Nerf Dart Blowgun
If you take a Nerf blaster apart, you’ll learn that its propulsion system is based on a mechanical force applied to the dart, usually by a spring-loaded firing pin. A dart is loaded, the pin is cocked, trigger pulled, and the pin hits the dart and launches it down a barrel. This works pretty well. But it can work better.
Aside from mechanical force, another good way to propel something down a tube is by pneumatics. Indeed, if you think about it, that’s how real guns work: The explosion of gunpowder causes rapidly expanding gases to launch the bullet down a rifled barrel at high velocity. This project creates a blowgun that actually works better with Nerf darts than the mechanical version.
Age range: 5+
Step 1: The Basic Blowgun
The simplest part of this project involves very little work: Go to your local hardware store and pick up a 20- to 24-inch section of 1/2-inch copper pipe—the kind that’s commonly used for water in domestic plumbing. It’ll cost about a dollar. Take a Nerf dart and insert it into one end of the pipe, with the “business” end of the dart pointing up the length of the pipe. Hold the pipe up to your face and aim it at an unsuspecting target. Put your mouth on the pipe, take a deep breath, and blow out with a short, sharp puff. Without much practice, this design can hit targets more than 60 feet away.
Step 2: Choose Your Customization Options
While you’re at the hardware store, browse through the fittings that go with the 1/2-inch copper pipe. You’ll find 90-degree elbows, 45-degree turns, T-connectors, and reducers. Use these extra parts to make your blowgun even cooler:
Step 3: Build a Better Blowgun
One thing to understand about fittings: The inside dimension of a fitting is just larger than the outside dimension of the pipe—meaning the pipe is meant to slip inside the fitting, but fittings won’t slide into each other.
Step 4: Blowgun War!
After you’ve built your arsenal, it’s time to play. Try some target practice and see what the accurate range of the blowguns is compared with traditional Nerf blasters. Or just go have a backyard firefight and see how well the custom blowgun stacks up.
This project does not have any discussions yet.