Bad Ideas, Episode 1: The Fireball Gun


Welcome, forum, to the premier episode of the “Bad Ideas” series. So, essentially this series will be a bunch of little ‘projects’ that I and/or MottVanLot and guests have endeavored to endanger ourselves by attempting. Now, generally I don’t wanna get all legal and shit, but basically I’m not telling you to do this, so if you do put your life on the line, it’s your fault. I admit that these are mostly stupid-ass ideas and ya shouldn’t try them. Even though they were awesome.

What it is:

Okay, so basically it’s a pipe maybe three feet long with one end plugged and a whole drilled a few inches in from the end of the plugged side. Also it shoots fireballs. Like.. big ones, too. We got one maybe a foot and a half across. The only problem is that you hafta use Baygon (it’s an aerosol spray that kills mosquitoes) as the fuel to insure the same results that we got. So don’t. Seriously, find a better fuel, it just has to be heavier than air and sufficiently flammable.

How it came about:

How, you ask, would I be so stupid as to make this horrible contraption? Well, you see, this kind of thing is what I do with my free time. Nearly getting myself killed is a little hobby of mine that I quite enjoy.

This particular time I was at my cousin’s house in Jakarta, Indonesia, and we decided that it would be a better day if we could further our goal of world domination by way of building our first weapon, the mighty potato gun. So after much searching through a factory our family owns, we came up with a suitable amount of PVC and proceeded to drag it through a street to my cousin’s house. After pausing to admire our work, we set to work, cutting free a section of tube approximately three feet long and two inches in diameter. In stopping to ponder our next move we quickly found that our raid of the factory had not turned up anything even close in shape to an end cap for our PVC mortar tube. Even in the ugly face of denial did we flinch, immediately setting forth into the depths of his garage to seek for a suitable replacement for an end cap. In but a moment we found what we might call a jewel in one of the many creaking and dusty cabinets. What we found was a paint can approximately 2.25″ wide and 3″ tall full of a whole lot of nothing and a little bit of completely solidified enamel. We lost no time in rushing it to the tube, only to find that the top rim of the paint can, maybe a quarter inch wide, was still too narrow for our tube to fit into. Losing not one ounce of hope, we sought for a way to implement our ideas, regardless of the width of the neck. Surveying our majestic mountains of crap, our eyes quickly fell upon a means of enforcing our will upon the paint can. Namely a hacksaw. With not a shred of doubt we set to cutting the top of the can off of the rest. Quickly succeeding and ripping away the scrapped top we tested the width of the can only to find that once again we had been foiled. The can was simply too wide now. voyaging once again into the abyss of the garage I brought forth a great ring of truth, and it’s name was, ‘Duct Tape’. We quickly set to wrapping an obscene amount of duct tape around the end of the pipe, soon getting to the point that the pipe and tape combination were just shy of the same size as the can. Slipping the can fully over the end of the tube we took a hammer to the bit of the can hanging over the duct tape, succeeding in tightening the can around the tape slightly. Finally, pulling a pair of pliers off the tool wall, we set to crimping the edge of the can so that it was effectively fixed to the pipe, blocking off one end. As the finishing touch we grabbed a power drill and put a hole in the pipe three inches from the plugged end of the tube, to serve as the firing mechanism.

Now, every good pyromaniac knows that you can’t just make something like this and not test it out, it would be an insult to the title and the device itself, like to a sin against humanity. So we rummaged through his house for an aerosol. We found one: Baygon, bane of mosquitoes. So we kept looking. Hell if we were going to burn an already toxic gas. In the end we found nothing. So we resorted to burning the toxic gas. Grabbing a lighter on our way out into the yard and in no time we had set the barrel up vertically and were spraying Baygon into the top. After a short 3 second burst I held up the barrel and my cousin flicked the lighter under the hole. This is where we found out that Baygon is heavier than air. We found this out because when he flicked the lighter it caught the gasses as they were being propelled out of the hole by the pressure of the gas above. Resulting in an enormously disappointing first fire. But we did not give up hope! We forged on, letting the first shot’s fuel supply drain out and aerate before spraying in a second dose of Baygon and this time tipping it before lighting it. Now, as I explain the next few instances it will be important to realize that it didn’t look like it was going to do anything. Halfway through the shot my uncle had the inclination to come outside and see what my cousin and I were doing. I obligingly moved aside, staying mostly clear of the line of fire at the same time as telling my cousin to tip it a little. He did, and at first there was nothing. At this point the barrel was tipped almost at me, as if on cue there was a nice “Whumph!” of gas and air being expelled from the barrel. Just as I jerk back from the noise the fireball manifests itself, exploding out the barrel and coming just inches from my face before vanishing into the night. Aside from me nearly getting hit by a fireball this whole ordeal was hilarious and me and my cousin burst out laughing.

tl;dr: It was awesome.

Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm  Leave a Comment