Introduction: Simulated Firearms Training Laser

Picture of Simulated Firearms Training Laser

Having been involved in competitive shooting, I had been well acquainted with the costs and difficulty of supporting this hobby, and most importantly maintaining my marksmanship. Being a college student near convocation, the limited supply of ammunition, hence a steady increase in price isn’t exactly what I was looking forward to. This is the reason why I have created this Instructable.    
  
This Instructable is a step by step tutorial on how to create your very own Simulated Firearms Training Laser. It is a laser incorporated into the bore of a replicated barrel. It is activated by your firearms’ firing pin, which momentarily activates the laser to project a simulated shot onto a wall. With this device, I can practice in a dry fire environment, speeding up my draws from the holster, tactical reloads and long distance target acquisition. Anyhow, enough chit chat for now and let’s get started.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3KmF5CAw6w

Step 1: Safety & Liability

Picture of Safety & Liability

WHEN HANDLING LASERS, DO NOT POINT DIRECTLY INTO EYES! CLASS IIIA LASER (former)

USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN DEALING WITH FIREARMS!
- Assume every firearm is loaded
- Control the muzzle direction at all times
- Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard
- See that the firearm is unloaded – Prove it safe

WHEN DEALING WITH FIREARMS, MAKE SURE YOU CLEAR YOUR FIREARM SAFELY!
- Point the firearms in the safest available direction
- Remove all ammunition
- Observe the chamber
- Verify the feeding path
- Examine the bored

DISCLAIMER:
By reading the steps of this instructable, the reader will use diligence in exercising safe firearms handling. The author of this instructable will not be liable for any injury and/or death incurred whether negligent or not as a result of this Instructable.


Step 2: Step Two: Gathering the Materials

Picture of Step Two: Gathering the Materials

Parts that you will definitely need include:

Electrical Components
- Barrel from a Firearm
- Empty Casing with matching calibre (primer removed)
- Red Laser Diode (SKU 46386 – DealExtreme)
- 11 mm Clicky Switch (SKU 5588 – DealExtreme)
- Button Cell Batteries LR44
- Battery Contact Spring

Hardware Components
- ½ Inch Outer Diameter Brass Pipe
- Pipe Cutter
- ½ Inch Rubber Washers
- ½ Inch Nylon Washer
- J-B Kwik Weld Compound
- Blue Heat Shrink
- Discarded Gift Cards
- Rubber Soles (furniture feet)

Specialty Items
- Alumilite Mini Casting Kit (from hobby shop)
- Alumilite Blue Dye

Tools & Equipment (you may need)
- Craft Knife
- Transparent Tape
- Motor Oil
- Small Paint Brush
- Electronic Scale
- Elastics
- Drill (with drill bits)
- Sandpaper
- Bolts with washers and nut
- Wires, Solder and Soldering Iron
- Ruler
- Syringe
- Leather Hole Punch
- Laser Pointer
- Vice
- Soldering Stand
- Scissors
- Pen Tube


Step 3: Step Three: Moulding the Barrel

Picture of Step Three: Moulding the Barrel

A. Using your discarded gift cards, measure and create a container to mould your barrel
B. Cut an opening the size of your barrel with your craft knife (heat over flame to ease process)
C. Tape over the lip of your cartridge casing 
D. Align the casing nicely and place it into the bore of the barrel and oil the components
E. Next, place the barrel into the moulding container
F. Add putty around the cracks avoid any leaks
G. Using the Mini Casting Kit, prepare the proper quantity of latex to catalyst (follow instructions provided by manufacturer)
H.  Pour this moulding compound until half of your barrel is covered, sit and let cure (as per manufacturer’s instructions)
I. Brush on another layer of oil to ease the release of your two part mould
J. Add reinforcing tape along the sides if needed, and pour another batch of moulding compound to submerge the barrel
K. Once the moulding compound has cured, remove the mould container carefully
L. Squeeze the mould and carefully remove the two piece mould
M. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in prepping your mould for casting, place the two piece mould together and bond them together with an elastic

Step 4: Step Four: Casting the Chamber

Picture of Step Four: Casting the Chamber

A. Pour and measure equal amounts of the plastic resins (as per manufacturer’s instructions)
B. Add a drop of the blue dye to solution A of the plastic resin
C. Mix all the parts and pour it slowly into the latex mould
D. Once cured (as per manufacturer’s instructions), remove the elastics and carefully extracted the cast
E. Using your craft knife, carefully remove any excess plastic surrounding your cast

Step 5: Step Five: Constructing the Chamber & Barrel

Picture of Step Five: Constructing the Chamber & Barrel

A. Carefully drill a ½ inch hole into the barrel end of the chamber (do not go all the way through)
B. Drill another primer sized hole into the primer pocket
C. Drill a couple holes congruent to the dimensions of your clicky switch
D. Take apart the clickly switch, carefully retaining all the parts
E. Trim off the excess plastic on the pink component, to turn the clicky switch into a momentary switch
F. Reassemble your switch and bend the contacts to fit the brass pipe (1/2 inch O.D.)
G. Insert your brass pipe into the opening of the chamber
H. Measure, mark, and cut your pipe to the dimensions of the real barrel with the pipe cutter
I. Extract equal parts of the J-B Kwik Weld compound and hardener
J. Mix and place some on the body of the momentary switch (do not put on the contacts or any moving parts)
K. Insert the switch and brass pipe into the chamber, tape, use elastics to hold everything in place, and let the epoxy cure (as per manufacturer’s instructions) 

Step 6: Step Six: Constructing the Laser

Picture of Step Six: Constructing the Laser

A. Attach the nylon washer onto a bolt sandwiched between two metal washers, and secure with the nut
B. Place this jig into a drill and sand the nylon washer while it is spinning
C. Remove the nylon washers and see if it fits inside
D. Removing the original wires for the laser diode and solder on two new ones
E. Solder a battery contact spring to the negative end of the laser diode, and a metal wire to the positive end
F. Insert the contact spring into the opening of the nylon washer, tape the open end of the nylon washer, and trim off any excess
G. Measure the space required to fit the switch, three button batteries, and contact spring
H. Using that measuring, cut a piece of tape accordingly and place into in the battery compartment of the brass pipe (this prevents short circuiting the laser diode)
I. Insert the nylon washer with the contact spring through the other end of the brass pipe
J. Mix up some more plastic resin, and using the syringe, set the nylon washer and contact spring in permanently
K. Add some transparent tape to the end of the brass pipe to be inserted into the chamber (this makes a secure fit without glue, threads, or screws)
L. On the laser end of the brass pipe, using a craft knife, trim the rubber washer so it fits inside the brass pipe, and insert it inside

Step 7: Step Seven: Putting It All Together

Picture of Step Seven: Putting It All Together

A. Wrap some paper around the brass pipe, hold it together with the blue heat shrink and see if it fits the slide of the firearm
B. Marking and drill a notch into the casing of the chamber (this bypasses the extractor)
C. Using the leather hole punch, punch a hole into a rubber sole and insert it into the primer pocket
D. Test to see if the laser works by pressing a pen against the rubber sole in the primer pocket
E. CLEAR YOUR FIREARM
F. Select a safe direction and dry fire by pulling the trigger and making sure the laser activates

Step 8: Step Seven: Calibrating the Laser

Picture of Step Seven: Calibrating the Laser

A. Set up the rig by wrapping a laser pointing in a piece of paper and placing it into the soldering stand with alligator clips (the laser should remain on)
B. Using a vice, clamp your firearm into the vice using a soft cloth
C. Align your laser pointer so that it illuminates the rear sight, the front sight, and the target
D. Find a pen tube (BiC Clic Stick med.) that fits snugly over the laser diode
E. Fill the opening of the barrel with hot glue, and adjust the laser to match the laser pointer (make them intersect at 10 meters using a wall)
F. Hold the laser diode into position until the hot glue cures
G. Once the hot glue cured, remove the blue heat shrink and replace with a permanent heat shrink but according to the length of the barrel
H. Trim of the excess heat shrink and cover the end with a rubber washer
I. The SIMULATED FIREARMS TRAINING LASER is complete!!!

Demonstration:
This is a video demonstration of the completed device...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3KmF5CAw6w

Comments

joejusticeza (author)2015-10-23

The whole moulding process could be eliminated by taking the barrel to a 3D scan / print shop and having it scanned and 3d printed. That way would e tons more accurate, probably cheaper and way faster?

XaqFixx (author)2014-11-27

This is great!

Quin5 (author)2014-05-15

I'm looking to purchase a lazertag system to start a lazertag business,
would you be able to produce or lead me to the guns and equipment I need
that would be safe and certifiable, that would be a cheaper option than
the $600 and up/gun price range that I've seen advertised by the lazertag
manufacturers? email if so at ulrichinvesting@gmail.com

VentingIntrovert (author)Quin52014-05-15

I don't have any contacts for lasertag manufactures. I however don't disagree that they are expensive as with any commercial related products. A suggestion however is to try airsoft. In my city, we have basically two lasertag businesses. One is doing very well due to the fact that they have an amazing facility along with amazing equipment. The second business is struggling and so they have decided to participate in the airsoft business to generate there main source of income. Lasertag I find is more of an investment, you purchase the equipment and the ticket sales will eventually pay off the initial investment. Airsoft on the other hand is much more dynamic like a free market. Airsofters are a smaller group from the community who collect airsoft guns and pours a lot of money in the sport. They will purchase and collect guns, consumables (batteries, ammo, gas) to operate these guns, accessories such as duty gear which all together can costs thousands easily. If you can get involved in the airsoft business without much competition, you could make a lot more money. Depending on where you live, Canada for example, people will pay on average $300 for a high quality airsoft gun because it is realistic and in very limited supply.

Jai Burlingham (author)2013-12-10

Wouldn't it be much better to buy an airsoft gun? I know a lot of other competitive real steel shooters / militaries etc use them for training purposes. Get a good replica and it should replicate the gun perfectly in every way expect for recoil. You only need to pay for gas and pellets of course but it isn't that expensive, plus you could also take part in the airsoft IPSC. You don't have to rack the slide back inbetween shots etc.

I do currently possess an airsoft gun and am in the process of converting it to a simulated firearm. The reason being is that airsoft guns do not have a 5.5 lb trigger pull. This trigger weight is crucial in training for marksmanship. In my experience, I find that training with the proper trigger weight is more important than proper recoil.

MACKattacksnipe (author)2013-11-02

does the trigger auto reset with each pull i have a gen 3 17 and was looking at these online the barrell is 120$ from glock so i was thinking of 3d printing the chamber

Unfortunately, they do not auto reset.

mduvall3 (author)2013-09-13

I'd pay you to make one for me.

It doesn't work that great. You have to rack the slide after every shot. I'm currently working on something even better. Give me a couple months and i'll keep you posted.

EverEin (author)2012-04-24

Wow! thank you for your idea! that's enlighten me so much!!!

DarkStarPDX (author)2011-04-14

Wow, great Instructable!

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