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Pants

Simple (for now, at least)

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#1 jwasko

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:03 AM

The PANTS is my first complete homemade (aside from a few experiments with ball valves and burst seals). It utilizes the plunger/barrel mechanism that Carrtoon used in the Tec- 9 and The Minimizer (see the Homemade directory, or search for the topics on NerfHaven).

The only improvement that I made over his design is that no lathe work is necessary; all you need is a a rotary (dremel) tool, a few cutting and sanding bits for said tool, a hack saw, and (maybe) some drill bits and a power drill.

This isn't a full writeup, but it's pretty simple so you shouldn't really need one anyway.

First up is the plunger/barrel:
Posted Image
The shaft is made out of 0.5" Sch. 40 PVC. On one end is a 0.5" to 0.75" bushing, as well as (approximately) half of a 3/4" coupler. I used a #18 O-ring.

To make the plunger head, I first cut off a ring from the end of the coupler and put it on the bushing. Then, I put the O-ring on, followed by the rest of the (half of the) coupler. The O-ring was too smal (even though it was the largest they had), so I wrapped some narrow strips of electrical tape around the bushing (underneath the O-ring). This pushed the O-ring out far enough to seal against the plunger chamber.

Also, one can nest whatever barrel material one wishes inside the 0.5" PVC. I used nested 17/32" and 9/16" brass.

As a side note, the spring pushes against the bushing, so it would be a good idea to solvent weld the bushing to the shaft.

Posted Image
The plunger chamber itself is made out of 1.25" Sch. 40 PVC. I've found that a 1" to 0.5" bushing fits very well in the 1.25" PVC.

I dremeled out the 0.5" fitting of the bushing, so that the 0.5" PVC could slide effortlessly through it, and the front of the spring presses against it.

I wrapped some electrical tape around the narrower part of the bushing to add to the friction, and used two screws to keep the bushing from moving.

PS: I'll cut the screws down eventually.

Posted Image
The trigger is a pretty basic clothespin trigger, but I used 1/8" music wire instead of a Carbon's customary nail.

The "top" of the clothespin is screwed to the outside of the plunger chamber, and has an oversized hole through it to allow the music wire catch into the plunger chamber's hole (which is also over sized, for smooth operation).

The "bottom" of the clothespin holds the music wire catch. The flat piece of PVC keeps the music wire from falling out of the clothespin, and the curved piece provides a more comfortable trigger.

Final additions were a 0.5" 4-way coupler (not sure if that's the right name) on the front end of the plunger/barrel, and a removable 1.25" endcap to seal the back of the plunger chamber just before firing.

The final product (for now, at least):
Posted Image
I was going to add a pistol grip and more proper trigger, but I kind of like the "boom stick" style of holding this thing and, well, I have other things I need to do.

As you can see, when de-cocked it's about the same length as a cocked NF. Cocked, it's several inches longer.

Ranges were a little disappointing for something with a plunger chamber that is that big, but by no means horrible. It got about the same range as the NF that you see pictured there (which has a spring replacement in addition to the obvious CPVC barrel replacement), which is to say about 50 feet in cold weather.

By the way, PANTS doesn't really mean anything. I considered calling it the "PANS" (for a backwards SNAP, like the Wob+) or "Toon Stick" (Carrtoon + boom stick) but I figure Carbon and Carrtoon have rights to those. PANTS, on the other hand, just sounded funny...so I went with it.

However, just to follow the tradition, let's say that PANTS stands for "Pretty Adequate Nerf Thingy Shooter."

Thanks go to Carbon and Carrtoon, for their designs.
Also to whoever came up with the idea to put an O-ring on like that (Hilt, maybe?)
And finally to Captain Slug, whose Wob+ thread got my rear in gear (oh, his Wob+ will be infinitely better, but I was still first. ;) )

EDIT 4/1/08: In the intervening weeks, I've realized that the bad ranges may be because there is a large amount of dead space between the back of the barrel and the endcap. I am working on a solution for this.

Edited by jwasko, 01 April 2008 - 09:01 PM.

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#2 Quilan Fett

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:10 AM

It's cool, but I don't see the point. It is big, has a larger reload time, and it takes work to make. Why not a NF?
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#3 Carbon

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:18 AM

The plunger chamber itself is made out of 1.25" Sch. 40 PVC. I've found that a 1" to 0.5" bushing fits very well in the 1.25" PVC.

Nice find...I'll have to try that.

The trigger is a pretty basic clothespin trigger, but I used 1/8" music wire instead of a Carbon's customary nail.

Nice. Funny, I was just thinking of trying music wire. That's the nice thing about wooden clothespins...you can drill a bigger hole in the front and not weaken the jaws. With plastic pins, I've has jaws snap if I enlarge the hole too much.

Where did you get the spring? I've always wanted to find one that fits nicely over .5" PVC, but never really looked that hard. Also, are you using the "front" of the plunger as your catchface? And if so, is your firing pin dragging over your O-ring?

By the way, PANTS doesn't really mean anything. I considered calling it the "PANS" (for a backwards SNAP, like the Wob+)

That cracked me up. But I like PANTS. I mean, you can threaten to shoot people with your pants! How cool is that?

Nice work of simplifying Carrtoon's design. I gotta try this design sometime...
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#4 jwasko

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 02:06 AM

It's cool, but I don't see the point. It is big, has a larger reload time, and it takes work to make. Why not a NF?


The point was merely to have some fun and make a homemade based off of Carrtoon's design. I had hoped to get 80+ feet, but...hey, you can't win 'em all.

RE: Carbon:
I pretty much just got lucky on the spring; I picked it up off of a parts table at a gun show, because it fit over an AR-15 buffer spring (I was planning on adding it to my Pumpshot Gun at the time, which already had an AR-15 spring added). When I was at Home Depot testing out the couplers, bushings, and O-rings (already had the piping), I was praying that an AR-15 spring would fit over 0.5" PVC. It didn't, but fortunately this spring did.

Unfortunately, the spring is actually a little too big. The music wire catches on the spring a little, and if I shorten the catch at all then it won't catch on the plunger head. And yes, the catch face is the part of the plunger head that is rearmost. I haven't seen any wear on the O-ring...but, I rounded the music wire, and the O-ring doesn't stick out very far (the coupler is a pretty close fit, as I'm sure you know).

But, yeah, I have no idea what this spring is from. I think it may be a little on the weak side, too, which could explain the bad range. I'll see what I can do about adding some rubber bands or bungies.

You can always check out McMaster for springs. My brother bought some springs from them, one time...actually, it may have been to fit over 0.5" too (no idea what the part number was, though). If I remember correctly they don't list spring inner diameter, but you can subtract wire thickness from the outer diameter to find it. It can take some searching, but it's possible. The springs were perfect for what he was making.

By the way, that music wire is incredibly difficult to (permanently) bend. I put a bend in mine to give the clothespin something to pull on, and I ended up just putting it in a vice and using a hammer. Not too exact, but good enough for my purposes.

Thanks for the compliments.

PS: Fear my PANTS!

Edited by jwasko, 04 March 2008 - 02:08 AM.

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#5 Langley

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 10:08 AM

So the barrel gets sucked into the plunger tube then? The fact that the barrel is launching itself backwards may have something to do with your poor ranges. Try holding on to the end of the barrel and releasing the plunger tube and see if that helps.
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#6 sam

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:24 PM

I like it. I think it would look better with a handle though. Does this rear load like Carrtoon's gun?

I think the key with these type of guns, or maybe just guns that use the clothespin trigger in general, is spring fit over the barrel. Carrtoon was also having problems with his spring catching on the trigger.

On a side note, how does your Pump shotgun perform with an AR-15 spring added.
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#7 jwasko

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:29 PM

Langley: That has given me a bit of an idea...

Sam: Yes, it loads from the rear. The cap on the back can be removed in order to load a dart into the back of the barrel, just like on Carrtoon's homemades

It seems I incorrectly remembered the ranges that I was shooting because when I rolled out the tape measure today the point where the NF darts had landed was only about 50 feet. To be safe, I also retested the PANTS (even using a level to make sure that it was level) and got pretty much the same range as the NF: 50 feet, +/- 2 feet.
~Side Note~
I also tested out my telescoping brass barreled Pumpshot gun (with AR-15 spring addition) and my Angel breech LS (also with AR-15 spring addition), and found them to get around 60 feet and 40 feet, respectively. :unsure:

After those two disappointments, I got out my Pistolsplat PS-800 and found that (shockingly) it got 80+ feet. I highly recommend the PS-800, as it is quite comfortable, narrow (easily pocketable), and powerful (especially in a package only slightly larger than a NF).

So all in all, it was an okay day. I think I'll stick with an LBB/BBBB for a long-ranged primary, though, because I (apparently) suck at modifying primary-worthy springers.

Edit: I didn't actually use that mod for the PS-800...I used telescoping 17/32" brass and PETG for the barrel, along with a neat little coupler set up. If I ever find another one, I'll do a writeup.

Edited by jwasko, 06 March 2008 - 09:33 PM.

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