This Instructable shows you how to make pointed or explosive 6mm darts out of household materials.
Obviously, these are dangerous, so ONLY TRY THIS AT HOME WITH RESPONSIBLE SUPERVISION
EDITING NOTES: I first published this back when I was new to the site. Forgive the picture quality, my first camera was pretty terrible and I had no idea how to use it correctly. This project isn't too practical, but still a fun way to spend a few hours.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Push pins (not thumbtacks, use the kind in the picture)
- Fast drying adhesive (I used hot glue, but CA glue or hobby glue would work fine too)
- Cap gun caps (mine came in rings so I had to cut them out)
- Power drill with a chuck that will securely hold the push pin by its point
- Wire cutters
- File- you might want to use a larger one for roughing and a smaller one for finishing
- Razor knife
- Cheap spring powered Airsoft gun (I mean it, use a CHEAP one. These darts are very roughly made and can easily damage the inside of an airsoft barrel, or the hop-up system.) I used a 17$ WalMart spring pistol.
- Wire brush to clean file teeth
Step 2: Set Up
Take the push pin and stick the pointy end in the drill chuck. Make sure it is in straight by spinning the drill and watching if the pin wobbles. If there are any wobbles, correct them and tighten the pin securely in place.
Note- This will not work with all drills. If your chuck cannot tightly hold the pin, then try wrapping the pin tip in tape before sticking it in the chuck.
Step 3: Turning the Dart
Take the drill with the pin in it in one hand, and the file in the other. Hold the file against the pin, and turn on the drill. The spinning pin gets shaved down by the file held against it, just like a part on a lathe. This process reduces the diameter of the pin until it will fit in the gun barrel. It takes practice, but once you get good, you can shave a pin in about two minutes. As you file, stop every little bit and scratch the file surface with a wire brush, it keeps the teeth from clogging with plastic. Also, stop and trim off any excess plastic flash with the knife.
Once the pin seems to be the right size, test fit in in the Airsoft barrel. You want it so it will slide in easily if pushed, but will slide freely in the barrel.
Step 4: Finished Pointy Dart
Ok, you now have a push pin that has had the plastic handle ground down in diameter so it will fit in an Airsoft gun. This is the pointy dart. You can leave it at that, skip to the firing steps, and have tons of fun poking holes in walls and other items, or you can continue on to build the explosive dart.
Step 5: Explosive Dart (explosively FUN)
To make the explosive dart, take your pointy dart and the pair of wire nippers, and cut the pin off about 2-3 mm from the plastic handle as shown.
Go get your caps, and cut one out. Make sure to cleanly trim the cap from the sprue.
Go get your glue gun, and put a tiny blob on and around the pin stub. Quickly, before the glue dries/cools, stick the cap on the glue, with the the stub of the pin going up inside the cap. Center it and hold it for a few seconds to insure a good bond. For reference, look at the pictures.
Step 6: Loading... Please Wait...
Now, grab your finished darts, your safety mask, and your gun.
DO NOT LOAD A DART INTO A COCKED GUN. IF YOUR GUN HAS A SAFETY, MAKE SURE IT IS IN THE SAFE POSITION. WEAR YOUR SAFETY MASK DURING LOADING.
Grab something long that will fit down the Airsoft barrel, to use as a ramrod. I used the handle of one of my paintbrushes.
Put the dart in the barrel, pin/cap side facing outward. Using the ramrod, push the dart gently down the barrel until it stops. Do not force the dart in farther once it stops, that can damage the guns internal seals.
Step 7: Firing
The pointy darts aren't as much as problem because they stick in things, but the explosive darts ricochet like crazy.
Cock your gun, point at safe target, and fire. The pointy darts almost always fly straight, but the explosive darts will sometimes hit at a strange angle, tumble, or not explode (some tweaking required).
Step 8: Find, Re-cap, Reload, and Rejoice.
These darts are reusable, all you need to do is pry them out of the wall or glue another cap on. Stop using a dart if it gets too beat up, as that might lead to it getting caught in your gun.
Using brightly colored push pins for your darts greatly facilitates finding them and re-using them. I used clear pins and lost all my darts in about ten minutes.
Step 9: Safety-second to Last
Airsoft guns are not toys, no matter what ammunition they fire. These are darts, so they can and will poke into things, or blast little chips out of drywall, shatter glass bottles, or destroy an eyeball very effectively.
Under no circumstances should this ammo be fired at people or anything other than an unimportant wall or designated target.
EYE PROTECTION IS REQUIRED, especially if you are using explosive darts, as their explosion tends to send the dart body off in some random direction.
That said, have fun!