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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this an established notion?

My (any?) rifle is heavier than it needs to be when you consider the actual functional parts creating a BB-propelling system. To think that all I need is my scope, hop-up chamber, barrel, trigger assembly, bolt, and magazine [and accompanying parts] to fire a BB really puts into perspective the weight I could theoretically save. The consideration became more serious after putting together my HPA rig, which I would prefer to fix to my rifle rather than my person.
I've been machinating about my wet dream of a carbon fiber body for my rifle every time I try to sleep for a few days now.

I've looked into custom carbon fiber works, and it seems fairly doable. If no one has any ideas, I'll be contacting producers and will come back with any relevant info on the feasibility/etc.

If this is totally unfeasible, I'd love information on an alternative solution. I really would love to reduce weight and create a rifle which is 100% brand-less and unique.
 

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If you are going to make a bolt action spring rifle that is not yet produced and you want it to be designed specifically for airsoft, then I would suggest a massive cylinder.
The length of the VSR10 cylinder is about right but you could go 20mm longer. The extra length will make it a more joule creepable gun.
Now the trick to a great cylinder is more in the diameter. Make it extra wide. Wider than the VSR10. It may stick up quite high on the cylinder and you would need a reasonable size receiver but this will help to raise the scope. So people will only need to use small scope mounts. With a massive cylinder the rifle will be able to pump a good amount of air into the barrel meaning you could use a smaller spring to get the higher fps and also this will help with longevity of the rifle as parts will not be under so much stress.
 

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By the way, if by any chance you are a manufacturer, I have had other brands send me their prototype parts/rifles to test out and to give them feedback on how to improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you are going to make a bolt action spring rifle that is not yet produced and you want it to be designed specifically for airsoft, then I would suggest a massive cylinder.
The length of the VSR10 cylinder is about right but you could go 20mm longer. The extra length will make it a more joule creepable gun.
Now the trick to a great cylinder is more in the diameter. Make it extra wide. Wider than the VSR10. It may stick up quite high on the cylinder and you would need a reasonable size receiver but this will help to raise the scope. So people will only need to use small scope mounts. With a massive cylinder the rifle will be able to pump a good amount of air into the barrel meaning you could use a smaller spring to get the higher fps and also this will help with longevity of the rifle as parts will not be under so much stress.

By the way, if by any chance you are a manufacturer, I have had other brands send me their prototype parts/rifles to test out and to give them feedback on how to improve.
Well, I'm simply a man with a vision for his own rifle- which actually happens to be an HPA build based in a Tanaka M40A1 (so I can't give much input on the discussion of springer cylinders- although your statements seem reasonable).
More specifically, I'm hoping there is some manufacturer of carbon fiber products which can take my rifle's body, allow all integral parts of the system to fit together as they did originally, while providing some new design- if they can replicate my rifle barrel/body, we're home free.
 

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I considered it for my VSR-X. Would have raised the price tag by $800. (Using pre-made blocks being machined.)

I looked at doing it myself and was worse then if I bought everything. To do it right, you need to invest in quite a few things. Which if you were doing it as a business, you might be able to get some business. However, in order to recoup your costs your stuff is going to be hilariously expensive.

To do what little is on mine, I priced it out at around $3k. Might be less now, or more.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
After making seven contacts, I've received three 'no's, and one 'yes' from Common Fibers.

The initial quote on the barrel was $300. I gave him a longer estimate in terms of length, and emphasized possible intricacies such as threading; in reality, I think things will turn out on the easier side, making that price come down a tad.
Lacking a great deal of context, his initial quote for the body of the rifle (only handle and beyond, NO STOCK), was more complicated. He explained three different methods; the cheapest one won't help me, the middle one might work (waiting on a reply), and the most expensive one would be from $1,000 to $2,000.
To be honest, I'm not surprised by the estimate, so all of this is good news. The barrel is the most important part for me, which is essentially confirmed 'happening' as far as I'm concerned, for that price (I mean, G&G outer barrel kits were pretty expensive already, and they were heavy and totally-un-customized- not to mention the cool-factor here...).
The body I'm very iffy on; I would need a plan as far as implementing an aftermarket stock, which is intertwined with needing a plan for a long-term solution to fitting my HPA rig to the rifle. Basically, the body makes things a clusterfeck. I'll try to reach the same page with him on the method we would use, and what the worst-case cost would be- at which point I'll store the idea away for another time.

I'll post any solid information here that I find which others may find useful.

Here is a bit of the back-and-forth so far:

Thanks for reaching out [REDACTED]!

This is certainly an interesting project. I used to play airsoft and had a very similar gun as I was the sniper on my team.

I really hope we can help out with this project, but I am concerned that it's going to cost far too much to make it worth your while. Just the barrel itself could probably be done for about $300, but the body is where things get tricky. We would have to make multiple molds to create that intricate of a shape and that process alone costs $1,000 - $2000 typically. There are some lower cost options such as hand shaping foam and the wrapping it with carbon fiber then melting out the foam, but this likely would be very difficult to make meet the required tolerances. Another option is to simply wrap the existing plastic component in carbon fiber. This would be much cheaper ($~200 depending on complexity of the part).

Let me know if any of this sounds remotely in your price range and we can talk some more.

Cheers,
[REDACTED]
[REDACTED],

Wow, what odds! Airsoft is a bit niche. If you ever find yourself considering getting back into it, I'd be excited to get you up to speed on the top gear and mods ;)

Hm. Not terrible news. The barrel can almost certainly be done in this case, and there is hope yet for the body…

Although I (and probably many of your customers) admit that part of my motivation for this project is based off of the 'cool factor' of carbon fiber, I can't rationalize adding weight simply for the aesthetics [and structural integrity]. So wrapping the existing component is undesirable.

The foam method may be promising though. Does this hand-shaped foam shrink during the process of setting the carbon fiber? Is the notion of machining implied in this discussion? If machining is possible, then the foam can be shaped, and the resulting carbon fiber piece's dimensions could be cleaned up via machining [I would imagine]; after all - even if the foam shrinks - only the internal dimensions which support and interlock with other rifle parts are important. In fact, I own a Dremel; if there are Dremel bits capable of cutting the carbon fiber, I could clean it up myself. Also, ridiculously enough, not even the original rifle body has perfect dimensions for its own parts; if you screw one of the screws in too tight, the magazine is squeezed too tightly to be removed.
Tolerances may be fairly high: Even if you were to do this whole foam process drunk, as long as there is physically enough room for the rifle receiver to fit into the carbon fiber part, the screws are what will be truly holding the parts in place- and these screw holes will be drilled/machined, correct?

I hope my thought process has been clear. I have a tendency to lay out what is in my mind without a great deal of organization, so you will not offend me by telling me I'm making no sense!

Thank you for your interest in my project!
[REDACTED]
 

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I don't think you can save much weight with a plastic stock rifle by using a carbon fibre stock and outer barrel. The plastic stock itself is already very light weight. The outer barrel is a thinly extruded aluminum tube which is also very light. Unless your outer barrel is thick and heavy to begin with, you are unlikely to save much weight with a CF outer barrel.

You will also need to have some kind of mounting pillars and ribs in the stock (likely made of Alu/Steel) to receive the action, whose addition may negate whatever weight saved with the CF stock.

You can take off 1 maybe 200grams off the gun in the best case scenario but whether it's cost justifiable, only you can decide. The base rifle is already very light to begin with.

Sounds silly but perhaps you can try using PVC tube for your outer barrel? They are half as light as aluminum and with a decent paint job I'm sure it's indistinguishable.

Also you can saw off the fore end to save more weight since you did not mention using a bipod and somehow affix a 13ci/17ci/22ci tank(same diameter different length) to act as a fore end? You will need to free float the outer barrel and perhaps add securing screws between stock and action. Or you can reverse it and convert the butt to an airstock set up.

If you are running HPA tapped mags you can reduce the weight by machining away the internal gas chamber and run a hose directly to bottom of the output valve.

That's all I can think of now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I don't think you can save much weight with a plastic stock rifle by using a carbon fibre stock and outer barrel. The plastic stock itself is already very light weight. The outer barrel is a thinly extruded aluminum tube which is also very light. Unless your outer barrel is thick and heavy to begin with, you are unlikely to save much weight with a CF outer barrel.

You will also need to have some kind of mounting pillars and ribs in the stock (likely made of Alu/Steel) to receive the action, whose addition may negate whatever weight saved with the CF stock.

You can take off 1 maybe 200grams off the gun in the best case scenario but whether it's cost justifiable, only you can decide. The base rifle is already very light to begin with.

Sounds silly but perhaps you can try using PVC tube for your outer barrel? They are half as light as aluminum and with a decent paint job I'm sure it's indistinguishable.

Also you can saw off the fore end to save more weight since you did not mention using a bipod and somehow affix a 13ci/17ci/22ci tank(same diameter different length) to act as a fore end? You will need to free float the outer barrel and perhaps add securing screws between stock and action. Or you can reverse it and convert the butt to an airstock set up.

If you are running HPA tapped mags you can reduce the weight by machining away the internal gas chamber and run a hose directly to bottom of the output valve.

That's all I can think of now.
I've already decided to opt out of the body- too many cons at the moment. Although it would be a bit easier than I think you or CustomFibers realizes [with my Tanaka]; all the functional pieces of the rifle solely connect to each other (some of which lock the body down as well)- you can actually assemble the rifle with fully-functional magazine lock and release without the body/stock. This means very low tolerances would be acceptable when creating the part, and no mounting screws/etc. of any kind would be necessary.

I'm going entirely off of my gut when I say this, but judging by videos I've seen involving handling and stress-testing of carbon fiber, the material seems like it will be noticeably lighter than my current outer barrel. I'm also looking into this option because I'd prefer using the floating barrel method G&G implemented in their heavy barrels, but do not want to use a heavier barrel (not to mention I wouldn't even know where to find one- I looked a while back and they seemed well past out-of-stock everywhere). Lastly, I'm potentially using a new, different-sized inner barrel.
Oh also because cool ;)

The PVC is actually a very clever point. However, I think I'd be a bit too worried about the structural integrity. Still, I'll actually think on that.

I've considered both those options. The airstock unfortunately implements its own regulators/etc. (And I won't pay so much money for a simple metal frame used for a jury rig), and I'd prefer to keep the option of a bipod. I'm still planning on fixing my 13ci on in some semi-aesthetically-appealing and structurally sound, semi-permanent way; I'll think of something- just haven't had the time to sit down and make it happen. For now, I plan to simply tape it somewhere reasonable, haha.

That's a good idea with the magazine- it would also increase the clearance from the magazine to the ground. Thanks!
 

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Can't believe no one has mentioned it (literally made an account for it), but you can buy carbon fiber tubing. I use it for... bananas. It's more expensive on McMaster than other sights, but what I buy is two 500mm tubes off of amazon for around 30 bucks. You can choose both matte and gloss finishes, too. I was thinking about doing this to my vsr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can't believe no one has mentioned it (literally made an account for it), but you can buy carbon fiber tubing. I use it for... bananas. It's more expensive on McMaster than other sights, but what I buy is two 500mm tubes off of amazon for around 30 bucks. You can choose both matte and gloss finishes, too. I was thinking about doing this to my vsr.
Not bad! I appreciate the initiative you took- making an account to reply. Welcome!

Yeah as I've found out, avoiding custom work entirely by simply buying tube is crazy cheap. Soon I'll be posting pictures of my final product- which is made with filament wound tubing- even cheaper than the traditional twill woven carbon fiber, and in my opinion looks even cooler!

I'm on mobile and also still working with Common Fibers, but soon I'll post a more in-depth explanation of the process, and how more people should look into it!
 
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