X-Stream Max Shot
X-Stream Max Shot Nested Brass Barrel:
When Lanard introduced this gun in early 2003, I didn't have very high hopes for it. Nerf has had many immitators in the past and most have been inexpensive, poorly-made knock-offs. As people (notably, Dan Wask) started reporting good results from these guns I decided to pick one up and see for myself. Out of the box it's fairly impressive. Nice smooth lever cocking action, decent air delivery, and solid construction. It got about 35' flat with the included missiles.
Opening the gun up was relatively simple. There was a screw under the plastic cap at the lever pivot point, and the orange barrel covering was glued on pretty heavily. Under the case I found a simple, solid design. My single beef was with the rearmost blue piece which acts as a safety, disabling the trigger unless the lever is all the way down. This is an important piece for safety reasons but significantly reduces the reliability of the gun since it needs to slide precisely into place or the trigger won't work at all.
Here's the spring-loaded lever that catches the plunger as it's pulled back. Interestingly, it can catch at many points along the plunger shaft, allowing for partial cocking. The white pieces feel like silicon-impregnated nylon - they seem extremely strong and durable.
The orange barrel cover is a bit rough to pry off. It has locking tabs inserted into both halves of the case and is glued heavily. Having removed it, I found that the white barrel under it extends about 3/4" into the plunger tube and is glued securely at the opening.
The plunger and spring are amazing. The plunger shaft runs all the way through to the top of the plunger and is fastened with a steel pin. The plunger head is a huge chunk of plastic with a deep groove running around it. The groove contains what appears to be a heavy silicon rubber band. The spring is very heavy gauge stainless - the kind of spring I'd be worried about putting in a Nerf gun because I'd be imagining the catch mechanism blowing out 5 shots later.
First I got rid of the fluff. The yellow dot in the picture is a piece of plastic I super glued in the trigger groove to keep the trigger from sliding back and disengaging the mechanism. After this small modification (and a similar change to the other half of the case) I was able to remove and discard the blue piece and spring seen above. *** If you do this, make sure your cocking lever is ALL THE WAY forward before firing or you might be brutally maimed by the lever smashing down on you as your gun disintegrates. ***
Next I pulled out the plunger tube and sawed off all but 1/8" of the white barrel. Holding the piston with barrel end down I sanded the inside of the barrel and carefully washed out the inside of the piston tube to remove all the plastic shavings and dust. I jammed a 2" section of 17/32" K&S brass (use one size smaller than your typical barrel size - the dart should fit very tightly in this section) about 3/4" into the barrel and ran a bead of hotglue around the joint to make it airtight.
I filed down the 4 plastic ribs on the end of the plunger tube until a 1/2" PVC coupler would fit flush against the conical front of the blue endcap and wrapped the white barrel and adjacent blue endcap in electrical tape until the coupler barely fit. Carefully straightning the coupler so that the brass was centered properly I ran another bead of hot glue around the coupler to secure it to the plunger tube.
A dremel made short work of the objecting portions of the case front. You want the PVC coupler to barely fit through so the case will help support your extended barrel.
An 8" piece of 9/16" K&S brass (one size up from the 2" piece - they have to be airtight) and a 5" piece of 1/2" PVC were secured with a layer or two of electrical tape at either end. You want the brass to extend about 1/8" beyond one end - adjust this to match the tolerances of your barrel stub/coupler arrangement.
Hot glue beads run around both ends. Isn't orange hot glue purty? I also sanded the ends of my two brass tubes round. You want the inner and outer lips of your 2" piece to both be rounded and the inner lip of your 8" piece to be rounded. Sanding these down a bit helps avoid tearing darts and makes it easier to get your barrel on and off quickly.
Done! I load darts by twisting them into the 2" constricted barrel stub and fitting the barrel extension over them. I test fired it level, holding the gun with both hands - the recoil tends to send darts a bit high. Average dart skip on concrete was approximately 3-5'. Here's the Modalizer screencap chock full of statistical analysis goodness.
|All images and content © Kevin Davis 2002, 2003 - Hail Eris! All hail Discordia!|