In this instructable I will show you how to make a PVC airsoft sniper rifle. To launch the BB's I used compressed air, making this a pneumatic sniper rifle. To control the air flow I used a quick exhaust valve (Note: I will constantly refer to this as QEV) from a sprinkler valve. At the time I didn't have a pure QEV so I decided to use a sprinkler valve instead. As the pilot for the QEV I used a simple blow gun. For the air input I used a threaded Schrader valve which I threaded to the end of my chamber.
As for the pictures, sorry about the bad quality, at the time, I took the pictures with my phone that doesn't have a very good camera.
DISCLAIMER: If you or anyone else gets hurt while using or making this gun, it is NOT my fault. Therefore I have nothing to do with whatever happens to you or anyone else with this gun.
Step 1: Understanding the Basics
First, you need to know a little about how everything works if you don't know already, if you do, you can skip this step and go on the next step (Materials).
- QEV (quick exhaust valve) - A QEV allows the user to control when they want the air coming from the input port to be released through the output port by using a pilot. In other words, coming in from the input port would be the compressed air which is inside the chamber, then using a pilot to open the QEV, the compressed air in the chamber is released through the output port.
- Pilot (blow gun) - A pilot is what will open the QEV to allow the compressed air from the input port to exit through the output port. In my case, my pilot is a blow gun.
- Blow Gun - A blow gun is a pistol type pilot which allows the user to press a trigger to open a hammer valve which opens the QEV.
- Bolt Action - A bolt action system allows the user to open a section of the barrel and insert a projectile (in my case, BB's). Once the projectile is placed in the barrel, the user can close the section of the barrel by returning the bolt to it's locked position, therefore securing the ammo inside the barrel so that it can't get out.
Step 2: Materials
- 3/4" QEV (you can get a sprinkler valve instead, I got mine at Home Depot)
- 1/2" Blow gun (you can get this at Home Depot as well)
- PVC primer and cement
- A scope (I will show a way to make one if you don't have one)
- A 1/8" bolt (a couple inches long should be good)
- Epoxy putty
- A Schrader valve (I got mine from Points2Shop which allowed me to get it from amazon for free, if you want to sign up to get things for free, click here)
- A saw or something to cut the PVC
- About 1.5 feet of pressurized hose
- 3x 3/4" PVC 90° elbows
- 2x 3/4" PVC 45° elbows
- 3x 3/4" PVC end caps
- About 5 feet of 3/4" PVC tubing
- 1x 3/4" PVC tee
- 2x 3/4" PVC female (not threaded) to male (threaded) piece
- 1x 3/4" PVC reducer to 1/2" (not threaded)
- About 2 feet of 1/2" PVC tubing
- About 1/2 feet of aluminum tubing slightly smaller than the 1/2" PVC tubing
- 1/4" threaded pressure gauge
- 2x 1/2" hose barbs
- 2x 1/2" hose clamps
- Thread tape
- Drill with 1/2" bit, 1/4" bit, and 1/8" bit
- Duct tape (optional)
- A sheet protector (if you want to make your own scope)
- A red permanent marker (also if you want to make your own scope)
- A pump or air compressor
Step 3: Modify the Sprinkler Valve
If you use a normal QEV and not a sprinkler valve you can skip this step, but if you use a sprinkler valve, you will have to modify it before being able to use it.
- Remove all the screws from the sprinkler valve and set them aside
- Carefully remove the top part without touching the diaphragm inside
- Drill a 1/2" hole in the center of the top part of the sprinkler valve
- Replace the top part with the hole now drilled in place and put the screws back in
- Remove the solenoid and set it aside (you won't need it any more)
- Take some epoxy putty and close the hole where the solenoid was originally in so no air leaks
- Take some thread tape and put some on one of the hose barbs
- Screw in the hose barb until it is all the way in
Step 4: Make the Bolt Action System
Now, take your piece of 1/2" PVC tubing and cut a slit in an "L" shape in about the center of the tube. If you're confused on what it should look like look at the picture above. Then take your aluminum tubing and drill a 1/8" hole near one end of the tube. If the aluminum tube is very loose in the PVC tube, put some duct tape around it to make it a tighter fit.
Then, slide the aluminum tube inside the PVC tube until you can see the 1/8" hole through the slit in the PVC tube. Now screw on your bolt until it goes all the way in. Now, if you try to move the aluminum tube inside the PVC, it should stop at the ends of the slit because the bolt is in the way. Again look at the picture above if you're confused!
Now you're done with the bolt action system for your gun!
Step 5: Prepare the Blow Gun
To prepare the blow gun, take your other hose barb and put some thread tape on it. Now screw it onto the 1/2" port of the blow gun. To fully connect it, take your pressurized hose and tighten one end over the hose barb on the blow gun. Use a hose clamp to tighten the hose to the hose barb on the blow gun. Then tighten the other end of the hose to the hose barb on the sprinkler valve and use another hose clamp to tighten this end of the hose as well.
This will serve as the pilot for the sprinkler valve which means that each time the trigger is pressed on the blow gun, the QEV will open, allowing the compressed air from the input port to escape through the output port.
Step 6: Attach the Schrader Valve
Take one of the 3/4" PVC end caps and drill a hole in the center that matches the size of the Schrader valve, in my case it was 1/4". Now put some thread tape on the Schrader valve and screw it into the end cap. Now, when the gun is fully complete, this is where the air will be coming in from. (the air input) The picture above is what my Schrader valve looks like.
Step 7: Create the Scope Mount
This will show you how to make a scope mount for your scope. If you don't already have a scope go to the next step to see how to make one.
If you have a rail for your scope you can skip this step but if you don't, I will show you how to make a simple mount for your scope. First, get one of the 3/4" PVC end caps and about 3" of the aluminum tubing you used for the bolt action system. Then drill two holes straight through the aluminum tube where the scope would go in to. Then drill another hole right in the middle of the two previous holes except 90° from them.
This is what it should look like if each hole were a dash (-): - _ -
The bottom hole would be facing up but wouldn't go all the way through, the two other holes should go all the way through and should be evenly spaced away from the bottom hole. This may be a little confusing so look at the picture above if you're confused.
Once you have your holes in place, take your scope and attach the screws that comes with it (the ones that come to connect it to a rail) to the two center holes. Now, the scope should only be attached to the aluminum tube. To attach it to the end cap, align the hole in the end cap with the bottom hole in the aluminum tube, then take a small screw and screw the end cap into the aluminum tube. To make sure it won't come apart, try to get a screw the same size as the bottom hole in the aluminum tube and also use some epoxy putty to keep it in place.
Then just epoxy the end cap to the top part of the gun and you're done! If you don't know where to epoxy the end cap take a look at the picture two steps after this one to see where the scope and the scope mount are located.
Step 8: Create a Scope
If you don't already have a scope, I will show you how to make one with about 8-10" of some 3/4" PVC tubing. Cut a piece of one side of a sheet protector so that it fits around the end of the 3/4" PVC tubing. The piece should be about 1.5" x 1.5" big. Then take your red permanent marker and draw a dot in the center of the piece of sheet protector.
Now, take your piece of sheet protector with the red dot in the center and cover it around one end of the 3/4" PVC tubing. While holding it in place so that the red dot is in the center of the tube when you look through it, tape the loose edges of the sheet protector with some electrical tape or duct tape.
Now you have your very own red dot sight! To attach it to the scope mount, just apply some epoxy putty to the bottom part of the center of the tube and attach that to a 3/4" PVC end cap. Then just epoxy the end cap to the top part of the gun and you're done! If you don't know where to epoxy the end cap take a look at the picture in the next step to see where the scope and the scope mount are located.
Step 9: Create the Structure of the Gun
This step is where you can get creative. You can either make the same design as the one above using the pieces in the materials list, or get creative and make a design of your own. If you do make a design of your own, post a comment with a picture of it!
In the next couple steps I will go into more detail about how to make each section of the gun.
To help with the sizes of the tubes, whatever is connected to the left side of the QEV (the green piece in the picture) is 3/4" PVC tubing. To the right of the QEV there is a 3/4" PVC reducer to 1/2" and then the barrel which is 1/2". By now, the barrel should already have the bolt action system installed, but if it doesn't, install the bolt action system and then attach the barrel.
Step 10: Make the Stock
This will be the first part of making the structure of the gun, the stock. The stock is the piece in the back of the gun that usually rests on your shoulder to stabilize the gun while shooting.
For the stock you'll need:
- 2x 3/4" 90° PVC elbows
- 2x 3/4" 45° PVC elbows
- 1x 3/4" PVC end cap
- A 1/4" threaded pressure gauge
- About 1-1.5 feet of 3/4" PVC tubing
- A saw or something to cut the PVC tubing
- PVC primer and cement
- Thread tape
- 1x 6" piece
- 1x 4" piece
- 3x 1.5" pieces
Now it's time to connect everything. When connecting the pieces, apply some PVC cement to both pieces and then connect them, let them dry before going on to the next connection. First, take your 6" piece of PVC tubing and connect one side to a 90° elbow. Then, on the other side of the 90° elbow, connect the 4" piece of PVC tubing. From the other side of the 4" piece of PVC tubing connect the other 90° elbow so that it is parallel to the first one. Afterwards, take one of the 1.5" PVC pieces and connect it to the other side of the 90° elbow, this will serve as a nipple. On the other side of the nipple, attach a 45° elbow. Now, on the other side of the 45° elbow, attach another nipple, and then attach another 45° elbow. From the other side of the second 45° elbow, attach the last nipple and then attach the end cap.
Now the stock is done!
Step 11: Make the Chamber
To make the chamber you'll need:
- About 2 feet of 3/4" PVC tubing
- The Schrader valve attached to the 3/4" PVC end cap assembly
- 1x 3/4" PVC tee
- 1x 3/4" 90° PVC elbow
- 1x 3/4" PVC female (not threaded) to male (threaded) piece
- PVC primer and cement
Now, the chamber is done! Next up is the barrel and QEV attachment!
Step 12: Attach the Barrel to the QEV
In this step we will simply finish up the barrel and then connect it to the QEV. The only thing you need to do to the barrel is to attach the other 3/4" PVC female (not threaded) to male (threaded) piece to the input end of the barrel. The input end should be the one where the air comes in from, not the output end where the BB will come out from. In other words, it is the side where the bottom of the "L" shaped slit (the part that looks like this: _ ) is farthest away from.
Once that's attached all you need to do is connect it to the QEV so take some thread tape and put some over the male end of the piece you just attached to the barrel (it should be the only threaded piece in the barrel assembly). Now just screw the barrel into the output port of the QEV and the barrel/QEV assembly is done!
Note: Don't screw it in too tight because it might break the plastic. Also, try to screw it in so that the bolt ends up on the top or sides, not on the bottom, or else the BB will fall each time you put it in!
Step 13: Connect Everything!
This is where you connect the stock, the chamber, and the barrel/QEV assembly altogether. First, attach the left-over end of the 6" piece of PVC tubing on the stock to the left-over end on the 3/4" PVC tee on the chamber. Then, screw the barrel/QEV assembly into the left-over threaded male piece on the chamber assembly. The last thing you need to do is to secure the blow gun to the stock with some epoxy putty. It doesn't matter which direction the blow gun is facing (it can be upside-down or right-side-up) but make sure to leave the other end of the blow gun open, it will act as an exhaust port but don't worry, very little air is lost through the exhaust port so it won't make much difference.
Now you're done!
You can use this gun in many different scenarios; you can use it to hunt (make sure to get a hunting permit), you can use it to kill pests (like birds in some places, like this), or you can use it for target practice.
I made a simple triple target range with a bounce-back system so that if you hit one of the three targets, it just returned back to it's original position. If you want to know how to make it check out the next step!
Step 14: Make a Simple Triple Bounce-Back Target Range
For this target range, you'll need:
- A piece of cardboard (about 4" x 12" should do; I got mine from a Kool aid box)
- Scissors or exacto knife
- A bendable thick piece of plastic (I got mine from a storage container)
- Super glue
- A big block of wood (mine is about 2" x 4" x 18")
- A couple nails
- A hammer
- A red marker
- Cut 3 circles from the piece of cardboard 4" in diameter
- Cut 3 pieces from the bendable thick piece of plastic (1" x 8")
- Evenly space the 3 pieces of plastic on the block of wood and nail them in the back
- Draw circles on your cardboard circles with a red marker and shade every other one in to make the targets
- Put some super glue on the other end of the pieces of plastic and attach the targets
- Let the targets dry and then you're done!
Step 15: Using the Gun
To use the gun, get your pump or air compressor and attach it to the Schrader valve. Fill up the gun until the pressure gauge reads about 50-60psi (this should give a reasonable shot, considering we're using PVC, I wouldn't go past 80-90psi ever, or else you risk the gun breaking). Then open the bolt and place in your ammo (whatever you can fit in the barrel will shoot, so you can shoot BB's, darts, rocks, etc.). Now close the bolt and you're ready to fire.
Aim down the sight to your target and shoot!
But remember, use with caution and never fire it at someone else or yourself. Also, even if the gun isn't loaded or there isn't any air in the chamber, never look down the barrel, EVER, because you never know what might happen!
Now you have your very own Pneumatic PVC Bolt Action Airsoft Sniper Rifle!