Cardboard is a remarkably versatile material and capable of being so much more than mere disposable packaging – as highlighted by the cardboard bike, helmet, and church. We can now add functional toy rifle to the growing list of viable cardboard-constructed inventions, courtesy of the Paper Shooters build-it-yourself cardboard rifle kit.

In order to bring about a gun with the desired accuracy and build quality, the Paper Shooters team collaborated with UK-based Bang Creations – a company with former Hasbro designers responsible for Nerf products on its payroll.

The resulting design is capable of shooting “soft splat” paper pellets up to 75 feet (22 meters), with a satisfying whack. The pellets are fed via spring-powered firing mechanism and magazine, and performance is comparable to an Airsoft gun. The attention to detail is impressive, even down to shells which are ejected from the side.

The kit contains everything required to build the rifle, including tools. The assembly process doesn’t look too involved, with a minimal plastic frame first constructed, before two layers of camouflage-colored cardboard are added as an outer shell. Paper Shooters reckons young people aged 14 and older should be able to construct their own rifle.

The rifles are available in three iterations, varying in color: “Digital Ops,” “Zombie Slayer,” and “Golden Touch.” A total of 50 paper pellets is included in the purchase, though a mold is also provided, enabling users to make additional pellets from damp paper.

Paper Shooters has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds required for widespread production of the cardboard rifles. A minimum contribution of US$45 is required to secure the cheapest Digital Ops kit, with Golden Touch fetching $65. The campaign has 39 days left to run, and a goal of $72,000.

The video below features more information on the project.

Sources: Indiegogo, Paper Shooters via Wired UK