4.29.2011

Stocking

Ok, the cartridge holder is done and makes a great rifle stock! Though I'd like a bit longer and the cover is missing, whatever. Also did some more changes to the whole structure and the hammers/pins, so that you can also cock them in the new configuration. Out of an ideaful moment, I realized that due to the very simple chamber design, I'd be probably possible to extend the bullet length on demand while needing only a small amount of changes. It would only need some enlargements here and there and everything would be done. Even stock would require some smaller changes as I'm planned to make a rather bigger cover for it instead of the previously small version. However, I did a quick test and it seems that I can theoretically choose whatever bullet I want/is possible and it still works - hitting harder, flying farther. If that's not a good news! I mean what's the point of wasting power if there are no deep changes to the overall construction. I also think that it should be possible to make a generally lengthy chamber and add little pins depending on the desired bullet length to let the chamber itself adjust it's point where the bullet stops going it. That's quite a cool solution but probably not possible when thinking about the current chamber configuration in total... However, it's, in theory, it's only a matter of having a little L-beam preventingthe bullet from falling out of chamber, interpretable as a one stud long barrel. I set the current maximum size for a cartridge to 16 studs - using the longest possible as a base. Quite interesting is also the fact that I used no left/right stabilizing beams longer than the old cartridge. These are usually there to prevent the bullet from choosing the wrong direction, but on those levels of rubberband stretching, it simply doesn't need any. This knowledge will help me designing a bigger and even farther shooting cartridge some day. However, I have one finished cartridge lying in front of me and compared to the shorter version it looks like it's magnum version. 4 studs longer than before and shoots like hell. I may take a few reads about ballistics before I try to get more out of it. A single test resulted in a far more flat curve but even more aprupt loss in speed - a more straight fall after around 15 meters I think. All in all, it seems as far as I could get with the 4x4 cartridges - I assume, for rubber bands, it doesn't matter what weight it has at such short distances. Double the distance and I guess there'll be a difference. It's probably also possible to lengthen the cartridges even more, but that would hinder them from fitting into the cartridge holder. Also making them longer results in heavier cartridges, bigger guns and much more frustration-heavy prototyping. How can I improve the cartridge power and range without blowing up the size? Maybe by using different rubber band guidings, rolls and so on. I could remember the exact result of previous prototypes... But judging from how all cartridges looked in the end, this is probably totally useless. So that's what I know from the last time I experimented: adding constant stretching to the rubber band doesn't affect range. Thinking in terms of bows, I read about steel bows and their less powerful shot compared to more flexible bows. So it seems that only the stretch length matters for range. Hm, this would effectively make all tries to reduce to bullet length useless unless I can find a way to guide the bullet non-linear to save overall length...

Sounds logcal to me. To more you can speed up the bullet in one direction you won't loose any power due to redirection. And since it's accelerates longer than with a shorter stretching, there is of course more speed. I also doubt that another material will server better than rubber cause rubber is the only way to keep the Lego pieces together. If I'd use another material, it would bend the whole construction cause it requires more force to pull. Only a thicker rubber band may server better by increasing the pressure on most parts. But wait, that's where the trade-off comes in, right? Yep, I think that's it. But geez, fuck it with those rubber bands. You never get the shit you want cause they are made for completely different things, not for shooting bricks and so on.

So there it ends, fine. Damnit. I may find someone who can help me improving performance without simply expanding the cartridge length all the time.

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