Make an Air Gun

Airguns are pretty nifty, because they rely on built-up air pressure to expel bullets. It is possible to buy one from the store, but they can be expensive. Luckily, you can make one for very cheap. If you can find the items at home, then you can make it for free!


Making the Body

  1. Cut a spray bottle to make the handle.[1] If your spray bottle has a molded handle, you can cut just below that. If your bottle does not have a molded handle, then cut just where it starts to widen, about 3 to 4 inches (7.62 to 10.16 centimeters) down from the cap. Discard the bottom part of the spray bottle.
    • If you can't find a spray bottle, use a small air pump instead, like the kind used to fill basketballs. Be sure to take the unscrew the top nozzle.[2]
    • If you'd like, you can wrap some colored tape around the bottom, cut edge of the spray bottle. This will add a little design, and hide any jagged edges.
  2. Trim the inside tube of the spray bottle down until it is flush with the cut edge. You can also cut it just a little bit shorter too. This will prevent the tube from getting caught on anything.
  3. Drill a small hole in the bottom of a plastic water bottle. The hole should be big enough for the nozzle of the spray bottle to fit though. You can drill the hole with an electric drill, a dermal, or even a pair of scissors.[2]
    • Make sure that your bottle has a sports cap. They are the kind that you pull to open, and push to close.
  4. Make sure that the nozzle of the spray bottle is open, then glue it into the hole. Twist the nozzle on the spray bottle until it is in the "open" position. Draw a ring of hot glue around the nozzle, then push the nozzle into the hole. Wait for the glue to set, then add more glue around the seam. You want it to be perfectly airtight.
  5. Glue a straw on top of the sports bottle cap. Pull the cap open, and place a straw right over the opening. Draw a line of hot glue around the seam. Be careful not to get any glue inside the straw, or you may block the hole. You need to be able to push and pull the cap close/open.[2]
    • If you want something sturdier, you can use a short plastic or metal tube instead. You can also take a ballpoint pen apart, and use the body.[2]

Making the Trigger (Optional)

  1. Wrap the end of some sturdy, metal wire around the bottom of a circle hook. You will eventually be pushing the circle hook over the top of your sports cap, so make sure it is big enough. The wire needs to be long enough to reach from the sports cap to the trigger on the spray bottle, plus extra.
  2. Push a circle hook over the sports cap top. Hold the small bottle firmly in one hand as you do this so that you don't accidentally break the gun apart. If you can't fit it, position it so that it sits comfortably on top of the cap, then secure it with lots of hot glue.[1]
    • Make sure that the end of the ring and the wire are pointing down.
  3. Break an L-hook near one of the screw holes to create a ditch.[1] If you can't find an L-hook, or can't break one, use a popsicle stick instead. Cut the popsicle stick in half, then use a folded piece of sandpaper to carve a U-shaped notch into one end.
    • This ditch is important; it will act as a groove for the hook/lever.
  4. Glue the broken L-hook under the water bottle, close to the cap. The circle hook should rest comfortably in the groove you made earlier. If you'd like some extra security, you can tie the hook to the water bottle using zip ties.
  5. Fold the end of the metal wire into a loop. Make sure that you can comfortably reach the loop with your forefinger. If the wire is too long, you may need to cut it.
    • Twist the end of the wire around itself. This closes the loop and keeps it from coming undone.

Using Your Air Gun

  1. Cut some Q-tips in half. If you are using the kind that are hallow inside, you can glue some toothpicks inside to make them more lethal. Only do this if you plan on being responsible; never shoot your toothpick bullets at another person or animal.
  2. Push a Q-tip, fuzzy-side down, into the straw. If the Q-tip won't slide into the straw easily, you'll either have to pull the cotton batting off, or cut it off with a pair of scissors. You can only load one Q-tip bullet at a time.
  3. Push the sports cap shut and pump the gun. Simply squeeze the spray bottle trigger repeatedly. As the small bottle fills with air, the trigger will become harder and harder to pull. Once you can't squeeze the trigger anymore, stop.
  4. Aim your gun, and fire. If you made a trigger for it, pull on the metal loop. This will open the sports cap and send your "bullet" flying.[3] If you didn't make a trigger, simply pop the sports cap open. The built-up air will push the bullet out, and send it flying![2]


  • You can use other items as bullets, such as crumpled up paper or peas.
  • Toys, balloons, cans, and Styrofoam cups make great targets!
  • Spray paint your gun once you are gone to make it look cool. If you want the pieces to be different colors, paint them first—before you put the gun together.


  • Your gun must be perfectly airtight. If there are any leaks, it won't fill with air.
  • Your gun is fragile, so don't play too rough with it.
  • Be careful when drilling the hole into the bottom of the bottle. You might want to wear leather work gloves in case the scissors slip.
  • Never fire your gun at a person or animal. It may seem silly or funny, but even the smallest, softest "bullets" can hurt a lot. In some cases, they can result in injury.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 water bottle with a sports cap
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 straw
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Wire (optional)
  • 1 L-shape hook or popsicle stick (optional)
  • 1 circle hook (optional)

Related Articles

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  • Fire Chainshot from an Air Gun
  • Make an Air Power BB Gun

Sources and Citations

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