Making Airsoft guns far more potent

airsoft_laser_rifle

[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.

26 thoughts on “Making Airsoft guns far more potent

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. :)

  4. 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 :\

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.)

  8. 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.

  9. @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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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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