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Tubular Magazine Speedloader

Some refer to them as "Shingles"

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#1 Xellah

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:35 PM

Introduction:

After reviewing multiple alternative methods to the "darts in a pocket/pouch" method of carrying darts to reload tubular magazines, I went to work on my own.

Project Goals:

-Convenient carry method that was unobtrusive, yet stable enough to run around with at a war.
-Faster reloading than the tried and true method of hand-feeding darts into hoppers/RSCBs.
-Simple build techniques and widely available supplies.

Pictures first, then explanation:

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Materials:

These are the materials I used to construct mine. Most of these can be substituted with other materials.

Speedloader:
-1/2" Thinwall PVC
-1/2" PVC endcap(s)
-2" wide adhesive-backed velcro (male side)
-1/4" poplar wood
-3/4" length 6-32 machine screw
-6-32 lock nut

Leg holder for speedloaders:
-Duct tape
-Cardboard
-2" adhesive backed velcro (female side)

Tools required:
-Power drill. 5/32" and 7/8" bits.
-Dremel or scroll saw. A scroll saw makes this so much easier.
-Screwdriver
-Scissors
-Supa-skills

Construction (Speedloaders):

Step 1: Speedloader body

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Grab your 1/2" thin-wall PVC and cut it to your desired length. I cut mine to 10.5". My hoppers are typically a foot long, so by cutting these slightly shorter I avoid dart chopping when I reload. I never completely empty my hopper during a war and I will be reloading with ~2-3 darts left in my hopper.

Cap one end with a 1/2" PVC endcap. You can glue or screw it on, but it isn't necessary.

Step 2: Building the dart door

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Cut these two pieces from your 1/4" wood (or polycarbonate or whatever). I don't have templates, but this is fairly straight-forward. The only requirements of the left piece are that the centered hole be 7/8" (as to slip around 1/2" PVC) and the other whole be drilled to 5/32" (pass through hole for your 6/32 screw). I left about 1/4" of wood around the centered whole for stability when mounted on the PVC to prevent breakage.

The piece on the right must only cover the end of your speedloader and hinge upon the mounting piece. Assemble the pieces like so:

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Adjust your screw and lock nut until you can hinge the door easily but it will not slide freely while being jostled about.

Step 3: Attaching the door

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Slip your mounting piece onto the 1/2" PVC. Depending on how well you cut/drilled the piece should mount fairly tightly. I used a few drops of superglue to attach mine. Don't do that, use hotglue or epoxy. Make sure the edge of the PVC and the top surface of the mounting piece are flush so that your door can hinge properly.

Once your glue of choice has set, attach the door via your 3/4" screw and nut (or whatever you're using):

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Here is the speedloader when closed.

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Now, when opened to reload your magazine.

Step 4: Attach velcro

I don't have a picture for this but it's really simple. Peel off the adhesive film from your velcro and attach it to the 1/2" PVC in your desired position. I attached two strips spread apart based upon my leg holder.

Leg Holder Contruction:

This part is highly individualized. I put leg holder as the title because mine is worn in a drop-leg format. You can make vests, belts, etc.

I simply grabbed some scrap cardboard, reinforced it with a weave of duct tape, added a d-clip for attachment to a belt, and velcro patches on the back for a strap to my leg. Don't use two patches of velcro for this strap. It holds fine when running, but isn't the tightest or most secure. I would recommend using elastic for leg straps instead, with one permanently attached end on the speedloader holder and a velcroed end for adjustment.

This is how I wear mine:

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I matched the spacing of my female velcro on the outside facing side of the leg holder with the male side on my speedloaders for maximum bonding strength.

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This is the velcro I used. It's industrial strength stuff from Lowes. 2" wide velcro is the way to go.

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Conclusion and Words:

I am skeptical of how useful these will actually be in a war. However, I am sure that this design is sturdy enough to stand up to the running and other movement during a war. A few improvements that this design has over existing ones:

-Hinging dart door can be operated one handed. This is essential, as your other hand will obviously be occupied (with blaster or otherwise).
-The hinging door also assures that their won't be string and a dangling cap to deal with after you reload.
-Velcro allows for easy attachment and unattachment.
-Thinwall PVC reduces weight
-The only machining required is the drilling and cutting of the cap pieces and PVC tubing.

A few words for anybody who is wondering why I chose this particular set up:

My inspiration comes from our HvZ program here at Ohio State. There are a group of players here know as the Sock Ninjas. If it isn't apparent, they only use socks. I learned quite a bit from their construction techniques. Each member has a vest covered entirely of velcro with twill as the base material, and a sock rolling design that incorporates velcro for attachment to said vests. They are able to carry 80 or more socks on their person with ease. They recommended this particular velcro due to its outstanding bonding strength.

Edited by Xellah, 19 July 2012 - 07:29 PM.

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Ultimator Duel

it cant be as bad as reloading an ak-47 on the run


#2 Shoopy

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:08 PM

Very Creative. +10 cool point for use of Duct Tape!

When you run, does the whole essembly flop around? Maybe you should also have something that clips to the bottom of your pants too to prevent that.

One problem. I hate the sound of Velcro. It send a shock though my whole body. But, I guess if it work, it's OK.

Otherwise, very nice. I might mod mine to have a similar dart door.
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#3 spencerak

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:32 PM

I really like the door on the end, it looks like it would be really quick for reloading. If/when i get around to makeing some of these I would put them in a pouch on my belt then put orange duct tape on them so I could drop them then pick them up at the end of the round.
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#4 Xellah

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:52 PM

When you run, does the whole essembly flop around? Maybe you should also have something that clips to the bottom of your pants too to prevent that.


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There's a strap on the back that goes around my leg.

If/when i get around to makeing some of these I would put them in a pouch on my belt then put orange duct tape on them so I could drop them then pick them up at the end of the round.


I have a pouch that I tested with these. The ends snagged on each other whenever I tried to pull one of them out.

I was going to paint them to make them more visible for if/when I drop them during play. I didn't want to spend the time/energy because 1.) They're a prototype 2.) I haven't fully field tested them and 3.) I'll be touching them and anything but vinyl will eventually smear.

Brightly colored duct tape would be great though.
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it cant be as bad as reloading an ak-47 on the run


#5 Meaker VI

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:39 PM

I was under the impression that the loader-portions of these were for use as mags for the hopper (as in any CS-blaster or airsoft), and not as loaders (as in paintball). It seems that your one-handed flip-top precludes use as mags, and forces them to be used as loaders. I'm not sure if that is faster or if swapping the hopper's ammo-tube out is faster.
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#6 Ambience 327

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:46 PM

Many of us use ball-valves or dart doors on top of our hoppers. These allow you to quickly load those, but retain the ease of loading darts by hand with little fuss. (i.e. once your speed-loaders are out, or if you only need 1 or 2 darts to top off)
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#7 cmeej

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:50 PM

Convenient and functional! Great job here.
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#8 Xellah

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 07:27 PM

I was under the impression that the loader-portions of these were for use as mags for the hopper (as in any CS-blaster or airsoft), and not as loaders (as in paintball). It seems that your one-handed flip-top precludes use as mags, and forces them to be used as loaders. I'm not sure if that is faster or if swapping the hopper's ammo-tube out is faster.


I had initially tried to design several pre-loaded magazines. However, the action of removing and replacing the clip portion of a hopper set-up destabilizes your wye as you push the new magazine in. It would require two hands to do properly and that's not practical. With a hinging door you simply flip open your ball-valve, flip open a loader, empty it into your hopper, then close the ball-valve, all with one hand.

Also, making a bunch of replacement magazines with clear PVC would be expensive. Opaque ones (like these) would be fine, but you wouldn't be able to tell how many darts you have left.

Many of us use ball-valves or dart doors on top of our hoppers. These allow you to quickly load those, but retain the ease of loading darts by hand with little fuss. (i.e. once your speed-loaders are out, or if you only need 1 or 2 darts to top off)


I exclusively use ball-valves and hoppers at wars; I'm familiar with them. When you have to reload more than half your hopper at a time by hand, it means you have to either 1.) pull one dart out of your dart bag/pocket at a time to load or 2.) grab a handful and try not to drop them as you load. I am planning on complimenting these speedloaders with a small reservoir of darts in my dart bag for topping off, but instead of fumbling to reload a handful of darts quickly I'll use the loaders when my hopper is less than half full.

Thank you all for the comments!

Edited by Xellah, 19 July 2012 - 07:33 PM.

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Ultimator Duel

it cant be as bad as reloading an ak-47 on the run



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