How difficult is it to build... : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

How difficult is it to build a cyclic firing mechanism?

We all saw plenty of single-shot cannons on Junkyard Wars like the Chemical Bros. vs. Brothers in Arms guns, Rusty Juveniles vs. Young Guns air cannon and Trebuchets..

So... Does anyone here know how difficult it would be to make a cyclic firing device that can hurl not just one object at a time, but many in a burst? Can it be done as a challenge?

The proposed challenge:

Build a "machine gun" that shoots tennis balls wet with paint. Whoever scores the most hits on a 3-meter-square target at 50 yards on the firing range wins. Gun can be powered by any means-- HP air, mechanical hurling arm, roller wheels (like the baseball-throwing devices we use for batting practice here in the U.S.), or even explosive propellent (cordite or powder).

Will this work?

-- Thomas (, January 15, 2001


The only real problem I see is the wet paint, there are any number of ways to build a rapid fire device.


-- JustJay-Captain-Three Rusty Juveniles (, January 15, 2001.

Heya JustJay,

Yessir, I threw the wet-paint tennis balls in there as a way to mark hits.. A friend of mine who was in the Air Force told me that fighter pilots practiced aerial gunnery by shooting paint bullets at a target banner being towed by another aircraft.

When you say "problem," do you mean "it can't be done and shame on you Thomas for even mentioning such a daft idea" or "it will be a good challenge to take on?" :-)


-- Thomas (, January 15, 2001.

Anything you can dream up can be done, it's just that paint has a way of gumming up the works. I for one don't want to get that messy. Well, we could apply the paint at the end of the barrel, as I think about it it wouldn't be so bad after all. That first impression thing and just seeing paint flying all over everything. I can visuallize at least 5 different ways to accomplish the task.


-- JustJay-Captain-Three Rusty Juveniles (, January 15, 2001.

Just put paint on the target, that way when the tennis ball will hit, it makes a mark.

-- Doug Wenz (, January 15, 2001.

Paintball sports use paint grenades. wouldn't that make a decent projectile for the rapid fire cannon

-- Stephen A. Binion (, January 15, 2001.

---- Paintball sports use paint grenades. wouldn't that make a decent projectile for the rapid fire cannon?-------------

I believe the problem should come that if the machine hits the paintballs too hard, those will broke or even explode inside the cannon, making a bigger mess than the "Chaos Crew" participation.

-- Nachoman (, January 15, 2001.

How about nice fuzzy tennis balls covered in colored chalk dust? The chalk would even help slide them down a barrel (if any).

To give two variants of this one machine could use compressed air and a barrel and the other could use a flinging arm (like a skeet launcher). Rather than focusing on rapid firing, I would suggest something like the best score out of 10 shots fired in less than a minute. This would allow the team with the flinging arm to load it manually.

-- Rick Tyler (, January 16, 2001.

Semi-Automatic would be easy to make the air cannon. As for fully automatic thats a lot harder. The cycle rate would need to be low, and thats hard to get perfect, espescially cause they only get a few practices. Even with a paintball gun these pefectly fitted pieces break the ball very easily if its not just right.

-- Doug Wenz (, January 16, 2001.

Is it possible to design a cyclic self-loading flinging-arm device?

I think the autoloading requirement would be the heart of the challenge.. =)

I'm sure the All-England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon can use a Gatling-type rotary tennis ball launcher for practicing rapid-fire serve returns LOL..


-- Thomas (, January 16, 2001.

Full auto air cannon would force tennis ball against orfice slightly undersized air pressure would build up and force it out. Just like the BB Machine Guns they used to sell. The magazine would be a pipe under pressure gravity would drop ball to orfice again and again.

-- Stephen A. Binion (, January 16, 2001.

why no just through the ball as hard as you can at the target. that would work and u wouldnt be as hard to build

-- flame boy (, January 17, 2001.

Thatr wouldn't be the scrapheap way. Wait a minute aren't you one of the Brother in Arms?

-- Stephen A. Binion (, January 17, 2001.

Rhetorical answer for Flame Boy?

"Why climb a mountain?"

"Because it's there!"

'nuff said.. =)

-- Thomas (, January 18, 2001.

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