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Old 12-13-2014, 10:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why 300fps?

Hi everyone,

I was just thinking about this today, how was 300fps chosen as the maximum safe speed of a paintball. Were there any kinds of tests run? Was it just an arbitrary number? Did the goggle manufactures choose it because they could make lenses to a price point?

I'm just really curious if there was actually any empirical research done at some point or if people just went "that looks right" and everyone agreed to abide by that.

Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Penarol10 View Post
Hi everyone,

I was just thinking about this today, how was 300fps chosen as the maximum safe speed of a paintball. Were there any kinds of tests run? Was it just an arbitrary number? Did the goggle manufactures choose it because they could make lenses to a price point?

I'm just really curious if there was actually any empirical research done at some point or if people just went "that looks right" and everyone agreed to abide by that.

Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It had to do with impact energy at which the small bones in a human hand will break. They found by using I believe it was pig knuckles that 300fps was the safe speed where no matter what happened you wouldn't cause a break and anything above that beyond reason (say 350fps) would cause major damage and small bone fractures in almost all cases
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It had to do with impact energy at which the small bones in a human hand will break. They found by using I believe it was pig knuckles that 300fps was the safe speed where no matter what happened you wouldn't cause a break and anything above that beyond reason (say 350fps) would cause major damage and small bone fractures in almost all cases
Thats a cool little bit of trivia.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thats a cool little bit of trivia.
-Except it's a bit ex post facto.

Really, it was essentially accidental. I'm guessing a bit, but I'd bet that Nelson did a little experimenting to get the best balance between range and ball breakage. Though I've also heard there was an element of "those just happened to be the springs he could get in bulk", so take it with a grain of salt.

When we started using them for sport, it didn't take long before people started modding them for more range, and fields had to start clamping down on velocities because of the usual spoilsports. And by that point, most regular players knew that a gun shooting 260 to 300 or so wasn't bad, but that welts and bruises got worse and worse the faster it went.

And basically, 300 FPS is a nice round number, and so we naturally tended to use it. Ever been to a field that had a limit of 289.4? I rest my case.

It was only afterward that insurance companies and goggle manufacturers and the like started to do real testing, and found that 300 was actually a pretty good limit.

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Old 12-14-2014, 12:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's funny Doc my home fields regulation speed is 289.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Really? Do they say why? I mean, I know lots of indoor places have slower speeds and whatnot, but why 289? Why not 290? Or 285?

Again, there's no reason that we couldn't have 286.3 or something, especially with today's digital chronographs, but still, everybody likes round numbers. If the speed limit was 55.4, people would start actually getting pissed off.

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Old 12-14-2014, 01:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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because 350fps frigging HURTS
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In the complete guide to paintball, whichever editions had the bud orr interview, bud said he talked with a specialist to see how much energy the average hand could take before breaking, and then calculated the energy a paintball has at what velocity.
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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every field Ive been too velocity max was 280... unless it was tournament which was slightly more
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