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Barrel Adapters

For 1/2" PVC Couplers

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#1 roboman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 05:34 PM

I made the first one of these (shown below, on the left) a couple of months ago, before SCUNWAR1. Unfortunately, I didn't really get a chance to use it, since my SNAP wasn't working. After forgetting about it for a while, I decided to bring it to yesterday's Armageddon, where it was used by several people throughout the day.

Basically, it allows you to use just about any barrel with a 1/2" Sch. 40 PVC slip coupler. Personally, I prefer the McMaster 5/8" OD x .527" ID aluminum tube, so I made them able to accept anything with a 5/8" OD (think CPVC).

At yesterday's 'Geddon, Squishy10000 offered me $10 for one. The one on the right is his, sans the aluminum barrel. If enough people are interested, I'd be willing to make a large batch and sell them.

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As you can see, the barrel is held on with a setscrew, allowing you to change the length/material easily. The ID of the adapter is .505", a perfect fit for Mcmaster foam. They're made out of 1" HDPE, which is strong, light, easy to machine, and inexpensive. The O-Rings are there to provide a better seal, and to prevent the adapter from falling out of a coupler.

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#2 Lt Stefan

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:09 PM

So, if I understand correctly, it is just an alternative to putting your barrel in a pvc stub that fits a coupler?
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#3 Blue

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:17 PM

So, if I understand correctly, it is just an alternative to putting your barrel in a pvc stub that fits a coupler?


A super cool alternate way. This thing looked fantastic at geddon, it is also much easier to use with the coupler, the O-rings make it very smooth.
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#4 roboman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:35 PM

So, if I understand correctly, it is just an alternative to putting your barrel in a pvc stub that fits a coupler?


A super cool alternate way. This thing looked fantastic at geddon, it is also much easier to use with the coupler, the O-rings make it very smooth.


Thanks, Blue!

But, yeah, it's mostly for aesthetic appeal. For me, .527" ID aluminum tube is a bit too loose on my foam, so I needed a "tightening ring," if you will, so the tubing wouldn't go to waste.

Edited by roboman, 11 July 2010 - 06:35 PM.

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#5 Lt Stefan

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:37 PM

Oh that wasn't clear to me. So you made the bottom of the adapter tighter? Very cool.

I assume that it can fit in and work with a wye as well?

Edited by Lt. Stefan, 11 July 2010 - 06:38 PM.

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#6 roboman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:41 PM

Oh that wasn't clear to me. So you made the bottom of the adapter tighter? Very cool.

I assume that it can fit in and work with a wye as well?


I'm sure it could, but I don't happen to have one.
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#7 PVC Arsenal 17

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 08:56 PM

I certainly see the aesthetic appeal but I couldn't justify spending any amount of money on one of these considering the I.D. of sch40 PVC is close enough to 5/8" that after a little time with some sandpaper I can achieve essentially the same thing for next to nothing. Furthermore, if my barrel is to be attached with a 1/2" PVC coupler, I'd probably go straight for a length of sch80 PVC or even sprinkler riser sleeved with PETG.

I'm not usually one for aesthetics, but I suppose the machinability of HDPE would make it easy to embellish these adapters with chamfering, mock porting, etc. Still nothing you couldn't pull off with PVC which is by far cheaper.

Props for the lathe work though.

Edited by PVC Arsenal 17, 11 July 2010 - 08:56 PM.

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#8 roboman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:04 PM

I certainly see the aesthetic appeal but I couldn't justify spending any amount of money on one of these considering the I.D. of sch40 PVC is close enough to 5/8" that after a little time with some sandpaper I can achieve essentially the same thing for next to nothing. Furthermore, if my barrel is to be attached with a 1/2" PVC coupler, I'd probably go straight for a length of sch80 PVC or even sprinkler riser sleeved with PETG.

I'm not usually one for aesthetics, but I suppose the machinability of HDPE would make it easy to embellish these adapters with chamfering, mock porting, etc. Still nothing you couldn't pull off with PVC which is by far cheaper.

Props for the lathe work though.


Originally, I made it so I could use the McMaster aluminum with my foam, since the foam is way too loose. I bored out the ID of the HDPE to .505", which is a near-perfect fit for my foam. I didn't intend for it to be particularly good-looking, rather, I just needed something to provide a tighter fit for my darts, on the night before SCUNWAR1. As it turned out, people seemed to like it at 'Geddon.
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#9 PVC Arsenal 17

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:17 PM

So the way I understand it, the adapter is bored to a certain depth to accomodate the aluminum and then bored the rest of the way at .505". Exactly what length of the adapter is this diameter? In other words, when the dart is inserted completely, how much of it is contained by the .505" section?
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#10 roboman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:29 PM

So the way I understand it, the adapter is bored to a certain depth to accommodate the aluminum and then bored the rest of the way at .505". Exactly what length of the adapter is this diameter? In other words, when the dart is inserted completely, how much of it is contained by the .505" section?


You are correct.

The overall length of the adapter is 2.625". The counterbore, if you will, for the barrel is .625" deep. This leaves 2" for a dart.
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#11 PVC Arsenal 17

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:44 PM

In that case I see the advantage of these. It would be a bit harder to reproduce this in PVC.

Interesting, though... Several months ago I encountered a situation where my darts had to transition from a .5" bore barrel equivalent to their length to a .527" bore barrel for the remaining 10 inches or so. I wanted to study the effects of the transition on Nerf darts but ended up doing most of my testing with other projectiles until I finally just sleeved the .527" bore barrel with 17/32" brass. (It can be done... with insane amounts of sanding)

So my question is... do you notice any loss of performance due to the transition to a larger bore compared to a continuous length of the initial bore? My concern was that important backpressure would be lost once the transition was made.

Edited by PVC Arsenal 17, 11 July 2010 - 09:45 PM.

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#12 roboman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:51 PM

In that case I see the advantage of these. It would be a bit harder to reproduce this in PVC.

Interesting, though... Several months ago I encountered a situation where my darts had to transition from a .5" bore barrel equivalent to their length to a .527" bore barrel for the remaining 10 inches or so. I wanted to study the effects of the transition on Nerf darts but ended up doing most of my testing with other projectiles until I finally just sleeved the .527" bore barrel with 17/32" brass. (It can be done... with insane amounts of sanding)

So my question is... do you notice any loss of performance due to the transition to a larger bore compared to a continuous length of the initial bore? My concern was that important backpressure would be lost once the transition was made.


Unfortunately, I don't have anything to compare performance with. I use slug darts, and the felt tips seem to "puff out" and fill any gaps present. A number of people used my setup at 'Geddon, though, and they seemed to like it quite a bit.

I don't think the transition in this would be any different from that of a nested brass barrel setup.

Did anyone who used it yesterday notice any changes in performance? The barrel was a bit too short for that 4B, but it still seemed to be shooting pretty hard (ow).
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#13 roboman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:38 PM

Lots 'o text...


I really didn't think of that when I made these, but you might have a point. I'm not sure if you saw my AT2K with the aluminum barrel/coupler, but that was having the "blowout" problem you mentioned (probably due to a combination of gradual widening of the female part and a lack of O-rings).

Also, the adapters are MUCH easier to insert/remove than a normal piece of PVC, and they are really difficult to accidentally knock off (I think I knocked it off once throughout the war).


EDIT: Does $10 each sound like a fair price? I want to be able to turn a bit of a profit, but at the same time, I want to be reasonable.

Edited by roboman, 11 July 2010 - 11:06 PM.

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#14 Blue

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:12 AM

What does the $10 a piece get us? I am still a bit puzzled by the barrel, and I have no idea what you and PVC are talking about. I noticed what Bob noticed about the ease of it, that is the main selling point for me.
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#15 roboman

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:28 AM

What does the $10 a piece get us? I am still a bit puzzled by the barrel, and I have no idea what you and PVC are talking about. I noticed what Bob noticed about the ease of it, that is the main selling point for me.


$10 gets you the adapter and a customer-specified length of McMaster aluminum, pre-cut and chamfered.

If you don't want the aluminum, I can leave it out, and I will reduce the price as I see fit. "Normal" adapters are .505" ID, 2.625" long, and accept any 5/8" OD barrel material. I can change any of those numbers if you want. The setscrew is a normal Nerf screw. In the default configuration, the adapter fits McMaster foam perfectly.

What is puzzling about the barrel? It's a length of 5/8" OD x .527" ID (same as OMC PETG) aluminum tube.

You can think of this as a fancy nested barrel.

10/28/10 EDIT: I'm no longer going to include a barrel, since that would make the cost of shipping rather high. They will still be $10, but keep in mind that these take quite a while to make, even in large batches.

Edited by roboman, 28 November 2010 - 01:07 PM.

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