How to Make a Musket

The musket is a venerable weapon that has been around for a long time. Here you will learn how to make a newer version from inexpensive materials. Don't be surprised if you find yourself having a good time firing it.

Preparing the PVC Pipe

Use a hack saw or a PVC cutter to cut your PVC pipe to the lengths you need for the musket.

Cut a 2-foot long length of the 1-inch diameter PVC for the musket's pressure chamber and cut a 3-foot length of ½-inch diameter PVC for the barrel.

File the cut ends of the PVC to make them smooth.

The Dry Fitting

Fit the parts of the musket together to make sure they fit properly.

Put the ½-inch diameter barrel with the ½-inch long, ½-inch diameter adapter; the adapter to the 1-inch, ½-inch in diameter threaded bushing; the bushing to the ball valve; the ball valve to the compression chamber; the compression chamber to the end cap.

Make any adjustments you need to so make the pieces fit together well.

The Assembly

Cement all but the threaded portions of the musket you are making together.

Swab the pieces that go together with the PVC primer.

Put a dab of PVC cement on the primer, and slip the parts of the musket together.

Wipe away any excess with a paper towel.

The Hole

Pump air into the compression chamber of the musket you are building via the ball pump's needle.

Drill a diagonal 3/32-inch hole about the midway down the end cap. The angle is necessary to keep the needle from bending when the musket rests on its end.

Take your time with the hole--the angle needs to be correct so that the needle penetrates the pipe.

Wrap the needle of the ball pump with plumbers tape. Apply it in a fairly steep angle that gradually reduces as you wrap it. The tape should be thicker at the base.

Insert the needle into the hole, then use zip ties to attach the pump to the compression chamber. Trim the zip ties.

Take Aim, Fire!

Close the valve before loading the musket you built.

Drop ammo into the barrel as you would a mussel loaded musket.

Use mini-marshmallows, small portions of potatoes, apples, bugs--whatever you can fit in easily.

Compress the pump of the musket 5 times, then aim and release the valve.


Make sure you have plenty of ventilation when you apply the PVC cement.

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