View Full Version : Absolutely simplest gun design?

Oleg Volk
May 11, 2000, 12:36 PM
If you were suddenly in need of a gun and had to MAKE one using your existing set of skills and available tools, what would you make? I am assuming no opportunity to test-fire it before use.

My thoughts are along the lines of a single-shot steel tube roughly the size of a 12 gauge (or 20 gauge is 12 isn't available) and about two feet in length. Load from the muzzle and hold the shell in place by wrapping the plastic part with tape for snug fit. Pinch the tube behind the shell with just a little space left for the firing pin (any steel rod). trigger could mimic Mat49 or another SMG design (a pivot releasing the firing pin in place of the usual bolt).

The expected performance ought to yield a hard-kicking (wrap the barrel in bubble wrap :) ) single-shot with m.v. around 600-700 fps and effective range of 15ft. Use of #3 buck would scatter about 40 .25cal pellets in a circle of about torso width.

The big question is whether the pinched tube would rupture and make an actual open bolt "zip gun" more practical. I am just curious if doing no other operations beyond cutting a steel tube could yield a usable tool.

Oleg "peacemonger" Volk


James K
May 11, 2000, 01:06 PM
Simplest gun I ever saw was actually manufactured in the Philippines after WWII and sold here. It was based on guns the guerillas supposedly used against the Japanese.

Two pieces of pipe, one of a size to accept an inserted 12 gauge shotgun shell, the other of a size to allow the first to be a sliding fit in it. The back of the larger pipe is closed with a pipe cap which is drilled and tapped for a screw which is pointed at the front end.

To fire: With two parts separated, Insert a shell into the back of the inside pipe. Insert inside pipe into outside pipe and pull inner pipe back so shell primer hits the pointed screw. Bang! Remove inner pipe and pry out shell or punch it out with a long stick. Repeat.

The commercial versions used good quality steel tubing; the originals used water pipe.

Another gun that is easy to make is a sub- machine gun. The toughest part is the magazine.


Oleg Volk
May 11, 2000, 01:09 PM
Would the wieght of the inner tube absolb the recoil or would user's hand end up bruised?

May 11, 2000, 03:06 PM
black powder matchlock in same 12 ga. using
a slug,pipe hose clamped to old mauser stock
plus a hefty welded recoil lug on pipe,maybe
forget the hose clamps,hmmmmm?

May 11, 2000, 04:13 PM
How 'bout a "zip" gun?

Section of car antenna, .22 short, wooden cloths pin, and a chunk of inner tube.

I'll leave the description a little vague, cause ya never know might be reading these, but I'm guessin' most of you know what I mean.



May 11, 2000, 07:22 PM
I don't know if you remember me trying to describe a gun a bought at an auction.... (in a email a month or so ago) BUT... it sounds exactly like the one Jim Keenan is talking about. Jim... did it have a "front" pistol grip kinda like the one on a Thompson SMG? I bought one at a auction a year or so ago for $40.00 just because I never saw one before. No one seems to know who made it, or what it was for! I call it my SLAM FIRE. I still haven't found anyone brave enough to test fire it! :D


May 13, 2000, 01:17 PM
Off topic realy but I think in line with the reasoning.A wristrocket with 1/2 inch steel balls would probably be as effective as any thing on this thread.Also do leave bows out.
Crossbows another option.It isn't the weapon as much as it is the tactics used and the man or women behind it.

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world;
and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men
every day who don't know anything and can't read.
-Mark Twain

James K
May 13, 2000, 02:50 PM
Hi, CJB,

Yes, the ones sold here had a vertical foregrip like the TSMG. I never fired one, but maybe you would fire yours and let us know how it works. I will observe from here.

Actually, they must have been safe; I never heard of any warnings against them or any lawsuits.


Dave McC
May 15, 2000, 01:49 AM
The Phillipines had many resistance movements during the Japanese occupation,and a real shortage of firearms. Even matchlocks were used, but the most common weapon was that pipe shotgun. A few of those would be used in an ambush,in gaining a number of Japanese army weapons, then passed on to another resistance fighter.For speed in loading,a method was to fire the weapon, stick a round in the muzzle, and swap ends. The old empty would be blown away, but patterns were affected.

May 15, 2000, 11:08 AM
I think that the manufacturer of your shotgun may be Richardson Industries, and the model was the M5 Paliuntod. Is the trigger on the gun actually the safety?
There have been a number of types of homemade shotguns made and recovered in the Phillipines. They range from simple pipe length guns with nail or screw firing pins up to selective fire revolver and box mag fed shotguns. There were also pistol size shotguns (one break-open type was a very good copy of the M1911 pistol). I would refer the curious to Thomas Swearengen's World's Fighting Shotguns from Ironside International Publishers for pictures, illustrations and more anecdotal material.

May 16, 2000, 03:12 AM
3/4" galvanized pipe has roughly the same inside dia. as a 12 ga. shell so you could easily make a shotgun from a piece of 3/4 pipe(barrel)threaded on one end, section of 2x4(stock), 3/4 cap(breech plug), a stack of washers(spacers inside 3/4 cap), a piece of rod stock the same dia. as the inside dia. of the washers(firing pin), and a clothes pin spring. The hardest part would be making the firing pin.
Drill a hole in cap smaller dia. than the inside dia. of washers. Turn down end of rod stock to make a shoulder on one end and a protrusion that fits through the cap. The other end is made to have a little button on it to strike the primer with. The washers act as a guide for the firing pin and a spacer to keep the shell snug in the barrel. The spring is mounted to stock behind barrel assy. Pull spring back with thumb and release to fire.
It could be done but I'm not ballsy or stupid enough to do it.

August 20, 2010, 02:27 PM
Once upon a time, a loooong time ago when I was a kid in NY, zipguns were made from a 4" long piece of 2x3 with a 10" section of tubular car radio antenna wired down atop it and a door's hinge pin used as a pull-back firing pin against an innertube loop, with it's bottom end pivoting in a notch cut into the rear of the "grip" the appropriate distance below the "barrel".

I always liked a bang stick (google) better though.


August 20, 2010, 04:43 PM
I do believe this one is a contender for the oldest zombie thread I have ever seen. 10 years old!

August 20, 2010, 08:29 PM
How about the bazooka we made when we were kids? Water pipe with a cap on one end and a small fire hole drilled in the cap. Poured water in, threw in a hand ful of Bangsite (carbide) and shoved a clay ball down it, then put a match to the small hole. It was powerful enough to knock the window out of the garage.

August 20, 2010, 08:41 PM
This Thread is more than 3,650 days old. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
If you feel it is absolutely necessary to make a new reply, you can still do so.
I am aware that this Thread is rather old but I still want to make a reply.

Hi Oleg! ;)

I'd suggest using Roman Candles instead

August 21, 2010, 04:14 PM
How about an adapter to turn any old 760 pumpmaster BB gun into a single shot .410/.45ACP?

I made on in my machining class a few years ago. It takes a lathe, but all it is is two pieces of steel stock drilled out, threaded and tapped the right way/size, and some rifling added for legality and you've got a firearm.

August 21, 2010, 05:57 PM
MAY 11 2000,?! Wow!! Any ways how about that old "Skeleton Rifle", I think it was an Iver Johnson wasn't it? Pretty simple, I'd like to have another one, Gosh I had an over under .22- .410 Dang I wish I had that rifle still, I also had just the .22 rifle , both were Wrinkle paint coated, and it was durable!!:)

August 25, 2010, 01:51 AM
WoW ! I don’t think I’ve ever posted on the same thread over ten years between posts .. had ta do it …:cool:

To get back on topic …
improvised big zip gun … 6 parts, 1 tool
Tools needed : file
Hydraulic fittings #8 size … O-ring style Tee, 2 flare fittings, bulkhead flare fitting 3/8 bolt with end filed down to make a 1/16 inch nipple in the middle (for firing pin) 3/8 nut.
Screw short side of bulkhead flare into the side leg of the tee for a grip. Run bolt through flare fitting and thread on nut, leaving ¼ inch or so slack. Screw into Tee with head of bolt on outside. Drop .38/.357 cartridge into flare fitting and screw into Tee. Pistol fires by hitting head of bolt with free hand.

Using # 10 size fittings and 7/16 bolt (with the peaks of the threads shaved a little) would make a .45 Long Colt )
For a barrel… Regular flare fitting is a snubbie, bulkhead flare would give about a 1-1/4 inch barrel.

Of course, everyone here should already know to NEVER do this … big-time illegal and unsafe.:eek:

Bud Helms
August 25, 2010, 02:42 AM
Let's put this one to sleep again.