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Old 01-28-2016, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How Much Air is Required to fire a paintball?

This is a pontification I have. I wasn't able to google it for some reason. I'm surprised. But:

How much air is needed to propel a paintball to 280 fps? I'm thinking of an average 68 cal ball. I am curious because I see air guns that shoot .22 cal pellets at supersonic speeds. How hard would it be to get a paintball to 280 fps on a spring/hydraulic system like a BB gun and shoot at that speed? What kind of pressure are we talking about when shooting the paintball out?
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think they'd be able to take the acceleration to supersonic speed in the length of a traditional marker, you'd probably see breech/barrel breaks before a paintball leaves the barrel.

On the other hand, you can calculate the theoretical number based on these threads:
Theoretical Maximum Efficiency of any Marker - PunkWorks - Forums

Minimum Pressure/Volume to fire a paintball - PunkWorks - Forums

Make sure to substitute the desired velocity in the energy equation.
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Honestly I have no idea. Good question though!
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The valve design would play a big part of this question for obvious reasons.

The big problem with comparing paintball to airguns or even airsoft is the paint. The other systems don't need to take the ammunition into consideration. We need the paint to make it out the end of the barrel in one piece...

When you really think about it, there is a pretty narrow margin we play around with. Paint could be made more robust to deal with different valve designs or firing mechanisms... but it could result in bouncy paint... which would cause people to complain. It's a fine line to walk.
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the easiest thing to do is to pick a marker and see what people get for number of shots per bottle fill, then convert to standard cubic feet of air. Don't forget to throw out the "bottom" of the tank where the marker won't shoot.

The rule of thumb for automags, near the low end of efficiency, is 15 shots/ci @4500psi and 10 shots/ci @3000psi. When you back calculate these together, they are fairly close, given they start at +/- 10% on average.

The fancy markers that claim 2000 rounds per 68/4500 bottle would be twice that efficient, so there's a lot of factors in there.
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Old 01-28-2016, 03:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofxkid2005 View Post
The valve design would play a big part of this question for obvious reasons.

The big problem with comparing paintball to airguns or even airsoft is the paint. The other systems don't need to take the ammunition into consideration. We need the paint to make it out the end of the barrel in one piece...

When you really think about it, there is a pretty narrow margin we play around with. Paint could be made more robust to deal with different valve designs or firing mechanisms... but it could result in bouncy paint... which would cause people to complain. It's a fine line to walk.

Yep. A good reason why rifling is pointless too. The paint. But all we are looking to do is get it to 300 fps (less really). I mean barrel length isn't a big deal to me. I mean people play with "sniper rifles" or so I have heard. Lol
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Old 01-28-2016, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonewall50 View Post
Yep. A good reason why rifling is pointless too. The paint. But all we are looking to do is get it to 300 fps (less really). I mean barrel length isn't a big deal to me. I mean people play with "sniper rifles" or so I have heard. Lol
Some of the First Strike shooters would have a good argument for you regarding both rifling and sniping.

You need to nail down a valve system to begin to answer this question though. In most practice, a high pressure poppet (think Tippmann) will be less efficient than a low pressure poppet ('cocker/sniper)... with exceptions(Shoebox Shockers come to mind).
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As mentioned above the acceleration from a spring powered gun would probably be too much, velocity goes down in them as barrel length goes up for the same spring, as opposed to precharged ones which need a longer barrel for more velocity (within reason).
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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High pressure = low volume.
Low pressure = high volume.

It's not really about "how much" air, it's about ergs of energy developed.
A high pressure platform will run out of pressure before running out of air, but a low pressure platform will run out of air sooner.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrate Jim View Post
High pressure = low volume.
Low pressure = high volume.

It's not really about "how much" air, it's about ergs of energy developed.
A high pressure platform will run out of pressure before running out of air, but a low pressure platform will run out of air sooner.
ergs

Nice use of obscure units.
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