Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:55 AM
I performed makeitgo's Buzz Bee Panther Basic Mod back when it was first released. It is a powerful mod, but I was unhappy with it for a few a reasons. The 1/2 inch PVC barrels I was using at the time tended to leave popped stock Nerf elite darts when the Panther was fully pumped, and the Panther shell itself is uncomfortable in adult hands.
Recently I purchased 0.53 inch and 0.79 inch clear plastic tubing from McMaster-Carr to use with Nerf elite and mega darts, respectively, and found that a fully pumped, modified Panther with these barrels does an admirable job firing both dart types without destroying them. Fired flat, typical ranges are 75 feet with elite and 65 feet with mega darts.
This ability to fire long range with multiple ammo types means this is a much more viable blaster for Nerf/HvZ wars, so I decided to integrate the Panther internals into a more useful shell. The Firestrike is a natural choice since it offers a comfortable grip, a top tactical rail for accessories, two dart (or ramrod) storage spots, and a possible holster option via the Sidestrike. Most importantly, the Firestrike shell has a two cylinder symmetry (the upper plunger tube volume and the lower flashlight volume) that almost perfectly fits the Panther two cylinder shape:
The obvious first step in this mod is to find a Panther and perform makeitgo's Buzz Bee Panther Basic Mod. I also don't see why this reshell wouldn't work with an Air Max 1, based on the pics in this thread. I added one step to makeitgo's mod which was to glue a large nylon shim to the end of the pump handle cylinder so that the handle wouldn't fall out.
The second step is to get a Firestrike, open it up, and take out all the internals. Next grind, file, or cut away all the areas in the Firestrike shell where the Panther will go. This should be a slow process of cutting and fit checking, if you're going for a Pantherstrike that is not just functional but aesthetically pleasing. This pic will give you a sense of the areas I had to remove:
Once you're done reducing the Firestrike shell I recommend modifying some of the Firestrike internal components. For instance this piece will help center the Panther internals in the Firestrike shell - make the changes indicated in the picture (before modifying left, after right) and increase the radius of curvature in the area where the red arrow is pointing:
Finally, modify the Firestrike trigger. With my Panther I found that if I do not push the trigger switch almost exactly up and down the blaster will misfire. It took some trial and error, but I was able to grind the Firestrike trigger just right so that it consistently fires the Panther when I depress it. Here is the bulk material that was removed:
...and a close-up of the shape of the final trigger switch, as getting this right without removing too much material was the hardest part of the mod:
At the end of the mod here are the original Firestrike components were integrated with the Panther internals into the shell:
...and the final result:
Further details on mods relevant to making the Pantherstrike can be found here:
Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:28 AM
Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:46 PM
Overall seems like a fairly practical mod considering your fixing the tiny panther handle problem. My only worry is that the trigger really looks uncomfortable to me, but I guess I can't accurately judge that unless I held it in my hands.
The trigger space is definitely small and you won't be able to keep your finger there; however, the trigger itself is so sensitive (my Panther is anyways) that I only need to tap it to fire.
Posted 17 August 2014 - 12:51 AM
Is there a way to make the trigger bigger though?
Edited by Potatosack, 17 August 2014 - 04:59 AM.
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