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New Edible Ammo

Because you never want to go hungry on the battlefield.

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#1 PBZ

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 07:20 PM

In one of those brilliant flashes of inspiration, I was eating mini-marshmallows and modding, and put one in the 1/2 cpvc barrel to test its fit. I then shot it point blank into my hand from a big blast... The resulting red mark left me stunned, as did the flattened marshmallow now laying on my lap, looking like i has used a rolling pin on it. Then of course came the challenge: make it hoppered. So i did:

Materials:
1/2 inch cpvc barrel, NOT pushed into a stub of 1/2 pvc
~length varies with the power of your blaster as usual
1/2 cpvc T
1/2 inch cpvc hopper- personal decision on length
1/2 inch cpvc stub of desired length
1/2 pvc stub to put over the cpvc stub above as an adaptor to most blasters

Assembly:
Its pretty easy and straightforward. Follow the picture below. I dont have an adaptor for the blaster because the 1/2 cpvc fits into the big blast i am using. For springers, you probably want to add an ammo stop to the back of the T to keep from wasting the deliciousness on you blaster internals. A simple hole and nail and some glue should solve your problems. In this photo, the long side is the barrel, it happens to be about 7.25 inches long(it also happens to be the barrel i shot myself in the hand with).
Posted Image

Ammo:
I think this is a win-win all around. To really make this work, you have to sort out the marshmallows that will easily fit in 1/2 inch cpvc; simply take a piece a couple inches long and hold one end over a cup or bag. Start dropping your delicious ammo through it until you find one that doesn't fit. Eat it. Enjoy it. Savor it. And then repeat until the bag is empty. I don't see a downside to this. It also takes less time to "make" ammo because you just have to sort it, not stick washers to felt pads, and get out the glue gun, and cut the foam, blah blah blah. And instead of ordering ammo materials and costing money, you can go to your local grocery store and buy thousands of potential rounds for just a couple bucks. Also, ammo littering becomes a thing of the past- any ammo left behind just melts in the next rain or gives sugar highs to any local wildlife.

Quick Note: Don't be a fookin cheapskate. Go namebrand, namely Jet-Puffed. If you have a Giant near you, spend the extra dollar and pay a whole $2 and get a quality bag of ammo. What i have found is that Jet-Puffed adds an extra layer of sugar or something to their marshmallows, so they all come individual. Giant's bags are solid blocks of deliciousness that do not fit in barrels.


Test Results:
I do not have a scale small enough to measure the weight of mini-marshmallows that pass the Sorting Pipe, so I can't say exactly how much weight difference there is between them and normal, less delicious forms of ammo; I think its just a tad heavier, and seem to have a tad higher exit velocity.
Using my big blast and a singled barrel, I was able to achieve the same distance results as with my slugs. I have a mostly Ace Frost King foam that has a decent fit, and a handful of Donquixote's white foam slugs that are a little tighter. The differences in the marshmallows gives a varied range that matches up to the average between the two slugs. I will be testing with a pumpsnap soon.
Another side to this ammo type is age. The longer you keep ammo before you use it, the harder it becomes and it will shrink a little bit, which just makes them denser and a little more painful... But otherwise un-puffing them means you will be able to fit more of the marshmallows through the Sorting Pipe.
I will be putting this blaster to trial by fire in a life-or-death situation this weekend at OSU's Infection (see: HvZ) Invite, and will update with results.

And my final result (integration write up coming soon):
Posted Image


/Usual asking for comments and flames/
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#2 NerfOfSteel

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 07:47 PM

Hold on, I'll reply as soon as I get back from the store; gotta buy some marshmallows....

But seriously, one problem I see is that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the marshmallow, not giving it as much range or accuracy. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's perfect. But I don't see it being as practical as ammo from a range/accuracy point of view. But it looks fun to do for some serious shits and giggles.
-Steel
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#3 azrael

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 07:52 PM

?
Paintballs and BBs seem to fly just fine, despite being evenly distributed weight.
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#4 CheeseRat

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 09:04 PM

Paintball markers, BB guns, real guns, etc. all have barrel rifling, which makes the evenly-weighted ammo stable in flight. Also, those ammo types are far denser, precisely manufactured, and have an aerodynamic tip in some cases.
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#5 PBZ

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 09:14 PM

Hold on, I'll reply as soon as I get back from the store; gotta buy some marshmallows....

But seriously, one problem I see is that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the marshmallow, not giving it as much range or accuracy. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's perfect. But I don't see it being as practical as ammo from a range/accuracy point of view. But it looks fun to do for some serious shits and giggles.
-Steel



Paintball markers, BB guns, real guns, etc. all have barrel rifling, which makes the evenly-weighted ammo stable in flight. Also, those ammo types are far denser, precisely manufactured, and have an aerodynamic tip in some cases.



But since these are marshmallows as ammo, there is no comparison. One, better tasting. Two, you get to respawn and NOT require an ambulance. Three, Y SO SRS?
Seriously though, it shoots just fine, since it is smaller and denser than darts. Wind will effect it less too.
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#6 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 09:38 PM

Paintball markers, BB guns


Paintball marker barrels are not rifled. Some old high-powered BB Gun barrels are rifled for use with lead BBs, but the typical modern BB gun uses steel or copper pellets and is not rifled.

Regardless, marshmallows as ammo are not a new concept.

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#7 xXhunter47Xx

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 09:57 PM

Paintball markers, BB guns, real guns, etc. all have barrel rifling, which makes the evenly-weighted ammo stable in flight. Also, those ammo types are far denser, precisely manufactured, and have an aerodynamic tip in some cases.


Paintball markers and Airsoft guns are not rifled.
Rifling is a bunch of bullshit in these type of toy guns.
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#8 PBZ

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:06 PM

Actually, certain longer paintball barrels have a slight twist to the inside of them (i have one). True rifling isn't possible since it would lead to breaking paint in the barrel.

Regardless, this was just a write up on an (apparently not) new ammo/barrel.
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#9 shmmee

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:55 AM

I've been a huge fan of most of the marshmallow blasters, but oddly enough hadn't given any thought to actually using them as per the manufactures recommendation in a nerf war. I can really see them being of use in a large scale HvZ game where you don't have the chance to get your ammo, or in a wilderness setting where you'd loose any dart you shoot. I'll have to remember that the next time the scouts want to borrow some blasters for a weekend camp. I was going to have them make some sacrificial slugs the last time they asked. Buying a couple bags of mini-mallows and tossing together some of your barrels is a much better option.

Does your barrel gum up after many shots? I've seen that happen when shooting marshmallows from my M-forcer.

I'd like to see an actual measured range. I've seen a great amount of performance variance between big blasts. I'm having a tough time picturing a mini marshmallow flying farther than 60'.

Edited by shmmee, 04 October 2013 - 08:56 AM.

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#10 HasreadCoC

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:37 AM

I've been at a war where marshmallows were used as ammo out a 4B I believe. They weren't exactly reliable, but they could fly every now and then. I'd like to see someone take gumdrops (actual candy gumdrops) and "glue" them to the tips of mini marshmallows with some form of hot melted candy. Basically, remake bumper head darts out of candy. Then you'd never have to worry about cleaning up ammo at parks afterwards, plus, you can always snack on unused ammo (or used, I guess?).

Assuming the 'mallows and gumdrops could be found cheaply enough, other than having to melt something to make them stick, it could be pretty convenient. Heck, you could probably just melt the bottom of the gumdrops themselves on a hotplate or something, then just stick them on the 'mallows.

Edited by HasreadCoC, 04 October 2013 - 10:39 AM.

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#11 SonReeceSonJensen

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:09 PM

I have experimented with this and while in theory it works and would be AWESOME because you can just leave them on the field...in practice I found a few issues.

Main issue is in the cold they loose their elasticity and are prone to jamming and in hotter weather they stick to the barrels and themselves.

They WILL work I'm not saying they won't, I even have a breach load barrel just for marsh mellows, but temperature during play is a major factor to consider.
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The Difference:
-Guns shoot bullets that kill people
-Blasters shoot darts that tag people

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#12 Meaker VI

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:16 PM

In one of those brilliant flashes of inspiration, I was eating mini-marshmallows and modding, and put one in the 1/2 cpvc barrel to test its fit. I then shot it point blank into my hand from a big blast... The resulting red mark left me stunned, as did the flattened marshmallow now laying on my lap, looking like i has used a rolling pin on it.


Not to crush your thunder, but yeah, these things are super common. We had a marshmellow war for one of my brothers' birthdays some 10+ years ago. Most of the time they use 1/2" Schedule-40 PVC, and don't fire the marshmallows much further than 20-30' though, so there is that. Marshmallows are great in full-auto blowguns, and are super-cheap compared to any other ammo type.

Does your barrel gum up after many shots? I've seen that happen when shooting marshmallows from my M-forcer.


The blowguns we made gummed up, but in the 1/2" PVC it didn't matter much. Part of the reason was the spit/moisture/heat coming from using it as a blowgun; I don't know if using compressed air from a non-human source would cause gumming or not. I suspect you'd still get some, just much less. Heat & moisture could both cause concerns, so games on hot humid days might not go as well as games in the late spring/early fall.

Also, marshmallows are a terrible idea for indoor wars, unless you've got a wide-open space you can clean easily and be positive you don't loose any in. Otherwise you're begging for pest infestation.

Paintball markers, BB guns, real guns, etc. all have barrel rifling, which makes the evenly-weighted ammo stable in flight. Also, those ammo types are far denser, precisely manufactured, and have an aerodynamic tip in some cases.


I've never heard of a Paint-ball gun with rifling, and I don't think such a thing can exist without bursting the balls in the barrel. I have heard of 'hop up' which has a similar purpose of putting a spin on the round - usually in paint-ball it's a curving barrel and in an airsoft gun it's a little rubber nub the BB passes by. I don't think there is much you can do to put that effect on a marshmallow easily without breaking the best part of using them - that they load easily and gravity feed for simple full-auto fire.

Edited by Meaker VI, 04 October 2013 - 12:18 PM.

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#13 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:42 PM

I've been using this new edible ammo with nerf blasters for a few years now, and I've learned a few lessons I should share here:

1. Don't let your marshmallows get too hot, they swell and this occasionally will expose the sticky marshmallow goop through the normal powdery layer that keeps them slippery.

2 Don't let your marshmallows get too cold OR too stale, as they become more rigid and don't feed as reliably or in as great quantities as they would while they were soft. This also might make them hurt more.

3. Pretty much any regular wye hopper and barrel for 1/2" bore homemade nerf darts will work fine with marshmallows.

4. The magazine should be made with thinwall 1/2" PVC so that they fall freely through it.

5. If you're ONLY using marshmallows, don't go through the trouble of a cpvc nested in pvc barrel, just use sch80 PVC for the barrel. Marshmallows are too squishy and irregular to notice the difference between .485" and .526".

6. If you're ONLY using marshmallows, you CAN use a PVC T instead of a wye, and get slightly better feed. However, in most contexts this is much more awkward, unstable, and otherwise in-the-way than using a wye.

7. Try to get your blasters shooting at least 3 marshmallows per shot, (which means usually 4-8). They're horribly inaccurate, so this is how I compensate. Don't expect them EVER to go more than 50 feet.

8. If you want more marshmallows per shot, you can put an unfireable follower weight in the magazine. I use a few inches of nylon rod that can't make the wye-bend.

9. Use a check-valve to prevent marshmallow vacuum loading. A screw or a nail is a good start, but marshmallows can find their way around them into your plunger tube, and you want your blaster to be able to inhale effectively. On HAMPS, which are really the best blasters for this sort of thing, that's a s easy as putting a flap on the plunger head:

https://sites.google...s/hoppered-hamp

This isn't as big a problem as you'd think, as the lube on the PT prevents the marshmallows from sticking and causing problems. It's really quite amusing to see the number of marshmallows in a clear PT vary over the course of a day if you DONT use a check valve.

10. If your cleanup plan involves picking up all of the marshmallows, you're screwed. Unless you are in a situation where they can be swept or blown into a pile, you need to be in an area that's OK to be covered with mini-marshmallows when you leave.

11. If using a HAMP, slower strokes will fire more marshmallows with less power. Power doesn't affect range all that much.


That's all I can think of for now. I'm a bit baffled as to what looks like a CPVC magazine, as my experience is that they would never fall down into the T when used in such a magazine.

I've never had a barrel gum up at reasonable temperatures. Leave them in the barrel on a hot day, then yeah. I never used them much in blowguns, so I'd take Meaker's word for it that the salival moisture was making them gum up.

I've considered talking to marshmallow suppliers and seeing if they can make something more like a nerf dart.

Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 05 October 2013 - 01:13 AM.

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#14 Meaker VI

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:58 PM

1. Don't let your marshmallows get too hot, they swell and this occasionally will expose the sticky marshmallow goop through the normal powdery layer that keeps them slippery.


This reminds me; I made marshmallows the other day. The powdery stuff is a mixture of corn starch and powdered sugar; it's like using flour with bread dough and keeps the marshmallow goop from sticking to things. I suspect that if you're not eating them, pure corn starch would work as well (or even if you're eating them, they'll just taste of cornstarch and not powdered sugar). A dusting of that on your marshmallows/in your clip should help prevent them getting sticky.

No guarantees on what that'll do to your blaster though.
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#15 arfink

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:03 PM

I've used mini mallows with good success in a little 3DBBQ style blaster, but don't bother with using mallows in the cold. They don't feed right. I was firing them through CPVC and found that the barrel can get sticky after a lot of shots, and may need to be swapped or cleaned, so pack an extra barrel. Extra corn starch works great for keeping things moving nicely, so perhaps toss them in a ziplock bag with some first. Or you can use talc if you don't mind turning them inedible.

For single-shot nerf guns, you can jam the mallows into CPVC for a fit that won't fall out too easy, otherwise regular old 1/2" PVC works great too. If you have a high volume air gun you can also shotgun them to great effect by just jamming a bunch into the barrel.

With a little practice I've found they can be fairly usable, but you want to be cautious about squishing them during battle. Squished or otherwise deformed mallows do not tend to fire well, so you also can't just pick them up and shoot them again. Which I would think would make them amazing for playing in the snow, except that cold mallows don't shoot right. :P

Edited by arfink, 04 October 2013 - 08:03 PM.

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#16 PBZ

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:06 PM

I'm a bit baffled as to what looks like a CPVC magazine, as my experience is that they would never fall down into the T when used in such a magazine.

I've considered talking to marshmallow suppliers and seeing if they can make something more like a nerf dart.



Thanks for the tips. However, what do you mean, "what looks like"? Did you just skip the whole write up, glance at the pictures, and go to reading comments and post?
I think it would be awesome if there was a more ammo-ish marshmallow types.

Not to crush your thunder, but yeah, these things are super common. We had a marshmellow war for one of my brothers' birthdays some 10+ years ago. Most of the time they use 1/2" Schedule-40 PVC, and don't fire the marshmallows much further than 20-30' though, so there is that. Marshmallows are great in full-auto blowguns, and are super-cheap compared to any other ammo type.


The differennce is that these are not blowguns.

Edited by PBZ, 05 October 2013 - 01:10 PM.

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#17 shmmee

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:47 AM

I remember someone once made a "new-years glitter gun". They integrated a small glitter filled tank into the back of their barrel. When it shot it the rushing air would suck up some glitter and blast it into a sparkling cloud.

I'll bet the same concept could be used to "auto-cornstarch" a barrel to prevent gumming up when shooting marshmallows. -If you wanted to seriously turn marshmallows into a reliable ammo option.
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#18 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for the tips. However, what do you mean, "what looks like"? Did you just skip the whole write up, glance at the pictures, and go to reading comments and post?


Posted Image

You wrote that it is 1/2" CPVC
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