I believe there's a huge misunderstanding on both sides of the debate. One side keeps talking about effective range(compression, hop, etc), and the other pure range(FPS, hop, bb).
The OP didn't specify what type of range (whether effective or just maximum with ignorance to accuracy) that he would like to achieve. Con Murder like you said, compression/hop/barrel have a great effect on the "EFFECTIVENESS of the range". Which is consistency and accuracy. The law of physics is that, the BB has no memory of where it came out from when it leaves the barrel, so the only factors that affects the pure flight distance of the BB are FPS, hop up, and BB weight(Trust me, I've read Airsoft Trajectory Project in 2007 and again now). Consistency is not going to improve pure distance, however, it would improve the effective range.
If the OP's pursuit is purely distance, then FPS and BB are the only way to go, along with good hop up(Which I believe is agreed on both sides). But it is just as important to achieve good compression in order to achieve good consistency at longer range, and maximizing effective range.
I hope I've made myself clear.
Last edited by XerxesYoung; May 10th, 2010 at 14:34..