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How To Make Exploding Tipped Blow Darts

Here’s how to convert machine screws and ring caps into a handful of impact sensitive cap darts, that don’t cost much to make, but are guaranteed to be a blast.
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Project Inspired By:

This was an original idea for new exploding ammo adapted for my laser blowgun project. (http://bit.ly/LaserBlowgun)

WARNING:

This video is only for entertainment purposes. If you rely on the information portrayed in this video, you assume the responsibility for the results. Do not fire cap darts at people, animals, or sensitive property. Although unlikely, in some extreme cases exploding caps could potentially cause injury, wildfire, and/or death. Check local laws on use of cap fireworks in your area. Have fun, but always think ahead, and remember that every project you try is at YOUR OWN RISK.

Project History & More Info:

Ever since I made the Laser Blowgun project (http://bit.ly/LaserBlowgun), I’ve wanted to develop a blowdart that explodes on impact.

So I picked up some shot-gun primers, which worked impressively well, but I quickly realized they may be too powerful for using around the neighborhood. Not only are primers extremely loud, but a lot more dangerous and expensive as well.

My next prototype was with modified ring caps. Ring caps are safer and more readily available, not to mention they still give off a satisfyingly loud bang.

I had some 2″ finishing nails around my workshop, and I was happy to see the heads made a perfect fit into the cups of the ring caps. I used those to prototype darts similar to how we made nail darts in the Laser Blowgun project, only this time, the nails were assembled backwards, with the tip of the nail in the hot glue. This made a kind of stun-dart with an exploding tip.

By carefully cutting the individual cups off the rings, I could get 8 shots that made a bang when they hit a target, and they were simple enough to load and shoot, that even my 4 year old could handle them without any issue.

In preparation to film the project, I went back to the store to find more 2″ nails like the ones I had, only to find that the heads were different sizes. In fact I couldn’t find any finishing nails with heads that would work anymore. They were either too large, or too small to securely fasten the caps, and since they weren’t consistent, I had to develop a different option so these cap darts wouldn’t be so difficult to duplicate.

While searching the hardware store for other options, I accidentally stumbled on the idea of using machine screws. That thought hadn’t crossed my mind until this point, but the more I thought about it, the more they seemed perfect for the project!

On experimenting with different sizes, I found that #6 machine screws made a perfect fit into the caps, and the threads held them on securely. The best part was that screw nuts could be added to weight the tip, and adjust the center of gravity. Excellent!

With this simple machine screw modification, the darts are heavy enough that they can double as cap-bombs. And to use them by hand, all you have to do is simply throw one into the air like a dart, and watch it flip over and fall to the ground, impacting it with a loud bang.

The darts also compliment the laser blow gun very well, and I found that when shooting them at wooden targets, little chunks of wood often get blasted out where they hit, so apparently they pack a little bit of a punch as well!

I’m excited about these cap darts, because you can make 5 of them for around $2, and they’re literally a blast. They’ll last indefinitely, and are a fairly safe form of firework entertainment. Anything that goes pop, buzz or bang is always a great way to get attention and have fun!

This was an original idea for low cost exploding blowgun ammo adapted for the laser blowgun project. (http://bit.ly/LaserBlowgun), but feel free to make modifications to the idea, and enjoy your exploding tipped blow darts, safely.

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