Friday, October 11, 2013

Deadly Powerful PVC Nerf Dart Gun

"Holy shit!", I exclaimed after pulling the trigger and watching a nail infused Nerf dart engage warp speed across my garage and bury itself into a hunk of 2x4. This was my reaction after the initial test firing of my then newly constructed PVC air gun.  I was genuinely surprised that a lowly 30 psi of air pressure contained so much energy and that the overall contraption worked so well.

I came up with this idea after discovering from some fellow Youtubers that a suction cup style Nerf dart fits quite nicely inside a 1/2 inch PVC pipe.  The rubber suction cup end fits just well enough to form a decent seal inside the pipe but loose enough that you can use your lung power to blow the dart very effectively.  If you push a medium sized nail through the rear hole of the Nerf dart and poke it through and out the rubber suction cup, then you have a decent blow dart gun for next to nothing.

If lung power is good, then a compressed air tank would be better right?  Believing so, I got out the graph paper and started designing my gun.  One of the most critical parts needed for the gun was the air release mechanism.  I really wanted an electric valve of some sort - I imagined a mechanical valve would be too slow (thus reducing projectile velocity) and introduce unwanted movement which would effect accuracy.  Again some enterprising Youtubers came to the rescue - a sprinkler valve from the local hardware store would do just fine.
Now the valve needed a battery and a trigger, and the gun needed a grip of some sort.  As it turned out I had all of these items in the form of an old Ryobi drill that I no longer needed. I ripped the motor assembly out of the drill body and enlarged the resulting cavity to fit tightly around the intermediate pipe of the gun.  Wiring the sprinkler valve to the trigger of the drill allowed the battery to power the valve for a near instantaneous release of all the air pressurized within the 4x12 inch reservoir attached to the rear of the gun.

I already knew that i needed a 1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe for a barrel, the length however was a design parameter that required some trial and error to get figured out.  Judging from some of the comments on the video, the ideal length is much longer than you might think.  While I did not scientifically verify with a chronometer, my seat of the pants meter told me around a 5 foot barrel length was the ideal compromise between maximum velocity and structural integrity.  With this setup the projectile seems to want a relatively long barrel to get up to speed.  Shorter barrels seemed to spit out the projectile before all the air had a chance to go to work.

This fairly simple design, capable of 100+ psi, propels Nerf darts at scary fast speeds - we're talking welt leaving speeds as seen here :


If you want to try this project yourself you can order one of the sprinkler valves here from Amazon.

Top City Gear is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Remora Holsters 35% Off This Fall!

Remora holsters are awesome and this fall that awesomeness comes at a 35% discount.

Check out these Top City Gear Remora reviews

And then go to , use coupon code FALL35, and pick one (or more than one) up.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Master Cutlery Cyclone - 2 years and 200,000 views later

I find it quite amusing and perplexing how the cheapest and most spontaneous video I've made to date has also become the most viewed and commented on.  Although a lot of the comments aren't terribly nice :-( .
At any rate, I had a grand 'ol time testing out this menacing marvel of modern manufacturing.  Thanks to the sharp eye of a thoughtful sister-in-law (who performed double duty as my videographer), I was able to get this exquisite example of garage sale gold for the bargain price of $1.
When this wicked-looking blade made first contact with my eager and clammy hands, I felt a bit of a ninja tingle race through my body.  Immediately I thought, "I wonder if these blades will swing out mid-air if I throw this thing?". My next thought, "If they do, will I lose a finger?"
The fear of losing a digit is the reasoning behind the wussy throws exhibited in the first part of the vid.  The weak and Frisbee style pitches that so many YouTubers were gracious enough to make fun of, were simply my attempts to not lose a finger in case of a quick blade deployment. Luckily, I had nothing to worry about as the blades deployed quite predictably once the knife was a flying a few feet away from my release.
Once the blades were out and heading to the target, they reliably stuck in said target with a satisfying thud...a few times anyway.  It quickly became apparent that this example of fantasy cutlery was not up to the task of handling this type of abuse.  Oh well, it was still a helluva lot of fun for the bargain price of a dollar.

If this knife is a gotta have item, you can click here to pick one up from

Top City Gear is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Top City Gear Post

This is a test post on the new Top City Gear blog. Blah , blah, blah. Pay me no mind.