Exploding .22 Air Rifle Pellets




Introduction: Exploding .22 Air Rifle Pellets

Give a bang when a hard target is struck, fun for plinking in the back garden/yard!

All you need is:-

Some strong glue I use some Cyanoacrylate based glue that bonds in seconds, longer drying glues may be more fiddly!

Some Caps, these are sold in most toy shops and are also available online...if you live in the UK they are now classed as "fireworks" and cannot be sold to anyone under that age of 18 (i know its pathetic...) they are available in many types 8 and 12 shot rings for revolvers, strips of 10 and the reels of 100 paper caps for the relay old style guns...these are individual caps and have to be separated from the mesh, but work well for this purpose.

Long or needle nose pliers I'll show you what they are useful later.

A knife to help separate the caps from the mesh.

And of course your projectiles. This method workd for both .22 and.177 pellet types.

Step 1: Glue Time!

For this I used domed .22 pellets, pointed are better as they create a nice bond with the caps, flat head are pretty useless as allot of glue would be needed...resulting in many sticky fingers!

What i have done here is to cut the mesh into managble sections, lines of 2 each holding 16 caps.

Simply apply a small amount of glue into each cap, make sure this entirely fills the cap, the amount of glue depends on what pellets you want to use.

Pointed pellets protrude into the cap which means more contact with the glue, domed do the same but need extra filling, flat headed pellets as i said have less contact and need an almost overflowing cap.

Once the caps have been filled place a pellet in the dricetion of travel onto the cap making sure their is not too much run-off from the glue.

Step 2: Cut the Little Buggers Out!

Drying...I left mine to dry for about 30-mins to an hour in a warm place (no too warm)
obviously if you are using tackier glue then the drying times may be much longer.

Once dry (you will know when the cap cannot be easily separated from the pellet) it is safe to remove them from the mesh. i found the best way is to cut round them with a knife, pulling them out can damage them and break the glue bond.

You may find some of the bonds less that desirable and the pellet and cap will separate so leave them on the mesh and use the needle/long nose pliers to return the pellet to the cap and apply extra glue.

What are they like to shoot you say?

Well depending on how well you have managed to seat the pellet on the cap they fly pretty true, would not be suited for hunting purposes, nor would i want to use these in anything more than a cheap air rifle or pistol as i have no idea how these would affect your barrel/auto loading for CO2 systems.

They have about a 95% explosion rate on hard targets and most detonate on softer targets too.

They make quite a loud bang and produce smoke, also have been seen catching fire due to the nature of the glue used.

Happy plinking and remember don't use these against anything living, make sure you have a safe area to shoot in and NEVER point a loaded gun at anyone (even if it is just an air rifle)



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    44 Discussions

    Couldn't you fill the hole in the back of the pellet with powder (black/gun), then put the cap over it to make it more of a bang?

    1 reply

    that wouldnt be very likely to work at all as the hole in the back of the pellet is where the air that forces it through the barrel catches. on top of that the reason they explode is because the pellet is forcing the explosive against a hard target at high speed, putting it at the back would make it far less likely to set off.

    I wonder if that gravel used in snaps-it would work. Maybe mix with some blackpowder

    1 reply

    its not the gravel in those that bang, the gravel provides sufficient friction to set of a tiny amount of silver fulminate inside of them.

    I have been making these since I was 11, because wanted to REALLY irritate my neighbour, across the street... Shooting at the chimney of his house, of course. The best way to do it is to use a 'safety' match (NOT the 'strike-anywhere ones, they contain a lot of silica to provide the friction to ignite them), and then carefully cut-off the bulbous, rounded tip of the match-head with a razor-blade, so your are left with dome-shaped, circular 'widget', of match-material, a bit like a small, depressed-looking lentil, or something... You then use the razor-blade to make a few 'cross-hatching' marks onto the top of a (domed) pellet, and then glue-on the match-head widget, with a spirit-based glue (like contact-cement). I find that if you don't make a few cross-hatchings, the glue fails to bond completely... This process can be done for BOTH .177 and .22 pellets; in fact, you can use the larger heads of those funky 'kitchen matches' to make the .22 version - slightly more of a bang. They're about as loud as an indoor firework, or the volume of noise you get if you pop a shotgun primer off, with a hammer (which is essentially what you're doing; matches are made from the same sulphur-based compounds as cartridge primers are, these days). The heat from impact detonates the material. Seriously; it takes a little skill, but to be able to shoot next door's chimney from 400 feet away and set his dogs barking all night, is PRICELESS.

    Muzzle loader primers work great as well just smash the end of the pellets with pliers into a point to where you can just push the primer over it snugly and your done and retain fair accuracy (soft ball at 50yards)

    It doesnt make that big of a bang. Try using compressed powder balls. They can be found in artillery shells! Or big bottle rockets.

    Wouldn't recomend doing this. Tried it, and jammed my gun. Almost had to replasce the barrel, and had to take everything out. Ugh...

    I dont know why, but this Instructable reminds of an "incident" I had with some caps. Short story, the caps blew up in my hand and i had burns on them for atleast 2 weeks. It took off my finger prints a bit too.

    sweet lol i found that caps fit perfectly in .177 barrles so this would work really well. could u use hot glue?

    3 replies

    Awesome, I only measured it up, don't actual have a .177 to try it on. I assume hot glue would be OK, can't imagine it would set off the flash powder its nowhere near hot enough...will cool nice and quick too. drop us a comment if you give it a go : )

    i dont know what temp flash powder ignites at, but airguns actually heat the air to 1000 Fahrenheit for a fraction of a second.

    well i tried it with blu-tack first and it just came off but i got no more pellets left at the moment so i dno if it will work or not lol. it also works with no pellet but it stuff the main spring and plunger.

    this is pretty awesome, but i wouldnt use them in a .17 hmr because they would explode in barrel and gunk it up, due to the insane velocity.

     hi i have a .177 cal bb gun and a bit different designee that is working for mine o and i don't need to use a pellet just hot glue and for a pit more fun i added some gold and silver so they look more like bullets or mini grenade rounds

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    thank you thank you this was from youtube