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The Hunter, By Splitlip

You NEED to look at this one.

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#1 Split

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 10:36 PM

The Hunter

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:
Posted Image
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:
Posted Image
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 ” pipe insulation. Cut a 2” length. It normally has a diameter of 1 ”, 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:
Posted Image

And here is the base shape, all together:
Posted Image

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:
Posted Image
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.
Posted Image

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.
Posted Image

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 ” from the back of the gun, make a cut slightly larger than 9/16” deep up to the point 7 ” from the back, as shown here:
Posted Image

You now need somewhere to connect the springs to the gun. Mark dots ” 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
Nut
Separate the shells slightly so that you can see the bolt. Mark a ” 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:
Posted Image

It is important to pad the internals with all of this power now. I used ” 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.
Posted Image

Also, add a ” thick ring around the back of the cocking mechanism for the plunger. On the right here is the before.
Posted Image

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:
Posted Image

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:
Posted Image

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.

The result:
Posted Image

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.

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#2 Lion

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 10:40 PM

How do you hold it, and how do you fire it?
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#3 doubleshot

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 10:57 PM

I saw this at Talios, but turned out very disappointed in performance. Everything looks perfect on paper, but theres just something just barely wrong I think. Not sure on what it is, but theres no obvious reason for these to only put out 50ft.
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#4 CaptainSlug

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 10:59 PM

Hilariously wrong (in a good way).

1. Springs work best if they're under some tension even at the end of the stroke of whatever they are pulling. Your extension springs look fairly slack when the plunger is all the way forward.
2. Extension springs only work well in a straight line of tension. Here you are trying to use them to replace an elastic band. This leads to binding, and the friction involved limits the acceleration of the spring.

You need a spacer or threaded rod of some kind of solid slide piece to solidly attach the extensions the springs to.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 04 September 2008 - 11:17 PM.

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#5 Split

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:15 PM

I'm completely positive that you're wrong here. They're slack for a reason. And that's so that it slows the plunger down in that last 1/4" to reduce recoil and increase the life of the gun. There's no track needed. When I did have the brass connectors on there, it accelerated the same as it does now. You can't even see the plunger move it's so fast.

And before you say it, it has nothing to do with the springs grinding on each other. They get the same ranges separate as they do apart.

And you're using such vague terms, "work best," "only work well" and "limits". I'll put bungees on them and we'll see, but I know that these points are not the case.
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#6 rork

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:29 PM

Actually, I'm pretty sure Slug is dead-on regarding the slack. If your spring doesn't pull the plunger snugly into the end of the plunger tube, you're essentially depending on the plunger's rapidly decreasing momentum to pressurize the air column that last little bit--or, to put it differently, your plunger is decelerating at the point in the firing cycle that it should be moving fastest at. If you're concerned about durability, I suggest you go with a somewhat weaker spring. ~Rork
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#7 AssassinNF

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 07:17 AM

I modded one of these a while back, and get 80' ranges with LS darts. It's in my sig (the crossbow scumbag)
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Probably dead by now, or something.


#8 hereticorp

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 08:18 AM

Interesting mod, it's a shame it doesn't get better ranges, very creative use of what is often times considered a crap gun.
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#9 Icespartan 1114

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:29 AM

Nice, Interesting mod. I remember you brought that to Talio's war. Nice job
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#10 Split

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 03:19 PM

Eh. Rork, what your saying could either be completely out of your ass, or just riding along slug. I don't think I made this clear. The slack is extremely tiny. After a 1/4" it is at regular tension. There is tension on it when not cocked, just not a lot. There is also the rotational tension.

You say rapidly decreasing momentum? 1/4" at the end of a 6.5" plunger travel is not rapidly decreasing. Concerned with durability so go with a weaker spring? You really need to read the thread you post in. This thing is reinforced and padded. I'm looking to get range. Christ.

Everyone that saw this at Talio's war: The seals were terrible then. It was literally e-tape on Petg shoved in. I was getting about 30-35 feet flat. With all of this goop I'm getting about 50 as I mentioned before. I don't think the seals between the barrels and the gun are perfect yet though.

Another suggestion that I got was the barrel material. Since the plunger moves so fast, it moves air at speeds comparable to an air gun, so why not use an air gun barrel material. Well, I tried brass just a minute ago, and 9/16" yielded a five foot range increase, at the cost of vacuum loading or couplered loading. So basically ram rodded. 17/32" is just too tight I think. It fires about 45' sometimes a little more. Overall it's not helping.

When I pick up bungees for the Urukai Bow, I'll try them on this in place of the extension springs to see if Slug's (vague) theory is right or not.
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#11 AssassinNF

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 06:31 PM

I modded one of these a while back, and get 80' ranges with LS darts. It's in my sig (the crossbow scumbag)


Did a mod edit my post :lol: ? Just kidding. I guess there's a new filter in place for people who try to get around the filter.

My crossbow can't even reach 30' with any barrel other than the 17/32" brass one, but with that barrel, it gets 80'. It's a huge fucking difference, and I still don't know why it's like that...
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#12 nerfer9

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:06 AM

You should name it Artemis the hunter, Artemis being the goddess of hunting...
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#13 doubleshot

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 11:12 AM

You should name it Artemis the hunter, Artemis being the goddess of hunting...

Somebody named their C-bow that.
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#14 rork

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 11:38 AM

Splitlip: I've done quite a bit of experimentation with springers, including designs that utilize extension springs; I stand by my statement. Also, you said that you left the slack in the springs so as to "extend the life of the gun." Is the gun padded/reinforced enough to take the springs you have on it at full tension, as per your most recent post? or is your initial post correct?
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#15 Split

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:43 PM

You might want to read a little more.. comprehensively. My first respone I said there was slack. My second response I said that there was slack, but it's small. It's the same statement, just more specific. Yes, the guns can hold the tension and force and a lot more as they are right now, and should last for a good while.

You say you've done a lot of experimentation, but the only thing you've ever put up it a circular speedloader for a nightfinder. No mention of bands or springs on either that NF or the Snap you posted about a few times.
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#16 rork

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:53 PM

I see. If the slack is that small, maybe it's your barrel, as was suggested earlier in the thread by AssassinNF. And I was talking about experimental designs that won't get posted here. Just because I've worked on something doesn't mean it's going to get shared; I've been at this hobby for a while, and there have been many, many prototypes along the way.

In all honesty, the SNAPbow is the only really significant thing I've built ("significant" meaning that it's useful to others); I basically added the Nitefinder topic to call attention to Bobafan's great turret concept, which I hadn't seen used very much. I use bands occasionally, but it's so basic that I don't really see the need to talk about it. Good luck fixing this thing. ~Rork

PS: The designs I used utilized surgical tubing as the main spring, and I experimented heavily in regard to the tautness of the tubing. Results were dramatically better when the tubing was stretched a few inches to begin with.

Edited by rork, 06 September 2008 - 01:21 PM.

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#17 Split

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:42 PM

Update: Rev 2.
So I tried the bungees, and as far as I can tell, it's physically impossible to bungee the gun and accomplish all of the details that CS outlined. You have to remember that the pull is huge, so to have a bungee tense while the gun is at rest and be able to stretch 6.5" is ridiculous. I cocked the gun, and pulled it as tight as I could (involved putting the gun in a vice with one side of the bungee attached to the gun using almost my full body weight to pull it) and held the bungee up at that point. With the gun not cocked, there was enough slack in the bungee that the the vertex is still 3 or so inches off of the plunger.

After a lot of work, this is what I came up with:
Posted Image

This seems to get 10 feet more or so, (without the barrel being sealed on!) but try as I might, I can't get the gun to stop misfiring. I'm looking for suggestions.
Things I've tried:
Adding more slack when the gun is not cocked
Making sure each spring is equally tense
Making sure that each spring is stopped at the same point on the blaster
Adding a guide rod to hold the cocking mechanism on the the plunger close to the catch in three different ways

This project is just pissing me off after this much work. I'm glad that I'm getting results, but if I were to configure each piece of the trigun in this way, I'd be walking around with a misfiring nightmare.

I also had to attach the cocking handle via a 3/16" wood screw because this is so much more powerful.. I accept that some of your points are valid slug, but not all of them in their entirety.
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#18 NerfCrazy

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:00 PM

If the misfiring has anything to do with the trigger mechanism you can tie 2 rubber bands together and put it on the edge of the trigger.
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#19 nerfnut23

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:36 PM

that isn't false, put footpegs on it 3" in front of muzzle, it makes it as easy to cock as a stock NF. and try a stronger spring on the catch.
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#20 Split

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:46 PM

If the misfiring has anything to do with the trigger mechanism you can tie 2 rubber bands together and put it on the edge of the trigger.


It doesn't unfortunately. It would be a relatively easy fix if it were (though I can't just replace the torsion spring, because I would need 3 of the same power, each more powerful than the stock one, and each fits perfectly in a molded groove.

So I tried the bungees, and as far as I can tell, it's physically impossible to bungee the gun and accomplish all of the details that CS outlined. You have to remember that the pull is huge, so to have a bungee tense while the gun is at rest and be able to stretch 6.5" is ridiculous. I cocked the gun, and pulled it as tight as I could (involved putting the gun in a vice with one side of the bungee attached to the gun using almost my full body weight to pull it) and held the bungee up at that point. With the gun not cocked, there was enough slack in the bungee that the the vertex is still 3 or so inches off of the plunger.



Maybe this is blasphemy, but have you considered that the particular bungees you tried might be too strong?


It's possible, but this works now, and I see no need to go out and try and find perfectly sized bungees that stretch the perfect amount while keeping the right amount of tension.


that isn't false, put footpegs on it 3" in front of muzzle, it makes it as easy to cock as a stock NF. and try a stronger spring on the catch.


What the hell does that even say? And I mentioned something about the catch spring above.

Thanks for the replies guys, keep em coming if possible.
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#21 Herpestidae

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 12:52 AM

Have you ever considered just removing the external springs all together? I know that would hurt ranges some and decrease the badass factor but if it is not working that well I would rather have a gun that worked well but didn't shoot as far. Besides one of the things that always intrigued me about this gun is how quiet they are supposed to be. I am sure the springs make it noisier. To me I could see you causing a great deal of havok with a rapid fire basically silent gun. If you were firing from cover you would be hard to pinpoint which would go along with my personal style of sneaking well. But different strokes for different folks.

P.S. Sorry this is not a useful suggestion but for what it matters I really like it and commend you on your hard work.
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#22 pustulio

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:48 AM

Splitlip... what will you do next a Quad barreled Titan?

P.S. I hope I don't get yelled at for posting on this topic. :blush:
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