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Is the KNEX gun community dead? Answered

So there has not been a post in the KNEX forum section for weeks about KNEX guns and It is getting so slow and dead around here that I could not stand it any more so I thought I would post a topic to see what others think.

Are any of you working on stuff? I know some KNEX gunners have moved to YouTube but there is still very little content also a lot of people have left I know years ago everybody was saying that the community was dead but there was a nice jump in activity in the last year or so but It seams that stuff is dead as meat around here know. I found this community to be are very welcoming and fun place on the internet and I would hate to see it dead for good. Is there anybody that has plans of posting again? I just want to know how things are going has everybody lost interest or just grown out of this hobby? I hope that we can come back to life but I don't know will 2015 go down as the year the KNEX gun community died?

Hope all is well with all you KNEXers! 


I personally haven't kept up with the knex community for several years now (I'm one of the people who quit and moved to youtube personally), but I feel like a lot of the biggest names have also moved on and from what I saw there hasn't been a new crop of people that could establish themselves or have a level of innovation quite like the old generation could.

When I left we were at a peak where it seemed that we were making weapons with maximum efficiency, so in all honestly it might have just died off because knex gunning has been solved already, although like I said, I haven't kept up for a few years so maybe there's some new development I haven't heard of, but I actually kind of doubt this.

I forgot you can't edit comments here. Anyway, I also gave the site another go-around and the link to the forums seems to be more buried than it was when I previously visited. I feel like the forums in general are getting less visibility than they were before.

most concurrent online users ever was 23.

Jeez, it seems even more dead than the ibles knex forum.

It's actually been consistently more active than the forum here. Though it is pretty much the same people there vs the same people here. Overall, there just isn't much activity in the K'nex community and that's sad. Somehow we failed to pass it onto the next generation and the current generation just doesn't try hard enough.

I have a lot of innovative ideas but I just don't have the interest or skill to act on them I hope to get some more new things posted but I just have a lot of other things that interest me more.

Sadly we just get more people moving on than people joining. Back when I first started, it was a lot easier to get involved. There was so much left to discover, very simple novel contributions you could make. The problem isn't that there isn't a lot left to innovate but simply that there aren't that many people left to innovate. The more skilled people moved on for whatever reason. The less skilled people just tend to rehash the same things. Heck, it's difficult for me to make anything new even if I get an idea. I dunno, I don't think I'll ever stop building, but I only ever make something like once every half a year. What I'd like is for us to spread the word, get more people interested in K'nex gunning, and then make some guides to help them make more advanced builds sooner.

Knex gunning seems to have been solved around 6 years ago in terms of finding the best/most efficient design. I haven't been around in a while but Mepain's latest ible is basically his fine-tuned TR variant. Given that the TR design first debuted in 2009 and this ible was posted in 2015, it indicates to me that most of the skilled knexers seem to be focusing on just trying to have the finest tuned version of the same mechanism/design instead of trying to find the most efficient/reliable design at this point, since the most efficient/reliable design has already been found. It renders other potential innovations moot when it comes to performance and this results in stagnation. I didn't realize this at the time but I ended up moving on because I found myself just wanting to build variants of the best guns instead of trying to make my own unique design, since it seemed pointless to try.

To have a proper analogy, in Magic: the Gathering, a "Solved" format is a format where the best decks (the ones that have the best winning percentages) have been found, and the meta revolves around either having the best tuned versions of those decks, or having a deck that's been specifically designed to beat that deck. Such formats typically result in cards being banned to prevent stagnation and player loss.

And to me, this is BS. Why do some people -only- care about performance? What happened to making proof of concepts for the sake of new concepts? What happened to upping the bar? Even in the more serious crowd, there were some people who tried to innovate even if the concept wasn't practical. I dunno, I just find more fun in seeing if I can make an idea work regardless how well it does.

That all said, I don't think it has been "solved" so much as stagnated just like innovation in general. I could rehash my typical TR rant again, but it's basically summarized as this: the TR is essentially the AK-47 of the K'nex community, adored for its simplicity and reliability with acceptable, albeit still not optimal, performance.

This is why I had the Magic analogy. Sure you could brew a random deck for fun and play casually, but in a solved format, you either have to play the best deck or you'll never win. Same with knex wars: You need the best/most reliable gun in order to be competitive and not fickle around with malfunctions. In magic, when building a new deck, you have to ask the question of "Is it better than/can it beat the top deck in this format?" and if not, it's automatically not viable to play. Same with a knex gun's design for a war. One of the caveats about innovation outside of knex is that it can't just be for the sake of having something new, it also has to somehow do something better than the already established "best" design. For example, Mepain's knexsayer was what innovated the 8 round turret design, but the TR's innovation comes from taking that turret design and putting it into a package that's significantly smaller, less piece consuming, and more reliable than the knexsayer.

I also think the problem lies in that there seems to be less people willing to try to work with/tune a design that will probably be worse than the TR in a war scenario anyway. I don't know how many others besides you are still here just making designs for the fun of it but that number sure has dropped. Just wondering, how does the interest in knex items other than weapons look like?

Not too concerned with magic or anything similarly competitive for a similar reason. Exactly what's the point of customizable/collectible hobbies when everyone boils it down to a science and starts using the same thing anyway? Again I ask, why do some people only care about performance? Why can't more people just build to see what new things can be done and then maybe worry about making the next best thing? Before we can run, we first must learn to walk. We make steps toward innovation. But much like some babies, some people are so comfortable with the speed at which they crawl that they'd rather not take their awkward first steps and learn to walk. But we need to make steps toward progress, small victories at a time. For example, I recently posted a bolt action rotary magazine gun. I didn't expect it to be better than most other bolt action designs. It was novel. But I was hoping it could be improved and expanded on such that perhaps a better bolt action could indeed be made from it, perhaps something to compete with the TR as well. Unfortunately, there just aren't that many people left.

It seems there's still a relatively strong "regular" K'nex following, but fans are distributed over lots of different websites.

Yeah that's my point; there aren't a whole lot of people who want to innovate instead of just fine-tune the established "best" mechanism, let alone a whole lot of people to begin with lol.

Sounds like a good idea. Maybe someone could put up some videos one YouTube to help get people interested.

No, the K'NEX Gun Community is NOT dead! No way!

I am planning to post quite a few things soon, so keep your eyes open for that.

Nooo! K'nex guns are not dead. K'nex is not dead. No matter how many people say it, k'nex is not dead! Everyone just needs to persevere, of course there will be plateaus but maybe someone has a surge of inspiration then everything starts back up again!

Great! Nice to see you have a lot of positive energy for the KNEX community!

=)also I have some ideas I'm willing to share on the forums if I cannot execute them.

=)also I have some ideas I'm willing to share on the forums if I cannot execute them.

I should hope it'll never die, but the intervals between activity are getting longer and longer. Eventually we'll be at a point where it's a new post only every month or so. We're already at the point where this forum isn't being posted in until every 2-3 weeks.

I no longer use Instructables for K'nex; only Nerf now. If you still want to talk to some of the old K'nexers, most of them are on Facebook, but we live non-K'nex lives now. A few of the gun builders may post every now and again though, as I've been told by them. Although unfortunately it seems the likes of my good friends Red, Hunter999, and DarkOwlProductions will be gone forever.

Nerf is pretty cool! I'm more into Super Soaker since you don't have to buy ammo.

Have you done any thing with the new KNEX K force guns? I here some tried using the ammo in Nerf guns.

I'm not dead yet. I have something I'm a'workin' on.

Not really. I've worked on and off on some projects. We'll see what happens.

Okay. I just got a new motor so i'm working on a Gatling gun.

Whoa, that sounds pretty cool! Especially if you can get it looking good, most of them that I have seen are kinda ugly.

Update i'm working on a handheld Gatling gun but it wont use a motor but a lever to cycle through the rounds.


2 years ago

Just wait until summer, a lot of us are busy with school or would rather play video games after school than build with knex after school.

I'm still working on a top secret project. It's going to be a really innovative gun (I hope). However, I don't work on it very much at all. =( I should get back to building more.

Sounds very cool! I'm looking forward to when it gets done and we can all see it!

Maybe I could post some of the pet projects I've done over the years. It's nothing outstandingly novel but several of them are pretty cute.

Well I'll be. Perfect Duck comes around. I remember showing people your belt gun video when I was new to K'nex gunning to show them how awesome the creations could be. Funny looking at your designs now and seeing how far we've come. You should at least make a topic going over everything you haven't posted, it'd be interesting to see.

Sounds cool! It would be great if you could post some more stuff!

Both Dunk and DJ are correct. There's actually a lot of room for improvement, but it's extremely difficult to make something new and worthwhile.

I would like to do more K'nex but I just don't have the time anymore

we ain't dead we're busy

I'm currently busy with school and I have another hobby that takes up some of my time, not alot, but it does take up alot of my budget.

If you're curious what my other hobby is, it's collecting Funko Pop! Figures from games I've played and enjoyed. They're alot of money and I have to put alot of time into it, as it requires alot of time to order them and collect them, as they aren't distruputed as wildly in The Netherlands as they are in America or The UK.

I currently have a Lever Action Rifle build, but it doesn't have alot of my own design, the mech was taken from Knexmad his LA rifle, and the handle and stock were copied from BlueMullet2's bolt action rifle, the barrel is mine tho, but still; not post worthy in my eyes...

Trying to get a girlfriend is also taking up alot of time, as she doesn't like me back (yet am I right?) so that's also taking up time.

test week is closing in and my grades aren't looking so good.

still, I'll post something soon, might even be the Mini Draco I've build a few months ago, never posted it tho.

sorry for the long post have a loli.


Like DJ said, a lot of the old guys moved on. Whether it's 'cause of college, work or just getting into other hobbies. It's a shame, sure, but it happens with loads of communities.

Another problem would be just running out of ideas. There aren't that many new things to invent. We could, however, work on perfecting those ideas.

Is there anybody that has plans of posting again?

Well, I have this Steyr AUG model that I built a month or two ago. I just need to get around to posting it.

There's a small wave of new builders here, but establishing yourself in a shrinking community isn't easy. They may post stuff that's been done before, but at least they keep the community alive.

Also, hiding the forums wasn't a great move on ibles part. I don't see the reason for moving the forum button either, there's plenty of space next to the explore and publish buttons.

Well I hope the new builders can catch on and keep the community going. It is stupid that instructables had to screw things up with there forums.

It won't be like it was a couple of years ago, but I hope this community can keep existing. It's a shame some of the newer K'nexers leave after a few posts.
The forums should become more "visible", so to say. A button in the top bar, and maybe a "create forum topic" button in the publish screen could already help with that.