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Author Topic: How Could a Steam Rifle Work?  (Read 17598 times)
Gunner Gregson
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2011, 01:33:26 am »

If you want to throw electricity into the works, I've seen an idea for converting a lawnmower motor to run on water by replacing the spark plug with a microwave magnetron and using the ignition to fire the magnetron with enough power to instantly vaporize the water.  Granted I don't think there's any way that could work in the real world, but with a bit of tweaking to the laws of physics and/or materials science the concept could be used to explain the workings of a steam rifle.
ooh that gave me an idea.
we are basing the steampunk rifle on the steam delivering the power. but what if the power was delivered mechanically? a steam engine turning a crank, that spins a disk. feed in the ammo and centrifugal force throws it out.
i know its severely unpredictable, but fun none the less.

Ananias S. Wildwire
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steam_fan
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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2012, 04:23:39 pm »

  I have an idea.  A small chamber, like a furnace, where you put hot coals in and they heat a neighboring chamber with water.

  Imagine going to the boiler room, (a fantasy for most, to be sure) and reaching into the furnace and taking out a few piping hot coals with tongs, and placing then into a large-ish sniper rifles boiler chamber.  It could work.

  (I woke up this morning after having a dream where I made a repeating automatic compressed air gun.  Probably battery operated.  Then upon working it out, I think battery-powered soldering-iron-based steam generator would be MUCH simpler than gutting an electric bike-pump for pressure.  But if you simply had a small place to add coal, that would be simpler still.)

  I'm seriously considering trying this out.  It seems like a fun project.  I already have a trigger mechanism drawn up and am working on all the details to make it work.

  (Also, here is a video on youtube of some kid, [not me] with something that looks pretty darn good:
The Steam Gun (Construction)
)

  It would be large, to be sure, but definately Steampunk.  I may have solved the problem here! Grin
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robotmastern
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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2012, 06:11:08 pm »

The gun I made recently has a chamber at the butt of the gun which houses the furnice the boiler is a copper ball filled with water attached to the rear of the furnice hoses then carry the steam up into the rear of the bolt (its a bolt action rifle) where it then propells the bullet forward any condensate is recovered through a hose in the handle. My current design could be used prone and does have some interferince problems when you actualy want to aim down the sights. But the furnice is doubble insulated to prevent burns, as are the boiler and hoses.
 I have posted links in the gun thread in tactile and because I'm typing on my mobile i t would b dificult to link it directly as of now, but ill edit the link in later.
http://s1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb336/robotmastern/nerf%20gun%20mod/
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 06:40:31 pm by robotmastern » Logged
MWBailey
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« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2012, 09:35:43 pm »

If one could endure not having a standalone system, there's always the ship-board paradigm, as in Last Exile's steam muskets:



just a thought.
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Redranger90
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2012, 08:11:32 am »

I had an idea based on the original backpack idea.
If you had a furnace and a boiler, And a condenser on a closed system, you would not loose water. Then, instead of compressing air to fire a plug, use something along the lines of a small alternator or generator that charges a battery, and the trigger can be linked to a charge the bullet in an arc and ignite the powder in the casing. You could then stack rounds in the barrel eliminating the need for a magazine or clip. OR, a magazine or clip lined with bullets horizontally in line with the barrel or multiple barrels for faster firing.

Also along the lines of MWBailey's statement for ship-board ideas, a pneumatically launched plug can be a decent idea for artillery. and either powered by steam directly or pneumatically with a compressor pump running off of the PTO of the ships engines, which could also run quite a bit of other ship-board applications. But with enough velocity and kinetic energy, anything can do damage.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2012, 09:31:58 am »

Also along the lines of MWBailey's statement for ship-board ideas, a pneumatically launched plug can be a decent idea for artillery. and either powered by steam directly or pneumatically with a compressor pump running off of the PTO of the ships engines, which could also run quite a bit of other ship-board applications. But with enough velocity and kinetic energy, anything can do damage.

See this thread and USS Vesuvius, from 1888. USS Vesuvius had compressed air powered dynamite guns with compressors driven by steam engines. This wasn't all that that bad an idea. The bad idea was that the guns had fixed elevation and direction; they were aimed by steering the ship. This was a lame idea for 1888, but early attempts at gun turrets on seagoing vessels did not work out well..
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Redranger90
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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2012, 09:34:31 am »

Perhaps not, but i never even thought of launching TNT or dynamite. That's both ingenious and comical
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Nathaniel Flood Harwick
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2012, 08:21:35 pm »

Just to throw it in there... it may be more practical to use a stationary compressor or boiler to fill a small, portable high pressure air tank. I play paintball and use a 68 cubic inch tank that stores air at 4500psi. with a regulator that puts out 800 psi.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:02:12 pm by Nathaniel Flood Harwick » Logged

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Tower
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« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2012, 04:39:16 am »

Quote
Steampunk, at it's very core, is retro-futurism. Don't be afraid to play a little fast and loose with your science.

Hard to actually build anything if doesn't use real science.

Best bet though is to use a steam power plant to charge compressed air cylinders. Its easy to store thousands of PSI in tank built into a rifle stock.  Steam isn't that good of propulsive force on its own. You would loose a lot of your shot energy in heating up the barrel or would else have to maintain your barrel at a high temp.

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Damnd of Hell
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« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2012, 05:36:48 am »

I don't see the practicality, and safety, of a steam fired rifle or carbine.  This would be just too dangerous to the user, and those around him; I suggest using steam as a source of power for a gatling gun or heavy machine gun.  A rail gun wouldn't be too far out of this concept as well. 


Heavy machine gun, rail gun, semi auto loading cannon, gatling gun, I would consider these. 
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elvisroe
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« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2012, 11:41:21 am »

I don't see the practicality, and safety, of a steam fired rifle or carbine.  This would be just too dangerous to the user, and those around him; I suggest using steam as a source of power for a gatling gun or heavy machine gun.  A rail gun wouldn't be too far out of this concept as well. 


Heavy machine gun, rail gun, semi auto loading cannon, gatling gun, I would consider these. 


Check out mythbusters take steam machine gun...

Mythbusters- Steam Machine Gun


not a roaring success sadly!
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2012, 04:03:36 pm »

An Interesting article on Perkins' gun.

http://www.lateralscience.co.uk/perkgun/index.html
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The Duke of Tesla
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« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2014, 07:06:38 am »

I know I am a bit late to this spirited discussion, But going back to the original idea the wearer could be protected from the boilers heat by the condensed water being used as a sort of water jacket, or even better by there being a sort of shell around the boiler and a vacuum formed in the space between preventing heat from conducting to the backpack itself.
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2014, 05:14:13 pm »

Injecting water to a cylinder with a previously heated surface will create 'flash steam' just as water gettrng into an ironworks caused an explosion, Sudden expansion and high pressure will do the job of propelling a bullet along a barrel.
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pakled05
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« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2014, 05:20:16 pm »

someone correct me if I am in error; but I seem to remember that locomotives would send the return water from the steam cycle over the firebix, thus keeping the drop in temperature to a minimum. Either way, it's going to be hot...Wink
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2014, 05:31:15 pm »

If they can launch planes from a carrier with steam.... one bullet is easy.
As long as force behind exceeds inertia and barrel friction it will fire....just how far is the quesiion?

A low velocity high mass projectile will impart the same energy as a higher velocity lower mass projectile and generally that's what does the damage.
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George Salt
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« Reply #41 on: May 21, 2014, 05:32:35 pm »

someone correct me if I am in error; but I seem to remember that locomotives would send the return water from the steam cycle over the firebix, thus keeping the drop in temperature to a minimum. Either way, it's going to be hot...Wink

You send the steam from the boiler on a pass through the firebox to superheat the steam, you can see this on some Mamod models.

You run the return (exhaust) steam through a heat exchanger to pre-heat the feed water coming from the tender when topping up the boiler to minimise the drop in boiler temperature when fresh feed water is added.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2014, 10:23:13 pm »

The mechanism which launches a Trident missile from a submarine is a form of steam cannon. A solid rocket in a chamber outside the launch tube is fired into a tank of water. The water flashes to steam, which is piped into the bottom of the launch tube and pushes the missile out, through tens of meters of water, and into the air. Then the rocket engines cut in.

The main use for a steam gun is when you don't want to subject the projectile to huge launch forces. The large steam guns on ships (USS Vesuvius), and on forts were "dynamite projectors", intended to launch explosive charges. This was before rugged explosive gun projectiles were developed that would blow up at the target, not in the gun barrel. So a steam rifle ought to shoot something exotic, like glass tranquilizer cartridges.
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Lord Pentecost
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« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2014, 06:56:14 pm »

I think this could work but you would only get one shot:a pressure vessel filled with distilled water which is super heated (heated to above 100 degrees without boiling) then a grain of sand or similar is dropped into the water instantly vaporizing it and propelling the projectile out of the barrel
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HAC
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« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2014, 06:07:49 am »

Have a look at the type of steam locos that were called "fireless cookers" - essentially a large pressure vessel that was charged from a stationary steam plant to provide working steam at around 250 PSI. The trick was that the pressure vessel was also charged with about 40% water..(the temp of the water would be well above the steam point but kept in a liquid pahse by the pressure. as the pressure dropped through use, some water would flash over into steam to make up the difference. The real key, of course was a seriously thick layer of lagging (insulation) on both pressure vessel and working steam pipes..  That's the principle of steam storage for later work..

Sadly, I suspect a steam rifle in all reality would be a flop, although there was during WWII, a steam powered (run from the ships boilers) grenade launcher  (I have a pic somewheres

 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 06:11:11 am by HAC » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2014, 08:36:56 am »

I wonder if you could convert a break-barrel airgun.. as the piston moves forwards, the air gets compressed, thus heating it. Squirt in a littl ebit of water, and it could flash to steam, increasing the pressure further. Add a pressure valve betweenthe air compartment and the barrel that only opens above a certain treshold..

...but then again, I believe the temperature at which water turns tosteam increases as pressure rises, so yeah.. that might not work.

Besides, you might as well do the exact same thing with diesel fuel..
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2014, 11:15:56 am »

What about a steam powered flame thrower? A steam thrower! Same principle as the flame thrower, but with steam. No moving parts, no bullets, just steam.
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MarcusJuliusCroft
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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2014, 11:18:14 am »

What about a steam powered flame thrower? A steam thrower! Same principle as the flame thrower, but with steam. No moving parts, no bullets, just steam.

What?  Just scald the meat off their bones instead?
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Madasasteamfish
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« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2014, 11:54:51 am »

What about a steam powered flame thrower? A steam thrower! Same principle as the flame thrower, but with steam. No moving parts, no bullets, just steam.

What?  Just scald the meat off their bones instead?

Well you could use steam to project the burning fuel forwards, or use superheated steam projecting from a series of nozzles onboard a ship as an anti-boarding weapon, or as a boarding weapon to clear the bulwalks of an opposing vessel.
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MarcusJuliusCroft
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« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2014, 11:58:42 am »

What about a steam powered flame thrower? A steam thrower! Same principle as the flame thrower, but with steam. No moving parts, no bullets, just steam.

What?  Just scald the meat off their bones instead?

Well you could use steam to project the burning fuel forwards, or use superheated steam projecting from a series of nozzles onboard a ship as an anti-boarding weapon, or as a boarding weapon to clear the bulwalks of an opposing vessel.


Wouldn't the water-fuel mix work as a disadvantage?  Also I remember seeing this kids book where a scientist called Chambois used Steam in the manner you are describing,  but as a way to create a fog shield around their ship so that they could sneak into a bay in a cloud of fog, sneak up on the pirates, that type of thing.
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