Introduction: Paintball/Airsoft Proof Camera & Gun Mounts!
Alright everyone. it's time someone posted an instructable about this. This is my very FIRST instructable, so please comment! This instructable is going to be about airsoft-proofing a video camera, then mounting it onto a gun. This also works with paintball, however i play airsoft so that is what will be shown in the pictures.
I'm sorry that there aren't as many construction pictures i didn't think to upload this until after I started building the camera.
Step 1: Supplies
The first step to any good camera is first obviously... the camera!
Stuff you will need:
An old video camera: i use a flip in this build, and i think flip would be the optimal choice in any situation. the reasons for this are #1 the flip camera doesn't have one of those extended out monitors, which makes it compact on the gun AND you can see what you are recording. #2 all the "vitals" of the camera are in one spot, vitals meaning the lens and monitor. on most other video cameras you would have to worry about alot of fragile parts to protect, with the flip it's just the monitor and lens that need extreme protection and they are right behind each other. Another great reason for using the flip is that all the buttons, besides the power switch, are on the back of the camera. This means that recording and stopping, and watching the videos you just recorded, are a breeze.You can find an older flip camera like the one i used on Ebay for cheap. because there is always the chance that your camera does break.
Duct tape: LOTS OF DUCT TAPE! I use Duck tape brand Duct tape (alot harder to say then type), mainly because it comes in black and is easy to use. the color of your duct tape is important in the choice of tape you use... my gun is black, and my uniform is black, so it wouldn't make sense to have silver or purple or any other color then black duct tape.
A pair of REMINGTON shooting glasses: just because the lenses pop out, all shooting glasses must meet standards set by the government so if you find another brand that the lenses pop out of then use those too.
Plastic Zip Ties or Hose Clamps: I tried hose claps at first, thinking they would be better because they are made of metal, however plastic zip ties are easier because they flex better IMHO. Actually mounting the camera to the gun is one of those "it depends" situations. it's all up to preference, and you'll see that in the coming steps.
Step 2: Wrap the Camera
After you have acquired an flip video, you must wrap up all parts of the camera except the lens and monitor in duct tape. Wrap the large part where the battery is in ALOT of duct tape mainly because that will be it's only form of protection from BBs. and if you have wide enough duct tape it should be pretty easy. Wrapping the whole camera should take a good 20 minuets. Don't worry about covering the speakers or mic on the camera, they will still work if you don't put too much duct tape on. mabye a layer or 2 on the mic but 3-4+ on most every other spot. make sure you don't put tape on the buttons, you still want those to work! Also, if you want to easily take out and replace the batteries in your camera you can NOT wrap the bottom of the camera, but it will be unprotected from BBs and if it gets hit it could break. Otherwise just wrap it, and when you need to change the batteries take out a box cutter and cut the tape on the gun, replace the batteries, then put the tape back on with another layer on top of it. You can even put fresh tape on, because how much does duct tape really cost?
Sorry guys but there are no pictures of the camera wrapped without it's sheilds- I'VE SAID TOO MUCH! QUICK MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STEP!
Step 3: Sheilding the Lens/Monitor
As you know, a gun camera can't be protected without the lens being protected! This is where the Remington shooting goggles come in. With enough force, you can pull the lenses out of the glasses, make sure they are the clear kind! Take your duct tape wrapped camera, and place the shooting goggle lens horizontally on top of the front lens. This will create a sphere of protection around the lens, that cannot be broken by any airsoft BB or paintball. To duct tape it on just get some strips of duct tape, tape them on the goggle lens, making sure it doesn't go over the camera lens and just tape it on without blocking the buttons. Repeat this process on the other side but put the lens on an angle, this way you can protect the monitor without blocking use of the buttons directly under them. ugh, this is alot easier to see in pictures. A picture is worth 1000 words people, look below.
Step 4: Mounting to the Gun/Removal
Now like i said in the beginning, this is a very "it depends" kind of step. Depending on the gun you have, and where you plan to mount the camera, getting it on the gun is really up to you. I myself used plastic zip ties, by combing two of them i got the length i needed to thread it through the holes on the front of my airsoft gun. (alot of airsoft guns have these holes, they are supposed to mimic the "heat shields" seen on real guns. paintball... well not so much) i used 4 zip ties in all, tying down the camera to the gun in 2 places. you can buy them at staples for big $$$. or online in bulk for dirt cheap. they come in handy! If you go to staples they are the kind that are used for organizing AV cables. You can find them pretty much anywhere though, just make sure it's long enough. if you attach it right, then i can guarantee you that there are no problems with it feeling secure. i have zero wiggle room for my camera. it's not going anywhere on the gun, with the combined pressure of the twisty ties and the friction of the duct tape on plastic your camera isn't moving.
If it's allowed at your local feild another use for this is a corner cam. i don't reccomend "blind" firing with this thing (using the camera as sights). however it does work very effectivley to peek around cover without putting my whole body at risk of getting hit. This is AWESOME when you play airsoft realism games and own a sling, because if you just get hit in the hand use your bad arm to look around the corner just incase it gets hit, and if it does you call the hand hit and use your good hand to shoot, your bad hand's ARM to stabilize the gun, and hip fire baby hip fire.
Step 5: Go Out and Play!
This protected camera has many uses, and if you did this instructable properly you should now have a camera that can take a beating! This is my first so please comment and rate. Guys tell me your results! i will totally be videoing next time i go out airsofting and i will put the video up on this page if i get the chance.