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A Firecracker-Launching Slingshot: Start the New Year With a Bang

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the don't-try-this-at-home-kids dept.

Hardware Hacking 65

An anonymous reader writes "Joerg Sprave is at it again. This time, in order to bring in the New Year, he's got something with a bit more bang to it: a firecracker-launching slingshot. Being German, Joerg has built a slingshot that will accommodate the largest legal firecracker in that country. '2 grams of black powder in a tight cardboard "cigar" make a pretty loud bang! In order to make these bangs more spectacular, it is desirable to shoot them as high into the air as possible. A special slingshot crossbow has been designed, chambered for the strongest legal firecrackers. The weapon is a breech loader, and an integrated storm lighter allows the shooter to light the fuse when the weapon is all ready for the shot. The weapon launches the firecracker with tremendous force. The blunt object easily crashes through a moving card board box, and — equipped with a wooden tip — even goes in all the way into a block of ballistic gelatin.' His two videos are available on YouTube: part 1, part 2." This is the same gentleman who made a slingshot that launches machetes.

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All he needs now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445069)

...is a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning.

Re:All he needs now.. (1)

Trilkin (2042026) | about 2 years ago | (#42455815)

...which would only be better if it had tits and were on fire.

I've got a question for all you Ubuntu faggots: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445135)

Why isn't there a man page for cd?

Re:I've got a question for all you Ubuntu faggots: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445183)

Because it's a two-bit command. There's nothing to build a manpage around.

Re:I've got a question for all you Ubuntu faggots: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445373)

Dear Failed Troll:

'type cd' will tell you that it's a built-in command, part of the shell. Thus, it's 'man bash' or 'man ksh' or 'help cd'. You're (not) welcome.

Re:I've got a question for all you Ubuntu faggots: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445397)

Why isn't there a man page for cd?

Just type in "I'm a Windows user who loves to rape babies, how do I use cd on Ubuntu?" into Google. Then fucking kill yourself.

Re:I've got a question for all you Ubuntu faggots: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445477)

man intro(1)

Which is crap and all the unmentioned details for "cd" are hidden somewhere more obscure; Google it instead and you'll find
http://www.linfo.org/cd.html [linfo.org]

Now brace yourself as you'll get it up your ass with a mint-flavoured condom.

Re:I've got a question for all you Ubuntu faggots: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445533)

builtin bash command
even a stupid fuck a c can figger that out
whats your excuse

Re:I've got a question for all you Ubuntu faggots: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445695)

Sorry, bro, you failed haiku 101.

Objection: assumes facts not in evidence (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#42452949)

not being a fan of the TMFGIFY thing if you google |man cd| you get a link to

http://ss64.com/bash/cd.html [ss64.com]

which states
"cd

Change Directory - change the current working directory to a specific Folder.

Syntax
            cd [Options] [Directory]

Key
        -P Do not follow symbolic links
        -L Follow symbolic links (default)

If directory is not given, the value of the HOME shell variable is used.

If the shell variable CDPATH exists, it is used as a search path.
If directory begins with a slash, CDPATH is not used.

If directory is `-', this will change to the previous directory location (equivalent to $OLDPWD )."

but if you don't know this WTF are you doing in a terminal without details instructions??

a moving card board box (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445165)

The blunt object easily crashes through a moving card board box

It was designed for killing Solid Snake?

It's a good thing they posted this story... (3, Funny)

Roger Wilcox (776904) | about 2 years ago | (#42445171)

...because this is NEWS.

Re:It's a good thing they posted this story... (2)

sudon't (580652) | about 2 years ago | (#42445209)

...because this is NEWS.

Yeah, clearly. Me and my cousin were shooting cherry bombs and M-80s with a slingshot in 1973. Somehow, I doubt we were the first to think this up.

Re:It's a good thing they posted this story... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42446423)

And I'm sure you have MUCH more important things to submit and discuss. Also, the content on here is posted AT NO COST TO YOU. You're not forced to read it.

Get over yourself, dickface.

Re:It's a good thing they posted this story... (1)

Roger Wilcox (776904) | about 2 years ago | (#42447753)

Haha right back at ya, troll (minus the childish namecalling, of course.)

Don't tell me you found this garbage enlightening... or that you believe the site would be better served if the stories on the main page were meant to be links to anonymous hicks' youtube videos.

This is not the sort of content I want to see here and that's 100% my opinion.

crossbow? (3, Informative)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42445177)

Looks more crossbow with alternative non-bolt ammo. Slingshot makes me think of the classic wristrocket. Those and fireworks have gone together like peanut butter and jelly for at least a century or so. The only better use for a slingshot is probably water balloons although you've got to be careful not to rip them apart at launch. As kids we also used balls of crumpled paper both in wrist rockets and potato guns for indoor entertainment. Only occasionally broke a window with that ammo. Sometimes the potato gun would set the paper ball on fire if you used liquid propellant which is either a bonus or a problem depending on situation. So this patentable tech has at least 30 years of prior art, at least that I'm willing to admit to.

Re:crossbow? (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 2 years ago | (#42445361)

Looks more crossbow with alternative non-bolt ammo.

and no bow, or string.... So, it's really not much like a crossbow at all.

Re:crossbow? (1)

nobodie (1555367) | about 2 years ago | (#42457051)

Back in the late 60's my older brother had a small bore brass mortar cast for himself at some historical artifact kind of foundry in New England. The bore was exactly the same diameter as the inside of a tennis ball. When "Flag Day" came (does anyone else remember "flag Day?") he decided to make it "Flag Week" and offered to take down and fold the flag for our father every day. I was volunteered to help him out in the folding and taking down part.

What no one realized was that he was going to give a "salute" every evening as well, with the mortar and some "special " rounds he had prepared. The rounds were made of concrete mix with a cherry bomb on the inside and the tip end of the fuse (which was wrapped in tinfoil) just sticking out of the ball (which was made by cutting open a tennis ball, packing in the cherry bomb and concrete mix and then using rubber bands to hold it all together while the concrete set). My brother would charge the mortar, pack it (with newspaper) and drop the ball in with the tip of the fuse pointing toward the charge. Then he would fire it with a long wooden match.

The ball would fly up and over the lake on the other side of the street, explode at the height of the arc and, between the charge and the explosion of the ball, rattle every window on the street. Then he and I would take down the flag, carefully and reverentially fold it, and put it away for the next day when our father (who of course was not home yet) would put the flag up on his way to work.

It was about day 3 as I recall when the neighbors caught up with dad and told him what was up.

Good times!

Re:crossbow? (3, Interesting)

CrankyFool (680025) | about 2 years ago | (#42445911)

Crossbows are a form of bows -- a weapon which is based on the bending -- not stretching -- of a semi-flexible rigid material.

This is a slingshot -- a weapon which uses an elastic strap which releases energy by stretching, and then releasing.

Re:crossbow? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#42453723)

I thought a slingshot was a weapon that uses a retracted thong that is released in the direction of the intended projectile arc?

No need for it to use an elastic strap... the *sling* is the important part, as is the *shot*.

Of course, you're right that a crossbow is based on a bow, which has the identifying part being a bent semi-flexible rigid material.

I'd be more tempted to call this a modified elastic-kinetic dart launcher (uses elastic strap to store and release energy, but uses a rigid launch vehicle on a guide to propel the ammunition).

Actually, I'd just call this a firecracker launcher. I'm not a pedant in real life.

"May your wishes come true" (1)

tristes_tigres (952446) | about 2 years ago | (#42445235)

I find his laugh a bit disquieting

How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445243)

Meh.....lame... been tossing boom boom sticks with a real slingshot for years.

So... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445253)

Has France surrendered yet?

uhhh it did NOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445273)

------------QUOTE-> easily crashes through a moving card board box,
  kept bouncing off .from what i saw.

German New Years (1)

SuperQ (431) | about 2 years ago | (#42445293)

I was in Berlin for new years. These things are pretty loud. There were some people a few doors down tossing them out their apartment window on to the street every few seconds for several hours. Every block down the street was like this too. Crazy awesome way to celebrate the new years. It also makes the 4th of July look kinda weak. The only things you can get now in many US states are considered "kids" fireworks here.

Re:German New Years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445363)

"These things are pretty loud... every few seconds for several hours... Crazy awesome way to celebrate the new years."

I don't see how that is awesome. That sounds extraordinarily unpleasant.

Re:German New Years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42446687)

..yeah, I more or less got a rocket direct in the face at Munich's Octoberfest site @ 12:01, fired a few metres away from a beer bottle that tipped over. Thank Christ I was wearing glasses tho - Happy New Year!

New Years seems to be one of those occasions in Germany they will happily set aside their usual organisational efficency and safety priorities for a spot of happy anarchy - like Mayday in Berlin, choose your car parking spot *very* carefully, and, should the idea of being ignited by a random pyrotechnic remain unappealing? - stay off the streets, or watch from a very safe distance..

Re:German New Years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42446703)

You should try Waimanalo on the island of O'ahu. Every family gets ~$3000 worth (yes, that's thousands) of fireworks and lights them off constantly the whole night. The next morning every street is covered in burnt red paper, spent roman candles on the hoods of cars. I've heard a lot of stories about New Years fireworks, but then I experienced it in Waimanalo. Don't bother telling me fireworks are illegal there. I know and they don't care. Here's something from 2010 -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6GQq6Et-uU [youtube.com] -- mute it if you don't like autotuned rap, there's no sound of the fireworks anyway.

Re:German New Years (1)

nobodie (1555367) | about 2 years ago | (#42457073)

Compared to what happened for "old and new" in Holland that is lame indeed. Amsterdam is, well, there is no word for what it is like. All I can say is that the streets are 4-8" deep in firecracker wrappers the following morning, and I don't even really remember the firecrackers: especially compared to the "big rockets" going off every second and in every direction from 11 PM to 5 AM the next morning. Even compared to China at Spring festival Amsterdam is incomparable.

Maybe 40 years ago fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445313)

Launching explosives... Sounds like a terrorist. Lock him up. Put him on the list.
We have lost our collective brains over anything 'dangerous'.

(as an aside.. really? this shit is new? fuck i built one of these when i was 11. And mine worked better.)

Not entirely sure... (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | about 2 years ago | (#42445453)

not entirely sure why you would need a slingshot to light something that you can usually buy with a rocket attached in any firework shop. just light the rocket and away you go. and as for "easily crashes through a card board box", the UK rockets will blow a hole through a window or blow the exhaust of a car.

It's kind of sad (2)

Daetrin (576516) | about 2 years ago | (#42445499)

I think between movies and Mythbusters my expectations for explosions are entirely out of whack with "common" explosions in reality, or at least what i expect to be shown off in internet videos. Those firecracker explosions were a lot quieter than i was expecting (at least as recorded in the video) and i was hoping to see either the cardboard box or the ballistic gel actually be broken apart by the explosion, but no such luck.

They seemed like the kind of thing that the Mythbusters would get when trying to reproduce the myth. The kind where they'd decide the myth was a failure and then go on and try to replicate the results with progressively larger amounts of explosive. Although given that they almost always end up having to scale things up i guess it makes sense that a "normal" firecracker just isn't that impressive.

Re:It's kind of sad (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42446107)

Used to mess with m80s as a teenager in Queens, put a lit one down a thick cardboard tube, then a tennis ball, wait for a slow fuse to finally catch then..BOOM! That ball would travel a good football field. These are two or three times the size, about 1/2 a stick of dynamite maybe. Oh those wacky Germans, always vit der vays of violentz! Looks like fun.

Re:It's kind of sad (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42446597)

Just saw the 2nd vid, I take back what I said. Those are longer then the m80s I had as a kid (m80=1/4 stick of dynamite), but not nearly as powerful, more like an m40, may-be.

Re:It's kind of sad (1)

Ozeroc (1146595) | about 2 years ago | (#42449587)

This is about right. I'm from the US and used to play with M80s as a kid. When I got to Germany and bought some of these I was thinking they were going to be crazy loud and destructive! Meh, I wasn't that impressed. They are loud but mostly full of clay/dirt. Sure wouldn't want one going off in my hand though!

Re:It's kind of sad (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42449789)

Right? I wouldn't reccomend doing what I and my friends did to a kid today. Those fuses are 'usually' reliable, but you got some that burned real quick. Phht, boom! If you were too close, too bad, so sad for you. I haven't messed with them in many, many years. And every July 4th I see the news of guys who look in a mortar tube when a slow fuse finally went off, goodbye face. I guess we were lucky not to get too hurt. If you don't have the proper respect for these things, you can get badly damaged, even from just a little firecracker that had more charge than the others in the pack. At least today the docs are better at reattaching fingers. :-)

Re:It's kind of sad (1)

dillee1 (741792) | about 2 years ago | (#42446853)

I wonder why the explosions are exceptionally weak too. In my experience a 1-inch long firecracker can easily crack a small gardening pot, and probably blow the gel block apart completely.

Re:It's kind of sad (2)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 2 years ago | (#42447397)

If you watch the slo-mo shot of the explosion inside the gel block, you can see that the explosion blows out the ends of the paper tube, without rupturing the tube itself, which would take a LOT more pressure and make a LOT more noise.

I suspect the the ends of these things are simply crimped shut, rather than sealed with a glued in plug like an M-80. Probably done to limit the power for safety reasons. They also apparently use black powder, rather than the more energetic flash powder used in M-80s. But 2 grams of fine grain black powder is enough to make a heck of a bang if properly contained.

Outlawed here (3, Interesting)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 2 years ago | (#42445521)

Those type of devices have been illegal in this area since the '70's at
that time they were a "problem".

Minus the rubber band, add a cover to the breach and you have a "Zip gun"
and a very efficient survival weapon.

shooting a nail with just a black cat fire cracker and a rubber band holding down the breach cover
and "it will pin a person to the wall"* a quote from the local newspaper.

After reading that quote my grandmother says "that must be a very large nail".

Even firecrackers are illegal here! How I envied this hint hint nudge nugde dude when
he mentioned them being legal for a day or two.

Re:Outlawed here (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 2 years ago | (#42445603)

Just saw the second video

After reading that quote my grandmother says "that must be a very large nail".

or a bayonet.

Re:Outlawed here (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#42450177)

Minus the rubber band, add a cover to the breach and you have a "Zip gun"
and a very efficient survival weapon.

Or "other people non-survival" weapon.

most certainly illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445543)

most fireworks sizes are subject to certain conditions. sparkly things are only allowed to sparkle so high, zippy things are only allowed to zip so far, boomy things are only allowed to be stationary. When you mix the items like this you have probably created a "munition" because this propelled device exceeds the legal limit for "moving" and "exploding" you would probably be in trouble for carelessness at least. European Laws are all kinds of crazy about "carelessness".

A quote, if I may (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42445935)

"It's nice to see [da] flames inside [dee] gelatin" - If this is not quoted by great men in the future, we will have become a species of hopeless, groveling, sniveling weaklings. Elasticity and projectiles über alles!

Re:A quote, if I may (1)

Blymie (231220) | about 2 years ago | (#42448045)

Replying to undo incorrect (thanks /.) moderation...

my variant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42446217)

I used to put a firecracker in apples and sling downtown where they would blow up many hundreds of feet from me, in the air, no one the wiser.

ha ha ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42446361)

Slashdot is a joke. I come back every now and again, hoping something is different.....

Re:ha ha ha (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | about 2 years ago | (#42446449)

wishful thinking.

Image:Willy wonka (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42446399)

Tell me again how more gun control laws will make us safer?

He was German? (0)

nopainogain (1091795) | about 2 years ago | (#42446433)

I thought only the American Southern Redneck was prone to such Darwinian decisions.

Re:He was German? (2)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about 2 years ago | (#42448203)

Unless he's putting these things down his pants, I don't see the Darwin connection.

Idiots (-1, Flamebait)

musth (901919) | about 2 years ago | (#42446721)

Wow, that slingshot "accommodates the largest legal firecracker in that country"! Can you BELIEVE it??? So AWESOME!!!!

Here we go again with the Slashdot editorial fascination with guns and gun-like things. I bet people in places like Newtown get into your lovable-techno-nerd preoccupation with creating ever more weapons that shoot dangerous projectiles.

Re:Idiots (3, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#42447087)

Here in the Netherlands a 12 year old boy was badly burnt by fireworks last night. He was helped by the police, who asked the onlookers to fetch a bucket of cold water for him. No one reacted; the sheep were too busy watching. As a thank you for the performance some lunatics found it necessary to ignite some heavy firecrackers very close to where the police were busy with the boy. Imagine what would have happened if one of those drunken morons would have had one of those firecracker shooters! Many more badly injured people, because those things will be used to see how far you can shoot a 'live' firecracker; not how high. And this time it will be innocent people on the streets who will get injured instead of the morons themselves.

Re:Idiots (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42448473)

This happened to me. At a concert a few years back, some fucking idiot behind me decided to light off bottle rockets. One landed on my shoulder, went off, blew a chunk of my chin off, and blew out my right ear. I can live with the deafness, but the constant day-in day-out ringing is most irritating.
    By the time the cops got to me, the fuckers had absconded. BTW, the local Free Clinic, with the help of some volunteer doctors from the local Veterans Hospital, provided first rate care until the ambulance arrived.
    Due to funding issues, that Veterans Hospital has been closed, as has the Free Clinic.

Nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42446793)

I'm so glad this nut job is on our side?

Wait wait wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42447209)

This is slashdot. Was it 3D printed? Does it go into space, privately? No? This is useless!

I hope he isn't in the U.S. (1)

bl968 (190792) | about 2 years ago | (#42447985)

Once he embedded metal into a firework that makes it into a bomb which is highly illegal in the United States.

So sad... (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#42448833)

In the 70s, I was in High School. A friend and I made our own home-made dynamite from nitroglycerin we also made at home mixed with a home-made aluminum based flash powder. We also made fulminate of mercury (I can still remember the strong apple scented cloud generated in its production.) We'd stick 1 oz, loads with a blasting cap (a glass ampule filled with home-made fulminate with a piece of miners fuse), to the top of an Estes 'E' engine rocket motor with fins attached. The things would go up about 250 ft., launch the uber cherry bomb from the parachute charge and in 5 seconds go off with a profoundly satisfying thump.

A neighbor kid bought several from us, and launched them from his back yard. He lit the fuses then ran inside his house to watch them go off where he would be unseen. Unfortunately, a police helicopter chose that moment to come through the neighborhood. Needless to say, the launch proved to be far more exciting than he originally planned. I remember the headaches that came from handling nitroglycerin. Fascinating stuff. Take an eye dropper full. Heat a spoon until it glows. Start dropping nitro on the hot spoon. At first it burns up, but as it cools, it get's to a temperature at which the nitro detonates, and every drop goes with a loud report. Very interesting stuff. Black powder fire crackers... eh.

Of course, anyone trying any of this today would be locked up, and they'd throw away the key... sad.

The largest legal firecracker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42448947)

The German "1. SprengV" law divides firecrackers into different categories. Category 2 is the one that may be sold to anyone aged 18 or above on the last two work days of a year and may be burnt on December 31 and January 1. Compared to the other categories they are restricted only by having a maximum loudness of 120dB(A) at their designated safety distance of 8m. Because of price dumping the cheap ones - regardless of size - sold in supermarkets don't come close to that limit. There are many who illegally import stronger firecrackers from f.ex. Poland [youtube.com] .

My uncle (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | about 2 years ago | (#42449419)

Blew his eye out trying to do exactly that. On the other hand, the glass eye lends itself to all sorts of party gags.

2 grams? Lame. (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 years ago | (#42450081)

Bought a nice firework once in Naples. Set it off well away from the city. 10kg monster, made a nice bang. A trebuchet for it would have been nice.

Put two in a pipe (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 years ago | (#42450095)

Old trick: Put two in a pipe, then you have a fire cracker launching fire cracker, which is a whole lot more spectacular.

Fortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42452059)

Fortunately Nazi Germany was defeated. Otherwise this guy would be testing his equipment out on Jews.

Weak firecrackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42452069)

That is one large weak firecracker. It barely has the power to destroy the casing, these are like the fake M-80's called M-90's you find in the southern states here in the US. 2 grams is tiny. Would be better to make a cherry bomb instead with that much powder. That would be louder.

Re:Weak firecrackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42453847)

That is one large weak firecracker. It barely has the power to destroy the casing, these are like the fake M-80's called M-90's you find in the southern states here in the US. 2 grams is tiny. Would be better to make a cherry bomb instead with that much powder. That would be louder.

You'd do just as well with a bolt full of match heads. Ignition is easier too (although the shrapnel is more dangerous) -- ignition on impact.

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