the same. Paint comes out of the pipe at the same speed. Sound signature might be a bit different, looks are different. But nothing else should be different. And yet, there it is. That nagging little sense that something is different.
Take, for example, Lapcos. I don't want to like Lapcos. They are to me as ugly as homemade sin and I'm embarrassed to have them near my markers. They are garish, ham-fisted aesthetic abominations. But they are exceedingly well made where it counts, and their bores seem especially well finished, and the way paint behaves for me when spat out by them compels me to keep buying them and using them.
My firm conviction the last two decades plus has been that paint coming out of a four inch plastic heavily ported barrel at x velocity should behave exactly like paint coming out of a 50 inch unported barrel at the same velocity, with the possible exception of 46 more inches distance in the latter case.
When playing, I'm not thinking about the barrel, fantasizing about it's awesomeness. I'm thinking about the paint hitting the target. Sometimes I don't even know what barrel is on it at the moment. It'll just be a thought of, "Sheesh, what is going on here?" Then a glance at the barrel and a mental note. Well, over time, all those little mental notes start adding up. And when they all keep adding up the same way, it tends to wear on that initial worldview concerning barrels.
Hence, these threads.