How to make a .22 zip gun rifle

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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A “zip” gun is a homemade weapon that is designed to be able to fire a single projectile before being disposed of. You can make a zip gun rifle that will fire a .22-calibre-sized BB pellet, using the explosive force from a party popper. You will need a few hardware supplies and adult supervision if the one making and firing the zip gun rifle is underage.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Pliers
  • Party popper
  • Flat-edged screwdriver
  • Disposable plastic pen
  • Utility knife
  • White glue
  • .22-calibre-sized BB pellet

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put a sheet of newspaper on a table. Hold a disposable plastic pen by the back end in your left hand (reverse this if you are a “lefty”). Hold pliers in your right hand.

  2. 2

    Clamp the jaws of the pliers around the metal barrel at the front end of the disposable plastic pen. Twist the barrel off the disposable plastic pen with the pliers.

  3. 3

    Shake the disposable plastic pen while pointing the front end down to dislodge the ink insert.

  4. 4

    Pull the ink insert out of the front of the disposable plastic pen with the fingers of your right hand. Dispose of the ink insert and the metal barrel.

  5. 5

    Clamp the jaws of the pliers on the cap at the back end of the disposable plastic pen. Twist the cap off the back end with the pliers. Dispose of the cap.

  6. 6

    Put the disposable plastic pen on the newspaper.

  7. 7

    Insert the tip of a flat-edged screwdriver into the bottom of a party popper. Wiggle the tip of the flat-edged screwdriver to dislodge the cardboard bottom off the party popper.

  8. 8

    Pull the cardboard bottom off the party popper with your fingers.

  9. 9

    Shake out the confetti and streamers from inside the party popper. Dispose of the confetti and streamers.

  10. 10

    Put the cardboard bottom on the newspaper. Stand the back end of the disposable plastic pen on the centre of the cardboard bottom.

  11. 11

    Score around the back end of the disposable plastic pen with the utility knife. Remove the disposable plastic pen.

  12. 12

    Cut out the hole in the cardboard bottom that has been scored with the utility knife.

  13. 13

    Apply white glue around the rim of the cardboard bottom. Put the cardboard bottom back into the end of the party popper. Let the white glue dry for an hour.

  14. 14

    Insert the back end of the disposable plastic pen into the hole in the cardboard bottom.

  15. 15

    Apply white glue around the hole to cement the disposable plastic pen in place. Let the white glue dry for an hour.

  16. 16

    Go outdoors into your backyard. Make sure that there is no one or nothing around that could be damaged by a ricocheting .22-calibre-sized BB pellet.

  17. 17

    Insert a .22-calibre-sized BB pellet into the front end of the disposable plastic pen. Hold the front end of the disposable plastic pen up so that the .22-calibre-sized BB pellet falls toward the back end.

  18. 18

    Aim the .22-calibre zip gun rifle you have just made at a tree or rock that will not be harmed by being hit with a .22-calibre-sized BB pellet.

  19. 19

    Pull the string at the back end of the party popper to fire the BB pellet from the .22-calibre zip gun rifle you have made.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear protective work gloves and goggles when firing your zip gun rifle.
  • Do not take your zip gun rifle out in public.
  • Do not aim your zip gun rifle, or any weapon for that matter, at any person or domestic animal.

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