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Electric Semi-auto Nerf Rifle?

Can it possibly be done??

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#1 KnightValor

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 03:49 PM

Okay, I am a long airsoft player, and I found this site thanks to BoltSniper, his site gives a link here.

Hopefully my first thread won't be totally noobish.



Anyway, I have been thinking about how to do the impossible nerf stuff, such as grip-fed pistols & fully automatics (that aren't as giant as a gatling...) & grenades.


I got a bunch of ideas in the four days I waited to get activated, but only one is worth anything more than total crap (pm me if you are interested anyway)


So my idea: While thinking of making improvements to the CSHG, I though of something great: magnets & electromagnets. Just an idea, but I kept it in myhead.


So not make a plunger-fired rifle using a solenoid electromagnet & a magnet plunger??

I am at school right now so I can't post any pictures, but you should get the idea... If not, google solenoids...


All the trigger system would do is have three stages...

Stage 1: relaxed. No current passing through the gun.
Stage 2. Power runs to activate the solenoid and pull the plunger back.
Stage 3: Charge is reversed, the plunger shoots forward, and shoots the dart.

Pulling the trigger would make the stages go from one to two to three to two to one.


It would probably have a gigantic clip that is either gravity fed for simplicity or spring fed for convenience.


Before I do more research on the magnet sizes, barrel sizes, and other necessary information, I want to see what people think... Whether its good or bad, I am sooo making this, though.

Is this plausible?? Can it possibly be done???

Edited by KnightValor, 12 April 2006 - 03:49 PM.

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#2 Black Wrath

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 03:54 PM

Is this plausible?? Can it possibly be done???

I didn't even read your entire post because I could get the entire message in those last few words.

Fucking do something about it.

No one is going to sit here and spoon feed you. Further more, no one is going to run off and do whatever it is you want done, and tell you how it went.

Draw some schematics, come up with some dimensions. Build shit.

We want works in progress, or atleast plans. As Talio said(loosely quoted):

"If I had a nickle for everytime I had an idea that I didn't do anything with, I'd be so very rich."

You know, if I posted every idea I had ever been graced with, I'd fill up a forum all to myself. You see, I didn't post every idea because I never came up with anything tangible. I never drew up plans, and I never built anything.

I strongly believe that no one here will want to sit here speculating on whether or not your "idea" will work. We all want pictures, or something more concrete than a generic question with nothing really to build on.

Just do something.

Oh, and quit abusing punctuation.
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#3 davidbowie

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 04:24 PM

Well, it can work, but I highly doubt you'll be able to make it not suck.

I pretty much agree with BW. It's been thought of before. Go ahead and build it, but there are much better uses of your nerf time.

Also, none of the things you listed are impossible.
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#4 NinjZ

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 05:12 PM

Anything is possable with time and money.
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#5 six-five-two

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 05:38 PM

Anything is possable with time and money.

Agreed.
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#6 userjjb

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 05:43 PM

You are essentially talking about a scaled down coil gun. Try taking a look at these pages for more info
http://www.powerlabs...ultistagecg.htm
http://www.powerlabs.org/railgun.htm

In my opinion I doubt it could be built to be mobile. Let alone cost effective or safe. Then again, I could be wrong. Build it and prove us wrong.
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#7 Vicious-V

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 05:54 PM

All I can say is.....OW.
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#8 m15399

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 06:12 PM

Yes, it can be done.

There are much better ways than magnets.

Do not ever say the words: "Is it possible?" on this board. Everything is possible.
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#9 fobpawwor

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 07:13 PM

My opinion is that magnets alone cannot drive enought energy to shoot a dart out of the gun. Please correct me if I an talking about the wrong concept.
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#10 CaptainSlug

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 07:25 PM

Of course it's possible, but not in the form you're suggesting.
My gun is going to be "huge" (is 3 feet long huge?) because it has to be to fit the battery, motor, and the required barrel length. GeneralPrimevil has plenty of non-motorized guns that are much MUCH larger than mine.

But you're trying to find a solution without doing any research yourself into what would be required. I spent 3 months researching what makes an effective homemade Nerf gun and I still have alot to learn. Before positing your ideas, research what would be required to make it happen. What I know says that making it happen as you're describing with existing products is impossible.

Solenoids rarely come in the travel lengths and operating loads you're talking about. Especially ones small enough to be battery operated. Most solenoids aren't made for travel lengths higher than 2-1/2" and the usual max load for a solenoid is 32lb, but the best spring-plunger guns use 50lb springs or higher and have atleast 4 inches of travel.
Solenoids simply require too much current to travel the lengths and pull the loads required to make an effective nerf gun.

And linear actuators would be far too slow to pull a plunger at speeds that would be any faster than doing it by hand. What might work better is a piston-style cam drive that trips itself to fire the plunger at the end of the cycle. The problem with this setup would again be size.

I've thought about many ways to try and motorize the plunger action but what I've come up with seemed to (for me anyways) offer the best arraingement in terms of simplicity, size, and cost. But I was however only thinking about spring-plunger designs because I didn't want to have to worry about regulating air pressure. That's something for me to play with at a much later date because it would be far more complicated of a setup than I'm interested in tackling right now.

In response to some of the replies: Rail guns are the antithesis of Nerf. They're complicated, heavy, large, expensive, AND require high voltages.

and finally
Here's the biggest problem with trying to make a grip-feed clip: Your hands would have to be really big, or your stefans would have to be really short (like 1.5").

Edited by CaptainSlug, 12 April 2006 - 08:07 PM.

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#11 davidbowie

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 07:33 PM

...and create plasma.

I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about a coilgun, but rather using a solenoid (which is quite similar) to push a plunger.

My opinion: quit theorizing and actually go build something. It doesn't have to be fancy, just go have fun. Maybe later you can come back to stuff like this, but don't bother trying crazy stuff until you can build the normal stuff.

Start with a SNAP. They're cool.
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#12 Maverick Master

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 07:36 PM

BW no offence and I don't want to be onyour bad side, but please read the whole post. He said he was at school so he can't post pics or anything. Also I'm still working out the design for a grip feed pistol.
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#13 m15399

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 07:56 PM

fob, you are absolutely wrong (no offence).

Rail guns are powered by magnets and they shoot some of the fastest moving projectiles ever heard of.
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#14 CaptainSlug

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 08:00 PM

Yes a rail gun would work and they can propel things at insane speeds. But they require precise timing, miles of wire, and heap and heaps of current. Not even the best minds in the world have come up with a portable power source that would make one feasible for use in a tank, let alone as something you can hold in your hand.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 12 April 2006 - 08:01 PM.

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#15 Black Wrath

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 08:26 PM

BW no offence and I don't want to be onyour bad side, but please read the whole post. He said he was at school so he can't post pics or anything.

No. He doesn't have anything at all to post anyway.

If he took pictures and uploaded them when he got home, after school, we wouldn't be here right now.

I don't mean to be a dick to you, but I read his post. He said he couldn't post pictures of a selenoid. He wasn't even considering posting pictures of his "idea".

This is all besides the fact that he's a puss. If you can't do anything from school, why post? Shouldn't you be... learning, or something?

Now, back to business.
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#16 KnightValor

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 08:30 PM

Is this plausible?? Can it possibly be done???

I didn't even read your entire post because I could get the entire message in those last few words.

Fucking do something about it.

*edited short* ;)

First off, I bet there are alot of kids who look up how to make better neft guns and find this board... Please at least use astericks for words like f**k.

Anyway, the "can it possibly be done" subtitle was not meant as "help me out" it was meant as "could this be the thing that actually does it?"

Anyway, I do plan on doing something about it, and if you'd read my post you at least would not have been as appalled.


I also happen to remember two very popular topics that didn't start with a completed thing, or even not a completed design. CSHG & Nerf Grenade. :P


Anyway, I also didn't come to get you guys to do my research for me, I plan on doing my research even further & discussing my newer ideas with you as I go along, showing pics as I go along, and yadda yadda ya.

As for the SNAP, I will definately look into it after this post.


As for your railgun/coilgun, userjib, I used the damn search button and found nada, so I went ahead with this.


I am making the actual design right now, and will hopefully have it done soon.


And Captain Slug, thank you very much for posting something helpful :P rather than just bickering. Perhaps I could double the efficiency if there was also a spring on the plunger which was only just too weak to defy the solenoid?


I will keep in mind that this will probably crap, as was the end result of an automated airsoft turret that I made once out of a mini m16.


Will keep you updated, and if I turn out to be even more n00bish than you saw from this post, I will quit this forum just for you, Black Wraith ;)
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#17 ompa

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 08:42 PM

Just letting you know, this particular forum doesn't really care much about language filters or anything. There's only one word (to my knowledge) that's filtered, and you'll find out if you ever use it.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me, but please limit it to a maximum of 3 times a day.

Ah, and my issue with the whole magnet, driven thing is that you need a magnet more powerful than the spring to pull the plunger back.

Or, if you want to get fancy, I'm sure you could just reverse the polarity of the magnet, and use a metal plunger head, to get the thing to go back and forth really fast. Although I'm not very good with the whole magnetism thing, so I'm not quite sure of the feasibility of it.

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#18 KnightValor

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 08:50 PM

...Or, if you want to get fancy, I'm sure you could just reverse the polarity of the magnet, and use a metal plunger head, to get the thing to go back and forth really fast. Although I'm not very good with the whole magnetism thing, so I'm not quite sure of the feasibility of it.

~ompa

That's exactly what happens...

Say our metal plunger body (which goes in the solenoid) is a positive magnet, or at least the end that goes in the solenoid is.

Stage 1 of trigger pull (at rest): No electricity goes through gun
Stage 2 of trigger pull (nudged to 3/4 pulled): Solenoid charge is negative, plunger retracts.
Stage 3 of trigger pull (3/4 pulled to all the way back): Solenoid charge is positive, hurling the magnet forward with (hopefully) great speeds & power.


Incorporating the spring would simply go between the solenoid & plunger head, with a rubber gaurd to keep the spring from becoming something of a solenoid. The spring could probably be 3/4 the power of the solenoid, so, should the solenoid produce 20 lbs, the spring would have an additional 15 or so.


Hope that clears things up, and I was not talking about posting pictures of a solenoid... ;)
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#19 davidbowie

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 09:02 PM

You're probably going to need a capacitor, a big one at that, to give this any sort of power.
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#20 Black Wrath

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 09:31 PM

Will keep you updated, and if I turn out to be even more n00bish than you saw from this post, I will quit this forum just for you, Black Wraith ;)

Why does everyone assume that my name is Black Wraith?

Listen bud, this is a tough love forum. I gave you what I needed to. If you learn to post ideas as well as progress, you might have a future here.

Otherwise, don't be emo about "quitting the forums"; just do it.

I don't mean to come across as a complete dick, but I just don't want to see another slump around here.
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#21 Pineapple

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:05 PM

You want to make a fully automatic NERF dart firing weapon that ISN'T as heavy or large as Captain Slug's CSHG (which, by the way, despite it's dashing wicked looks, isn't even functioning nor past the acid tests yet), utilizing electromagnets?

Where in the world are you going to get the voltage to drive these things? Have you ever scratch-built an electromagnet? They're not very strong (unless you are going to swipe something from a Mack truck or something).

Most of the guys in the know (mainly Boltsniper, and Cap Slug) would tell you that it's difficult, at best, to accomplish the feat you hope to do. And, mind you, that's from a VaTech engineering graduate, and well, Captain Slug, I know he's been fabricating FlightSim airplanes as long as I can remember, which qualifies him as a fairly brainy kid.

Most of the solenoids I deal with (automotive, golf cart, and sprinkler valve) take anywhere from 12 to 36 volts, and usually have a travel of 1/16 to 1/2 an inch. They're primarily for closing circuits (ignition, current switch) or activating diaphragm solenoid valves.
In other words, all that voltage and it's only to move a scant amount. You're calling for an amazing feat of engineering dynamics, or you'd have to shoot some serious voltage through your electromagnets...which brings the issue of safety. Why shoot a gun that can kill you to propel a foam dart?

In other words, it's possible, given time, SERIOUS know how, and some load of cash. But is it practical? Why do that, when you can probably get the same result with and RF20 and do the MMM range modification? You'd have lots of cash left over, and quite possibly, your dignity.

If you just enjoy tinkering with stuff and trying to make something out of nothing, knock yourself out, but remember that NerfHaven's forum is really a lot less about concepts and ideas, and more about the hard goods...actually getting into the shop and trying to make something.

Be inspired by Captain Slug; he's the first in a loong time to actually take an idea from the "lame-ass drawings" phase to the hard stage in pretty much record time.

Start puttin' something together, even a concept model to convey the idea, or just keep it under your wraps until you have something to present to the forum.


And Black_Wrath, be cool dude. You've been twitchy lately. At least tiger here has a relatively intelligent idea...even if it's a long-shot. Save your energy for the ones who really need it. Have a Mountain Dew...works for me.

But then again so does Elvis and Chuck Berry on the Winamp [/old people rejoice]

If you can't do anything from school, why post? Shouldn't you be... learning, or something?


You got a point there, buddy. When I was in school, if I got caught on the computer posting stuff on a toy forum, I'd be washed and hung out to dry.

Oh, wait. When I was in school, there weren't any computers in classroms yet. ;)


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#22 KnightValor

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:25 PM

You want to make a fully automatic NERF dart firing weapon that ISN'T as heavy or large as Captain Slug's CSHG (which, by the way, despite it's dashing wicked looks, isn't even functioning nor past the acid tests yet), utilizing electromagnets? 

Yes, but no... I want to make a semi-automatic, simple electromagnet-powered nerf gun.

I prefer tinkering with electronics instead of simple tubing, airtanks, and so on (though I have nothing against it). The problem is that most electronic run dart guns would have to incorporate perfect fitting & designed, durable gears and such. For instance, my airsoft guns which I have disected all have a motor turn a gear that turns a gear that turns a gear that pulls back the plunger and then releases it at a predetermined position... That's not even including things like the trigger setups and all the other places where springs or gears are used (a lot more than you would think.) This idea seemed plausible to me without spending a crapload of time & money on making very special built parts that fit together like a 3d puzzle...

Where in the world are you going to get the voltage to drive these things?  Have you ever scratch-built an electromagnet?  They're not very strong (unless you are going to swipe something from a Mack truck or something).


Ah, no, I haven't... ;) From what I have looked up so far, it seemed to imply the opposite... though I think I will take your word for it, maybe along with a tiny bit of expirimentation.

Most of the solenoids I deal with (automotive, golf cart, and sprinkler valve) take anywhere from 12 to 36 volts, and usually have a travel of 1/16 to 1/2 an inch.  They're primarily for closing circuits (ignition, current switch) or activating diaphragm solenoid valves. 
In other words, all that voltage and it's only to move a scant amount.  You're calling for an amazing feat of engineering dynamics, or you'd have to shoot some serious voltage through your electromagnets...which brings the  issue of safety.  Why shoot a gun that can kill you to propel a foam dart?


Whoa... I was not expecting that... As I said above, I got the idea from my limited research that electromagnets were actually pretty strong...

Start puttin' something together, even a concept model to convey the idea, or just keep it under your wraps until you have something to present to the forum.


Oh, yeah. I have plenty of expiriments in mind, even if you say this is not going to work, I am going to do them :P

If you can't do anything from school, why post? Shouldn't you be... learning, or something?


You got a point there, buddy. When I was in school, if I got caught on the computer posting stuff on a toy forum, I'd be washed and hung out to dry.


Laugh... my... ass... off.

I take an internet course, and I am failing as of now because the concepts are so easy & the work is so hard & there is nobody to keep me on task. ;)
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#23 CaptainSlug

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:47 PM

Where in the world are you going to get the voltage to drive these things?  Have you ever scratch-built an electromagnet?  They're not very strong (unless you are going to swipe something from a Mack truck or something).


Ah, no, I haven't... ;) From what I have looked up so far, it seemed to imply the opposite... though I think I will take your word for it, maybe along with a tiny bit of expirimentation.

Solenoids are weak compared to the relative amount of current you have to apply to one to get the same amount of work you could get from other kinds. They're useful, but not very efficient.

I haven't really done much here worth complementing yet and my gun still has plenty of hurdles to jump over. But I do know electric motors, machining, and mechanical design enough to say with certainty that electromagnetic solenoids are not the way to go for this kind of application.

I still have to find out whether or not the electric motor I chose can even apply enough force to prime a plunger. I really suck at math so I didn't crunch any numbers on it, but my gut tells me it can because I've worked with these before (one of them almost broke my wrist). Until that's proven and my gun is in one piece and functioning automatic self-priming weapons have yet to become a reality. We can't jump to conclusions just yet.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 12 April 2006 - 10:53 PM.

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#24 KnightValor

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 11:17 PM

Where in the world are you going to get the voltage to drive these things?  Have you ever scratch-built an electromagnet?  They're not very strong (unless you are going to swipe something from a Mack truck or something).


Ah, no, I haven't... ;) From what I have looked up so far, it seemed to imply the opposite... though I think I will take your word for it, maybe along with a tiny bit of expirimentation.

Solenoids are weak compared to the relative amount of current you have to apply to one to get the same amount of work you could get from other kinds. They're useful, but not very efficient.

I haven't really done much here worth complementing yet and my gun still has plenty of hurdles to jump over. But I do know electric motors, machining, and mechanical design enough to say with certainty that electromagnetic solenoids are not the way to go for this kind of application.

I still have to find out whether or not the electric motor I chose can even apply enough force to prime a plunger. I really suck at math so I didn't crunch any numbers on it, but my gut tells me it can because I've worked with these before (one of them almost broke my wrist). Until that's proven and my gun is in one piece and functioning automatic self-priming weapons have yet to become a reality. We can't jump to conclusions just yet.

If you don't find anything that works, just hook up a crank.... Is that really so bad??



Anyway, unless anyone has something to say about my now never gonna happen (sorry for wasting time... :P ) rifle, just post where it fits. ;)
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