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Old 12-23-2006, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Trivia: Why .68 calibre?

I'm just curious for the sake of trivia... how did paintball manufacturers settle on .68 calibre paintballs? Other sizes have been .50 and .62.

Also, why are paintballs listed as .68 calibre when most seem to be closer to .689 and most barrels seem to be .691?

What do you experts in paintball lore think?
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I remember hearing that is was the size the first machine could make, and those machines are expensive. I don't remember where I heard that, but I heard it before.

I Imagen they are all listed as 68 to make it less confusing to the masses.

Caliber not Calibre
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Old 12-23-2006, 11:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The most common reason I've heard is that .68 was a very common bath bead size.
Most bath beads were made by pharmacuticals, who now make all the paintballs.

SO, they probobly told Nelson that it would be cheapest to use .68 since it would not reqire any new casting dies.

I've also heard that Nelson simply used a 22/32" drill, since it was what they had laying around.

Nick
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Old 12-23-2006, 12:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Agreeing with HP here.

Pharmeceutical companies already had .68 dies.

A 20-gauge shotgun is also .68--more or less--so it's easy to get tooling.

Just putting two and two together.
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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But, as to why paintballs are getting smaller and smaller every year? I remember when .692 was "small bore".

My guess is the obvious: Cost less to make for pharmacuticals.

Or, more sizes simply tricks buyers into thinking they need more barrels to match the bore (and similar gimmicks)

Nick
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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RPScherer... one of the largest pharmaceutical companies and capsule/pill makers in the world already had large expensive machines tooled for .68 cal bath beads.
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranus View Post
Caliber not Calibre
Calibre is a British variation on the spelling.

Ok, yah got me. I'm not British.

thanks for the replies.
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Because they can use 11/16" tooling to make the guns. 11/16" tooling is easily available. Some of the earlier smaller calibers actually had better accuracy, but had to have custom sized tooling made, so the more availble tooling won out.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The good news is, if the paint keeps getting smaller, the 3357 guys will soon have a good paint range to choose from =/ :P
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Old 12-23-2006, 03:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you look at the early markers they all used brass tubing. And if you look at 11/16 tubing with a 1/32 wall you'll find that it convieniently comes out to .6875 or 5/8 inch which just happens to round off to..... wait for it! .68.

Or if you want a thicker barrlel then 3/4 with 1/16 walls is also 5/8's. And typically the companies that make tubing of this sort make the walls a hair under so the sizes telescope nicely for specific fabrication needs but keep the OD to spec. I use quite a bit of brass tubing in one of my other hobbies so I'm fairly well aquainted with the sizing of the 1/16 to 3/4 x 1/32 wall options.

So I suspect that the 5/8 or .6875 balls and the readily available brass tubing just sort of happened to come together by a happy coincidence.
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