My LARP group is in need of some serious firepower so it's time to
build a small line of functional and safe to use projectile weapons.
We like to use historical technology and military advancements as
an inspiration for our LARP efforts, so I digged deep into the history
of firearms and found some interesting facts about "airguns":
In 1607 a german gunsmith developed an airgun for military
purpose, the so called "Windbüchse" ("wind rifle"), which had some
revolutionary features, it was as powerful as a traditional firearm,
was not as loud and there is no muzzleflash or production of smoke.
That's a concept ideal for LARP, there's no need for pyro or sound
effects and it fits perfectly in our fictional world
(a blend of steampunk/medieval/16th-17th cent.).
So I visualized a quick 3d prototype...:
I decided to go classic and picked the smallest Nerf pistol available
(N-Strike Jolt EX-1) as the base system, the rest of the
pistol is built around it.
I ordered a pack of 2 Jolt's and bought some tubing, fake rivets,
plastic sheets etc.
After test firing the Jolt I noticed (despite being quite powerful for
its size) a neat "safety" feature...if you cock the pistol and press
the trigger, without a dart loaded, the compressed air is released
through a valve, accompanied with a low "zthhhudd" sound,
which has a cool "failing mechanism" quality to it...
Combined with the fact that the long outer barrel (nearly tripled
the orig. barrel length) has to be loaded with a loading rod
(you have to push the dart down a bit to disengange the safety
mentioned above) you have to get trough a quite realistic loading
procedure (inserting the dart, pushing it down with the loading rod,
cocking the system) in order to fire.
Here is the first finished proof of concept prototype:
(click for larger image)
More coming soon...