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How to build LEGO guns that work!

A dream of many kids (and adults) is to build a working replica of a real gun from LEGO bricks. Some do make successful attempts at building LEGO guns, but there is one teen who is the undisputed master of LEGO guns and LEGO gun-building. Today I will introduce you to Jack Streat from the United Kingdom, his LEGO guns, and his new 350 page book full of instructions on how to make working LEGO guns: LEGO Heavy Weapons – Build Working Replicas of Four of the World’s Most Impressive Guns

Whether we like it or not, guns are an integral part of our world, and making a LEGO gun is not going to hurt anyone any more than a water-gun or other toy-gun (wear eye-protection though as they really do shoot bricks!) – on the other hand they will enhance your thinking, mechanical and LEGO building skills. So if you are up to a great challenge, why not give it a try? And one of the best ways to start out is by learning the basics of LEGO gun-building from a true master. By the time you finish LEGO Heavy Weapons you will have the skills not just to build the LEGO guns included in the book, but also have the understanding of how to design and build your own weapon-replicas from LEGO.

Jack Streat has played an influential role in the LEGO guns builder community since posting his first LEGO gun online at age 13. His YouTube videos and MOCpages postings created a lot of enthusiasm amongst LEGO fans, so much so that he was approached by No Starch Press to ask if he would like to publish a book on the topic. After a lot of hard work the book LEGO Heavy Weapons was born with instructions to build four LEGO guns. Jack is now 17 years old and this is his first book. 🙂

Below I will review the LEGO guns book quality, the instructions for building the LEGO guns, and the LEGO guns themselves – so read on…

THE LEGO HEAVY WEAPONS BOOK QALITY: You can tell this book means serious business just by its look; it is a big hefty manual – kind of like a shop-manual for vehicles – that is meant to be used and can take some beating! The book is 353 pages and covers the instructions for four LEGO gun replicas: the Desert Eagle handgun, the AKS-74U assault rifle, the Jungle Carbine (a Lee Enfield sniper rifle) and the SPAS 12 shotgun.

Even though the book is big, the pages lie flat as you turn them – in fact, I have built my own Desert Eagle right on top of the book! The pages of the book have a matte finish, which is easy on the eyes and helps with seeing the instructions clearly with no glare. There are also lots of white spaces to keep the design nice and clean. The color of the instructions is black and shades of gray, which is great for building weapons, however in my opinion the shades could be a tad lighter as the darker colors are hard to differentiate. You do need good lighting to see them well. (Don’t build your first LEGO gun at 10 PM with only a night-light like I did!)

Overall I would say that the book is excellent quality and definitely serves the purpose of an instruction-manual for building LEGO weapons. It looks right and feels right in every way.

THE LEGO HEAVY WEAPONS BOOK INSTRUCTIONS: The instructions to build each of the four LEGO guns are excellent! Jack is not just sharing the building steps, but the thinking, the challenges, and the mechanism behind the LEGO gun designs – thereby giving you the skills to build your own LEGO weapons in the future. There is also a list of parts for each LEGO gun, so you know what you will need to build them.

Jack uses a modular method for building-instructions; building sections of the LEGO gun separately (trigger, grip, chamber, barrel, magazine, etc.) then putting them all together at the end. The tremendous benefit of this method is that if you want to modify a particular section of a LEGO gun, you can build or re-build just that module – no need to take apart and redesign the entire LEGO gun. The downside is that it makes the instructions a bit tedious and boring. It took me a couple of hours to build the smallest gun (the Desert Eagle) and as I was building the various modules I kept thinking when will this thing ever going to look like a gun. It was not until step 25 (an hour into building) when I thought, yeah, this is starting to look like something! 🙄

In summary; the instructions are logical and easy to follow, however I would suggest for further publications that, while keeping the modular method for its great benefits, put together a few of the modules earlier in the building steps to give a feeling of achievement in the process. After all; guns are just a big hunk of metal, so anything to make the building process more interesting and enjoyable will help for novices like me.

THE LEGO HEAVY WEAPONS BOOK GUNS: I actually wasn’t planning to build any of the guns at this time, but once I was  flipping through and reading the book I just couldn’t help myself. So I choose the smallest LEGO gun – the Desert Eagle – to build.

After looking at the LEGO elements I needed I was pleasantly surprised that most of the parts are in fact very common LEGO bricks and plates with a few Technic pieces added for the sliding and shooting mechanism. Even though I don’t own any Technic sets, I had enough Technic pieces to build the Desert Eagle with only a few parts missing. Yes, my LEGO gun is a bit rainbow colored, but the point is that most likely anyone with a medium-size LEGO collection can build these LEGO guns to completion or close to completion, and pick up the missing parts for a few dollars on BrickLink.

As far as the finished LEGO gun, it is solid, it works, and it does look like the real thing! In fact all of the four replicas are 1:1 scale, so yeah, they could be mistaken for a real gun so be careful carrying them in public! 8)

All four of the LEGO guns included in the book do something; the Desert Eagle has a blowback action mechanism, the AKS-74U has a folding stock (this is an amazing design!) and shoots LEGO bricks, the Jungle Carbine is a real giant and also shoots bricks, and the SPAS 12 has a pump-action mechanism and shoots bricks as well. (See video above for action!)

In summary I would say that this is a must book for LEGO gun enthusiasts; it will greatly improve your weapon-building skills, and give you all the steps to build impressive replicas of four of the most iconic guns. I would suggest the book for older kids because of the complexity of the building-steps and the amount of time needed to build each of the LEGO guns. (The book itself recommends it for children over 12 with adult supervision.) And I would definitely recommend this book for adults; it will challenge you, delight you, and give you the steps to build LEGO models that you can be truly proud of. 🙂

You can pick up a copy of LEGO Heavy Weapons book directly from No Starch Press for $24.95, from Barnes & Noble for $14.08, and from Amazon.com for $14.08. (See Amazon listings below.)

It is wonderful to see such young LEGO fan as Jack create amazing LEGO models, share it with the LEGO community and even publishing his own book! I’m looking forward to see what Jack will make in the future! What do you think? Oh, and I almost forgot to say; this book is not authorized or endorsed by the LEGO Group – for obvious reasons. 😉

{ 75 comments… add one }
  • Tydroid Ninja of NINJAGONESS May 26, 2012, 10:12 AM

    Sweet! My friend LOVES Army video games, AND he loves Legos. Perfect for him! 🙂

    • jay awesome November 7, 2012, 10:34 PM

      i know so many people who are like that (loving army video games and legos) including myself

  • THATS AWESOME

  • jean May 26, 2012, 8:30 PM

    weapons, weapons, weapons…

    • admin May 27, 2012, 9:33 AM

      Jean, it is weapons, weapons, weapons and weapons. 😉

      • jay awesome November 7, 2012, 10:35 PM

        i don’t get it

        • Guy November 25, 2016, 4:34 PM

          there are four guns shown

  • Legodude19 May 27, 2012, 6:10 PM

    Is the desert eagle capable of shooting bricks? I’m guessing not…..

    • admin May 27, 2012, 8:34 PM

      No, not the Desert Eagle. It has a great blowback action though! The other three guns all shoot actual bricks. If you watch the video it will become clear which one is doing what. 😉

      • Legodude19 May 28, 2012, 11:40 AM

        ok, I’ll guess I’ll watch the video at some point. 🙂

      • jay awesome November 7, 2012, 10:36 PM

        what is blowback action?

        • andrewneeley99 October 3, 2013, 11:07 AM

          Jay awesome blowback action is when you shoot the gun how the slide goes backwards toward you.

  • nace10 May 27, 2012, 8:38 PM

    Wish I had the book.

    • admin May 27, 2012, 9:50 PM

      Nace, you can get the book on Amazon – see link in the post. 😉

  • nace10 May 28, 2012, 12:51 PM

    Guess it’s a good price, might buy it someday.

    • jay awesome November 6, 2012, 11:06 PM

      what happens if your missing a peice

      • jay awesome November 7, 2012, 10:38 PM

        nevermind -bricklink.com

        • epic lul12 December 31, 2013, 1:09 PM

          lol these are obvoisly fake posts by the “Admin” to advertise the website. nobody on the Internet are this passive.

          • admin December 31, 2013, 1:54 PM

            I’m not sure what you mean. Jay is one of our regular readers. It seems like he was looking for some pieces then found them. BrickLink is the largest LEGO marketplace. LEGO fans often refer to it. There is no need for me to advertise BrickLink – all LEGO fans know about it. 😉

  • nace10 May 28, 2012, 7:16 PM

    Hey Admin, this reminds me that a Kug Fu teacher I had once had told me that when he was a kid, he and his brother had brick wars (shooting bricks at each other with slingshots) with their LEGOS instead of building with them!!! 😆

    • admin May 28, 2012, 9:10 PM

      LOL! That could really hurt! 🙁

      • nace10 May 29, 2012, 8:07 PM

        Ya, almost as bad as stepping on a LEGO brick!!!

        • admin May 29, 2012, 8:25 PM

          Yeah, lol! 😀

        • jay awesome November 6, 2012, 11:07 PM

          ouch that does really hurt

    • jay awesome November 7, 2012, 10:40 PM

      isn’t there a better item to slingshot a people. seriously

  • lego chronicler May 29, 2012, 6:54 PM

    I sense that I am going to see something like “Bank robbed by man with LEGO mask and gun!” (JK)

    • nace10 May 29, 2012, 7:37 PM

      I heard of a man that tried to rob a bank with a spoon!!! 😆

      • admin May 29, 2012, 8:22 PM

        Are you serious???!!! 😆 🙄

        • nace10 May 29, 2012, 8:29 PM

          Really I am.

    • admin May 29, 2012, 8:14 PM

      LOL! That would be funny! 😆

      • lego chronicler June 1, 2012, 8:31 PM

        A guy in my town tried to rob security camera store with a butter knife

        • admin June 1, 2012, 8:38 PM

          LOL! Sounds funny! 😀

          • lego chronicler June 3, 2012, 10:13 AM

            more stupid then funny… 😀

            • admin June 3, 2012, 10:18 AM

              Yeah, I was just being polite. 😉

        • jay awesome November 7, 2012, 10:41 PM

          i don’t realy belive you; i think your making that up

          • andrewneeley99 October 3, 2013, 11:09 AM

            that’s kind of messed up he was stupid who robs someone with a spoon or butterknife.

  • lego chronicler June 3, 2012, 10:16 AM

    by the way, how do you load them? does the clip have a spring? I didn’t look at the video because my mom blocked you tube

    • admin June 3, 2012, 10:29 AM

      Chronicler, the inside of the guns have rubber bands for loading and shooting. It is an amazing and complex system. I wish you could see the video. The guns (especially the shooting ones) are VERY IMPRESSIVE! Great range, great accuracy, and great power! 😀

      • lego chronicler June 4, 2012, 4:24 PM

        Thanks!

      • jay awesome November 6, 2012, 11:10 PM

        about how far do they go maybe a few yards?

    • jay awesome November 6, 2012, 11:01 PM

      i looked at the website and the gun has rubber bands that are suposibly lego rubber bands.

  • jay awesome November 6, 2012, 11:13 PM

    how does a small gun take several hours to build?

  • jay awesome November 6, 2012, 11:20 PM

    on brickline can you buy all the peices required? i would want my gun to be black 100% like the instructions and all the peices for it oh that probally answers my questio of how it took you so long to build the gun i bet it was searching for the peices.

  • ripdeck69 November 24, 2012, 12:52 PM

    wer an i buy the exact pieces for it my cousin sot a guy with a lego gun and he snapped it in half so they must be powerfull

    • admin November 24, 2012, 2:14 PM

      You can buy the book, and in it there is a parts-list for each of the guns. If you have a decent LEGO collection you would likely have most of the parts already. If you are missing some parts you can get them at BrickLink.com. 😉

  • The Dark Jedi December 30, 2012, 8:34 PM

    Iguess if I get it, I’ll have to buy all the pieces on Bricklink. All my Lego is in sets, and I don’t want to take them apart. They look too awesome. 😉

  • Bob January 9, 2013, 5:19 PM

    I just made a lego penguin and I am puting how to make one on my website

  • machine gun master January 23, 2013, 6:01 PM

    these guns inspired me so much I tried to build a glock pistol but it turned into a revolver :/

    • admin January 23, 2013, 6:41 PM

      Nice! Did you take a picture? 🙂

  • Jeck.Chen February 3, 2013, 5:14 AM

    How cool it is

  • Riley moulton February 21, 2013, 8:37 AM

    If i buy ur book can u send me the pieces for the aks 74u

    • admin February 21, 2013, 8:10 PM

      Rilay, I’m always happy to help but why would I do that? You could just get the necessary parts on Bricklink. 😕

  • PrototypeC3V3 March 23, 2013, 3:08 PM

    Thank for making me cut pieces, witch I ABSOLUTLY DON’T want to do… :/

  • Gary The Gadget Guy May 26, 2013, 11:20 PM

    there used to be a unbagging of a gun u made then how to make it! what happened to it?

    • admin May 27, 2013, 9:42 AM

      Gary, I’m not sure if you are asking me (the author of this article), or the Jack, (the author of the book). I never had an article with step-by-step instructions on making any of the guns above. They are all included in the book. 🙂

  • Eric June 22, 2013, 5:20 PM

    Where can I get the legos to build these fine weapons.

  • Tyguy1106 July 1, 2013, 10:58 PM

    Hey nice job dude can you please make a video on how to make them please and thanks

    • admin July 2, 2013, 10:14 AM

      You can just buy or download the books. All instructions are there. 😉

  • Tylar July 2, 2013, 10:41 PM

    You didn’t even show us how to make yhose

    • admin July 3, 2013, 8:45 AM

      Tylar, I’m not sure what you mean. You can get the book with the instructions or download it. The links are in the article.

  • caleb October 7, 2013, 6:45 PM

    dude that is amazing

  • richard September 21, 2014, 12:38 AM

    What Lego kit do I need

    • admin September 21, 2014, 9:13 AM

      Richard, each project includes a bill-of-materials of the pieces needed. They are all quite basic elements, so if you have a decent LEGO collection you should be able to build any of the projects. If not, you can get loose elements from either directly from LEGO or from various LEGO resellers on BrickLink.

  • Dave September 27, 2014, 6:43 AM

    I’d rather pay 30$ for the gun not the Instruction as I think it would look epic if someone else made it 🙂

    • admin September 27, 2014, 10:38 AM

      Dave, that is an interesting prposal. You might get someone to build it for you, but trust me, half of the fun is learning how to build it. 😉

  • silence November 12, 2014, 2:18 AM

    Dude i learned about these gunse 2 hours ago, im definiteley getting that awesome book on amazon, and i know someone who works at lego that can provide me with the pieces, this is just what i dreamed for years! I hope amazon delivers at mexico. If not ill have to pay extra to get my hands on it! :p

    • admin November 12, 2014, 11:56 AM

      Yeah, the book is great. Have fun with your projects! 😉

  • JOE May 16, 2015, 12:18 AM

    IT IS AMAZINGLY FANTASTICALLY BRILLIANTLY SUPER, PLEASE MAKE MORE OF THESE GREAT WEBSITES. THEY ARE REALLY EXTREMELY HELPFUL.

  • mathu June 25, 2015, 11:36 AM

    cant wait, got any good ideas for where to get bricks?

    • admin June 25, 2015, 12:46 PM

      Mathu, you can find all the LEGO elements you need at the online LEGO marketplace BrickLink.com. It is kind of like eBay, but only for LEGO. You can find every LEGO element ever made from sellers from all over the world. BTW, the guns are all made of pretty basic LEGO elements. I was able to build them with no problems from my own LEGO collection. They were a bit rainbow colored, but the point is that most LEGO fans with a medium-ish collection should have all the elements they need. 😉

  • Jason August 21, 2015, 8:57 PM

    Does anyone know if there are sites that sell you all the legos you will need to build these guns (pre-packaged and sorted)? Buying them individually from the lego store would be ridiculously expensive

    • admin August 21, 2015, 9:10 PM

      Jason, BrickLink.com has all the elements you need. However you will have to create your own Wanted List, then sort it by which sellers have all the parts. All the parts in these designs are quite common, so you likely will have many in your own collection already. 🙂

  • Robert July 20, 2016, 2:40 PM

    I’m thinking about buying the book, but I wanted the gun to be the same color. I was wondering about how much the pieces for the Desert Eagle would cost.

    • admin July 20, 2016, 6:08 PM

      Robert, based on my experience with building these, most of the pieces are very common. If you have a decent size LEGO collection you probably already have most of the parts. The rest you can get either directly from LEGO, or from BrickLink. To be on the safe side, you can use 10 cents a piece on average, but with such common parts it will likely be even less.

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