Taking steel playing darts and a pistol and trying to make them work together is a challenge. Neither are designed to be used in tandem, but Joerg Sprave, star of the Slingshot Channel on YouTube, was able to modify an “experimental pistol shooter” to successfully fire off the darts.
In the video description, Sprave writes it was no easy undertaking:
First, steel darts aren’t made for shooting. Therefore you can’t shoot them overly fast as the tips break on impact. Second, the fletching is very vulnerable, in fact not made for any kind of pressure. Third, they can be quite expensive.
Finding 40-cent darts on Amazon.com, Sprave’s third hurdle was overcome. Using some of his favorite materials — a toothbursh and rubber — Sprave makes a “homemade pistol shooter that is ‘chambered.’” Here’s how it works:
A toothbrush head has been used to hold them in place, extremely prestretched rubber accelerates the dart, and a “pinching” method is employed in order to keep the darts firmly rested against the loaded string.
This works quite well, the darts fly 15 meters without any problems. They stick into anything they hit – wood, aluminum, plastic. They stick way better than commercial pistol crossbow bolts – both weapons are compared to each other in the video.
Watch Sprave discuss the issues with shooting the dart based on its material and how he overcame them to make a successful, non-lethal weapon (Bonus: Sprave shows off one of his favorite arrow shooters toward the end):
Overall, Sprave thinks he can make the design of the weapon more compact but, he says, “I really like the concept and I really love pointy things. Therefore, this is one of my favorite ammo.”
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