The Nuker II
The saga continues... After completing the Nuker, I soon came to realize that it had one fatal flaw - it was too loud! I was fine with it, but I live in a residential area and the police have little to no sense of humor when I break this thing out at the local park. They tended to think I was trying to take down a Jet Liner or something. So began my quest to make a less intimidating, quieter model that still packed plenty of punch. So, the Nuker II was born. I had messed around with a few pneumatic designs in the past and had a great deal of luck, but now I had to build it on a grander scale.
Front View Side View
This little monster has:
Perfectly calculated 4:1 chamber to barrel ratio for maximum velocity without waste.
Dual fully synchronized dump valves
Hand operated launch button
Interchangeable barrels for both tennis balls and potatoes
Overfill pressure release safety system
Fully rifled acrylic spud barrel for incredible accuracy at great distances. (End is sharpened so potato forms into perfect spud missile)
This launcher will blast an ordinary tennis ball a few hundred yards. A large potato can achieve altitudes in excess of 1/2 a mile. A tennis ball full of pennies (for weight) will pass through multiple sheets of 3/4" plywood at 100 feet.
This is how she works: (I'll use a potato as an example)
#1 Take un unpeeled potato and push it into the barrel.
#2 Using ram rod, ram the potato to the bottom of the barrel
#3 Using a portable air compressor, fill the pressure chambers to 100 PSI of air pressure
#4 Aim and fire by depressing the hand held chamber release trigger and POP!!
#5 Grab your binoculars, because you will need them to find the spud in the sky. Count on a 20 - 30 second hang time.
The Shrader valve is where you hook up the compressor. The bummer about this unit is that it takes a minute or two to fill it. There are faster ways to fill it using a regulated CO2 canister, but that gets a little pricey. I don't mind the wait too much. There are larger scale dump valves available that can be synchronized just like these, but they are really loud. REALLY LOUD. For me, this defeated the purpose. These modified 1 inch sprinkler valves pack one hell of a punch when set up properly.
If you look at the "Side View" picture above, you will see that the sides are made up of two adjoining pressure chambers. So essentially, while the appearance is of four chambers surrounding the barrel, it is actually only two. The two pressure chambers are equalized with a connecting tube at the top of the chamber caps. It is essential that the pressure be equal when released by the dump valves. There is a 125 PSI blow off valve in case someone falls asleep while filling the chambers. The good news is that the PVC is rated for 400 PSI. The bad news is that if it were overfilled, PVC will shatter into very sharp pieces of flying shrapnel. People have been badly injured using these things, so safety is VERY important. I also included a Chamber Pressure Release Valve. This is there in the event you load a projectile, fill the chambers with air and for some reason it does not fire. Now what? Would you want to put that in the trunk of your car? This way you can gently decompress the chamber before troubleshooting. I have never had a valve malfunction, but it would really suck if I did.
The next thing is the interchangeable barrels. This was very high on my list of priorities in this design. I have a standard tennis ball barrel and a potato barrel. Tennis balls are great for the kids, dog, or whatever. The only problem is that due to density and fuzz, there is a limit to how fast and how far a tennis ball will travel. The other barrel is the potato barrel. This is the one shown in the photos. This barrel was purchased from Spudtech.com Joel Suprise over at Spudtech actually has a rifling machine that puts perfect rifling grooves into a PVC barrel. The result is a a potato that comes out of the barrel spinning like drill bit. The accuracy is just remarkable. Added bonus: the barrel is acrylic PVC allowing you to see the doomed spud in the bottom of the barrel just before take off. The last feature is the hand held trigger. This allows you to aim the gun, stand next to it and fire when ready. I love this feature.
Suggested Usage - With this type of launcher, there is very little you need to worry about in terms of safety. Of course, this is for adult use only. If someone was to be shot with a spud from any reasonable distance, they are going to require medical attention. This thing can be deadly. Now with that being said, it is a safe thing to play around with in an open field with a bunch of kids. What I like to do is bring it to the park when we have big family cookouts. I stuff six tennis balls down the barrel and get six kids with baseball mitts. I give them a good 10 second lead to start running and then I blast the tennis balls high into the sky. I tell them that they can't come back until they recover all six balls. While they are running around, I casually load this bad boy up with more balls, fill up the chamber and crack open a cold one. I repeat this process all day. There is never a shortage of kids chasing balls or dads that want to fire the thing. When dinner time comes around, the kids are completely worn out and I'm the hero for doing it. Nice!
NOTE: There are no blueprints or build sheets available for this gun. I just designed it as I built it. I simply kept improving it over the coarse of a few months. I have no parts lists for it. The truth is I don't think I could build an exact replica if I wanted to. I sold this launcher to a gentleman this last Christmas, so it is only a memory for me as well.
You can see the original "Nuker" by clicking here
Any Questions? Go to http://www.spudfiles.com/