The Scoop on .50 Caliber Paintball, A Paintball X3 Exclusive, Part II compares the performance of .50 and .68 balls at 274 and 275 average fps respectively and reach the conclusion that the performance of the different-sized balls is quite colosely matched. I do have some qualms on the test..
First off, the data they extracted contradicts the ballistic calculations that can be found in this earlier post and this chart from mccartebrown.com. Especially the claims of level shot distances to be 155 ft and 145ft for the .68 and .50 respectively. According to the mccarterbrown.com chart, at 150 ft distance with 300fps velocity, the ballistic flight path of the .68 ball would have dropped 537.5 inches, or 44 ft.. Since the makers were 5ft only high, I doubt the pbx3 test setup accuracy as not too much of a description was given. If we only take into account the ballistics, at 5ft height (60 inches) the expected flight path lengths would hit the ground somewhere a bit over 90ft (drop 54.1 inches) for the .68 and a bit over 80 ft (dropped 45 in@75ft, 96in at 90ft) for the .50 paint. Considering that the pbx3 guys claimed to shoot at 275, I think their numbers are off. Anyway, a lot of contradiction going on about the .50 discussion, and finding solid data is quite difficult.
Elsewhere on the internet, the first MSRP prices for the .50 cal paint have been posted by Andy Piper on p8ntballer.com forums
I have real figures.
But you have to know something first………. When comparing the prices you have to bare in mind that the ball has to be made with the same materials. There are 3 different main ingredients……… Peg (most expensive and best all high grade tournamnet paint is made with peg), Starch (cheaper than Peg but will leave chalky marks, almost all other grades are made with starch) and finally Oil (the cheapest of the 3 and the worst for the envioroment and most low end cheap paint is made with oil).
All of the prices I am quoting are for PEG filled balls.
.50 cal RRP
Tournament Class £29.99
Rec Winter Class £25.99
Rec Class £25.50
.68 cal RRP
Rec Sport £29.90
.68 cal RRP
Formula 13 £29.95
Calculating the cost savings per case, i get a bit under 20% savings per case. For the player that is 5 cases for the current price of 4. To be honest, it is a significant saving over the course of a year, but still the effect is not that revolutionary and far from the rumored 40% savings that were initially claimed. I feel that the facts, as they ensue, are deflating the hype quite a lot.. Even if .50 survives past the critical mass to exist, i think that it’s lacking the momentum to be a true revolution. If and when the ballistics are consistent with physics, and the fps is still regulated at 300, I can’t see a satisfactory co-existence on the same playing field. The .50 may end up as its own branch, and inevitably divide the paintball scene instead of saving it. We will have to see.