Along the same idea, and certainly with the "Hey kids, DON'T try this at home!" caveat...
When I was 9 years old or so, my cousin and I would take 22LR ammo and try to shoot pigeons that would be on the ground near our neighbors barn, by putting a rock on the ground, putting the shell on the rock and then slamming another rock down on it.
We never managed to hit one and the shells didn't even go off most of the time but sometimes they did. We would occasionally see a poof of dust near the pigeons. We were thoroughly convinced that we'd built ourselves a rifle.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.