My Water Balloon Mortar and future cannons

Build a homemade water gun or water balloon launcher and tell us about it.
guerrilla91
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My Water Balloon Mortar and future cannons

Post by guerrilla91 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:15 am

I have a waterballoon mortar, which is a WBL used in the indirect fire role. It has a 1' 6" chamber and a 1' 6" barrel. The chamber and barrel are both 2" pipe. It uses a modified solenoid valve, and is set up in the over-under fashion. That means that the chamber is underneath the barrel, rather than being in a straight line. it has a schrader valve, pressure gauge, and quick-disconnect setup so I can hook it up directly to my compressor. Im estimating it shoots 100-150 yds. its very handy and portable, and has a fast ROF.

Now for my future launchers. Right now I have all the pieces for a monster cannon, which uses a spudtech Supah-valve plus. It has two interchangeable barrels, a four foot 2.5" barrel and a four foot 2" rifled barrel. It too is in the over-under configuration, and has a 3 foot by 4" wide pressure chamber. It will have the standard pressure gauge, schrader valve, and quick disconnect setup. I have all the pieces, and just need to get around to making it. This is one that I may not use during fighting, and certainly will never use it in the direct fire role.

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Drenchenator
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Post by Drenchenator » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:36 am

Good job. Sprinkler valves are just about the best choice for a firing valve. Do you have any pictures of this gun?

Im estimating it shoots 100-150 yds. its very handy and portable, and has a fast ROF.

I'm sorry if this sounds pessimistic, but I doubt that many water balloon launches can shoot past 350 to 400 feet. It would be better if people would provide actual statistics. People should instead shoot their guns 5 times and average the ranges together to get a real range estimate. Though shooting a water balloon 400 or so feet is possible, I still find it unlikely and definitely unusable unless accuracy was increased (and safety as well).
The Drenchenator, also known as Lt. Col. Drench.

guerrilla91
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Post by guerrilla91 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:49 am

Your probably right. It was just a quick estimate. Tomorrow I will take it out for a true range test. Im also considering adding a Spudtech rifled barrel, like I have on my monster cannon.

Heres a link showing how much more accurate the rifled barrels are. While this is with a combustion cannon and with potatos, it is still impressive.

http://www.burntlatke.com/rifle.html

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joannaardway
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Post by joannaardway » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:48 am

I had a rant about this yesterday.

Do not rifle a wbl. It will register your launcher useless, as it will rip balloons to shreds, with no effect on projectile stability. Water will not get spun up. Liquid core projectiles cannot be successfully fired down a rifled barrel for the correct effect.

It will reduce range as air escapes around through the rifling, and probably reduce accuracy too as it drags the edges of the balloon.

Accuracy can only be achieved with a long barrel, a valve which doesn't affect aim when triggered, and possibly venting, although that might damage the balloon as well. Besides, most launchers are more than accurate enough to begin with.

High ranges are achievable. The Douchenator is quoted as firing 500 feet with a 300 foot effective range. I don't know how true this is, but what reason is there to lie?

Cerberus will be able to fire 700-800 feet with a similar 300-350 foot effective range - it needs level tragectory, and won't be high on splash damage - it needs more or less direct hits. This range is still only estimated, but my ballistics calculator is more than sufficent for accuracy.

Cerberus is going to have a 2.5 to 3 foot barrel, and a valve much much better than a super valve - plus or not. It's a home made valve closer to the mega valve he proposes to sell.

As an aside, I have feedback that says that the rifled barrel is rather poor. (not my analysis)

Myself, my analysis is: At the ranges burntlatke quote, I can get better grouping with worse projectiles, a lower powered launcher and handheld rather than on stands. Sorry, but the rifling is not gonna help.
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DX
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Post by DX » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:24 pm

High ranges are achievable. The Douchenator is quoted as firing 500 feet with a 300 foot effective range. I don't know how true this is, but what reason is there to lie?


500 is an estimate, with 300 concrete as effective range. Anything more than 300, while can be done, is pointless. And, of course, ranges vary with the type of object being fired. We shot a lacrosse ball over 1000 ft and way out of sight view. Water balloons are less aerodynamic and travel much shorter distances. The original calculation of 800 got cut down significantly due to air resistance.

A smooth barrel is much better than a rifled one. With rifling, if the balloon doesn't pop outright, the sabot will not catch enough of the air and the range will be cut.
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joannaardway
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Post by joannaardway » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:46 pm

My predictor accounts for air resistance. Any 800 foot range shots would just be for show, as I would have no reason to fire the balloon like that in battle.

Simple sum for newcomers:

Rifling + wbl = bad news
"Over the hills and far away, she prays he will return one day. As sure as the rivers reach the seas, back in his arms again she'll be." - Over the Hills and far away, Gary Moore

"So many people have come and gone, their faces fade as the years go by. Yet I still recall as I wander on, as clear as the sun in the summer sky" - More than a feeling, Boston

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insanitys_engineer
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Post by insanitys_engineer » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:17 am

joannaardway wrote:My predictor accounts for air resistance. Any 800 foot range shots would just be for show, as I would have no reason to fire the balloon like that in battle.


I'm sure I could *evil grin*. I've always wanted to have battles in a place called knole park: its massively open with wooded areas. It would rock for a 15 aside water war (capture the flag would be a good format). 800 ft sounds useful!
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Silence
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Post by Silence » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:46 am

Well, if I ever do decide I need a WBL (or two) for my ever-growing arsenal, I'll definitely go for the battle-practical type. It will probably be small, along the lines of a Douchenator, but with a slightly more quickly opening and closing valve for greater on-field efficiency. Also, it will have interchangeable barrels--that is, barrels of varying widths that can be screwed on. Why shoot a (what I believe to be) tiny water balloon 400 yards, probably out of the line of sight in a closed battlefield, when you can shoot a larger, 4" water balloon 27/64 the distance--and the approximately 170 feet with a larger projectile will probably be more effective for my more artillery-style use.

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DX
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Post by DX » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:07 am

All launchers with metal ball valves have interchangable barrels by default; metal ball valves tend to be threaded. Make sure your solenoid or sprinkler valve has threads!
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guerrilla91
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Post by guerrilla91 » Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:27 am

I think what Silentguy is looking for is basically what my mortar is, minus the interchangeable barrels. Mine is portable, has a good ROF, and is used in the artillery fashion.

I would also highly recommend modifying your sprinkler valve to make it open faster. It is quite easy, and here is a link to how to do it.

http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=305&

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joannaardway
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Post by joannaardway » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:35 pm

Cerberus' bore will be about 1.5" - rather small - so it's direct hit or nothing. Splash damage is not an option. Thus firing 800 feet will be useless - I will have next to zero chance of hitting.

Pegasus however, is going to be a higher bore launcher, so splash damage will be major - longer "lobbing" ranges are practical here - if I hit with in a few feet of them, I will probably hit them, or at least seriously scare them.
"Over the hills and far away, she prays he will return one day. As sure as the rivers reach the seas, back in his arms again she'll be." - Over the Hills and far away, Gary Moore

"So many people have come and gone, their faces fade as the years go by. Yet I still recall as I wander on, as clear as the sun in the summer sky" - More than a feeling, Boston

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Silence
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Post by Silence » Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:02 pm

Yep, I'm thinking of a design almost identical to guerrilla91's (part of why I posted in this thread). Actually, the more I look at his first post in this thread, the more I like his design. I will certainly allow for a larger barrel, but I might have to slightly change the proportions--namely, giving it a longer barrel, and if the entire thing is going to be longer due to the barrel (it's got a ton of space to spare, which is something I like), then the PC can also be increased. I'm thinking about a 1.5- or 2-foot long over-under design, but with at least a 3" bore for both parts. Sure, it might be harder to get up the pressure, but it will be an practical artillery-type design like guerilla91's, and it could also be used with MS (big PC, fast valve).

Hmm...now I'm really interested in WBLs.

guerrilla91
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Post by guerrilla91 » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:11 pm

For three inch pipe, go with two feet, as it will be more accurate. That will still only make the launcher around 2' 6" long. I love the over under design myself, as it allows you to have a large barrel and pc without making the launcher a giant. I would highly recommend a modified solenoid valve. The valves cost only around $15 from Lowes, and you can also buy the tubing and other items there too. I have found the orbit 1" sprinkler valves work the best.

You'll also want a schrader valve, and for that I would highly recommend a threaded brass one, rather than a rubber one. This is up to you, but I also like putting pressure gauges on my launchers, for safety.

Here is a site that has everything you could ever possibly need to build a launcher, minus the solenoid valve.

http://www.mcmaster-carr.com
Last edited by guerrilla91 on Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Silence
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Post by Silence » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:28 pm

Thanks for the help. I already have a brass threaded Schrader valve, and I might even attach a backpack compressed air tank instead of an on-gun PC, and the Schrader valve will go directly into the backpack fitting. Maybe, without an onboard PC, I can attach this grenade launcher-style onto a port in a homemade...that would be nice indeed.

guerrilla91
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Post by guerrilla91 » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:37 pm

Hmmm...

While it would be cool to have a backpack pc, in order to not restrict flow you will have to have some really big tubing attaching the pc to the barrel. I know of only one person who has done something like this. While I don't want to disourage you from doing an inovative backpack style gun, it would be tough to build so that flow is not restricted through the tubing.

That one guy: http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=70&

Edit: This guy has used two valves, which complicates matters quite a bit. With only one valve you could simplify it quite a bit. Looking at the design, Ive decided that it would not be that hard to build with only one valve.
Last edited by guerrilla91 on Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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