playing in the snow...a few unanswered questions
So, paintball season has started up again in northern Minnesota. The issue is, there's still a foot-foot and a half of snow on the ground. Living in an area like this, I'm used to dealing with markers and clothing in the cold, but record snowfall has left us with a foot and a half of fresh, fluffy snow (we just got 6 more inches today).
Even when I consciously keep my marker, more specifically my barrel, out of the snow, I end up with snow and/or water everywhere-breech, barrel, hopper, etc. Every time I move, even without sliding, my barrel, inside and out, becomes coated with snow and water, making my shots hook like mad. I can usually fix it with a handful of clearing shots, or a quick swab, but there has to be a better way! Those first few seconds of surprise after a move are always the most crucial, and I've been loosing out, any help?
I've seen folks take a couple paper towels or plastic and tape it or rubber band it around their barrel porting or open areas on their marker (that wont bind up if covered in plastic)..
but thats more for rain i guess
There's not a whole lot you can do. The temperature differential is going to cause condensation, metal being such a good conductor and all.
For the barrel, in the good old days, we used to use Rain X type products on the inside, I know a few guys that swore by Fantastic. That might make it easier to clean out the barrel with fewer shots.
Throw some foam pipe insulation over the barrel. It will thermally insulate the barrel. But the insulation blocks the porting making your marker very loud.
Shoot a forgiving paint and plan on taking more than your usual number of shots. :)
I don't think it is the water causing your accuracy issues... As the first shot would clear out your barrel. It most likely is the paint itself. Do you underbore? If so, don't in the cold, as that causes a ton of problems, then you have to realize that paint will swell in the cold, and behave strangely. I literally change out my paint after EVERY game when I play in the snow (and our games are typically only 10 minutes or less). I keep all my paint in a cooler with a heat source, and swap pods, and paint in my hopper every single time we are getting ready to start the next game.
By the end of the game at times my paint is usually behaving in the way you are describing...
And that is even with winter blend paint. I find the best winter paint is the glossy hard shelled paintballs, as they seem to hold their size better than the paint that is more rubbery and seems to grow in size in the cold.
Oh, and the BIGGEST thing to do when playing in below freezing temps is to TURN DOWN your velocity! Seriously, if it is below freezing, you should be running 260fps max. This single factor will change the way your paint flies, as the cold makes your marker velocity fluctuate dramatically. I have lots of guys that run 250fps or less in the cold and it makes a world of difference.
You can't shoot as far, but it beats watching your paint fly this way and that...
My paint held up fine, and I was overboring by 1-2 thousandths. The paint shot great, after a move it would shoot a lot like I had a break for the first 4-5 shots. I inspected my barrel, and it was entirely due to condensation/snow getting directly into the bore.
My paint was stored in the heated shed at my field, it wasnt ever colder than 70 F until I walked onto the field. I was using a hopper with a lid. I was using winter blend paint. I always turn down my velocity in the cold, I was shooting in the mid to low 260s.
even at the end of 20+ minute games my paint shot straight after a few clearing shots or a quick swab.
We tried a LOT of things back in the day(mid/late 90s') to play winterball (I live an hour north of Duluth), and it just never worked out well. We get too much snow, it is too cold, and the equipment is too fussy to work out well. After struggling for a couple of years, we found out it is just easier to wait for the temps to warm up and the snow to melt. Good news though....should get 70 this weekend!!!
I actually live in duluth, not sure whether to be excited or not about 18" of snow and 70 degree weather. Last weekend was nuts, even the popet guys were struggling with their guns
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