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The DH-47 Project: Return of the Blaster Pistol
By George Ross Jr. May 4, 2022

May the fourth be with you! No gun collection is complete without some sort of Star Wars blaster, and the DH-47 project is how I remedied this situation for myself. What I am calling the DH-47 is based off the DH-17 blaster pistol that was the standard-issue military sidearm in the Planetary Security Forces, Imperial Navy, the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the New Republic Defense Fleet. In addition, the DH-17 is a medium-range combat weapon, it had an optimum range of 30 meters, but its armor-piercing blaster bolts were still effective, though somewhat less accurate at up to 120 meters.

The original DH-17 prop guns were based on the Sterling L2A3 sub-machine gun. So, one could use an L2A3 to make a functional blaster, but this is AR-47.COM. AR based Star Wars blasters are nothing new and needing to have a Star Wars blaster in my gun collection makes for a great excuse to build an AR pistol.

Comparing the DH-17 and DH-47

The most obvious difference between the DH-17 and the DH-47 is of course what they fire. The DH-17 fires bolts of intense plasma while the DH-47 fires the 7.62x39 cartridge which is wonderful for medium-range applications. Another major difference is with how the power packs and magazines are loaded. The DH-17 utilizes a side loading mechanism for the power packs while the DH-47 utilizes a bottom loading mechanism for loading magazines. This brings up another interesting difference between these two guns. The DH-17 must be filled with energy-rich gas that is good for 500 shots and a power pack only has enough energy for 100 shots. This two-step loading process is quite like how BB guns operate. The all-in-one nature of 7.62x39 ammunition has both propellant and projectile in one package so if you have 7.62x39 ammunition the DH-47 will function. Although in its current configuration you only get 10 shots per magazine. One thing I really wish I could have accomplished with the DH-47 is positioning the scope as far back on the gun as it is with the DH-17. This would have gone a long way in helping with eye relief. You can use the scope when holding the DH-47 with a proper handgun grip, but it is far from ideal. Prism scopes are not known for having great eye relief, but since I was going for aesthetics over function that was part of the tradeoff.

Highly Trained Elite Warriors

Remember when Obi-Wan said “too accurate for sand people. Only imperial stormtroopers are so precise.”. If this is true, then way can’t they ever hit their intended targets? The answer to me is that stormtroopers were poorly equipped. If the Empire would have commissioned BlasTech Industries to use stocks or braces with their blasters, I would be willing to bet that the highly trained stormtroopers could have ended the movies early had they been properly equipped. The basis for this is simple. After I got the DH-47 sighted in I tried using it like they do in the movies. Shooting from the hip and utilizing a proper handgun grip I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. However, I had fun doing it and a single hit felt like a major victory. I suppose a long time ago in a galaxy far far way firearm regulations were as messed up as they are today. That or maybe there were some serious budgetary concerns coupled with the fact that power packs and energy rich gases were dirt cheap.

Build Details

Below is a parts list so you can make your own DH-47.

At the Range

At First, I zeroed the DH-47 in at 50 yards utilizing sub sonic 7.63x39 ammunition. The reason I went with sub sonic ammunition is that standard 7.62x39 ammunition makes this unwieldy beast even more so. This is due to the fact that the Strike industries AR-15 pistol buffer tube kit that was used to shorten the buffer tube as much has possible has a tiny and light 1.8 Oz. buffer. Couple this with the short 7.5-inch barrel and pistol length gas system firing the potent 7.62x39 round in this configuration is as I have already said an unwieldy beast.

After I had realized the expense and scarcity of 7.62x39 sub sonic ammunition I chose not to make the DH-47 a sub sonic only weapon. Because I wanted to keep my buffer tube as short as possible, I couldn’t rely on a heavy buffer to mitigate recoil. So, it was time to explore another avenue to tame this unwieldy beast. Enter the Kaw Valley Precision .750 AR-15 adjustable gas block. This adjustable gas block reduced the muzzle flip of standard 7.62x39 ammunition down to the point where it felt like I was shooting sub sonic 7.62x39 ammunition.


"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." These words uttered by Han Solo don’t really reflect the reality that blasters were largely ineffective in Star Wars movies. However, in building the DH-47 I have learned that these words are indeed true. You just simply have to find a “good blaster” and in my humble opinion the DH-17 wasn’t a “good blaster”. Henceforth I will be looking for ways to make the DH-47 a “good blaster”. May the fourth be with you!