The Caster: New Weapon Type

Discussion in 'Crazy contraptions' started by Dale Power, May 21, 2018.

  1. Dale Power

    Dale Power New Member

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    I hope this is of interests. I tried to find the flaws in regular slingshots as per use in self-defense and address them. This, clearly, didn't end up as a slingshot!

    What it is, is a viable self-defense tool.

    Thoughts, questions and all that appreciated.
     
  2. Knallfrosch

    Knallfrosch Senior Member

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    This is an interesting project. Could you give us more details? Pictures?
     

  3. Dale Power

    Dale Power New Member

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    I don't currently have pictures to hand, but there will be more videos coming.

    Details:

    The specific caster being used is 4 feet long, muzzle loads fifteen to twenty 1 inch rounds (can used almost any size smaller than that with a multi-load shotgun effect) and is capable of a rate of fire of about 1.5 per second.

    Different versions both load and fire faster than that.

    It's made of PVC pipe, though metal can be used. (PVC is cheaper for playing around with)

    The weapon uses mechanical advantage and angle over the arc (I'm probably not using the right term for that one!) to increase the speed and power of the throw. There are no levers or triggers. It loads do to the action of normal use. The ammo in the handle moves into the register (which is the thing sticking out partway up the main pipe) which acts as a baffle. Centripetal force holds the ammo in place as the weapon is brought back up to the ready position and rests in the chamber at that time.

    Using larger versions I've had speeds up to 260 fps or higher.

    Larger, longer casters hit harder. Smaller ones are easier to use quickly.

    The initial design specs were for a weapon that would be useful inside normal gun fight ranges, allow for rapid use and be powerful enough to deter a motivated attacker. It turned out to be powerful enough to do lethal levels of damage. (Anything with a blunt impact of over 90 foot pounds to the head or upper chest counts that way. IF the area of force is less than 1 square inch. A 1 inch ball has a cross sectional area of .785 of a Square inch.) The caster in the video is mid-sized and power.

    The current plan is to build a small target range (for looks and ammo retrieval) then to do a better video that will go into more data. This will includes plans as to how to build one at home.

    This device should give a person who is attacked the benefit of a powerful ranged weapon capable of non-lethal, less than lethal and lethal force options. (It depends on how hard you swing and what you target.) It has a very high level of momentum when using 1 inch steel or lead rounds. (I use steel myself, since the impact of lead on anything hard makes it flat on one side. You can throw rocks and odd shapes from the barrel, but they don't move as fast. Arrows work as well. The accuracy isn't great with them however.

    The biggest drawbacks are the size. It's over all usefulness as a weapon puts it in the same range as either a low powered handgun (a standard .32 or so. or slightly higher than that in kinetic energy) or a shotgun firing modern bean bag rounds. The over all force concentration and momentum is different, making the caster more dangerous at full power than either.

    Still, the fact is you can't exactly walk around with three to five feet of weapon without feeling awkward and calling attention to yourself. Making it good for use in the home, office or business, but not everyday concealed carry.

    The other drawback is in the aiming. It can be accurate within certain levels, but will always be a dynamic platform. I've been able to hit 5-5-5 fairly easily, (five meters, five rounds, in five seconds) but haven't been able to consistently hit a ten inch target at ten-20 meters. It's definitely good for closer range given that. )-10 meters. Gunfights are often said to mainly take place between 0-7 yards. It isn't that hard to hit a human size target at 15-20. Further back than that and it's trick shooting. At least for me!

    There are no moving parts. Even when used hard, a well constructed caster will last through about ten thousand rounds. (Or more.) Then it will need maintenance.

    It's remarkably immune to dirt. It functionally doesn't need to be cleaned other than for aesthetics. You can put mud in the barrel, packed in and still use it almost perfectly. (Mud will be flying though!)

    Like a slingshot, the ammunition is reusable. When made of large steel the ammo nearly indestructible. (Don't let it sit in water though, or it will eventually rust.)

    There is some risk of penetration of flesh, even through light clothing. In heavier clothing it will cause significant displacement (over five inches, possibly close to eight on average) which will go through a solid layer of body fat to harm internal organs or a heavy winter coats with a sweater under it. (Go-through, meaning depress and carry energy that far, not penetrate.)

    While I wouldn't say everyone should sell their guns and it certainly isn't a rifle, the caster is a viable self-defense option for those that have the time to practice a bit (it isn't hard at all to use) and who may live in areas where firearms are forbidden, but crime isn't stopped until it's too late. Also for people that aren't allowed to have such weapons as a handgun.

    *I tried to add what I could think of off the top of my head. Let me know if there are any questions? If I don't know, I'll find out.
     
  4. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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  5. Dale Power

    Dale Power New Member

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    That is the most similar thing I was able to find when I searched for similar things. Nothing larger was found. (A thing that throws rounds of a larger size and weight) I am wondering if a smaller caster could be reworked to multi-load carp bait.

    As for aiming... It isn't that hard. Don't get me wrong, it isn't super accurate. No one will be splitting cards with one of these any time soon. Not even Bill Hays. That said, I can hit a fifteen inch target at twenty meters without too much stress. (I've never been one of those super aiming people. I bet others will have an easier time that way.)

    I put an aiming grid on the back of the handle. You can look through it and inside ten meters or so hit what you are aiming at within an inch or two with a bit of practice.

    Note:I wasn't aiming at all in most of that video above. I was close though. Five meters, measured carefully. At that range it's hard to miss something large. Like a zombie or a vampire. You know, things of that general shape and size? (Not that anyone should abuse such innocent and lovely creatures.)

    I've set the aiming point for just under chest high on a zombie that's the same size the defender is. If you use the same swing pattern (like every other tool that shoots or throws...) you will hit in about the same place each time, even without aiming. Going lower, for hunting or hitting shins is actually harder to do accurately. You do that by controlling the barrel length. At fifty-percent of the overall length it's easier to hit things.

    The one in the video has a 60% barrel. A longer barrel equals more power. Not enough to be worth the hassle for me, since the tardets I'm working on are higher than that.

    I know, I know, who would want to hit a zombie or a vampire in the stomach like that? They barely feel pain, or suffer serious organ damage from things like that.

    You can hit things if you aim pretty well to about fifteen meters. At twenty meters I have and can do it, say hit a half meter round target 8 times out of 10 or so? That isn't sharp shooting! Then, most people defending from zombies do so in their own home. (Vampires like to get you outside, naturally.) The average gun fight inside a home takes place within 5 meters.

    I have been practicing each day, but had a lay off of six months (Three feet of snow in the yard. It does work just fine in the cold, even if made of plastic. I just kept losing all my ammo.) I'm about a week back into practicing. (Twenty minutes a day? More at times, with I have a proper target. The piles of sawdust under the hitching post? 13 mm OSB, four by eight feet sheets. Ripped to shreds. That's about... ten of them or so? (Four feet by eigth feet um... 1.21 meters by 2.43 meters)

    I'm planning a better overview video soon. I need to built a slightly better target range. You get no sense of what is happening from hitting a carpet hanging over a bar like that. :)

    *Tie in on carp throwers... Sling shots are also a popular option to launch carp bait!
    ** Zombies and Vampires? I've written ten or twenty fiction novels on the topic. P.S. Power is my pen name. This has nothing to do with that, but I don't want anyone to think my intentions are violent. It was brought up earlier that some countries might allow toys like this, as long as they are presented in the right light from the start. :)
     
  6. Dale Power

    Dale Power New Member

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    Here is a far more complete video on the caster. I'm planning to do five or six more videos on the topic, including how to make them. (It isn't that hard!)

    If anyone has any questions, comments or ideas, please let me know? Criticism too. (Other than that I need to lose weight. I already have that one... Thanks.) :)
     
  7. Dale Power

    Dale Power New Member

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    I was just looking at a video you made about a year ago. Supersonic Lego Devastation. Other than realizing I need to use better names for things like that myself, I noticed you mentioned that things can have a barrel, as long as they don't have a trigger?

    Because this does NOT have any moving parts, so no trigger or anything like that. Or is that only for air guns? (In German law, clearly.)
     
  8. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    Your "caster" is totally legal in Germany. It does have a tubular barrel but no trigger and it is muscle powered. Therefore it falls into the "blow gun" category and isn't considered a weapon at all. Even minors can buy it and you can legally carry it. Shooting in the open is permitted (of course the land owner must agree and you have to take proper safety precautions).
     
  9. Dale Power

    Dale Power New Member

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    That sounds promising. :)
    Proper safety precautions should always be taken, of course! So far it's proven really safe for the user, with target bounce back being the only real danger. Set correctly (all of mine are) they'll hit the ground inside 30 meters unless you are trying to aim very high. That isn't perfect for protecting the neighbors dog or windows but used inside 10 meters it will be on the ground sooner than that.

    I'll be doing a full video on how to make them soon. It really isn't that hard. If you get a chance to examine the design and make some for yourself, you could do a video in German for people there? (I'm strange, sure but I actually worry for you folks over there... I's do it myself but my three hundred words of German won't really cut it.) The Caster doesn't meet the standard for your channel though. (It isn't rubber powered... Not that I can't see half a dozen ways to manage that.) :)

    If it meets standards, of course.