Monday, April 11, 2011

The Monday Poll

This week the Monday Poll wades directly into an interesting conversation and seeming "controversy"--at least in some quarters. VFTD is interested in what you think of the new Ego Prime's claim to fame: Is it the world's most accurate paintball marker? (A bit of promotional hyperbole.) Or isn't it? From VFTD's point of view it may very well be the world's most accurate Ego but that's not really the crux of the "controversy." Part of the controversy is semantic and objects to the use of the term 'accurate' to describe the results of the changes made. Others have objected to the less than rigorous use of some technical terms (like laminar) as well and if the discussion at hand was being conducted with rigor VFTD might agree but it isn't. It is aimed at the general paintball playing public and the aim has been to explain the value of the changes made to an audience largely composed of laymen. (No, there's nothing dirty about that expression, get your mind out of the gutter.)
Here's the dealio in a nutshell: the valve and bolt have been redesigned to reduce the inherent turbulence created when gas is released to propel a paintball. The object of that effort was to create superior consistency in shot to shot airflow characteristics. The result of improved consistency is projected to be tighter shot clusters (all things being otherwise equal) hence, more accurate. At which point the naysayers would point out that all things aren't equal and any effort to neutralise the variables involved necessarily results in greater consistency anyway. Stuff like bench testing the marker, controlling temperature and windage, measuring and weighing the paintballs and so on will reduce the effect of the common variables but also provide greater consistency. So is it the claimed improvements or the testing process? The data released so far suggests improved consistency from the mods. So, does improved consistency lead to greater accuracy? Is it all irrelevant mumbo-jumbo?
To fully immerse yourself in the controversy look first here and then here. Once you are sufficiently soaked it's time to vote. You know the drill. This week you only get one choice to get it right so make your choice count. Settle the debate once and for all. Btw, don't let the topic this week skeer ya. Nobody, least of all VFTD, is gonna pass judgment on your personal vote. This is about opinions. And sports. Since when did anyone have to be an expert to have an opinion? You can't be loud and obnoxious on the internet but you can express your opinion--so what are you waiting for?

Monday Poll in Review
Last week VFTD (in extremis & desperation) asked you to pick your all time favorite paintball gun. Whoop-de-freaking-doo. Didn't care last week. Don't care this week either. However it also came as no surprise that more of you voted for your favorite gat than for any other previous poll question. What the poll results tell us however is kinda interesting and not unexpected. PE remains the trendy favorite; a position they've enjoyed for some years followed by the other high profile, established big name marker makers like Dye (despite my accidentally leaving the NT off the list.) Although Bob Long marker numbers were somewhat weaker than might have been expected it was easy to pick out the current bandwagon support for the Axe and the Old Skool dominance of the autococker. For all the fans Tom Kaye has AGD numbers were well off the solid support the autococker, its one time arch nemesis, received. Also of interest was the older guns or entry type makers who failed to put numbers up for their products. Like Tippmann with 2 votes or Spyder with zero. Everybody may remember their first Spyder but it remains a transitional gun, a stepping stone perhaps, from new player to regular dedicated player. Otherwise there were modest numbers for many of the current and some of the past specialty makers like CCM or AKA and Phantom. More than anything the results may say more about the diversity of the VFTD audience than anything it suggests about markers.


Kevin said...

I just read that entire thread and I am completely convinced of one thing. Robbo doesn't know a thing about fluid mechanics. He should leave those big words that he doesn't understand for Jack Wood to handle. Regardless of whether or not consistency will have any real-world impact on accuracy, they have not presented any data that would stand up to any level of statistical analysis. They would need thousands (or more) shots to unequivocally show a difference between the two markers. The better question is: does it even matter?

Anonymous said...

I expect a "Robbo-Roid-Rage" response to this.

Please Robbo...don't disappoint.

Don Saavedra said...

I'm no scientist, but isn't consistency the heart of accuracy? If every ball leaves the gun the same way (let's assume the paint itself is consistent), it will end up in generally the same spot. Then, all I have to do is adjust my aim...

Right? What am I missing?

eta: I don't want to read all that noise.

Missy-Q said...

I agree with Don. It's not hard to grasp that consistency and accuracy are linked, and that an improvement in consistency should demonstrate an improvement in accuracy. I don't see the need for big words or mega-analysis.

Reiner Schafer said...

i also agree with this. AS long as the paintballs are leaving the barrel consistently. Even if every single paintball went exactly 5 degrees to the right, it wouldn't matter, as long as they all do it.

Kevin said...

@Don and @Missy-Q

Don, you hit the heart of the matter, but glossed over it: the paint is inherently consistent. First of all you have a nearly spherical object with imperfections such as uneven weight distribution and surface imperfections. Secondly, the sphere is inherently a terrible shape for a ballistic object. Tom Kaye did some studies in the late 90's with perfectly round plastic balls, but he did not see an appreciable increase in accuracy. It has to do with the turbulent (often unpredictable) airflow around a sphere (fluid mechanics again...).

So, theoretically, does consistent barrel velocity of an object translate to improved accuracy? yes. However, will other environmental factors outweigh the improvement corresponding to increased consistency? I seriously doubt it.

My biggest beef is that Robbo comes across like what he is saying is scientifically correct. The data set that has been presented does not support his claims. (Note: They don't disprove it either...) The results are ambiguous at best, but it is presented as gospel truth. Show any scientist that data set and they'll tell you that the two data sets are statistically the same.

abc said...

Consistency is virtually worthless is close to mid range accuracy. Unless you're talking very large swings. Consistency helps shot to shot accuracy at long ranges, but it is entirely overcome by the fact that you're not holding your gun like a vice and if you were you'd probably be more in accurate because it's better to have a some-what looser grip and stance to allow your body to adjust.

In other words, consistency is one variable, but it is pretty much at the bottom of the barrel in terms of importance. Sure, if there is something really bad going on, you might notice it (doubt it). But the other variables are pretty much impossible to compensate for and have a larger affect.

If you're trying to shoot the barrel tip of a guy across field, and you are a good shot, consistency will help provide the foundation for "walking" your shot on to that target (ie. adjusting aim after each shot/string).

So it's a good foundation to have, and that's all Planet can do anyway. They are striving to make the best tool possible for you to use. It's up to you to be actually good with it in the various circumstances you find yourself.

papa chad said...

isn't it far more important that the consistency leads to a gun chrono'd at a higher fps close to 300? more paint breaks, paint will get where you aim faster (off the break...), perhaps less lob-could be good or bad.

accuracy is a moronic argument, no one looks at the thing with a straight face... kick has always had more to with accuracy in paintball guns than anything, in my outlandish opinion.

the problem here is everyone will make their own claims to reasoning this out, and none of us will be right or wrong, just stupid for arguing about it. looks like we're the audience Eclipse's hype machine kills for.

and does no one look back on "angel lob vs autococker accuracy" and see how stupid the argument is? there are different variables on different days in different places at different times, and we're all the more dumbed down for having this conversation.

Don Saavedra said...

What Eclipse marker (or direct competitor) has kick? Unless you're a noodley armed noob with a Tippmann... let's stick to what's germane to the discussion.

papa chad said...

sneaking a big word in there, i see. maybe you've not shot with one hand, holding a lane, while reloading before. stability is indeed a factor.
and the ego, at least when it was released, kicked more than any other applicable tournament-style gun. it kicked like a timmy with the dwell too high.
and I'll let baca decide if what I post is germane, punk rocker.

papa chad said...

here's an argument: shoot an Eclipse-blade autococker one-handed while reloading @12bps and tell me you can't tell a difference in your accuracy compared with a Dye NT. dare ya.

Don Saavedra said...

Don't half-ass it, papa chad. Why not include those giant potato cannons in with your analysis of "kick."

Baca Loco said...

Girls, girls, girls
I just took my afternoon meds and was dialing up some Motley Crew--and what do I discover but a low intensity cat fight brewing. I say go big or go home.

Unfortunately I won't be moderating as the subject is getting very close to VFTD's one taboo. It was a risk of taking up the poll topic in the first place and no fault of any commenter as I had hoped to keep things to a more or less technical discussion.

Regarding markers generically I will say the greater the reciprocating internal mass the more likely "kick" is an issue hence tiny little hammers and extreme low pressure operation.

And by yesteryear's standards modern gats are, when properly tuned, miles ahead,

And finally "kick" is one of those myriad of variables that impact accuracy as it forces reacquisition of the site picture if the probelm is sufficiently severe or the target at a longer range.

Personally I prefer punkin' chunkin' trebuchets. Now that's entertainment!

papa chad said...

haha...oh, brother (paintball)...

if you can chrono consistently enough near 300, such as 295 consistently without getting the penalty, that the money. any real tournament player can see that.
you can built the hype machine however you want, but you just sound like Bud Orr if you're claiming "better accuracy." have fun with the akrit gun, homie, I'm out.

Don Saavedra said...

[hits da club]