Introduction: Turn a Mousetrap Into a Powerful Handgun

Picture of Turn a Mousetrap Into a Powerful Handgun

Here's how to turn a mousetrap into a fun little handgun that shoots up to 40 feet! This is a great project because it can be made with simple materials, very basic tools, and in just a few minutes!

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

This pack of two mousetraps was only $0.98 from "Lowes" home improvement store!

Aside from those, all you're going to need are;

- 2 small screws (like the kind on your door hinges)
- A small piece of 2x2

Suggested tools to make the job easier are;

- Screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- Wire snips

Step 2: Prepare the Mousetrap

Picture of Prepare the Mousetrap

Cut the piece of wood so that it fits comfortably in your hand, then drill 3 holes with an 1/8" drill bit in the places shown in the picture. 

The 2 screws will secure the trap to the wood handle.  Make sure you leave just a little overhang at the back.

Step 3: Make the Firing Mechanism

Picture of Make the Firing Mechanism

The firing mechanism is made by modifying the locking pin into a squeeze-pull trigger.  

Modify the locking pin so that it's trimmed down in a way that it overlaps the the most forward hole you drilled, then bend the tip of the pin up at a 45 degree angle.  

The next step, is to use the locking pin from the other trap as the trigger.  Push the pin up through the bottom of the hole, then trim it flush with the top of the spring, and bend it over in a an "n" shape.  This will prevent it from slipping back down through the hole.

To see a video demonstration of how the firing mechanism is made, click here

Step 4: Add the Launching Pad

Picture of Add the Launching Pad

The bait pad can be converted into a launching platform that will shoot any type of small ammunition!

With the trap hammer relaxed, clip the bait pad with the hooks facing upward, then carefully lift the hammer, tuck the pad underneath, and relax the hammer back down onto the trap base.

Your gun is finished, and ready for testing!

Step 5: Loading the Mousetrap Gun

Picture of Loading the Mousetrap Gun

To cock the gun, pull the hammer back in the same way you would set the mousetrap.  Carefully overlap the locking pin, and set the tip so that it holds firm in the hook you made on the trigger pin.

Be careful with this step and make sure your fingers are clear, because if the pin slips, the trap hammer will snap over and give your fingers a smack.  

I made a little target for practice.  In the next step you'll see different types of ammo that work well for shooting.

To see a video clip of how to cock the gun, click here

Step 6: Types of Ammunition

Picture of Types of Ammunition

I found that Airsoft BB's work perfectly!  The little divot in the center of the pad is perfectly situated to shoot these BB's straight forward, and at distances up to 40 feet! 

They are small and fast, and don't do too much damage to anything they hit.

Other types of ammunition I found work well are;

- Pennies
- Small rocks
- Plastic bottle caps
- Glass beads

Basically any item that's small and dense works great! 

To see a video demonstrating different projectiles being shot, click here

Moving the ammo forward on the pad makes the gun shoot low and fast, like a gun.

Shifting the ammo rearward causes the object to be launched high and far, like a catapult.

You can play around with different positions to see how your shooting patterns are affected.  

Step 7: Finished

Picture of Finished

This simple device launches projectiles with both power, and precision. Cost was about $1.00

Just for fun, I made a third gun and painted it black to see how it would contrast with the yellow launch pad.

Have you made yours yet? What are you waiting for?  You can still see the video here

If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others.  Check them out at


Inventorpro (author)2017-02-23

really cool dude. I watch your videos all the time and I really like the giant balloons. Where did you get the liquid nitrogen from any way?

Logan302 (author)2016-06-20

i hav a bit of a problem. mine just fires the projectile straight up. i love your inventions

WarriorBeast (author)2015-04-14


bombmaker mbm (author)2014-07-15

Is awesome

bombmaker mbm (author)2014-07-15


Big Baneser (author)2014-01-19

How far does it shoot

AJD42 (author)2013-07-17

This might make me sound stupid but do u think u could make a video for this?if its a trouble to do it than i understand -AJ

Chikpeas Brother (author)AJD422014-01-11

Here's a link to his how-to video. Enjoy!

astral_mage (author)2013-09-22

technically there not fire arms. thier spring powered.

patbking (author)2013-08-10

Building it 5 stars

IamGOD Biotches (author)2013-04-05

how much would this hurt if you shot someone such as your friend? tee hee.

claramecium (author)2013-01-22

soooooooo cool!


freazzer1 (author)2013-01-13

I've been watching your videos on YouTube, one word! genius!!
I will definitely make a few of your inventions.

That is a great compliment. Thank you for your feedback, and best of luck :)

bajablue (author)2013-01-12

LOL... a rapid-fire assault mousetrap! Love it!!!!

:D Thank you!

Mrballeng (author)2012-12-20

Explode, launch, melt, destructive. For your next project I recommend "grow flowers with gun powder" or "pick berries with a chainsaw". I'm only kidding. Your work has no comparison! The way you think is really a gift. Thanks for sharing!

:) Thanks for your compliment! lol

Steelsmith1 (author)2012-12-25

Suggestion: rat trap!

pro installer (author)2012-12-25

Great video--Ive seen several of yours and Ive got to say you are one of the best in structuring and information--thanks alot

Biodynamic (author)2012-12-23

Perfect for helping my students to better understand newtons laws of motion, potential and kinetic energy, and lab safety! You create the model for how all instructables should look. Thanks, and super job.

cha chi (author)2012-12-22

make one out of a rat trap

sonicdude10 (author)2012-12-21

Now I wanna get that 10" mega sized rat trap I've seen lying around and do this.
Shotgun power anyone?

goldberie (author)2012-12-21

Thanks for sharing this! I'm always looking for homemade weapons I can make with my grandson.

hats9994 (author)2012-12-20

this is cool.

doodlecraft (author)2012-12-20

Hey Grant! I like the new step by step format! I'm a picture person and would rather not watch a video...but I know people who prefer that too! Great job, you should enter the pocket sized contest!

JonnyBGood (author)2012-12-20

Cool! Maybe try using a rat trap. That might make the gun penetrate the paper target. I used a mouse trap in one of my knex guns but knex can't hold back a rat trap as easily as mouse trap.

mikeasaurus (author)2012-12-19

Dangerous and fun, I like it! I wonder if that big box of mousetraps I saw is still around...

rimar2000 (author)2012-12-19

Very fun toy. And a bit dangerous...

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-12-19

Cool! And I like how you did a step by step with a video! Then you have the step by step pictures for those who like it, and video for those who would rather have that!

Thank you Penolopy! :D

About This Instructable




Bio: Random Weekend Projects
More by The King of Random:5 Ways to Start a Fire, Using Water How to make a Batarang like "The Dark Knight"How to Make Ninja Stress Balls
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