Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun - Easy Weekend Project

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Picture of Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun - Easy Weekend Project
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This super fun rubber band gatling gun project can be completed in a weekend with inexpensive material and basic tools that most people already have. There are easier ways to make some of these parts using expensive specialized tools, but we tried to make the entire guide more accessible by using basic available tools that anyone can use.

The plans and templates are available for FREE to download on this site, and the method shown in the videos and described in this instructable will make it easy (even for a novice wood worker) to complete this project and start slinging rubber in no time!

The gun can shoot LOTs of rubber bands, the only limiting factor to the number of rubber bands it can hold is how many rubber bands can physically fit on each barrel without slipping off. The limit is very high though, and should be ample ammo to dominate any rubber band gun fight!

There is a process to loading the rubber bands, and it's a little tricky at first, but by watching the video on how to load the rubber band gun, and practicing, you should be able to master the process in no time!

I enjoy making projects like this, and have used CNC machines and a laser cutter for similar projects, but access to those machines can be a problem (I only have access to the laser machine during school semesters). I am entering this into the EPILOG CHALLENGE VI contest (among others) and hope to win a personal laser machine to produce more fun projects like this one. If you like this project, PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!

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billgudule1 month ago
5 hours woodworking :☺
Works fine
melarky (author)  billgudule1 month ago

Nice! It looks great, thanks for posting a pic!

doodlecraft1 month ago

Congrats on your win! :)

melarky (author)  doodlecraft1 month ago

Thanks! I bet you have a closet full of Robot shirts by now ;)

JM19991 month ago

How many rubber bands can it shoot and at what rate of fire?

melarky (author)  JM19991 month ago

I had over 100 (I think it was around 105) loaded in the video. I could have probably squeezed a few more on, but that is pretty close to capacity. The rate of fire is just as fast as you can wind up the string. You can go as fast or as slow as you like. I haven't done the math, but it doesn't take long to empty the gun if you want to :)

JM1999 melarky1 month ago


JM1999 JM19991 month ago

I'm glad you are a finalist!

melarky (author)  JM19991 month ago

Me too! :)

novelchip1 month ago

great idea !

melarky (author)  novelchip1 month ago

Thanks! We've had a lot of fun with it. My 7 year old son got his picture taken with it for our local newspaper, and after we left their office he asked me "Dad, am I famous now?" It's been a blast.

I think I'm going to build this soon. I love the design!
melarky (author)  desertsniper1 month ago
Make sure and post a pic of your finished gun, good luck!
iliketrolls1 month ago

Nice videos and instructions! ;)

im trying to decide what would be the best target!

melarky (author)  iliketrolls1 month ago

Can't go wrong with your enemies...but paper plates and cups work nicely too.

hats99942 months ago

Great project, I will consider making this. On a side note, has anyone made one that's easier to load? It's a great gun but it seems to take a while to load.

melarky (author)  hats99942 months ago

Yeah, loading it can be a pain, but it's worth it :)

I saw a kickstarter for a similar gun ( and he has a quick load system that looks neat, but his barrel system is quite a bit different than this one, so I don't think you could adapt it without heavily modifying this design. If anyone figures it out, I hope they post an instructable on it though ;)

DEG2 months ago

Great little project....cut it out, drilled, sanded and glued up in one day....drying now...test fire tomorrow at the range (my

You got my vote also....have a good day...


melarky (author)  DEG2 months ago

Thanks for the vote! Please post pics of your gun when you have a chance, would love to see it!

gwen_g2 months ago
good job! children will love it
melarky (author)  gwen_g2 months ago

I know mine do!

petetgrosswi2 months ago
Thanks I made it and it amazed everyone that saw it they were all like "wow how could you think this up " and I was all like found it online from this awesome dude. Thanks for the templates I really liked having them.
melarky (author)  petetgrosswi2 months ago

Nice, you should take a pic and post it here, I would love to see your finished gun. They are super fun.

ryrego made it!2 months ago

Wow - great design - and I could not have done this without your awesome templates. I used a drill press for pretty much every hole. I never trust my hand drill skills. I spaced out the vertical and horizontal string guides, and it works very nicely. I also found the rubber band ball from Michaels! Loading it is somewhat challenging, but I am getting better.

Note: with great power comes great responsibility: my first loading process resulted in a band hitting my daughter right in the cheek - those things sting!

I used a nylon rope but it needs to be replaced by something better because it gets caught on little splinters here and there. The small dowels do not seem to work for me - when you load, do you push the bands all the way down to them? When I load it, I have to be careful to keep the rubber band on the middle of the rear barrel so that it doesnt slip too high (and shoot off) or too low (and get stuck by the little dowel). Putting the dowels in the center of each barrel might be even better?

P.S. I made TWO - one for me and one for a friend - everyone needs one (a friend and a rubber-band assault weapon - R.A.W.)

melarky (author)  ryrego2 months ago

That looks great! It looks like you configured it for left handed operation, very cool.

I wonder about the smaller dowel in the larger dowel thing. That would definitely center the rubber band on the rear barrel, but it would also cut down on the room on the back of the dowel to fit rubber bands, I wonder if it would reduce the number of rubber bands you could hold. I haven't had a problem with the rubber bands slipping down and getting caught with mine, but maybe I've just been lucky :)

For the string, I just made sure and sanded the heck out of those string guide holes to make sure there was nothing for it to catch on. I wish I had spaced mine out like yours though, while it does work on mine with them so close together, I am sure it would wind up a little smoother with the space.

Great job, it really turned out great!

barfus12 months ago

hi , love the project i have a question, im trying to drill holes in the dowel to make the notch for the rubberband I have a 1/2 inch spade bit but the bit breaks thru and splinters the dowel when drilling any suggestions? Thanks

melarky (author)  barfus12 months ago

Are you using a scrap piece of wood to drill into? If you place a sacrificial piece of wood under the wood you are drilling, the exit hole will be much smoother. If you look at the video starting at about 3:25, you'll see a little piece of scrap wood under my dowel. Even with that though, it wasn't perfect, but good enough to then sand smooth.

Would love to see a photo of your finished gun, make sure and post it here when you're all done!

Mo0k2 months ago

Lucky kids with super dad :)

melarky (author)  Mo0k2 months ago


Victorm12 months ago

real nice proyect ;)

melarky (author)  Victorm12 months ago

Thanks! We've been having a blast with it.

silkier2 months ago

Is it necessary to dress in suit and tie for step 11 or would a more casual outfit suffice?

Great gun!

melarky (author)  silkier2 months ago

Only if you want to be classy ;)

Dani782 months ago

that's great.

would you please share more pictures of the gun and another video in action?

melarky (author)  Dani782 months ago

Ok, I have made a new video that shows how to load the gun better (step 12 has the video embedded in it) and it also shows more action shots of the gun being shot, including a very exciting slow motion shot. ;)

I have also added a new step above (step 13) that has more detailed pictures of the gun. If there is a part you wanted a close up on that is not there, let me know and I'll add it. Hope these help!

Dani78 melarky2 months ago

thanks a lot.

I voted for you.

melarky (author)  Dani782 months ago

Thanks, I appreciate the vote!

melarky (author)  Dani782 months ago

I sure can, are there any specific parts of the gun you want more detailed pics of? When I get home from work I'll try to get that done.

dummy19772 months ago

Very nicely detailed instructable for a weapon of awesome mass rubberbandage! This thing could hold me over until I invent "Laser Tag for Cats" ; )

(I kid of course)

Very cool design..

melarky (author)  dummy19772 months ago


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