"There's very basic K'NEX guns, and some very advanced ones; but I don't see any documentation explaining how they work. You pro gun-builders are on another level and maybe take these complexities for granted. I'd love to see a detailed Step-by-Step that covers triggers, magazines, reloading, firing mechanism, bi/tripods, elastic types, and all other manner of accessories."
This is that guide. I hope that you'll find what you're looking for here, and once new discoveries are made, or if I forget something, I will add more.
The contents include:
I. Methods of Firing and Types of Ammunition
A. Firing Pin Guns: Part One: The Basics
1. Single Shots
B. Firing Pins: Part Two: Beyond The Basics
1. Tubular Magazines
2. Bolt Actions
C. Single Shot Slingshots
D. Rail Guns
1. How They Work
2. Turrets and Mags
E. Ammunition Types
3. Rod Ammo
4. Connector Ammo
5. Special Ammo
II. Types of Triggers
1. Hinge Trigger
2. Gear Trigger
3. Sliding Trigger
4. Roundabout Trigger
A. Oodammo Pistols
1. Removable Mags
2. Flip Mags
3. Sliding Mags
B. Regular Magazines
1. Friction Locked Mags
2. Clip On Mags
1. Regular Turret Reload
2. Ratchet System
Intro picture credit goes to SLDxRaPiiDZz.
Step 1: Firing Pin Guns: Part One: the Basics
1. Single Shots: A single shot, in K'nex, is the most basic pin gun. The single shot pictured here is KILLERK's original K'nex pistol: a staple throughout the K'nex gun community.
How it works: A firing pin is pulled forward by rubber bands. It requires you, the user, to pull it back until is stuck behind a trigger, which is usually pulled by more rubber bands in some fashion. You then load a bullet into the barrel; if your single shot is exceptionally well built, it will have a bullet lock, which keeps the bullet in the barrel.
Once the trigger is pulled, the firing pin is unstuck, and the firing pin flies forward and rams into the bullet. The bullet, because physics tells it to, will fly out of the barrel and hit something, hopefully, at what you were aiming for.
2. Magazines: A K'nex gun with a magazine of some kind is one of the most built K'nex guns on Instructables. Shown here (the second picture; the numbers match up with the order of pictures) is KILLERK's basic magazined pistol (It is the last gun in the slideshow). As we will learn later, that magazine is a clip-on, removable magazine.
How it works: Remember the single shot concept? You should read through that again. Did you? Ok, good. Now, a magazine is being added. So now, when you pull the pin back, it will slide past a bullet in a magazine, and the bullet will be pushed into the chamber by rubber bands. Now, continue to pull it back past the trigger, and now you've got yourself a shot to fire. Just keep pulling the pin back, and bullets will keep being pushed into the magazine, giving you a much faster reload time than a single shot.
Step 2: Firing Pin Guns: Part Two: Beyond the Basics
1. Tubular Magazines: Tubular Magazines are a relatively new concept to the community, but I feel like they should be explained first, as they are a bit more basic. Shown here is The Red Book of Westermarch's RTMP (Red's Tubular Magazine Pistol). It is one of the very few tubular magazined guns. You should build one. :3
How it works: Like regular magazines, a rubber banded piece pushes the bullet into the chamber. This time, though, it is pushed sideways across the gun, and is pushed into the barrel by a ramp of some kind.
2. Bolt Actions: These are one of the two most used war weapons along with turrets because they both effectively chamber a winngle shot into a barrel of some kind. Shown here is Raikou-San's Raikou's True Bolt-Action AST Rifle.
How it works: There are two pins sticking out the back of a bolt action, but they're all attached to the bolt. One of them, when pulled back, slides past a bullet which is pushed back into the chamber, via a ramp. The other is the ram; it is pulled back behind the trigger. This successfully gives you a way to have the power of a single shot with the ease of use of a magazine.
3. Turrets: Turrets are probably the most widely used weapons in war. Shown here is my TR8: CoNfUsIoN.
How it works: Think of a turret like a revolver, but on the front of a gun. When you insert anything into one of the multiple barrels on a turret, a little white rod should pop out the back. The turret will be banded so it will spin a circle, making each white peg catch on one side of the gun as it turns. Once you pull the trigger and fire, the white rod will be pushed forwards and nothing will be left to stop it from turning, so it does. Another barrel should be ready for firing!
You can always go back to single shots on the previous page if you don't understand the basic pin mechanism.
Step 3: Single Shot Slingshots
1. Ratchet System: A ratchet system is a favorite for a sniper, as the mechs are easy to build and use, and they can get really nice ranges. Shown here is Didexo's Crossbow. (It's just a ratchet system with a bow.)
How it works: Rubber bands are fixed to the end of a barrel in some fashion, and you pull them back onto a gear that is locked into place by a trigger: for reference, gear triggers, hinge triggers, and sliding triggers are almost always used to block the cog; they are the same triggers as the ones used in pin guns. You load a bullet onto the rails and pull the trigger; the rubber bands will fly forward, hitting the projectile across extreme distances.
2. SRV2: The SRV2 mech at this point is pretty much as far as you will get a K'nex gun to fire. Power hungry noobs and snipers: this is the weapon for you. It is, at this point, a single shot, and probably always will be, but hey, it's a sniper. Pictured here is the SRV2 in the flesh by KILLERK. There are instructions by Lowney for all that are interested.
How it works: Like its little brother Ratchet, the SRV2 mech incorporates rubber bands being tied to the front end, but this time, a piece in the back clamps onto a specially made bullet which is tugged forward by the bands after you pull them back. Pull the trigger, the clamp releases, and the bullet flies forward.
Step 4: Rail Guns
2. Turrets and Mags: Turrets and mags are pretty much all that's put on rail guns. Oodammo mags are a favorite, like knexguy's Ramrail Oodammo Rifle (pictured). That's pretty much all that needs to be said.
Step 5: Ammunition Types
2. Finammo: Just a red rod with taped fins. This is the most powerful ammo for K'nex guns ever. (Note: It's not all Pure K'nex like Oodammo; it uses tape.) Pictured here is KILLERK's original Finammo design.
3. Rod Ammo: Just a rod that is shot out of a gun. I don't think a picture is needed.
4. Connector Ammo: Ammo made from, typically, green rods and connectors; grey one slot clips are used in many TDS type sidearms. Shown here is the TDS2 by The Dunkis.
5. Special Ammo: There are other types of ammo like Canadammo by I_am_Canadian. It is a blue rod that attaches to the middle prong of a red connector. You can make your own type of special ammo, too, if you ever feel like it. :3
Step 6: Types of Triggers
2. Gear Trigger: A two piece trigger where one piece, when pulled, swing another piece downward, freeing the firing pin. Pictured here are two pictures of the internals from Beanieostrich's Project Deviance: one in the upward position and one in the downward position.
3. Sliding Trigger: A sliding trigger is simply a gear trigger with a piece that slides into it instead of you pushing it. It is considered one of the best trigger types by a considerable amount of people. Shown here is DutchWarLord's Desert Eagle Sliding Trigger mechanism.
4. Roundabout Trigger: Although this trigger hasn't really been given a name, it's used in a considerable number of pistols. It operates on a set of three internal hinges. Shown here is Didexo's Newest Gun; if you look closely, you can see the hinges in the internals.
5. Disclaimer: I realize that I haven't covered all of the triggers here, but I'd say about ninety-five percent of the time, one of these triggers will be on any given gun.
Step 7: Reloading
1. Removable Mags: Quite simply, a mag that can be removed to put on another fresh round of Oodammo. Example: The Jamalam's Oodammo Pistol. (Pictured.)
2. Flip Mags: A mag that can be tilted manually, so a string of Oodammo can be set in the magazine. An example of this would be my D2OP.
3. Sliding Mags: Killer-SafeCracker has a monopoly on this type of reloading. His TBAP v3 is, as far as I know, the only design for a sliding mag out there. It is pictured here.
B. Regular Magazines
1. Friction Lock Mags: Friction lock mags are basic removable magazines held in by friction. Shown here is TheAwesomestDude's Random Assault Rifle; it uses a friction lock magazine.
2. Clip-on Mags: Mags that simply clip on. Shown here is KILLERK's basic magazined pistol (It is the last one in the slideshow). It's also the same one that is shown in the first step.
1. Regular Turret Reload: You have to spin the turret until it has gone at least one full rotation and then place a rod in the barrel next to the firing pin. Now all that's left is to fill the remaining barrels. Pictured here is my CoNfUsIoN rifle.
2. The Ratchet System: This is easier, because you just spin a small wheel (or eight prong connector) in the front that spins the turret for you. You have to spin the wheel until it has gone at least one full rotation, and then place a rod in the barrel next to the firing pin. Now all that's left is to fill the remaining barrels. Shown here is KILLERK's updated turret rifle's ratchet system.
Step 8: Accessories
2. Bi-pods: a stand that holds and supports a rifle into a specified position.
3. Sights: An aiming device that usually consists of two pieces near the front and back.
4. Scopes: Just a long tube of K'nex you stare down to help aim.
That's it! The Ultimate Guide to K'nex Guns!
For additional information about K'nex guns, be sure to visit The Red Book of Westermarch's guide.