Airgun design

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This article is about making a low-cost compressed air, lethal force airgun. It has been taken from my website.


A design for a compressed air, lethal force airgun. The airgun is a low-cost weapon capable of being used in hunting (thus being precise and thus scoped) and pest control. Besides being inexpensive, the design is also focused on being highly durable, more self-sustaining (bullets may be made on-site) and totally emissionless (unlike regular rifles based on the combustion of chemical primers). It is intended to assist people in the developing world (e.g. communities that still actively hunt) to increase their lifestandards or cope with the present deteriorating economic conditions they may be seeing.


Possibilities to design the airgun:

  1. from the Barnes Pneumatics Victory Class 32 Pistol/ McAirrow K1/ IMI Israeli Pilot Survival rifle
  2. from the personal defense weapon designs as the FN PS 90 TR or Magpul PRD-C/Barnes Woodsman design
  3. from the design used with compressed air nailguns. This may allow the design to be made in a smaller package, yet may be more inaccurate over long range and less sturdy. Nailguns may also allow the implementation of syringes with sedating agents instead of bullets (see the Needlegun-article), which can sedate the target instead of killing it.

TDR design[edit]

The TDR-design would be made by 2 superimposed cylinders, where next to the cylinders a retractable stock is placed. The retractable stock is borrowed from the IMI Israeli Pilot Survival rifle-design, and the superimposed cylinders from Barnes Pneumatics Victory Class 32 Pistol. In addition, a scope would be mounted on the most above cylinder, either on directly on top of it or to the left side of it (similar to the P90-scope mounting). The scope to be used would be a relatively high magnification/low-cost scope. Either a pocket scope (which may be removable) or a fluidlens may be used.

The Take-Down-Rifle design may feature best potential for hunters (easily to take apart) yet it is not certain on whether its easy to make DIY and whether the air tanks are big enough for high power with this design. Also, not sure on whether it allows long-distance shooting.

Barnes Woodsman design[edit]

The FN PS90 TR/Barnes Woodsman, this airgun design may be toughter and better allow long-distance shooting, yet less practical for other uses (self-defence from animals, ...). Also, as it is so large, it should atleast be possible to fire 3-round bursts at high power, else it seems that it would offer less value for money. Finally, not sure on whether it may be easily made diy (the wood carving seems hard)

  • it has a large container in which all necessary components can be put (3 containers; knowing the compressed air container, the bullet container (led .50 cal bullets), and semi- or fully automatic fire system)
  • a cheap pocket scope may be used as a lens on the rail
  • the weapon may use a bullpup design
  • the handle, although technically complicated, may be diy-produced by wood carving it


This design is based on the coil-nailgun design linked above and is based around the coilgun technique. Usable designs on which the flechette gun can be based are available at The design has several extra benefits. It is not meant as a true finishing weapon like a handgun, because obviously the lethality is by far not enough. Instead, the weapon would be a less-lethal weapon ( ) which can be carried all the time. The main intent is for self-defense and hunting. For this, sedatives (self-defense)can be inserted or lethal poisons as curare (hunting).

At this time, the system would be the lowest cost, non-lethal weapon with almost no risk of death for the target (rubber bullets and even tasers can cause unintentional deaths due to the impact or cardiac arrest).

For the darts, needle/syringe-like ones should be used (to reduce the severeness of the wounds). Darts like those used in blowpipes and compressed air rifles in zoos (to sedate the animals) can be used. One of my inspirations have also been old hunting communities. The Penan use a small needle they craft themselves to sedate wildlife with their blowpipe in tall trees. A form of this dart could be used. To reduce needle cost, the needle may be made perhaps yourself from metal or wood (in the latter case, some steel will need to be added to allow the magnets to propel the dart).


  • it may be produced diy, at (relative) low price

PS: In addition, the barrel may be rifled with polygonal grooves, which may facilitate production and make the gun even cheaper.


A compressed air gun has following advantages over regular weapons operating on a chemical combustion:

  • Financial savings when using these weapons. Unlike weapons operating via a chemical combustion, compressed air weapons work with non-cased bullets. The difference in price between commercial cased bullets and non-cased bullets is 2-9 times greater, thus allowing vast savings in the long run.
  • Less kickback with each shot
  • Less noise and no muzzle flash with each shot, as no explosion occurs. This allows farmers and hunters to kill more prey as they are no longer alerted by the shots.
  • Less weight per bullet, as there is no casing and cartridge primer.

More environmentally sane, as no combustions result from the weapon and less polluting materials are used (eg plastics for casings, ...)

  • Possibility to self-create the bullets (being little more than small led balls), hereby increasing the farmers/hunters and/or their communities they live in to become more self-sustainable and self-sufficient. (please note that refilling the PCP air tanks can be easily done by air compressors or by hand pump, thus not eliminating the self-sufficiency advantage of being able to self-create the bullets)

As clearly described, these advantages would primarily focus on being more economic, and environmental. Due to this, it is clear that it is ideally suited for humanitarian purposes (communities that still hunt). This as their economic costs for these people are decreased in the long run and as they regain a better hunting rifle (especially in countries as Mali, where old rifles are still used for hunting (muskets, despite the risks of self-injury).


Given that the design is targeted especially for the developing world, weapons manufacturers with humanitarian interest or manufacturers that work together with humanitarian organisations should be taken into account. Given the increased interest in humanitarian relief (the 2015 Millenium Goals are now fully being targeted by organisations worldwide), finding customers for the model should be heavily simplified. Humanitarian relief organisations may use this rifle design within closed ethnic communities in various parts of the world. A good place to start are the 'Millenium Villages', being undertaken by the UN and which incorporate a high number of potential customers/organisations. Other places to start looking for gun manufacturers with humanitarian interest (hunting communities) are Survival International and the International alliance of indiginous and tribal peoples of tropical forests.


A specific focus is to be made to manufacturers of air guns.These include Quakenbush, SamYang, Sumatra, ShinSung, ... Specificaly manufacturers with environmental interest/views should be made into account.


  • Millenium Villages

More information[edit]

  • Design 1
    • Barnes Pneumatics Victory Class 32 Pistol

    • Theo Hegmans' K1

    • Israeli AR-7 (Pilot Survival Rifle)

    • MPR airgun

    • Mag-Air 1180

    • IMRE fluidlens

    • Alternative to a fluid lens: a DIY non-refractory telescopic sight. The scope should be as low-cost as possible, and offer upto 20X magnification. Also, magnification should be settable (ie by rotating more lenses into the scope), aswell as the range (inclination). Finally, it may be made using less expensive materials (ie plastic tubes, ...) but cradle-to-cradle materials are nonetheless preferred. see

  • Design 2 (see at "Woodsman") (p90)

  • The w:FN 303 and Variable Velocity Weapon System Variable Velocity Weapon System may feature some intresting compressed air innovations and are able to shoot a variety of ammunition to incapacitate a target. Perhaps wax/glycol/latex ammo may also be fired from the current designs, fuel/air (hydrogen/air) mixture can be incorporated. Variable bullet velocity firing is also intresting
  • Personal defense weapon

  • Gun rifling (polygonal rifling)

  • Michael Palin's Sahara; documentary discribing Malinese farmers still using muskets

When stationary versions are employed, the system can be linked with a [w:Open_source_hardware#Home_automation]] system (to centralise all village-systems at a central point/terminal).

  • Gun manufacturers working with humanitarian organisations in indiginous hunter communities

Air gun manufacturers, producing weapons used for hunting:

  • Anthropological Index of the Royal Anthropological Institute

  • Survival International

  • International alliance of indiginous and tribal peoples of tropical forests