Introduction: Convert a Blastzooka Into a 6-dart Nerf Super Shotgun
I modified a BuzzBee Extreme Blastzooka to shoot 6 Nerf elite darts, shotgun style. I initially made it shoot single darts, but it was way too powerful to let my children use it. It would leave welts on your body and it also would split the darts due to excessive air pressure. I could have just continued to use it to shoot missiles, but i wanted to do something more creative with it. This mod is pretty simple to perform and costs only a few dollars. When finished, it will shoot 6 darts simultaneously with the power of a standard elite nerf gun.
Step 1: Things You Will Need:
- BuzzBee Extreme Blastzooka ($5 at walmart)
- about 20 inches of 1/2" cpvc pipe.
- a 1.5" pvc coupler
- a 1.5" to .5" pvc reducer bushing
- a sheet of craft foam
- 2" piece of 1/2" foam caulk saver
- a 1.5" roofing nail (size isn't that important, as long as it has a large head like a roofing nail)
- electrical tape
- hot glue
- 1/2" drill bit (spade/paddle type)
- PVC cutters or
Step 2: Prepare the Blastzooka
i forgot to take a before picture. The blastzooka barrel has a small hole on the side of it for the air to escape. In order to get the maximum air flow for this, you need to cut the tip off. Start by removing the orange ring from the front of the blastzooka. It should just pop off with a little bit of effort. This will give you enough room to cut the tip off. I started at the hole and cut around the barrel until the tip came off. I used a pocket knife for this, but a hacksaw would work just as well. (if you saw it off, use a knife or file to clean up the edges). Once the tip is cut off, wrap the barrel in electrical tape until the 1/2" reducer bushing fits tightly on the barrel.
At this point, your blastzooka will fire elite darts, which fit loosely in the barrel. It will blow your darts apart if you pump it more than 4 times or so. It will also leave welts on your targets, so don't shoot it at children.
Step 3: Prepare Barrels
Cut your 1/2" pvc into 7 pieces, aproximately 2.5" long. You want the barrels to be about 1/4" shorter than the elite darts (this is crucial to the performance of the mod)
once your barrels are cut, arrange them in a flower formation and glue them together. I used hot glue, but pvc cement should work too. The hot glue dries faster, just make sure you get them pressed tightly together or they will not fit into the coupler. I found it best to glue two together, then work your way around the center one, one at a time. Try to keep the ends all flush and the barrels parallel with each other.
Once they are glued together, place them inside the 1.5" coupler. They should fit pretty tightly in the coupler and should go in to the half way point, where they will hit the ridge and stop.
Now that the barrels are in place, you need to seal all of the space around the barrels with hot glue to make sure no air can leak out around the barrels. (this will take a lot of glue)
After everything is glued together and dry, take your 1/2" spade bit and use it to ream out the inside of the barrels. You want the darts to slide in easily, not too tightly.
Finally, take a knife and bevel the ends of the barrels so that the darts will feed in smoothly.
Step 4: Make the Air Restrictor
If you just try to fire this the way it is, only 1 of the barrels will fire. It will fire the barrel with the loosest fit and the others will just stay in the barrels. In order to fix this, you need to take a page out of the nerf playbook and create an air restrictor. I looked at the nerf sledgefire for inspiration here, it has a single plunger that fires 3 darts. This works because at the end of the plunger tube, there are 3 holes with air restrictors. When a dart is loaded, it presses the air restrictor back, opening the barrel for air flow. As soon as the dart leaves the barrel, the restrictor closes that barrel, forcing the air out one of the other open barrels.
I didn't want to over engineer something ridiculous with springs and lots of moving pieces, so i came up with something a little different.
I created the "power flower". It is a piece of craft foam that is cut into a flower shape that covers all of the holes in the barrels. As you can see from the pictures, the center barrel does not fire darts, it is used to mount the air restrictor.
Start by placing the barrel end of the assembly onto the craft foam and tracing around it, then cutting out the shape. you also need to to cut between each petal so that they move independently.
cut a 2" piece of foam backer rod, press a roofing nail through the center of the power flower and into the center of the backer rod. ( i used a little hot glue to hold it together) wrap the top of the "stem" with electrical tape so that it fits tightly into the center barrel. make sure it is positioned to properly cover the holes of the barrels.
If done properly, you can blow through it and feel it be difficult to blow air through. Some air will still go through because it is not an air tight seal.
you also need to check that when you insert a dart into a barrel, the foam petal for that barrel should fold back out of the way.
Step 5: Final Assembly of Shotgun Attachment.
Insert the reducer bushing into the back of the coupler. I recommend sealing it with electrical tape instead of glue so that you can easily take it apart to make any adjustments you may need.
Step 6: Attach the Assembly to the Blastzooka
place the shotgun assembly onto the blastzooka, making sure there is a tight air seal. you may need to adjust the amount of electrical tape around the barrel.
Step 7: Load It Up Full of Darts and Fire
Load the outer 6 barrels with darts and pump the blastzooka until the tank is full ( usually around 8 pumps). If all went well and your power flower works properly, all six darts should fire. Occasionally, one or two may not fire if they are too tight. If that happens, simply plug the other barrels with your fingers, pump it a few times and fire it again. I didn't take it outdoors for a range test (it is cold) but i did fire it indoors. If you watch the video, you can see that it shoots very well. That blanket is about 20 feet from the blastzooka. It holds a pretty tight pattern and shoots pretty hard. There is very little dart drop over the 20 feet in my family room. (sorry about the noise, my kids were all playing video games)
I had my son shoot me in the back, it stings a bit, i'd put it on par with any of the other nerf elite guns, it's like getting shot by six of them at once. Overall, i couldn't be happier with the performance of this unit. The power flower air restrictor works better than i expected. My kids had a great time with it this afternoon. I'm going to let them play with it for a few days and if it continues to function well, i'll take it apart and finish it properly with paint and glue.