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Old November 26, 2023, 10:16 PM   #1
Enthusiast
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Gun that shoot arrows with gunpowder?

I saw an air gun that shot arrows very accurately, which made me wounder if something similar could be made using gunpowder?

I made two versions of the concept, here’s a see-through picture:



The airgun used the ”arrow over gunbarrel” concept. It used 7-8 inch long arrows over a barrel of similar length. In my gunpowder design I shortened them to about 2 inch long, because I imagine they don’t need to be longer than that when using black powder? They just need to be long enough to contain the gunpowder charge. But maybe I’m wrong here?

I also wounder about the accuracy of my short arrow design, and what’s the ideal arrow weight, velocity, and charge? How important is fin stabilizers in front heavy arrows? Might the arrow act as a rocket in this design? Does the arrowbody has to be strong enough to contain the pressure on its own, to prevent it from exploding on its way out of the barrel when it still have pressure inside of it, or will the pressure be much lower at that stage? And in the ”arrow inside gunbarrel ”-version what would happen if the arrowbody expand like a brass case inside the barrel?

What do you think?

Last edited by Enthusiast; November 26, 2023 at 11:27 PM.
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Old November 26, 2023, 10:25 PM   #2
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Powder-actuated fasteners to the white courtesy phone, please.
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Old November 26, 2023, 10:42 PM   #3
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Now that may be a design improvement as compared to a pre charged pneumatic air bow!!

I imagine that as making an airbow that generates power with ramset blanks.

I wonder what velocities are possible with heavy arrows?
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Old November 26, 2023, 11:31 PM   #4
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Line-throwing guns exist.
Some had arrows in the form of grappling hooks.
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Old November 27, 2023, 12:11 AM   #5
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I realized interesting advantages to this concept:


Caliber being bigger than bore might not be as interesting since we have hollowpoints for that purpose, however not only increasing the effective lengh of the bore but also multiplying it with two is interesting. This concept would essentially turn a 2 inch barrel into 4 inch.

I’m curious on how high the pressure will be inside of the arrowbody. I know that the pressure is normally at its peak in the chamber before the bullet start moving, but what will the pressure curve look like in this design?

Last edited by Enthusiast; November 27, 2023 at 12:16 AM.
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Old November 27, 2023, 12:48 AM   #6
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Look up line throwing guns, .45-70.

single shot "rifles" often Martini actions with shortened barrels used for shooting messenger lines between ships. The "arrow" had a long steel shaft that went down the bore. Could have a grapnel hook on the end the line was tied to. Fired using a "line throwing cartridge" that looks like a blank, but isn't, its made (loaded) for launching the hook, a blank is not.

something similar in principle but scaled up is the "harpoon gun" where the large harpoon is muzzle loaded with its shaft down the bore, and fired using a cased gunpowder charge.

I don't know for certain, but I think the line throwers are smoothbore. There's no point to rifling them, it would only complicate things, I think.
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Old November 27, 2023, 05:17 AM   #7
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I think the main advantage an arrow has compared to a bullet, is that it doesn’t require as high velocity to be effective. A bullet would be very ineffective at crossbow velocities compared to a broadhead.

However, the shape of the projectile aside, I think it’s even more interesting that this specific concept seem to increase the effective length of the barrel without increasing the length of the actual barrel.

I made another picture that more clearly show what I mean:



I don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t work. Do you?
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Old November 27, 2023, 09:38 AM   #8
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A friend has a 10/22 that shoots bolts (arrows) utilizing the .22 caliber power driver cartridges. It's really cool, and if I had not seen it in his safe and asked, I'd not even know such a thing existed. It is almost suppressor quiet and carries an energy level about equal to a pistol fired 9mm.
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Old November 27, 2023, 10:54 AM   #9
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I'll play.
This from the Google:
Quote:
Fletching: The plastic vanes or feathers on arrows. Fletching creates wind drag and also can cause the arrow to spin similar to a rifle bullet, providing stability and accuracy in flight.
Easy enough to do on the outside the barrel diagram...a little tougher on the inside the barrel concept.
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Old November 27, 2023, 10:55 AM   #10
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Arrow is fin stabilized. It requires a heavy tip and an aerodynamically big empennage (fin/feather) to fly true. The body can act as empannage, like in javelin or armor piercing cross bow, but such arrangement would require much heavy tip and long body.

I think it will work with tinkering. Over-barrel probably works better as gas sealing is less an issue, and it doesn't mess with the bore/riflings.

Sounds like I know what I'm talking about? I don't. Just have read a few books on external ballistics.

I quite like the idea with .22 nail driving blank. Monkeying with loose powder, especially BP, is messy.

-TL

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Old November 27, 2023, 11:17 AM   #11
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Following 44 AMP suggestions I looked up line throwing guns/harpoons and found this very interesting video. It's not a .45-70 it is built on a K98k Mauser receiver but still interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUoE0N6alV4&t=198s

Here's a .45-70 Harrington and Richardson line throwing gun:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4XNZRIcxBU
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Old November 27, 2023, 12:46 PM   #12
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Back in the day

Oregon had bird seasons overlapping with archery deer, I am sure that is often the case. Apparently enough hunters were caught shooting arrows the state saw fit to put a warning in the regulations making clear the illegality of doing so. Seems to me a good way to blow up a barrel.
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Old November 27, 2023, 03:29 PM   #13
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A point to consider about the powder launched "arrow", is the weight of the entire thing compared to the weight of a bullet.

The powder charge must be matched to the mass being moved, and within the safe pressure envelope of the firearm.

Another point to consider is recoil, which is a result of the mass.

Look at rifle grenades as an example. Launched by a blank or special grenade cartridge, the grenade is many times the mass of a regular bullet, SOP is to fire the grenade with the rifle butt ON THE GROUND.

The infamous Japanese "Knee Mortar" (so nicknamed by foolish GIs) seriously injured more than a few who thought the curved base plate meant it was to be fired from your leg.
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Old November 28, 2023, 11:43 AM   #14
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Krag Jorgensens and Springfield 1903s were also converted into line-throwing guns.
And there have been modified and bespoke commercial offerings, not based on military service rifles -- such as Marlins modified for line throwing (and also the Marlin 880 PneuDart dart gun, but that's another subject).
Don't limit yourself to only .45-70.

Perhaps take a look at net guns, as well.

Quote:
Look at rifle grenades as an example. Launched by a blank or special grenade cartridge, the grenade is many times the mass of a regular bullet, SOP is to fire the grenade with the rifle butt ON THE GROUND.
The Swiss had approved methods for firing Stgw 57 (Sig SG 510) rifle grenades with the rifle held at the waist.
But if you see it done, you'll see a very specific technique employed. Because if you do it wrong, you break your wrist or even sever your thumb.
It can be seen in the opening clip here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp3P8NeW0eA
Parts 2 and 3 (of the "2-part" series ) have more demonstration, discussion, and live-firing of dummies.
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Old December 2, 2023, 10:43 AM   #15
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If you have gunpowder inside the shaft of the arrow/bolt then yes, you're basically creating a rocket. So you'd need to create some kind of nozzle to direct the gasses escaping or else your arrow will not fly true even with fletching. So I think it would be better to use a blank cartridge to develop the pressure needed to propell your arrow/bolt.

Now if you follow the air gun world, they have both styles of shafts for air bolt shooting. They either fit over the barrel or inside the barrel. The bolts that fit over the barrel are air bolt only rifles, so no other use is possible for the rifles. The bolts that go down the bore can be used to shoot regular pellets as well.
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Old December 2, 2023, 02:18 PM   #16
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Historically the first Chinese guns fired arrows and were made from bamboo wrapped with cordage for renforcement. Accuracy is out of the questioon but it did make a flash and bang. A separating sabot and single shot break open shotgun would be ideal for the harpoon launcher in mind.
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Old December 4, 2023, 07:52 AM   #17
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