I was just sitting here reading through threads on AO when it just kind of hit me-
Now, we all know that when you shoot a paintball, the ideal situation is to have the ball in contact with the barrel at two points (usually the seams). Contact all the way around will decrease efficiency and be too sensitive to imperfections in the barrel and paint. One contact point is obviously a problem, as evidenced by the "zebra stripes" seen in testing from paint bouncing back and forth in the barrel.
With today's ultra-round tourney paints, the chances of having either one or the other of the aforementioned problems is increased, despite the constant outcry for perfectly round paintballs (better than egg-shaped, sure, but those seams really were good for something!). When you have seams, you have two points that can be touching the barrel diameter at all times. With seamless, very round paint, you either have the whole thing touching, or one point touching (in theory, if both are VERY round, which is often the case now with some of the nicer paints out there).
Now, obviously, perfectly round paint is replete with advantages of its own, and I certainly don't see companies deliberately and openly going away from the "perfect paintball" course. But todays barrels are designed for imperfect paint, not the perfect spheres that we are starting to see nowadays.
Now, the idea - since paint is never going to be purposefully made out of round, we have to change the barrel. And barrels could be changed to accomplish that ideal situation of two (well, three in this case) points of contact. The idea is this: simply make the barrel so it is not perfectly round! I know it sounds a little off, but think about it- Design the barrel so that at three points along its inside diameter, the barrel wall sticks out ever so slightly more than the rest of the barrel. I'm afraid I'm not able to make an illustration of what this would look like, but I think you'll get the idea.
With this design, every ball would be in contact with the same three points, theoretically making each shot more like the one before it.
When I first started writing this it kind of occured to me, "oh wait - gas efficiency". But, after giving it some thought, it seems that having the three slightly recessed areas, which air could potentially escape through, would not have as much of a negative effect on your efficiency as having the entire ball touching the barrel would. It might even cause an increase in efficiency.
Again, this idea was concieved with ultra-round tourney paints in mind. Whether or not it would work with lower-grade paint, probably depends on just how bad it is.
Just an idea that struck me five minutes ago and evolved during its transition into typed form. Thought I would throw it out there to see what was wrong with it, basically.