Transform a Nerf Gun into Not-A-Flamethrower for <$70!

Seeing as how Elon Musk’s “Not A Flamethrower” fundraiser for the Boring Company was 1. Extremely overpriced and 2. Sold out almost instantaneously. Still want to get your hands on one? You can head to ebay and pick one up for $500 – $2,000 OR you can get creative and build one for ~$70. The below build is how I made my (semi) safe flamethrower. It is essentially a propane weed torch stuck inside a Nerf gun.

Note: All actions and building is at your own risk. This is NOT a weapon, but is truly “Not-A-Flamethrower”, as this will only shoot flames the distance of a propane weed torch (1- 2 feet). This is also NOT a toy, and care must be utilized.

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Needed Parts & Supplies

The below parts and supplies is what I used, and you may not have available.

Parts

Tools

  • Dremel w/ cutting wheel – A Dremel makes removing the internals much easier, but can be achieved by other means.
  • Screw Driver (Philips & Regular)
  • Vice Grip Pliers – To be used to disassemble pipes, so you’ll need a good grip. I absolutely love these pliers and can’t recommend them more!
  • Knife
  • Welder – This is the one tool you will most likely not have and you can get by with some JB Weld, as there is only a small amount needed. If you’re in the market for a welder, I use the Hobart Handler 140 – an excellent hobbyist grade welder. (Much more reliable than cheaper models…)
  • Hot Glue Gun
All the Needed parts!
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Step 1: Disassembly

First step is to disassemble the Nerf rifle by removing all the small screws holding the gun together. This is quite a tedious process, and pay attention to where the screws came from if your gun uses multiple sizes. Once the gun halves are separated, remove all of the internals as these won’t be needed. It may be necessary to use the Dremel to cut/carve away any supports or bosses no longer needed, but take care not to cut away any of the attachment holes.

Here is the finished rifle with all the internals removed.

Next step is to disassemble the propane torch. We won’t be using the parts from the trigger back, so save these for a future project. You don’t have to fully disassemble the torch, but some will be needed to fit the assembly inside the gun.

Use care when cutting away the heat shrink tubing around the push button igniter, we don’t want the wire sliced. Once disassembled, you need to bend the gas tube in the center of the above photo so the pipe is straight. Can’t fit a bent tube in a straight hole. I have a vice that made this easy.

Finally, remove the fitting without the knob from the end of the Mag-Torch MT 48 EXT Extension Hose. We want to keep the hose and the fitting to connect to the 1 lb propane tank, the other end should then be threaded into the back of the lever assembly of the propane torch (where the handle pipe was removed).

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Step 2: Paint

To prep for painting, Nerf did a great job on some of the details, so I masked off some of the areas on my gun (switches, holes, pipes, etc) with blue painters tape. Once your finished masking, if you chose to do so, lay out your pieces and paint! I chose to go with flat black on the body and forest green on some of the internals.

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Step 3: Fitting

I have limited photos of this step, but your goal is to test fit the components, and determine what areas might need to be removed and what areas will need reinforcing. Once things are properly test fit, mark out a location to cut and bend the trigger such that it aligns with the trigger opening in the Nerf gun. It will likely be necessary to remove some material to accommodate the width of the trigger.

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Once the trigger is aligned in roughly the middle of the trigger slot – enough room for a finger in front and to pull it back – cut the trigger, bend it to the proper location, and secure the gap at the cut by welding or using JB Weld.

Fully Assembled Flamethrower Internals

Once the trigger assembly welding is complete, re-route the propane tube and trigger in place with the Mag-Torch MT 48 EXT Extension Hose. The hose will need to be routed outside of the rifle somehow. I drilled a hole in the end, and then routed the smaller end through to re-fasten to the trigger assembly.

At this time, utilize zip ties and the hot glue gun to secure everything in place. (The less movement the better). With everything secure, reassemble the two Nerf gun halves, and tighten all of the screws in place. The next piece to be assembled, is to thread the steel cylinder from the flame torch back onto the end of the pipe extruding from the tip of the Nerf gun.

Finally, attach the bicycle water bottle holder to the top of your now flamethrower! This will hold the propane cylinder quite nicely, and will be a good idea to secure with a zip tie or piece of tape to reduce the risk of it falling out.

An optional step is to attach the push button igniter to the gun. I utilized the existing rails on the side my my Nerf gun to 3D print a holder! Here is the design on Thingiverse to print your own.

Fully Complete Not-A-Flamethrower
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Step 4: Fire!!!

Great at parties to light bon fires and very handy to burn weeds and melt snow (but that’s what the propane torch did anyways…)

Be safe and have fun!

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