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:
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:
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"
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:
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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.
Edited by Curly, 10 April 2012 - 08:44 PM.