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The Duke: Developing an all-new Lever-Action Paintball Gun
Part 2: Developing the Proof-of-Concept Prototype
With the bolt mostly roughed in and the lever mocked up, I was able to further machine the upper receiver
to accept the bolt.
And with that
in place, I could then determine where the lever needed to be mounted in relation to the bolt.
But, I needed another dimension as well- the distance from the bolt and hammer to the valve and power tube.
Now knowing some of those dimensions, I was able to get out my CAD software (that is, my Cardboard-Aided Design
software :) ) and pencilled up a workable preliminary shape to what would become the lower receiver.
The only chunk of stock big enough that I had on hand, took a trip through the bandsaw to free up the new part.
And, after a bit of machine time, I had it drilled and tapped for a Phantom valve assembly, radiused to fit the
upper body half, and milled to accept the lever mock-up. The disc on the front keys into the lower feed tube
and helps index the two body halves together.
The lever, mocked up for the moment with a small bolt, attaches like so. Due to the nature of the mock-up,
I had to mill clearance in the body for the front half of the lever arm.
With the bolt installed and the upper half slid into place, I was happy to find that the bolt operated very
smoothly and reliably.
A pair of side plates and a turned pivot pin completed the Mk I "proof of concept" mockup, which proved
the "rack and gear" system could work and work well. I could have made this one more or less functional
simply by adding a trigger and an external connection for an air line, but I'd learned enough from it as a
physical model that I decided any further time and effort would be better spent on a "second generation"
version incorporating all the various changes and improvements I'd come up with in the process.
So, come along as we move on to "Mark II"...
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