The Hunter is truly unique. This blaster consists at the most basic level of three Just Toys crossbows. All three guns vacuum load their 12” barrels and each crossbow has a 6.5” plunger travel, and are each banded with a massive extension spring. The internals are reinforced and padded, and the plunger head seal is perfected. All parts were completely lubricated with silicone based spray as well.
Here’s how it’s done.
First, all three guns must be minimized and couplered like so:
Open up the guns by cutting the cocking mechanism return and removing its handle. Remove the purple crossbow arms. Cut out the air restrictor, and wrap e-tape around the stock barrel until the coupler’s fit is tight enough to need to be hammered on with a rubber mallet.
Next, you minimize the bottom. Starting from 1” off of center and flush with the bottom of the first shell, make a precise, 30 degree cut to the center from each side. At the closest point in the picture you can see a triangle. The height of the tip of that triangle is 37/64”, but 19/32” is acceptable too.
Continue this cut down the piece of the blaster. Repeat on the other two. The half circle protruding from the bottom of the shell can either be cut in the same way, or be removed on at least of two of the blasters. I personally removed two.
Together from the front they look like this:
This is held together by two rubber bands, and the picture was taken after 20 minutes of careful shaving.
You will need a temporary spacer in the back of the gun. This can be most easily made from ¾” pipe insulation. Cut a 2” length. It normally has a diameter of 1 ¼”, but we need it to have one of slightly larger than 1 1/8”. Cut out pieces until the diameter is where it should be.
Place it at the back, while the crossbows are banded together:
And here is the base shape, all together:
Next we need supports. Cut 9 1”x1.5” pieces out of sheet metal. I used 26 gauge nickel sheet. These all need to be folded in half width-ways at 120 degree angles. To check, they should make this shape:
And fit into the corners of where the blasters meet. They should also fit inside of each other, in order to make sure that your angles are uniform, and no gun is pointing astray.
Now to reinforce the internals. Open each shell and place them on one side. Reinforce the areas on one side with a layer of hot glue. Make sure to craft where the glue goes with a toothpick, as to allow the plunger tube to still fit inside. After that cools, turn them on their tops and reinforce the parts in the same manner. Lastly, turn on the last side and reinforce all of these parts.
Note: this is the third different attempt at making a seal. Though it worked, it did not last more than 20 shots. I do not recommend this. There will be an addendum to this writeup.
Here is a good point to increase the plunger head seal. Pull out the plunger. Rough up the first inch or so with 100 grit sandpaper. Take your spray lubricant and apply liberally to the inside of the plunger tube. If any gets on the plunger at this point, wipe it off. Also, wipe off any lube that may have gotten on the green rim near the back of the plunger tube.
Add a half inch long glob of hot blue to the front of the plunger , where you roughed up. Hold it for a second to allow it to bond and cool there, and even it out quickly with a toothpick, for a solid layer, not one with gaps. Then force it into the plunger. Without hesitation, move is forward and backwards in the plunger tube repeatedly. It should make a rim of the excess hot glue near the back, and will make a gap sealing layer at the front. Spray lube down the front of the plunger tube and keep cycling. You may have to repeat this a few times experimenting with the different variables until you get satisfactory results.
Right after this, run a layer of hot glue around the seals on the plunger tube, between the green pieces and the orange tube.
Now we add the springs.
Cut 3 half inch pieces of 19/32” brass, and glue them on the back of the plunger tubes.
(Picture removed for space)
Make sure that they are perfectly perpendicular, or it will turn the plunger on an angle and make it difficult for the gun to catch. Note again: these eventually ripped off from stress, and one of them caused one of the guns to not be able to cock. Do not do this part; it's just here for reference in the other pictures.
Now you need to cut the bottom of the shell to allow for the movement of the spring.
Starting from 1 ¼” from the back of the gun, make a cut slightly larger than 9/16” deep up to the point 7 ¾” from the back, as shown here:
You now need somewhere to connect the springs to the gun. Mark dots ¼” from the nub (14.5” from the back of the gun), and about 1/8”+ away from the side of it. Drill appropriately sized holes for the bolts you use. The sandwich should be as follows:
Bolt Washer Bottom shell Top shell Washer NutSeparate the shells slightly so that you can see the bolt. Mark a ¼” side length along the bottom shell’s top. Now open the shell and sand down the marked area.
To connect the spring, pull the bolt out, slip the spring in the sanded area, run the bolt and washer combo through it, and lock it tight with the nut. It will look like this:
It is important to pad the internals with all of this power now. I used ¾” pipe insulation again, cut appropriately. Remember to allow for screw holes and the bolt holes. Do not put padding on the inside of the top half of the shell. The rod that runs from the cocking mechanism has to glide along there.
Also, add a ¼” thick ring around the back of the cocking mechanism for the plunger. On the right here is the before.
Now you are safe to close up your guns, and arrange them together as before. This next part is very important on your accuracy.
Here are all of your pieces:
Start from the front. Line up your supports so that they fit naturally where you want them. Try not to bend them any more than they already are. I marked all of mine for which blasters they go between and which position on the blasters they go, so reassembly is easier. Pre-drill the supports but make sure that the holes are not too close to the plunger tube. Then drill and attach the supports at the top.
Next do the ones at the bottom. Make sure that all of your couplers are pointing as straight as possible. Finally, add the supports to the middle. I made the bottoms of mine match a point 10.5” from the back of the blasters.
I then drilled out the cocking mechanism handles, curved a #10-24 threaded rod, and ran it through them. I connected it to itself with a threaded connector.
Now you want to make sure that the tips of all of the couplers are even. Move and adjust them as necessary. Lubricant helps here. A good test is to stand the three gun assembly on its front and hold a level or square to it.
After all of that, add a seal of plumber’s goop and/or hot glue on the bottom outsides of the couplers.
Overall currently, it should look like this:
I had to disassemble the blasters in order to redo the seal. The proper way to do it and make it last is as follows:
You're going to need to open up the gun and air it out for 24 hours minimum.
To do this, take a 3/16"nail set and push out the pin at the base of the plunger. Use pliers to pull it out the rest of the way. Now the internal bungee moves freely. Pull it out the front, and take off the clip that connects it to itself.
Once you've opened everything up and let the lube dry out, rough up the tip of the plunger. Take your dremel with the smallest sanding bit you have (note: sanding bit, don't use the grinding bits that are made of stone), and shave down the entrance to the plunger tube. The green part, in particular, needs to be made less than flush with the actual inside of the tube.
Now wrap a varying length of e-tape around the plunger head. Between my three crossbows, the lengths were 1 circumference, 1 1/4 circumference and closer to 1 1/2 circumference. Figure out what works best for you. I was surprised that there was so much variation.
To reassemble, knot a string to one end of the bungee, and bend the bungee part in half near the end. Feed it down the plunger tube. When it gets almost the way there it will get stuck on the green piece there. Use a still but small piece of metal through the pin hole to pull it down the rest of the way (about 1/8") and line up the bungee for the pin. Then, of course, insert the pin.
Now knot the other end of the bungee with some more string, and pull the bungee to where it should be. Now you're going to close up the plunger, so don't forget that cocking handle piece. Too many times in my different attempts did I forget that and had to repeat this whole process.
Feed one string down all the way through the plunger tube, and notice which side of the tube's pin it's on. Now feed the other one down, and make sure that it ends up on the other side of that pin. Be patient, this could take a while.
Now pull the strings down and through, and gently push your plunger in. (Siggify me cap'n). Pull the strings so that the bungees come out through the coupler. Put the metal bungee clamp back on, and cut off the strings and maybe the ends of the bungees if you want/need.
The rest is easy enough. After it's all back together, wrap 2-3 layers of e-tape on 12" pieces of petg. Feed it down into the stock barrel tube. Now goop the hell out of this thing. I mean, make that couple overflow and then some. This is the weakest point for air flow. I'm on my fourth layer of goop right now.
Straighten out those barrels as much as you can now. I used a small container lid with e-tape wrapped around it rubber banded between the barrels. I measured the distance between the barrels to make sure it was all uniform as it dried. They are remarkably straight and accurate. Now as a finishing touch you can put rubber bands around the bolts from the shell to the cocking handles to make them auto-return.
About 50 man hours of work spread over a week to bring you this one. Ranges unfortunately are about 50 feet flat between them. I can't figure out why. It's not the barrel length, but quite possibly the seal between the barrels and the plunger tube. Any suggestions for improving this would be highly helpful. As of right now, I have 7 other guns that out range this thing with significantly less work, time, and weight, and two of them are pistols.
Edit: You hold it by the front, and you can fire it by pulling the triggers.. I'm working on a tandem trigger, but it requires that I disassemble the gun again which is definitely eh.
Edited by Splitlip, 04 September 2008 - 10:56 PM.