A high-power LED (and not much else!) is used in this project to provide a muzzle-flash effect for an electric Airsoft gun. It’s an extremely simple mod that can add a dramatic effect to firing, especially in darkened or indoor areas.
This is an experimental project; it is very simple but like any project found around here or elsewhere, attempt it at your own risk. That being said, it has been working fine for me so far!
What this is
Some wire, a special LED, a resistor, and not much else is used in this modification. While it’s true that it is tactically preferable to NOT have a muzzle flash, it can be pretty cool and adds a dramatic effect in the right environment (darkened areas, indoors, etc.)
At its heart, all this is is a high-powered LED and a resistor wired in parallel to the motor leads. When the motor gets power, so does the LED. Therefore, the LED lights whenever the motor runs. This is a brief flash when firing in semi-auto, but the LED stays mostly on (though it shimmers in brightness) when firing in bursts or in auto.
The LED itself obviously cannot fit INSIDE the muzzle, so it has to be placed somewhere on or near the flashider – close enough to the muzzle so that it looks like it could be a muzzle flash, without actually interfering with BBs exiting the barrel or muzzle.
On the gun I used (an AK) I placed the LED inside the front sight assembly.
The Parts and Circuit
At its heart, the basic circuit is pretty much the same as the one found in this project: The LED Megalight. (With the exception that the LED used is not the same.)
I used a Luxeon III Emitter (see www.luxeon.com or www.lumileds.com) and a 3.3 Ohm, 2 Watt resistor. It is wired in parallel to the motor’s + and – leads.
To wire it in a way that could be easily removed if needed, I made an adapter which allowed the LED circuit to be ‘tapped into’ the motor wires on my AK – it simply has a male connector on one end and a female connector on the other, with wires and a connector spliced in for attaching the LED assembly). Note that my AK has a Trigger Master installed and it is pictured here with the adapter:
Installation and Placement of LED
The LED’s placement needs to be selected with care. Close enough to the muzzle so that the flash LOOKS like it’s coming from it, but it also has to be out of the way.
On the AK I selected a spot in the front sight assembly. I decided to drill a hole to allow light from the LED to come straight out as well as “spill” out the sides. I tested this first and liked the false muzzle flash pattern it made, so I epoxied it on.
Notice that I needed to trim the leads on the LED to make it fit. As long as you can get a solid connection and nothing’s shorted out, you’re good. I used a small piece of printed circuitboard for ease of mounting and strain relief.
Then I ran wires along the barrel and secured them with gun tape, which was then sprayed flat black.
The wires for the LED and resistor (not shown) are run through the body of the AEG and terminate in a connector in the stock with the rest of the wiring. When I want to enable the muzzle flash mod, I plug the adapter in between the “To Motor” of the Trigger Master and the actual motor plug. Otherwise, I can just leave it out.
This is what it looks like when fired in a dark room.