Introduction: Toy Assault Rifle Mod

About: I enjoying building stuff out of scrap/recycled material and/or coding. I've done more and more of this with my kids as they've getting old enough to wield scissors (sometimes safely, sometimes not so safely).…

My son turned 8 recently and is still crazy about his nerf guns (and toy guns in general), but also wants a bit more realism in his toys than his early ones offered. As a nerf/toy gun mod is a bit of a "Hello World" project for makers starting out, I figured I'd give it a try. Before ruining his favourite nerf gun, I decided to have a go on an older toy rifle. Note, I live in the UK so rules on gun control, replicas and when something is assumed to be a toy versus a real weapon are different to the USA and some other countries.

Ok, background set, heres my parts list for this.


  1. Toy gun
  2. Spray paints, rub n buf and some acrylics
  3. Plastic pipe
  4. A random plastic clip I found (which I'll be honest - I got really lucky with)
  5. Some thin EVA foam
  6. A small torch
  7. Milliput
  8. Small aluminium strips
  9. A few cable ties
  10. A strip of strapping
  11. Some assorted spare Nerf gun attachments

Step 1: Dissassembly

This particular gun has a rotating section inside with LED's mounted, which makes the muzzle "flash" when the trigger is fired. This meant that simply painting everything from the outside was not going to be easy (I'd likely cover up the LEDs, or even gum up the rotating part). So first step was to take everything apart so I could mask off what I needed.

Step 2: Painting

After masking, I hit everything with a couple of coats of mat black spray paint and then after removing all the masking fixed everything back together.

Step 3: Metal Detailing

Next, I experimented with some rub n buf to bring out some of the detailing - I over did this to be perfectly honest, but it was my first play with using it and I needed to learn as I was going.

Step 4: Add Strap

I found a couple of small aluminium strips that happened to about the right length, I was able to bend these to make to mounting points for a strap (which was also just a piece of spare strapping I had from an old bag or something). I cheated a bit here and just used some cable ties to fix the strap to the aluminium holders - you cant really see them that easily and they are about as sturdy as any other way of fixing I could come up with.

Step 5: Muzzle Extension

I can't do a build without adding in *some* recycled parts ;) So I decided to extend the muzzle and add a light to make it look a bit more tactical. I found some scrap PVC pipe that was almost a perfect fit - it was slightly large, but I used a thin strip of EVA foam to line the inside which made it a great fit. I used the same foam to add some detail at the end of the muzzle.

I wanted to hang a torch from below, and I got really lucky here in that in my random box of parts I found a plastic bracket that was a good fit for the torch. It came with a much longer piece attached to it that I removed with a saw (not shown in the pictures).

To fix this to the pipe, I used glue with a couple of small screws (through the underside into the pipe) to hold in place. Then I layered Milliput around the join as there was a gap where the (flat) top of the bracket didn't sit perfectly with the curved pipe. This also helped to bond it, as well as gave it a "welded" look once it all dried and was painted.

Finally, a quick paint and some weathering to give it a bit of a used look.

Step 6: Scope

This was low effort - its simply some spare Nerf gun scopes that I found and repainted. The one bit that was a pain is the mounting rail on the gun was a different size to the standard Nerf adaptor, so I had to do a fair bit of filing and tweaking to get them to marry up.

Step 7: Finishing Up

After final assembly of all the parts, I hit it up with some weathering. I used some acrylic paints, watered down and splashed around all the nooks and crannies, then wiped off with a rag. I repeated this a few times to get a used look. Job done, 8 year old happy with his refreshed toy.