Introduction: Professional Blowgun and Dart - Pierce 1/2" Plywood **Video**

Picture of Professional Blowgun and Dart - Pierce 1/2" Plywood **Video**

I've seen a lot of blowguns here. Although I liked some, none seemed suitable for serious use. This one will easily penetrate 1/2" Wood, is effective hundreds of feet away, and is highly accurate.
Video here!
How to Make a Blowgun
Of all the projectile weapons I've used (and that's a lot), the blowgun is definitely the most instinctive to shoot. This very simple tool can be picked up by a total novice, and be turned into an astonishingly powerful and accurate weapon in one afternoon. If you think of blowguns as being toys as I once did, you have the wrong idea entirely. No, the dart doesn't have anywhere near the brute stopping power as a sling or rope dart, but it has entirely different properties making it a highly effective weapon:

A blowgun can be used to deliver poisons, is effective more than one-hundred feet away (sometimes much more than that, depending on the user), is completely silent, and delivers its dart with shocking velocity.

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Step 1: Materials

~10' Electrical Conduit ($1.99 at hardware store)
~ Plastic Film Canister
~ Candle
~ Wire Coat Hanger
~ Duct Tape
~ Something to cut metal
~ Grinder/Sand paper
How to Make a Blowgun

Step 2: The Barrel

Picture of The Barrel

The electrical conduit will be the body of blowgun. You could use PVC pipe, but it sags, necessitating compensation during use. If you're up for a real challenge, get some wood or bamboo and hollow it out. Your blowgun should be 4'-7' long. The longer it is, the greater accuracy and power will be achieved, though the harder it will be to maneuver. I chose six feet since I used the other three feet for a different project (and because it will deliver plenty of power and is still easy enough to handle). Cut yours to length of choice. Be sure to sand or file any rough spots left from cutting as this may cut you or interfere with the path of the projectile.

Build a Blowgun

Step 3: Mouthpiece

Picture of Mouthpiece

Now, a mouthpiece is needed. I chose a plastic film canister because they're recommended and I had one within arm's reach. You can also use crutch tips, pill bottles, or suction cups. To turn a film can into a mouthpiece, cut a 1/4" hole in the center of the bottom of the canister. Hold it an inch or so over a flame until the entire bottom is evenly shiny. Now, push the canister over the electrical conduit slowly; the hot plastic will expand around the conduit. Make sure that the hole stays centered as you slide the can on, and then allow it a few seconds to cool. Slide the can back, and at the end of the conduit, wrap about 2' of electrical tape or (1/2 width) duct tape. This will prevent the canister from sliding off the end. Now, slide the canister to the stop, and make another stopper on the other side. The result is a firmly attached, thermoformed, air-tight mouthpiece!

Making a Blowgun

Step 4: Dart

Picture of Dart

Now you need something to shoot. Wooden or bamboo darts are fine, but because of their low density and mass they cannot fly as far as steel nor penetrate as deep. So, I recommend that from an all-wire coat hanger, you cut out the middle straight section which is about 15" long to use as a dart. Then, make a cone (perhaps a neater one than is pictured!) out of duct tape which fits around the dart. Place the cone into the conduit, and mark with a Sharpie where it meets. Cut at or just beyond this line to make a properly sized cone. Slide this on, and affix with a generous amount of duct tape (as is shown in the photo). This cone will both catch the air which propels the dart, and stabilize the dart during flight. On a grinder, or with sandpaper/file, grind the tip of the dart to a sharp point.

How to Make a Blowgun

Step 5: Shooting

Picture of Shooting

Time for some fun! Insert the dart through the mouthpiece and into the blowgun barrel. The cone should fit snug enough that the dart won't move without your breath, but loose enough that it can fall forwards if the blowgun is tapped on the floor vertically. Simply bring the mouth piece to your mouth, take a large breath, and try to let it explode into the barrel - continue exhaling until the dart has entirely cleared the barrel. Don't worry about accuracy until you've gotten that part down. When it's time to aim, simply point the blowgun at your target and blow. Since it is aligned in the center of your face, aiming couldn't be any easier. All that must be learned is how the vertical angle at which the blowgun is held changes as distance to different targets changes (since projectile path is parabolic, you will need to aim higher for further shots). After this several-sentence crash course, teaching yourself should be no problem. Enjoy :)
Please rate or comment :)

How to Make a Blowgun
For more cool projects, check out Funditor


freeza36 (author)2012-02-24

Hey i just wanted to know your input to the question that Higgs Boson, myself, and another one of our friends are all asking. What can be done to make the blowguns better at this point? Yours and ours are practically identical, except for the darts. Even with the best darts we can make, they still only ever shoot accurately at a max 35 feet. What do you think? Look at my instructables to see what my friends and I have done.

ejayapalan (author)freeza362015-10-04

i'd recommend weight balancing the dart, and im also working on placing small fins on the dart such that it acheives a bit of a rotation in its path, wont be similar to rifling! And one more mod i'd like to add is the 'pin sight' from bow on to this,i'd prefer adding degree scale so that i can write it down for different elevations, now about elevations, id like to add a custom tripod, again with degree scale such that i can fine tune the elevation and sight adjustement for various distances, say 15 15 20 yards...this is jus my theory, im not sure its worth jus a DIY entry level guy, inspired by Grant Thompson...

LeonG26 made it! (author)ejayapalan2017-01-06

making blowgun darts that can spin like with rifling in a gun barrel is easy and makes a lot of difference to its flight characteristics.and thus making more accurate I do all my hunting small game.Squirrels/Wood Pigeon and Rabbits. I have 4 Different Blowguns 2 @ 5 Feet 1@ 6 Feet and my longest is 8 Feet with a Carved Wooded Piston Grip. Velocity is well over 400 feet per second and mainly use that one for roosting pigeons high on the Forest Trees just before dark. I have many different darts of different materials and different sizes each has it own flight characteristics which I've e learned to Use all my darts have a Number with respect to each blowgun I'm going to use, ie: Using No 6 Blowgun Darts go with the 6 foot Blowgun.etc as each Blowgun has a Slight Bore Size to Match the Fight Cones I make. which also very easy. My Great Granddaughter "Ava" is only 4 years old and I made a small 2 Foot Blowgun and I will be making a Video of Her soon shooting her Blowgun in my house. And believe me, she gets a Lot of Bullseyes. Quite incredible as I just only gave her a Few tuition lessons

As for making Spinning Darts is just the Same method of attaching either Plastic or Real Feather Fletching you use on Arrows. and only cut them dow to size and Stick on the Pointy Bit of Your Dart Cone which I use Paper Cones. You affix 3 of these at a 30-degree angle and I particularly use (Fletch-Tite Platinum Glue) to secure them properly. You will see an immediate difference in the Accuracy of your Aiming. if you need any further advice you can either e-mail me at or put a search on facebook type in Leon will see a drawing of Andy Witfield and me wearing my Divers Mask as I was a Commercial Diver in the North Sea. Now Retired and presently aged 63. and still enjoy hunting for my meals. there is plenty free food out there.

LeonG26 made it! (author)LeonG262017-01-06

More Photo's of some of my Darts.You will see Number 8 Dart has Small Flight Feather Vanes attached but they are time-consuming to make and not really worth the effort.Other Darts in the Boxes are Bamboo and have been Marked "BALL" that is a steel ball normally for Slingshot Ammunition and both nail and ball have been secure with Hot Melt Glue gun. Although I use different darts for different small game. The "STUN BULLETS" are very effective and will Stun Kill a Rabbit with Pure "SHOCK".Alone. These are Extremely Deadly if stuck on the head and will even break Human Ribs. They are just my Standard Paper Cone with a Cut Out Hole slightly smaller and put in one Steel Ball Bearing as Used for Catapult Ammunition from E-Bay.Press Ball half way Through Hole and Put some Hot Melt Glue on the BALL Inside the Cone to Secure The Ball.

LukeF10 (author)2015-12-05

how is the dart made

JonathanW34 (author)2015-10-04

Reckon i can kill pigeons with this?

eyepodd (author)2010-08-11

how long is the dart aproxxamatly ?

subhavitha (author)eyepodd2014-11-19

15/20 cm.

SimonLearnsNewThings (author)2011-05-08

For a barrel, i used 3/4" PVC (5' of it), but i find that my darts are lacking velocity. Is the barrel to wide for my lungs? or should i work on the darts?

Any suggestions would be great

12/13mm (1/2'') is best.

KrisG1 (author)2014-09-24

nice, but that's not plywood.

Fishnking (author)2012-11-28

Or u can pound the tip flat and then cut a point with pliers

cumbers (author)2011-12-07

how far does it shoot

thenoogler (author)2010-03-27

You never menrioned that you don't inhale while the gun is loaded...;)

wolf996 (author)thenoogler2011-11-25

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me Not To Do That Until Now!!!

black hole (author)2011-11-08
I recomend that anyone even slightly interested in shooting these things watch the Cold Steel videos. This is just a demo. Lynn Thompson is deadly accurate.
TheMadScientist (author)2011-10-29

or you could flare the conduit over a cone and roll the edges back like a real badass.

TheMadScientist (author)2011-10-29

wana know what's awesome to use for tips? tungsten tig welding rods. expensive, but the heaviest projectile you can shoot out of a blowgun effectively.

acastillon (author)2011-07-30

I made a blowgun that can go 50ft more with deadly darts that can break glass and an accurate sighter.

mondee07 (author)2010-06-02

can i use a pvc

bakermonitor (author)mondee072011-05-29

yes but the sag in the pipe will throw your aim off

and the inside is not as smooth or as hard so it scratches easyer.

mcaliber.50 (author)2011-03-27

i have a 4 foor cedar walking stick that would be perfect for this.

ilpug (author)2011-02-17

in the last picture it looks like you shot it into a piece of redwood, not plywood. redwood is very soft. nice design however.

xanxor (author)2010-10-01

He used 1/2 inch conduit

9w2xyz (author)2010-08-13

Instead of using the wire hanger as is, I recommend using galvanised wire of the same diameter. For one, the surface is rougher and the 'fletching'/cone will adhere better. stretch out your wire as long as you can handle it. Tie one end to a gate post. And have the other end firmly attached to your reversible cordless drill. And Twist it. When it reaches the yield point, it will snap off at either end. The result is a twisted stiff wire that is straight. Cut to your preferred size.

aplauche (author)2009-04-25

a cotton ball taped to the end works extremely well also

Kryptonite (author)aplauche2009-08-01

It doesn't catch the air quite as well as a cone, personally I use paper impregnated with PVC, making a durable, neat little cone. South American Indians have been using cotton for hundreds of years so I don't doubt it, but in my own experiences I find that cotton isn't quite as good.

rrrmanion (author)Kryptonite2010-01-03

well if South American Indians had paper impregnated with PVC, i'm sure they would use it too.

Kryptonite (author)rrrmanion2010-01-03


Anhan12 (author)Kryptonite2010-06-26

yeah that makes more sense Kryptonite. I use a paper cone with electrical tape on the outside and super glue on the inside. it makes a nice, hard cone, but its a little sticky in the barrel. do you do something different Kryptonite? also, instead of grinding the coat hanger into a point, i hammer the end flat on an anvil, and then use wire cutters to shape it into a diamond shaped arrowhead. It works great, and the wire cutters sharpen it for me, so no need to use a file or a sharpener! I attached some pictures of it:

Kryptonite (author)Anhan122010-07-11

I do more target than hunting, so i get a 2-3 inch nail and sharpen it. I make a coin out of paper that has had one side covered in sticky tape, which goes to the outside. I cover ~1/2 inch of the nail in hot glue (the non pointy end) and slide the cone on. I then cut the cone to size and sharpen the nail.

My friend made this botched Instructable: which covers the process.

cool wasp (author)2010-04-27

 Great instructables, i love your coat hanger idea.

yangus (author)2010-03-27

I'd think that a 1/2" to 3/4" PVC adapter would work.
It's what I use for copper water pipe blowguns.

-side note on copper blowguns, handling them makes your hands smell funny. This problem can be remedied with black electrical tape. It adds camouflage and  a grip. It'd probly be worthwhile to do that to a steel blowgun too.

blowgunking (author)2010-01-28

cant the pipe be 28'' ?

GianniMora (author)2010-01-23

 holy crap... did it really shoot through that

cowdude (author)2009-09-02

wat diameter

spenfisher12 (author)cowdude2010-01-06

however big you want your dart

charmar (author)2009-11-03

good details I made one and worked great. for the tail of the darts I used a sponge ear plug and cut to fit barrel. it works great! good luck.

phonehome123 (author)2009-10-10

i used copper pipe for mine :D

rownhunt (author)2009-06-17

I connected mine to an air compresser i had some fun!

bears0 (author)rownhunt2009-09-17

i did the same thing with a straw and a shoelace i cut the shoelace 1/4 inch away from the hard plastic thing and pushed a needle through the end that you cut, you don't even have to glue it (unless you are shooting it at a BRICK!) it works really well its just not as powerful, i bought my blowgun today it comes with 64 darts (SWEET!)

rownhunt (author)rownhunt2009-06-17

pump her up to 75 psi with your standard blowgun valve then hook it up

cowdude (author)2009-09-02

i making a blowgun what are good practice arrows

weaponscollector94 (author)2009-08-21

when i make blowgun darts from wire like these ones i heat the tip up and flatten it with a hammer and anvil then file it sharp! i recommend doing that method, it works geat

_Scratch_ (author)2009-08-08

i just got a four foot piece of 1/2 inch copper pipe and im gonna make it soon =)

Rossmod (author)2009-07-27

pretty cool i must say

mortalmoon3 (author)2009-07-10

hahaha sweeeet :) :{) i wiillll make 1 & kill a frog r sumin love frog killer

Arianovan (author)2008-08-13

I love your design. Mine is six feet of copper piping and its super glued airtight. It goes really far and the tips are really sharp. But I can't get it to go through a half inch of wood. I don't think it's because I'm not blowing hard enough, I mean I play the saxophone. Any ideas? Nice hat btw

rownhunt (author)Arianovan2009-06-17

i had this problem just work on your darts and make them a perfect fit for your pipe !

Zetheros (author)Arianovan2009-02-26

Try standing back as far as you can, plug the end of the blowgun with your tongue, build up some pressure, and remove your tongue from the end of the blowgun.

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