Can You Make Your Own Air Gun Pellets?

Can You Make Your Own Air Gun Pellets

You shoot your air gun just about every single day. That means you blow through pellets quickly. When you run out, you have to order more and then spend days torturously waiting for the pellets to finally arrive. To minimize your wait time, wouldn’t it be more efficient to just make your own air gun pellets instead? Is that even possible? Can You Make Your Own Air Gun Pellets?

Yes, you can make your own air gun pellets. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Know the type of pellets needed for your air gun
  • Create or buy a mold for those pellets
  • Put on a pot of water and melt the lead
  • Pour the melted lead into the mold
  • Let the pellets dry
  • Reshape the pellets if necessary

In a previous blog post we talked you through if you should reuse your pellets or not. In this article, we will walk you through the above steps of making your own air gun pellets in much greater detail. We’ll also talk about the pros and cons of this venture so you can decide whether it’s better to make air gun pellets or just keep buying the professionally manufactured ones.

Let’s begin!

What Are the Benefits of Making Your Own Air Gun Pellets?

We’ve established that yes, it’s possible to make your own air gun pellets. What reasons might incline you to do so? Let’s talk about some of the perks of going the DIY route now.

Time Saved

You know how it is when you order something online. Unless it’s from Amazon, then you’re looking at a multi-day wait for the shipped item to arrive. Sometimes, that’s two to three business days, but it could just as easily be five to seven. When you add weekends on, you could be waiting for over a week.

Going the homemade route cuts all that waiting time out of the equation. Sure, there is still the time you have to commit to making the pellets, but this ends up being far less time than ordering online and then waiting for your pellets to arrive.

Money Saved

You also save money. You may initially have to buy a pellet kit to get the molds, but you can also make a mold yourself. (We’ll talk about this more in the next section). Once you spend that money on the molds, then you just have to pay for materials like lead. If you have lead available in large quantities, then your dollar stretches even further.

More Control over Quality and Quantity

If you’re especially picky about the pellets you use for your air gun, then making them yourself ought to appeal to you in a big way. Now you have control over every last aspect of the air gun pellet, from the material used to the shape, size, and weight. This allows you to make air guns that meet your own quality standards.

You’re also not limited by quantity. Online, you might only be able to buy pellets at 50, 75, or even a few hundred at a time. When you make your own, the only restrictions are time and materials. If you have both, then you could theoretically produce hundreds of air gun pellets over a few days.

Potential Extra Revenue Source

In fact, you might get so good at making your own air gun pellets that you have a bright idea. Why not sell your homemade pellets to your fellow shooting buddies? You could even put up a page online if you gain enough traction. This could make you some extra money that you can either use towards making more air gun pellets or doing something else entirely.

How to Make Air Gun Pellets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Your interest is fully piqued, and you want to try making air gun pellets yourself. Here’s a video from a YouTube channel called 365Preppers that will show you how it’s done. We’ll also lay out the steps to follow here.

First, there’s the equipment you need. The YouTuber made his own jig to protect his kitchen counter; you can do the same if you want. Otherwise, the must-haves are heat-resistant gloves, a temperature checker, metal for the pellets (such as lead), a pot, an ice cream scoop, and your mold.

It’s recommended you make your pellets outside, as lead fumes can be dangerous to directly inhale. If you absolutely cannot get outside, then please create more than adequate ventilation across your home by opening windows and even doors.

With all your gear ready, here’s what you have to do.

Step 1: You probably already know this, given you buy pellets for your air gun regularly, but please make sure the pellets you create are of the same shape, size, and style that are appropriate for your air gun. Trying to force a mismatched pellet into an air gun can cause serious damage to the internal components.

Step 2: There are some air gun pellet-making kits that have their own molds. If you can find one of these, then use it. Otherwise, you can always make the mold yourself.  

Silicone rubber compounds are best to use for mold-making. You’d mix together the rubber compound following the product instructions, pour it over your air gun pellet, and let it cure for upwards of 75 minutes.

You then get a mold you can rely on again and again. Do make sure that you only buy heat-tolerant silicone for making your rubber compounds, though. Otherwise, when you pour the hot lead into the mold, the mold itself will melt!

Step 3: Turn one burner of your outdoor stove to high. Take a kitchen pot you don’t intend to use again and warm it up on the burner. Pour your lead into the pot.

Step 4: The lead should begin melting. This tends to happen quite quickly when it starts. As it does, you may notice some strange substances at the top of your pot. These are lead impurities. Use an ice cream scoop to stir the lead occasionally and break up the impurities. Make sure you’re wearing gloves when you do this!

Step 5: When the lead has melted, use your temperature checker to ascertain the temperature of the lead. This may not be uniform throughout, but that’s okay.

Step 6: Grab your ice cream scoop and pour some lead from the pot slowly and carefully into your mold. Avoid pouring too quickly so you don’t spill.

Step 7: Repeat this until you have the number of pellets you need.

Step 8: Let the lead solidify over several hours. Don’t touch the lead when it’s hot. Even when it cools, don’t handle it directly without your heat-resistant gloves on.

Step 9: When the pellets are mostly solid, shape them if necessary.

Step 10: Enjoy your homemade air gun pellets!

Are Homemade Air Gun Pellets Safe?

Many air gun enthusiasts have successfully made their own air gun pellets, with plenty doing so regularly. Some of them even go on to sell their pellets online for other air gun lovers to use, such as the aptly-named Air Gun Pellet Maker.

Does that mean DIY air gun pellets are safe to produce? They can be, but there are some safety issues you certainly have to be aware of. Let’s look at these more closely now.

Burning Yourself

If you’ve successfully made air gun pellets once or twice before, it’s easy to get lax and assume you’re a master at this. However, burns can happen anytime you handle hot metal such as lead, so you should never forego your heat-resistant gloves.

Check on the condition of your gloves from time to time. They won’t last forever. If you make air gun pellets often, then your heat-resistant gloves will have a shorter lifespan.

Also, despite the weather, make sure you’re wearing a long-sleeved shirt or some other arm covering besides the gloves. This will prevent burns.

Breathing in Fumes

The 365Preppers video we showed you is a great tutorial for creating DIY air gun pellets, but the YouTuber makes one major mistake: he works with hot lead inside his kitchen. Many of the commenters even ask how you can make air gun pellets without breathing in fumes, in which they get no response.

That’s why we say it’s best to have an outdoor stove for making your air gun pellets. The fresh air all around you should prevent you from breathing in fumes. Even still, you shouldn’t stand too close to the pot while the lead melts inside it.

If you are stuck inside because you don’t own an outdoor stove, then your chances of breathing in fumes are greater. We highly recommend opening all your windows, turning on your ceiling fans, and maybe even getting an oscillating fan or two. Anything that will keep air moving is best.

Breathing in lead fumes once might make you feel a bit dizzy and sick, but it won’t cause any long-term damage. However, if you do it often enough, you could affect the nervous system and the kidneys, potentially causing unconsciousness and seizures. It’s even possible to die from serious lead exposure.

Ruining Your Kitchen

If you opt to make lead air gun pellets in your kitchen, we hope you don’t have nice countertops or appliances. All it takes is one splash of lead and these items could be permanently ruined. You must have a very steady hand when pouring the liquid lead into the mold. To make it easier, you might want to keep the mold very near your pot so you don’t have to take your scoop full of lead far.

Liquid Lead Splashes

Not only can liquid lead wreck your kitchen, but also your clothing and your skin. You will likely have severe burns, and in some instances, the lead can even go through your skin and straight to the bloodstream if it’s not cleaned up quickly enough. This may cause lead poisoning, which can be acute and fatal. 

Is It Worth It to Make Your Own Air Gun Pellets?

That brings us to another good question then, is it even worthwhile to take the time and accept the inherent risk that comes from making DIY air gun pellets?

Not necessarily. The above section showcases the many dangers associated with this hobby. Plus, it’s not like air gun pellets are very expensive to begin with. Yes, you do have to wait for the pellets to be shipped to you, but maybe the next time you purchase some, you get more than what you need so you don’t have to rebuy as often.


It’s possible to make your own air gun pellets using a pot, heat-resistant gloves, a mold, and liquid lead. This process can be chancy, in that you’re at risk of spilling the lead, burning yourself, and breathing in fumes.

If you truly want to try making DIY air gun pellets, the steps in this article will show you how. This option is always a good backup if your favorite air gun pellet store runs out of stock. Best of luck and be safe!

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