A blowgun is a very historic weapon. It's actually one of the oldest know projectile weapons, perhaps after chucking a rock. Essentially a dart is blown through a tube by a strong breath, propelling the dart extremely fast and quite accurately. It is also extremely quiet, so it can be used without anyone noticing. I decided to make one a few days ago for target practice, so I thought I'd show you what I did along the way.
LEGAL - owning and shooting a blowgun may not be legal in your area, so check local laws before attempting this project. This is a very dangerous weapon and can harm people easily. USE EXTREME CAUTION AT ALL TIMES!
This is also my first 'ible, so please let me know what you think!
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Step 1: Materials
Making a blowgun is actually pretty easy and requires few items. Here's what I gathered:
For the darts:
- 1000 perler beads (from Jo-Ann's, see picture)
- a bottle of Loctite Ultragel Control super glue
- a sharpie
- some nails that fit snugly in the perler beads
- some paper
- a pair of scissors
- a ruler
- some tape
- you may need two pairs of pliers to help get the beads over the nails, it can be hard depending on how thick your nails are
For the gun itself:
- a hot glue gun with glue
- some sort of duct tape, I used camo
- a 3/4" PVC to CPVC adapter
- 5' Rigid PVC tubing sunlight resistant (from Lowe's, see picture)
I also used a pencil... I know they are pretty hard to find so feel free to skip this material. :)
Step 2: Dart Step 1: Making the Paper Cone
First of all, I would like to say that I did not design these darts. I found a video on them from YouTube by thechainmailkid. Here's a link if your interested in his video:
Anyways, draw a three inch square on the paper and cut it out. Then take the scissors and cut out a square from a corner. I just eyeballed it, made it about an inch and a half or so. Check out the pictures to see what I mean.
Then you want to roll the paper from one of the sides, forming a cone. The tip of the cone should be where you cut the square out. Again, check out the picture to see what I mean. Roll it pretty tight, I just used my pointer finger as a guide.
Keep your finger on the cone and grab some tape. Starting at the tip, cover the cone in tape, making it much more durable.
Step 3: Dart Step 2: Adding the Point
Now take the cone and cut off the very tip, making a small round hole. Test to see if a nail can fit through it, but you want it to be pretty tight. If it doesn't fit, cut it slightly bigger and try again. If the nail can fall out of the cone when you turn it upside down, start over.
Then put some super glue just below the head of the nail and pull it through the cone point first. Pull it tight so the glue will really adhere to the paper. Stick the dart in something do it can dry. This is the time to make some more darts, I usually make around ten at a time.
Step 4: Dart Step 3: Finishing Up
Take the first dart you made and a few of the perler beads. Test to be sure they fit, then apply some super glue to cone end of the nail. Slide on two beads, using pliers if you have to. Then apply some more glue, and add to more beads. Do this one more time, with a result of 6 beads. They act as weights to stabilize the flight and drive the dart through targets.
I found that a tighter fit between the nail and bead is extremely important, otherwise the beads will break from the glue when the dart hits something.
Let the dart dry and do the same thing for all the other ones.
I colored all the cones black with sharpie to match my perler beads, but it's not necessary.
Then rest the dart in the PVC pipe and trace where the cone and tube meet. Remove the dart and cut along this line. Test to be the dart fits snugly in the pipe. You don't want it to have a whole lot of movement, but you should've have to cram it in there either.
I have a picture of what the darts should look like when they are finished. These four are the best of my current batch.
I did no sharpening of the nails, but they seem to puncture and stick into things quite well. You could sharpen them using a file and some sand paper or make a broad head by hammering the head flat.
Step 5: Making the Gun
I do not recommended using any other PVC tube other than the one I suggested. Other types will tend to bend and misdirect the darts' path.
Take the duct tape and somehow cover the pipe in it. I used two five foot lengths and went straight from tip to tip. It turned out pretty nice.
Cover the adapter in tape, too. It will act as a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece allows more air to be forced into the tube=faster darts.
Heat up your glue gun and put glue along one end of your pipe. Push the adapter over the pipe and into the glue, adjusting for an airtight fit. Be sure it won't fall off.
That's it! Your gun and darts are done! You can add a quiver for the darts or even a strap, but I'm sure you can figure those out. The next step explains how to shoot the gun.
Step 6: Shooting the Gun
Shooting a blow gun can take some practice, so don't be shocked when you don't get it your first time.
Put the dart in the mouthpiece point first and push it in so the cone rests inside the pipe. Hold the pipe level to ground, using one arm outstretched to act as a brace and the other holding the mouthpiece to your mouth.
Place your mouth in the mouthpiece. Keep your mouth open, but just enough to keep your lips inside the mouthpiece. You want to be able to release a huge amount of air very quickly.
Be sure to take a breath BEFORE putting your mouth to the pipe, otherwise the dart WILL come out and be sucked into your mouth. Open you mouth and prepare to release air. Make a sudden "tuh" sound and "shove" the air out of your lungs. The dart should fly out with great force.
This is very accurate and very dangerous so use great caution when wielding this weapon.
Be sure to leave comments below! Thanks for reading.