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A hardly ideal Airow knockoff

Airow longbow

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#1 Hardly Ideal

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 03:13 PM

There's a locked topic from a few years back about converting an Airow for Nerf darts. I've been thinking about using a longbow to fire darts since long before I even heard of the the Airow, but I could never really come up with anything that works. Not that that keeps me from daydreaming.

 

sCSyDz7.gif

 

It always looks good on the computer, but there's a number of things that have always made me stumble in actually making one.

 

The first big problem I have is mounting the whole thing. This is intended to mount on a cheap little fiberglass longbow (this one, I think); it's far from the best thing for launching arrows, but then again so am I. But that means there aren't any nice mounting points like you'd have on a sporting compound bow. I'd rather not drill into the bow anywhere, either. And because I love making my life more difficult, I'd like to make something ambidextrous if possible; I have some left-handed friends, and I'd rather not cheat them out of trying one of these if I ever made it.

 

Second is that this thing is going to be front-heavy. I'm guessing there's about 2 pounds of plastic in all the main parts. And it's going to be long, too. At least 24 inches, but the bow itself has a draw of something like 28. I could probably fix that with some rearward stabilizers, but again I have no idea how to mount those.

 

And speaking of the junk in the front, I wonder how exactly to load this thing. It's way too long to just stick a barrel on the far end, so I have a small barrel near the hand grip connected by a tube at the end of the plunger assembly. That kind of thing worked for the legendary '95 Crossbow, right? And I just now realized I put the rail with the dart rack on the wrong side for a right-handed user; they'd have to reach across awkwardly. Hrm.

 

So, is this possible or is this daft? It really feels like it could be done, what with there being at least three kinds of bows that come to mind.


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#2 mysterio

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:31 PM

It's been done by a guy (Kimball?) on facebook. IIRC it worked pretty well, but it was heavy and would sting/welt at close ranges. I'm sure your homemade version would work about the same, as long as the mounting points were sturdy.


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If two powerful is a problem then just go with one powerful. I guess this style of hopper will work even beyond three powerful..


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#3 CaptainSlug

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:47 PM

You don't have to limit yourself to mounting the plunger tube ahead of the bow arms. It can go behind them, or even be a part of them. I never got around to making this nonsense that had two plungers, two springs, and two pulley reductions.

 

nrabow_00.jpg

As for your tubing between the plunger tube and barrel, keep the Id of it above 5/16-inch.


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#4 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 06:59 PM

miniaabow.jpg

https://sites.google...-actually-a-bow

http://nerfhaven.com...043#entry340043

 

You pull the string, not the back handle.  The back handle is there so that you can hold the string and rest your arm by wrapping your thumb around the T.  It also provides 2 distant points of contact which makes holding the bow+piston steady much easier.


I've been making these since 2010, although the first ones were a lot chunkier.  Like Slug suggests, it's better to put the piston behind the bow arms for balance reasons, although it makes plumbing a trick.  I've always wanted to do one with more legit bow arms, but the cost was prohibitive (compared with 3/4" CPVC pipe) and I'd have to refigure the mounting.  That said, if you want it in front, it seems like you are on the right track design-wise.


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#5 CaptainSlug

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 12:49 PM

Just found this, which is exactly what Hardly Ideal is looking to do and this guy has been using it for several years.



So if you continue with your plan you're likely to get bonkers muzzle velocity.
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#6 Hardly Ideal

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:29 PM

I've seen the PVC bows around and they look fine, but I just wanted to try it with what I've already got. It's a novel idea I haven't seen before, and I'm not sure I have the storage space at home for another giant bow.

 

The folks on the other thread were similarly worried about the muzzle velocity, but I don't think I need to worry here. For one thing, I don't plan on using a compound bow, but a fiberglass recurve. It's pretty damn casual compared to a compound bow; I don't understand the terminology of having a #29 pull at 28 inches, but I do know that all the other bows at the range send arrows flying way faster than mine. And in the off-chance that this thing turn out to be an eyeball-seeking polyurethane penetrator, I can always drill vents into the barrel until it gets to a sane level.

 

I just can't figure out how to mount it in a decent way. I'd like to be able to still use the bow for regular arrows after, so I'd rather not modify the bow itself. That probably means some manner of clamp, which I plan to 3D print, but that's always tricky since printed ABS and screw threads don't really work. It's kind of a miracle my +bow holds together as is. I'd like to use off-the-shelf parts if I can, but it'll almost certainly require some whacky printed parts.

 

---

 

...crap, those PVC bows have me thinking about Japanese bows. They're enormous at around 2 meters tall, and the arms are asymmetrical so you could probably use one in a crouch. Hm, tests...


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#7 Bubba Longshot

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:00 PM

Maybe you can superglue and epoxy putty it to a wood piece that's screwed into the bow handle. That way, you can unscrew the plunger assembly along with the wood base when you want to fire standard arrows.Or, epoxy/ superglue the plunger tube onto the arrow rest (assuming it's the fibreglass bow that you mentioned).
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#8 CaptainSlug

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:16 PM

That probably means some manner of clamp

Use a U-Bolt. If the shape of your bow is irregular you can make yokes/inserts for a standard size of u-bolt that will allow it to clamp onto your bow securely.


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#9 Tekkun harashima

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:10 AM

You don't have to limit yourself to mounting the plunger tube ahead of the bow arms. It can go behind them, or even be a part of them. I never got around to making this nonsense that had two plungers, two springs, and two pulley reductions.
 
nrabow_00.jpg
As for your tubing between the plunger tube and barrel, keep the Id of it above 5/16-inch.


I would pay good money for this shit
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