Golf Ball Gun 5000!

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by cato, Oct 21, 2005.

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  1. cato less hate, more science

    hi, everyone, I am making a gun to shoot a golf ball sized object. I want to make it have a safe operation, so I want it to be able to fire practice golf balls, which are plastic, very light, and full of holes. since they are full of holes, I can't just use compressed air to fire them, but I plan on using a compressor (about 80psi) to operate it.

    so, what I was thinking was to make a solenoid type system, where the air pushes a plunger/pin/bolt (whatever you want to call it) into the back of the ball, then there will be an outlet that the air can escape form once the pin has reached a certain distance, and finally a spring to retract it after the pressure is gone.

    what do you think? if you know of some tricks that would make it work better, or a better design, I would be happy to hear them. remember, it will shoot golf balls and practice golf balls (with holes in them) so it can't be fired like a paintball gun i.e. compressed air/co2
  2. RubiksMaster Real eyes realize real lies

    well, you can make a regular pneumatic gun with a pressure chamber and a valve. The valve closes off the chamber from the barrel. But then there is the problem with the holes in the ball. So you stuff the barrel with a rag to get a tight seal and push the ball out.

    I built a pneumatic potato gun for a physics class once (80 - 100 psi operation). Me and a friend decided to shoot a regular golf ball (which was way smaller than the barrel), and we did the cloth thing. The ball shot up REALLY high in the air. The cloth goes up about 10 feet and then floats down.

    You could even use some sort of cork or rubber stopper that is connected to the end of the gun barrel, that way you never lose it.

    Keep in mind, even 80psi can do quite a bit. We shot spears (sticks carved to a point) really far, and potatoes that nearly vaporized on impact, and golf balls that went REALLY far - all on around 80 or 100 psi. Oh, and it turns out that air is very very loud.
  3. cato less hate, more science

    I thought of that, but it only allows for 1 shot per load, I was thinking more of a semi-auto thing with a hopper like a paintball gun.

    the other idea I had was to make a turbine turn gears to pull back a spring loaded bolt (like on a pinball machine) and release as soon as it reaches a certain tension, but I could not figure out how to make that work.
  4. kevinalm Registered Senior Member

    That's similar to the way high powered single pump air rifles work. Only the spring drives a pneumatic piston much larger in diameter than the rifle bore. You can get some serious muzzle velocity that way. They are quite adequite for small game, like squirrel and rabbit. Maybe you can apply the same principle to your golf ball launcher.
  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always.
  6. cato less hate, more science

    I would really prefer to make it myself, and its hard to see how most of those machines work. although, I have not thought of having the air hose spin wheels and launch balls like that tennis ball launcher (baseballs are also commonly launched that way as well)
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2005
  7. cato less hate, more science

    I started getting parts. I spent about an hour walking around home depot finding fittings and such that would work together. I think everything is going well, I am suing a 400:1 geared motor to turn it, and I have a ram/solenoid to smash the balls out the barrel. however, I still don't have a barrel.
  8. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist

    Screw golfball guns, man, make a mortar. Now those are fun. All you need is some cola cans, gunpowder, and a projectile. Iv'e done it before, and I've lobbed a tennis ball out of it real damn far. Thing about the powder is that it lit the tennis ball on fire, and it landed in some guy's trashcan...I didn't stick around long enough to see his reaction, I bolted.
  9. cato less hate, more science


    it's not really meant to be super powerful, otherwise I would have just made a spud-gun that was small enough for golf balls. I am focusing on the repeat fire ability, and I will mount it on a 100:1 or 400:1 motor to turn it.
  10. cato less hate, more science

    so far so good, the golf ball gun is partially assembled.

    I fired it and it shot the golf ball a little ways, but it is still a little big (almost a foot long. I know thats probably not the scale I was building on, but it is) and I intend it to be about 6 inches. I will take the hacksaw to it later and get parts down in size.
  11. Altruist New Member

    why not just use ping pong balls for practice? obviously, this would of course take all of the fun out of solving the problem, but it would be much simpler a solution, no?
  12. cato less hate, more science

    I suppose, maybe I will modify it so it can use both =]
  13. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    Cato, do you live in an area where you can buy PVC pipe from the hardware store? That is one idea, to find the pipe that is the closest fit to your practice golf balls. You might also consider Ping Pong balls for the ammo.

    Another alternative is to either take the roll from gift wrap or roll your own. If you can come up with a form, spiral wind paper on to it to make your barrel.
  14. cato less hate, more science

    I thought about those options for barrels. however, I think I am going to use one of the little plastic tubes you can buy golf balls in. it does not need to be very long, it is a pretty small setup. although, I might use something like that for the hopper. I was thinking about making a collapseable/telescopic tube to hold the balls.

    I don't think a wrapping paper tube will work. i think they are a bit too small. any suggestions for what I could make the telescopic tube out of? remember, from butt to barrel it will be about a foot, so it cant be a heavy material (PVC) because it would just fall over.
  15. cato less hate, more science

    never mind, I just tested the wrapping paper tube and it fits. so, any suggestions on how I can make it telescopic without falling apart?

    I was thinking I could just put a cover or something on the top, so as it fires, it will collapse along with the balls (that will also help feed them). but how would I keep them from pulling apart?
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