The Firecracker Crossbow

if firecracker-crossbows are outlawed, only outlaws will have firecracker-crossbows!


If there are two things that we love at [HAD], giant German firecrackers, and medieval weapons would have to be close to the top of this list. This clever hack gives us both, with a toy crossbow capable of both lighting and launching firecrackers to a safe distance. We didn’t see a blooper reel, but being ready to run in case of a malfunction is probably a good idea as well.

The post has some pictures of the mechanism, but at its heart, this hack consists of ripping up a grill igniter, and placing the contacts into a shortened-stock toy crossbow. Safety is of course encouraged, as much as it can be with this type of device. It’s especially important here as apparently “firecracker” roughly translates in German to “small sticks of high-explosive,” or possibly “road flare.”

Be sure to check out this modded crossbow in action in the video after the break!


40 thoughts on “The Firecracker Crossbow

  1. I’m fairly sure if there are TWO things you love then the TWO things on that list is not “close to the top”, they’re the entire list.

    But I might be wrong, maths are not really my thing.

  2. Crossbows can apparently also shoot carrots, but I wouldn’t call it a hack. Firing vegetables out of a crossbow is probably just as amusing and less likely to get you a custodial sentence.

    1. Yeah this reminded me of secondary school france trip. The BB guns we bought used plungers/compressed air and springs to fire – the firecrackers fitted perfectly in the ends of the guns!

      Such a perfect fit that one got stuck and exploded inside the hotel room rather than being fired out of the window. Plastic shards EVERYWHERE.

      1. I was lucky enough to grow up in Germany ( Waldorf to be exact ) and my brother and I loved the holidays because that meant it was fireworks time. That image you linked, @saw0, reminded me of some of our favorite purchases. I can’t get fireworks like that here in Florida, though, boo. I used to love the little cube-ish grenade things that were wrapped with twine. They were loud.

        The year after the Challenger Shuttle blew up I was off-put by the availability of big bottle rockets with the Challenger on them… even in seventh grade I thought it was a little distasteful.

  3. I always loved firecrackers when I was a kid. Many a plastic army man or ant hill was sacrificed for my entertainment. I never quite understood the attraction of throwing/launching firecrackers, however.

  4. I remember when I was a LITTLE KID and firecrackers were the greatest thing ever – now they’re boring, noisy, stinky, stupid, and a complete waste of time and money.

    Funny how perspectives change over time.

  5. I’ve done something similar with little spinning jumping jack fireworks in the US. I used a suction cup dart gun. I cut the suction cup end off the dart and tied the back end to the gun with string, then pushed back end of the dart and a jumping jack in, lit the firework, shot it, and it spun up in to the air. Definitely more dangerous than the jumping jack being lit on the ground, but much more interesting and a great noise as it spun up and away.

    1. When I was at school we used to throw jumping jacks into toilet cubicles whilst people in them were having a dump and then watch them trying to keep their trousers out of harm’s way by holding their legs vertically.

      They’re banned in the UK now – Maybe one of my schoolmates went into politics :(.

  6. I would have never imagined that german firecrackers are considered as “big” since pyrotechnics are so strictly regulated here. If you want to use a model rocket engine bigger than a standard D7 you have to have an official licence for which you need to attend a course, pass a written test and have a clean criminal record!

  7. Far out. From here on out no more raggin on Europe in the comments, especially Deutschland. Too bad lighter lock doesn’t sound as cool as match lock.Could make firecrackers fun again. I gotta keep this in mind even if I don’t know where or when I’ll be able to use it. Damn drought has Kansas like a tinder box.

  8. Hmm, funny thing is that in a war, exploding and burning bullets are outlawed, but hey, exploding ROCKETS are perfectly fine. XD Amazingly, shotguns were illegal for soldiers to use during WWII, but you could use flame-throwers and supersonic rifle rounds which just love to go through several walls. Now we have combat shotguns that are designed for more than just spreading the lead. You can even take doors down with one without spraying pellets everywhere! :D

    Knowing the US, there’s probably a (possibly state/local) law against these for much of the reason that knife-guns (originally based on the stolen Russian design?) were made illegal in Florida. What I want is an antigun. It decelerates bullets before they even touch your armor, heh. Well we can dream, even it sounds like SciFi.

  9. Oh, forgot to mention a possible improvement:
    Instead of an electric igniter, just use something like Everstrike matches and sandpaper/flints. This way they can’t possibly ignite unless they’re moving. This would prevent the jamming issue, although the fireworks might not start as easily.

  10. Reworded because it’s being over-filtered.
    Essentially, I think that someone posted this site to a Yahoo group or something, because there’s a sudden increase in random-named commenters attacking the freedom on this site.

  11. you-could-make-a-sandpaper-tube-to-fire-the-cracker-through.–dip-the-fuse-in-crushed-matchheads:pva-glue-solution-&-let-it-lay-along-the-side-of-the-cracker-tube-as-an-improved-light-mechanism.-p.s.-dont-ever-spill-water-on-laptop-keyboards

    1. Actually, I bet that would work! An alternative is something like that big magnifying lens in the other article focused on a point along a line that the fuse passes, heh.

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