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How to create a simple yet effective DIY air gun at your home from little bits and pieces lying around

Picture of How to create a simple yet effective DIY air gun at your home from little bits and pieces lying around
This gun is a good pastime and like most other DIY products, does not need any special components but the thing about this is that you won't even need to step out of your house for it!
The materials required for this gun are as follows:
1) a 6 inch long copper pipe (like the one in a shower preferably with a 1/2 inch diameter)
2) a 1.5 - 3 ft long flexible rubber or PVC pipe (also with a 1/2 inch diameter)
3) a bicycle and/or car tyre foot-pump
4) a 1/2 inch gas valve (of any type you can find)
5) a large or medium-sized empty fizzy drinks bottle
6) a projectile
7) a one-way valve (from a car or cycle tyre)
8) some heavy duty epoxy glue
9) a roll of paper tape

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Step 1: Creating the gun barrel

Picture of Creating the gun barrel
First of all, you will be needing a 6-12 inch long pipe (made of copper, plastic or anything) which should be rigid. This will act as the barrel of your gun inside of which, you will place the projectile (bullet). The length of the barrel is entirely up to you. You could go with a longer barrel which will give you more accuracy but less distance or you could opt for a shorter barrel in which case the opposite will be true. ( I opted for copper and and a 6 inch pipe) You will easily be able to find it once you break open outer plastic casing of a shower.

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Step 2: Connecting the Rubber pipe

Picture of Connecting the Rubber pipe
The rubber pipe is actually a means of getting the pressurized air from the drinks bottle to the barrel. The pipe is recommended to be of rubber which is 5 to 6 finger-nails thick and will provide sufficient pressure-resistance and flexibility. the pipe should have connector rings (the tread which enables it to be screwed onto another component) on at least one end. On the other end, cut the rings off and fit the now plain pipe onto the outer side of copper pipe (in Step 1). Make sure the fit is tight, for added assurance, you can apply strong epoxy glue.

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Step 3: The storage tank an release valve

Picture of The storage tank an release valve
valve2.JPG
Put the connected tube and pipe aside for now and concentrate on the storage tank and release valve. The storage tank is a large empty fizzy drinks bottle covered with paper tape for added strength. Make sure that it is a fizzy drinks bottle because only those can withstand 150 psi of pressure. Take a gas valve, ideally made of metal and insert one end of it into a tread inverter which will change the negative tread of the valve ("into" which things fit) to a positive tread ("onto" which things fit). The pipe will later fit into this. Now take the cap of your empty drinks bottle and cut a whole in it just wide enough for the other end of the valve to fit in, you may do this with a simple hand-cutter, insert the valve into the cap. Now insert the cap onto the drinks bottle. Seal both these connections (cap-to-valve and cap-to-bottle) with epoxy glue. Next, you will need a one-way valve to allow for pressurization. You can easily get this from an old tyre or its inner tube. Cut a hole in the side of the bottle and wedge the valve inside sealing the connection with epoxy.

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Step 4: Assembly

Picture of Assembly
Now its time to assemble the whole lot. Simply insert the vale into the rubber tube via the tread inverter and you've got yourself an air-gun (without its main engine that is!)

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Step 5: The foot-pump

Picture of The foot-pump
nozzle2.JPG
The "main engine" comes courtesy of a car and bicycle tyre foot-pump. The nozzle on the end should fit in to the one-way valve discussed in Step 3. The black end protruding from the back is a lock to stop the air escaping. So when using the foot-pump, you'll have to clamp it down in the direction of the red arrow shown in the picture.

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Step 6: The Projectile

Picture of The Projectile
Lastly, you have to decide on the type of projectile that you are going to be using. Whatever it be, it must fit snuggly into the barrel, don't make it too tight otherwise it may slow down the speed and distance measured just make sure there aren't any visible spaces between the projectile and the inner surface. I decided on using a plastic ball-pen rifle which has tape on one end to make it fit, this is best for indoor use as it is accurate, travels a good distance and isn't that dangerous (though don't hit someone unless you want it embedded half a centimeter into their flesh). For outdoor use you could go for a metal rifle or indeed anything you find useful or convenient

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Step 7: Final Assembly and brief guidline on use

Picture of Final Assembly and brief guidline on use
Everything is now ready so insert the nozzle of the foot-pump into the one-way valve and put the projectile into the barrel. Be sure not to pressurize the cylinder above 90 psi just to be on the safe side so it helps if your foot-pump has an integrated pressure gauge. Close the valve whilst pressurizing (of course!) and once enough pressure accumulates stand well back let er rip! Open the valve quickly so that all the pressurized air rushes in suddenly and creates the most thrust. I also strongly enforce that you change the bottle after around every 50-80 shots because there is a risk of it exploding after being constantly pressurized and de-pressurized.
HAPPY SHOOTING!!

For tweaks on significantly speeding up your PC's performance, visit my website, the address is:
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zizigal4 months ago

very tanks

tinker2343 years ago
could i use blow gun ammo?
A lot of early air guns worked this way, there's one mentioned in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.
WYN soldier4 years ago
Hi, can basic glue from a glue gun can do the trick?
Hey! I got the exact same foot pump, but I lost it :( I don't know how, but I think I saw something like this from a movie. I forgot the title. The guy had a huge air tank connected to this thing which fired nails at his victims.
no country for old men is the movie i think
Tread inverter? Seriously? Dude, learn how to speak before posting on instructables.
Check out my Ible its a m25 homemade sniper... Air powerd plus its semi auto and it looks just like one as well please go to
http://www.instructables.com/id/M25-Semi-Auto-homade-puenamic-sniper/
this rocks
would it be safe to use one of these with a hexagonal barrel to shoot plumb bobs?
Ali_Athar (author)  mettaurlover6 years ago
The principle driving this is that air pressure pushes the projectile forward. So you can use this principle in any way. Have a hexagonical barrel, a really fat one, a really thin one, anything. The only thing that has to be kept in mind is that the projectile should be a snug fit in the barrel, the pressure vessel should be able to take the pressure and that there aren't ANY leaks in the gun.
i was asking if it would be safe to shoot SHARP METAL WEIGHTS out of this, not if it was possible.
Ali_Athar (author)  mettaurlover5 years ago
uhh....try using common sense. NO!
uh... i has sanity issues. and no common sense. and a minigun. for paintball.
sharlston6 years ago
how far and powerful does this shoot?
Ali_Athar (author)  sharlston6 years ago
If you pressurize the vessel to 60 PSI, it travels ~30 feet before starting to loose height, though my projectile was pretty loose in the barrel so you might get better distance if its a tight fit (not too tight though). As for the power, I found it to be surprisingly powerful. I tried it on my finger at point-blank range (lol) and it punched a ~5mm whole in it and started to bleed o_0
sharlston6 years ago
why have the masking tape wraped round it?
dawson123456 years ago
how much does it come to? Looks small enough to smuggle to school.
Ali_Athar (author)  dawson123456 years ago
Not much, depends on how many of the bits you already have. For me, the only thing I had to buy was a gas valve which set me back only $1 lol. As for smuggling to school, well........safe to say you'd have a hard time fitting it into your school bag, but if you used smaller bottle then it should be possible, but with the 1.5 liter bottle I used? Fat chance :P
=SMART=7 years ago
.....o-0 why is this in the travel competition? looks good, unfortunately i dont have all the pipe fittings and valves, i guess ill just have to stick with my blowgun...lol
Kiteman =SMART=7 years ago
I'm also wondering why it's in the robot contest?
=SMART= Kiteman7 years ago
probably entered it in all the competitions for the publicity
andrew1017 years ago
looks like fun :D good job.... i still wouldn't build it but it looks easy enough