Choosing the best barrel length is mostly a matter of personal preference.
One of the biggest myths is that a longer barrel gives you more range or improved accuracy. Both of these are not true. A longer barrel is just longer and will not provide more accuracy or distance.
Most testing shows that a barrel needs to be around 8 inches in length to achieve the correct velocity without running very high pressures. Anything after 8 inches is a matter of preference. However, there are some drawbacks to getting an 8-inch or 26-inch barrel.
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A very short barrel will make the gun a lot shorter and make you a smaller target. However, this smaller target is from the side, and most of the time you will be shot at from the front, making that small side profile less important. Short barrels are also much louder than longer barrels. Many players also find it harder to aim with a short barrel than with a longer barrel, such as a rifle versus a handgun.
There are a few advantages to longer barrels. They tend to be quieter due to the added porting. The extra length also makes sighting down the gun much easier, and target acquisition comes much more naturally. By “longer,” I mean 12 inches to 16 inches. Getting a barrel longer than 16 inches is just going to be long. However, as we said before, it’s all up to you, the user.
While barrel length might not help with accuracy, paintballs certainly will. Getting good quality paintballs is a significant part of achieving good accuracy. Check out our section on bore size for more on accuracy.