CrossFire RamRod Review
CrossFire RamRod Review

I recently purchased the new CrossFire RamRod barrel.   For those of you who are not familiar with this product, I’ll give you a brief description.   The RamRod consists of a solid section of stainless steel tubing 4 ¼” long.   Attached to this is a railed section 6 ¼” in length.   This area is the “business” section of the barrel.   There are 6 rails in a circular formation bound together with stainless steel bands at the end and in the middle.   This allows for a very open profile, as the rails are only 1/8” in diameter.   Because of this profile the barrel plug is, well, unique.   It is 8 ½” long and fits all the way into the solid section of the barrel.   This would prevent the shell and fill from an accidentally fired paintball from hitting anyone near the barrel.  



When I first received the barrel, I was very impressed with the quality.   The barrel has a nice brushed finish and is relatively lightweight for stainless steel.   I attribute this mostly to the rail construction.   The interior of the solid section could have been polished a bit more, but is acceptable.   I checked the bore with a few different types of paintballs.   Since I do not own a caliper, I cannot say scientifically what the actual bore is.   I can say that small-bore paint (ie Proball) tended to roll easily through the solid section, stopping half way down the rails.   The RP Premium (medium bore) fit snugly in the barrel end.   Chris at CrossFire indicated that the barrel was stepped bore, except becoming smaller towards the end.   I was disappointed to see the manufacturer had not included a o-ring on the screw end.   However, this seems to be a trend in the industry, and I have received other barrels (from well-known manufacturers) without an o-ring.   After putting on an appropriate o-ring, I was ready to test it out.  



The first this I wanted to see was how loud the barrel was during a dry-fire.   I realize that almost all barrels are quieter when shooting paint, but that was not an option.   I took it down to my local airsmith/shop to show them.   I had been interested in the product when I read the article in Paintball2Extreme magazine.   Other people at the field were also intrigued by the concept but were not willing to buy an unproven technology.   At the shop, we attached it to a Spyder Compact 2000 and gassed it up.   The first shot was deafening.   Dry-firing was incredibly loud.   In addition, there was a distinct ring as the rails vibrated like a tuning fork.   We removed the barrel and dry-fired a few times.   Amazingly it seemed quieter without the barrel!   The additional sound was probably due to the vibration of the rails.  

I then took it down to the indoor field.   I used RP Premium to ensure the paint to barrel fit was as good as possible.   I chrono’d in at 230fps (the field limit).   To see the difference in efficiency, I then put on my Smart Parts 12” All American and chrono’d again.   The speed had jumped considerably to 255fps.   Then I tried a Lapco BigShot.   Again the speed jumped, to 275fps.   That is a difference of 45fps.   The cause of this is most definitely the shortness of the solid section of the RamRod.   Accuracy, however was another matter.  

I took the marker out on the field and tested the perceived accuracy.   The paintballs did not seem to wobble in flight and were straight as an arrow.   Trajectory was the typical arc that most barrels provide.   The shots were extremely consistent, with a very small grouping.   Far better than I had expected.   My All-American and BigShot seemed to be a little less consistent, as the groupings were larger.   These results were personal observations by a few others and myself.   The sound level was much less, but still louder than anything else on the field (including Bruizers and Tippmanns).  

I did test the manufacturer’s claims of “self-cleaning” by crushing paintballs, dirt and hay in the rails.   One shot did indeed clear the rails, allowing for the other shots to be straight and accurate.   I should note that the barrel is not immune to all breaks.   Any breaks in the breach would still need to be cleaned using normal methods.   Also, paint in the solid section of the barrel can still affect the ball’s trajectory and would need to be cleaned using a squeegee.  

My opinion is the barrel uses a technology that has a lot of promise.   However, I feel the solid section of barrel should be longer by at least 2”.   This would greatly increase the efficiency.   The sound factor is unavoidable.   This is not all bad.   In a speedball or other open arena, quietness is not always an issue.   The loud signature may even offer a psychological advantage.   The “self-cleaning” aspect of this barrel is obviously a plus, although breaks closer to the breech still present a problem.   I think the unsung feature of this barrel is the accuracy.   The rails, in my opinion, provide straight rifling.   It has been contended that straight rifling may stabilize paintballs better than standard rifling.   Overall, I feel that if the manufacturer increases the efficiency, this barrel could redefine the market.  

- John C. Hoefer

Please remember that the views expressed here are opinions.
RamRod is a Registered Trademark of CrossFire, Inc.