The MacGyver Gun(s)


Introduction: The MacGyver Gun(s)

About: I sadly took a (really) long break from Instructables since creating my account. Joined the military, gained some knowledge, and hopefully I'll be putting out some up to date Instructables soon!

First, i would like to thank my dad for helping me with this and helping me make it my first "good" instructable.  He also came up with the idea of naming it after MacGyver, the main character of a 1985 to 1992 TV show on ABC that, in each episode, would use items that seem like they could never help to make something amazing to beat the bad guys and get out safely.  In this instructable, i will show you how to make three different extremely easy to make "projectile shooters" made from highlighters, pens, and a little bit of fire.  I made about ten more while i was waiting for the pictures to upload to make this.

Also, i entered this in the JOBY Transform it contest, so please vote!


Now, for the fun part!

Step 1: MacGyver Guns: Materials

To make all three of these, you will need the following, plus a little creativity to make a stand, but that comes later.  Now for the materials!

at least two Sharpie highlighters
Papermate "m" pens (no substitutions)
thumbtacks (not shown)
screw that fits in the small end of the highlighter
electrical tape
matches (not shown) 
a way to attach the screw to something solid (shown at the end)
various aerosol sprays: experiment and see which one works best for you
and needlenose pliers might be very helpful

Step 2: Gun #1

To try and make this easier, the directions are on one page per gun.  The pictures do the real explaining; pictures are worth thousands of words.

This is the one that shoots the little cap

First, you need to disassemble the highlighter, then you can throw away any inky pieces (the tip and the cartridge)  

Then, take the cap of the highlighter and use the scissors to make a hole the size of the little part on the end of the cap (see image)

Now, take the cap and shove it as far as it will go into the big end of the highlighter, taking care not to crack it.  Superglue it in place.

While that dries, take the little end cap (the "projectile") and cover it in a few layers of the electrical tape and fold over the ends.  This makes it airtight so there is no "blow by" when it fires.

After that put some electrical tape over the superglue bond and put the "projectile" on the end

Now carefully insert the  thumbtack close to, but not on the small end of the highlighter

Its done!  See the "Firing the MacGyver Guns" step if you want to make just this, but if you want to make the rest, read on!

Step 3: Gun #2

This (highlighter) one shoots whatever you put in it

First disassemble the highlighter, and throw away the inky parts (just like before)

Now, put the little end cap back exactly where you just took it from, put a small hole in the center, and superglue it in place. BEFORE you superglue, put a small hole in the cap just like in gun #1

QUICKLY, before the superglue dries, put the cap on as if you were using the highlighter normally and put more glue around it 

Then, carefully put a thumbtack close to, but not on the cap and cover the superglue with electrical tape

Now its done! Skip to the Firing step, or read on to make the most MacGyverish gun yet!

Step 4: Gun #3 (The Best One, in My Opinion)

This one shoots whatever you put in it, and you can make a million in about ten minutes.  It takes only scissors and a thumbtack to make.

First, take out the whole ink assembly, leaving the empty pen

Now, using scissors, pop out the little thingy in the end (make a hole)

Then, carefully insert a thumbtack into the end you made the hole in

Its done!  Finally time for the really fun part!

Step 5: Firing the MacGyver Guns

Now, first i need to say that for safety reasons, we only used each one once.  The price of pens is way less than the price of having one explode in your hand, which is also why we didnt hold ours, but improvised a tripod.  If you dont happen to have a broken drum stand, just put some screws through a piece of wood and stick it in the ground.  Whatever works.  Also, please be careful when lighting it, and use earplugs, safety glasses, and other safety equipment as you so desire.

OK. The procedure is simple.  Screw it on, spray a SHORT burst of axe or air freshener, etc, into the barrel, then shove whatever you are firing onto the end.  You have to work fast so the propellant  wont evaporate into the air.  Now take out the thumbtack and hold up a lit match or lighter to the small hole, and KEEP YOUR HAND BACK!   Dont be stupid and hold your hand right in front of the fire hole, keep it up a little bit.  Same goes for the path of the projectile.  

You may have to try a couple of times for it to actually work.  Good Luck!

Thank you and please vote!



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    8 Discussions

    Just like my laser beam microphone with few speakers and a laser..........

    Thank you very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very much

    can u hold it and fire it or will it just blow up in your hands

    1 reply

    I would test it first to make sure it doesn't blow up, and if you do hold it in your hands i would wear gloves of something protective, (it will get hot from firing)

    will it work if I use a thumbtack and make a sorta rifle version

    yes you are right, MacGyver does not use guns, he is just using the fact that MacGyver can make anything out of nothing as the inspiration for naming this project as that is one of the things this project encompasses