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The Reconbow

Now with shotgun foregrip! And templates!

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#1 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 01:57 PM

Recons suck. They have inverse plungers and they are overrated. However, the new N-Strike blasters do have some advantages… cooler looks (in the opinion of a lot of people), a better shape and feel (in my opinion), and an amazing rate of fire (in most people’s opinions). If you bring one to a CQB Nerf War you will have a large advantage. The clips allow for extremely fast reloading and now the Raider Drum provides almost an endless supply of ammo. They are probably the basis of a lot of amazing paint jobs as well. But the blasters still suck… They can’t shoot far for shit.

Well we’re changing that.

Primary Project Goal (Achieved):
Develop a homemade plunger system for the Recon achieving intermediate range while still allowing full use of the stock blaster’s features (clip loading, attachments, etc.) and keeping most of the new internals inside the gun and maintaining compactness of the blaster.

Secondary Project Goals (In Progress):
Design the modifications/homemade parts so that anyone who is able to build a +bow can recreate the ReconBow. Also, modify the existing attachments and make new accessories to make the Recon a more useful blaster.

Intro:

So I wanted a Recon (I like the Recons shell) that had an internals replacement, but not some stupid AirTech integrated into it. I wanted a springer that could use an Angel Breech to achieve pretty good ranges while keeping the ROF of the stock blaster.

I was oringinally going to leave the catch mechanism in place, but the performance would have been worse than a NiteFinder’s. The new plunger tube is about the diameter of a NiteFinder’s, but hopefully by making it slightly longer I can achieve ranges of about 100 ft. Since I moved the catch though, I had to design a completely new one. Thanks to CS for designing the +bow catch which the ReconBow catch is based off of. Since it is made out of plastic sheeting, you will need to download the cutting templates

Also, I want to say that I designed this mod to allow for rushing while using a Raider drum while still getting shots off at more than 50 feet. +bow ranges were not necessary for this project, just good enough to hit close range targets accurately.

Materials:
You do not need everything on this list! I had most of the stuff lying around so this is what I chose to use. Please read through the writeup and see what you need before buying all this stuff.

McMaster stuff:
9245K29	Clear Petg Tube, 3/4" Od, 5/8" Id
8745K47	Gray Pvc (type I) Rod, 1" Diameter
94115K21	Neoprene O-ring, As568a Dash Number 210
91090A107	Zinc-plated Steel Large-diameter Flat Washer, 1/4" Screw Size, 7/8" Od, .04"-.06" Thick
90133A053	Neoprene Rubber Washer, 1/2" Screw Size, 1-1/16" Od, .093" Thick
92778A074	18-8 Ss Oval Point Socket Set Screw, 6-32 Thread, 3/8" Length
8660K31	Gray PVC (Type I) Square Bar 3/8" Square
8585K62	Polycarbonate Round Tube 1-1/8" OD, 1" ID, Clear
9657K39	Steel Compression Spring Music Wire, 1" L, 1/4" OD, .020" Wire Diameter
90402A146	Zinc-Plated Steel Pan Head Phil Machine Screw External Washer, 6-32 Thread, 3/8" Length
8574K24	Polycarbonate Sheet 1/16" Thick, 12" X 12", Clear
8574K28	Polycarbonate Sheet 1/4" Thick, 12" X 12", Clear
90295A075	Nylon 6/6 Flat Washer #6 Screw Size, .140" ID, .313" OD, .057"-.067" Thk
90272A151	Zinc-Pltd Stl Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 6-32 Thread, 3/4" Length

Other Materials:
-1/2” Brass
-17/32” Brass
-9/16” Brass
-CPVC
-[k26] spring

Tools
-Adhesives and Solvents
-Screw Drivers
-Allen Wrenches
-Pipe Cutters/Dremel
-Hacksaw/Miter Saw/Table Saw
-Scroll Saw
-Band Saw (not necessary)
-Drill or Drill Press
-Drill Bits
-Sandpaper
-Files
-Utility Knife

I’m pretty sure I used every tool in my shop (which is a lot). You don’t need to though.

The writeup will be broken into two parts: One for everything dealing with the plunger/ catch, and the other one dealing with the barrel/breech. Since I went through design changes so many times the parts list/writeup may not be complete/coherent. The next time I make one I will post a better writeup. Therefore, DO NOT follow this writeup word-for-word. Use your head.

Part One:

Dremel out the back of the shell to fit the catch mechanism like so.

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Cut out your plunger tube to fit right up against the clip, going most of the way back. You will have to trim it later.

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Cut out all the template pieces (besides the circles) out of 1/4” polycarbonate. Drill the holes before you make the cuts. Also tap the holes that need to be tapped. (These templates are different from the ones you’ll be making).

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Now you will have to make them fit the shell by beveling the corners and maybe thinning them out. Make sure everything can fit smoothly. Don’t forget to file the edge on the catch plate to make it slide easier.

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Now put the catch mechanism together, and then cut the plunger tube where shown. This will be where the trigger will fit. In the picture, the spacers are on wrong. Put them between the frame piece and the catch.

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Now cut and drill/tap the plunger rod from a 3/8” PVC bar. It should go from the front of the plunger tube and stick out the back a little bit.

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Then make the plunger head by using a 3/4” washer, 1 1/6” by 1/16” rubber washer (don’t use the one in the parts list, it’s too thick. I got mine at Home Depot), and a 7/8” washer on top.

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Now we need to make two plastic rings. I don’t like cutting circles so I got 1” plastic (PVC) rod and sliced off one 1/4” piece and one 3/16” piece. Then I put the circle templates on the rings. You could of course cut these out of regular polycarb sheets…

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Then drill a 5/32” hole in the center. Since the plastic was too large, I put it in my drill press and lathed down the O.D. until it fit in the plunger tube.

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Edited by Lt. Stefan, 18 May 2010 - 05:25 PM.

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#2 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:00 PM

Now drill a 5/8” hole through the rings.

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Then line one of the rings up at the end of the plunger tube and mark in the middle of the ring on the tube. Then drill through the plunger tube with a 1/8” bit. Then put the ring back and mark it through the hole and drill that to 7/64”. Then tap the hole when the two are lined up and insert a set screw. Rinse and repeat three more times.

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The set screws I used were too long. They should be flush with the outside and not protrude inside.

Now take the other ring (I used the 3/16” one here) and drill two holes to 7/64” and tap them.

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Then take a piece of cpvc and mark the holes from the ring and drill them to 7/64”. Then tap and insert set screws.

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Now mark the place where the bolt slides easiest through the plunger tube. Then cut the CPVC to about 1/2”.

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Then hammer a piece of 1/2” brass so it is flush with the end of the cpvc that attaches to the ring. Then drill/tap through that and assemble the ring again.

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#3 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:01 PM

Part 2

WARNING: The following part will require a lot of measuring and logical thinking. You have been warned. Read Angel’s LS Breech writeup first! Obviously credit goes to him for designing that.

This writeup is for a 17/32” barrel.

Put a piece of 17/32” brass over the piece of 1/2” brass.

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Then put 9/16” over that.

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Then mark on your barrel where the half pipe will start.

[/img]http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/8577/img1540ea.jpg[/img]

Then draw the half pipe to be cut out.

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Then cut it out.

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Cut a short segment of something to center the barrel in the Recon barrel. I used 5/8” x 3/4” PETG.

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If you plan on using the faux barrel, cut out the inside barrel so it will fit.

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Then wrap E-Tape around the barrel and stick it in.

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Now go back to the base of the bolt and wrap e-tape so a 13/16” x 15/16” o-ring can fit over it and make a good seal with the 1” I.D. plunger tube. Make sure to slice the e-tape off so it lies flush with the o-ring. Then glue it.

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Now cut the black piece from the back along the seam.

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#4 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:02 PM

Then cut the shell where shown to fit the trigger.

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Now cut out a trigger. No templates for this, you just have to understand what you’re trying to do and make it work.

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Oh, I forgot to tell you to make a catch notch. Pop your spring in, pull the plunger as far as it goes, and mark. This is also how the internals will fit.

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Now bust out your solvent cement because we’re going to cement stuff. Primarily the alignment piece with the plunger tube (make sure it is exactly where you want it), the front of the plunger tube (make sure you don’t get any in the plunger tube), the back of the bolt, and the trigger. Also cement the black pieces we cut earlier to their sides of the shell.

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Now take your trigger and drill through it like so with a 7/64” drill bit. Then tap and insert a screw.

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Now mark where to put the bolt nub and glue it.

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Put some BBB foam on the plunger head.

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Edited by Lt. Stefan, 17 May 2010 - 02:42 PM.

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#5 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:03 PM

Now mark the plunger tube and spring rest and drill/tap both sides. Then put a set screw in.

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Cut your bolt sled like so (to allow room for the trigger).

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Now put all the internals in. They should all go in at the same time. (Don't do what I did to the bolt sled in this pic).

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Don’t forget your catch spring!

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Close the gun up and go shoot something!
Pop a Raider drum in there and shoot 35 somethings!

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Conclusion

This thing took a while to make. There are a lot of small things you will have to go back and fix. But don’t give up because it is definitely worth it. It took me over a week of working more than three hours a day. The again, I did have to design it as well…..

Now the part that everyone is waiting for: performance.

I’m still working out the kinks, but so far it is hitting ranges similar to a highly modded NF. That seems about right considering the plunger tubes have about the same diameter. That was my goal as well, because when you’re rushing a base in CTF you don’t need to go in there with +Bow ranges. You just need a lot of shots that can actually hit their target.

The breech does work as well; it loads darts from clips just fine and as far as I can tell is 100% air-tight. As of right now I didn’t achieve my ROF goal because it’s so hard to prime…. Just give me a day to fix that.

I seem to be having some problems with the trigger though. Sometimes it won’t pull… I think that is because there is so much torque on the trigger that it pivots instead of slides.

All I can say is left for this project is to do further testing of the breech mechanism and the trigger to try and get this gun shooting consistently and reliably. I already have a few improvements in my head. So check back later and hopefully this gun will be better than it already is!

You can expect templates and a video up later.

Comments/Questions/Suggestions?

Edited by Lt. Stefan, 17 May 2010 - 02:42 PM.

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#6 SorrowX

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:09 PM

Dude, thats sweet. You made a Recon/L+L hybrid. Do prime it like a NF and the actuate the breech, or is the function the same?
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#7 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:11 PM

You can use the slide or the handle I put on. i just did that to make it easier for testing, but the slide does work to do both at once. Hopefully I won't need that when I add the shotgun foregrip....
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#8 NerfRogue83

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:24 PM

Good work LT.

It good to see a new, original mod for the Recon.
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#9 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:21 PM

Even though this is a suboptimal adaptation of Split's longstrike internals, good job on actually building a replica and producing a writeup. Also, since you took the brave first step, I know exactly what not to do when I have my own attempt.

As to your trigger issues, I suggest either a) moving the spring to behind the plunger tube so you can move the catch forward and thus have a much more reliable trigger, or b) extending the trigger extension so instead of having a Γ you have a much more solid bar. Obviously this would require cutting the boltsled like you said not to do, but as long as you just cut a notch in it as opposed to hacking the back completely off, you shouldn't run into any guidance issues.
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#10 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:34 PM

I tried cutting the entire back off of the bolt sled (If this is what you're saying to do) and it didn't work because the bolt sled would bend inward and catch on stuff when I was trying to cock it. I already cut as much of a notch as possible.

....................................................................................................................__
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying, do you want me to turn Γ into /_Γ ? Which way should I "extend" it?

I don't think the bolt sled has enough room for the above version.

And thanks. I don't want to put the spring in the back because it reduces the compact size. I will however do that on my own LongStrike because the stock is there anyway.
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#11 nerf22

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:01 PM

Good job. That thing is ****ing awesome. :ph34r:
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#12 VACC

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:01 PM

it's becoming more and more obvious why some people are choosing to take their original content elsewhere.


If you say the back of your van, I'm going to call the FBI.
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#13 Hi Yah

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:04 PM

I find that with homemade plunger heads having the smaller washer in front and the larger in the back helps create a sort of cup shape. Aside from that nice job.
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#14 Split

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:40 PM

While it's similar overall to mine (as Zorn said, I wouldn't have brought it up otherwise), this is particularly different than my setup, where the main innovation was the spring behind the catch (among some other things that I'm not sure have been picked up on - a really simple way to make the bolt head, the location of the catch reducing the need to modify the trigger, an easy way to use a much larger plunger tube). The similarities probably come most from overall necessity rather than duplication, and for that, I applaud this mod. It seems to be a much more complex and powerful version of the Niteraider, which I was a huge fan of, but didn't seem to get much attention (though blue did well in getting it in the latest mod directory).

Your parts and some aspects of the design seem to be unnecessarily complicated, if not expensive (first homemade I've seen to rely so heavily on set screws), but it's a great starting point, and it's great that you got it up and running, and plan on continue to improving it. The trigger problems are unfortunate - it's always a hassle to get to the very finish and have such a basic part malfunction. I typically resort to remaking it entirely from scratch, even if I think I can make it work that way. It's also easier to reproduce if it's entirely from scratch.

I have a somewhat unrelated gripe about the name though. We usually add -bow to the end of a homemade if it's just a +bow variant, or basically +bow internals in another shell, see FireBow, TornadoBow, etc etc. I know you and the rest of us put a lot of time into designing and working out and then working on new homemades, admittedly out of the same raw materials, only to have them called "+bows" or "+bow knockoffs." Hell, I've seen people call Slug's latest homemade, which is completely redesigned through and through for every part, a "+bow." I think it's a disservice to the effort put in. It is your name, but I think it deserves a bit more.

Overall, very nice work and much props.
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Teehee.

#15 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:57 PM

I tried cutting the entire back off of the bolt sled (If this is what you're saying to do) and it didn't work because the bolt sled would bend inward and catch on stuff when I was trying to cock it. I already cut as much of a notch as possible.

....................................................................................................................__
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying, do you want me to turn Γ into /_Γ ? Which way should I "extend" it?


Put more triangle and less L into it. But the boltsled problem is unfortunate. You could always just put a bar across the sides as close to the mag as possible to stop it from bending in yet still giving you extra back room to add support to that trigger. You should have room because the only reason the stock bar is that far back is because it has safety lock stuff on it.
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#16 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:15 PM

1. Nice work, LT. Although you ran into troubles like any good pioneer, you've helped pave more of the way for (I hope) numerous builds that people have been asking about almost since the Recon first appeared.

2. An option might be to repair the cut-away boltsled with a U shaped piece of polycarbonate, preserving a slot in the back for the suggested trigger reinforcement to extend up into. But I'm not sure how much room the clip leaves, so maybe that can't work. In any case, as we already discussed, I concur with the suggestion to try reinforcing the existing trigger before redesigning it.


1. Thanks. I thought it turned out rather nicely given the shell I was working on.

2. The shell is cramped as hell back there. I would get MAYBE another 1/2" of space.


Good job. That thing is ****ing awesome. :ph34r:


Thanks.

I find that with homemade plunger heads having the smaller washer in front and the larger in the back helps create a sort of cup shape. Aside from that nice job.


I saw someone who did something similar, I will try that.


While it's similar overall to mine (as Zorn said, I wouldn't have brought it up otherwise), this is particularly different than my setup, where the main innovation was the spring behind the catch (among some other things that I'm not sure have been picked up on - a really simple way to make the bolt head,
1. the location of the catch reducing the need to modify the trigger,
2. an easy way to use a much larger plunger tube).
3. The similarities probably come most from overall necessity rather than duplication, and for that, I applaud this mod. It seems to be a much more complex and powerful version of the Niteraider, which I was a huge fan of, but didn't seem to get much attention (though blue did well in getting it in the latest mod directory).

4. Your parts and some aspects of the design seem to be unnecessarily complicated, if not expensive (first homemade I've seen to rely so heavily on set screws), but it's a great starting point, and it's great that you got it up and running, and plan on continue to improving it.
5. The trigger problems are unfortunate - it's always a hassle to get to the very finish and have such a basic part malfunction. I typically resort to remaking it entirely from scratch, even if I think I can make it work that way. It's also easier to reproduce if it's entirely from scratch.


6. I have a somewhat unrelated gripe about the name though. We usually add -bow to the end of a homemade if it's just a +bow variant, or basically +bow internals in another shell, see FireBow, TornadoBow, etc etc. I know you and the rest of us put a lot of time into designing and working out and then working on new homemades, admittedly out of the same raw materials, only to have them called "+bows" or "+bow knockoffs." Hell, I've seen people call Slug's latest homemade, which is completely redesigned through and through for every part, a "+bow." I think it's a disservice to the effort put in. It is your name, but I think it deserves a bit more.

7. Overall, very nice work and much props.


1. That couldn't be applied to this gun because I would have had 1/2" over plunger draw.
2. I think I know how you did that. Basically using two "centering pieces" and dremeling the rest of the shell away right? I'm probably going to use a +Bow size plunger tube on my next one.
3. Thanks. The only similarities (that I can tell from the picture you posted) are the materials used; like you said there are only so many ways something can be done.
4/5. Cost was not one of my concerns for this gun. And set screws worked so perfectly for this mod that I just had to use them. I'm a big fan of them now. Also, hopefully I'll be able to get that trigger rock solid and this gun will be awesome. If Bob/Zorn's method doesn't work, I'm just going to go with a homemade pivot trigger.
6. It was the only thing I could think of at the time, and you have to admit it's pretty catchy. I couldn't think of any other name for this type of homemade than "Recon with Homemade Internals" and that's just no fun.
7. Thanks again.

I tried cutting the entire back off of the bolt sled (If this is what you're saying to do) and it didn't work because the bolt sled would bend inward and catch on stuff when I was trying to cock it. I already cut as much of a notch as possible.

....................................................................................................................__
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying, do you want me to turn Γ into /_Γ ? Which way should I "extend" it?


Put more triangle and less L into it. But the boltsled problem is unfortunate. You could always just put a bar across the sides as close to the mag as possible to stop it from bending in yet still giving you extra back room to add support to that trigger. You should have room because the only reason the stock bar is that far back is because it has safety lock stuff on it.



By doing that to the sled I'll hopefully get just a little bit more room for reinforcement. Like I said to Split, if that fails I'll just go with a pivot trigger.

-EDIT-

The ReconBow is now easy to prime!

Posted Image

Edited by Lt. Stefan, 17 May 2010 - 06:41 PM.

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#17 Phree Agent

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:14 PM

That pump priming forgrip is the icing on the cake, though I would rather see a real handle on it than a piece of PVC. Excellent job overall.
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#18 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:16 PM

Thanks. I didn't want to bother with a LSFG handle right now though. Still pretty comfy IMO.

Shotgun Foregrip

Cut about 4-5” of 3” PVC.

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Now drill a 5/32” hole where shown.

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Cut out the templates on 3/16” PC. Bevel the edges if you want. Then mark for a hole in the middle of the bar so that the front of the bar is flush with the front part of the barrel (before the cap) and the hole is where the hole in the slide is.

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Sorry for the blurry pic, but mark two holes on the front so that they will attach to the PVC.

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Then put a 1.25” bolt through the hole on the slide as shown.

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Attach the bars to the outside by using washers as spacers to push them out enough to fit the PVC. Then mark on the PVC where to drill through.

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Drill (7/64”) and tap where marked.

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Drill a hole for a handle if you want. Then put it all together using 3/8” screws and locknuts on the slide bolts.

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Now you are done making this gun easy to prime!

Edited by Lt. Stefan, 17 May 2010 - 07:36 PM.

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#19 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:40 PM

If you're going to have huge bars running across your blaster, you might as well extend them to the pullback handle so that you aren't putting all the priming stress through the bolt.
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#20 Agent x-eagle

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:44 PM

Very nice overall. :-)
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#21 Lt Stefan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:56 PM

That's actually a pretty good idea. However it doesn't show any signs of breaking so if it does I will do that.


-EDIT-

Templates can be found here.

Edited by Lt. Stefan, 18 May 2010 - 05:24 PM.

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#22 mbisc8

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:36 PM

If you attach flashlights and random lasers, this can be the ultimate tacticool recon.
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I like things.

#23 Lt Stefan

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:37 PM

I'll leave that up to whoever buys it :)

I'm working on the video right now and it should be up tonight. After that I don't really have much use for this blaster so I'm going to give it to someone who does.
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#24 Lt Stefan

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 03:30 PM

Sorry for the DP, but.

So much for this shit.

Posted Image

Apparently polycarb is not indestructible.

Needless to say there will be no video.

If anyone wants what is left to help them or something I'm more than willing to let it go. PM me.

In other news, the trigger worked though.

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Edited by Lt. Stefan, 19 May 2010 - 03:48 PM.

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#25 wardrive

wardrive

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 03:49 PM

Would replacing the broken part with aluminum be possible?
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It's not called incompetence, We call it Leadership.


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