Paintball has become a popular sport worldwide. A lot of people consider paintball as a very fast-paced game, which it is. Players spend hours practicing their skills so that they can be the best at the game. However, players who want to be successful know that they must master the fundamentals.
Understanding the difference between a chopped ball and a barrel break is one of the Most Important Fundamentals of Paintballing. Unfortunately, many people tend to use the terms chopped ball and barrel breaks interchangeably.
In reality, Barrel breaks and chopped balls are two different problems that can cause stoppages. A barrel break is a broken piece of paintball that flies out of the barrel because of an incorrect shooting angle or velocity.
The case with a chopped ball is when it has been fired but will not leave the barrel, causing an obstruction somewhere along the way. Chopped balls can also happen when there is a problem with the paintballs, such as humidity in the air which will cause them to swell up and expand inside of the barrel.
Chopped balls are much more common than barrel breaks because they do not have much to do with shooting technique but rather problems that arise from the incorrect use of equipment or faulty paintballs.
What is a Chopped Ball in Paintball
Chopped Balls are something that almost every paintballer has faced at some point or another. Most importantly, a chopped ball may result in a “dead” marker or a marker that fails to shoot. This situation is particularly frustrating for many paintballers, as they have to stop playing and walk back to their marker to fix it.
The term Chopped Ball refers to paintballs that break inside the barrel before being fully loaded into the chamber of the marker. The issue of chopped Balls often clogs the Marker’s Hopper or Feedneck that subsequently prevents other Paintballs from feeding into the Feedneck.
Reasons of Chopped Balls
There are several reasons why paintballs can be chopped. Some causes have been identified and, some have not. It is important to know what causes it so that you can prevent chops from happening to you on the paintball field.
Speed of the Hopper
A paintball hopper is a device that feeds paintballs into the marker of a paintball gun. The faster the hopper can feed the paintballs into the marker, the faster the player can shoot. The slower the hopper feeds the balls, the longer the player has to wait.
If you have a hopper that is working too slowly about your marker, you will experience chopped balls. This is where balls in the feed neck are partially in the barrel when the next ball is being loaded into the feed neck. This results in a ball partially broken or crushed when it hits the barrel.
The opposite problem, when your hopper is too fast, is the dreaded double feed. This happens when the marker is fired after a ball has been loaded into the barrel. In this instance, the marker loads another ball and fires it before the previous ball has left the barrel. The result is double the paint and a bunch of paintballs on the floor and in your barrel.
Issues with Loader
A loader malfunction is one of the leading causes of chopped balls in paintball. A loader malfunction occurs when a tank is not properly closed, or the loader itself is not assembled properly. In either case, paintballs can get stuck in the loader and prevent it from spinning. When this happens, the paintballs get chopped inside the chamber.
Out of Round Paintballs
Paintballs are manufactured to very tight specifications, one of the toughest being the roundness tolerance. If a paintball is out of round it can travel down the barrel off-center rather than straight on. This will cause it to fracture or break in half. Often the paintball will not exit the barrel but instead get stuck. Using a rounder tool, you can true up your paintballs to ensure they are perfectly round and won’t chop.
Sometimes paintballs can become unstable due to temperature variations, high humidity, dirt in the paint, etc. When this happens they can start to deform and separate, which causes them to break when entering the barrel. They may also leave the barrel at an angle instead of straight on.
Tips to Diagnose a Chopped Ball during the Match
It happens many times when you are in the middle of a game, and all of sudden, the shooting speed of your marker gets slow. It indicates a chopped ball damaged your marker. Here are some tips to diagnose a chopped ball during a match.
The first option for you is to continue your game without stopping. A single chopped ball has minimum impact on your marker’s performance. However, it can cause some serious issues to the Speed, Accuracy, and Shooting Power of your paintball gun.
If you are continuously facing Shooting Issues with your marker then, it’s a better option to withdraw from the game. After leaving the field, you can thoroughly check and clean your gun to prevent further problems.
Another option for you is to apply quick Maintenance Tactics on the field. However, this option is not good if you are a beginner or intermediate player. Emergency maintenance allows you to diagnose chopped balls and regain your shooting speed.
Tips to Clean Paintball Gun after having Chopped Balls
The process of cleaning your marker after having a chopped ball is simple. However, you must have the proper equipment to disassemble and assemble your marker. All you need is to remove the broken paintball by cleaning the barrel, the feedneck, and the hopper.
What is a Barrel Break in Paintball
Barrel break is a common yet stressful challenge that Professional Paintballers tend to face during gameplay. A Barrel Break commonly happens inside the barrel, and it happens when the bolt itself strikes the paintball inside the barrel before it is released.
Reasons of Barrel Break
Barrel break is a problem that is common for all barrels. It is very unfortunate, but the barrels also need regular maintenance and repair. However, Barrel Break is less dangerous than Chopped Balls as you can prevent barrel breaks by following a few tips.
Poor Maintenance of the Barrel
The barrel on your paintball marker is one of the most important parts of the gun. It helps determine how far you can shoot, how accurate you are, and so so much more. All of the dust, dirt, and residue that gets into the barrel can affect your paintball gun’s performance and causes Barrel Breaks.
Usage of Low Quality Paintballs
The majority of paintballers will have experienced a barrel break at some point. This can be a very frustrating experience for even the most experienced players. In the majority of cases, a barrel break is caused by poor quality Paintballs. These paintballs are made of thick shells and, they easily stuck inside the barrel.
Weather is another reason for Break Barrels. Weather Conditions have a direct impact on the paintballs and, you must aware of that. During the Cold Weather paintballs become more brittle and, you must use thicker paintballs in cold conditions.
Size of the Paintball
Another reason for the Barrel Break is the Size of the Paintballs. If you are using much bigger paintballs than the size of your barrel, then they will stuck inside the barrel. You must use proper size paintballs for your paintball gun.
Tips to Avoid Barrel Breaks
Barrel Breaks are a common issue for Paintball players. It usually happens when a round is stuck inside the barrel before leaving it. However, you can avoid this problem by following the Pro-tips mentioned below.
Clean and Maintain the Barrel on Regular Basis
A dirty barrel is the main reason for Barrel Break and, it is necessary for your Clean the Barrel after each game. A clean barrel helps prevent barrel breaks. Moreover, you can use oil or other lubricants to remove dirt from inside the barrel.
Use Paintballs according to the Shooting Pressure of your Marker
It is necessary to use the paintballs according to the shooting capabilities of your paintball marker. If your marker shoots at a higher pressure, you must use low-quality rounds. However, you must consider the shell material of the paintball.
Consider Weather Conditions
Another tip to avoid Barrel Break is to use paintballs according to the weather conditions. You must use thick shell rounds in cold weather. Besides, you must use a 1-size smaller paintball in hot conditions as it expands in the heat.