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How To Build a .22


the gun which I am about to explain how to build is an original style zip- gun. Other zip-guns have been made, but most have been of inferior quality and are very dangerous to operate. The gun I have constructed is easy to use and safe to operate.


Zip-guns where used during the gang war era because of their easiness to build and their small size. Many prisoners of have been known to construct zip-guns while in jail (but I have not heard of any prisoner escaping using a zip-gun).


You will need:

  • (1) ball point pen – approximately 5.3 Inches long (metal).
  • (1) Strong spring – approximately 1.59 Inches long (able to fit inside 2nd half and a little bit of the first).
  • (1) Strong metal bar – approximately 2.5 Inches long (able to fit inside pen).
  • (1) Strong small metal bar (a little bigger then the circumference of the spring and able to slide easily thru the 2nd half of the pen).
  • A few .22 Caliber bullets.


(1) soldering iron.


Please note: diagrams not to scale.

First untwist the ball point pen and take out all the insides (you may break them to get them out because they are not needed and should be discarded (see diag. A).

The pen (diag. A)

How To Build A .22 - A

Now take the metal bar (larger one) and attach it to the push button (see Diag. B).

Firing pin (diag.B)

How To Build A .22 - b

you can attach it by either shoving the metal bar into the bottom or by soldering it in place (please note: I recommend soldering the metal bar in place). Important – the metal bar must be attached in the exact middle of the push button (the metal bar will act as a striking pin and must be in the exact center so it will strike the middle of the bullet causing the bullet to go off).

With the metal bar now firmly attached to the push button, put the push button inside the pen like it should be (see diag. C).

Firing pin placement (diag. C)

How To Build A .22 - c

Now take the spring and slide it over the metal bar (see diag.D).

Placement of spring (diag. D)

How To Build A .22 - d

Now with the spring around the metal bar and the push button where it Should be, attach (by soldering or twisting, soldering preferred) the small metal bar to the metal bar (see diag.E).

Attachment of small metal bar (diag. E)

How To Build A .22 - e

Note: it might also be helpful to solder the small metal bar to the Spring along with soldering it to the metal bar.

Test of firing mechanism

pull back push button as far as it will go while holding onto the second half of the pen. Now let go and the metal bar (longer one) should snap forward and then return to its approximate starting position.

Finishing up

Placement of bullet:

A .22 Caliber bullet should now be placed in the 1st half of the “pen” approximately 1 1/2 millimeters in front of where the metal bar would be if the “pen” was put back together. Be sure to tape (or whatever you think will work) the bullet inside the casing or else the bullet, if moved, might go off accidentally (see diag.F).

Bullet placement (diag. F)

How To Build A .22 - f

How to operate:

Pull back on push button as far as it will go, then let go – the bullet has just been fired (easy, right?). If you wish to shoot another bullet, untwist the “pen”, take out the shell and reload (see placement of bullet).


the bullet will tumble when shot instead of the spiraling because the inside of the 1st half (the barrel) has no lands or grooves. Tumbling is good because the bullet will rip thru a target, but it does cause the bullet to be off target approximately 3-4 inches. Having no lands or grooves makes the bullet hard to be traced back to its source (no striations). If you wish to make lands and grooves, you can by taking a screw and twisting it inside the 1st half of the “pen” (adds striations to bullet). I would also advise you to cut off the tip of the “pen”. If the tip is left on, the bullet will still shoot, but it will blow thru the tip and send pieces of the pen flying in different directions (also causing the bullet to be off target.)

Optional: diagram-removal of tip

How To Build A .22 - removal of tip

How it should look when it is complete

complete diagaram (with tip removed)

How To Build A

Advantages & disadvantages


(1) one shot capacity-only one bullet can be shot at a time (you must reload the gun everytime you want to shoot).

(2) Not as accurate as a regular .22 Caliber gun (but the gun was not intended for target shooting).

(3) Looking like a pen may cause dangerous situations.


(1) easy to build.

(2) Easy to use.

(3&4) Easy to conceal and discard.

(5) Low cost (almost nothing).


All information contained in this file ‘How To Build a .22’ is for information purposes only. The author takes no responsibility for the action(s) of his readers. The reader in question accepts total responsibility for any consequences

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