Nerf gun converted to CO2 powered semi-automatic

[Philysteak527] modified a Nerf rifle, making it semi-automatic thanks to the powers of compressed air. This is not a simple change to make, and rests on his ability to design and manufacture a bolt-action that fits in the gun, works with the Nerf ammo, and uses a CO2 canister and solenoid valve for the firing action. Knowing that, it’s not surprising to find that he’s an engineering student at┬áStony Brook University. He started with some POM, or polyoxymethylene plastic sold under the brand name Delrin, and used a CNC lathe to machine the parts for the bolt. Add in some brass fittings, a solenoid, tubing, and the electronics and you’re in business.

We’ve embedded the test footage after the break. Looks like the new internals allow a rather fast firing rate (maybe 2-3 shots per second?) and achieve a distance between seventy and one hundred feet.

33 thoughts on “Nerf gun converted to CO2 powered semi-automatic

  1. If you’re going to go through all the trouble of gutting it and replacing the internals, why bother spending the +$40 on the gun in the first place?
    He obviously has some machining capabilities so designing a stock and barrel for the new internals isn’t outside his skill set.

  2. First high end paintball guns then entry level paintball guns now NERF have all gone semi auto. What’s next?

  3. Actually, this gun probably didn’t cost him $40+, the Long Shot is being discontinued and runs a measly $15 most places right now. This looks fairly impressive, but if he’s only getting 100 feet from a fully custom breech with a CO2 tank then he’s doing something wrong…

  4. From his instructable post it doesn’t seem like he want’s someone else to make one like his. He doesn’t give clear instuctions and bypasses his angled breech assembly/construction completly. He is showing off his work and then says it doesn’t work well. I give the hack a 5 out of 10.

  5. Even if the gun doesn’t cost $40, My point is your taking out everything that makes that gun *that* gun. It’s now a completely different gun so why not make it look like one? It’s not that hard to make a stock and slap some tubing on the bolt assembly to give it a barrel. I mean even the cosmetics of the original design are gone now that you’ve hung an air cylinder/line off of the front. In the span of an afternoon he could have crafted a very sleek design that didn’t have hoses and such dangling about to get snagged during Nerf wars.

  6. @Leithoa: I kinda agree with you. I know people with RC Cars that replace literally THE ENTIRE thing (chassis, arms, transmission, everything) with custom parts, and it’s like, why not just build it from scratch?

    I think the reason is it gives the illusion of faster progress because the main thing already exists.

    However, this hack is still pretty sweet. It seems to work alright, but he really should include more write-up on it.

  7. I excluded certain things for a reason, in the hands of untrained people tinkering with CO2 can be quite dangerous. I was also attempting to alleviate many headaches i had while building this.

    For instance the electronics, obviously I went the microcontroller route, but similar results could have been gotten with just a simple microswitch.

    And there is a very fine line between this and a weapon…. I know, I had to get this past campus PD in order to use it and that was harder than actually building it.

    I am going to add a few things to the instructable when I have time (In finals mode right now)…. I just don’t know how much more I can give, I gave detailed drawings of the bolt assembly, which honestly is the key if anyone wanted to recreate this.

  8. Would have been a lot more interesting read if it wasn’t on instructables, so many pictures that I could look at and oogle over :-(

    Looks like he put a lot of effort into it, and looks like it shoots well.

  9. For all you asking why he didn’t change the look; its because we play a game on our University Campus called Humans Vs. Zombies. The gun was planned to be used but, it was obviously too modified and changing the body of the gun would have gone too far so give the kid a break

  10. I agree with longbow486

    Any project posted on HAD that links back to Instructables I will boycott.

    (psssst: when ya getting a user forum up guys??? )

    1. @Chris Muncy and Longbow486,
      yeah, instructables is obnoxious. We’re not going to ignore those projects though. However, we would love to support a better alternative. Got any suggestions?
      -caleb

  11. :P Someone needs to write a script to rip the instructables contents of worthy hacks, and then host it in a less obnoxious manor.(While obviously giving credit to the creator of the hack.)

    1. @fallen,
      its the hosting in a less obnoxious manner part that gets tricky. It can be costly to host that much stuff. Gotta pay the bills somehow. You either charge people to host their projects or run ads. I would LOVE to make a cleaner more professional system than instructables, but that just isn’t a quick and easy task.

  12. I love the comment about getting past campus PD. Had the same problem with paintball guns, you can’t even keep parts of guns in the front of your car here without them freaking out. Funny, because I can keep a loaded pistol on my lap due to my pistol license, but can’t keep an empty paintball gun in the back seat!!!!

  13. @sirblade: when you use it to commit a crime. It’s still a toy, and even if it fires faster and further than the original it’s not going to hurt anyone unless they choke on a dart or get one right in the eye at close range or something.

    But if you use it to hold up a bank or something, or put AA batteries in it and go around breaking windows, then the police will have something to say.

  14. This is pretty cool. I wish I realized earlier how easily I could make one of these, having so much paintball equipment (aka air regulators) laying around.

  15. Nice to see it went better than my first attempt at a compressed gas (gas state substance, not natural gas, duh!) which was made out of PVC pipe and had a habit of firing the air storage tank off rather than the nerf dart.

    For now though, I think I’ll stick to doing the old rubber band and air restrictor mod on those cheap nerf pistols.

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