Pro-Plus Barrel Treatment
© Ravi Chopra, 1996
I've been using Pro-Plus barrel treatment since I read the PCRI article I mentioned earlier. In it they found over a 30% improvement in accuracy over a stock, non-treated Tippman barrel when using the Pro-Plus treatment. My experiences over the couple years I've been using it paint a somewhat more complete picture than what they originally found.
I've used the Pro-Plus barrel treatment on a wide variety of barrels of different designs and construction materials for the VM68, 68AUTOMAG, and Autococker, as well as the Typhoon's fixed brass barrel. In doing so, I've found a few very consistent characteristics which I haven't been able to attribute to anything but the barrel treatment.
The Pro-Plus barrel treatment is a soft, white, pasty material that, like the Pro-Clean detergent, is just chock-full of Teflon. You use a swab or other similar instrument to distribute a layer of the stuff over the entire inside surface of the barrel. After allowing it to dry, you polish the barrel out with a clean, dry swab. The first thing I usually notice after polishing the barrel out is a fine dark residue on the fleece swab. This would seem to support the claim that it removes buildup that even the barrel cleaner doesn't get.
The more important question is "does it improve performance?" The answer is yes. The general characteristic that I've found to be most consistent from barrel to barrel when using the Pro-Plus treatment is fewer barrel breaks and improved self-clearing after a break. That is to say, not only will you experience fewer barrel breaks, but when you do, it will take fewer shots to blow the paint residue out of the barrel and start shooting straight again. This makes perfect sense as the slick nature of the Teflon coat will present a lower-friction surface to the paintballs, and will more readily shed loose paint resulting from a barrel break.
The effect of the barrel treatment on accuracy is much more variable. There seems to be a performance ceiling above which the treatment doesn't have any noticeable effect. For instance, the treatment did a world of good to my stock Micromag barrel. Where prior to treatment the accuracy was only fair, after treatment the barrel was dead-on well out to mid-range. On the other hand, my favorite custom Palmer and LAPCO barrels show no discernible accuracy difference with or without barrel treatment.
The moral of this story is, if you have an expensive, high-performance barrel, you're probably not going to see much of a performance improvement over and above what you're already enjoying. While tournament players will almost certainly find the self-clearing improvements worthwhile, recreational players with top-level equipment may find the process of treating and polishing their barrels not worth the time and energy investment. On the other hand, players who can not afford, or don't want to invest in an expensive aftermarket performance barrel will find that Pro-Plus barrel treatment brings a whole new level of performance from their old equipment. At a suggested retail price of $5.95 for a 4 oz bottle (which should last a full season at least if you're treating just one barrel) it's priced reasonably enough for just about anyone to try.
All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999