Paintball Ballistics Scope - Niche but wide open

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  1. tGarr

    tGarr Member

    Current situation:
    Paintballers currently primarily use red dot sights to help with aim. Due to the trajectory of paintballs (more mortar than rifle) these are by definition a compromise. The dot will only be on target at one range.

    Compounding issue:
    A new type of paintball (First Strikes) offer increased range through improved areodynamics, however the trajectory/arc of these projectiles is still much more mortar than rifle. These rounds cost as much as $0.25 per shot and as a result optics are becoming much more important to players; but scopes, archery sights, bb/plinking red dots all fail to account for the arc of paintballs.

    Proposed solution:
    A camera app that when given range and type of round uses the accelerometer to prompt the player to move the gun to the correct elevation (angle).

    Here's a thread of folks already looking for this app.

    At the most basic level this would be a cross hair projected over a video feed from the camera. The horizontal bar would be driven by the ballistics calculations and orientation relative to gravity.

    Additional features that could spruce it up:
    -range estimator similar to smart tools
    -recording function to document all your best shots
    -Here's the concept taken all the way to completion in the firearms world

    I'm a mech. engineer and would also be happy to help with the ballistics tables if that is an issue.

    It's not a huge market, pretty niche to be honest, but the folks who would use it would be VERY grateful, and unlike a lot of other ideas...there really isn't any competition for this one. The existing camera apps being used as stand-ins don't cut it.

  2. llatch

    llatch Well-Known Member

    I love this idea! Of course it would take collaboration to get the reticles zeroed(as i dont have paint ball or airsoft gun) right but its a very simple app.
  3. tGarr

    tGarr Member

    I've got the gear and would be happy to volunteer as test subject #1. Any of the guys on that mcmastercarr thread are huge paintball geeks as well and would happily work as testers.

    Feel free to PM me for my email if you are interested in working on this.
  4. Mayhem

    Mayhem Well-Known Member Contributor

    Cripes! A case normally has what, 1000 rounds? I used to be able to get a case of Marbalizer for about $100. Granted, I haven't played in more than a decade..

    $250 for a case of paint? No.Freaking.Way.

    /Sorry, didn't mean to threadjack.
    //Never used a sight. Always just eyeballed it.
    ///Slashies :)
  5. tGarr

    tGarr Member

    If you buy them at the field in 8rd tubes...they can get damn expensive, $0.75 per shot if purchased that way.

    Normal paint, even the high quality stuff, is much cheaper, $.03 or less. It's also MUCH less accurate and flies significantly shorter distances.
  6. dlhavema

    dlhavema Well-Known Member

    are you thinking of having the phone mounted on the side or top of the gun so the orientation of the two items are synced?
  7. tGarr

    tGarr Member


    I've got a Nexus One I was thinking I'd put in a hard case, then mount the whole thing like a side mounted scope. I would physically adjust the phone to "zero out" the scope...

    I'd start at very short range and work out. I've got a digital level I could use to aid in establishing "zero elevation" put the gun in a vice, digital level to establish an approximate "level" orientation, then hit a button on the program to define the "zero" level of the phone when mounted...then proceed with sighting in as I would a scope.
  8. dlhavema

    dlhavema Well-Known Member

    Would the FPS be a factor or pretty much constant?
  9. tGarr

    tGarr Member

    It could be...most folks chrono in around 285. But depending on the field and the gun that could really be anywhere from 220-300. Most folks interested in this application would chrono from 285-300 however so it could probably be ignored.

    I'm working on a more detailed explanation of goals with some sample screen shots (better than sharpie on a screen, and a ballistics equation / spreadsheet. I should have goals doc tonight, spreadsheet I haven't started but I think it's tonight or tomorrow.
  10. llatch

    llatch Well-Known Member

    I'm on this one. I figured I should post that..

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