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Paintball Tanks With Nerf

Fun with HPA

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#1 CaptainSlug

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:58 PM

FORWARD
(PLEASE read this before continuing or asking any questions)
1. You should never use CO2 with plastics. The low temperatures of the gas output from a CO2 canister reaches levels that are outside of the operating range of most plastics. Prolonged exposure to such low temperatures will lead to increase brittleness in plastics, and eventually your gun internals will fail irreparably. This guide is written ONLY for using High Pressure Air paintball tanks.
2. Do not attempt to fill any tank or pipe beyond its maximum pressure rating. Doing so could lead to serious bodily harm since ruptures also involve shrapnel.
3. Do not attempt to cycle any Nerf gun at pressure levels above 40psi unless it is known that they can survive higher pressure levels. You will have pressure gauges handy to test the maximum operational pressure level of the guns you intend to use with this setup and can then set the regulator(s) to output air to the gun at that level.
4. I DO NOT recommend hooking up a regulated output to the bladder system of a Nerf gun such as the Rapidfire 20, Powerclip, or Magstrike. The output from a high pressure air tank is very fast compared to the manual pump and could introduce significant wear and tear on any kind of flexible tank. It will be safest to replace the bladder tank with a higher volume rigid tank.

It took a good deal of time to find the RIGHT parts to use for this. The first HPA paintball tank I had was the cheapest of the cheap and had a miserable flow rate. The second one I got used an adjustable on-tank regulator. That setup works great, but doesn't allow you to switch tanks.

Function
Paintball regulators (particularly this model) do not offer very fine adjustments so I decided to double regulate the output. This is done for safety and simplicity.

The operational steps to use the setup with a single-fire or semi-auto are
1. Fire
2. Press push-button valve to refill weapon
3. Repeat

The operational steps to use the setup with an automatic are
1. Fire

Part configuration

Posted Image

1. 3000psi HPA paintball tank
I am using a Pure Energy 3000psi 48 cubic inch aluminum paintball tank. Any HPA tank could be used provided it includes a fixed regulator. 4500psi tanks will cost much more. I simply went for the most affordable high volume 3000psi HPA tank I could find.
Price = $65-$85

2. ASA adapter
Used to adapt the ASA fitting of the tank to 1/8 NPT. This part can be solid-mounted to your blaster if desired.
Price = $5.50 from e-paintball.com

3. Stainless Steel High Pressure Hose
Alternatively a 1/8 NPT pipe nipple could be used if you choose two of the same ASA adapters that will not interfere with the installation of the tank. This part simply bridges between the ASA adapter and the inline regulator input port.
Price = $11.52 from e-paintball.com

4. AIM inline regulator (low pressure version)
Set this to 0-70 psi for a magstrike, or 35psi for single-shot blasters
It's output is adjusted using an allen wrench (clockwise for increase, counterclockwise for decrease). Just be very careful when setting its output level. Just be very careful when setting its output level. In order to avoid destroying your Nerf blaster prematurely it would be a good idea to hook the regulator up to a ball valve in order to get the output pressure set correctly beforehand.
Price = $45 from e-paintball.com

5. ASA adapter
Used to adapt the ASA fitting of the regulator to 1/8 NPT.
Price = $5.50 from e-paintball.com

6. Output gauge (0-160psi)
You will need two instant tube fittings, a pipe tee, and a gauge if you want this inline with the tubing. This will monitor the pressure level supplied to your blaster. Alternatively you could simply replace the gauge on the inline regulator.
Price = $4.88 (mcmaster part# 4912K71)

7. Output to gun
The last length of tube running to the fitting linked to the internals of the gun. I would advice using these parts to adapt from hard tubing to the soft tubing inside the blaster. Mcmaster part# 51025K243 & 5047K15

Optional: Push-Button or Toggle Valve
Posted Image
This valve is routed to an easy to reach location either near the gun or on your chest so that you can disconnect the gun from the tank, or use it as a refill button for single-shot blasters.
Price = $14.75 (mcmaster part# 6790T42) for push-button or $4-16 for any toggle or ball valve


Hookup to air system of the gun.
For more details on this see my other write-up: DIY: External Air Tank or ask me through PM about advice concerning how best to hook up to the air tank of specific guns. Most Nerf guns use 4mm ID tubing which you can by Tees and threaded adapters for through McMaster. Simply search for "Metric Barbed Tube Fittings".

Most blasters include compression nut fittings which can easily be disconnected, allowing you to replace the stock tubing with more durable tubing of identical dimensions.

Tubing
For tubing I would highly recommend 1/4" OD Extra-flex Nylon tubing. It has a maximum pressure level of 180psi, a bend radius of 3/4" (so it's fairly flexible), and it's compatible with instant tube fittings which make it easy to maintain and reconfigure the tank system. You'll need 10 feet for the tank setup and it's easy to cut to length with a box cutter or scissors.
Price = $0.67 per foot (mcmaster part# 9685T3)

Instant Tube Fittings
You will need 1/8" NPT to 1/4" tube OD fittings for most things ($12.60 for 10 mcmaster part# 9087K11) as well as a straight coupler (part# 9087K61). Whatever other fittings you need will depend on which gun you are hooking up to.

And that's the revised basics. Per tank fill, which costs only $4 at my local paintball shop, this setup gives me 200-300 shots using the Titan and 1200-2000 shots using the Magstrike. It's already proven very effective in the preliminary stages and I hope to use it much more in the future. The Low Pressure tank I'm using now has 141 cubic inches of volume which at 90psi is enough to fire 90 shots from the magstrike or 12 from the Titan. Then the Low Pressure tank simply gets refilled by the High Pressure tank.


Amended with new configuration on 09-07-08

Edited by CaptainSlug, 07 September 2008 - 02:04 PM.

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#2 Cennipe

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:12 PM

Thats incredible. Good job once again Captain Slug. So you don't have to pump up at all during wars? Or ever really, you just have to go get that tank filled. Awsome. It looks a little bulky though.

The only problem that I see is that if you get a leek or what ever, how would you pump up, I think it needs a manual back-up pump.

Edited by Cennipe, 24 May 2007 - 01:31 PM.

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#3 CaptainSlug

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:27 PM

No need to pump at all. But using a gun like the Titan will empty it pretty quickly.
It is kind of large, but it's not too bulky. I can still run around easily and it doesn't weight more than 10 pounds so once it's on my back it's not very noticeable.
If I do manage to empty the paintball tank during a war I can simply remove it and fill up the low pressure tank with a bike pump.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 24 May 2007 - 11:51 PM.

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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#4 z80

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:48 PM

No need to pump at all. But using a gun like the Titan will empty it pretty quickly.
It is kind of large, but it's not too bulky. I can still run around easily and it doesn't weight more than 10 pounds so once it's on my back it's not very noticeable.

*Jaw Drops*
Oh my god. 2000 shots on a magstrike? That is godly. I really ought to make of these things. It is just so cool.
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#5 NerfFreak

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:03 PM

Amazing. There's really no other way to describe it. Keep up the good work.

P.S: That's one bitchin' air tank you got there :w00t:
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Nuckin' Futz

#6 privateer

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:04 PM

I'm curious, are the controls/priming steps simple enough that you can operate them while dodging darts?

Great work.
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#7 CaptainSlug

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:18 PM

I'm curious, are the controls/priming steps simple enough that you can operate them while dodging darts?

Of course. The push-button valve for refilling the gun ends up on the gun itself near the tank hook up.
Posted Image
The low pressure tank refill push-button valve only has to be held down for a second and is located on my left hip. But each fill of the Low Pressure tank will afford me 12 more shots from the Titan or 90 shots from the magstrike (or other auto guns).
You have to think of the paintball tank as an "instant pump" rather than as a constant supply and it becomes fairly easy to figure out how to set one of these up.

I will try to get a video up tomorrow night.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 23 May 2007 - 09:19 PM.

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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#8 Texansharpshooter

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:23 PM

I'm curious, are the controls/priming steps simple enough that you can operate them while dodging darts?

Of course. The push-button valve for refilling the gun ends up on the gun itself near the tank hook up.
The low pressure tank refill push-button valve only has to be held down for a second and is located on my left hip.

I don't mean to sound like the guys from Guinness, but that is brilliant!, Like z80 said, 2000 shots with a Magstrike is definitely godly.
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HERP DERP.

#9 bobafan

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:20 PM

That's ridiculously awesome.

You should make MS clips from scratch to go with it. It would be a bit easier than the LS clips and they aren't avalible apart from the gun.

I wouldn't want to be the one making the darts for that bad boy though.
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thaygor: all i remimber is pumping it hard and shooting than trying to pump again

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#10 CROW

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:38 PM

Great looking work! The only flaw I can see is that 80% or so of the people here dont have the experience to re-create one of these, me included. But in any case, thats one of the best homemades I've seen for a while.
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#11 nerfer34

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:47 PM

Your just a beast, slug.

Everytime I try to replicate one of your mods, you come up with something better!

This thing is sick. Does this add any more range to the darts?
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#12 Gengar003

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:56 PM

Great looking work! The only flaw I can see is that 80% or so of the people here dont have the experience to re-create one of these,

Additionally, if you add up the cost of all the items he lists, it's $226.18, not even counting the items without prices listed or the low pressure tank!.

Otherwise, I'd be working on constructing one of my own...
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#13 CaptainSlug

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:43 PM

Of course the setup is expensive. Anything made to survive high pressure is going to be expensive and this setup requires a good number of industrial supplies to put together. You can't cut corners on the price and still end up with the same result.

Does this add any more range to the darts?

That's not really the point of this setup. But, it depends upon then gun you have hooked up to it. With the Titan all you have to do to increase the range is increase the output level of the regulator until you reach a maximum level. But if you need more than 100 feet of range in a war then you need to change how you're playing.
At 60psi my modified magstrikes are probably operating far above the maximum operating pressure that any magstrike using a bladder could reach. So my ranges with that are 60-70 feet.
It all depends.

The primary aim of this setup is to allow me to use a wide variety of pneumatic weapons without having to do any pumping during a round.

The only flaw I can see is that 80% or so of the people here dont have the experience to re-create one of these, me included.

I outlined every part needed and why and where to put them in order to make a duplicate system. All you have to do is obtain the parts and screw or glue them together. If you can't do that then you probably would be unable to make any kind of homemade with similar instructions.
The parts themselves are self explanatory and don't require tons of experience to be operated. Aside from cutting the pipe for the low pressure tank to then length that I wanted I didn't have to use a single power tool to put this together. Making this required no skill whatsoever and all of the work involved was researching which parts would work and where to obtain them. That is all presented in the first post.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 24 May 2007 - 08:00 PM.

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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#14 nerfer34

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 08:18 PM

Oh, I know I understand. I was just wondering. That'd just be so cool going into a war with that.

edit- is it noisy at all? Does it ever leak, like when paintballing?

Edited by nerfer34, 24 May 2007 - 08:19 PM.

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#15 CaptainSlug

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 08:22 PM

No leaks whatsoever provided you cut your tubing squarely and screw in all of the fittings tightly.
You will hear a "TSshshsssss bzzzzz" when refilling the low pressure tank from the high pressure tank and an even quieter version of the same sound when refilling your single fire or semi-auto guns from the other push-button valve. But both are much quieter than the noise any of the guns can make when firing.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 27 May 2007 - 02:16 PM.

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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#16 Prometheus

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:17 PM

For some of us Canadians (all to be exact), McMaster-Carr doesn't offer shipping to us. Any possibility you would ever offer an international courier for some industrial/McMaster parts, assuming we cover all costs and then some?

And oh yes, I wouldn't expect any less of you.Nice work, very innovative.
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#17 CROW

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 11:09 PM

Sorry, didn't realize it wasn't that it wasn't as complicated as I had thought (I was in a rush and didn't have time to read it fully). Now it just comes down to being able to spend 200+ dollars on the entire setup.
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#18 CaptainSlug

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 07:52 PM

Video is up:
All of the shots fired in that video were fired from a single low pressure tank fill.
I was sent the High Pressure version of the bottomline regulator instead of the Low Pressure version so it's outputting at 200psi. That means I have to open the ball valve on it only part way (to act as a flow restrictor) and watch the pressure gauge on the low pressure tank while I hold the push-button valve down to fill it. So filling the low pressure tank from the high pressure takes 3 or 4 seconds.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 26 May 2007 - 07:58 PM.

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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#19 Carbon

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 08:19 PM

The "explanation" at the end of the video is classic. Fantastic job all the way around.
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#20 CaptainSlug

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 02:10 PM

Previous estimates on capacity were off. I've been tinkering with the tank all morning and the 3000psi tank can refill the low pressure tank to 70psi around 15 times. That's enough for 70 shots from a magstrike. So

70 x 15 = 1,050 shots
plus or minus 400 shots since the paintball tank will be topping off the tank from 20psi to 70psi. Not refilling it from empty.
I was off by about 500 shots :mellow:
Not that it really matters.

For the Titan I can get 15 shots per 70psi tank fill.

15 x 15 = 225 shots

Edited by CaptainSlug, 27 May 2007 - 02:13 PM.

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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#21 Cennipe

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 09:11 PM

Could you do something like this but with this?

tank
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#22 Prometheus

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 11:36 PM

You would want a chamber of some sorts so that the expanding gas can warm up before entering PVC, or it might crack it. However, the tank should be okay to use with compressed air. You just need the special adapter for it, the one with the pin center.
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#23 CaptainSlug

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 09:02 AM

Could you do something like this but with this?

tank

That was answered within the first few lines of the first post. It's not a good idea to use Co2 with plastics because since Co2 is a liquid when compressed into the tank it undergoes a phase change when venting to atmospheric pressure. The extremely low temperatures that result are harmful to most plastics.

If you use Co2 I can't guarantee that your gun won't receive irreparable damage.
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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#24 Cennipe

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:25 PM

Oh, sorry, I thoght you could fill it with air, even thought it is ment for CO2.
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#25 Prometheus

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:25 PM

As far as I see, you can. You just need the other end of the fitting to go on your compressor line. Also, good luck getting that much pressure in there.

The reason you can't use CO2 is that as it expands, it absorbs a lot of heat, thus making things really cold, kind of like how liquid propane can be used to freeze things. As the highly compressed gases expand, they absorb vast amount of heat, and since plastic can't handle that kind of temperature change, it shatters.
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