WBL rifle (possible mini)

Water blaster concepts and dream designs for water guns and related equipment.
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Jawley
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WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby Jawley » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:42 am

Sorry for posting a lot, but I have had a lot of ideas lately.

Recently there has been an idea for WBLs in which there is a launching sled instead of a sabot. I believe this would be useful if the sled was in a pipe where there are two grooves. The launching sled (Essentially a cup) would have two bolts coming out of the side which would be inside the grooves to guide the cup. However, if the grooves were helical, the cup would spin and launch the balloon in a spinning motion. Rifling wouldn't be useful just for aerodynamics, though. Using rifling might be able to allow mini WBLs because instead of needing a lot of force to pop a balloon filled with little water, the spinning would make the balloon first contact the target, then twist and pop without needing as much force or needing to tie the balloon extremely tight.

Like this: (this half twists friction keeps this part of the balloon still){target}
^contact


Sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I'm a little distracted right now.

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DX
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby DX » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:28 am

Rifling only works with solid projectiles that benefit from centripetal force. Water balloons are both fragile and not solid, rifling could cause huge losses in accuracy, range, and survivability. They should be treated as trying to shoot water itself. You can see what happens to spinning water when you shoot a Helix - that is what happens inside a balloon as well. The water wants to travel side-to-side, not forward, and thus performance is gutted.
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Jawley
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby Jawley » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:43 am

Hm. I was thinking that the best water balloons that could benefit from rifling would be mini WBLs, since if you filled a standard WB with less water it would be stronger and harder to pop and also more bullet-shaped. I was hoping rifling could make these "mini" water balloons more fragile and allow them to pop with less force. I never really intended the rifling to work with larger balloons, since I am trying to work on an emergency underbarrel WBL which would allow the user of a large primary to instantly fire out a balloon when they exhaust their ammunition.

Thinking about it now, there was a topic some while ago on water balloons that exploded on timer. By firing a standard water balloon from a rifled launcher, the water inside the balloon trying to get out due to centrifugal force might make a sort of timer where the balloon explodes in mid air with the water flying out. This might allow harmless timer balloons without anything attached.

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soakinader
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby soakinader » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:03 pm

I think that the rifling concept is complicated and unlikely to work. You try precision-cutting that helical groove into some PVC or something. Let us know how it goes.

However, an elastic/spring powered WBL using a launch sled (like a crossbow) is a potential candidate. Faster loading and no sabots required. It's something I've thought about before.
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby HBWW » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:31 pm

It's always interesting when people talk about rifling, while more or less disregarding the most basic of problems we're facing with WBL's. We don't even have a WBL that's remotely close to being usably practical for wars (by that, I mean being able to have wars with just WBL's; it wouldn't happen), and people are talking about something well established as useless for projectiles as slow, large, and weak as water balloons. There's a reason you don't see any rifling in Nerf, paintball, and airsoft (at least from anyone half-serious about the respective hobbies): it doesn't work at that scale.

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Jawley
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby Jawley » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:08 pm

Again, the only reason I have ever considered rifling is due to the problem of mini WBLs. The most significant problem with mini WBLs IMO is making mini water balloons. My first thought would be to twist the water balloon to the point where the balloon is stretched so it will pop even with a quarter of the water it would normally be filled with. However, I tried that and it predictably proved difficult and time consuming. So, I turned to spinning the projectile so that when it hits the target it would twist on impact and explode without having to use alternative WBs or having to tie the WB super short (which would probably be done anyway).

I never intended the rifling to increase the range or velocity of the water balloon- I only wanted it to increase the chance of the water balloon popping so more compact WBLs and water balloons could be made.

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DX
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby DX » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:34 pm

WBLs have kind of a catch-22 about water balloon strength - if the balloon is too strong, it won't pop, but if the balloon is too weak, it won't survive the launch. Additionally, the balloon needs to contain enough water and surface area to threaten the target - a really small balloon has higher chances of missing simply due to being small.
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the oncoming storm
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby the oncoming storm » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:41 am

If you want to put a spin on a water balloon just throw it by hand, rifling doesn't work on WBL's because of the low quality seal between the sabot (a pringles can) and the barrel.
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Jawley
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby Jawley » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:50 am

@the oncoming storm

First, there was going to be a launching sled, not a pringles can or sabot. I think I characterized the barrel wrong; instead of grooves I meant more like slits with a bolt in them, much like modern automatic weapons. The launching sled would have bolts that would engage the 2 slits, and if the slits were helical, it would make the launch cup spin and therefore the balloon as well. Also, if the spin increases the chance of the balloon popping, then a lower, quicker reload propulsion could be used, such as a powerful spring. This would make a mini underbarrel WBL possible since it would have relatively fast reload and a quick trigger. As a guideline, I'm not as worried about battle practicality than I am about the mechanical concept and if it works.

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the oncoming storm
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby the oncoming storm » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:12 pm

Ok, I now understand what you mean, but don't forget that by using a captive "sled" you will reduce your effective barrel length by the same amount as the sled's length.
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby HBWW » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:58 pm

Spring-powered WBL's have been discussed, but it's generally agreed upon that they lack sufficient power to launch even the smaller water balloons, at least any of a useful size. Or rather, a spring and plunger system would have to be so large and powerful as to be impractical to prime and use.

Trying to add spin also doesn't seem to be a good method of making the balloon pop on impact. It's much easier to control for other factors, such as the balloon type, where the knot is on the balloon, and the velocity of the launch. Well, it's not so easy trying to control the velocity, but if there's concerns about a launched water balloon breaking on impact, then the launcher probably isn't all that useful. (i.e. Sufficiently powerful.)

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Jawley
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby Jawley » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:50 am

Honestly, this is probably going to sound dumb.

When I used to take out the springs found in click pens, I found it was easy to just stick them inside each other. I'm pretty sure we could do the same thing and get for example 3 springs inside one spring and if that is enough to pop the balloon without rifling, make some sort of ratchet system to pull the sled back and then release it without using sheer arm force.

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the oncoming storm
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby the oncoming storm » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:33 am

It would be neat to see a spring powered WBL, however in order to get the kind of ranges that would make it useful the overall power of the springs would be around 120lbs for a 2' barrel and doubled even more for a 1' one. At that point forget bursting on impact it probably won't survive launch.
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HBWW
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby HBWW » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:31 am

Merging springs seems to be a not-so-uncommon technique for Nerf blasters, but the generally agreed upon solution is to simply use a stronger spring. Springs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; we have everything from pen springs to car suspension springs. Raw power itself isn't the problem. The problem is priming it as well as providing sufficient structural support to contain the spring and hold it back. At that point, pneumatics are definitely a superior solution for the purpose.

Nobody's shooting down your ability to experiment and try things out though. We bring up these issues to spare the hassle of finding out for yourself. WBL's are at a tricky time for water wars, and no one has been able to make them very useful so far. The only promising developments I can see with them are:
- Use HPA (High Pressure Air; 3000 PSI + regulator like in paintball) or other quick-pressurizing solution. (Very low LPA (125 PSI) may also work; it's heavier but costs far less money/resources to power up.)
- Use a new loading mechanism other than muzzle loading. That one-shot-at-a-time deal isn't going to help us that much. Unfortunately, there are concerns with legal technicalities and misinterpretations with this that some of us are not willing to try to work around. (In a nutshell, law enforcement can deliberately misinterpret the purpose of a WBL and treat it as a "destructive device". Muzzle loading is not subject to these technicalities.)

Perhaps multi-shot loading may be a way out. Having multiple balloons fan out from one launch could be a remedy from this, but it hasn't seemed very promising so far.

Water balloons need to be of sufficient size to count as a hit. The smallest balloon launchers tend not to be powerful enough to give the range needed for such a projectile. A large barrel is important here because water balloons can't accelerate too quickly, or they'll break.

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the oncoming storm
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Re: WBL rifle (possible mini)

Postby the oncoming storm » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:27 am

Sorry to pull this thread off the topic of mini WBL's, if you have lots of time to practice a sling can be a very effective tool for chucking water balloons (golf ball sized works best according to slinging.org) and if you are skilled you can impart a spin.
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