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My first cannon

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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My first cannon

Unread postAuthor: Corrupted355 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:25 am

This is my first attempt at building any type of cannon. I decided that I wanted one after seeing what they could do at a paintball Scenario game. So one of my paintball teammates and I built two mechanically identical pneumatic cannons. Mine has seen three different iterations, but the final result has the following specs:

stacked barrel/chamber
100 psi operation
78 cubic inch compression chamber
electronically actuated 3/4" sprinkler valve
27" bolt action, breech loading barrel
Electric safety and 125 psi pop-off valve
Delta 68 (paintball pistol) custom drilled grip
Kohler bottle-mounted air tool regulator
shoots 2" foam JCS F-69 rockets (easily reaches 300 ft with relative accuracy)
~180 fps muzzle velocity

We went with the 3/4" valve and electric solenoid because we didn't want the valve opening too fast. We found that if the valve opens too fast, the rocket's flight is unstable because it's accelerated too quickly. We had better results with slower acceleration down a longer barrel. The rocket would fly straighter with less wobble, and as a result was more accurate and achieved much greater distances at the same pressure. After seeing what it can do and the feeling I get every time I shoot it, I named mine the Lovemaker. At the Godfather of Paintball scenario game in North Florida, we were out shooting the $425 JCS MKX with ease.

This is the twins right after we finished constructing them. The second picture shows the breech loading barrel. This version involved the use of an on-gun regulation system that hooked directly to a standard paintball bottle/remote. The reg system included a mini paintball spec regulator that is CO2 compatible, plus a standard air compressor regulator.
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This is the second iteration. It retains the integrated regulators, but moves some things around, and includes camouflage paint and the Delta 68 grip. Also, there is a size comparison between the launcher and my Tippmann A-5 paintball gun, which is roughly the size of an MP-5. These pictures were taken after an unfortunate encounter with incoming fire, a paint-slicked concrete floor, and basement staircase. If I hadn't broken it, I don't think I would have needed a third version.
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And this is the current version. During the staircase encounter, I broke both the barrel and the compression chamber. During the reconstruction, I discovered that the fittings I had used were drain fittings rather than pressure fittings. The new chamber features pressure fittings, as well as eliminating the on-gun regulation in favor of the remote Kohler reg. I also realized that camouflage is useless because it's impossible to shoot through trees. So since it's always got to be out in the open when it's in use, I scrapped the camo paint for something cooler.
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Anyway, thanks for lookin. All comments and suggestions are welcome.
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Last edited by Corrupted355 on Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:52 am

I named mine the Lovemaker


Because anyone who gets hit is f***ed?

:D

Nice and neat, especially for a first cannon, kudos :)
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:19 am

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:
I named mine the Lovemaker


Because anyone who gets hit is f***ed?


Proper f***ed?

:D


Yes very nice, I like the camo the most but the grey does look cool, don't think i've seen a grey painted PVC cannon. :)
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:33 am

Very clean and well constructed cannon you have there.

Its also nice to see a new member that can speak/type coherent English. Welcome to Spudfiles.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:37 am

MrCrowley wrote:Proper f***ed?


before ZE GERMANS get there

:D

Depends on the launch angle and impact area ;)
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Unread postAuthor: LikimysCrotchus5 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:30 am

Very nice i really like it but i gotta go....to school.

Yea my school starts at 7:20 AM, way to early :?
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Unread postAuthor: BigGrib » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:36 am

MrCrowley wrote:Proper f***ed?


Yeah Tommy, Proper F***ed.
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Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:31 pm

Very, very nice. the bolt actions are very nice and built very clean.
Excellent job. So do you f*ck a lot of people with that lovemaker of you?
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Unread postAuthor: Corrupted355 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:19 am

The first time I took it to a scenario game, it won me Most Valuable Demolition. So I'd have to say that it is indeed very good at making arseholes sore.
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:04 am

Looks good. I would agree on your choice of valve for a paintball launcher. I made a small rocket barrel for my sprinkler valved cannon, 1" valved modified with a blowgun pilot, and anything over 30 PSIG could seriously hurt someone. One shot at 100 PSIG ripped the fins off and sent what was left about 100 yards before it spun out of control and dive bombed into the ground.

My friend uses his cannon to shoot paintball grenades. 3" barrel. It's way to powerful to shoot at people, but we like shooting them at trees and whatnot. That might be a good idea for your next project. :wink: They DO need a sabot to launch without breaking.
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Unread postAuthor: Corrupted355 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:46 am

Man, that'd be a great idea. Have a tiny little grenade launcher, maybe powered by a 12 gram cartridge and a piston valve. Maybe coaxial. It'd be perfect for those big scenario games where you need to really huck one a good distance. I'd have to buy a couple F-bombs to find out what size I should make a barrel, but I bet it would be sweet.

BTW, you're not a nice person. Never implant an idea in an engineer's head. It's gonna sit in there and brew until either the engineer's head a-splodes, or he builds something powerful enough to take out half his garage. I'm already trying very hard not to build the 6-shooter, auto reloading, revolver-style foam rocket launcher that I've got stuck up here.
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Unread postAuthor: goathunter » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:10 pm

FYI: You will probably have trouble with that PVC chamber.I'm half surprised they let you into a MOUT game with it.I know things in the SC/NC/TN region have gotten increasingly hostile to PVC chambers. And not to mention they've also spoiled the fun of shooting full sized grenades."Scepter size or nothing", these days. Even at that they give me a load of grief shooting 2 oz. grenades at less than 180 fps.

Just some stuff to keep in mind for later projects.


Oh, I almost forgot to congratulate you on a very well done launcher.I will admit the second version is my favorite.I'm a sucker for camo
:D
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Unread postAuthor: Corrupted355 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:00 pm

goathunter wrote:FYI: You will probably have trouble with that PVC chamber.I'm half surprised they let you into a MOUT game with it.I know things in the SC/NC/TN region have gotten increasingly hostile to PVC chambers. And not to mention they've also spoiled the fun of shooting full sized grenades."Scepter size or nothing", these days. Even at that they give me a load of grief shooting 2 oz. grenades at less than 180 fps.


Really? Huh...

There was hardly even an inspection before I was able to go use it at the Blanding MOUNT (north FL). Prettymuch the only thing that they were concerned about is whether I had a pop-off. In fact, if we hadn't gone looking for someone to inspect them, I doubt anyone would have given us a second look other than to say "hey, cool... he's got a launcher".

Originally we wanted to build the chamber out of aluminum, but the cost was prohibitive for something that we weren't certain was going to work. As it is, we're running at less than half of the working pressure, and about 11% of the burst pressure. I'm not too worried about blowing it up. Hell, I was unknowingly using drain fittings (not pressure rated), and it was holding up great until I dropped it with 230 lbs of force from about ten feet up onto a concrete floor. Yes, I fell on it. Down a staircase. Even still, it was the drain fitting that broke, not the pipe.

There was actually a pretty decent debate on whether we should rebuild it with something stronger, so we did some testing to see what actual pressure fittings could take. We built a test pressure chamber with the right type of fittings out of sch-40, then pressurized it to 200 psi (our max pressure is 100 psi) and left it for two days. After that, we dropped the pressure to 150 psi, took it out to the middle of nowhere, and performed some drop tests. I'm not sure exactly how high it fell from, but it fell repeatedly from higher than ten feet onto asphalt with a different landing point each time. It never burst. I was satisfied, so I built an identical chamber, which is the one pictured on the gray/flame version.

But I do appreciate the heads up. There is a game in SC that I want to take it to in July, and knowing ahead of time that they might give me trouble is good to know. When the game gets closer, I'll send the promoter an email and see what their requirements are.

That sucks about the grenades. You should remind them that any baseball pitcher from highschool on is subject to getting hit with a solid 5 oz object traveling at as much as 130 mph (~ 190 fps), and they're only allowed to stand 60 ft away.
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Unread postAuthor: Pilgrimman » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:24 pm

I'm very impressed! I wish there was any decent paintball fields around me so I could learn to play! You did a great job with those launchers, and it looks as if you actually give a hoot about safety, too, which is sadly lacking these days. VERY WELL DONE! I'd totally build a paintball gun, but I have nowhere to use it! :cry:
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Unread postAuthor: STHORNE » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:01 pm

nice gun!!! especially for your first cannon... my first cannon turned out like crap compared to yours.. job well done!

i know you said you use it for paintballing but have you tried any other means of ammunition besides paintballs.. like maybe marbles, or gumballs??

--sthorne
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