How to Make an Air Powered Dart Gun

Written by brian baer
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How to Make an Air Powered Dart Gun
Compressed air can be applied to a dart gun. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A child's dart gun usually employs the use of a spring to propel a dart at a target. An air-powered or pneumatic dart gun can be used for fun or sport. The concept is that the gun barrel is loaded with a dart that has a sharp point and a larger tail. The tail surface area is close to the internal surface area of the barrel, creating a seal. High-pressure compressed air is used to propel the dart at a high velocity out of the barrel.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Dart with 3/8-inch-diameter solid disc on back end
  • 1/2-inch PVC tube, 1 foot long
  • 1/2-inch PVC ball valve with socket weld joints and a dead-man spring loaded handle (this will open the valve, then pop back closed)
  • Small compressed air cylinder (similar to those used in a paint ball gun, should come with valve and 1/4-inch tubing connection)
  • 1/2-inch socket weld to 1/4-inch tubing reducing fitting
  • 1/4-inch tubing, 6 inches long
  • PVC cement

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  1. 1

    Install the 1/2-inch PVC ball valve on the end the PVC tube using the PVC cement. Coat the inside of the socket weld on the valve and one inch of the tube's outer diameter with cement. Push together in a twisting motion.

  2. 2

    Connect the 1/2-inch socket weld reducer to the end of the ball valve using the PVC cement. Allow two hours for the PVC cement to dry.

  3. 3

    Connect the 1/4-inch tubing from the reducer to the air cylinder. Be sure both the cylinder valve and the PVC valves are closed.

  4. 4

    Insert the dart, blunt end first, into the end of the PVC tube. Be sure it is at least halfway down the tube. Open the valve on the cylinder. Aim the gun in a safe location at a target such as a board and open the dead-man handle. Air will propel the dart at the target.

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