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Airsoft Conversion

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Airsoft Conversion

Unread postAuthor: daccel » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:16 pm

Has anyone converted an airsoft gun to some other form of cannon (basically using the shell and replacing the internals with something more powerful like a piston valve and new barrel)?

I was looking at the m4/m16 because you could use the m203 as a cover for a co2 tank - this way the only thing that would appear different would be the front of the m203 blocked off and possibly a slightly larger barrel depending on what diameter you went with - though this could be disguised by attaching a silencer flush with the hand grip (term?). Also, possibly a long flash suppressor to hide a larger bore.

Does anyone have one that they could measure the round part of the upper receiver on? Google is not cooperating. Scaling up based on length in a picture, it looks to be about 1" on the inside? This would be the bottleneck, I think, because the valve couldn't be any bigger.

Ideally the safe/semi/auto switch would be functional, but after reading most of the posts on auto valves, the only way I can see this working is using pulsed electricity to a solenoid that triggers the sear on a HEAR type valve. And I don't know anything about electronics, though I think a distributor type device could be made simply and adjusted to work.

This would probably be a case of form over function, without using extreme pressures, but I think it has potential. I might try to pick up a cheap or broken gun in a few weeks and build a low pressure prototype, but any thoughts before I do that?
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Unread postAuthor: bluerussetboy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:34 am

just search for the user davaini or wait a little and he'll show up and talk your ear off about his conversions. :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: daccel » Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:28 am

I did look at his, unless I missed some, but I'm more interested in lower rate of fire around 10 rps, and larger caliber.

I thought I had read most of the posts on semi/auto designs, but then came across Clide's slider tonight - don't know how I missed that. Anyways, I think it could work well for this design, using a solenoid to move the slide valve, but would need some sort of switch that pulsed the electricity at the appropriate rate, and even better have the rate adjustable. Is a switch like that feasible to make or adapt from something else?

Attached is what I was thinking for layout.
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m4 auto slider overlay1.jpg
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Unread postAuthor: clide » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:52 pm

You could try looking for a 3-way solenoid valve instead of having a solenoid push a slide valve; it would probably be capable of cycling on and off faster.

I can't really help you with the electronics though, not my field of experience.

Do you have a plan for a loading mechanism? A solenoid like you planned on using for the slide valve might make a pretty good loading mechanism.
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Unread postAuthor: daccel » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:09 am

Yeah, I was looking on Mcmaster at all the solenoids, but the three way ones seem to all have lower pressure ratings than the two way's, and I would like to eventually run it off of unreg'd co2 to get enough performance out of the small components that the shell limits me to. Even the two way's may not fit. I'm also not sure that those small direct acting solenoid valves would have enough flow to pilot the piston properly?

It might help the cycling speed if I used several solenoids side by side to make sure there's enough force to open the slide valve. I think using custom parts like this will be easier to fit together in the limited space, without sacrificing the goal of not changing the outward appearance.

The electronics is doable, I'm sure, just have to spend some time researching it and asking on some electronics forums.

For the loading mechanism, I was originally going to use a blow forward bolt, but have been thinking about the solenoid idea like you mentioned. I want to be able to have projectiles that are the full length of the magazine (2-2.5"?), and with a low volume, high pressure chamber the blow forward bolt begins to affect performance with that much travel, because you have so much space between the valve and projectile.

Since I'm already using electronics, a solenoid could be a good way to fix this - just have it move a tube over the breech. However, most of the solenoids I was looking at had limited travel, so it may need several hooked up inline (core to case).
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