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How to build LEGO guns that work!

by admin on May 26, 2012

in LEGO Books

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…

:arrow: 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.

:arrow: 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! :roll:

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.

:arrow: 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. ;)

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Tydroid Ninja of NINJAGONESS May 26, 2012 at 10:12 AM

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

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jay awesome November 7, 2012 at 10:34 PM

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

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DX ZX KENDO NRG PWR JAY-MOUTH OF LIGHTNING (Seriously i have a mouth of lightning) :) May 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM

THATS AWESOME

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jean May 26, 2012 at 8:30 PM

weapons, weapons, weapons…

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admin May 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Jean, it is weapons, weapons, weapons and weapons. ;)

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jay awesome November 7, 2012 at 10:35 PM

i don’t get it

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Legodude19 May 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM

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

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admin May 27, 2012 at 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. ;)

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Legodude19 May 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

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

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jay awesome November 7, 2012 at 10:36 PM

what is blowback action?

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andrewneeley99 October 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

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

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nace10 May 27, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Wish I had the book.

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admin May 27, 2012 at 9:50 PM

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

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nace10 May 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM

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

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jay awesome November 6, 2012 at 11:06 PM

what happens if your missing a peice

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jay awesome November 7, 2012 at 10:38 PM

nevermind -bricklink.com

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epic lul12 December 31, 2013 at 1:09 PM

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

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admin December 31, 2013 at 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. ;)

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nace10 May 28, 2012 at 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!!! :lol:

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admin May 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM

LOL! That could really hurt! :(

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nace10 May 29, 2012 at 8:07 PM

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

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admin May 29, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Yeah, lol! :D

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jay awesome November 6, 2012 at 11:07 PM

ouch that does really hurt

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jay awesome November 7, 2012 at 10:40 PM

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

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lego chronicler May 29, 2012 at 6:54 PM

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

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nace10 May 29, 2012 at 7:37 PM

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

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admin May 29, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Are you serious???!!! :lol: :roll:

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nace10 May 29, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Really I am.

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admin May 29, 2012 at 8:14 PM

LOL! That would be funny! :lol:

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lego chronicler June 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM

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

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admin June 1, 2012 at 8:38 PM

LOL! Sounds funny! :D

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lego chronicler June 3, 2012 at 10:13 AM

more stupid then funny… :D

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admin June 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Yeah, I was just being polite. ;)

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jay awesome November 7, 2012 at 10:41 PM

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

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andrewneeley99 October 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM

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

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lego chronicler June 3, 2012 at 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

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admin June 3, 2012 at 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! :D

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lego chronicler June 4, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Thanks!

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jay awesome November 6, 2012 at 11:10 PM

about how far do they go maybe a few yards?

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jay awesome November 6, 2012 at 11:01 PM

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

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jay awesome November 6, 2012 at 11:13 PM

how does a small gun take several hours to build?

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jay awesome November 6, 2012 at 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.

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ripdeck69 November 24, 2012 at 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

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admin November 24, 2012 at 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. ;)

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The Dark Jedi December 30, 2012 at 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. ;)

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Bob January 9, 2013 at 5:19 PM

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

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

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

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admin January 23, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Nice! Did you take a picture? :)

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

How cool it is

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Riley moulton February 21, 2013 at 8:37 AM

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

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admin February 21, 2013 at 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. :?

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PrototypeC3V3 March 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM

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

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

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

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admin May 27, 2013 at 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. :)

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Eric June 22, 2013 at 5:20 PM

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

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admin June 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Bricklink. ;)

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Tyguy1106 July 1, 2013 at 10:58 PM

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

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admin July 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM

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

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Tylar July 2, 2013 at 10:41 PM

You didn’t even show us how to make yhose

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admin July 3, 2013 at 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.

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caleb October 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

dude that is amazing

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