Making Airsoft guns far more potent


[Drake] wrote in to share his recent project, which involves repurposing an Airsoft rifle that was sitting around, collecting dust. Airsoft guns as a whole are not all that impressive, but convert your Airsoft gun into a laser rifle, and we’re all ears.

His laser blaster is honestly pretty straightforward as far as laser projects go, but we just couldn’t resist. He pulled apart the Airsoft gun, removing all of the “airy” bits, leaving just the trigger behind. He added a 9v battery and a linear power supply to the gun, wiring them up to a 700mW laser diode from what we hope was a broken Blu-ray burner.

In the obligatory “look at what I can destroy with my laser gun” video embedded below, [Drake] shows off his gun’s potency at various ranges, popping balloons from 35 feet away. He even shows off the laser’s usefulness as a light pen for glow in the dark surfaces.

While his modifications are nothing we haven’t seen before, his gun is far more accessible than others we have featured.

Have any cool high-powered laser projects of your own? Share them with us in the comments.


  1. Addidis says:

    Hehehe notice the little dark spots on the white carpet ?

  2. graymalkin says:

    Why do I get the impressing the creator of this is currently on ebay looking for Phaser replicas from Star Trek?

    If he’s not, he should be.

    But really, cool project.

  3. VEC7OR says:

    I like the pun on the muzzle velocity.
    But I’ll opt for a Q-switched one.

  4. baker0835 says:

    Look up systema PTW or tokyo marui and then tell me “Airsoft guns as a whole are not all that impressive”. I had an AEG that would put a tuned up paintball gun to shame.

  5. Hamtaro says:

    Cool, but I’d be much more interested in the idea if he had the laser burst with physical feedback instead of a simple on/off switch. At that point he could replicate a rifle target system like Anchutz’s LaserPower II: and perhaps create a target system to match. (His aim is a little shaky :P )

  6. Britt says:

    Oh, I *do* hope that he mounted the battery in the magazine…

  7. barry99705 says:

    Hey, I’m impressed! None of the “lasers kill kittens” trolls have shown up yet! :D

  8. Aphex13 says:

    Lasers kill kittens…

  9. Will says:

    The battery in the magazine would be an awesome feature as well as a bit of force feed back.

  10. tooth says:

    You’ll burn your eye out, kid!!

  11. tw33dle says:

    what about adding a second or third laser so that balloon will pop much quicker, thus making a more effective kill shot, much like a rifle firing a real projectile. but be careful, we wouldn’t want hurt a cute kitties now would we. :)

  12. tw33dle says:

    i guess i should have watched the video before i open my big mouth and let the crap roll out :/ I guess I expected it take about a second or so to pop the balloon. this is why I’m not allowed outside too much :\

  13. Drake says:

    oh god an internet handle collision. btw thats not me lol ^_^

    Anywho … could these diodes be pulsed for a temporary higher power output or am I crazy?

  14. GuiltyPixel says:

    Supercooling a solid state semiconductor laser can lead to increased output beyond manufacturing tolerances but it has complications. Setting it up to run short, high amplitude pulses might work if you tuned your driver well enough but these laser diodes are typically designed for partial duty cycles in continuous mode.

    Assuming the profile of energy input to output is a bell curve, with the laser’s highest efficiency being near the specified operating conditions, high energy pulses would be useless, as the overall output over time would be significantly lower and thermal breakdown of the semiconductor would occur sooner. They make laser modules designed for that mode, but this isn’t one.

    You could use PWM to reduce power for safer playing around, when you don’t plan on burning things.

  15. GuiltyPixel says:

    P.S. You’re more likely to get better output by using better optics in the assembly, i.e., not cheapo plastic lens Axis cases from eBay. Axis does make inexpensive housings with better optics though, check their site.

    700mW output – 30% lost in transit due to absorbance, diffraction, and collimation errors = 490mW…

    (even reflected light at these levels is hazardous, people aren’t being paranoid when they say wear stupid looking goggles. wear them.)

  16. KRosen says:

    don’t want to be that guy, but i noticed this hack does not have an orange or colored tip – very dangerous, if people think its the real deal.

  17. CRJEEA says:

    @GuiltyPixel: I defiantly agree safety glasses are a must. Wraparound ones are better especially if you have someone else doing the pointing of the beam or a autonomous robot of some sort (only ever trust idiots to be idiots).
    …plus it helps if they are in the correct wavelength (:
    If I ever come across a cheap blueray laser diode I shall give this a go.

  18. Me says:

    “Do not look into laser with remaining eye.”

  19. Pilotgeek says:

    Blah blah safety something.

  20. wardy says:

    Now all we need is for the taliban to start wearing black balloons suits instead of flak jackets and the war on terror is over!

  21. Bill says:

    @KRosen That laser is dangerous enough that it’s probably best that people think it’s a real gun!

  22. kipkay style :D

  23. Philip says:

    can i also do this using another laser? evil laf…vader is born!

  24. timmah! says:

    “Lasers kill kittens…”

    Well most of them. The surviving ones become Laser Cats!

  25. SunGod says:

    I have a high powered Tokyo Marui; upgrade gearbox, spring, barrel, battery, etc. When I had a friend shoot me in the back 10 feet away, It burned a big hole through my black T-shirt. Nothing New Just Sayin’

    On a serious note… I’m scared these new Electronic weapons (gauss / laser guns)will become worthless when the Aliens attack.. I’m watching Falling Skies on TNT.

  26. Kevin Orley says:

    Yeah, I do not see the orange tip on there. I used to take it off when playing airsoft because I thought the orange tip would make it easier for me to be spotted. Took it off, and the police came by in the woods when we were playing and flipped out on me.

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