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air cannon newbie

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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air cannon newbie

Unread postAuthor: Nertzor » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:40 pm

ok guys, i realize this gets asked probably a million times a day. But I have tried combustion cannons, and had a blast. (literally, blew out the screw cap on the back end) lulz were had and most of my cannons have been packed up for so long i wouldn't trust firing them.

flash forward to now, i picked up a cheapy little compressor on black friday. and i would like to build a air cannon instead. partially because they are legal here, whereas combustion cannons are not.

does anyone have information on, or plans to a simple air cannon with a good price performance ratio? that could match or exceed my combustion cannons 125-150 yards?

that is, ya know for noobs? i don't want to blow myself up until I know what im doing
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Unread postAuthor: acs2997 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:00 am

If I were you, I would start off with a ball valve launcher. Real simple, maybe a 2 or 3 inch pvc air tank 2 ft long or so, and any barrel of your choice (just make sure it's the same size or smaller than the valve you use)

My first pneumatic was a ball valve launcher, and i was able to send an arrow through a plasic bucket, a door, and 6 inches into an electical outlet. yeah my dad was pissed. since then i've learned enough about pneumatics to build a piston valve launcher which was significantly more difficult.

okay enough about me. whatever you choice to do, hope you have fun!

P.S. when you're new to pneumatics, you're a pneub, not a noob
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Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:40 am

As far as large bore cannons go, a well made combustion (advanced) is really the way to go if price and range are your main concerns. This is because larger valves get very pricey and high pressure requires expensive metal parts. But you could easily make a very powerful and cheap launcher if you use a burst disk for your main valve. Reloading is a pain, but you'll get great performance for very little cost.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:00 am

What's your budget?

What are you trying to shoot?

'Cause much depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Also, "expensive" to one person may be "no big deal" to another. That said, I'd suggest using one of the 3/4" QEV valves from McMaster-Carr (~$30) as the basis of a simple (read: easy to build) pneumatic that will provide enough power to be a lot of fun while being of robust (read: metal) construction.

But then, to me $50 for the whole gun counts as inexpensive (while it may not for others).
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Unread postAuthor: Nertzor » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:26 am

lets say 50 bucks is my aim, golf ball size ammo roughly. My meanest combustion cannon had a 1.5' breech loading barrel and it had twice the range of my other guns. just wasnt half as loud or menacing looking lol.

now that was still too small for a golf ball, but it was pretty close. Id start there
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Unread postAuthor: acs2997 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:03 pm

If you searched for good deals, you could probably find a solenoid online for under $20. those are easy to modify (hundreds of videos on youtube as well as posts here).

Also, golfballs fit perfectly in 1.5 in. sdr-21 or at least so i've heard. only probably, here in new england, i haven't had too much luck finding it in stores, and online, it's very cheap, but for a length 5 feet or longer, theres insane shipping charges
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