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Magstrike Air Tank Mod Revisited

Version 2.5.1 (3/30) - Video Uploaded

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#1 jediaelthewise

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:05 PM

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Current: Version 2.5 (Scroll down)

Version 1.0

For those of you who have seen it, I built a mod for my magstrikes to use in humans vs zombies. The central idea was to use a pre-fabricated air tank instead of pvc for an external air source for a magstrike.

Links:
Reddit Post with Detailed Explanation of Build
Picture Album of Original Mod
Video of Original Mod in Action

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Version 2.0

Album of Revised Mod (with before and after picture at the end)

After playing thru one game of humans vs zombies, I went to work on revising my design. The revisions were as follows:

1. Weight: While extremely sturdy, it was just too much weight to be able to run around for a long period of time in. My original reasoning was that I could trade off having to run by having supreme firepower. While I did have the necessary firepower, running was still a high necessity so I needed to cut down on the weight. I accomplished this by doing away with the huge casing and reducing it to just the platform it was mounting on.

2. Collision: This was something I did not ever anticipate. People are crazy and people can be stupid. During the final mission while running and maneuvering out of the way of an attacking horde, a guy ran into my back case and he wasn't a happy camper. No damage to him (save a nice bruise on the neck) or the tank luckily. However, observing the situation, to some people the situation is similar to hitting a kid with a car. No matter how much it was the kid's fault, you're the one that looks like the douche. What I did this time around was reduce the footprint so there is less to collide with, but also I used thick, firm foam to make a custom casing over the tank just in case someone collides with me again.

3. Safety: Aside from collision that I just covered, I also used some of my paracord and tying skills to secure the line running from the tank to the regulator. This line runs at 100 PSI or whatever the tank is pumped to so it is more likely to rupture than the gun lines, esp in the case of collisions. In case that it does, the paracord holds the lin in place so it will no whip around and hit me or anything else in the fact.

4. Firepower Options: I only really ended up finding better use of one magstrike at a time because of reloading. It worked fabulously but just to give myself some options I decided to look into modifying a hornet to have an air compression powered gun that was front loading. To removed the cocking mechanism and pulled it forward to have all 6 cylinders on constant ready. I also pulled out the pump and regular trigger pieces just to reduce the gun down. I used a cut off bottom of a nerf titan for an air input and used epoxy to replace the air hose on it with better hosing that I used for my magstrikes.

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Update: Revision 2.5

I changed a few things around after lots of fiddling with the layout. I decided to be super picky and try to make the build as tactical as I possibly could and it paid off! Here are some of the updates.

1. Weight Distribution - As much as I trimmed the mod down I still felt really encumbered by the way everything was hanging off of me. I researched some info on proper weight distribution for backpacks and things of that nature to figure out the optimal way to carry the weight. The tank itself is about 85% of the weight of the mod now. I decided to try using the belt around the center of my chest and pulling the straps way up so that the tank weight rested in the very center of my back. Using some more paracord skills I tied it all together and sealed the ties with epoxy. It's the same weight but it feels a ton better than both previous iterations.
2. Freedom of Movement - By moving the tank straps entirely to my chest, I feel 200% better in my freedom of movement. My waist, legs and midsection aren't strapped to the tank and I have more range of motion in my torso and nothing is hitting my legs if I squat, crouch or bend over in any way. (Biggest improvement overall!) I've also secure ever loose strap, hose and everything else attached. As much as I run, jump, crouch or whatever, nothing is falling off and doesn't hinder me from engaging or retreating from zombies in whatever manner is necessary.
3. Scrapped the Hornet - Did some tests with the hornet and turns out it wastes more air than its worth. I'd rather trade off the intended ability to quickly load up a few darts and use nice air pressure for carrying less and more mobility. To compensate I am carrying a Maverick and two spare cylinders (cylinder swap out mod) in out of the way positions. I made a custom holster out of various belts and paracord I had on hand. I moved the ammo bags and the maverick all to a seperate old waist belt that is entirely separate from the tank harness, freeing up my movement.
4. Looks - I decided to pretty up the foam case for the tank with some buckles and acrylic protection screen for the guage (thanks to roboman for the suggestion on protecting it better!). I did also look at some plywood as suggested by a few people but the boards were too thin for me to drill things into the side. I prefer the thickness and feel of the board for this project so I'm going to stick with that. I painted it black to go with the rest of the mod better.

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Version 2.5.1

Tested my ability to run with my ammo pouches readjusted. Decided to lose the maverick too. I will just use sockbombs for HvZ as a backup.

Edited by jediaelthewise, 30 March 2013 - 10:37 PM.

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#2 DartSlinger

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:33 PM

The final product looks awesome! The tank with all of the black foam around it reminds me of a flamethrower!

Now for the questions. What fittings and tubing are you using with the blasters? And what pressure are you running the Magstrike and Hornet at? Where did you buy the tank from, and how much did it cost? How easy is running with all that stuff strapped onto you.

You might try putting some sort of auto-advancing breech system onto the cut-down Magstrike. Then it would be semi-automatic.

Congratulations again on this setup.

Edited by DartSlinger, 18 March 2013 - 06:35 PM.

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#3 ice

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:59 PM

Foam padding was a nice touch, really good idea as a safety precaution. Nice job overall.
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<!--quoteo(post=206428:date=Jan 25 2009, 05:17 PM:name=Mukersman)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Mukersman @ Jan 25 2009, 05:17 PM) View Post</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
Turd stefans. When I pulled these out of the pillow case i was just like, what... the... fuck...
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#4 jediaelthewise

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:23 PM

Answers to Questions:

1. What fittings and tubing are you using with the blasters?
Fittings are all 1/4" threaded.
Tubing pieces are push-to-connect.

High-strength Clear Pvc Tubing, 1/8" Id, 1/4" Od, 1/16" Wall Thickness
White Polypropylene Push-to-conn Tube Fitting, Coupling For 1/4" Tube Od
White Polypropylene Push-to-conn Tube Fitting, Adapter For 1/4" Tube Od X 1/4" Nptf Male Pipe
Intake valve
Pressure Gauge
Safety Valve
Regulator

2. And what pressure are you running the Magstrike and Hornet at?
Tank Pressure: 100psi
Gun Pressure (Regulated): 50psi

3. Where did you buy the tank from, and how much did it cost?
Tank cost $40 (Click for Amazon Listing)

4. How easy is running with all that stuff strapped onto you.
Significantly easier than the first version of the mod because of the reduced weight Everything is nice and secure. I went thru many arrangements until I found one where everything rested nicely where it did not impede my ability to move or maneuver as if I wasn't wearing it at all.

Edited by jediaelthewise, 18 March 2013 - 07:25 PM.

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#5 Ivan S

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:46 PM

Wow, this thing is awesome. How many clips can it go through in one fill? I'm assuming you fill it electrically and disconnect the pump until next round/day/ however it works with hvz?

Edited by Ivan S, 18 March 2013 - 07:48 PM.

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#6 jediaelthewise

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:52 PM

Wow, this thing is awesome. How many clips can it go through in one fill? I'm assuming you fill it electrically and disconnect the pump until next round/day/ however it works with hvz?


Tank is 1 Gallon pumped to 100 PSI = roughly 35 magstrike mags at 50PSI
I have not yet measured how much the hornet uses but its extremely brief when firing so almost next to nothing.

Lowest required pressure to operate:
Magstrike: 40PSI
Hornet: 30PSI

I use a bike pump to pump up the tank which takes just over 2 minutes to go from 0 to 100 psi in the tank. I have a compressor too but I am not allowed to have it on campus =(

There are no leaks whatsoever so I can fill it up at the beginning of the day and go about my day without worrying about losing pressure. I usually regulate the pressure to the guns to 0 when not in use just for safety sake. I plan to carry the small bike pump with me to dodge into buildings and top off if somehow I ran out of air, which is more likely to happen from equipment failure than actually using it up.

Edited by jediaelthewise, 18 March 2013 - 07:55 PM.

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#7 Kronos Nerf Mods

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

You could attach a wye to the broken magstrike assuming you still had the internals, and then make a hopper that shot slugs from the magstrike.
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#8 roboman

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:53 PM

I really like your regulator mount. Super clean, and it looks like it's in just the right spot.

You should see about getting a large hole saw and cutting out some of that MDF where it's not necessary. That stuff is pretty heavy, and it couldn't hurt to remove unnecessary material. It might be a good idea to paint it, too, both for aesthetics and to seal the edges against moisture. Otherwise, humidity or any other sort of wetness (sweat, for example) will make it swell up like a sponge.

I'm a little concerned about the gauge on the tank. It seems to me that anyone could accidentally run into your back and potentially damage the gauge itself, potentially leading to a catastrophic failure. If I were you, I'd throw some of that foam between the gauge back and the tank. It might prevent the fittings from breaking should an unforseen accident happen.

Out of curiosity, how much does it weigh now?
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#9 jediaelthewise

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

I really like your regulator mount. Super clean, and it looks like it's in just the right spot.

You should see about getting a large hole saw and cutting out some of that MDF where it's not necessary. That stuff is pretty heavy, and it couldn't hurt to remove unnecessary material. It might be a good idea to paint it, too, both for aesthetics and to seal the edges against moisture. Otherwise, humidity or any other sort of wetness (sweat, for example) will make it swell up like a sponge.

I'm a little concerned about the gauge on the tank. It seems to me that anyone could accidentally run into your back and potentially damage the gauge itself, potentially leading to a catastrophic failure. If I were you, I'd throw some of that foam between the gauge back and the tank. It might prevent the fittings from breaking should an unforseen accident happen.

Out of curiosity, how much does it weigh now?


What do you mean by MDF? I am guessing by context by MDF though you mean the type of wood I used for the backing. Suggestions on materials perhaps?

I haven't weighed it but I'm sure the old rig weighed a solid 15 pounds. Even with all that weight I am using that big work belt as you might have noticed so its all distributed on my waist and doesn't impede my movement. I simply get tired from the weight after a while. I'd be willing to bet the new rig weighs somwhere around 7-8 ish pounds without all the board and reducing the size. The only way I could probably drastically reduce the weight even more is replace the board with a different material. It just happened to be what I grabbed at home depot.

Also I will take your suggestion about the gauge under advisement. I still have tons of the foam so I will continue to shape the cover to protect it based on your suggestion. Thank you

Edited by jediaelthewise, 18 March 2013 - 11:14 PM.

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#10 roboman

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:26 PM

MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard. It's basically a bunch of compressed wood particles that form a very flat surface and approximate the characteristics of wood. It will work fine for your purposes, so long as you treat it with care and seal the edges with paint or something. I'm sure you could remove another pound or so of material from that plate, though, with some carefully placed holes. You would, however, be able to remove a lot more material from a piece of 1/2" plywood while retaining a similar amount of strength (or possibly even more). Laminates are generally stronger than fiberboard, and you wouldn't have to worry about moisture as much. Still, a coat of black paint would look really nice.

That's a pretty impressive weight reduction.
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#11 cheyner

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:51 AM

Even just the switch to plywood would save you some weight, as somebody who delivers building material all day I can honestly say MDF is pretty much the heaviest practical thing you could have used.

I recently picked up a pneumatic caulking gun to nerf and now I know exactly how I will power it.

By compressor I assume you mean a full sized one? What about the small ones you plug into a car lighter?
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#12 jediaelthewise

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:24 PM

Even just the switch to plywood would save you some weight, as somebody who delivers building material all day I can honestly say MDF is pretty much the heaviest practical thing you could have used.

I recently picked up a pneumatic caulking gun to nerf and now I know exactly how I will power it.

By compressor I assume you mean a full sized one? What about the small ones you plug into a car lighter?


I do mean a full sized one. I also have a car one but I live on campus and I seldom go out to the car just to fill up, though I could.
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#13 ShaNayNay

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:05 AM

As for ideas for other guns to hook up, it looks like you are looking more into semi-auto, so one of these three concepts, or a hybrid of all of them, could be very effective with your tank.

Semi-auto Firefly's
http://nerfhaven.com...showtopic=21480
http://nerfhaven.com...showtopic=18411

A hybrid of THIS could give you swappable turrets.

If you are looking to fill up that magstrike shell, a simpler version of this could fit:
Near Semi-Auto Magstrike

You may also be able to fit a hybrid of the tech used in the Fireflys into your magstrike shell, and just hopper it.

Good luck! I'm planning on diving into that firefly stuff this summera and making a semi auto one with a panther tank using the Hornet mech, so feel free to PM me once Ive started it if you have any questions.

Edited by ShaNayNay, 20 March 2013 - 12:08 AM.

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#14 Meaker VI

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:10 AM

MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard. It's basically a bunch of compressed wood particles that form a very flat surface and approximate the characteristics of wood.


It's also notorious for melting when wet, and doesn't have the strength of plywood; it's usually used as a replacement for plywood in cheap furniture and almost always ends up sagging eventually. The best use of the stuff is working table tops, since it's dimensionally stable, flat, reasonably priced, and cheap. Make the switch before that sheet gets wet - you can buy hobby sheets of nice-enough plywood at most home stores cut to 2'x2' or 2'x4' already. Go for AB grade or better (at a box store, better would be anything called "hardwood plywood." AB grade is usually just called "AB grade"). You could probably also find a pre-cut & laminated solid wood piece nearly the same size as the one you're using, and if you wanted something really nice a stair tread is also about the right size and should come in several hardwood & softwood varieties. Any of those options should be less than $20.

You might also want to switch from screws to bolts, I'd be concerned about your movement causing the screws to fall out. Use carriage bolts and put the round smooth side toward you.

That setup sounds just about unstoppable in HvZ.
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#15 jediaelthewise

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:29 PM

It's also notorious for melting when wet, and doesn't have the strength of plywood; it's usually used as a replacement for plywood in cheap furniture and almost always ends up sagging eventually. The best use of the stuff is working table tops, since it's dimensionally stable, flat, reasonably priced, and cheap. Make the switch before that sheet gets wet - you can buy hobby sheets of nice-enough plywood at most home stores cut to 2'x2' or 2'x4' already. Go for AB grade or better (at a box store, better would be anything called "hardwood plywood." AB grade is usually just called "AB grade"). You could probably also find a pre-cut & laminated solid wood piece nearly the same size as the one you're using, and if you wanted something really nice a stair tread is also about the right size and should come in several hardwood & softwood varieties. Any of those options should be less than $20.

You might also want to switch from screws to bolts, I'd be concerned about your movement causing the screws to fall out. Use carriage bolts and put the round smooth side toward you.

That setup sounds just about unstoppable in HvZ.



I shall definitely have to see what I can get for wood. As for the screws, they have held up fantastically. I am using some biting rings on the fabrics so that they don't tear and they held up the entire week with all the craziness with the old rig that weighed a lot more. When I switch woods though that may not be the case so I will take your suggestion into consideration when I do that.

As for unstoppable-ness, I take on several zombies at once with no problem with this setup. Usually followed by obscenities if they haven't faced me before. Hahaha

Thanks again for all the suggestions. It really helps me a lot!
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#16 DartSlinger

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:00 PM

You could attach a wye to the broken magstrike assuming you still had the internals, and then make a hopper that shot slugs from the magstrike.

You may also be able to fit a hybrid of the tech used in the Fireflys into your magstrike shell, and just hopper it.


I'm pretty sure that no HVZ organizations allow stefans, so if that is the case, hoppering it is pointless, because streamline darts do not work in hoppers.
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#17 jediaelthewise

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:24 PM

I'm pretty sure that no HVZ organizations allow stefans, so if that is the case, hoppering it is pointless, because streamline darts do not work in hoppers.


I'm already pushing the limits with my mod in our particular HvZ rules. In actuality our rules say no mods but we are a bit lax on that rule. What I do to alleviate problems is I personally have the mods come over and demonstrate that I've designed it with safety features since its such an over the top mod.

I may use stefans and the hopper idea for another mod I plan on doing down the road with a large scale build. ;)
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#18 Super0dp

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

I'm pretty sure that no HVZ organizations allow stefans, so if that is the case, hoppering it is pointless, because streamline darts do not work in hoppers.


You could build a tagger hopper. Or you could use an RSCB.
Both options have high RoF and are easy to reload.
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#19 Ivan S

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:21 PM

Two more questions, What type of foam did you use, and where did you get it?
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#20 jediaelthewise

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

Two more questions, What type of foam did you use, and where did you get it?


The foam I salvaged out of 2 broken DDR Foam Pads as seen here:

Posted Image

My brother and I would play this game endlessly and basically destroyed the sensors from overuse but the foam was perfectly useable. I've had it laying around and decided to make use of it in this project. It's really rigid but has good impact absorption to them, hence why they are in DDR pads.

Edited by jediaelthewise, 24 March 2013 - 08:06 PM.

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#21 jediaelthewise

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:12 PM

Bump for significant updates to original post based on feedback in this thread.
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#22 shmmee

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:56 AM

As I've been watching this build grow I've been impressed with your dedication to safety as well as the overall polish of the final product. It's an attitude worth emulating. This is one of the standout - above and beyond nerf mods I've seen in a while. Thanks for contributing.

I've semi-auto'd a dart tag gun, but quickly found out that clips and swappable turrets are superior. I spent far more time running away and reloading that attacking. If anything else is to be added I would suggest a simple breech load -long range integration for picking them off before they get close enough for the magstrike.
Hanging a spare clip pouch on either side of the ms will also keep a clip closer to where your hands are. And might be ergonomically faster.

Beautiful work!

Edited by shmmee, 15 April 2013 - 01:02 PM.

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#23 Guitarzan

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:30 PM

very cool! If you're carrying around a hard tank like that and rate of fire is no longer an issue, why not increase the power of the spring inside the magstrike piston for some better range?
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#24 jediaelthewise

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:54 PM

As I've been watching this build grow I've been impressed with your dedication to safety as well as the overall polish of the final product. It's an attitude worth emulating. This is one of the standout - above and beyond nerf mods I've seen in a while. Thanks for contributing.

I've semi-auto'd a dart tag gun, but quickly found out that clips and swappable turrets are superior. I spent far more time running away and reloading that attacking. If anything else is to be added I would suggest a simple breech load -long range integration for picking them off before they get close enough for the magstrike.
Hanging a spare clip pouch on either side of the ms will also keep a clip closer to where your hands are. And might be ergonomically faster.

Beautiful work!



Thank you kindly for your comments. I got a few additional air valve parts including a steel braided leader hose, swivel connections and other things to make it even safer and not get caught on straps, hoses, etc. I am looking into getting a molle waist belt to hold the pouches better so everything will be even more tactical once I acquire those other pieces. I will post an update of version 2.7 when I have received all the parts.

And I do also want to figure out some sort of long range integration. Just haven't decided what exactly to go with yet for that. Any ideas?

very cool! If you're carrying around a hard tank like that and rate of fire is no longer an issue, why not increase the power of the spring inside the magstrike piston for some better range?


The magstrike runs entire on air pressure, there is no spring system in it. If I wanted to increase the power and rate of fire I can just increase the air pressure from the regulator. I keep it down though so that it is reasonable enough to pass HvZ rules. =)

Edited by jediaelthewise, 16 April 2013 - 02:19 PM.

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#25 shmmee

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:10 PM

And I do also want to figure out some sort of long range integration. Just haven't decided what exactly to go with yet for that. Any ideas?



The magstrike runs entire on air pressure, there is no spring system in it. If I wanted to increase the power and rate of fire I can just increase the air pressure from the regulator. I keep it down though so that it is reasonable enough to pass HvZ rules. =)


Actually the magstrike is a hybrid between pump and springer powered. The air reserve tank actuates a spring powered piston and the spring piston actually delivers the air to the dart. Increasing the air pressure increases ROF, increasing spring strength increases range. It's an odd relationship. With all you've invested in your setup a basic spring swap would be worth looking into.

As far as long range options:

A pin pull tank would give you the most volume and range (like a early gen BBBB or beserker ~100'-120') but you would be bleeding your reserve tank out your barrel as long as the pin remained pulled. You could overcome that with a quick trigger pull, but that may require more thought than you would like to invest while in battle.

A back pressure tank would give you ~ 70'-90' & require a clippard MAVO-3 valve (buy from ebay not clippard. Clippard shipping costs are brutal)to isolate the reserve tank and fire your primary. All the current semi auto write ups are tuned to a turret which sucks for reloading. If you don't mind doing some R&D you could easily adapt it to a single shot breech loading system. If you really wanted to get crazy with it you could run with an idea I was working with but had abandoned:

it's a video - click the link.
Posted Image
The basic concept is that a piston (in this case a pump) is attached to the side of a back pressure tank and when the tank fills the piston fills from the tank and extends loading a dart while closing the breech. When the tank fires the piston/pump also vents back through the back pressure tank opening the breech for the next dart. Semi-auto clip fed goodness. My problems - the throw of the piston was too short and the breech didn't seal. I think the breech also started opening before the dart had left the barrel. Connecting the piston via some tubing instead of directly might introduce of introduced a bit of delay as the piston vents through the tube and back into the tank. I got proof of concept, but not much else. You might have better luck. A self loading system like that might be better suited to your high capacity rig anyway.

Edited by shmmee, 16 April 2013 - 03:44 PM.

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