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The Mirage

The Magstrike that goes 75 feet (and beyond)

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#1 Boot

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 09:50 PM

I’ve been looking around here for a while now, but never really thought I had anything interesting enough for a first post. Now that this project is very near completion however, I’m going to throw this idea out there before someone else does a significantly better job on it. :P

Although not a full write up I hope that I am going in depth enough so that someone could replicate and build on this creation. Because the materials available to me here in China are probably different from those in other places this post is more about the idea rather than the (really cool) product.

(Skip this part if you don’t want to hear a full history of this thing)

After recently getting into nerf with some friends, as a noob the magstrike seemed like the pinnacle of nerf. After buying one however, I soon realized how wrong I was. Instead of ditching the blaster, I looked into how I could improve it, and it occurred to me that the main issue was the feeding mechanism and the layout of the gun, or basically everything except the pump bladder and valves.

The goal of this modification (although in terms of the work put into it it is much more comparable to a homemade) was to both increase the power of the magstrike and to “single” it (if that is the appropriate term for having it shoot out of a single barrel) without impeding its ability to accept clips and be fully automatic.

(Start reading here. Seriously.)

I present to you the “Magstrike Internals Rapid Assault Game Ender” or the “Mirage”, called that just because I like the word “mirage”.

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To first rearrange the blaster I more or less built a new shell for it out of available materials at my school (Clear acrylic sheeting and tubes, hot glue and electrical tape). Due to a lack of “Nerf” related materials (like discarded shell parts etc.) I kept the original MS handle, and created and nice plate to clean up things at the front:

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Notice that the ridiculous “tactical rails” thing still works. Wonderful…

After rearranging the internals of the magstrike in a more compact fashion, I worked on the new feeding system for the blaster.

Although I am aware that there have been many homemades, or modifications in the past based around the Magstrike valve, they all seemed to tackle the loading problem by first ignoring the valves oscillating motion (how it moves back and forth when activated), and then attach a hopper clip to the front. Although this is probably a more practical system, to reduce dead space I came up with the following:

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I am pretty sure I am the first one to do this but if not, props to whoever did.

As the valve advances forwards it pushes a dart that has been dropped into the breech forwards, and completely seals of the barrel (the larger section of FBR to the rear) meaning the exit of the valve is directly behind the dart.

The main problem with this method is that the motion of the Magstrike valve is very limited, and so the size of the darts must be correspondingly limited. Very limited.

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(the larger dart is a 1 ½ inch stephan for comparison)

Please… don’t laugh. I call them nano darts.

These half inch darts actually work quite well, before attempting the build I tested them in my SM1500 (to make sure I wasn’t just wasting my time) and they were accurately hitting about 90 feet without fishtailing or tumbling (which was my greater concern)

Another thing is that larger darts can still be loaded and fired well by ram rodding, but that kind of defeats the purpose of being fully automatic…

With all that done I did a standard tank expansion (a big hand goes to hopper055 who was very helpful in explaining how that worked), but with acrylic plastic, cause that’s what I had. :P

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The only problem is that because I am currently on summer break I do not have access to the tools and materials to create a magazine (that will really bring the “automatic” function of this blaster to life) until I get back to school in August. In fact, you can tell what I did at school and at home. The wonderful clean edges of the band saw, jigsaw, and sanders at school, and the ragged tears caused by my hacksaw and pliers at home.

The final result is a fully automatic blaster that is pushing ranges of upwards of 70’. To me, I believe this is even more impressive considering the limited, and unconventional materials I have available to me (due to the fact that I cannot find standard components such as PETG, O rings, and good quality FBR here in China). I believe a PETG, or at least a well fitting barrel combined with a better feeding system (replacing the current improvised FBR seal with an O ring or two) could result in ranges of 80-90 feet [fingers crossed])

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Picture of the damage to a paper cup.

Heres a video of it firing (note that I am loading each dart by hand because I do not have the materials to make a magazine until I get back to school, read the WHOLE post if you’re confused by this…)

Firing test

Although the video isn't great quality I hope it gets the idea across. This is the first time I have ever encountered a magstrike that actually has enough power behind it to spew water vapor with every shot.

Feels free to ask questions, as my first post I may not have explained this very well.

Also, let me know if the images and videos are working. Again, its my first time posting.

So anyway, say hello to the Mirage; lets hope you’re not in front of it when you do.

Edited by Boot, 03 July 2010 - 11:17 PM.

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If you try to shoot over 45 feet with a magstrike accurately you fail

I beg to differ

#2 tomorrowsDarkness

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:07 PM

Very nice! And good first post, I might add.

Compact and very formidable, and those are great ranges for what you had. Though, I'm pretty sure other people are going to recommend this to you as well, make sure you properly seal it with Plumbers Goop and whatever else is out there. Hot glue won't hold for too long.

The pictures are working just fine, haven't checked the video yet.

How long is it, btw? (Unless I somehow missed it if you already stated it...)
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Elder of the Brothers Bradshaw.

#3 Boot

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:21 PM

How long is it, btw? (Unless I somehow missed it if you already stated it...)

The whole thing is about 55 cm long (or just over 21 inches), but I could probably shorten the barrel and bladder housing to make it about 45cm long. I'll keep an eye out for plumbers goop, but hot glue is generally used in conjunction with friction fits, so even without the glue the thing should hold together (and the speed at which hot glue can be applied is really a blessing).

Thanks.

Edit: Its actually about the same length (sideways) as a standard magstrike, but shorter. I think this is pretty good considering it has a 10" barrel.

Edited by Boot, 03 July 2010 - 10:26 PM.

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If you try to shoot over 45 feet with a magstrike accurately you fail

I beg to differ

#4 tomorrowsDarkness

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:32 PM

Thanks! I'll definitely have to try this :P
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#5 MindWarrior

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:34 PM

很高兴看到Nerfhaven另一位华人! I still had to use google translator on that :P . That thing looks awesome. A couple questions though, How many Pumps does it take to fill the bladder? Are you planning on hooking upo a compressor to it?

Edited by MindWarrior, 03 July 2010 - 10:35 PM.

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QUOTE(Ryan201821 @ Jan 2 2010, 03:20 PM) View Post

Seriously, no penis pumps or dildos on your Nerf blasters.

REVOLUTION BABY!

#6 Boot

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:08 PM

很高兴看到Nerfhaven另一位华人! I still had to use google translator on that :P . That thing looks awesome. A couple questions though, How many Pumps does it take to fill the bladder? Are you planning on hooking upo a compressor to it?


还用 "Google translator" 讲中文。。。真没羞。XD, just kidding. Not bad for google translator :P

Anyway, it's a standard MS bladder and pump setup so about 20 pumps. In the video I pumped it up to 20 and got about 10 shots off. In the new housing it is possible to pump it up to 40+ times (as it is basically unrestricted) but I haven't tried that for fear of damaging the bladder. (中国根本就没有卖 magstrike 这种东西的商店)

And in terms of the compressor, I may consider it however one of the other unmentioned goals of this build was to build and automatic blaster that used human power rather than depletable energy sources (like the abomination called the vulcan :P ) which just seems much "purer" and in the spirit of nerf.
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If you try to shoot over 45 feet with a magstrike accurately you fail

I beg to differ

#7 MindWarrior

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 01:39 AM

不够公平, But would you use a bike pump? You might get more efficiency from that.
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QUOTE(Ryan201821 @ Jan 2 2010, 03:20 PM) View Post

Seriously, no penis pumps or dildos on your Nerf blasters.

REVOLUTION BABY!

#8 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 02:03 AM

Love the new look, but I fear for your safety, as acrylic is not known for its strength, and with an oscillating piston moving in there, things might break. It's good that you're keeping pumps to 20 and that because you haven't banded the bladder, you're operating at stock pressure.

You can actually modify the piston so it has more stroke, which would go a long way to fulfilling every milsimgoober's dream of a full auto longshot. I don't know whether modifying an existing air piston would be easier or harder than just building one from scratch but it's probably not worth the effort.

P.s. colloquialisms/lazy sentences do not translate very well. Not enough equal? Very happy to have seen Nerfhaven another Chinese person?

Edited by Zorn's Lemma, 04 July 2010 - 02:05 AM.

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#9 MindWarrior

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 02:42 AM

Yeah, google translator can only do so much. I can't wait to see this finished though, you can probably get 5-8 more shots with the new efficient breech.
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QUOTE(Ryan201821 @ Jan 2 2010, 03:20 PM) View Post

Seriously, no penis pumps or dildos on your Nerf blasters.

REVOLUTION BABY!

#10 Boot

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 03:29 AM

you can probably get 5-8 more shots with the new efficient breech.


Actually, the current breech is very efficient, and as far as I can tell is wasting no pressure. The low number of shots is simply down to the volume of air being stored. To combat this I've been working on this:

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Yes, its a water bottle, but it is pressure rated and very sturdy (and constructed out of 1mm thick stainless steel). It also screws in perfectly to some gas valves I have. My current plan is to mess with the current version of the mirage until the bladder bursts or the pump breaks, and then replace it with a sturdier air tank and a bike pump. The only thing I am worried about is achieving a consistent pressure with a rigid air tank. just judging in terms of the size of the tank however I am sure I could get at least 8-10 more shots off (probably stronger shots due to the ability to achieve higher pressures in the new tank).

Love the new look, but I fear for your safety, as acrylic is not known for its strength, and with an oscillating piston moving in there, things might break.

You can actually modify the piston so it has more stroke, which would go a long way to fulfilling every milsimgoober's dream of a full auto longshot.

P.s. colloquialisms/lazy sentences do not translate very well. Not enough equal? Very happy to have seen Nerfhaven another Chinese person?


Yea, I was also slightly worried about the acrylic in the tank expansion rubbing and hitting stuff as the valve moved (because it is so rigid) but I measured the lengths out so the acrylic shouldn't contact any of the sides. It is also glued on in a strange way. I used epoxy to keep the thing airtight, but then covered that part of the valve in hot glue. in theory this should allow the whole thing a bit of wiggle room to keep it from actually shattering (or splintering, or whatever acrylic does).

Extending the valve is a pretty good idea. That would also deliver more power with each shot. When I get my hands on another magstrike valve I may give it a shot (building one from scratch would be tough for me because I don't have a supply of O-rings :P )

Oh, and about the full auto longshot, I actually saw one on youtube! its really very impressive. Link.

And don't ask how I got past the Great Firewall of China to get that...

P.S. Not enough equal = not fair, Very happy to have seen Nerfhaven another Chinese person = Nice to see another Chinese person on Nerfhaven.
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If you try to shoot over 45 feet with a magstrike accurately you fail

I beg to differ

#11 durka durka

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:58 AM

You were able to do all this with the stock piston setup? That's amazing. I think I'll have to arrange for one of my magstrikes to go into "surgery" as soon as I get the chance.
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#12 Boot

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:29 AM

You were able to do all this with the stock piston setup? That's amazing. I think I'll have to arrange for one of my magstrikes to go into "surgery" as soon as I get the chance.


Thanks, the piston is more or less stock, however the tank expansion is very important. Without it the blaster's power is significantly lower, and it moves too fast to give the next dart time to fall (or be pushed) into position when shooting fully automatic.

I've been experimenting with "banding" the valve, however I didn't see any major increase in range (or decrease in ROF). I did however break my breech seal like that, and so now I have to take the front off and fix the breech :P

EDIT: Oh, and don't think of it as surgery... think of it as... Ripping out the internal organs and shoving them into a synthetic case... yes. That sounds much better.

Edited by Boot, 04 July 2010 - 07:31 AM.

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QUOTE
If you try to shoot over 45 feet with a magstrike accurately you fail

I beg to differ

#13 minsc

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:29 PM

Hilarious chode darts are hilarious. I'd be concerned with them flipping over in your magazine when you get around to it, as even regular sized darts can easily flip in gravity fed clips without followers, which it looks like you are going for. Nice work on the case and setup though.
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QUOTE(Zorn's Lemma @ Jul 25 2010, 12:18 AM) View Post

You'll do a lot better if you spread the lips with the front. Trying to wriggle the back in there first seems a bit counterintuitive.

RSCBow

#14 TantumBull

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 02:24 PM

Woah, woah, hold on a minute. There is NO such thing as a pressure rated aluminum water bottle. Pressurizing that is a terrible idea. The alloys of aluminum used in those bottles are not the same ones used for actual pressure vessels used in paintball, hospitals, welding, etc.

Also, higher pressures in the tank correlate to a faster ROF, not a more powerful burst of air (in a MS piston).

Edited by TantumBull, 04 July 2010 - 02:26 PM.

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#15 Buffdaddy

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 02:48 PM

He did say it was stainless steel, not aluminum. So it should be capable of holding at least a few bars of pressure. (Don't have the stuff on me for the piping we use at work, but it's similar thickness, and we can run a few bars steam pressure in it no problem during sterilization.)

But Tantum is right on the higher pressure=faster ROF part.
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#16 durka durka

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 02:49 PM

Kind of confused on how the expansion works, but it looks easy enough to do.

Also, gravity fed clips are easy to make, but a bit of a pain to use. Ricochet's SAS-5 uses a spring fed clip, which he explained uses springs from soap dispenser pumps to make the magazine's spring. It doesn't seem to hard to make, and seems to have a good design.
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#17 moosa

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 03:32 PM

The fact that a Magstrike piston only moves <x> distance doesn't really keep you from adding a few parts to mechanically translate that into something like <4x> at the magazine. Of course there will be friction losses, and the piston may have to push pretty hard ... but that should just increase the air volume when it does fire, somewhat like banding the piston would.


Such a mechanism may cause greater pressure to build up within the piston, but wouldn't it also diminish the energy output during firing for the same reasons? In other words, the friction losses would be present not only as the piston fills, but also as it moves in the opposite direction to fire. banding works because it stores energy in one direction and then releases it while firing. What you're suggesting would waste energy in both directions.

This Mirage thing is pretty crazy (it looks freaking awesome), and probably the most creative mod I've seen on here in a long time, but I'm not yet impressed by the ranges. I recall that FA's original Magstrike mod reached as far as 85 feet flat without reconstructing the blaster. It looks like there is room for improvement though, so I will be interested to see what can be worked out.

As far as the air tank replacement, I wouldn't go with a rigid tank, pressure rated or not, if I were you. Even if you could achieve significantly higher pressures that way, I would much rather have the consistency of an air bladder. I think you're underestimating how much those bladders can take. Forsaken posted a pic in his Magstrike thread where he pumped a banded RF20 bladder 80 times without any problems. Also Captain Slug posted this:

The material of the bladder itself is rated to 500PSI. The Nylon fittings however are rated to 150PSI. The stock pump can only fill the stock bladder to about 60PSI.

...which would suggest that it would be impossible to damage an unrestricted bladder with the stock pump. You'd just have to make sure your clamps and fittings stay strong and secure.

If I were you, I'd try some fairly strong bands on the piston and pump the bladder 40 times, then see what happens.
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Yes.

#18 Seven7h Man

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 12:13 AM

A singled magstrike compleatly defeats the purpose of the magstrike, regardless of what ranges you're getting. You should at least put a hopper clip on it. But other than that, cool stuff.
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#19 MindWarrior

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 12:24 AM

A singled magstrike compleatly defeats the purpose of the magstrike, regardless of what ranges you're getting. You should at least put a hopper clip on it. But other than that, cool stuff.

He designed it to be clip fed, but due to lack of proper equipment he has outside of his school, he cannot build one.
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QUOTE(Ryan201821 @ Jan 2 2010, 03:20 PM) View Post

Seriously, no penis pumps or dildos on your Nerf blasters.

REVOLUTION BABY!

#20 snakerbot

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 01:50 AM

Here's one type of mechanism that might help http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Pantograph


Here's another I threw together with Lego. It's a little stiff because of the sizes of gears I used, but that's what I could find easily and I didn't want to dig through my several-thousand-piece bin to find a better one.



Essentially it's two gear racks meshing with two gears that are different sizes, but which share the same axle. Not sure how easily it could be built with different (stronger) materials, but it would work.
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#21 Boot

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 02:19 AM

Oops, sorry for not responding for a while, I didn't even notice there was a second page, I'm glad people are liking this Mod :lol:

Hilarious chode darts are hilarious. I'd be concerned with them flipping over in your magazine when you get around to it, as even regular sized darts can easily flip in gravity fed clips without followers, which it looks like you are going for. Nice work on the case and setup though.


Yes, they are, and yes, that was one of my concerns. I may try to use a sort of hopper setup (because the weighted tips of the darts would keep the straight, but thats only a last resort is a standard clip doesn't work. Also, if other people are attempting this using an O-ring to seal the breech (instead of stretched FBR) would allow for an extra 1/2" of usable travel (as my setup requires that the FBR be thrust deeper into the barrel for an airtight fit). This would mean that theoretically 1" stephans could be used in this system.

Woah, woah, hold on a minute. There is NO such thing as a pressure rated aluminum water bottle. Pressurizing that is a terrible idea. The alloys of aluminum used in those bottles are not the same ones used for actual pressure vessels used in paintball, hospitals, welding, etc.

Also, higher pressures in the tank correlate to a faster ROF, not a more powerful burst of air (in a MS piston).


I didn't think of that about the pressures, don't know how I missed that. But what higher pressures would allow more resistance to be added to the valve (via banding) which in turn would result in a more powerful burst of air, however that could be damaging to the valve.

And about the bottle. What you said is entirely correct (although the bottle is pressure rated, for carbonated drinks :P) I'll look into other options like one of Captain Slugs external tanks, but I do think this bottle would be usable at lower pressures (at very least significantly better than the disposable bottles some people use).

Thanks.

Also, gravity fed clips are easy to make, but a bit of a pain to use. Ricochet's SAS-5 uses a spring fed clip, which he explained uses springs from soap dispenser pumps to make the magazine's spring. It doesn't seem to hard to make, and seems to have a good design.


I will look into this, I tried making a spring fed clip (although it was a test version and constructed out of cardboard) but didn't have the right wire. Time to put some soap dispensers into "surgery" (or organ harvesting).

There's also leverage, you know.

The fact that a Magstrike piston only moves <x> distance doesn't really keep you from adding a few parts to mechanically translate that into something like <4x> at the magazine. Of course there will be friction losses, and the piston may have to push pretty hard ... but that should just increase the air volume when it does fire, somewhat like banding the piston would.

Here's one type of mechanism that might help http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Pantograph


I couldn't get to the link, but I see what you are saying (take a look at my response to "Minsc" though). Although this is a good idea I think that it would be more work to get working than simply increasing the draw of the valve (also, at very least in terms of how I am visualizing it, it would be a fairly large addition to the blaster). That is a very creative way of looking at the problem though. Certainly more practical that my "chode" darts...

This Mirage thing is pretty crazy (it looks freaking awesome), and probably the most creative mod I've seen on here in a long time, but I'm not yet impressed by the ranges. I recall that FA's original Magstrike mod reached as far as 85 feet flat without reconstructing the blaster. It looks like there is room for improvement though, so I will be interested to see what can be worked out.

As far as the air tank replacement, I wouldn't go with a rigid tank, pressure rated or not, if I were you. Even if you could achieve significantly higher pressures that way, I would much rather have the consistency of an air bladder. I think you're underestimating how much those bladders can take. Forsaken posted a pic in his Magstrike thread where he pumped a banded RF20 bladder 80 times without any problems. Also Captain Slug posted this:

...which would suggest that it would be impossible to damage an unrestricted bladder with the stock pump. You'd just have to make sure your clamps and fittings stay strong and secure.

If I were you, I'd try some fairly strong bands on the piston and pump the bladder 40 times, then see what happens.


Thanks, I think it looks pretty cool too. That stuff about the bladder is interesting. I had no idea how strong they actually were. My main concern though is that I can't easily get ahold of a spare bladder if mine breaks (which I mentioned earlier, but in Chinese :P ). I do realize that in terms of reliability the bladder is better. And yes, once I get some good rubber bands I will definitely try banding the bladder (which should be fairly easy considering I haven't glued anything yet)

EDIT:

And I definitely have to have a good look at Forsaken angels magstrike. 85 feet is crazy! I'd love to see how he got a good enough seal with the clip to get that kind of power. Do remember though that my barrel material is much less than ideal. I believe using PETG would increase range substantially.

PS: you can be me, just get a magstrike and then attack it with a hacksaw, then you can band and pump away! :lol:

A singled magstrike compleatly defeats the purpose of the magstrike, regardless of what ranges you're getting. You should at least put a hopper clip on it. But other than that, cool stuff.


Yes, it would defeat the purpose of a magstike, but as Mindwarrior said, I haven't had a chance to build a clip (notice the whole breech system should be pretty "clip compatible). A hopper clip actually is a good idea, as because the barrel gets sealed off with each shot I could theoretically make it as big as I wanted. I'm having visions of this thing with a 5m long hopper sticking out of it :blink:

Edited by Boot, 05 July 2010 - 02:33 AM.

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If you try to shoot over 45 feet with a magstrike accurately you fail

I beg to differ

#22 Boot

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 02:29 AM

Here's one type of mechanism that might help http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Pantograph


Here's another I threw together with Lego. It's a little stiff because of the sizes of gears I used, but that's what I could find easily and I didn't want to dig through my several-thousand-piece bin to find a better one.



Essentially it's two gear racks meshing with two gears that are different sizes, but which share the same axle. Not sure how easily it could be built with different (stronger) materials, but it would work.


Hey, sorry, I started replying before I saw you're post. Thats actually a pretty cool system, but I'm not sure how well gears would work in this build. One way I can think of doing it however is using a sort of pulley system, but I still thing that anything like this would be too complicated and too unreliable to work in the mirage (at least with my fabricating skills :blink: )
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QUOTE
If you try to shoot over 45 feet with a magstrike accurately you fail

I beg to differ


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