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Let's get this clip idea rolling

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#1 fredstickman

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:51 AM

Hey guys,

Some of you might remember me, and then again, most of you won't, but that's cool. I'm dan, and I was the 9th registered member of Nerfhaven, apparently. It's great to see there's over 1000 registered now, very awesome. I was an admin over at NC back when it was up, and active on NO back in the day. I did a lot of modding and homemade work, but I sort of "outgrew nerf."

But, that's not really why I'm here. I had an awesome idea a few nights ago, and had to share it since I'll probably never have the time or interest to develop it. Besides, things move faster with more people. I tried logging on with my old account, but the password doesn't work or something. Whatever. I saved everyone some trouble and registered a new name.

Anyway, I always wanted to build a semi-auto nerf gun, which would require a clip. Now, building a clip is no cakewalk, as many of you might know. I see Ompa had some ideas (I've done my fair share of scouting on the boards) including a gravity-fed clip. Good. Glad to see someone's thinking. I tried making clips, both spring and gravity, with no success back in my heavy nerfing days.

So, I figured maybe I could find a pre-made clip. That's exactly what happened a few years later. I was sitting at my desk surfing the web on my new 1337 computer I built, fiddliing with a PEZ dispenser (10 point bonus to whomever can tell me the origin of the name PEZ and what it's short for). I thought, "This thing is cool. It's a magazine for candy." Most of our homemade things are designed for a totally different purpose. Our barrels are made for transporting water, our valves for sprinkeler systems, and our clips will be candy dispensers. The PEZ dispenser, with a little modification, can become the perfect nerf clip.

I pried the head off of the top of it, and, with about 10 minutes work with a pocket knife, I modded the dispenser into a magazine for nerf darts. It was very simple to do. I'll try to break this idea down into pro's and con's for you guys.

Cons:

I'll start with the disadvantages first.

-The dispenser is designed to hold candy measuring 1cm in width. 3/8" FBR should fit well, I estimate. It really depends on the brand, temp, humidity, and past compression of each piece of foam.. I know what you're thining: 3/8" FBR? They make it, I know this for a fact. Now, 3/8" is kinda small, but it's the same trend modern firearms are following: using a smaller caliber but faster projectile. Nerf, in fact, made the switch from megas to micros a few years ago because they can propel a dart with less air, further. Using a 3/8" dart might be the next step.

-Secondly, the dispenser can only hold 7 1" long darts max. This isn't a lot, and they're pretty short. Outside, I don't know how well these darts would fare in the wind and such. Then again, the indoors is where rapid fire is primarily needed, so I don't see this as a huge disadvantage.

-Building a clip-fed gun is hella complicated. But we already knew this.

Pros:

-These things are cheap. Pez dispensers are a dime a dozen, or something like that.

-They're incredibly easy to modify, and perfect for the task. The entire clip slides out for easy filling, and darts would automatically be fed to the top. From there, a "claw" or "angular thing" can be used to push the next dart into the chamber of the "receiver", much like a real or airsoft gun would operate.

-The clip is shaped well. It's not too long, and perfectly sized for fitting inside a grip. They're sturdy, and have grooves along the edges for them to slide into place.

-Free candy. If we think of the dispenser as our investment, then the candy is really a bonus! Hell yeah!

That's it for the pro's and con's I can see. I really havn't thought of much beyond this. I'm just back on christmas break, and I plan on chilling out most of the time. I wanted you guys to hear this awesome idea so you could do something with it, because ideas are too good to be kept to yoruself trying to invent something so other people will be impressed with you. Maybe you guys coud work together and invent something truly awesome, and put nerf on the map for kick-ass sports.

For those of you that care, I'm doing quite well. Going to college for free rules. I'm basically getting paid extra, in fact (which is why I had the $'s to build my awesome PC), and they're putting me up in this sweet dorm where my roommate and I share a suite. I'm majoring in computer engineering, and dominating in my classes.

Anyway, I'll be checking these boards on and off for the next few weeks until I go back, so I'll try to answer any questions you have and perhaps aide in the brainstorming. If someone wants to host, I could put up some pics of what I've done so far so everyone can get on the same page.
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#2 Arcanis

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 09:35 AM

Sounds cool!

Pulling back a piece on something to allow a dart to fall/get pushed up has been a common idea of some for a long time. I like the thinking of 3/8" darts...

As for the points, I know that Ebay was originally made to sell PEZ dispensers...
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-i hate the yankees as much as the next guy, but i'm only sixteen and i'm not ready for the ice age, or the apocalypse...whichever the great bambino has destined for us. -Rawray7



#3 Renegade

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 09:44 AM

That sounds awesome. Great idea!
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#4 BoltMasterZero

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 09:53 AM

Nice job! I'm thinking of trying it with one of these -
Posted Image
It dispenses an entire roll of PEZ candy.
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#5 fredstickman

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:07 PM

>>>...Pulling back a piece on something to allow a dart to fall/get pushed up has been a common idea of some for a long time...<<<

Well, that's been the idea of pretty much any clip-fed gun ever made, so it follows this would apply to nerf as well.

Your answer to the PEZ thing is interesting, but no cigar. I'll still award you two points for that random tidbit of knowledge.

Wow...if you had a 12" long PEZ clip, you could dominate some people.
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#6 BoltMasterZero

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:31 PM

The name PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint...PfeffErminZ.
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#7 ompa

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:45 PM

That's awesome- I think what's needed is a design BASED off the pez dispenser. If you could get some kind of pictures, as my parents don't like me buying candy, of the dispenser I'll get to work replicating it over winter break. It's the spring I'm mostly interested in.

~ompa
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#8 CustomSnake202

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:51 PM

That would be pretty damn sweet to make a gun that took pez dispensers for magazines. Good thinking. Now just to find out hold to make a gun based around the mags.

And bolt, do you think you could fit a regular 1/2 stefan in that giant pez dispenser? It looks like you can fit a 2" stefan in there, but I don't if width of the dispenser would force a very tight fit for the dart, not allowing it a good feed to the gun.
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#9 Suave

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 01:07 PM

Hot damn. Fred is alive?! Amazing.

Sounds like you've got a decent project started, good luck guys.

Edited by Suave, 18 December 2004 - 01:07 PM.

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#10 fredstickman

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:12 PM

Boltmaster wins.

Yeah, I can get some pics. I'll need somebody to host them, as I really don't feel like getting some kind of web-hosting service. Whoever feels like it, go ahead and email/AIM me (same as my login). I leave it on all of the time, pretty much.

Yeah, Ompa, the leaf spring is pretty nice. It'd be cool to pull it out and use it for another clip, but since PEZ dispensers are already pretty standardized, using the whole dispenser is much easier. Besides, you can buy these in bulk and save a LOT of time versus building an entire clip. Lightweight, cheap, durable...very nice.
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#11 ompa

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:18 PM

LEAF SPRINGS?! The damn dispensers have leaf springs? Damn. Apparently I couldn't find any at my local hardware store- time to buy some pez dispensers, at the disapproval of my parents.

~ompa
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#12 fredstickman

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:47 PM

My bad, I don't think I meant leaf spring. It's one of those kinda boxed-coil springs, I suppose. I don't really know what a leaf spring is. It came to me while I was writing, and I said it.
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#13 ompa

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 03:54 PM

It kind of looks like a zigzag spring. Pictures would really, really, be appreciated. You can just pm me for my email, then email them to me and I'll post them.

~ompa

Edited by ompa, 18 December 2004 - 04:25 PM.

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#14 Techno-Dann

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 11:35 PM

I've got a digital camera and some PEZ dispensers... give me a minute, and I'll shoot some pics.

< edit >
Here's the pics...

Posted Image
My victim.

Posted Image
Here it is with head back. It would be pushing a candy out.

Posted Image
This is the part that really interests us. The plastic tray can slide up out of the thing, but there's a spring trying to hold it shut.

Posted Image
Also, that little white thing inside the dispenser can be pushed down, again against a spring.

Posted Image
Here's the underside of the dispenser with the tray pulled out.

Thinking logically here for a second, I would guess that the insides are something like this:
Posted Image
The pink is the outer shell, the orange things are the candies, the black zig-zag is the spring, and the white thingies are... the white thingies.

Edited by Techno-Dann, 19 December 2004 - 12:41 AM.

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#15 Arcanis

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 12:28 PM

White thingies.... I dunno, maybe call it a piston and chamber?


If I remember correctly, when you pull back the head, you push forward a little piece which in turn pokes out a candy.
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#16 ompa

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 01:46 PM

Yes, that's how it works. I'm just interested in the KIND of spring, as it seems to exert a constant force throughout the entire length of the dispenser, regardless of whether it's at the bottom or at the top.

~ompa
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#17 Ironman

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 04:09 PM

Were they fred's pix?
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#18 ompa

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 04:37 PM

No, but those are pretty much the same, so there isn't much of a need to post Fred's pics. Thanks though Fred, I did receive them. If there's a call for more pictures, I'll resize them and post them.

~ompa
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#19 Ironman

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 06:35 PM

Could you post them?
Also do you get rid of the thing that pushes out the candy thing?
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#20 Vintage

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 09:49 AM

I am not sure whether making a clip is what makes a semi/full-auto. We need a way for each shot to be sealed in the barrel, otherwise you need the whole clip to be airtight like the RSCB barrel. Working with a PEZ dispenser would be cool if you are ok with really small darts.

Obviously, small darts require less air pressure to travel far, but I would guess that we would want our darts longer than 1" for accuracy's sake. Perhaps two PEZ dispensers side by side would increase the dart length to 2".

So now, we need to find either a way for the clip to be airtight, or for a piston to seal each dart into the barrel for each shot. Or you could do Ompa's thing, and just scrap the springs for your own design.

~Vintage
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#21 Ironman

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 07:19 PM

That would be hard to make two of them next to each other. You would have to hollow one whole side out.
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#22 fredstickman

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 07:36 PM

The clip doesn't have to be airtight. Each dart is pushed off of the top of the clip and into an air-tight chamber, giving the gun an "action" like real guns do.

Secondly, nobody said making a clip makes a gun full/semi-auto. The clip enables this to occur. It's only a way of feeding darts into the gun--that's it. It's just that nobody's been able to make a clip with any success, which is a huge stumbling block towards making semi/full-auto nerf guns.

>>>...Obviously, small darts require less air pressure to travel far, but I would guess that we would want our darts longer than 1" for accuracy's sake...<<<

Not necessairally. Since it's virtually impossible to make a dart perfectly straight, the more powerful a gun is the more it accents any flaw in the dart. Shorter darts are often times more accurate with larger guns, as they're less likely to go into a tailspin; and, if they do, they create less drag and have less of an impact on the dart's trajectory.

Secondly, length can not be considered without taking into consideration a dart's diameter. Micro darts are shorter than megas, but they remain proportionally about the same. Smaller diameter darts don't have to be as long as their larger counterparts.
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#23 Techno-Dann

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 10:36 PM

Also do you get rid of the thing that pushes out the candy thing?

A flat head screwdriver and some twisting. ;)

I think that this sort of clip is interesting, but I can see one problem with it: There is force shoving the darts up into whatever mechanism you choose to mount, so there is the problem of the darts squishing together and possibly jamming. Brass casings would solve the problem, but they introduce a whole new world of problems.
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#24 ompa

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 11:30 PM

I took out the spring- good luck in reusing it in a homemade clip. You guys are better off using the original clip dispenser. Meanwhile, I'm going to start work on a different one. Best of luck guys!

~ompa
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#25 Vintage

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 11:02 AM

Fredstickman, clips do nothing more than push darts upwards. In order for it to be useable on a gun, you need either the clip to be airtight, or for the darts to be pushed into an airtight chamber (like you and I both had mentioned). The latter option gives the dart the most force behind it, but is fairly difficult to design.

Pez dispensers are not airtight, but you could goop them to make them so. Their "head" wouldn't be a good method of pushing the darts into a chamber, because they don't push the candy all the way out in the first place.

So...you need to scrap the head completely, make extremely tiny darts, and design a way for each dart to make it into a firing chamber. I might take the challenge, just for fun, but it would mean going out to the hobby shop for extra sizes of brass for the smaller darts.

~Vintage
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