NerfHaven: "Optimal" 4B Barrel Length and Pain - NerfHaven

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"Optimal" 4B Barrel Length and Pain It hurts!

#1 User is offline   Curly 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:22 PM

Optimal is a terrible word for it, but after MIG saying his 4B hit 150' with domes I felt it necessary that I test my 4B for both my own benefit and the safety of others. It was windy today, but I had my brothers outside tell me when the wind temporarily dissipated before firing. To minimize wind I measured 35' down my hall and fired out the door. I will not be testing in this position again due to the large metal pole diagonally blocking my view 50' away. While many shots hit it, the ones that didn't still traveled flat due to the diagonal of the pole.

I took 4 shots(except for the time I took 5 by accident) and averaged them with 12", 14", 16", and 18" barrels. I used Slingshot weighted dome darts with FA24 beige foam it PETG. It has a snug fit, great for both airguns and springers. The blanks are 1.25" long, and they are marked with Sharpie rings and were replaced when the rings began to fade to prevent wear and fit change.

The 12" barrel was from a hopper but there is no feeding tab so it's essentially a 12" speedloader. The 14" was a speedloader, nothing fancy here. The 16" and 18" barrels were lengths of PETG that I put in a short 17/32" nub to seal the breech. Blowing down the breech didn't cause a leak, so besides the 1/2" wide 3/4" long brass tube there is no deadspace like the other two barrels.

My Blaster and barrels are as follows:
Posted Image

I bought the 4B tank off BuffDaddy and it had no pump. After getting a shell from Pearson and a trigger from BuzzBee customer support, the shown Titan pump was added. The OPV kicks in at 30PSI(give or take) and so does the stock pump. If you don't believe me wait until you see ranges, which are just like 4B ones. The 18" barrel isn't present because it was cut to down to used as the 16" barrel.

My brothers stood at the end of the tape measure and took note of exactly where the dart landed, so dart skip is not part of the results. Any shots that either hit something or had very poor flight paths were ignored and retested.

Overall this test had many minor variables and should have been conducted inside but meh, the results seem to support my prior knowledge. Such prior knowledge being that DeadDumpster says his 4B shoots about as far but more accurately with a 14" as opposed to a 12", and that NerfHunter uses a 16" barrel for civil war due to the power.

My results were as follows:

Posted Image

The results were about what I expected, and like DD and Hunter say, the 14" and 16" are brutally accurate. Judging by the results the "optimal" barrel for me is about 15.5", and people using similar setups can probably be confident using that. However, a very important part of barrel choice is power. Slingshot domes are the most brutal darts I know of, and are banned unconditionally in many wars. In Canada they are a common choice, due to the low cost and easy centering in the dart for superior accuracy.

Naturally, no 4B test would be complete without testing the safety of the blaster. Unfortunately, penetration tests aren't very precise and can be misleading, so that leaves human trials as the only option I know of. I fired a shot out of each barrel at my shin from about 3" away through my jeans. The order of wounds from left to right is as follows: 16", 14", and 12"

Posted Image

While there was a clear mark left, I would think it would be gone by the evening and the minor broken skin would heal quickly. BUT I'm not testing the most common scenario, they don't test crash cars going 20km/h, they send them into concrete at 130km/h. Here is the 130km/h test, in the opposite order as before:

Posted Image

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Keep in mind this is THE worst case scenario from a 4B and Slingshots (besides getting shot in the genitals and such) and most either using slugs or something less powerful than a 4B. Those that use 4Bs typically hang farther back and are painless at range, although surprising somebody with a 4B can produce this rarely. In my experience with 4Bs and Slingshots the shown damage only happens >15', but it's still possible in a war scenario. I am incredibly happy my 3K that I had clocking in at 140' broke before I could hit anybody <80' away, I'll definitely put an OPV or something into it when I fix it.

The pain of all of the wounds subsided very quickly, it felt like a deep sting and it quickly became more of a somewhat sore wound. Keep in mind my feeling in this test is three time what would normally happen, and the hits to my covered leg are basically painless. I bandaged all the wounds simply not to get a little blood on my pants, if I was in shorts at a war I would have left it alone.

Overall this brings some attention to the need to regulate and test blasters and darts in ways not based on range, as it's very different from person to person. For instance, the reason I did these tests was to prove/disprove MIG's 150' 4B range claim. I don't think he's bullshitting, but judging by the place he tested his HyperMaxx 1500 there is a fair bit of dart skip that he alone cannot account for. The best way to get accurate results is to have somebody off to the side see where the dart lands.

In conclusion: TEST YO SHIT PEOPLE! Not just with range but with bare skin tests like I did. You should also compare it to a 4B or whatever is one of the most powerful blasters allowed at the war, and with the most damaging dart allowed. In my personal opinion if slingshots and 4Bs are common at the war and few are strongly opposed to them then they're fine by me. I'll continue to use them (although perhaps with a hopper to slightly reduce the power) unless they are prohibited at the war I'm at. The decision is mostly ethical.

This post has been edited by Curly: 10 April 2012 - 05:44 PM


#2 User is offline   CaliforniaPants 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:39 PM

Good job, you shot yourself in the leg.

This post has been edited by CaliforniaPants: 10 April 2012 - 04:41 PM

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#3 User is offline   Buffdaddy 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:07 PM

View PostCaliforniaPants, on 10 April 2012 - 04:39 PM, said:

Good job, you shot yourself in the leg.


Hey, kudos for him on actually doing pain/damage factor. Put up or shut up. Also, give me my goddamn Twinkies.

#4 User is online   Langley 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:22 PM

View PostCurly, on 10 April 2012 - 04:22 PM, said:

In conclusion: TEST YO SHIT PEOPLE! Not just with range but with bare skin tests like I did. You should also compare it to a 4B or whatever is one of the most powerful blasters allowed at the war, and with the most damaging dart allowed.


So....was the verdict that this is an acceptable thing for a nerf gun to do to a person?
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#5 User is offline   Curly 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:42 PM

View PostLangley, on 10 April 2012 - 05:22 PM, said:

So....was the verdict that this is an acceptable thing for a nerf gun to do to a person?

That's up to the war host and the general populous at the war. As you know many people think 4Bs or domes might as well be spears. I personally am on the fence, but think that investigating silicon darts and other methods that offer the craved power with less pain is a good idea. This has already happened, but in my case I'd like to see silicon be used like hotglue and non silicon-exclusive darts.

Angel's 14" or longer barrel rule for Massacre seemed inappropriate given what Dumpster said, so I figured I'd look into it. You can agree that accuracy being improved often results in improved range and pain, so that was a red flag to me. If Canadians were truly the only ones in the NIC that used domes I would have just messaged Angel or posted just on CanNerf. If barrels are restricted to more powerful ones at more tight-quarters wars that won't end well.

In short, if others use similar setups and most at the war aren't freaking out, go for it. It's an Ethics thing, I tried to be reasonably objective, but I'll add my view to the OP.

View PostCaliforniaPants, on 10 April 2012 - 04:39 PM, said:

Good job, you shot yourself in the leg.

AND used a tape measure with help!

View PostBuffdaddy, on 10 April 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

Hey, kudos for him on actually doing pain/damage factor. Put up or shut up. Also, give me my goddamn Twinkies.

Thanks for jumping in the line of fire for me. Ironically the pain/damage factor makes slingshots more likely to be banned in the future, allowing me to be a more successful bitch at wars.

This post has been edited by Curly: 10 April 2012 - 05:48 PM


#6 User is offline   Guitarzan 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

View PostLangley, on 10 April 2012 - 05:22 PM, said:

So....was the verdict that this is an acceptable thing for a nerf gun to do to a person?

My first war was massacre 6, where there were numerous 4bs and almost 100% of the darts were 1/4" slingshot glue domes. I came home with numerous welts but I loved it! It adds a certain fear factor which drives people to not get shot

#7 User is offline   Phree Agent 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:39 PM

I realize this topic is simply a display of opinions and no real decisions will be made because of it, so I will also share my opinion: If I choose a hobby (such as modifying TOY guns), and it comes to a point where these said TOYS are drawing blood, I think it has become substantially less TOY-like. To me this hobby is novel because we are playing with childrens toys. The less toy-like these blasters/darts become, the less appealing it is to me. That being said, other people might play with nerf guns for different reasons; that's not my problem I guess.


I will say that I am thankful for the empirical data given here, hats off.

#8 User is offline   Buffdaddy 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:56 PM

Another note: 4B OPVs are notorious in the quality assurance department. I know my old style 4B that I've used and abused since Vengeance 1 can take 11-12 pumps before it finally kicks in, as opposed to the 9-10 I usually see. That can account for some range discrepancies between you and MIG.

#9 User is offline   Scooter1 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:16 PM

Great info! I personally think 4B's are a bit too powerful to be used with a single barrel. While people can take the pain just fine from hits in most areas of the body, when an accident happens and someone gets shot around the head from fairly close it usually puts them out for a round or two. I've seen this happen a couple times in SoCal. Plus if someone were to get shot in the temple it could be devastating (this happened at a scun war, then host decided to put restrictions on 4B's) . But of course if people aren't being douches, only shoot from a good distance and also use a sidearm when close, the danger is lessened.

This post has been edited by Scooter1: 10 April 2012 - 08:18 PM


#10 User is offline   Buffdaddy 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

As of late, I've been using a hopper and 3/4" stefans in my 4B, and it still shoots nicely, if not with a more distinctive thud when it hits :D

Perhaps we could try stepping up to megas if we have a concern about the range? You'd have to make your own darts, since that's not standard; no communal dart bin for you.

EDIT: I'm just making a suggestion, that may not be immediately obvious, given that we use micros 99% of the time. Larger darts would certainly help alleviate concerns, assuming they have similar weight to them.

EDIT 2: That might actually be an interesting comparison, using all megas again for a war, after they've been out of fashion for so long. Limits us to guns we've couplered, since you need 1/2" PVC barrels and not smaller (like PETG), but it would be an interesting comparison in the age of "We build monsters".

This post has been edited by Buffdaddy: 10 April 2012 - 09:03 PM


#11 User is offline   Ivan S 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:27 PM

I'm kind of confused by the numbers. How is it that 4Bs are infamous for being so powerful, but can barely break 100ft?

This post has been edited by Ivan S: 10 April 2012 - 11:30 PM

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#12 User is offline   Xellah 

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:29 AM

Quote

How is it that 4Bs are infamous for being so powerful, but can barely break 100ft


It could be because of a poor dart/barrel fit. More likely though, it could be that he actually measured his ranges and that they're true, flat ranges. It's nice to see real ranges for a change.

Quote

I realize this topic is simply a display of opinions and no real decisions will be made because of it, so I will also share my opinion: If I choose a hobby (such as modifying TOY guns), and it comes to a point where these said TOYS are drawing blood, I think it has become substantially less TOY-like. To me this hobby is novel because we are playing with childrens toys. The less toy-like these blasters/darts become, the less appealing it is to me. That being said, other people might play with nerf guns for different reasons; that's not my problem I guess.


That is a compelling point, Phree. But the NIC has come a long way in the homemades department. Homemades are undoubtly superior to most toy blasters, even modded, due to their almost unlimited amount of customization, durability and performance. They're commonplace, and they aren't exactly toys anymore. The argument that we play with toys doesn't quite ring true anymore in a community that mostly build their own blasters.

I like Buff's idea. Alternative ammo is pretty cool and worthy of further study.

#13 User is offline   MattTheSasquatch 

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:36 AM

I agree with Buff, maybe alternative ammo is the way to go for the much high powered blasters. I will be making another homemade this summer, but that will probably be it for homemades for me. I still love the look and feel of the toy blasters. Even now with all of the new OMW stuff being released, maybe even stock rounds could come back. Yes streamlines are unpredictable, but wouldn't it be a lot more challenging, and possibly fun, to hit someone with a streamline over a stefan not knowing where the streamline is going to hit? Maybe I am wrong, but doesn't it seem like these blasters, more so the homemades, are starting to get to the power of some of the airsoft pistols?
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#14 User is online   Daniel Beaver 

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:26 AM

View PostIvan S, on 10 April 2012 - 09:27 PM, said:

I'm kind of confused by the numbers. How is it that 4Bs are infamous for being so powerful, but can barely break 100ft?


My guess is that he's *actually* holding the gun level. I recently did a bunch of range/velocity tests with my SM1500, and was very surprised at how low the ranges where when you actually make sure your barrel is perfectly level. I think most people unconsciously tilt their blasters a few degrees, and that makes a big difference in ranges.

This post has been edited by Daniel Beaver: 11 April 2012 - 04:27 AM


#15 User is offline   Siarnaq 

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:30 AM

View PostMattTheSasquatch, on 11 April 2012 - 03:36 AM, said:

Maybe I am wrong, but doesn't it seem like these blasters, more so the homemades, are starting to get to the power of some of the airsoft pistols?


Actually, if I remember right, our blasters are way more powerful than most airsoft guns, but our ammo is less efficient.

This post has been edited by Siarnaq: 11 April 2012 - 04:31 AM


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