Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Notes On The 50 Caliber Solution

My Paint Guy, who has yet to be mistaken, has an interesting take on the 50 cal rollout that I figured I’d pass along, not because I’m buying it 100% but because he has yet to take a wrong step. Hard to argue with getting it right.

Anyway, he’s all for the 50 cal small ball because he is convinced it will work with the current level of technology and that all the potential pitfalls can (or have been) overcome. And the resulting cost reductions at the manufacturing end will make paintball much more affordable across the board. This, it seems to me, remains an open question but we’ll see.
Of more interest (to me) he also thinks the Pro teams will be outfitted to compete using the small ball next season as a high profile way of introducing the new gear and paintball to the tourney marketplace. It makes enough sense that it could happen and given that the latest rumors keep projecting a small ball introduction at World Cup it fits the logistics as well. Again, we’ll see.

I still have a few questions about small ball, mostly related to performance; marking consistency, breaking consistency and, in particular, velocity. I don’t doubt the first two can be accomplished but I’m reserving judgment until I see the small ball in action. Velocity is another issue entirely however. In the background there has been speculation about some of the performance claims (more accurate, longer range, etc.) and just how that can be accomplished–or even if it can. The keys seem to be the weight of the small ball and velocity. If the small ball requires greater velocity in order for its dynamic characteristics to match the 68 cal ball or to exceed the 68 cal ball that could have a significant effect on the tourney game. Right now we are competing on a field where the dimensions, bunkers and equipment create a balance between the valued core elements of the game. A velocity change could (and if sufficiently different, would) alter the current game dynamics. Think movement and what will happen if the paintball is moving, say, 350 fps instead of 295 fps. (This isn’t a game breaker of course but if the potential impact of things like higher velocity aren’t considered in advance and accounted for the result could be unintended harm just when everything looked to be turning around.)

I also have some questions about how the ‘09 off season is going to change the Pro landscape, again, and small ball could have a big impact on that, too. Last off season saw another reduction in paint sponsorships and a scramble amongst the teams for the limited resources. Until the small ball rumor hit there was every reason to expect more of the same but a move to small ball might keep more teams in the game. (If there is a commensurate retail price reduction resulting from the projected manufacturing savings.) Or maybe not. More on this angle in the future.

15 comments:

pbfurby said...

Foregone conclusion that the pro guys will be seeing/using the .50 stuff sooner rather than later...it's a time-honored tradition to have the guys at the top of the competitive level prototype new products to help work out the bugs..

Anonymous said...

Solution to what?

Colette said...

"Solution to what?"

The fact that most people can only buy 2,000 paintball for $40. When 40 gets you 3500 paintballs, all will be good and there will be harmony in the paintball world.

Or...all hell might break loose and the paintball world will spin off its axis and colide with other worlds and blow up in an atomic nightmare.

Actually, I think some think it will help companies afford to sponsor more teams again and then the tournament scene will gain some momentum.

For my business personally, it won't be a solution for anything. It's not broken, so it doesn't need fixing. I'm still trying to get people to shoot less, not more.

Reiner Schafer said...

Oops, that last comment was from me, not my wife. haha. Didn't realize she was logged in.

Baca Loco said...

As a favor to Colette VFTD tolerates you Reiner. She is always welcome.

Missy Q said...

I think there was a more interesting development I learned of from Chicago that puts all this Richmond/SP/50cal thing into better perspective for me.

Hippo said...

Why not share this development with the rest of us?

Missy Q said...

I'm trying to work out if its common knowledge yet...

Baca Loco said...

Well, that's easy. Missy, you post it here and I'll let you know if it's common knowledge. Yet.

Colette said...

It's impossible to share common knowledge. Everyone already knows. So get on with posting something that is not common knowledge.

Missy Q said...

I shared it with Baca Loco - if he wants to post it he can.

Baca Loco said...

I doubt it's common knowledge and not that I don't trust Missy I'ma gonna double check. Either way, it's interesting but not earth-shaking.

Missy Q said...

I didn't claim it was earth-shaking, only that it put this 50 cal stuff in perspective.
I had thought that several industry figures were working together towards a common goal.

Now I know its one entity.

Anonymous said...

We know GI Milsim is the entity...are you saying the rest of PBIndustry is bucking the idea?

Baca Loco said...

GI Milsim is the name but I'm not sure it exists as other than a marketing tool. Much like DLX Technology that doesn't seem to be other than a name.
What may have occurred is that Richmond bought into SP as a partner.