Introduction: Miniature Firearm With Easily Loaded Cartridges

Picture of Miniature Firearm With Easily Loaded Cartridges
This is a tiny little gun I made on the 9th of August. It shoots teeny tiny lead balls made from solder...and shoots them HARD. This can shoot holes in copper flashing and go straight through cardboard boxes. The BANG in frighteningly loud and makes my ears ring for awhile. It also features an easily re-loadable cartridge.

The problem with most homemade cannons is that the hold the fuse enters is large enough to allow quite a bit of gas to escape and reduce the over all firing power. This gun has a unique mechanism that actually seals off the fuse hole after the fuse burns past a certain point. Very efficient and much more powerful than any other miniature I've made.

So far I've manufactured 3 kinds of cartridges. One is just a blank, another holds a single lead ball, and one shoots a bunch of tiny bullets (like a shot gun or something). The last type of cartridge is very effective at blowing MASSIVE holes in all kinds of things like paper plates and zombies.

The explosives used in the cartridges are made of the red powder in cap gun caps (potassium chlorate). Only 4 caps were used per bullet, and I'm probably going to reduce it to 3 because the gun is showing signs damage.

If you are making your own post-apocalyptic style mini-weapons, feel free to pm me with any tips or questions you might have.


pawp1 made it! (author)2016-10-08

hey this is my miniature gun

explocivo12 (author)2014-12-06

can someone send the instructions to me? i am not a pro so i cant download it. my email is

explocivo12 (author)2014-12-06

how do u make it?

explocivo12 (author)2014-12-06

would it work if you filled the cartriges with gunpowder and some little pellets?

MandalorianMaker (author)2014-05-11

I love ur you tube videos

MandalorianMaker (author)2014-05-10

dude this is awesome I made a miniature musket pistols and it fires pretty well. nice ible btw.

nurdee1 (author)2011-08-11

Is the explosive 100 percent potassium chlorate or is there something else in it.

nepheron (author)nurdee12011-08-12

The potassium chlorate is from pop-gun ammunition, so it's potassium chlorate with a LITTLE bit of phosphorus. Pure potassium chlorate should work just the same.

ImageMaker (author)nepheron2012-06-17

Pure potassium chlorate will neither burn nor explode. As you note, the mix in a cap contains phosphorus as well, which makes it extremely hazardous to handle. You'd be safer using the red tip material from "strike on box" matches, which contain potassium chlorate, sulfur, and gelatin; it's both far less sensitive and slower burning (less likely to damage your tiny gun or embed brass shrapnel in your body).

Nathair (author)2012-01-16

Ok well for those people on here who said this was illegal to make is full of it u can't go to jaili know because I am a cop and an ex marine so u don't have to worry because if it isn't shooting at least a 17 caliber shell it's not illegal and I've made 44 pipe guns and theve tried and failed to even get close to convicting me so keep on building

ewerdal (author)Nathair2012-05-13

Ex-marine? try former marine, there is no such thing as a ex-marine.

apples!!!!! (author)2011-05-12

That is pure awesome.

DJ Radio (author)2011-03-05

Can you make instructions on how to make this? I'd enjoy this so much.

Colonel88 (author)2010-01-19

Another couple of questions...

1. Is the solder 60/40 rosin core Soldering solder, like the one you use to join electronic parts? Or is it special solder, made for connecting heavy duty metal parts?

I bought a butane torch, it gives out like a blue flame, like ALL blue, and now I need the torch. I'll try to make something like cowscankill's pistol, but with better machined parts and a not so fiddly trigger.

Note: If you live in the US, I already visited Lowe's and Home Depot (hardware warehouses) and they only have flexible copper tubing. I'm a "minor" and even I could bend it! They don't sell brass. If you live in USA, do you know any good chain stores where you got the brass?

Sky Woulf (author)Colonel882011-02-24

most regular "Hardware" stores have it. yea i know the "Home supply" stores like lowes or home depot are driving them out of business, but they are still around. u might have to drive to the "country" to find one tho.

zipzapper859 (author)Colonel882010-01-25

also K&K hardware

that might only be by me

nepheron (author)Colonel882010-01-19

 Answer 1)
Yes, it is just rosin core electronics solder. The rosin makes the solder "bead-up" better when you melt it on a brick or other fire-proof surface.

Answer 2)
The tubing can be purchased at many ace hardwares around the US. Also, anyplace that sells hobby/ model airplane/ miniature railroad stuff will probably sell it, too.

Good Luck!

MoTinkerGNome (author)2010-08-19

Im not trying to poo poo your parade but I would make sure that this wouldent classify as a Any Other Weapon. The ATF in the US gets really picky about people making firearms that dont look like firearms. Heck they classified a shoestring as a machine gun once, so this little warning could save ya $100k and 10 years in federal prison. However a $200 AOW manufactures tax stamp would be required before contrstruction. If you were making a "muzzleloader" you would be ok since it does not use fixed ammunition.

MrMadmonkey4 (author)2010-05-06

wheres the instructable man? :/


nepheron (author)MrMadmonkey42010-05-07

 Look at my orange board. There's an instructable called 'pocket sized hand cannon' or some such :)

rabiddemonweasel (author)2010-04-29

Nice job. The mini-gun is amazing! is there an instructable on how to make it?

 No instructable for this exact project, but I have made an instructable about how to make a tiny cannon. Hope that helps!

NATIVEBOY (author)2010-04-20

i make an airsoft gun that used gunpowder

nepheron (author)NATIVEBOY2010-04-20


zipzapper859 (author)2009-11-16

i am thinking about making one of these that has a 6mm barrel(1/8 in.) so that i can fire a bb.....also you could use the handle and trigger part of a cap gun and put a cap by the powder so that the hammer hits it and explodes and lighting the bullet....also could you tell the demisions of this gun becasue i wouls like to know. That will be very help ful.....i will make one then i will tell you about it.

nepheron (author)zipzapper8592009-11-20

Thanks for the support! unfortunately, I no longer have an "easy" camera...( I have this brand new Nikon, but I don't know how to use it?)
Believe it or not, the barrel diameter on this is 1/8 inch. all the tubing can be bought at a hardware store or online (K and S metals, I think)

the tube diameters used are as follows:

Colonel88 (author)nepheron2010-01-25

IS the K and S metals website expensive? I went on it, it says Cut to Length, but it doesn't say price D':. Is it like a couple of dollars for a foot of metal? So far I am thinking it will cost me like a couple of dollars for a foot, if it does I am buying it.

Do they also sell the tubing by 1 piece or do you have to buy like a 100 foot minimum D:

freerunnin1 (author)Colonel882010-01-31

bioshock is amazing :P

nepheron (author)Colonel882010-01-26

At the local store I buy it from, it's like $1.50 for a foot of aluminum 1/8''diam
and $2.00 for a foot of brass 1/8 ''diam

I don't know much about their website though... :)


mr. clean (author)2010-01-20

oh man u should see my black powder pistol. the barrel is made of 1/2 inch diameter copper pipe with the back half of a 12 gram co2 cylinder soldered on to reinforce the combustion chamber area. in the back end of the barrel is a touch hole to ignite the charge or fuse can be used insted. but my way of powder ignition is a pice of burning rope on an arm that moves back and forth via trigger. otherwise known as a match lock. it shoots marbles best, it will throw them through a piece of 1/2 plywood. and it didnt blow up in my face. Next i will be making a rifle using the same method ill post pics of that when i make it but in the mean time ill post pics of the pistol.

nepheron (author)mr. clean2010-01-20

 Wow! That sounds amazing!!!! I can't wait to see those pictures!!

Colonel88 (author)2009-11-29

Good job. I have some questions though.

1)Do you have to replace the fuse every time you shoot?
2) Can't you just use a regular filled percussion cap as the firing trigger, instead of the fuse?
3)Are the cartridges metal?
4)Is the gun's barrel metal?
5) If you use shotgun shells, won't they damage the barrel because the shot ricochets all over it?


nepheron (author)Colonel882009-11-29

A 1: Yes. I reload shells that have new fuses + charges.
A 2: Percussion caps cannot be purchased by minors (90% of the 'ible community are minors, including me)
A 3: The cartridges are Aluminum. Aluminum tubing is both cheaper and easier to cut Vs. brass tubing.
A 4:The guns barrel is made of 2 layers of 1/32'' brass tubing. The inside dimension is 1/8'' (I think it's measured by ID)
A 5: If you mean the miniature shotgun shells I manufacture, then no. The tiny balls seem to have no effect on the inside (that i can see) The spray pattern on the target is very reasonable. I shot a hot dog (it was soft, ok? I'm NOT planning to shoot a person FYI) at  6'' and nearly cut it in half.

I hope that this helps you! Ask as many questions as you want!

Colonel88 (author)nepheron2010-01-16

Can I use like the percussion caps in Cap Guns? Like the ones that make a bang? The ones you take the powder out of, 8 ring shot caps?

BTW you know the question above you? The halo401 guy is saying something like this. (see pic)

In a percussion cap gun, the subject I was talking about, there is a revolving chamber in *Revolver* models.

He suggests you take the revolving chamber out, and instead put in a single metal tube, to lengthen the barrel and to replace the barrel so it can withstand the powder/ metal balls. The red is the would be extension to the gun, the white is where the revolving chamber was cropped.

Hope this helped

nepheron (author)Colonel882010-01-17

 Ive done something very similar to was my first gun with re loadable cartridges...

It will work, but it may not be a consistent fire!
Tell me how it goes!

Kaiven (author)2009-11-05

Finally got around to making my pistol version ^.^ I still need to finish it, but here is a video of it so far

Colonel88 (author)Kaiven2009-11-29

Idea! For trigger!

Kaiven (author)Colonel882009-11-30

What is it? Is it an improved version of mine?

Colonel88 (author)Kaiven2010-01-16

If You're making an improved gun, check this out. Very good idea for trigger.
   Check the second idea there, the clothespin trigger.

And also this

Scroll down a little and you'll see the same trigger, but with better explanations.

and at least credit me for showing you that :D

nepheron (author)Colonel882010-01-17

 Thanks for the info! Right now my workspace is dedicated to other things, but when I get some free surface area, ill work on it :)

Kaiven (author)Colonel882010-01-16

Oh yes, I have seen the clothespin trigger before, I just don't own any x_x

nepheron (author)Kaiven2009-11-30

It's a mystery, that's what.

Colonel88 (author)nepheron2010-01-07

O wait, I forgot what I was thinking about lol.

calpul (author)Kaiven2009-12-13

block triggers. whoooooooooooooooooooooooo. lol.

Colonel88 (author)2010-01-17

So there are 5 INDIVIDUAL cap shots you use for powder, right?

Not 5 RINGS that have 8 small ones in each.

Also, how big is the barrel of the gun? Like, diameter?

I'm thinking about making a very similar one, but with percussion caps.

Got the trigger part down :D

nepheron (author)Colonel882010-01-17

 Yes, I only take the powder out of 5 rounds or "bangs" per bullet...I have to cut up the rings, of course.

Inside diameter...IDK something like 1/8''

Post some pics when you are done!

Missinthegrove7 (author)2010-01-12

Nepheron i have a pellet rifle so i think i could make a gun like yours so that it shoots pellets that go alot faster and penatrate much more but nice job on yours if you have any ideas on helping me anyone email me at
Thanks :)

nepheron (author)2009-08-14

An instrucrable for this gun would be very lengthy... I will think about it. When I add a video, I will notify all of you who commented. Thanks!

halo401 (author)nepheron2009-11-24

Im actually 12 so i cant get anything like you have but Ive gotten plenty of little 6 round chamber pop guns. I found if you use them enough the metal firing pins in the fake revolvers chambers would break. What if you cleared out the rest of the blockage between the firing pins and the end of the barrel. If you put a lead or plastic BB with paper around it to constrict the expanding gas, couldn't you make a relatively easy to make, 10$ or less BB gun. You would probably have to find a way to block out any gas escape in between the revolver chamber and the barrel, you could probably just extend the chamber length though. P.S. If you have an Xbox live account, my gamertag is also Halo401. Also great job on your ideas!!!

nepheron (author)halo4012009-11-30

Everything used in this project, except the soldering torch, can be purchased by anyone (minors included!) :) JB weld could be used in place of the solder joints, but solder holds up better. Your idea sounds clever, but I just can't visualize what you mean... maybe a picture could help me understand?

I don't have an Xbox, or even a TV; but If I did, we would definitely kick some mutant butt in fallout 3.

About This Instructable




Bio: Travelling since 2013. I'm currently in Australia for some reason. --- I’m Calvin Drews, and I love to learn, experiment, invent, create, repair, and ... More »
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