Introduction: Cardboard .357 Magnum Prop

For your next showdown, short film, play or other production wow your friends and colleagues with a fancy-pants prop on the cheap!

Use unorthodox methods and found materials to create a surprisingly realistic replica of a powerful weapon: The Colt Python!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

For the prop we will need:

McDonalds Straw (type important)
Pen Light
Spray Paint
Baking/ Grilling Skewers
Balsa 1/16"

PVC Pipe Cutters
X-acto Knife
Cutting mat
White or wood glue

Step 2: Grip- Step 1

First, we must make the grip, minus the cylinder.
Download the included jpg of the grip. Click on the i in the upper left of the image, select 'original size' and right click 'save image as' and save it to your computer. Then open the file and print onto cardstock for the best results to cut out the small parts.
Then make 3 cardboard copies of the whole grip.
Then cut down your template to just the grip grip. Make 2 of those.
Laminate them together in the order:
Grip grip---Whole grip---Whole grip---Whole grip---Grip grip.
Compress under a book or weight and let sit for several hours.
Sorry, no pictures, started documenting a little late ;(

Step 3: Grip- Step 2

Once the grip is dry, cut out the hole on the template.
This will be the hole for the cylinder.
Then squeeze the fore and aft edges of the grip grip to round them.

Step 4: Barrel- Step 1

Take apart the pen light by cutting off the non-light bulb end of the light.
Remove the innards and save them for a future project.
A pair of pliers my be necessary to coax the innards out.

Step 5: Barrel- Step 2

Now, cut the pen light to 4.5".
Cut the straw to the same length, pick an end and plug it with cardboard and glue.
Cut a 1/4" gouge in the unplugged end.
Glue them together.

Step 6: Cylinder- Step 1

Roll six tubes the inside diameter of the pen light, and just a hair shorter than the hole we made for the cylinder(1 3/4"). Glue these in pairs along the seams.
You should have 3 pairs of 2 tubes.
Glue these in a hexagonal formation.
Glue a bit of straw through the middle.
Glue a small circle of cardboard over the middle hole.
Poke a hole through it . shove the end of a bamboo skewer through. Cut another cardboard circle, poke a hole through that, and shove it on to the end of the cylinder. Glue and let sit.

Step 7: Cylinder- Step 2

Take a strip of cardstock 1 3/4" wide by 3" long and wrap it around the cylinder. Mark where it overlaps, and where the cylinders meet.
Make a tab to attach the outer strip together, and cut a 1" slit from the front of the strip where you marked.
Now, glue the whole sucker to the hexagon of tubes and glue each of the cylinder pieces over the slits, which you did glue to the inside of the tubes, didn't you?

Step 8: Grip- Step 3

Now gouge through 2 of the 3 layers of the whole grip where marked on the template.
Then place the cylinder in the gouge. It should rotate freely. If not, begin what I call "The sanding of the lambs"
1- "It puts the wood glue on its skin..."
Impregnate the grip with wood glue to make it more rigid.
Point the nozzle of the glue bottle into the corrugation and squeeze.

2- "...or it gets the file again."
I had a file i used to file everything till it spun freely. Sand paper works good too.

Wash, rinse, and repeat this process until everything works good together.
Once it spins freely, cover the entire upper grip in three layers of cardstock.

Then glue a half circle of cardboard to half of the cardboard tube from the pen light.
Make the cardstock circle even with the end of the cylinder hole.

Step 9: Embellishments- Step 1

Now we must add the sights and trigger guard.

First, glue a 1/4" strip around the end of the bamboo skewer.

Then glue the barrel assembly to the grip.

Then, glue a 1/2" by 3/4" curved strip between the barrel and cylinder. Fill with hot glue

Let's start the trigger guard. Cut three cardstock strips 2" by 1/4" and glue them together.
Form a roughly oval shape and glue it to the front and back of the trigger area.
Shape it to what you think is "right".

Targeting embellishments:
Cut a strip 7" long by 1/4" and two strips 4 1/2 " by 1/4".
Laminate them together with glue.

Then laminate:
A: 2 bricks, 2/3" long by 1/4" wide by 15 layers of cardstock high.

B: 1 Brick, 1/4" long by 1/4" wide by 15 layers of cardstock high.

C: 1 Brick, 1/3" long by 1/4" wide by 15 layers of cardstock high.

Glue brick C to the front of the barrel. Glue brick B to the end of the barrel. Glue bricks A 2/3" From bricks C and B, and 2/3" apart.

Glue the 7" strip along the top of the gun and bricks, the 4.5" part only on the bricks.

Now for the front sight.
Cut out the design twice, glue the rounded part together, and glue the tabs to the 7" strip in the very front, with the taller end facing front.

Laminate the aft sight on to two sheets of cardstock, twice. Bend the sight on the line and glue it with the bent ends facing inward and the flat end even with the end.

Step 10: Embellishments- Step 2

Now we make the hammer.

Cut out the design from the template. Glue that to 2 sheets o 1/16" balsa. Cut out.
Glue to the center of the rear of the grip, as shown on the template.

Paint the top of the gun silver, and the grip grip black.

Proceed to enjoy the replica however you wish!

Warning: You and I know it's a replica; the cops don't. Don't run down the street, waggling it around and yelling "GET ON THE GROUND" unless you are prepared to suffer the consequences.

Note: If you think the edges of the cardboard are too rough, feel free to sand it down, or seal with more glue and printer paper.


Gorilla Glue Cardboard Contest

Runner Up in the
Gorilla Glue Cardboard Contest