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Pointy and Explosive Airsoft Darts From Push Pins

Picture of Pointy and Explosive Airsoft Darts From Push Pins
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This Instructable shows you how to make pointed or explosive 6mm darts out of household materials.

Obviously, these are dangerous, probably illegal, and a ton of fun.

EDITING NOTES: I first published this back when I was pretty new to the site, and just got around to editing it up to my current standards as best I could. Forgive the picture quality, my first camera was pretty low quality 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. 
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

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Materials:
  • 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)

Tools
  • 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 crappy one. These darts are very roughly made and can easily damage the inside of an airsoft barrel, or destroy the hop-up system.)
  • Wire brush to clean file teeth

Step 2: Set up

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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

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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 five minutes. As you file, stop every little bit and scratch the file surface with a wire brush, it keeps the teeth from clogging from the 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

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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)

Picture of Explosive dart (explosively FUN)
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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.

DO NOT WORRY, THE HOT GLUE WILL NOT SET OFF THE CAP. I HAVE TRIED TO DO THIS, AND IT SIMPLY WON'T HAPPEN. 

Step 6: Loading... please wait...

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Now, grab your finished darts and your gun.

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 will seriously jam up your gun internals.

That's how you load it- pretty simple. 

Step 7: Firing

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Time to rock and roll. 

Put on some safety glasses, for safety's sake. The pointy darts aren't as much as problem because they stick in things, but the explosive darts ricochet like crazy and have a great knack for shattering things.

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).

If you loaded:
  • Pointy darts: The dart will fly out, and, with a satisfying POP, impale itself in the target. 
  • Explosive darts: The dart will fly out, and hit the target. If all goes well, there will be a loud CRACK!, you will see a flash of flame, and the empty dart will zing away in some random direction.

Final image shows the dart stuck in my workshop wall about 10 feet away.

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 highly encouraged, 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!

Step 10: Discussion

This project was done a long time ago, and it is still fun and viable. The following is a list of thoughts and tips about this project.
  • As mentioned before, use colored darts.
  • Don't shoot them outside, they are plastic and will pollute.
  • Only use cheap spring guns for this. The 15$ spring pistols from Wal-Mart are perfect for this.
  • If you take the explosive out of several caps and pack it all into one cap, then apply that cap to the dart, the explosive power can be increased several times.
  • Sharpening the darts with a nail file works great.
  • Depending on the range of the gun used, I would say these have a maximum range of about 50 feet if the dart is well made and the air is still.
  • These are also perfectly viable in 6mm blowguns.
  • For more fun, use the darts for a game of darts with a regular dart board.
  • The explosive darts seem to have a great ability to shatter glass. This effect is seen on everything from plate glass to beer bottles.
What is an airsoft dart
ilpug (author)  YouNeverKnowItUntil4 months ago

Does this Instructable not explain it?

gemoney1 year ago
does it work in any other type of airsoft guns
ilpug (author)  gemoney1 year ago
I would only use it in cheap guns because it can damage the barrel and destroy the hop-up. i'll add some info about that at some point, thanks for the update
rjcullis2 years ago
Good stuff I will give it a try
ebaneser2 years ago
Add weight to the front of the exploding dart to make it fly straight
Aron3133 years ago
Make a video of it!!
ilpug (author)  Aron3133 years ago
I really need to reassemble the thing before I do that... I suppose I could, but I need a Youtube account to embed from.

Let me work on it, it may happen.
Aron313 ilpug3 years ago
ok Thanks
freeza363 years ago
Awesome!!!!!!!
spcolsson4 years ago
i need to make ammo like this for my potato cannons.......
ilpug (author)  spcolsson4 years ago
well, i would reccomend taking hte empty tubes that caulking comes in, and modifying them. with only a few wraps of tape they will fit snugly in a 2 inch barrel, and can be made to fly straight quite easily.
I believe lathing refers to wood
ilpug (author)  airsoftbeast404 years ago
it commonly does, however, metal lathes are also common in some industries. i just said it might be lathing because you are using a tool to shape a spinning object. its just semantics anyway.
Awesome. I might do this on one of those boring summer days =)
laneman134 years ago
awesome
ilpug (author)  laneman134 years ago
thank you