Soldering from the hip

You can be the Sheriff around these parts, but only if you have a solder gun and holster to boot. [Mikasaurus'] latest build is certainly fun, even if it’s not so practical. We’re not giving up our Weller knock-off any time soon, but this quick-heat repackage will certainly be a conversation starter at your next Hackerspace event.

The business end of the build is taken from a cheap four-battery soldering iron. [Mike] separated each of the components, then grabbed a toy gun to see where each of them might fit. The batteries are just the right size to fit into the gun’s magazine. All he had to do to make that happen is add contacts to the gun and springs to the magazine. A momentary push switch was positioned behind the trigger and used to connect the battery pack to the solder tip.

After the break you’ll find a little over-the-top modeling, and some solder melting. This will go great with that 9mm Bluetooth headset you built. Just don’t stick the wrong one in your ear.

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A More Awesome Way to Play Jenga

How many of you have started playing Jenga, and thought, “If only I had a pistol that would punch the blocks out violently for me, that would be much more fun?” Your presumed request has been answered with the [Jenga Pistol 2]! There is also the [Jenga Pistol 1], which would be impressive if the second one wasn’t already made and functioning! There’s a great video of the second one working after the break, so be sure to check that out!

The pistol works by hurling a bolt forward using a rubber band for power.  This bolt can then be pulled back, and the clever trigger mechanism automatically locks it in place for another shot.  This mechanism by itself could serve as inspiration for any number of other pistol-powered hacks. As for the entire project, [Matthias] gives lots of excellent pictures of his work in the post that will let you understand the concept.  For well-written plans though, you’ll have to cough up a very reasonable $6. You’ll also need a reasonably well equipped wood shop if you want to make one which is rather more expensive. [Read more...]

DO NOT build a fully automatic battery-launching air gun

There’s nothing quite like [Elliot]‘s cherubic sense of wonder and maniacal laughter after he tests his fully automatic AA battery-launching air gun. That fires 600 rounds a minute. At 200 feet per second.

We need to take a minute and say [Elliot]‘s gun is stupidly unsafe. He used PVC pipe to hold air pressure, so that may… explode one of these days. Also, the AA batteries coming out of the end of the barrel have the same kinetic energy as a .22 rifle bullet.

The mechanics of the gun is a simple blow forward bolt. When he pulls the trigger, the bolt – and battery – are forced forward due to air pressure. After the bolt has cleared a plug, air is allowed to flow through the bolt pushing the battery along with it. Once the pressure in the barrel is back down to normal, a spring forces the bolt back into place and the 23 round magazine loads another battery. Simple, really. [Elliot] posted some pics of his gun on the spudfiles.com forum.

The gun is accurate to about 100 yards. It’s a very impressive piece of engineering for a bit of PVC pipe, but we don’t feel the need to copy this one. Check out the videos after the break to see this thing in action.

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How to build your own pulsed laser pistol

build_your_own_pulsed_laser_gun

Self-declared Mad Scientist and Instructables user [Trevor Nestor] recently built a pulse laser pistol and decided to share his build process, so that you too can build a ray gun at home. The gun is made up of mostly scavenged components, save for the Neodymium:YAG laser head, which he purchased on eBay for about $100. He does say however, that you can score an SSY-1 laser from an old rangefinder, providing you hang out near a stockpile of decommissioned Abrams tanks.

[Trevor] walks you through the process of recycling old disposable cameras to get enough components for a capacitor bank, as well as how the charging circuit should be constructed. He also discusses how the laser head needs to be wired, before showing off the finished laser pistol in a cheeky video, embedded below.

While the gun lacks the finish of this laser pistol we showed you, it’s no less potent when shooting through plastics, wood, and thin metals. It’s a great starting point if you are looking to build a laser of your own, leaving room for improvements, such as a faster charging circuit.

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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.

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The Breech Loaded Paintall “Shotgun”

Although this isn’t the first pneumatic air cannon to be featured on HAD, this “paintball shotgun” is certainly one of the coolest.  While most air cannons have little practical use besides looking awesome and being cool to play with, this cannon, according to it’s maker, has actually been used successfully in actual paintball competition.

The system works by preloading a sabot full of paintballs into a section of barrel that can be removed.  The barrel is then slid forward and the sabot/barrel section is then inserted and the gun is loaded.  This configuration is known as a “floating barrel” and seems to work quite well.

The author is quick to point out that this device is not designed to be used against human competitors, but against tanks and such in scenario games. Used properly or not, we can’t vouch for the safety of this device.  One should take extra caution when working with CO2 tanks as they can reach a maximum pressure in the thousands of PSI.

For other pneumatic cannon ideas, check out this other bolt-action miniature potato gun or this “water blob launcher”.

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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