In this tutorial I'll show you how to make a high powered air gun with PVC and miscellaneous parts that you can find around your house or at your local hardware store. This gun has a low volume high pressure air tank and a short barrel to maximize the projectile's velocity. It is equipped with a modified sprinkler valve to release the pressurized air instantly. The air gun can shoot potatoes or anything that can can fit into it's 1/2' barrel.

Watch The Video:

Notice: Please be safe when following this Instructable. I am not responsible for any injury or damages you cause as a result of building or using this air gun. Use gun safety; do not over-pressurize the air tank and never aim or fire projectiles at anyone or anything other than the desired target.

Step 1: What You Will Need:

Parts/ Materials:

  1. 1/2'' PVC Pipe(1'-5" Section)
  2. 1''-1/2'' PVC Bushing(SLxSL)
  3. 1'' PVC Pipe(1-3/4" Section)
  4. (2x) 1'' PVC Male Adapter(SLxTH)
  5. 2"-1" PVC Bushing(SLxSL)
  6. 2" PVC Pipe(2-1/4" Section)
  7. 2" PVC Coupling Slip
  8. 2" PVC Male Adapter(SLxTH)
  9. 2" PVC Threaded End Cap
  10. 1/4" Threaded Brass Coupling
  11. Threaded Shrader Valve
  12. Sprinkler Valve
  13. Pneumatic Trigger

Tools/ Adhesives:

  • Saw/ Pipe Cutter
  • Drill
  • 3/8" Drill Bit
  • 1/2" Drill Bit
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • PVC Primer
  • PVC Cement
  • Epoxy
  • Painters Masking Tape
  • Spray Paint(Optional)
  • Air Compressor

Step 2: Modifying the Sprinkler Valve

Start by unscrewing the solenoid and the manual bleed screw off of the sprinkler valve housing(discard these). Next use a phillips screwdriver to unscrew and then take the top of the valve housing off. Drill a small pilot hole in the center of the valve top with a drill then increase bit sizes to a 1/2" hole. Epoxy the rim of the 1/2" hole and use an adjustable wrench to screw the 1/4" threaded brass coupling into the hole. Mask the three holes on the under side of the valve top. Next epoxy the solenoid and the manual bleed holes and set it aside to let it dry. After the epoxy in the valve top is dry take the masking tape off and screw the valve top on to the sprinkler valve housing. Wrap teflon tape around the brass coupling. Take the pneumatic trigger and screw it on to the brass coupling.

Step 3: Making the Tank

For the tank, start by priming the PVC parts. Take the 2" PVC end cap and glue it to the 2" PVC Male Adapter with PVC cement. Next glue the 2-1/4" section of 2" PVC pipe to the Male Adapter. Glue the 2" PVC coupling slip to the 2" PVC pipe. Then glue the 2"-1" PVC bushing to the coupling slip. Next glue the 1-3/4" section of 1" PVC pipe to the bushing. Finally, glue the 1" PVC Male Adapter and to the 1" PVC pipe and set the tank aside to let it dry. After the tank is dry drill a small pilot hole on the bottom side of the tank then increase bit sizes to a 3/8" hole. Use an adjustable wrench to screw the shrader valve into the 3/8" hole.

Step 4: Making the Barrel

For the barrel, start by priming the PVC parts. Take the 1" PVC male adapter and glue it to the 1"-1/2" PVC bushing with PVC cement. Glue the 1"-5" section of 1/2" PVC pipe to the bushing and set it aside to dry.

Step 5: Assembling/ Finishing the Gun

First take the PVC tank and glue it to the sprinkler valve using PVC cement. Next take the barrel and glue it to the sprinkler valve. Finally, set the gun aside to dry for at least 3 hours before charging it with pressure. Now the air gun is finished. You can leave the gun as is or finish it with spray paint, which gives it a realistic and stealthy effect.


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<p>I made it with an orbit brand sprinkeler valve and all i got was the air going strainght thru and it sounding like a demented tuba.</p>
<p>the air tank is small but i use 40 psi with a 6mm barrel wat is a dangerouse amount of airpressor for my pvc airtank i mensioned</p>
i wouldnt go past 75. i have mine set to blow the back off the gun if the pressure gets too high.
Um so how does the air get diverted out the barrel using that air nosel? It would seem to me that the air would come out the bottom? Do you plug the output hole on the nosle?
Um so how does the air get diverted out the barrel using that air nosel? It would seem to me that the air would come out the bottom? Do you plug the output hole on the nosle?
<p>where did you get your pneumatic trigger i have looked everywhere and cannot find one</p>
<p>i did a little research and found out the pneumatic trigger is actually called an air compressor blowgun</p>
<p>Does an orbit brand sprinkler valve work fine? </p>
Please help me with in which order this would fit back into.<br>Thank you &amp; kind regards.
Please help me with in which order this would fit back into.<br>Thank you &amp; kind regards.
Hi Mate I'm in australia and my solenoid is different from yours just a little. <br><br>Q.do I leave the insides wen i screw it back up?
Can this gun kill a bird.? Can it take 150psi
<p>The sprinkler valve is only rated to 125 psi.</p>
<p>I made this potato gun and It can safely take about 100 psi ... If you use nail darts and have good aim, and give it a 2.5 foot barrel it will kill a bird ... here is a link for nail darts (https://www.instructables.com/id/Reusable-Water-Resistant-BlowgunAirgun-Darts/) </p>
<p>i want to modify this into metal pipe so it can withstand 150psi,and change the nozzle into size fit a marble...</p>
<p>The sprinkler valves are a diaphragm valve and they're only rated to max. psi. of 125. You would have to figure out another firing mechanism such as a QEV.<br>Make sure to use pressure rated PVC.</p>
<p>cool, looks like it would hurt though</p>
<p>Nice Instructable! I can tell you did some quality work</p>
<p>would a plastic bottle be good for the air gun?</p>
<p>for firing 0.68 inch bullet which size of pipes are preferable?</p>
where I found spring valve
Plz say we're u got the pneumatic trigger I could find 1
<p>This is really amazing gun so far i have seen. Good one.</p>
<p>Hey I mad your potato gun it is boss!!!</p><p>don't have a good picture of it so here is a random pic.</p><p>I'll post one later!</p>
<p>I haven't got any pvc cement... Any other idea?</p>
<p>What size is your sprinkler valve? 3/4in?</p>
For my air gun, I used a 1&quot; sprinkler valve. That's what I would suggest.<br><br>-KTC
im nathaniel did you like to share my fully upgraded powerful air gun by using denatured alcohol<br>
<p>thanks doing this for science fair</p>
Nice job! The finished product looks great! Hope you do well at the science fair:D<br><br>Thanks for sharing,<br>-KTC
<p>I am about to make it this is an awsome science fair idea thanks!</p><p>(I am giving you credit for the idea and instructuins in my paper)</p>
<p>Bro this thing is freaking ammazing !!!!!!</p><p>#sciencfairproject2014-2015</p>
I haven't really measured how much volume is in the tank but I use the psi gauge on my blow gun to check the pressure of the tank... I normally fill it to around 80 psi. If you<br>Make a air gun post a pic of it here in a comment. I would enjoy seeing it:D
<p>how much air dose it hold an how do u know its filled</p>
<p>Hmm.. wondering how you would mod it to shoot water balloons.</p>
I got it from winning a instructables contest.
Dude where did you that shirt!
<p>Nice design but I think I would load it before charging it in case you hit the trigger while loading.</p>
<p>Very cool build. Looks good and is fairly portable. Great work!</p>
In the video I shot it at 80 psi. The heavy gauge PVC parts have a 250 psi max pressure rating... Personally, I wouldn't go too much over 100 psi.
<p>How much pressure is too much?</p>
If anyone watched myth busters last wk, they showed a longer barrel will produce more speed.
Thanks for the feedback!
<p>nice air gun</p>
That's a good question... I would give a rough estimate of around $35 for the parts and materials, plus the cost of the adhesives and paint, but it could be pretty cheap if you had some of the supplies already. <br>