Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Building a Recoil Simulation Machine for Scope Testing

  1. Sep 29, 2011 #1
    I work for a company that manufactures and sells night vision scopes, day time optics, lasers, and pretty much anything that mounts to a weapon. I wanted to test our equipment to see how well it holds up to various recoil of different weapons but ammunition is very expensive and it is very inefficient to go and test each product on every type of weapon. So my next idea is to build a simulator that offers the best and closest scenario to actually firing a weapon.

    Here is where I am at. I am very good at mechanics and building stuff but its the theory that im stuck on. I already have plans to build a pneumatic machine that has an accessory mount attached where I will place the units for testing. I understand that the recoil force is related to the weight and the amount of pressure being acted on that mass so the machine will be adjustable in that I can change the weight of the piston and the amount of air pressure acting on the piston therefore being able to simulate recoil force from any weapon. I am trying to make this as scientific as possible so that I can record the data in a standard format so that anyone can be able to do the same test. It has been about 10 years since I have taken physics and I am extremely rusty on the necessary calculations, ways to measure, best places to place sensors, what sensors to use, etc.. I need help!

    My initial plan once I figure out what I need to measure and how to measure it I will do a 20 shot test on each caliber and weapon style (the expensive part), average my data, and get a data sheet built for the most popular weapons and calibers. I will then take this data and place the sensors on machine and build another data sheet that shows what weight the piston should be and what amount of air pressure is needed to reproduce the same recoil as the various weapons I tested. This way If I wanted to test a laser sight on an AR-15 for 500 rounds I would look at my data sheet and find out what pressure I need to charge the chamber to, and which piston I need to use for an AR15, set up the machine and fire it off 500 times.

    So in conclusion what I need is what exactly to measure (for example, measure the force the rail where the scope mounts recieves using a button sensor and a gun mount with the sensor placed on a stationary backing and the mount backed into the sensor?), where I would place the sensors to measure that and any formulas that may be required in conjunction with the data obtained from the sensors. Any help is appreciated and any critique of my scientific process is also welcomed. As I said I want this test to be able to be reproduced by anyone given the same equipment and instructions.
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?