All about barrels.  Myths and Facts
here are many myths floating around about barrels for paintball guns.  But vey few facts.

When everyone starts out as newbies in this sport they usually dont have a clue as to what true accuracy is.  Most rental guns couldnt hit the inside of the barn from inside it.

As players gain experience though they start demanding more accuracy.  Probably one of the most important upgrades you can make to a paintball gun is to get a better quality barrel for it.  Which one ? What brand is best.   Well to be 100% honest with you, no one  aftermarket barrel is any better than another.  "Most" of the aftermarket barrels will be an improvement over the stock low quality barrel that comes on most of the entry level guns.  

What is important is "fit and finish".
A very smooth straight finish on the inside surface is very important and affects the accuracy the most.   Not length.  Not what type of coating, Not what kind of porting it has.  Dont get me wrong though. Those things can be important too.  Just in other ways.

Porting is important to dissapate the gas's propelling the ball before it gets to the end of the barrel.
Escaping gas's could deflect the paintball at the end of the barrel if not relieved beforehand.
Porting also helps quiet the "bark" of your paintball gun, so it is not so loud and easy to find.

Bore size is very important.  Too small, and you break a ton of paint.  Too large and accuracy goes out the window along with a lot of your gas effiiciency. A paintball should just fit lightly in the barrel.  It shouldnt just roll all the way thru it.  But it should be able to be blown thru easily.
A player wanting the best accuracy should have several barrel sizes to choose from.  Paint size changes from the cool morning to the hot humid play in the afternoon.  Be prepared.

Longer doesnt mean better.   A 10" or 12" barrel can be just as accurate as an 18" barrel.
The big difference is in the player.  Some people can hold a longer gun and barrel more steadily than a short gun and short barrel, allowing them to shoot better.

We have done test's with the guns locked down in a vice.  a 12" barrel shot the
EXACT same spread at 125 to 200 feet as a 18" barrel.   And the problem with the 18" barrel was that it used a lot more gas to get the paintball downfield.  So you get less shots per tank with a long barrel over a short one.  Something to remember.

Another thing to remember is that the barrel is important, but so is the paint your shooting.
If you have the cheapest stuff you can find at Wal-Mart, dont expect any kind of accuracy, I dont care what kind of gun or barrel your using.
Better quality paint that has been stored properly is going to shoot the best.

Action Cycle is a large stocking dealer that goes thru Hundreds of cases of paint per month.
The knowledgeable staff can help guide you to what is currantly working the best.

Staff members at Action Cycle have

1 1997 5 man World Championship
1 1998 3 man World Championships
1 1998 5 man World Championship
1 1998 International Open 10 man Championship
1 Canadian National 10 man Championship
1 Canadian National 5 man Championship
1  3rd at World Cup 10 man 2000
1  2nd at World Cup 10 man 2001
1 2nd at World Cup 10 man 2002
2 or 3 ICC Championships