Here's how to turn a mousetrap into a fun little handgun that shoots up to 40 feet! This is a great project because it can be made with simple materials, very basic tools, and in just a few minutes!
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: What You Will Need
This pack of two mousetraps was only $0.98 from "Lowes" home improvement store!
Aside from those, all you're going to need are;
- 2 small screws (like the kind on your door hinges)
- A small piece of 2x2
Suggested tools to make the job easier are;
- Needle-nose pliers
- Wire snips
Step 2: Prepare the Mousetrap
Cut the piece of wood so that it fits comfortably in your hand, then drill 3 holes with an 1/8" drill bit in the places shown in the picture.
The 2 screws will secure the trap to the wood handle. Make sure you leave just a little overhang at the back.
Step 3: Make the Firing Mechanism
The firing mechanism is made by modifying the locking pin into a squeeze-pull trigger.
Modify the locking pin so that it's trimmed down in a way that it overlaps the the most forward hole you drilled, then bend the tip of the pin up at a 45 degree angle.
The next step, is to use the locking pin from the other trap as the trigger. Push the pin up through the bottom of the hole, then trim it flush with the top of the spring, and bend it over in a an "n" shape. This will prevent it from slipping back down through the hole.
To see a video demonstration of how the firing mechanism is made, click here
Step 4: Add the Launching Pad
The bait pad can be converted into a launching platform that will shoot any type of small ammunition!
With the trap hammer relaxed, clip the bait pad with the hooks facing upward, then carefully lift the hammer, tuck the pad underneath, and relax the hammer back down onto the trap base.
Your gun is finished, and ready for testing!
Step 5: Loading the Mousetrap Gun
To cock the gun, pull the hammer back in the same way you would set the mousetrap. Carefully overlap the locking pin, and set the tip so that it holds firm in the hook you made on the trigger pin.
Be careful with this step and make sure your fingers are clear, because if the pin slips, the trap hammer will snap over and give your fingers a smack.
I made a little target for practice. In the next step you'll see different types of ammo that work well for shooting.
To see a video clip of how to cock the gun, click here
Step 6: Types of Ammunition
I found that Airsoft BB's work perfectly! The little divot in the center of the pad is perfectly situated to shoot these BB's straight forward, and at distances up to 40 feet!
They are small and fast, and don't do too much damage to anything they hit.
Other types of ammunition I found work well are;
- Small rocks
- Plastic bottle caps
- Glass beads
Basically any item that's small and dense works great!
To see a video demonstrating different projectiles being shot, click here
Moving the ammo forward on the pad makes the gun shoot low and fast, like a gun.
Shifting the ammo rearward causes the object to be launched high and far, like a catapult.
You can play around with different positions to see how your shooting patterns are affected.
Step 7: Finished
This simple device launches projectiles with both power, and precision. Cost was about $1.00
Just for fun, I made a third gun and painted it black to see how it would contrast with the yellow launch pad.
Have you made yours yet? What are you waiting for? You can still see the video here
If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com