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Modifying ATP to use laser marker


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#1 Lkbonham

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:24 PM

Greetings:

I'm looking into using ATP's as training weapons with a video simulator.  They would need to be modified, essentially, so that the inner barrel would be replaced/plugged with a laser marker (example: http://www.laserlyte...roducts/lts-pro) that emits a laser pulse when it detects the hammer fall (sound activated), and the gas from the magazine is used only to cycle the action and provide a bit of simulated recoil.  I.e., modified so that it does not actually shoot anything but a laser pulse, but unlike a SIRT-type trainer it would have some simulated recoil and blowback.  (There are CO2-based kits that drop into Glock 17's and several other "real steel" weapons that do the same thing, but they cost well over $1,200 each (not including the weapon)!)
Any ideas on whether this is doable, and if so, how?
Thanks --
LKB
Austin, Tx

#2 Outlaw1995

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:52 AM

Hey Lkbonham, welcome to the kwa forums. I looked at the link, and it says the thinnest point of the laser marker is .1 inches. The inner barrel of the ATP is 6.05 mm, so you SHOULD BE ABLE to fit the laser marker into the inner barrel, and you may have success there.

Getting the gun to cycle and recycle on each shot (without shooting any bbs) requires that you take the bb follower out of each magazine. Doing so, you will have an infinite amount of rounds, until your gun runs out of gas. The slide won't lock back either since the bb follower isn't there to push the slide catch lever up, so keep that in mind when conducting speed reloads with this video simulator idea.

I'm liking the idea. Please let me know how it works out!

#3 Lkbonham

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the response.  

There are a variety of laser markers available, and worst case I could just chuck up the shaft in a lathe and turn it down to 6mm, replace the shaft with a 6mm rod, or replace the barrel with a 9-10mm ID brass tube.  I'd probably also need to pin the marker in place -- I don't want a $100 laser marker being shot across the room!

I'm with you on removing or pinning the follower in the magazine.  I guess my main questions / thoughts are:

(1)  If we assume that the barrel is completely plugged with the marker, will the resultant gas pressure on the piston that cycles the action be excessive? (If so, I guess that the marker could be ported to allow some gas to escape.)

(2)  This setup would necessarily be used indoors (you need a darkened room to best see the video screen and for the marker camera to register the shots), so using propane is likely out (I'm not worried about explosions; the odorant in the propane would just create too many problems [i.e., besides the foul smell, nearby people would be worried that there was a gas leak in the building]).  Regular green gas is, of course, one possibility, but given that we don't care about projectile FPS or getting more than about 17 shots per fill, do you think duster gas would work? Would it be sufficient to cycle the action for 15-20 shots -- especially if the barrel is plugged?

(3)  Related:  Any way to convert an ATP to CO2 for this purpose?  

The Dvorak drop-in simulated recoil kits for various duty weapons ($2500, not including the weapon or the laser marker!) use standard disposible CO2 cartidges in the magazine, and they get several dozen shots per cartridge.  Given the outrageously high price of these kits, I'd think there would be a ready market for an ATP-based simulated recoil laser trainer (especially if used CO2 or duster gas) to use with the various video simulators out there (LaserShot, IES, Meggitt, VirTra, iSniper, etc.).  Perhaps KWA should explore this market . . . .


FYI, the system I'm looking into acquiring is made by LaserShot.  Some of the various courseware available for LEO training can be seen here:

http://lasershot.com...ent/courseware/

The Course of Fire (virtual shooting range), Judgment Training (branching video program for "Shoot / No Shoot" scenarios), and Skill Drills programs are all really good, but my personal favorite is the virtual Steel Target Course (there's just something visceral about shooting steel targets, and this lets you enjoy it without having to lug a couple of hundred pounds of AR500 steel out to the range . . . plus not having to go downrange to reset them after each course of fire).

When I visited the LaserShot HQ earlier this year, the Lasershot guys also showed me their military sniper training simulator (http://lasershot.com...ting-simulator/) that is incredibly cool (and fun), but for obvious reasons it's not available to the general public.  (Not that most of us could afford it even if it was  . . .  it'd probably be one of the most expensive video game systems on the planet!)

Best regards -- LKB

#4 Outlaw1995

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:32 PM

"I'd probably also need to pin the marker in place -- I don't want a $100 laser marker being shot across the room!"
- You could probably just drill tiny holes and port the inner barrel so that gas escapes out the sides... just a thought, not sure whether or not the metal that makes up the inner barrel can withstand the drilling. Definitely not the outer barrel, be sure not to drill the outer barrel, it is made up of weaker metal and would probably crack entirely if you drill.

"If we assume that the barrel is completely plugged with the marker, will the resultant gas pressure on the piston that cycles the action be excessive?"
When the gun is fired, the majority of the gas is directed rearwards, hitting the rear portion of the piston I believe, causing the slide to go back and cause the blowback. The remaining gas is directed forward, towards the barrel. So, if you can port the inner barrel so that enough gas can expand and escape out of the inner barrel and not force the marker out of the barrel, the blowback will be unaffected, and the marker will not be forced out of the barrel. If you can port the marker to allow some gas to escape, even more power to you.

"Do you think duster gas would work? Would it be sufficient to cycle the action for 15-20 shots -- especially if the barrel is plugged?"
In my opinion, the ATP is one of KWA's least propane tolerant guns. Since propane is classified as a harder and more pressurized gas, the recoil will be stronger than using green gas. And since duster gas is a weaker gas, recoil will be less... Plus, duster gas is known to cause malfunctions such as the slide not cycling, etc. Plus (plus), since it's a weaker gas, you get less shots per fill... I'd suggest using green gas And given the modifications you are doing to this gun, I would not suggest duster gas as the main propellant for the gun.

"Any way to convert an ATP to CO2 for this purpose?"
You happen to be in luck. RA-Tech used to make CO2 magazines compatible with KWA/KSC's M-series (glock series) pistols: specifically the M17 and M19. If you can navigate their website, you'll find that ra-tech still sells these magazines. You should contact them directly if you want to place a bulk order for them. You are going to want the M17/M18 magazine, since the ATP most fully replicates the full sized glock. Since the ATP is essentially an M-series with a few improvements, you can shoot CO2 through an ATP, be advised it is not lubricated and may cause some malfunctions, but using CO2 will save you a ton of cash.
Here's a link where you can buy it retail:
http://www.evike.com...oducts_id=33474

Hope this helped...

Edited by Outlaw1995, 17 December 2012 - 12:33 PM.


#5 Lkbonham

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:07 PM

Thanks, especially for the catch on the RA-Tech mags.  I'll keep you posted on how things turn out.

#6 Outlaw1995

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:14 PM

View PostLkbonham, on 17 December 2012 - 02:07 PM, said:

Thanks, especially for the catch on the RA-Tech mags.  I'll keep you posted on how things turn out.
Sweet! Glad to help. Please continue to update the thread with any progress. Can't wait to hear. :)

#7 Lkbonham

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

Followup:

I have found a vendor who believes he can fabricate a compatable laser marker to work with an ATP (indeed, he hadn't heard of the ATP and is interested in evaluating them for this precise use).  Unfortunately, the supply of ATP's now seems to have completely dried up -- NOBODY has them in stock, and the usual suspects all cannot give me any indication of when they might have more.

Anybody have a line on who might have stock, or what the deal is here?

LKB

#8 Lkbonham

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:29 PM

Update:  

AIMTech Systems in Houston is currently working with an ATP to make the modifications I have discussed.  So far, they report that they have been able to get it to work with their laser marker by shortening the inner barrel and threading the outer barrel to accept the laser insert.  I'm advised that it works well with green gas / propane, but they are having some difficulties in getting it to work with the RA Tech CO2 mags (top gasket on the mag is hanging up the cycling; may need to shave it down a bit).  They are very impressed with the build quality of the ATP vs. earlier GBB airsoft pistols; hopefully they will be ble to solve the CO2 conversion, as that is critical . . . this application will be used exclusively indoors.

BTW, I spent the better part of the weekend working with the LaserShot simulator (Course of Fire [range simulator], Judgmental Training Simulator [branching video shoot/no shoot trainer], and a beta version of their military small arms marksmanship trainer [think: high-def turning targets, moving turning targets,  knock-down steel, "Hogan's Alley" shoot/no shoot targets, etc.].  All extremely cool, even with a non-recoil laser trainer.  Great way to beat the ammo shortage . . . .

LKB

#9 Outlaw1995

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:01 PM

Great to hear, I can't wait to see the results.

#10 Lkbonham

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 05:09 AM

Updates:

(1). The folks at AIMTech have successfully modified the ATP to work with their laser insert, as well with the RATech CO2 mags.  Indeed, they will going with such modified ATP's as a part of their product line (when they can get enough of them!)

(2). They have just released their first computer target product:

http://m.youtube.com...h?v=ZYVRqVuZ8WI

Note that Luke was using a non recoiling dry fire trainer in the demo.  With a modified ATP, there would be more realistic training, especially for followup shots.

Luke also reports that the system can also work with a LCD/Plasma big screen TV, but requires a sheet of acetate to be taped in front of the screen for the shot camera to register (extremely easy to do), but a projector allows for realistically sized targets.

While this system lacks the interactive video and other bells and whistles of the LaserShot system we are using, it's also dramatically cheaper -- $300!  Combine this with a modified ATP and you've got a pretty good home practice setup -- especially given the price of ammo these days!  And I suspect that over time, their software is going to get better and better, with additional "bells and whistles" being added.  

Worth keeping your eyes on.

LKB

#11 jimmythegrip83

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 06:19 PM

LKB, any updates on this or have you tried doing this modification yourself?  What was the cost of the LaserShot software?  I'm a LEO looking for an inexpensive training tool.  My department will not likely have anything in thebudget for something like this anytime soon, so I am on my own paying for it.  Thanks!

Edited by jimmythegrip83, 26 January 2014 - 06:19 PM.


#12 Lkbonham

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:03 PM

Jimmy:

I haven't attempted the modification, as the AimTech Systems guys are the pros at this and can sell me a modified barrel with a laser, so all I have to do is swap barrels so I still have the ability to use my ATP for F-o-F, etc.  (Probably will cost about as much as a standard laser marker, plus I'll get it with IR laser to work seamlessly with the LaserShot system.  It's on my to-do list this spring.)

Speaking of LaserShot, they don't sell the software by itself, and you have to get the complete hardware and software system from them (basically, an optimized computer with a touchpad interface, a 1080p projector, hi-resolution IR cameras, etc.).  I haven't checked their latest prices, but the minimum system price is likely >$12K.  A lot cheaper than most of their competitors, but way too expensive for most individuals.  (LaserShot sells mostly to trainers / LE departments / DoD / military clients, so they're business model pretty much ignores the consumer end . . . and they won't sell most of their good stuff to ordinary consumers anyway.  They have some sniper and crew-served weapon simulators that are nothing short of breathtaking, but those are definitely off limits to non-military customers.)

The AimTech computer program is a major step down from LaserShot, but it's good for dry fire training, and it's definitely affordable.  iMarksman is another option out there -- it's a lot less than LaserShot, but it's also nowhere near as capable.

If you have questions about any of this, feel free to ping me offline (lkbonham@yahoo.com).

LKB




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