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The Snap-4 Revisited

Eight shot breechless...thanks, Frost.

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#1 Carbon

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:46 PM

I've enjoyed the SNAP-4, but to say it's fussy is an understatement. The action is very stiff, due to the operation of the breech beoing joined to the plunger. Those who were at SPANO saw it explode several times. When it worked, it worked well. When it didn't....well. A new direction was needed.

Frost Vectron gave me a proper kick in the ass with his absolutely beautiful Sawtooth, by making the in-line clip a four-shot linear, as opposed to using wider tubing...thus clearing up all the jam problems I had. Beautiful. The problem comes in with how to make it higher capacity, and not make the gun taller than you are. The solution: use a gun where the barrel folds over the top.

Posted Image

The entire white tube on the top is a clip, holding eight shots. Pull off the barrel and drop in darts, then put the barrel back on to fire. The barrel is the same one I used for the in-line clip, with the tapered inside. The only change to the SNAP-4 is removing the breech barrel and replacing it with 1/2" PVC. I ended the long piece with a coupler, and then attached the in-line clip barrel to that (the clip tubing looks larger than 1/2" PVC because I sheathed it in 3/4" thinwall, and used a 3/4" coupler inside of the old breech barrel guide to steady it.) I also borrowed Frost Vectron's other great idea: there's a 2" piece of 1/2" aluminum tubing in the clip, both to keep darts from wedging into the elbow, and to give some weight to press darts into the barrel.

Ranges are surprisingly decent, considering the huge amount of dead space. Tested outside, into a slight breeze:

45'
55'
60'
60'
65'
75'
75'
75'

It was dark, but I'm assuing that the lower ranges are the last darts fired. I'll do some daytime testing to verify that. With the breech barrel, I was getting roughly 70-75', so it's not a terrible loss of range, considering how much more reliable it now is. I always intended this to be a rushing, rapid fire type weapon, so a loss of range isn't that awful.

The SNAP-4 is much easier to use, now. Removing the breech action makes the plunger a lot easier to charge. With a few more screws, it should be a lot more stable than it used to be.
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#2 Retiate

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 12:29 AM

So I'm slightly confused. First of all, it looks really nice, I like the inline clip idea and I think the SNAP looks great.
Now, how exactly does this work? It looks like the barrel is added on to the front of the gun, and it's placed on top for smaller storage? But then, is the plunger showed in the cocked position? It looks like that's the only thing possible, but then the whole entire assebly could be reversed, so the plunger actually pushes air towards the handle, then there might be some tubing that connects to the barrel on top. (It's dark where the tubing would be, so I can't tell.)
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#3 Carbon

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:23 AM

Here's what it used to look like:
Posted Image

The SNAP-4 has a backwards traveling plunger. The air is routed out the back, and then through the barrel. It's quite literally like a gun that's been folded in half.

The handle in front pushes the chargerod forward (as opposed to pulling one backwards), and then is pulled back before firing: you can't tell by looking if it's charged or not. The red 1" thinwall that the black handle slides on is the guiderail for the charging handle.

So essentially, if this gun were a normal SNAP, the gun body would be about 20" long, with a very loose 18" barrel that contricted down to a tight 8" barrel. Unusable long in a linear setup, but workable when it's folded in half.
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#4 Marcus Phoenix

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 05:31 PM

This is a great homemade. I'm in the middle of build a Snap MK2. I'm a little confused on how it works though. Is it cock shoot, cock shoot with no reloads until your eighth shot? Also do you think you could make a write up about it when you get a chance?
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#5 Carbon

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 06:02 PM

I'm a little confused on how it works though. Is it cock shoot, cock shoot with no reloads until your eighth shot? Also do you think you could make a write up about it when you get a chance?

Yup...although I think I may take four inches off of the clip to improve overall ranges. As far as a writeup, probably not anytime soon. It's pretty much a SNAP-1, backwards, with a different cocking handle on it. Check out the SNAP-4 thread for more details on construction.
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#6 frost vectron

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 06:48 PM

That's awesome work Carbon. I knew you'd still be able to get great ranges because of your huge air capacity.

You could experiment with the length. I found that taking just two inches off the length of my in-line clip boosted almost a whole 10 feet in range. I like how you used 1/2" PVC instead. I think if I rebuilt the Sawtooth, I would change the 3/4" CPVC to 1/2" PVC just to lessen the dead-space. The aluminum was a good call, too.
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#7 sam

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:13 AM

So your saying next time I pick up the SNAP 4 and try to cock it, I won't rip the handle off? Well this really makes me want to get off my ass and do some work on my SNAP variants. Awesome, can't wait to see it at the next war, and hopefully it will have a brother to battle against.
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#8 FoxTrotter

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 08:09 PM

I'm real confused is the reverse plunger a pump or is it a cocking mechanism?
And also I'm wondering how the trigger works, could you post the trigger plans?
Anyway Nice work.
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#9 Carbon

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 09:12 PM

Good to know about the length effects, Frost, thanks. I figure a six-shot gun is plenty, and I use two inch darts...so I could remove four inches. With what you're saying, that should help the low-end range, a lot.

I still have no idea how you were able to rip the handle off, sam...but it was pretty funny. At any rate, no harm done, and now maybe I'll actually be able to use this during a round some time.

I'm real confused is the reverse plunger a pump or is it a cocking mechanism?

It's a spring gun (cocking). But where the plunger usually goes in the same direction as the dart (forwards), in this gun the plunger moves backwards, and tubing channels the air into a barrel that lies over the gun.

And also I'm wondering how the trigger works, could you post the trigger plans?

It's the same trigger that I've used in all of my homemades. Check out the Triggers sticky in homemades, or look at any of the threads in my sig.

Edited by Carbon, 05 August 2007 - 09:18 PM.

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#10 frost vectron

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:46 AM

Yep.

I'm not sure if the small length changes affected the Sawtooth so drastically because of the really small air-volume output.
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#11 Carbon

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:01 PM

I hacked off 4" of clip tonight, and went to do some range testing. The length is perfect, now (the barrel extends the same distance out fromnt as the chargehandle guide does). Anyway, it's now a 6-shot clip. Ranges are:

Set 1:
50'
65'
68'
69'
69'
80'

Set 2:
60'
63'
65'
67'
67'
68'

Set 3:
58'
69'
70'
72'
75'
75'
78'

Average: 67.7'

I'm not exactly sure how I got 7 darts on the last round, unless I had one "in the chamber", already stuffed in the barrel when I loaded. Either that, or I found one from a few days ago that I had lost.

Taking off the 4" made a huge difference in low-end range. Charging and firing is easy: no downward shake is needed, just point down and prime.

Of course, the ultimate test will be how it responds in a war...
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#12 frost vectron

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 02:07 AM

I actually found out that the downward shake isn't needed either. I was pretty surprised when my friend just pointed it down and fired it reliably.

I think my stefans are shrinking or something because I've had a few shots fall out of my 17/32" brass barrel when I shook it downwards! I'm thinking of putting a tightening ring somewhere in the barrel to prevent that.

Glad you found the magic length for the in-line clip. ;)

Edited by frost vectron, 07 August 2007 - 02:09 AM.

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