How To Make A Laser Assisted Blowgun

I just made a laser guided blowgun for under
$3, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s powerful enough to break glass, and
even blast darts into concrete. In this project we’re making a custom laser sighted blowgun,
that not only looks cool, but adds another dimension to the fun you can have, in the
backyard. Let’s start this project with a roll of
scotch tape, a stack of sticky notes, and a paper party hat. I’m using the small 2×2
squares, and if we wrap one carefully around the tip of the hat, the cone shape acts as
a forming guide for making a pointy paper dart. We’ll need a little bit of tape to
reinforce the tip and hold it altogether, so when it slides off, it’ll still keep
its conical shape. Now watch what happens if we push the tip into a 1/2” PVC tube
and give it a little twist. You can see the pressure leaves a little mark right where
it starts getting too big for the tube. Let’s carefully trim along the inside edge of the
marking, and just like that, we’ve made a mini paper dart that’ll fit perfectly
inside the blowgun barrel. But it’s not quite ready to use yet. We still need to add
some weight to the tips so they’ll fly straight. I found one of the quickest and easiest ways
to do that, is to squirt a little hot glue inside the cones until they’re about 1/3rd
of the way full. If you don’t have hot glue, try pulling off a little piece of poster putty
instead, and shove it down into the tip with something like a screwdriver. That’ll work
just as good. Alright, we’ve got some paper darts. All we need now is a blowgun, so let’s
work on making that next. I went to the hardware store and picked up a 2 foot length of 1/2”
PVC pipe, and a reducing adaptor. This female adaptor is 3/4” on one side, and reduces
to a 1/2” slip connector on the other. Now if we simply push the adaptor onto the tube
and give it a little tap, we’ve just created a super simple blowgun that can be used right
away. You can see the weighted darts fly amazingly straight, and will take out paper cups with
an impressive amount of power. They’re just strong enough to do a little damage, but still
safe enough to shoot around the house. Not that you should. But you could. Alright, let’s
take this system to a whole new level with a roll of duct tape, and some wire nails.
I got this roll of camouflage tape from the hardware store, and we’ll need to start
by putting a long strip on the table with the sticky side facing up. Now watch this.
If we carefully set the pipe lengthwise in the center of the tape, then gently rock it
from side to side, the tape will start to wrap itself around the tube. Doing the same
thing with a second piece of tape will cover any gaps, and just like that, our blowgun’s
got a custom camo wrap. Now just add some electrical tape around the tip of the barrel
and around the mouthpiece, to cover the rough edges and make it look a little nicer. At
this point, you can see our blowgun is starting to look pretty serious. So let’s get busy
making some rounds of ammunition that are a little more serious as well. I’m using
#16 and #18 wire nails, because they’re relatively lightweight, and have a nice flat
head on the top. You can see when a nail gets pushed through an empty paper cone, it instantly
transforms into a high speed nail dart. It’ll work fine just like this, but to make it a
little more durable, try adding a dab of hot glue on the inside of the cone, then pulling
down on the nail until the head catches firmly at the bottom. They’ll need about 2 minutes
for the glue to cool and harden, so while we’re waiting, why don’t we try making
something a little different. A stack of colored sticky notes will make different colored darts,
and just for fun I snipped the tips off these purple ones and drove small screws deep into
the glue. I call these ones my glass breakers, and you’ll see how they got that name in
just a minute. Now if you wanna experiment with different types of darts, you can really
use any length of nail you want. Smaller darts will be easier to shoot, and fly faster, while
heaver darts will penetrate deeper and do more damage. Now that we’ve got some good
ammunition, we’re gonna need a way to store it. I found a 6” length of 1/2”
foam pipe insulation for a little over a dollar, and tried cutting little donut shapes off
the end, about 3/4” thick. I used some electrical tape to reinforce the outside of the disc,
then just for looks, used a black marker to color the foam a little bit darker. The next
step is to make another foam disc the exact same way, then slide both of them onto the
barrel of the blowgun. At this point, we’re ready to modify the quiver so it’ll carry
8 rounds of ammunition. I found a phillips head screwdriver and carefully heated it over
a flame for about 20 seconds. That get’s it just hot enough to burn little holes into
the foam on contact. Just make sure you’re only burning holes in the top disc because
we’re gonna want the bottom one left intact. You can see the 8 holes we made space
the darts evenly, and guide the nails as they push down into the padding below. These makeshift
quivers keep all the darts securely in place, while protecting the tips of the darts at
the same time. Alright, our customized blowgun is looking pretty impressive, and we could
stop here. But let’s go one step further, and give it a laser. I picked up a red laser
pointer from the dollar store and hot glued it 8-1/2” back from the tip of the barrel,
then reinforced it with a couple of zip ties, for durability. The thing I like best about
these $1 lasers are how one button operates an LED flashlight, while the other activates
the laser sight, making this system operable in the dark. Now I got a slightly better laser
from the pet section of the grocery store and turned it into a custom laser scope that
compliments the gun really well. With this setup, the position of the laser can be fine
tuned with amazing precision, which you can see, results in surprisingly accurate shots.
Alright, now that we’ve got a custom, laser guided blowgun, let’s have some fun. I took
mine outside and found that the darts easily penetrate into wooden posts with out even
trying. They’ll also stick into tree trunks, or completely abuse the side of a wooden deck,
like the one on my kids playhouse. I was able to hit some targets from over 100 feet away,
and if I missed, the darts just sailed right into the concrete wall behind it, which actually
blows my mind completely. I still don’t really know how these stick into cinderblock,
but they do. For one last experiment, I tried loading one of the glass breaker rounds, and
fired at a glass full of water. Needless to say, they do live up to their name. Now you’ve
probably realized that if you use different rolls of tape, you can customize your blowgun
any way you want, and if you want a safer kind of ammo, try using colored mini marshmallows.
They’re the perfect fit for 1/2” PVC, and can be shot safely, but still with incredible
accuracy. Well now you know how to make an incredible, laser guided blowgun, that will
rattle off nail darts with power and precision. The best part is, if you make these in bulk,
they can cost as little as $2.50 each. And that’s including the $1 laser. Well that’s
it for now. If you liked this project perhaps you’ll like some of my others. Check them
out at

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