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Pump-action Crossbow

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#1 Ryan201821

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 06:35 PM

Build your own!

FIRING VIDEO

So after building my first bow, I decided I needed one with a trigger. And while I was at it, it might as well be pump action. So, I present to you, my most favorite blaster to date.

*Credit*
Thanks to Captain Slug for the +bow and thanks to Kane for the Aabow, and the original concept of this blaster.

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The body is made up of 1 1/4" clear PVC. It's a bit expensive, but definitely worth it. I believe 4' of it costs $20 off of McMaster. The pump is a 6" piece of 2" OD x 1 3/4" ID Polyester tubing. The OD of 1 1/4" is 1.66", so pump grip fits over the PVC beautifully.

Of course I used a modified +bow style catch and trigger, with side plates bringing everything together. The pump grip merely pushes back the nylon bow string, until the catches, obviously. I'll probably add a return spring for the pump later.

I used the modified grip I've been using on my guns lately, with the solid wood handle. It feels very nice.

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Picture of it while primed.

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Close-up of awesomeness

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The plunger head is a skirt seal, with a wood spacer I turned down on the lathe to hold the skirt.

The bow arms were the same as what Kane used in the original Aabow. Although, I used epoxy putty instead of hot glue.

Final thoughts/comments:
====================

I am very glad how this thing turned out. Only took me one day to build. I tested it out at Foam in the Fort this weekend and everyone who tried it out seemed to be very pleased. It gets 6" of draw, with a perfect seal, and gets around the same ranges as my Pumpbow, w/ slugs.

Win.

Edited by Ryan201821, 16 September 2010 - 03:50 AM.

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#2 MindWarrior

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 06:46 PM

Very nice! In terms of difficulty, is it harder to make than a plusbow? And whats the cost of materials?
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QUOTE(Ryan201821 @ Jan 2 2010, 03:20 PM) View Post

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

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#3 Ryan201821

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 06:52 PM

Very nice! In terms of difficulty, is it harder to make than a plusbow? And whats the cost of materials?

I'd say it's a bit harder, but not much at all if you have skills required to make a +bow, or if you've built something similar already.
Edit: I'm not sure what the cost of materials is. The clear PVC, polyester, and skirt take up the majority of the cost.

Edited by Ryan201821, 29 August 2010 - 07:13 PM.

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#4 Coop

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 08:30 PM

Once again, great work. It's fun being shot by such a cool looking blaster.

Here's the video:
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On the other hand, the guy who posted before me used the word 'fuck' a lot so he probably knows what he's talking about.


#5 Broderick

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 08:59 PM

This deserves the phrase Win In A Can.
Seriously, this is the only one of the bow designs I actually like. I was always turned off due to the whole bending PVC factor (which I know that it's not going to shatter and splinters fly in your face and blind you kind of shit, it's just one of those irrational gut feelings), but I really love this. I'm assuming the "clear PVC" is all just Polyester tubing, like the stuff people have dubbed "clear CPVC"?
This makes me want to build a clear SNAP. Awesome build man.
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#6 debandgeek12

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 09:02 PM

Supah leet. Gets supah range.
I like it. After inspecting the pictures more closely, edit.
Would these be available for contract?

Edited by debandgeek12, 29 August 2010 - 09:05 PM.

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#7 xet

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 10:21 PM

Any names? I thought up one though not very originally I guess you could call it the AAPA Bow ( An Actual Pump Action.) Until you name it some related to diddle as Kane said.
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Fome:
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A "borrowed" picture and a theoretical picture drawn in paint? Yeah, great writeup"

#8 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 10:33 PM

I'm assuming the "clear PVC" is all just Polyester tubing, like the stuff people have dubbed "clear CPVC"?


Well you know what the say about "assume."

Clear PVC is ... PVC that is clear. It is made out of PVC and is just chemically treated to be clear. The dimensions are the same as standard PVC pipe with nominal dimensions. It is just not pressure rated (at all).

Polyester is made from ester polymers (notably, Lexan i.e. polycarbonates, are a subclass of polyesters) and is made in tube sizes with exact dimensions.

Anyone who refers to 1/2"x5/8" butyrate or polyester tube as "clear 1/2" cpvc" is either stupid, or enjoys promoting stupidity.
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#9 Ice Nine

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 11:08 PM

This deserves the phrase Win In A Can.


I don't see a can anywhere. Fuck your stupid phrase.

Ryan, you know how I be and what I'm up to.
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#10 BustaNinja

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:35 AM

Ryan, that is easily the coolest homemade to date. The combination of the pump action and the bow arms make it so awesome. I like it. Its pretty winsauce. I can't wait till get to see it in action.
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#11 Ambience 327

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:37 AM

Ryan let me take this thing out for a test drive Saturday at Foam in the Fort. Let me just say that it was truly the most fun I have had with a foam-flinging blaster in a long time. This thing is awesomeness in its purest form. The draw is extremely smooth, the handle quite comfortable, and the firing action both strong and accurate.

Oh - and it's a freakin' crossbow. A REAL freakin' crossbow. 'Nuff said.
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#12 dodobeam

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:31 AM

I got to test out on Saturday also it is very comfortable and I was surprised how easy it is to prime the blaster considering it high ranges. Overall great job Ryan.
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Learn to read!

#13 Ryan201821

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:32 AM

Thanks for the comments and feedback; it is appreciated.

Would these be available for contract?

Yes, most likely. Not sure how much I'll sell them for but I plan on making a bunch more in the future.

Any names? I thought up one though not very originally I guess you could call it the AAPA Bow ( An Actual Pump Action.) Until you name it some related to diddle as Kane said.

Still need a name, hence "name pending" in the title. Also, your suggestion is lame.

I'm assuming the "clear PVC" is all just Polyester tubing, like the stuff people have dubbed "clear CPVC"?
This makes me want to build a clear SNAP. Awesome build man.

Well, your assumption is wrong. It's actualy Clear PVC, and it's definitely more expensive than Polyester. Here is the McMaster part # for the plunger tube, 49035K26.
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#14 BustaNinja

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 09:31 AM

Does the clear PVC have the same structural integrity that regular PVC has? Thats something I would worry about if you plan on making a SNAP. I know that while its lighter, ABS is about as rigid and strong as tissue paper compared to PVC, so is Clear PVC any different from regular?

Coming up with a designation for stuff like this is really hard. Just call it Gerry or something.
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#15 Ryan201821

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 09:51 AM

Does the clear PVC have the same structural integrity that regular PVC has? Thats something I would worry about if you plan on making a SNAP. I know that while its lighter, ABS is about as rigid and strong as tissue paper compared to PVC, so is Clear PVC any different from regular?

Coming up with a designation for stuff like this is really hard. Just call it Gerry or something.

I'm not sure. If anything the clear PVC is weaker than the normal stuff, but it's plenty strong for our purposes. The area on the PT where the slots are cut are still pretty rigid. I can't deform the PVC at all if I squeeze that area (hehe). I'm sure it would work fine if you used it for a SNAP.

Also, Gerry is quality.
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#16 BustaNinja

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:01 AM

Alright, that makes sense. It is pretty interesting looking at it though. I keep thinking "But wait, wouldn't the spring push the plunger rod forward making it harder to prime, and more prone to misfires, until I realized that the brunt of the force is applied directly to the pump grip by way of the spring. That is really genius. It means that you can have a lighter setup, and reduce the weight of the plunger head because it has no load to bear at all. Wow, thats really a neat way to handle the typical downfall of most home mades, making the plunger head strong enough to support the spring.

This seems like old technology, but it tackles so many issues that happen with homemades, its just perfect. Since you have that reduction in weight, and the pretty short plunger rod, you could make it stockless, or theoretically shorter and still achieve pretty good ranges. While I still want to see how it handles (the bow arms) this seems like it makes almost perfect sense.

PLUS you could pretty much build one without ordering parts online.
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#17 BritNerfMogul

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:04 AM

Call it Dave

Awesome work Ryan. Do the slots in the side for the string mean you lose plunger volume drastically?

Edited by BritNerfMogul, 30 August 2010 - 11:13 AM.

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#18 Ryan201821

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:45 AM

This seems like old technology, but it tackles so many issues that happen with homemades, its just perfect. Since you have that reduction in weight, and the pretty short plunger rod, you could make it stockless, or theoretically shorter and still achieve pretty good ranges. While I still want to see how it handles (the bow arms) this seems like it makes almost perfect sense.

PLUS you could pretty much build one without ordering parts online.

It's very nice not having to use a spring. However, my plunger rod is actually longer, 17". I don't want to make it stockless because the plunger rod sticks out the back quite a bit, and we don't need any accidental face diddle. Besides, I like blasters with stocks much more.

Also your last point is untrue. I got everything online, and most of it you'll probably have to get online. Clear PVC, polyester, skirt seals, polycarbonate, and other miscellaneous hardware is really only available through McMaster.

Awesome work Ryan. Do the wholes in the side for the string mean you lose plunger volume drastically?

First of all they are holes, not wholes. Well technically, they're actually slots. The slots have no correlation to the volume of the plunger tube. The actual plunger tube is before the slots. You can make the plunger tube whatever size you want depending on how much draw you'd like. The only problem is every inch of draw you add means you have to add another inch for the slot, and another inch for the stock so the plunger rod can fit in there.
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#19 Ryan201821

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 03:55 PM

Also, for those who were interested, here are templates for all the polycarbonate pieces. If you're competent, this is all you should need. I might do a full writeup eventually.

Linkz
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#20 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 06:29 PM

I just want everyone to know that it is EXTREMELY difficult to prime this without making a mess of your pants. Seriously, it's so full of win and awesome that if you don't load up the hopper before firing, tiny clones of Christopher Walken fly out of the barrel.

Also, I should show off my pump action crossbow here (I like to think was a spiritual precursor to McNumbers' PAC), which was full of fail and tragedy (although it did work...barely). Although I'm hella jealous the Mcnumbers got one working well first, I have to admit that his first pump action crossbow is ten times better than my 5th PAC would have been. And the clear PVC, while pricey, is just beautiful.

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The clothespin trigger on mine sucks even more than it appears to (as it turns out, I don't have much skill or experience with triggers.... I wonder how that happened).
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#21 BustaNinja

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:21 PM

What I meant was given the right thinking, it could be a "Hardware store gun" much in the vain of Carbon's Mk1 SNAP. One of the things that I am kinda on the fence about is ordering stuff. I just have this ingrained position on waiting for shipping to arrive. It's just never fast enough for me. But in reality, you're also paying for that convenience, which drives price way up.

So while you could, its probably a stupid idea to try to buy hardware store parts.

Again, Gerry is a fuckin cool name.
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#22 Ryan201821

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 11:03 PM

Yeah, a lot of the stuff would be hard to replicated with hardware store parts. If you want to go in Kane's direction, he used a regular SNAP trigger and catch. Although instead of catching on the plunger head it caught on the back of the plunger rod. If you did it that way, you could definitely get all the materials from your local hardware store. I'd love to see someone do it, but I wouldn't.
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#23 gmzamz

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 11:25 PM

I second/third/1000th Gerry.

Could you use a spike like thing catch to lower the pluger rod length

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#24 Carbon

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 08:15 AM

I'd love to see someone do it, but I wouldn't.

Oh, I'm all over that bitch.

I love the reduced friction on the draw in this blaster (and in bow blasters in general). It's way easier to prime than a +bow, but gets comparable ranges.
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#25 Ryan201821

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 12:51 PM

I'd love to see someone do it, but I wouldn't.

Oh, I'm all over that bitch.

I love the reduced friction on the draw in this blaster (and in bow blasters in general). It's way easier to prime than a +bow, but gets comparable ranges.

Yessss. That's what I was hoping for. Another draw back to using strictly hardware store materials, is that nothing really fits over 1 1/4" PVC nicely. Unless, you can find magical thinwall 1 1/2" PVC.

Anyway, yes, this blaster is ten times easier to draw than a Plusbow, or even a Pumpbow. Success.
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