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.545 caliber copper launcher (Now with damage video)

Built a pneumatic cannon? Then post it here! This section is for completed, finished cannons that you have built. Please include pictures and information.
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.545 caliber copper launcher (Now with damage video)

Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:17 pm

This launcher is my first attempt at making a reasonably large copper cannon. The result is very powerful, even at lower pressures such as 50psi. I generally fill it to 90 - 100psi using my air compressor, as my homemade high pressure pump requires a huge amount of pump strokes to bring the chamber to the same pressure. Construction of this launcher required about 1 hour of cutting, epoxying, positioning, and repositioning.

The breech loading system was added after test firing the launcher several times, and deciding that muzzle loading is too cumbersome. Building the breech required about 45 minutes of dremeling, epoxying, and searching for tools.

Chamber: 4' of 3/4" Type L copper pipe (0.787" x 48")
Barrel: 5' of 1/2" Type L copper pipe (0.545" x 60")
Valve: Piston valve designed for high flow
Piston: 3/4" wooden doweling w/a sealing face made from a piece of a rubber hose.
Pilot valve: Highly modded blowgun valve.
Loading: Sliding breech, sealed by 2 o-rings
Pipe bonding: Araldite Epoxy
Build cost: More than I want to think about.

Pictures

The whole launcher:

Image

The piston valve's housing, the pilot volume, and pilot valve:

Image

Breech port sealed:

Image

Breech port opened:

Image

Breech cover completely removed to reveal internal seals:

Image

Video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXAQs3ZWLws[/youtube]
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Last edited by SpudBlaster15 on Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: mopherman » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 pm

jesus dude! Am I the only one who cant pilot with a blowgun around here?
anyway, great cannon. i love copper guns
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:34 pm

This might seem obvious but why not fill with your compressor first then use your pump to top it up to higher pressures?
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:39 pm

Because it takes close to 100 pumps to raise the chamber pressure 100psi, and the launcher has plenty of power at lower pressures.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:44 pm

Ok, maybe not for regular use, but when you eventually post those damage videos, it might be worth the effort for a few exceptional shots.
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Unread postAuthor: wannabie » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:44 pm

Wow. Nice gun, it looks really long...

yeah sure it has power at lower pressures but just tihnk about how much power it would have at higher pressures :D lol
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Unread postAuthor: Novacastrian » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:34 am

Nice, thanx for the pic of your breech, i will use that method :D
Very nice job.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:08 am

Very nice indeed, your pilot volume is a tad big isn't it? How longs your piston?
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:15 am

MrCrowley wrote:How longs your piston?


and what is your primary ammo? Also, would you be so kind as to share the "piston valve designed for high flow?"
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Unread postAuthor: spud yeti » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:44 am

That copper must have cost a sh*t lot, but it looks like it was worth it :D
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really good quote/phrase here
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:27 am

Crowley: The piston is about 1" long. The pilot volume may be slightly on the large side, but with the modded blowgun, it doesn't matter.

Hubb: I usually shoot darts made with large nails, and arrows made from large nails and 1/4" wooden doweling. The arrows fly much more effectively, but also shatter on impact with hard targets.

The piston valve is designed for the highest flow possible with a T design, which basically means that the piston seat does not extend past the forward edge of the chamber port. Thus, flow is not restricted.

Yeti: The copper actually only cost about $20. The rest of the parts and the epoxy sure added up though.
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Unread postAuthor: mopherman » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:00 pm

SpudBlaster15 wrote:Crowley: The piston is about 1" long. The pilot volume may be slightly on the large side, but with the modded blowgun, it doesn't matter.


what mods did you do to the blowgun?
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:07 pm

The inlet hole was drilled out to a larger size, the piston shaft was reduced in diameter, the outlet holes were enlarged, and epoxy was added to the inside of the blowgun's lever to allow it to completely open the valve.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:21 pm

A video has been added to the first post.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:05 pm

Looking good, though it doesn't seem *that* powerful for its size, and I'm sure the breech loading area cuts down on performance - you really should up the pressure a bit :)

Nice touch with the Anthrax soundtrack tho hehe
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