Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Palmer Brass Barrel

Palmer Pursuit Brass Barrel

User Evaluation

What I got: Palmer Pursuit Auto Cocker Barrel with Custom Options.
Options: No Wedgits, .690 Bore, No Venting, 14 inch, Black Dust Coat
TOTAL: $70.00

What I have used before: J&J Ceramic 12 inch, Lapco Bigshot 8 inch, Spec Op's C-Series 16 inch

First Impressions:
Palmer sent me an e-mail at every step, from order confirmation to when it shipped...small thing but a nice touch. Palmer shipped the barrel packed in a pink foamy tube that protects the barrel during shipping. I used standard shipping and it arrived in about a week. There was also a cool Palmer Pursuit sticker in the box...hey everyone loves stickers smile.gif Again...another small but nice touch.
When I first held the barrel two thoughts went through my head...."WOW is this heavy" and "This is a very well crafted item"
There is a definite heft to the barrel...exact weight I am not sure of, but it is heavy for a barrel. That being said....its not really that heavy...its just heavy in comparison to most barrels. Going from a carbon fiber to this I did notice the weight. I must say however that the weight added to a sense and feel of something that was well built, had real craftsmanship to it, in no way did it feel cheap. I have to say, in my hands it just felt good, like I had made a good solid choice....just an impression...but it did make me feel that way.

A small mistake:
I had ordered the Black Dust coat...but I received the Black Gloss coat. A mistake to be sure, but one that didn't bother me much, as I found I rather liked the gloss coat. I did call Palmer to let them know of the mistake. They were EXCELLENT in their response. First I talked to a real person who really answered the phone. The woman was very nice and apologized for the mistake. She offered to exchange the barrel, no shipping costs. I told her that it was ok, and that the gloss was actually nice. She again apologized and made sure I didn't want to exchange it. Right here you could tell that she was concerned that I was getting what I wanted, and that I was a happy customer. In a world full of automated customer service it was nice to talk to a live person that actually cared about the customer. Despite the mistake, I have to give Palmer a good score on customer service.

Game Day:
The first chance I had to use the barrel was a 8 hr scenario game. It was a warm day, sunny and bright....a good day for paintball. I gassed up the tank and went to the target range. Ok...so now was the moment of truth...was the Palmer Brass all that people had hyped it to be? Would I be let down?
Nice shots out of the gate! Ok, yes it was a target range and the target was only about 35 feet away...but it put shot after shot right on top or next to each other.
To save on cost I did not get a vented version of the barrel. Was it loud...yeah , but not standing in the front row of a Kiss concert loud. It had a nice "pop" to each shot. To some, the loudness of a barrel means a lot, not so to me. If I had been concerned with it I would have plunked down the cash for a vented version (single spiral venting + $45, dual +$65) For me the reduction in sound did not justify the extra cost....but that is something you yourself would have to decide. I kind of liked the loud "pop" it made.
Out to play I went. The barrel held up great. It was shooting pretty accurate at a good distance. Like ANY marker/barrel you are going to get some curve,drop off on a shot. I was impressed with the accuracy I was getting. The ball was shooting pretty straight from shot to shot. I can't complain in anyway about how I was shooting. No barrel is going to be magical and shoot perfect arrow straight shots each and every time. So don't expect magic to happen with this barrel either. Compared to the other barrels I have used I would say,in a rather un-scientific, opinion kind of way...that the Palmer was the best of the bunch. It seemed to get tighter groupings at a consistent rate.
The barrel did not have one chop in the 1500 or so shots I had that day. My Q-Loader on the other hand did break a ball or two and some paint got into the barrel. One shot through the break, a nice curve ball, second shot getting there, third shot and it was back to normal. Just in case I did a quick swab of the barrel anyhow. From that point on the Q-Loader didn't break anymore balls, and neither did the barrel.
The weight of the barrel, I can say never came into play. With a Spec Op's T2W stock it balanced out rather well. I never got the feeling that it was too heavy to carry around, too heavy for snap shots. I was actually surprised that I didn't notice the weight at all other then to notice that it really wasn't as heavy as I thought.

I am 100% happy with my new Palmer Brass barrel. For the most part it lived up to all the hype I had read about it. While I never got ball on ball on ball type of accuracy, I found myself shooting in tight groups with each round of fire. For the money it was a very good choice. The barrel itself is well made,solid,hefty, screams quality. Some people may say its too heavy, but I didn't find it an issue at all. Mine is "loud", but that can be taken care of by getting the vented version. The service of Palmer was top notch, from the moment I ordered it, to my minor problem. Palmer deserves to be given big credit for such excellent customer service.
I am very happy with the way it shots, very happy with the quality.
I would recommend this barrel to anyone looking for a quality product that delivers on the promise of a well functioning part of your paintball arsenal.

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