Picture of soldering gun
A soldering gun is a pistol-shaped soldering tool, named for their rough appearance to a firearm.
Why settle for an approximation when you can have a real soldering gun?! Bring this little baby to bear on your next PCB. Point, pull, and let the heater rip.

It's not so far fetched: A steady hand, a careful aim, an unsafe quantities of lead...soldering and firing a gun have an awful lot in common. Making your own is easy, all you need is an air pistol and a hand-held, battery powered soldering iron and you can make your own soldering gun.

Here's what I used to make mine:

  • hobby knife
  • wire strippers
  • screwdrivers
  • soldering iron
  • JB Weld (or very strong epoxy)
  • rotary cutting tool

Modified toy/prop pistols can be mistaken for real firearms, use common sense and leave this gadget at home.

Step 1: Disassemble soldering gun

Picture of disassemble soldering gun
The soldering iron I used was the equivalent of a 15W soldering iron, battery powered by 4 AAA batteries, had one 3mm white LED near the tip. The package boasts: "the tip heats to 365°F (185°C) in about 7 seconds, and can reach a maximum temperature of 1050°F (565°C)".

I used a small Phillips screwdriver to open the plastic housing of the soldering iron and pry it apart. The circuit inside has a 51Ω resister, one small white LED and a socket for the heating element.

After sketching the circuit onto paper I desoldered the components and set them aside.
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jhawkins147 months ago
The US constitution guarantees my right to this. Time to make one.
7417414527 months ago

this is possible



agm882 years ago
Saw this in popular sci. And i thought of this before any one built it very cool though
why do you have a breadboard in the background if you dont solder it?
Is it a Barreta M92? Awesome Instructable BTW!
ultimut cat2 years ago
i need a soldering iron to make a soldering gun
ilpug2 years ago
Oh wow. Why did i never think of that?
edwin9943 years ago
KneXtreme3 years ago
Neet idea. Congrats on your 100th instructable!
pandyaketan3 years ago
Click my name to see my NO-SOLDER LED PROJECTS !!!

Hahahha yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DoctorDv3 years ago
I saw your project in the Popular Science magazine! Congratulations!

Dito, this is awesome he commented on my thing!!!!
AUG-5OM33 years ago
This is so cool. Too bad airsoft guns are illegal in my country :S
sab13453 years ago
thank you very very
Very cool indeed! This may be asking too much but I wonder if a slightly larger gun would allow you to equip it with a motorized spool of solder wire. Course that might mean a dual trigger model gun. One for the heat and one for the spool. Sounds like you'd need some sort of pirate type gun with dual barrels. Basically a cordless wire-feed soldering GUN, k, I'll stop talking...
mikeasaurus (author)  iminthebathroom3 years ago
I thought of making a second pistol which would dispense the soldering wire, thereby attacking any electronics project with pistols akimbo. We'll see...
That's awesome, and totally makes me think of the dual beretta's in Counterstrike. The sad thing is, your soldering gun would probably be more powerful :(
sweet, i see it has garnered a lot of deserved positive interest !
This is why I miss Instructables so much. :(
juliadee3 years ago
The project is silly but the video is damn sexy =^_^=
mikeasaurus (author)  juliadee3 years ago
aw, shucks!
Adam Manick3 years ago
Did you happen to get the idea of using that iron tip from my instructable?

Cool Instructable!
mikeasaurus (author)  Adam Manick3 years ago
Thanks for the complement!

As for the soldering iron tip: Nope, I got the idea after seeing the battery powered soldering iron when I was in Radio Shack. I actually only found out while writing this Instructable that you can buy just the soldering tip through RS's website.
Just a crazy coincidence!
Cool! I guess we think alike. Great hack!
ianbatty3 years ago
Looks like there is a mistake in the schematic.

I think the battery should connect *directly* to the solder tip, and the 51 ohm resistor is to limit current into the LEDs.

As it stands, the iron tip will get only about 0.1 amps of current, at virtually zero volts. Result? Virtually zero heating effect, with all the energy wasted in the resistor.

Comments, please.
mikeasaurus (author)  ianbatty3 years ago
Thanks for letting me know.
I took great care to keep the same wiring from the original soldering iron with this build, with the exception of adding another LED to the mix. I have updated Step 3 to reflect a new wiring schematic and a new picture of the original wiring from the soldering iron I used.

you are correct, there are some little details that may got overlooked and should be corrected. resistor is there for LED only (51-100 Ohm is ok for white LED because of their large forward voltage drop, for red LED should be 150-180 Ohm or LED. but then, duty cycle is low and it will probably still last). current limiting action of resistor would prevent tip getting hot and melting solder. also, if the tip was really wired as shown (after resistor), LED would go out ever time tip touches solder.
the battery in schematic and LED orientation don't agree either (long line on battery is positive and it should go towards 'trailing side' of the LEDs arrow. short line on battery symbol is negative and should go towards "line" on LED symbol).

btw nice instructable and cute video clip. i like the "pew pew" firing sound effect :-)
Eh Lie Us!3 years ago
Wow. This is great. I almost spit my cereal on my keyboard when I saw the video. Great, man. Create! Create!
mikeasaurus (author)  Eh Lie Us!3 years ago
Kryptonite3 years ago
Ha, it would just be perfect if you could pull the trigger and have the iron pop out the end!
mikeasaurus (author)  Kryptonite3 years ago
The first design iteration was just that, the slide action would have the soldering tip pop out. It proved too difficult to implement, so I went this route instead.
bullzebub3 years ago
why didnt you use AAs instead of AAAs?
and i think you should use rechargables and make a few spare magazines! :-D
love the idea though.
mikeasaurus (author)  bullzebub3 years ago
I used the same batteries that were used in the donor soldering iron, which were AAA. Also, AA are too wide to fit into the magazine clip.
...."Happy Days" is my favourite theme song....
Ow man... It really sucks that Airsoft guns like those are illegal over here... i really love the idea though.
Rumbo3 years ago
DANG IT!!! I JUST threw away that same exact airsoft pistol!!! It was broken so i threw it away... YESTERDAY! O_o
MrCafe3 years ago
I may have to try your mod using one of my old Nintendo pistols. Great work.
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