Airsoft hacking

[Barrett] sent in this hack he did to an airsoft pistol. He was using “tracer rounds” or glowing airsoft pellets and found that there was no commercially available way of charging them up with uv light before they are shot. He cracked open his pistol, removed the safety mechanism, and placed a UV led in it’s place. Now, when he turns it on, it charges up the pellets so they’re nice and bright. If he’s playing airsoft at night, won’t that bright purple light give away his position? yeah, we know he was probably just using that pistol to show the mod off.


  1. Mike says:

    uh…guys, that’s an ultraviolet LED, which is outside the spectrum of visible light for the human eye. The only reason you can see it in the video is because the CCD in the digital camera picks it up as being blue.

  2. willthiswork89 says:

    The best way to do this is to get a mechanism out of a disposable camera, stuff it in there and release an extremely bright burst of UV just before the release of the ball.

  3. hum4n says:

    oh lol, good catch mike.

    I’ve always wanted to make an airsoft autoturret. That would be fancy indeed.

  4. aonomus says:

    Half the time UV leds are only near-vis + UV and do show a fair bit of purple at the low end of the spectrum.

  5. Caleb Kraft says:

    While that would be a convenient answer, the few UV LEDs I’ve seen were also visible. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this one is, but it looks just like the others I’ve seen.

  6. Airsoftdude says:

    Actually you can get a commercial way to sharge them with uv light.

    Its expensive but it has been around for a while.

  7. aficionado says:



    no way that this guy spent the money required to get a uv led that doesnt have any visible emissions

  8. d3xtr says:

    i agree, for a very bright glow in the dark BB. have it discharge a camera flash right on to the bb as your pulling the trigger. it will look like a muzle flash and you will never see a brighter bb in your life .

  9. cde says:

    With a regular, non-see-thru pistol, the only light source you could see would be directly in front of the gun. By which point, they should be seeing plenty of paintballs coming at their face.

  10. xrazorwirex says:

    you mean little plastic bb’s, not paintballs.

    And yes, this ‘controversy’ is pretty lame.

  11. goodgravy says:

    It’s an old military saying, but still true… tracers work both ways. Even if he covers the charging light up somehow, the enemy can still see where the bright round came from.

  12. jaysonS says:

    mike. your a idiot… touch a UV led before you talk.

  13. Taylor Alexander says:

    Jumping on the Visible/Not Visible thing, remember that lots of things under UV light glow, so even if it were a true UV only LED and wasn’t visible, it would likely *STILL* make the things it was hitting glow, making him visible.

  14. barrett says:

    The gun’s LED does emit some violet light, but not as much as the video had (the leds are 395nm). When I recorded this I left it on by accident. When I went to turn it off I was scared I ran the battery down for a split second but then I realized it was just brighter on the video.

  15. Advanced Ste@l says:

    Electrical tape the entire gun… Black+not “any” visible light+ Night Tag=Epic…

  16. tecNik says:

    “won’t that bright purple light give away his position?”…
    Um. If you are trying to be stealthy I don’t think you’d be using tracers.
    You do know tracers work both ways, right?

    I’ll say that again -Tracers-

  17. Drew says:

    Um, I play airsoft battles in Japan now, for over 1.5 years, both indoor and outdoor massive games. I can tell you that there ARE commercial solutions for tracer bbs. That’s why they make them!

    Tokyo Marui has made a full auto tracer flash unit for years- and last year they came out with a new model I have. Works great. Tip- the big boys don’t use UV leds for lighting them up. The tracer units (shaped like a silencer with a red laser detection trigger for bbs inside) are always instantaneous high-powered strobe bursts. My full auto tracer unit was about 95$, but it lights up bbs at full auto speed from my Mac 10 Vietnam custom, at at least 15-20 shots a sec.

    Basically, each single bb gets a full tube of intense strobe flash- they light up like they’ve been painted with luminova or something. Works amazingly well. Granted, they take 4 AAAs, and you can burn them out in a long night, but it works great. I even made a custom mod and hid my tracer unit inside the massive Vietnam custom kit silencer you get. A single press, and fully silenced lightning pours out of my gun.

    UV will work, I’m sure, but professional gear uses HID strobes confined inside silencer type metal housings, with laser trip switches. If anyone seriously wanted one, I could call in Japanese and order you one. I can’t believe no one knows about standard Tokyo Marui equipment here!

  18. Drew says:

    PS- if you want the best results, bio-tracer bbs don’t get anywhere near as bright as normal plastic ones. Nowhere near. It’s like comparing a big lightning bug to a near dead watch backlight.

  19. medix says:

    Even if it *was* an high-quality uv-only source, it’s gonna make *everything* around it fluoresce anyway, so it’s a moot point (ie don’t wear anything white or that has been washed with powdered detergents – they’ll glow just like anything else)

  20. fartface says:

    Mike is so wrong he is not funny.

    First: Video cameras are IR sensitive not UV sensitive.

    Second: All UV led’s I have bought are very dark purple. UVB and UVA led’s are all very visible. and yes I have some experience with that, I have over 350 UVB and 150 UVA led’s in projects. I have built EPROM erasers with them, and lots of other projects.

  21. airsoft dude says:

    While he’s right that there’s no commercial device for that particular gun, they do have them.

    I believe there’s also one that’s shaped like a magazine.

  22. heres a dumb comment says:

    heres an idea…buy a real gun so you dont have to worry about the other guy living long enough to find you or to say the word tracer. there problem solved.

  23. realvision says:

    @fartface: 150nm LEDs?!

    Where do you get those?

  24. dechrlam says:

    Hmmmm. Remove the safety then at 1:40 point the gun right at your stupid face.

  25. barrett says:

    @dechrlam I pointed it at the camera (which is your face) not mine.

    The are comercially available units (Tokyo Muri is the best) but they are for AEG’s not pistols and wouldn’t be compatible plus I’m not spending >$100’s to make a $40 gun have tracers. I like the camera flash idea I may have some leftovers from a coilgun I’m building to play around with that Idea thanks.

  26. Drew says:

    @ airsoft dude-

    Yes, that’s what I have- my model is apparently a bit different, it’s off/on switch is a pushbutton on the back of the case near the gun threads, but that’s it- it’s all metal, and that’s my tracer unit.

    I still think this is a good hack, it solves a problem without buying an expensive solution. That is very cool.

    Warning to those who play with tracers, though- it makes it VERY easy to find you! Use as a last resort ;)

  27. drew says:

    since when are AA’s 12 volts ….. last i checked they were 1.5 volts

  28. what says:

    I just want to say everyone is wrong.

    Bacon IS the new salad.

  29. barrett says:

    @drew its not a AA is a A23 used in car remotes and voltmeters

  30. Drew says:

    @ barrett & everyone,

    I never said it uses AA batteries- I said it uses AAA batteries- 4 of them. Called 単4 type in Japan.

    I don’t know what the newest model uses- mine is apparently the new model from one year ago in Japan, the switch is a bit different from the one linked above, which must be for foreign markets.

    They are still selling my version in Japan right now, and it uses 4 AAA batteries.

    Here, a link to the current Tokyo Marui Japanese site page- you will see the exact version I own:

  31. Paintballing says:

    Its pretty cool that you can ad that mod to have your pellets light up for night games. Would like to be a by-stander to see a night game, little flashes going all over the place.

    Would be an idea to put some kind of cover over your gun though so you don’t give away your position easily.


  32. gun man says:

    Well, sweet… Someone will love this and I can’t wait to tell her about this. Thanks again…

  33. John says:

    I wonder what you could do to hack some more power out of this pistol.

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