‘A foam firing musket designed specifically for LARP’
At its heart it’s basically the same as a commercial toy dart firing guns, using a spring to drive a piston which in turn builds up air pressure to fire small foam balls at around 95FPS. As the LARPquebus is based on historical Medieval muzzle loaders, the ramrod is used to both prime the piston, and load the ammo.
For additional flair, it uses a percussion lock to set off a toy cap, to give it just a little bit extra bang!
While some compromises have to be made (such as the loading order) the LARPquebus is intended to be as authentic as realistically possible. From its slow loading time, to a similar effective range. (approx 15m or 50')
As the Larpquebus is air driven, its also possible to add a small amount of smoke powder, to give that muzzle smoke effect so common of period black powder matchlocks!
The LARPquebus has been designed with safety in mind considering its use in LARP.
First the ball, while only 23mm in diameter, is made from a soft coreless foam.
It is also fired with very little energy, less than 1 Joule at the muzzle.
This is intended to make it eye safe, and in compliance with recommended best practices for toys.
“Goes bang when it fires. Ideally makes lots of smoke when it does”
-Cry Havoc organisers design brief!
When the late medieval period game Cry Havoc was announced, a few of us decided to play Arquebusers. Having convinced the Organisers that we could make a realistic, working AND LARP safe musket, all that was left to do was actually make good on that claim!
The first test versions were built quickly and cheaply from PVC piping. While it proved the idea was workable, it was never going to be robust enough for LARP use, nor did it look that good...
The MK1 saw its first outing in LARP at an event called "Cry Havoc" and was well received. However it was complicated to build, and tricky to maintain.
Still it hit the brief, firing a foam ball, going bang, and making lots of smoke...
Which lead to the development of the Mk2
Simpler in construction and easier to maintain. Using laser cut and professionally 3D printed parts in engineering plastics.
Further work is ongoing to refine the design. The Mk4 is intended to improve on the Mk2 design, both making the Larpquebus cheaper and further improving ease of maintenance.
Also development of non Medieval flintlocks is ongoing. Pistols proving to be a popular request.
Prototypes are in test, and its hoped that they will be available soon.
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