Cardboard .357 Magnum Prop

FeaturedContest Winner
Picture of Cardboard .357 Magnum Prop
For your next showdown, short film, play or other production wow your friends and colleagues with a fancy-pants prop on the cheap!

Use unorthodox methods and found materials to create a surprisingly realistic replica of a powerful weapon: The Colt Python!
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
For the prop we will need:

McDonalds Straw (type important)
Pen Light
Spray Paint
Baking/ Grilling Skewers
Balsa 1/16"

PVC Pipe Cutters
X-acto Knife
Cutting mat
White or wood glue

Step 2: Grip- Step 1

Picture of Grip- Step 1
First, we must make the grip, minus the cylinder.
Download the included jpg of the grip. Click on the i in the upper left of the image, select 'original size' and right click 'save image as' and save it to your computer. Then open the file and print onto cardstock for the best results to cut out the small parts.
Then make 3 cardboard copies of the whole grip.
Then cut down your template to just the grip grip. Make 2 of those.
Laminate them together in the order:
Grip grip---Whole grip---Whole grip---Whole grip---Grip grip.
Compress under a book or weight and let sit for several hours.
Sorry, no pictures, started documenting a little late ;(

Step 3: Grip- Step 2

Picture of Grip- Step 2
Once the grip is dry, cut out the hole on the template.
This will be the hole for the cylinder.
Then squeeze the fore and aft edges of the grip grip to round them.

Step 4: Barrel- Step 1

Picture of Barrel- Step 1
Take apart the pen light by cutting off the non-light bulb end of the light.
Remove the innards and save them for a future project.
A pair of pliers my be necessary to coax the innards out.

Step 5: Barrel- Step 2

Picture of Barrel- Step 2
Now, cut the pen light to 4.5".
Cut the straw to the same length, pick an end and plug it with cardboard and glue.
Cut a 1/4" gouge in the unplugged end.
Glue them together.

that is a .44, but still that is a pretty good prop

I already made the frame and the cylinder but I don't know how to make the cylinder to roll over. Can you explain it ?

Oh yeah and if you want to make a working hammer and trigger check this out
from this to this.jpgin, out.jpg

Can you explain better how you did this? I looked on the page, but couldn't figure it out...


chloelynn5 months ago
Great instrucable, I didn't follow the instructions perfectly, but it came out awesome looking.
TheZer6 months ago

I followed the link that 2pac posted and these instructions and it turned out great! And I plated it with tin-foil and nickel instead of spray-paint and to add some weight, it looks just like a Colt king cobra. Thanks for posting this! It really helped!

I know a guy with a real one
LvNo100012 months ago
Awesome looking prop; I'd love to build it sometime. I was very impressed with the compact and descriptive intro opposed to the normal intro which doesn't say what you will use it for and/or what the building of the project will be like.
carlsands2 years ago
gentlemen... this reminds me of the revover for the spy in tf2
good job on the scematics and the build it was clear and understand able 100 out of 10
builder672 years ago
This is just awesome....
Spycrab4 years ago
wow! This would go great with a spy costume from tf2, just reverse the paint job :-D
dear santa
junkfactory886 (author)  Spycrab4 years ago
Oslo; I suggest that you add an extra inch to the barrel and take the finger notches out of the grip. Your project excites me.
thanks, i'm getting to work right now probably going to make a few modifications like you say, but essentially the same thing.
Spycrab Spycrab4 years ago
also, i hope you win one of the prizes :D
junkfactory886 (author)  Spycrab4 years ago
Thanks for subscribing, thanks for the support, your project still excites me. Mentlegen.
junkfactory886 (author)  Spycrab4 years ago
You got blood on my suit. Excellent thinking.
Akask2 years ago
so should the "whole grip" that's in the middle only have the hammer, or do all three have it?
vjifcu3 years ago
I followed your instructions, and it turned out AWESOME!
I used cardboard for almost everything because I didn't have any balsa wood, I just used a regular pen and a dollar store pack of straws for the tube thingy the bullet comes out of =D. I used silver duct tape for the silver parts of the gun and I stretched a black balloon over the grip to make it be black, because I had no spray paint. I also used tape instead of glue just about everywhere. I just love how interchangeable the required parts were! Good job to you sir, and I look forward to using this gun as a prop in my next spy movie! =D
dommy3 years ago
Epic gun, but if your gonna carry it paint the end bit orange
Biggsy3 years ago
This is Brilliant welldone! Going to add this to my props group if you don't mind :D
Kirby13 years ago
Do you have to use a light pen or can you use a normal pen?:)
Kirby13 years ago
Why do you need to use a light pen? Does a normal pen work?
TruorFalse3 years ago
someone should download the pdf and email it too me. :)
NJL4JC3 years ago
Data6433 years ago
I love the Mythbusters where they see if the muzzle blast from this gun can cut off your finger. Confirmed : )
First thing i thought when i saw this was "ZOmg! that reminds me of the 357. for Half-Life 2!"
mcxznbv4 years ago
There are too many flaws in your design. the grip is much too small. the plan for the cylander is too flawe. the holke for the cylander must be cut before the layers are glued together, or it will rip, like mine. the parrern is too complex. and cardstock is not a good building material. please consider re-writing the instructions, they are confusing, and do not cover everything.
rorpen mcxznbv3 years ago
yeah but he made a good looking model and it doesn't have to look 100% like a .357
Kaiven mcxznbv4 years ago
I think the instructions were fine! In fact, I made my own version of this based mostly off of the Instructable...
aj01-01 mcxznbv4 years ago
cardstock is an excellent building material
Kaiven aj01-014 years ago
Yes, yes it is. I used some on my newest model and it is AMAZING when you use it with wood glue.
junkfactory886 (author)  mcxznbv4 years ago
Well. If you would please compile a list of your complaints, personal message them to me and I will try to address them in a future edit.
chamster3 years ago
Can u shoot it?
Sithen chamster3 years ago
It's made of cardboard.... :D
KottonKandy4 years ago
AWSOME! *excuse me* BEYOND AWSOME! This is like DA BOMB. 5*s and a subscription for you!
mcxznbv4 years ago
how t oyou make hte indentations in the cylander? i cant make one if this isnt explained.
junkfactory886 (author)  mcxznbv4 years ago
The hexagonal tube structure is covered with the 3 1/2" sheet of cardstock, which had been nicked an inch in from where the space between the cylinder was marked on the aforementioned sheet of cardstock. Then, the slits are covered with six of the "Cylinder pieces" I put in the schematics.
ahh thanks heaps, I didnt notice the cylinder pieces
korvix4 years ago
thx alot for the guide
dude like can you like restate how to make the handle and stuff cause i cant get it
junkfactory886 (author)  rashad0134 years ago
OK, so the three big cardboard pieces go in the middle, and the two small pieces go on the outside, like this:
Then squish them together. Remember to cut your cylinder hole before you glue. Happy Building!
junkfactory886 (author)  korvix4 years ago
No problem! Thanks for commenting and remember to vote!
Kaiven4 years ago
I promise this is my last post... because I finished my gun! (finally!) Here is a link to the video demonstration:
aj01-014 years ago
cool gun, I have made some guns basically the same way
mine are mostly made out of paper though with some cardboard reinforcements.
What I was thinking was, if cardboard is to flimsy for you, you can make it the exact same way, just out of some kind of thinner wood. That way, it wont be as "flimsy", it would be a little easier to shape, and it would give it some added weight. Great intructable btw
junkfactory886 (author) 4 years ago
I got hit by an SUV yesterday. I managed to escape with no broken bones and no other injuries, besides the fact that my face is swollen pretty hard.
OOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWCCCCHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, Just had to get that off my chest.
Awesome instructable by the way.
junkfactory886 (author)  eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
Thanks for the positive support and the sympathy.
um, ow
. . . . . . .really have no words but sorry
junkfactory886 (author)  Spycrab4 years ago
S'not that bad now. Felt people needed to know. Thanks for the support!
Madrias3574 years ago
Now this is kinda cool! I'm preferant to the .44 myself, but the .357 is perhaps my favorite excepting the other. Scary looking if you see it from a distance, too.
i love the look of it, kind of reminds me of my coplay days, lol good job!
how thick of cardboard should u use?
junkfactory886 (author)  BillyTheGoat4 years ago
Regular corrugated. Thanks for the comment and the support!
junkfactory886 (author) 4 years ago
An appropriate video:
Kaiven4 years ago
Nice job getting deatured :D I myself have not been featured... Maybe something to do with my pictures?

"Featured" :P
junkfactory886 (author)  Kaiven4 years ago
HUZZAH! You got runner up! :D Congratz!
*Dances* But really, you did it :P Great job! I reread the 'ible and I wanted to sak: Do the barrels rotate? They are made from straws, right?
junkfactory886 (author)  Kaiven4 years ago
The cylinder does rotate; however, the individual cylinders in the cylinder are rolled from cardstock.
junkfactory886 (author)  junkfactory8864 years ago
Also sak?
Ask* Do the barrels come out of the gun, to the side like on a real magnum?
junkfactory886 (author)  Kaiven4 years ago
No. That was a tad out of my range. Maybe in a future version.
Guess what? You're my 2009th comment :D Oh, and I plan on building a magnum for sure now, it might be a while, but I'm going to see how much detail I can put on it :o
junkfactory886 (author) 4 years ago
Zootch4 years ago
I thought of "Sam and Max: Freelance Police" the minute i saw this!
This 'ible should be very popular with DIYers who live in state or federal "housing" ...
umm...wheres the trigger in the first pic???
no trigger
i know, but dont guns have triggers??
junkfactory886 (author)  Kidz_Creator4 years ago
In response to both comments, REAL guns have triggers; Prop guns A: do not NEED triggers and B: you won't see the trigger when the gun is in hand. Though, i enjoy the constructive criticism. Maybe in a future version I'll add a trigger.
I don't know if you can prove that real guns have triggers, I've never heard of this before.
facepalm o.\)
You're kidding right? Of course real guns don't have triggers :)
ok, i was just like uhh...
not all model guns
Ausm4 years ago
Now... how would you go about adding a double action trigger.
junkfactory886 (author)  Ausm4 years ago
Double action and regular action look the same, trigger wise, but in order to have the trigger cock the hammer would require a mechanism beyond what I can do in the space provided. Even the hammer on this one doesn't cock. Thanks for commenting, though!
You could always do a model of some of the Ruger .357's out there. Those look like they have more room to work with. I already have a good idea for the trigger. It pulls back the hammer and releases it when you pull the trigger so far. It just doesn't "reset" so you can do it again.
Finnaly one that i can do without having to spend el money. BEAST oh yeah and nice job dude looks super duper real
fireman1154 years ago
Very Nice
LOL! That looked pretty realistic in the thumb.
Nice work. Cheap, fun to make and effective.
=SMART=4 years ago
Thats really cool !
eyebot1174 years ago
Reminds me of playing Half-Life 2 and getting this gun. I found it, and I capped the three dudes in the doorway in front of me, sending them flying backwards. Epic fun.
junkfactory886 (author)  eyebot1174 years ago
Yeah, I remember that too. That WAS epic fun.
ILIKEPIE3334 years ago
might look better with wood
aelfric55784 years ago
Quick question: when you say laminate in a couple of the steps, does that mean anything more specific than just gluing the layers together?
junkfactory886 (author)  aelfric55784 years ago
No. Glue the layers together. Thank you for being so deductive! Vote and have a nice day!
pyroxp74 years ago
Really cool but not smart to carry in public. :p
junkfactory886 (author)  pyroxp74 years ago
Indeed! Hope you voted!
Reffner4 years ago
Nice. Very well done.
junkfactory886 (author)  Reffner4 years ago
Thank you! I love the feedback!
Kaiven4 years ago
Very nice. I actually might make this, considering it's life size like my gun models :D If you need tips, just visit my 'ibles, because I am going to use tips from this :D
junkfactory886 (author)  Kaiven4 years ago
wow. Means alot coming from you. Really excellent work. really. remember to voat. :)
Thanks! And I voted :D (not voated :P)
lemonie4 years ago
That's very good. don't forget to stick something orange in the barrel before you take it outside...

junkfactory886 (author)  lemonie4 years ago
Remember: Vote for me! Thanks!
junkfactory886 (author)  lemonie4 years ago
kk. Thx for commenting!

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?


PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!