Building accurate, reliable airgun darts is a real challenge. After dozens of designs, I have finally found one that produces consistent results, stabilizes quickly after leaving the barrel, and packs a real punch. Here it is:
Total weight is 80 grains. At 1000 psi, these travel at 355 fps for a quiet shooting 22 fpe. At 3000 psi, these come alive at 600 fps and 64 fpe. Shooting into a trap at 1000 psi, the darts can be reused dozens of times.
Here’s what went into the above design. A stable dart will be forward heavy. That’s why I added three nuts to the front.
An accurate dart needs to stay centered in the barrel. To achieve this, I took some .25″ od poly pipe to use as a main body. The tail is made from the same material.
An accurate dart has a tail that doesn’t get knocked around until impact. The tail is held in place with hot glue and a nut. The nut keeps it in place, even with a 3000 psi fill. The tail is cut, dividing the tubing in four equal parts that are flared out to provide drag stabilization.
A powerful dart forms a good seal with the barrel. Between the poly pipe body and tail, not much air can blowby. The dart has to be pushed down the barrel with a ramrod to load.
I hope this design gives you some ideas should you choose to build a dart shooting airgun.
It’s been a long time since I’ve built a homemade airgun. Recently, I purchased a Barska 4500 psi PCP hand pump. This gave me the incentive to get back into doing my own builds. So far, I’ve made the barrel and action, and have mounted it to my test stock:
Let’s watch a couple of shots with it, first with a .22 pellet in a patch:
Not too impressive. I’m still deciding if I’m going to leave it smoothbore. If so, darts will be my ammo of choice. Here’s a test shot with a dart:
By adding an o-ring to the head of the dart, the velocity is boosted to 790 fps, yielding 64 FPE! The o-ring also improves the ammo to bore fit, which should translate to better accuracy.
As you can tell, the darts here are very simple. They shoot reasonably well, especially considering the nails are not well made. Here’s a 20 yard group I shot:
Not too bad, but I really want more. Actually kind of impressive when you consider that the action is held to the stock with four dollar store zip ties. Another problem with this design is the lack of stability when shooting at higher pressures. I’ve been working on a new design that shows great promise when shooting at higher pressures as well as a variety of ranges. Here’s a sneak preview of it:
I’m going to continue with ammo testing until I’m satisfied. Having extensively tested the action, its time to build a proper stock and firing mechanism. I’ll keep posting updates as I make progress.
Well, this isn’t a homemade airgun, but it is a homemade target that cost under $5 to build and is a blast to shoot:
The frame is made from 3/16″ steel rod. It stands 10″ tall and is 8.5″ wide. The corners were made by heating the rod to red hot and bending. The swinging targets are made from the same size rod, washers, and 1″ steel squares cut from an old lawnmower blade. The thick steel of the lawnmower blade should withstand many shots from .22 and smaller airguns.
Looking at the picture above, you can see how the swingers are put together. I didn’t bother cleaning up the welding other than wire brushing.
I finished it with a couple of coats of black paint. The targets get a shot of red paint to make them stand out. The 1″ square targets are perfect for keeping me in shape for small game hunting.