FNV 10mm pistol brought into the real world. We named it the CHC-10


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We decided to make this prop a few years after beating the game, and we had a plan to do it! Early on in the game once you get the 10mm pistol you notice some distinct similarities of the in-game pistol and a real life gun, namely, the MR/IMI Desert Eagle. Coincidentally we had an old airsoft Desert Eagle, the goofy full auto one, and the idea lightbulb was on. We thought we can take the airsoft pistol and build upon it to make it look like the gun in the game, and so we set upon this challenge to make this beastly hand cannon come to life.

To say it was a challenge would be an understatement. At the time we were still learning the ins and outs of how to use our available CAD software, and this was a challenge in and of itself. We were learning as we went along designing the original version.

We did take a lot of creative liberties when designing, but matched the form factor as much as possible. While we did want it to look like the gun in game, we did want it to work and actually look like it would actually be produced in the real world. We refined some of the blockiness as is because the base gun, so we tried to match that with the rest of the gun while transferring a lot of the features that make the 10mm pistol unique. The resulting design was a slightly more believable giant of a pistol, that we think Colt would’ve been proud to produce in universe.

When we printed it on our first 3D printer, the Tevo Black Widow, it was a bit messy, but had the shape and look we were going for, but when we tested the fit, it required a lot of cutting and fitting, and two important edits. We were so proud of the work we had done on it though, that all the downsides were drowned out by the awesomeness we had before us.

We then made sure the functions all worked as they should have, such as the takedown lever/barrel block, the slide, hammer, and trigger. Everything worked nicely after all was said and done, so we painted it black and added some nice hammered silver paint to give it a weathered look, and we were golden. We liked it so much we recorded a video of it functioning with a certain song from a Mr. Marty Robbins, and we posted it to all of our social media pages. Most of them got removed because of the great copyright purge, but there are soundless versions floating around. Regardless, we were happy with what we had done so far.

Although that may have seemed like the end of the story, it wasn’t. Though we had left the project alone because we accomplished our goal, we wanted to perfect it so maybe others could try it out without the need for modifications and excessive fitting. This would be a lot more headache then we thought, but still, we were going to do it!

So, two years had passed since the original was made and one more year would go by as we were living life and working on it between other projects. The main problem we kept facing was editing the original files required workarounds for workarounds that were needed to get the meshes to not break. It was very frustrating at times, but we were still learning when we designed it, so we just had to push on.

Finally, in May 2023, we had some serious breakthroughs and only needed to make fine adjustments to the design. Previously we had to delete whole chunks of the file and write extensive notes on how it went to together, measurements, angles, pads, pockets, and corresponding midplanes, etc so we could come back and replicate those features once the time comes.

The time did eventually arrive, and we printed it and slapped it on the gun, and without hesitation, it clicked into place, and the slide moved free as can be. We had done it. The prop version was now live and we posted it to cults to gauge interest within the 3D printing community. It was being seen, and it was beautiful. It was perfect and we could’ve left it at that, but we didn’t.

Now, you can imagine that feeling that something is missing, that’s how we felt with our final design. It was fantastic, it worked like we wanted it to, but it took away the original function of the airsoft Desert Eagle. That gave a bit of an uneasy feeling for us, so we se out to make it work.

The problem was that when we designed it, there was no working internals in our Desert Eagle, and not a whole lot of places for replacement parts. We found some later, but the other problem was that the design would not work with the OEM parts, at least, not without MAJOR changes. So we did what we thought best, design our own internals.

To say It took a lot of revision and adjustment to angle of engagement surfaces would be an understatement. We knew the general look of how we wanted the parts to look and fit. We knew that we wanted the hop-up to fit an aeg barrel, and bucking to bring more accessibility to the platform. We knew it would take a lot of work, but we knew we could do it.

The parts that gave us the most problems were the barrel, the hop chamber, nozzle, and the flute valve. Without getting those things right, it would never work. The nozzle kept getting stuck in the chamber and causing it to explode. The problem with that was twofold. The chamber’s slot for the nozzle’s loading arm was too narrow and caused it to get stuck, and the vent for the nozzle was ever so slightly too high. We fixed those issues but still had the exploding nozzle.

After we examined everything we made a few more adjustments, and 7 more versions later, same problem. We didn’t know what was happening. We looked at everything to find what might have been wrong and we couldn't find anything. There didn’t seem to be anything that could cause such a delay to the action that would cause this to happen. We even design our own custom spring guide and redesigned the nozzle multiple times at this point. Slapped the parts on to see what would happen now. It was nothing good, and now this issue caused the barrel to crack. That gave us an indication on where the actual problem may lie.

Turns out, as we were adding new features, an unknown error was causing the barrel to change its features all on its own and changed the angle on the rail slots. That in turn caused the nozzle to get stuck for a fraction of a second at the end of travel and caused a delay at the most inopportune moment. That delay and the resulting built-up pressure would cause the nozzle to rupture. We ran a few more edits after looking through around 2000 features and finally found the culprit. Truing a face had led to a chamfer to change positions and created a domino effect. It was nuts, but I’m glad we found it. It was doable and we could fix it with a bit more cataloguing and jotting down several more notes. About two hours later the design was completed. It showed no breaks, no errors, so we sliced it and sent it to the printer. 24 hours later having printed the lower frame, the outer barrel, inner threaded barrel, hop up chamber, chamber cover, nub, barrel c-clip, nozzle, spring guide, flute valve, the CHC-10 was ready to assemble.

I tell you, when I was getting the pistol ready to shoot, my hands were sopping wet. I was nervous. I wanted it to work, and I was fairly confident it would, but was still nervous. The first trigger pull, and nothing happened. Instant disappointment. Wait a minute, I didn’t load the magazine! Wow, now I was even more nervous, but I loaded her up, pulled the trigger, and “POP!” Said the pistol creating a nice clean hole in a cardboard box i set up as a target. I felt instantly euphoric and emptied the magazine. The slide locked back and I was feeling great.

I then emptied a few more mags to see how it’ll hold up and it shot through them all, although the cooling effect made it so that there was a significant loss in velocity all the rounds still penetrated the cardboard box. It was amazing. I shared the great news, and we were all so proud of our new creation. Needless to say, we celebrated that night.
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