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.
-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:
These are the materials I used to construct mine. Most of these can be substituted with other materials.
-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:
-2" adhesive backed velcro (female side)
-Power drill. 5/32" and 7/8" bits.
-Dremel or scroll saw. A scroll saw makes this so much easier.
Step 1: Speedloader body
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
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:
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
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):
Here is the speedloader when closed.
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:
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.
This is the velcro I used. It's industrial strength stuff from Lowes. 2" wide velcro is the way to go.
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.