This project was created because my 2 year old son wanted to play nerf guns with his older brothers and sister. The problem is, he isn't strong enough to prime those blasters, so he gets very frustrated and keeps bringing them to me to load every 4 seconds. This unit is manually operated, no springs, no triggers. You simply pull the plunger handle out and push it back in to fire. the harder/faster you push, the harder/faster it shoots. (like a demolisher missile launcher) I tested it outdoors, and when angled,it shoots elite darts over 80ft
This is a simple project that can be completed in 15 minutes and costs under $5.
Step 1: Items You Will Need:
There are only a few items required to build this:
- Ball pump (i got mine at the Dollar Tree for $1)
- 3 inches of 1/2" CPVC pipe (i had to buy a 5ft piece for around $3.50)
- 1/2" CPVC end cap (35 cents)
- 1/4" drill bit (this varies depending on the actual pump you buy)
- 1/2" drill bit (this varies depending on the actual pump you buy)
- Adhesive to hold it together ( i used hot glue)
Step 2: Disassemble the Pump
Take the plunger out of the pump by unscrewing the rear cap
Step 3: Drill Out the End
The pump will have a small valve in the end that needs to be removed for better airflow.
Use your 1/4" drill bit to drill out the hole in the end of the pump.
Blow out any plastic shavings from the plunger tube, then reassemble.
Step 4: Drill a Hole in the PVC Cap
Take your PVC end cap and drill out a hole in the center large enough to slide over the end of the pump. I was a little off center on this one, but it doesn't' matter that much. I used a 1/2" drill bit to make this hole, which was not quite large enough for my pump to fit into, i used a pocket knife to enlarge the hole slightly. Do not drill too big, you want a nice, tight fit.
Step 5: Insert Pump Into Cap
Insert the pump into the hole you drilled into the PVC cap. press it down tightly. I used hot glue to hold it in place and to seal up any air leaks around the hole.
Step 6: Insert Your Barrel
Insert your CPVC barrel into the end cap. The fit is pretty tight, but i suggest using some kind of adhesive to hold it together. PVC cement would be ideal. I did not do that in this picture because I intend to paint the PVC.
Step 7: Load Darts and You Are Finished
Load your dart into the barrel, pull the plunger handle back and push it forward quickly to fire. It is surprisingly powerful, yet safe for toddlers.
Step 8: Optional: Paint
I've made a few of these because my older kids seem to enjoy them as much as my 2 year old. If you are going to paint, choose your paint wisely. I prefer to use vinyl dye on the PVC parts because it just looks amazing, however the vinyl dye would not bond to the plastic pump body, it peeled right off. I ended up using Rustoleum 2x Ultra paint for plastics. For the Blue/black one, i started with a blue pump, masked off part of it and spray painted it black, then outlined the black areas with a white paint marker. I don't know how well the paint will hold up, i just gave it to my 2 year old tonight, i guess time will tell.