How to build an extremely powerful nerf gun

[TopCityGear] was trying out a piece of PVC as a blow gun barrel when he thought he’d try to give it a little more power than what his lungs could put out. What he came up with is this air-powered Nerf gun that definitely leaves a mark. The video after the break is a show-and-tell, a build log, and finally a demonstration of its power. He adds a nail to a Nerf dart and drives it through a board, then leaves a huge welt on his poor friends chest with a plain old foam dart. It reminds us of those riot guns that shoot bean bags.

The air is stored in that twelve-inch PVC reservoir. On the rear cap there’s a Schrader valve for pressurizing the tank with a compressor or even a bike pump. The grip is a gutted cordless drill whose battery doubles as the power source for the electric sprinkler valve which fires the gun. The screw fitting just in front of the hand grip lets him remove the barrel so that the projectile can be inserted.

This reminds us of that gun which shoots water-filled ping-pong balls.

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Last century’s guided missile steps aside for this guided bullet

Here’s an image of a bullet’s path to the target. There’s a couple of things to note. First of all, this is not a tracer round, the projectile actually has an LED incorporated which was picked up as a trail in the long (relative to bullet speed) exposure. The second – and most obvious – thing to consider is the non-liner path it took to its objective. That’s because this is a laser guided bullet.

The smart bullet is a about four inches long and carries with it a light sensor, 8-bit processor, and some electromagnetic actuators. The tip is searching for a laser-painted target, with an algorithm calculating course corrections along the way and using the actuators to move fins which alter its path. For us the most interesting part is that this ammo requires a non-rifled barrel. The rifling spins the bullet as it leaves the firearm, which usually results in a straighter and more dependable path. But the microcontroller wouldn’t be able reliably steer if it were spinning.

We’d bet this ends up as a special sniper tool in video games before we hear about it on the battlefield. Check out a clip of the dart-like bullet leaving the muzzle in the clip after the break.

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3D printed gun fires Nerf darts

[Vik Olliver] adds a bit more power to what has traditionally been a store-bought toy by designing this printable dart gun. His design prints the follower in the track where it belongs, which means it’s not going to come loose unless the material itself fails. After printing you’ll need to clean up that track just a bit, and ream out the pivot holes for the trigger parts. Two pieces of filament are used as the axles for pivot points and can be melted in place after assembly. A third length of filament acts as a spring, making this a completely plastic gun. Well, not completely; a couple of strong rubber bands deliver the stored energy which sends the Nerf dart on its way. The design is parametric so you can adjust it for the dart dimensions of your choosing before  printing begins.

If you still haven’t managed to boot-strap your own 3D printer don’t fret. You can always give this Nerf dart sniper rifle a try.

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