I really like how easy it would be to reload the unused mag while nerfing away. It looks much more manageable than dump pouches and tac vests.
- → shmmee's Content
There have been 412 items by shmmee (Search limited from 09-June 93)
Crayola barrels were popular because they get a little tighter towards the back of the barrel. Before you get too crazy you may want to make sure your darts will pass through the entirety of the barrel. If needs be you might be able to drill that restriction out since pump powered blasters tend to perform better with looser fitting barrels.
So, Hoping that worked. I can't actually see the pics due to work filters. Here's some pics of my failed prototype. The entire spool rotates inside the cookie tin so only the darts segueing between the mag and cam are moving independently of the spool. With a little more guidance between the stock mag and the cam, and a lot more rethinking for spring placement and materials (like having the ribbon feeding out through slots much lower in the mag and having a longer follower - instead of wrapping up and over the top of the mag, I think it could be viable.
My experience with RSCB's tells me that moist or damp darts do not like to slide - even through a straight tube. (my group recently had a nerf war during a rain storm). The thread is moving away from lung power to transition darts, and I think a fail has been avoided there. The humidity that blowing in the tube would of transferred would probably of impacted dart movement after a few hours of nerfing and advancing darts down the tube.
As far as pumps go, you can easily source a battery powered air blower by looking near the air mattresses. I've got one, it takes 4 "D" batteries so it's stupid heavy but it puts out more air than a computer fan. A little modding to a lipo would cut down on the weight and seriously increase the output.
You might see some unexpected doors opening if you register as a non-profit. If local businesses donate anything to your group they'll be able to write off the expenses on their tax forms. Theirs a wyoming nerf group that has really taken off recently and since they've registered as a non-profit they've had several buisnesses donating everything from gift cards to by ammo to NIB blasters. They've also seen tremendous support from their counties parks department in the form of free venues to nerf in. You'll also be able to get group insurance on the cheap.
Much of this topic actually hits on a failed prototype I made many many years ago. I think I still have it in a box somewhere. I'll have to dig it out. Basically, 2 ribbons from 2 tape measures are supposed to neatly guide a line of darts through a mag and wrap them around the center of a spool with the ribbons forming the walls while the darts transition from out the bottom of the mag to the center of the spool. Because the entire spool is rotating along with the wound up line of darts, you only get friction on the few darts that are spinning towards or away from the spool. The spool would also perform better as more darts were loaded in - increasing the leverage the tape measures could exert on retracting the ribbon.
The functioning theory was that as darts are placed inside the mag (between the two ribbons) the ribbons would travel with the darts, guiding them to the cog in the center of the spool and as the spool is wound the ribbons & darts, the ribbons would feed in and out from the tape measures keeping potentially hundreds of in a neatly wound spiral.
Theory collapsed into reality when I tried loading the thing. The ribbons failed to keep the darts neatly aligned during the mag to spool transition and as soon as they exited bottom of the mag they broke rank and jumbled into an un-extractable mess. I made a crappy ms paint drawing of expectations vs reality of that prototype but my work filters photobucket and I'm out of mobile data, so you'll all just have to wait till later. It could possibly work if there was a swinging guide running from the bottom of the mag to the cam, (keeping the darts aligned as it transitions) but after my initial failure I kinda stopped caring and threw it in a box. Also, I think I'd need something more sturdy than the 1/2" wide ribbon I was using. The ribbons were prone to bunching and twisting and falling off of the tape measure spool.
Another down side is that I had to chop off the fingers on top of the mag (the ones that keep darts from jumping completely out of the magazine). Without those fingers, a loaded drum has to be in a blaster or it will unload itself in quick glorious fashion. Knowing what i know now I probably could of kept the fingers and had just cut a slit for the ribbon to pass through instead. Better yet, instead of folding the ribbon over the top of the mag, simply pull the ribbon through slits at the bottom of the mag and have a longer follower (I used 1/2" lengths of dowel to make dummy darts for a follower) to make up the difference. Poof. no sharp fold on the ribbon and I'd get to keep the dart fingers at the top of the mag... wow, i'm actually starting to care about that project again!
Probably fill with epoxy putty and drill like Vaan said.
That's a good thought. If you grease the mating non broken screw port, it'll press into the uncured e putty when you put the two shell halves together. You might also be able to drive a greased screw into the uncured putty as well and avoid drilling the screw hole later. You might want to test that on a crappy blaster first though.
I think your biggest challenge will be maintaining alignment and depth when you reattach them. I'd suggest cleaning up the break with sand paper and then mating and screwing them back onto the mating half of the shell. You can then stick a glob of epoxy putty onto the broken nub of the post and mate the shells back together while it cures. Screwing the broken post on to the receiving post will help keep it aligned while it cures as well as making sure it cures at the correct height.
CPVC is a very finickey material. It's regulated by the O.D. thickness and just has a minimum wall thickness affecting the I.D. The result is that you'll see a pretty wide range of thicknesses (most will be way too tight) even among cpvc sticks of the same brand and batch. Your best bet is to take a dart and test the tubes. My best luck has been with the brand "flow guard gold". Every stick I've tried putting a dart into has been a perfect fit. I cleared the shelves of it after finding it. You'll probably need to travel to or call several different hardware stores before finding anything that will give you a good fit.
Also, I'd suggest using your hot glue gun to melt a little more of a depression into your foam for your washer to fit into. A well made slug won't have any visible metal. You should also expect your first thousand slugs to be awful, so don't get discouraged. They have a bit of a learning curve to them.
You can also identify the leak by dunking most of the blasters guts underwater and watching for bubbles while you pump.
The super max tanks are pull pin types. That means the rod sticking out of the back runs all the way through the tank and a plug pushes into the inside of the nozzle outlet. You've got o rings at the plug tip as well as around the pull rod as the rod exits the back. you might be leaking out of either location. If you can verify that your tank is in fact leaking, you might be able to repair it but you'll have to cut your tank in half to do so. You'll also need a sleeve to glue both halves back together. Before you do anything you'll need to source a pvc pipe/fitting to repair it. You may have to heat and stretch the pipe over the tank to get it to fit inside (grease the tank so you can get it back out too) then cut the tank in half with a pipe cutter. Replace the o rings if you can find a good replacement (don't bend the pull rod). Fit up the two halves with super glue then use pvc primer and cement to glue both halves into the sleeve you prepared earlier. It's a long shot but with some luck you might be able to repair it. - worst case scenario, it's already leaking now so you might as well risk breaking it worse trying to repair it.
Cartaya, thanks for this post. It's brought back a flood of happy memories. My go to blaster back in my early days was a sharp shooter 1 - not that there was much in the way of options back the day. My brother and I were close friends with another set of neighbors who had 3 boys close to our ages. Nerf wars were a constant staple of our summers. The oldest of the 3 brothers was absolutely lethal with his BnA. I could lead out a target and pick us off while we were at a full sprint - every time.
My first mod was an overhaul of my sharpshooter 1. I remember wrapping a bit of e-tape around the side vents in the barrel peg and *shudder* stretching the spring. It added about 10' of range but that's a pretty big boost for a blaster that would be lucky to hit 30' angled. Another amazing moment came when I realized I could stuff darts into the barrel pegs of my arrow storm and double the range - that simple little hack was probably the most effective modification i can remember - at least, up until barrel replacements came into fashion. I think Crayola markers were a goto source for after market barrels. They had a natural tightening ring towards the back of the marker.
I actually ran a razorbeast for a round at the last war I attended. I stuffed cpvc inserts into the chain links so i could fire 1/2" darts. The range was impressive - even by today's standards but the accuracy was horrific. The highlight of my night was landing a kill with it. I'll occasionally run a rip saw just so the old school manually rev'd flywheel tech can scream back at the lipo'd blasters. Its hilarious to see how many modern day nerfers struggle at dodging a very slow moving projectile like a ballistic ball or vintage arrow. Leading out a target is another forgotten skill necessary to be effective with slow moving ammo.
It'll work, but you might have to be a little picky about the darts you feed it. My RSCB'd panther feeds just about any cone tipped darts (elites, some third party darts) beautifully but it wont feed suction cup tipped darts or straight sided darts like the now popular waffle tipped darts at all.
My panther has a CPVC barrel adapted to a 1/2" pvc TEE on it - i did have to ream it to a smooth taper on the cpvc and pvc though.
Ball pumps often have a bigger diameter and the 6 to 10" pumps are still small enough to integrate onto most shells. For higher volume lower pressure the key thing to watch for is pump diameter. The bigger the diameter the more volume it will move - at the cost of pressure.
This is awesome, man! Great job on the modelling, that trigger looks perfect.
But with pneumatics, why would a person need electronics too? EEs, amirite?
I modified a Triple Strike and a Big Salvo in a similar fashion. I found that there is just enough space in that circular end cap on the valve tube that I could drill and tap for 1/8" NPT, thus allowing a connection for an external tank. It works really nicely, allowing the built-in pump to pressurize, while also allowing semi-automatic firing.
Thanks! I'm still floored that it came out looking so close to the original. I spent a couple hours on it last night and It looks like I might have to revisit it once more (not surprisingly). I need to make that third leg bumping nub a little bigger or different shaped. I seated the valve in epoxy putty (I greased the O.D. of the valve so it's not stuck permanently) and with the trigger fully forwards, (where the third leg should be open and fill the tank and piston legs) I've found the third leg to be closed... though the thought just barely occurred that since I also plugged off the pump fill line with epoxy putty and o-ring is on the opposing side sealing off the vent, the system may actually just be sealing properly and lung power isn't enough to blow open the tank and piston leg valves... The stupid thing might of been working as per designed and I just didn't realize it... I'll hook it up to a bike pump this evening and see how it acts. Once the trigger and valve is placed and working I'll be able to move on to a rough function test with a reserve tank, panther tank and piston all hooked up.
When you modded your big salvo to do the same, did you notice much air leaking from the reserve as you pulled the trigger? When I tried something similar I think I remember loosing a significant amount of air from my reserve tank with each trigger pull. It wouldn't be too bad if I was using a compressor or a regulated HPA tank, but with a hand pumped system it was a deal killer.
*Edit, after some thought, The leakiness was observed using a hornet trigger stem which had a double o-ring so I just assumed the salvo's single o-ring would be even more leak prone. I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong!
With this build, I'm so concerned with efficiency that i'm even going with 1/8" tubing from the salvo valve to the piston since any air in that line will be vented off and wasted. I'm crossing fingers and hoping it allows enough flow. The salvo valve stem ID's look to be about that size anyway so there will be a bottle neck regardless.
If memory serves, my banded RF20 bladder runs around 50 psi. If my full size panther tank runs happy on that I might swap in a smaller second gen panther tank just to see how much of a performance drop there is. I'd love to be able to get a few more shots off of a full bladder if performance doesn't suffer too much with a smaller tank.
Well Meaker, Prometheus is full auto (but I suppose it could be programmed otherwise?). I appreciate that this is semi-auto.
I'm actually working on a mag-fed semi-auto myself but it's using 2-3 off-the-shelf valves (one could be replaced with a big salvo or panther tank, though). I like that shmee's design looks able to trigger a QEV-style tank and control the pneumatic cylinder all from one valve assembly.
Although I'm starting to wonder: do we really need a pneumatic cylinder to open and close the breech? What if we simply link the breech to the trigger via linkages as in a stryfe or via rack and pinion as in a hailfire? Maybe that's more double action than semi-auto, but then everyone calls Stryfes "semi-auto."
Edit: For instance the stryfe's pusher extends roughly 30mm or 1.18". That should be just enough length to chamber a 1" long stefan.
Jwasko, I'd be very curious to see how you approached your build. I couldn't come up with anything that relied soley on off the shelf parts!
Not a terrible idea; I'd been wondering about something similar. I'd think you could even get a full-length chamber if you were OK with longer/harder trigger pull than a stryfe, which isn't an unreasonable assumption.
The option for a trigger actuated breech has definitely crossed my mind. My first true air powered semi auto was based off of a dart tag blaster -specifically because the turret is trigger actuated. When dealing with hand pumped nerf pneumatics, air is a valuable resource and any savings in mechanical movements would be used for dart propulsion instead. My clip fed prototype was designed around 1.5" darts, and I'm trying to remember the reasons I went with a piston instead of full length darts there but I think it was motivated by not wanting to rework all my 18 round mags to take half length darts. With this revisit, that decision was reinforced by my new groups distrust of half length darts, so sadly, I've got to plan on needing a full 3.125" of travel on the bolt sled. Leveraging the .5" inches of travel this trigger has into that distance would probably be too heavy of a trigger pull.
Hi, sorry - long time, no content. I've found a local, well established nerfing group so I've been able to pick up my favorite hobby again! And as such, I've decided to start chasing my unicorn - the project I've been trying to make for years. A reasonably simple and efficient pneumatic clip fed semi auto blaster. Some of you might remember my previous attempt involving a salvo tank plumbed in line to a secret shot pump that had been re-purposed into a piston. The theory was that when the salvo tank filled the pump would also fill - pushing the pump handle out like a piston and closing the breech. The problem, is that as soon as the salvo fired the piston retracted prematurely and half the air was blasted back out of the breech. I realized I would need a separate delayed valve to open the breech shortly after the dart had left the barrel on a delay. I looked briefly at the big salvo valve assembly. As the o-ring on the salvo trigger passed the buttons it bumped them open - venting and firing the tanks. To date I'd only looked at that valve group using the traditional pump input in the back to fill from so any space between the trigger o-ring and fill line would remain pressurized. Experimentation with this failed though. As the trigger o-ring passed a button valve it would leak air from the reserve.
My revisit - and the progress to date is again based on a big salvo valve assembly. My "erueka!" moment came when I realized that the big salvo trigger (something I had looked at before but had given up on) was comprised of 4 individual button valves/check valves - so why not fill from one of the back legs (instead of the normal always open fill line - since it operated as a check valve) and add a bumper to the salvo trigger stem to open the fill while the o-ring sealed in pressure!
With the trigger fully retracted the valve group is sealed and the bumper opens the 3rd leg - filling the panther tank and retracting a piston - closing the breech and loading a dart. As the trigger piston begins to move backwards, the bumper slides off of the 3rd leg, (closing off the air reserve) and then the o-ring on the trigger piston bumps the first leg (firing the panther) and a fraction of a second later (hopefully long enough for the dart to leave the barrel) it bumps the second leg venting the piston and allowing the breech to be pulled open by a spring - chambering the next dart. When the trigger retracts the o-ring reseals the valve assembly and the third leg is bumped open again - priming the tank and closing the breech. The fourth leg won't be used.
I modeled up a longstrike trigger, added a riser with a big salvo trigger stem and then added the extension bumper on the end of it and sent it through my printer.
The white piece is my final 3d printed piece. It was a drop in perfect fit. Not bad for my first ever time modeling with anything, huh? (I used autodesk fusion 360 and printed in PLA)
So far, proof of concept has only happened as far as blowing into the third leg while sliding the trigger rod around inside. The 3rd leg air inlet shuts off at the appropriate time so I really, really think it'll work!
I bought a small piston on amazon and will be leveraging it's travel long enough to open and close the breech. I'll be picking up the fittings for the piston on my way home from work today. For my air reserve I'm using a banded rf20 bladder. I've still got some bridges to cross but for the first time in years, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
It isn't an issue with the big shock, but it's worth mentioning... padding the plunger tube of a mag fed bolt sled style blaster can decrease the plungers forward travel just enough to prevent the catch from engaging with the catch plate. I know it sounds paradoxical but I've had it happen before.
I don't think it's come up yet but what about "sand casting" off of an altered and optimized 3d printed part? I've looked into sand casting before. nearly all of the components are diy build-able including the forge. Sand and oil is cheap (way cheaper than silicone), aluminum can be bought as scrap and melted down. and you get a metal frame once you're done. It does make a rough surface though due to the coarseness of the sand. so there will be some finish work needed. There are also hazards though. If theirs any moisture on any tools that interact with the molten aluminum it flashes to steam and explodes molten metal everywhere so tools need to be preheated to melt off any water. Once the hazards are mitigated with procedure and PPE sand casting might be a very strong option. I don't know how thin walled a cast can get, but an aluminum shell could take any spring we could physically draw. Also with sand casting you could literally build the reworked internal supports out of cardboard hot glue and duct tape and the casting would duplicate them in metal. I'd bet a complete sand casting setup could be assembled for less than $100. And an aluminum shell - already reinforced for drop in internals? That's got to be a tempting final product.
Side note - I just brought home a new 3d printer with a massive 300x300x400 cm (roughly 12"x12"x16") build area. I'm semi inexperienced when it comes to printing and a complete noob when it comes to 3d design but I'd be happy to try to print anything that might contribute to this challenge.
Secondary side note, a contract company I work with has occasional access to a high end laser scanner (It can read stamping the 1/4" tall stamping on a flange from 30' away, and pick up the raised surface of a sticker on a flat surface) and I'm reasonably friendly with the guy who runs it. the next time we have a reason to bring the scanner in I'll try to have a gutted x bow make an appearance on site so it can be used as a "calibration test". I really don't know when the next chance is going to be for that though - could be weeks, months or never. If - and I do mean *if* i can scan a x bow or a tgg shell do we have any render experts I can punt the plans to for tweaking? are there any other super coveted blasters that I should add to the scanning short list? The cyber stryke Defender T3 pistol perhaps? (defender T3>any other pistol released due to plunger volume and overall sexyness level IMHO.)
I personally hate them, but since my newest group uses them extensively I'm trying to give them a chance.
We limit blasters shield wielders can use to one handed non mag fed blasters and that exotic projectiles break the shield. I still feel that grants the shield bearers an unfair second life. I really wouldn't count it as balanced unless the shield users are melee only and exotic projectiles not only break the shield but eliminate the bearer too until respawn. If they're armed with a blaster maybe a shield breaking round would also break the shield for their next spawned life as well.
Like Snoop said, plastics can vary greatly - especially CPVC. To dial that down into something useful, You should look for "flow guard gold" brand CPVC. I had to fish through the entire stock at several hardware stores in my area - and I can't guarantee it's even available where you live but I've never seen a stick of that brand that didn't provide a beautiful springer fit for beige hot rod foam. If you ever do come across it, I suggest you stock up and get enough barrel material to last you a lifetime.
If you follow CaptainSlugs advice to harvest the valve stem off of a bike inner tube, remember to unscrew and remove the internal valve from the stem so it doesn't decrease your air flow and then warm the vinyl tubing up a little (to help it to stretch over the valve stem) and put a light coating of epoxy or plumbers goop on the valve stem before stuffing the vinyl tubing over for the final time. Add a double looped zip tie over the tubing or a worm gear pipe clamp (but I prefer to double loop a zip tie- less bulk)) and you should be good to go.
Is S.L.A.N.G. is around? Do any of its member play with the UNFF (Utah Nerf Foam Flingers).
Hi Bert, Sorry for the super late reply today has been the first i've logged on in ages. Sadly, S.L.A.N.G has fallen apart after our 4 strong members (myself included) lost the love for flinging foam. We found a brief revival after finding an awesome indoor mental wellness site that had a bi-weekly adults nerf war, but that site has closed down and we fizzled again.
This is my first time hearing about UNFF. I still have all my blasters, I may have to search them out and see what's going on with em.
Great build! Back pressure tanks have always fascinated me and I've dissected every model of that style that I could get my hands on. I've also tried building my own but failed to produce anything functional. I did learn that the output hole to your barrel needs to remain a smaller diameter than the ID of the inlet hole. If the outlet hole is bigger, the piston wont move. I'm not sure if that's even possible with your design, but it might be a useful bit of knowledge for anyone trying to get too greedy with the output hole size.
1st edition panthers. They're a small pistol with a decent internal air tank. Later editions were neutered with smaller tanks. Look inside the barrel. If the barrel id is black, put it back. if the barrel ID is white, it's right. I put a 3 dart RSCB on mine and it's my favorite NIC primary due to it's super small size and decent power.
shmmee, quite nice work. I bet the hair was heavy!
Thanks! It's about 15 lbs of hair, but we anchored the bulk of it to her shoulder. It's a two part wig with the braid being separate. She said it's not too bad so long as she doesn't need to turn her head.
I'm a huge fucking weeb who cosplays and builds props...
That's some bad a** armor Righteous. Is it foam or warbla?
Thanks! It's about 15 lbs of hair, but we anchored the bulk of it to her shoulder. It's a two part wig with the braid being separate. She said it's not too bad so long as she doesn't need to turn her head.
That's some bad a** armor Righteous. Is it foam or warbla?
Cosplay has become a family event but I sat in the background at the spring Salt Lake City comic con (Fan X) this year to focus on supporting my sisters build. She's spent an entire year hand embroidering details into her custom sewn Rapunzel dress and came to me to get the $1,000+ of hair extensions to glow. After failing with EL wire and fiber optic strands (wrong shade of white/yellow and too dim) we found a winner with LED stripping. I crammed 77' of it into her 5'6" of hair. It's powered by a 3s lipo and the hidden dimmer switch allows it to actually fade and throb when she sings. She's also pulled her husband (flynn) and my parents (mother Gothel and the ruffian Mime) into the crazy. I got to hang back to manage the remote controls to the puppet lizard I also built for her (Pascal). It sits on her shoulder. The head moves up/down left/right. the mouth opens and closes and the eyes look left and right. It runs on a separate 3s lipo. Both batteries have voltage monitors on them for safety.
won dominated our way to first place in the masters division at this year's spring comic con (Fan X) and will be making an in costume appearance at an event for sick kids this weekend.
Seeing this reminded me of a really old school technique for a grenade that frags mid-air. I couldn't find the post, and I cant remember who created it - or even which nerfy site it was featured on, but the basic concept involves the type of cost effective home brewery that you might like to explore.
1" wide Strip of fabric (I cant remeber what type of fabric they used. I think it might of been felt but the material might also be irrelevant)
Group the darts into a bundle about the size of a fist. Wrap the fabric strip around the front, stretch the hair tie over the tails. The fabric strip acts as your fuse. The longer it takes to unwrap, the longer it will fly undetonated. You may need to unwrap a little of the fabric strip so it drags in the air and helps the strip to unwind as it flies.That'll shorten the fuse. Once it unwraps the heads are free and they'll spread apart rolling the elastic off of the tail - allowing the grenade to explode and the compressed to darts separate. If you place the elastic slightly further up the tail it takes a little shock to get it to release and it becomes an impact grenade that explodes once it impacts a wall or ceiling - useful for indoor wars with entrenched enemies. If you're outside in the open, mid air - high altitude explosions produced pretty impressive spread.
I can't remember the exact specifics of how well it works ( fabric strip length, dart spread, sensitivity, fuse timing...) but I remember being impressed. It was the only functional grenade nerf I'd ever read about, and it was stupid cheap and easy to make. Just be careful not to crush the tails of your darts so much that they no longer stay in a blaster. You'll need to tune the size of the dart bundle to the hair tie.
The newer (post n-strike) AR's have longer fingers (the 3 outer posts that contact the back of the dart) on the end. The N-strike AR fingers were shorter and would shut off air flow while the plunger still had some oomph to transfer to the darts. The longer fingers keep the air flow moving until just before the plunger smacks into the end of the plunger tube. In short - the newer AR's are tuned to make the most of the plungers potential. The older AR's (the ones we would rip out) were overly conservative in the volume of air they allowed to pass to the barrel.
Some blasters use the AR's as a smart barrel selecting system (i.e. ruffcut, triad, messanger, zombie strike crossbow...) automatically directing air flow to the loaded barrels and shutting off air flow to the unloaded barrels. Removing the AR's from these "smart AR" blasters will divide up the available air between all the barrels and cripple performance.
You get almost no improvement in removing the AR from a single barrel blaster. You get a chunk of useless plastic if you remove them from a smart AR style blaster.
Unless you can make some new revolutionary design changes an RSCB won't work in a bull pup configuration. The RSCB feed tube has to sit behind the back of the barrel. You tip the blaster downward between shots and the next dart in the feed tube slides forward into the back of the barrel to be fired. To work as an RSCB you would have to have a drop down slot and hope the dart falls from the feed tube to the barrel back. You'd also be tipping the blaster up to send a dart to the back and then down to seat the dart forward into the barrel. (A minor procedural change). That drop down slot would also introduce a bit of dead space.
Homemades are huge. They're designed with a massive plunger tube and amount of travel. You'd need a very spacious shell to get one to fit. A deploy might work - but you would have to shorten the plunger tube considerably. You might have more success with a long shot shell. It would still be tight diameter wise but at least you could have a near full length plunger. A centurion might also be a good sacrificial candidate.
With issues happening on both blasters I'd blame your darts. I suspect the tails of your darts are compressed so the AR (Air restrictor) is able to push them slightly out of the barrel and closing the AR. With that closed - all you get is the poof of the AR slowly arresting the travel of your plunger tube. When you slam fire you shoot before the spring can nudge the dart out of the barrel while your AR is still open resulting in better performance.
At the very least, it's easy to test my theory - Just buy new darts. No modding required.
Thanks for welcoming the open discussion. Even after all the years I've hung out here, I've always felt a little stifled here on NH. At times it feels like visiting that great aunt who has china plates and glass collectibles covering every bit of wall and horizontal space and any wrong movement is sure to trash the place and get your knuckles bruised.
I really hit my golden age of nerf creativity a couple years back on Nrev when a dartsmithing concept thread exploded into nearly 100 pages of collaborative effort to make a metal free dart. While nothing solid ever really came from it, the group interaction was a beautiful thing to be a part of, and I really feel such an interaction couldn't of existed here. It's too sterile, too serious. The focus is solely on the results. The concept, the process, the modder, it's all received as an annoyance necessary to produce a write up. After submitting mods here, I've felt used. It's like we've forgotten that we're a group of teens and adults who play with toy friggan' guns! I appreciate the grammar checks - they're an essential part of communication, but the lack of open discussion, the kibosh on concepts and creativity, the lock down on positive feedback - it's soul sucking. Some may say that "nice mod dude!" doesn't add any content, but it doesn't take up that much space either, and it's extremely rewarding to have your hard work recognized by your peers - especially if it's a modder you respect and look up to. I'd be happy to scroll through a few pages of "nice mod dude" if it put the "community" back into the Nerf Internet Community. Interacting directly and creatively with other enthusiasts is like a happy cancer. It generates more creativity and enthusiasm.
Sadly, my work filtered internet has recently decided to filter all pics from Photobucket and the like, so I'm blind to most of what's posted, but when someone occasionally uploads pics to NH - instead of linking their images, they sometimes get through. Thanks for creating that option. I also appreciate the archiving measures that have been taken. It's been a running tragedy that we would loose mod pics of classic blasters and write ups when a personal account goes inactive. Thank you guys so much for putting a stop to the bleeding!
Another thing to watch out for when adding springs (though it doesn't seem to be the case this time) is that If the spring is too long at full compression it can keep the catch notch from progressing all the way back to the catch. So if a blaster with a new spring wont prime, and you're feeling a solid thud when priming (like it's hitting a wall but won't catch) - your spring is too long, or you have a dart sucked into the plunger tube.
I think you might be suprised by the costs if you actually gave knock off darts a chance. I recently bought some of these to send off for my nieces and nephews to shoot my brother with. I was so impressed I bought another 600 for myself!
The foam is firmer than nerf and 200 darts for 13 bucks with free shipping? You can't even buy a new blaster for that much.
The problem you're going to run into with crappy darts is that nearly all nerf blasters will have problems with them. Mag fed blasters will fold them in half, and anything with a smart AR (ruffcut's, triads...) will push darts back out of the barrel if the tails are too compressed to resist counter force of the AR spring.
If you were dead set on not buying darts, your only safe bet would be to slap a coupler on a basic blaster (like a nitefinder or BBB) and run a speed loader(two barrels tapped together at an off set so you can load the spare barrel and flip it for a quick reload) or RSCB. If you want a little more fire power, you could double RSCB a ruff cut. Speedloaders and RSCB's are old tech, but they're incredibly reliable - even with poor darts. (note: some RSCB's do not like sucker darts)
Stripped screws are a symptom of a bigger problem. You really need to tune your screwdriver. Grab a nerf screw, sit it on the tip of your screw driver. If the screw can wobble your screwdriver is too pointy and preventing full engagement. File down the tip of your screw driver until the screw sits and holds firm. At that point your screwdriver is making full contact with the screw walls. After that you won't strip any more screws. A tuned screwdriver stands a much better chance of getting a stripped screw out. If that fails, you might need to drill the screw head off and then remove the remaining screw post with pliers once the blaster is apart.
The reason I avoid loaning out any variation of clip fed springers - especially lock/AR removed ones is that I'll invariably have it returned with either a dart pushed back into the plunger cavity, or two darts double loaded into the barrel. It's happened more times than I care to count. It's so much easier to stick to any type of front loader when loaning out blasters.
This is a small front loading blaster that also has the plunger facing forwards. It should play well in a mod. It's older though and might be tough to find, but it would be cheap once you do track one down. Pull the plunger to prime, nudge the plunger towards the blaster to fire.
Nerf also produced a wii compatible Nstrike blaster called the SwitchShot. It's more recent and would be easier to find. The beauty of that blaster is that the shooting portion (barrel, spring, catchplate, & piston) detaches so a wii remote can be inserted into the blaster shell. That detached portion is a fully contained cylindrical blaster - sans trigger. You might be able to run some shrowded bike cable from the catch plate through the shell and to a thumb accessible pull ring.
You could also look for a spiderman dart tag blaster. Its a 3 barreled pneumatic wrist blaster that triggers via a pressure plate. They were very popular among nerfers a few years ago. I had one stuck to my baster as a back up to my primary. Since it's air powered, you can simply run a string from the trigger plate to what ever digit you want to trigger it with.