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Thread: Homemade laser training rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Homemade laser training rifle

    Originally Posted by 1066

    https://www.youtube.com/user/thetargetmaster
    This thread was worth it. Where is the thread on your laser training rifle and target?



    Thank you JM. Unfortunately I didn't really document the journey this project took to completion. This was built with my 8 year old grandson in mind, he now lives in the city with no chance of plinking in the garden so thought I would try and get him off to a good start. I wanted the rifle to be light weight (5lb) and adjustable for fit and also have a proper feel, cocking action, trigger and peep sights. The idea being to move into 10m air rifle target shooting if he shows enough interest.

    I also wanted to keep away from a laser shooting “game”. I know laser training rifles are not new, Anschutz do a nice one for around $1,000 and it’s quite popular in Europe, especially for biathlon type training. However, being cheap, I thought I would have a go at making my own.

    Most of the rifle was made from parts from my local hardware shop. The main frame just cheap pine timber, the barrel was 1/2” thin walled steel. I covered the barrel in heatshrink tube to give it a finished look. The action I machined out of a 1” bar of Delrin plastic, the muzzle brake also 1” Delrin bored out to take the working end of a common $5 laser pointer.

    The cheek piece, trigger guard, foresight housing and sight element were all 3D printed.

    Once it was all ready to assemble I painted the woodwork with blue Hammerite paint and the pistolgrip with satin black auto paint.

    The only parts of the rifle I didn’t make were the butt plate ($15 ebay) and the rear aperture sight, a cheap airgun sight, both of which I happened to have spare.

    The target is basically a phototransistor that, when it detects the laser hit, triggers an arduino micro processor to sweep a cheap model airplane servo to ring the bell.

    The only “new” discovery I made during this project that I’ve never seen used before for laser shooting is that “glow in the dark” paper is energised by the laser hit and continues to glow for a few seconds so you can actually see the POI.

    The next stage of the development will be to make a reactive target where a hit will release a spring loaded peg so it falls over with a whack as if hit by a real shot.

    The rifle/target works well out to around 30 yards – It’s been fun to use at several family gathering over the summer and even the non-shooters have enjoyed having a go.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynMvWAkQqo0






  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    MrWolf's Avatar
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    That is impressive. Good for you. Might be a good way to convince my daughter that guns are not evil. Hmmm...

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I like that project. Excellent for kids but I can see playing with it during cold winter nights in my basement too. I think there are some similar commercial products but I like the home made version.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Awesome. I love seeing stuff like this. Nothing I like better than fabricating my own ideas and inventions. I just wish I knew more about electronics but, I'm electronically challenged. Math and electronics are like Egyptian hieroglyphs to me. It's difficult for me to make sense of them. It could be that I'm dyslexic.

    HollowPoint

  5. #5
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Thank you, pretty neat.

    How is the trigger setup to “fire” the laser?

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    Thank you, pretty neat.

    How is the trigger setup to “fire” the laser?
    The mechanics are fairly straight forward with a spring loaded bolt. On trigger release the bolt flies forward giving a realistic feel, the tip of the bolt acts like a cam on the little pushrod to activate the micro switch.
    So all the time the bolt is back the battery charge (2x AA) is filling up the capacitor (about 2000UF) when the micro switch switches over the capacitor charge is dumped through the laser module so you get a short sharp laser flash.
    There's no on/off switch as the capacitor is charged in half a second and there's no leakage when the bolts closed.

    I've added an "over-ride" button so I can keep the laser on so the laser /sights can be aligned.



  7. #7
    Neat project!
    I modified a model Type II Star Trek phaser with a Blu-Ray laser from a DVD recorder many years ago, yeh, I know...I'm kinda nuts.
    Could pop balloons and light matches from across the room.
    Burned out several laser modules buy applying too much current, but of course that's when it gets fun.
    Got a little too expensive just to pop balloon so it is tucked away somewhere in the archives.
    Kind of dangerous too if kids got a hold of it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollowPoint View Post
    Awesome. I love seeing stuff like this. Nothing I like better than fabricating my own ideas and inventions. I just wish I knew more about electronics but, I'm electronically challenged. Math and electronics are like Egyptian hieroglyphs to me. It's difficult for me to make sense of them. It could be that I'm dyslexic.
    HollowPoint
    Math is ok with me. Not electronics. I can wire a house, no probs but anything else it just doesn't click with me. Like 1066's drawing. Huh?

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWolf View Post
    Math is ok with me. Not electronics. I can wire a house, no probs but anything else it just doesn't click with me. Like 1066's drawing. Huh?
    Ok, I'll help if I can - are you talking about the mechanics or the laser circuit?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1066 View Post
    The mechanics are fairly straight forward with a spring loaded bolt. On trigger release the bolt flies forward giving a realistic feel, the tip of the bolt acts like a cam on the little pushrod to activate the micro switch.
    So all the time the bolt is back the battery charge (2x AA) is filling up the capacitor (about 2000UF) when the micro switch switches over the capacitor charge is dumped through the laser module so you get a short sharp laser flash.
    There's no on/off switch as the capacitor is charged in half a second and there's no leakage when the bolts closed.

    I've added an "over-ride" button so I can keep the laser on so the laser /sights can be aligned.


    Very nice. Christmas is coming up and I know one little guy that would really enjoy something like this. Been helping him with a cartridge collection for the last year or so.

    Is the Arduino code something you would share?

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    Very nice. Christmas is coming up and I know one little guy that would really enjoy something like this. Been helping him with a cartridge collection for the last year or so.

    Is the Arduino code something you would share?
    The "target" gave me much more of a headache than the rifle - give me a spanner and a hammer any day rather than a keyboard, I'm hopeless with the coding side of things, however I did manage to cobble this together using an Arduino nano and a few bits and bobs.

    I'll take a few photos of the target and share the code if I can find it again. To set the sensitivity of the photo detector I have used a simple potentiometer, just turn it down so it fails to trigger under ambient light, a better way, if someone knows a bit about coding would be to sample the light and set a threshold every few seconds.

    Also, the commercial set-up use a frequency modulated laser/receiver like a TV remote to stop false triggering in sunlight - again not difficult or expensive with a little more coding know how than I have.

    Anschutz system:
    https://www.tesro.ca/biathlon/anschu...-biathlon.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQwexOPcdDI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgegvZWXrc8

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Nice project!

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    A Similar Trainer system

    This one is a project developed by the Czech Army Reserve for marksmanship training. Free software, that works with Windows 7 or Linux, and probably compatible with your rifle trainer.

    https://homeless-eng.webnode.com/hit-analyzer/

    I built one, but tried to build something into a pistol magazine that would detect the hammer fall to flash the laser pointer. My circuit is "close", but not as consistent as I would like. Tough to jamb all that stuff in a single stack magazine....

    Trapshooter

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