Gut Rumbles

April 28, 2005

rubber band guns

A commenter brought this subject back to mind. I had rubber band fights all my life, and yes I DID carve up an inner tube once to make ammo for my "cannon."

We all made our own guns then, using a clothes-pin and a piece of wood. I can show a kid how to do THAT today, but nobody is interested anymore. Kids prefer their video games. Kids. Most of 'em don't know what a chinaberry is, let alone how to make a "popper."

Do YOU know what a chinaberry is? Have YOU ever shot or been shot by a "popper?"

Pardon... I digress. What I started out to say was that I once built a rubber band gun that resembled a crossbow and had 12 clothes-pins on it. That was my scattergun. I could load 12 rubber bands on that thing and be ready for bear, as long as I remembered in which order I loaded the bands.

You had to fire them last one first, first one last, or they'd get all tangled up. I managed to keep that part straight and I killed many a bad guy with that weapon. It was awesome.

And the strangest thing is... I thought up the idea and I built it myself. It didn't come off the shelf at Wal-Mart. Mama didn't buy it for me. She let me steal 12 clothes-pins, but the rest was all my doing. I was a pretty clever young man.

A LOT of us made our own toys back then. I know that I'm waxing nostalgic and sounding like an old fart now, but I believe that sorta stuff made us better, stronger and tougher than kids I see growing up today. These modern pansies drink bottled water. I drank from a garden hose. Kids today wear Tommy Hilfinger and Nike. I was happy to have clothes at all. Kids today have gourmet frozen dinners. I ate pinto beans and cornbread.

Face it. I envy the spoiled brats.


A twelve shot rubber band gun is pretty impressive.

The weather like it is right now, 85 degrees and perfect reminds me of summers in New Orleans...
blasting Dragonflies out of the air with rubberband
guns. Or having a nearly continuous rubber band
gun war with the kids down the street that lasted all
summer, with the guns getting more elaborate until we were all armed with 4 shot pistols and 2 shot broomstick rifles.

Nowadays the rubber band companies would be sued out of existence. or one kid would get zapped in the face and pull out a 9 mm.
It was amazing how the arms race

Posted by: Joe on April 29, 2005 12:00 AM

I don't envy them one damn bit. I miss those days. That's why the world is going to pot now, all those spoiled little brats are starting to grow up.
Unemployment will one day be a thing of the past. There will be jobs available on every damn block in every damn city but non of those kids will want to work, they will still want everything handed to them.

Posted by: dawn on April 29, 2005 12:32 AM

a belated welcome back to blogging. I've been busy dealing with a Dad who's been in the hospital for almost a week now, and on top of that, I had finals. And I'm the only relative in the area withing 100 miles to help him.

But I digress. Your post reminded of my great grand father, as I was fortunate to visit with him when my family made a trip to the '82 World's Fair in Tennessee.

I had just started high school when we visited him.

Before he died, about a year later, he sent my brother and I the two things he felt every young boy growing up should have; a pocket knife, and a hand-made slingshot, which was assembled from a forked tree branch, a piece of leather, and two bits of wide rubber band.

I tried to use the slingshot, and one of the bands broke due to being hardend. I still have that homemade slingshot somewhere.

I agree that it is a shame more kids today don't have the opportunity to do things like making their own toys and running around wild, as young boys should do for a while.

Damn, I'm sounding like an old grouch, and I'm only 37!

Keep listening to your muse and writing. I'll keep reading your blog to enjoy the things you chose to relate of your days of being a yoot, or Southern life in general.

Posted by: KenS on April 29, 2005 12:54 AM

rubber band fights were cool, Peach fights were better, itch all night. But! Bagworm fights were the best!
Maybe being from Oklahoma, lots of peeps don't know a bagworm from a bag lady. About the nastiest fight I know of... It's too funny! If you have to ask, don't, some things are best left alone...murrry

Posted by: murry on April 29, 2005 02:18 AM

check this out:

Posted by: Gregor on April 29, 2005 07:08 AM

Yep. Those were the good old days. I built many a potato cannon, rubberband gun and the like. Me, my brothers and friends used to setup in a cow pasture and fire potatos, cow turds and whatever else would fit in the cannon at each other. We used to chase fat girls and shoot them in their fat asses with the rubberband gun. We had alot of fun raiding trash piles and building suicide wagons to ride down the hill or pull behind a bike. I used to make small black powder bombs too. The most fun I ever had and the most trouble I ever got in was setting up my sisters Barbie dolls in their dollhouse and setting off one of my bombs in the house. Who says guys can't play with dolls? My brothers and I laughed for hours and had sore asses for a week from the ass whipping but it was worth it. Ahhh the good old days. I sure miss them.

Posted by: assrot on April 29, 2005 08:33 AM

When I was a kid ... we were so poor ... we were so poor that on Christmas morning, if you didn't wake up with a hardon, you didn't have anything to play with.

Posted by: Max on April 29, 2005 08:50 AM

Talking about todays kids being coddled too much, I seen a Soccer-mom sitting at the end of her driveway with a kid in their running SUV this morning. Bus rolls up, kid hops out & runs to bus, before bus moves, mom has backed up the driveway & got out of the SUV. Total distance was about 100' or so. And it was a nice 50ish outside, and clear.

My mom would have laughed and kicked me out of the house if I ever tried to get her to do that.

Envy, no. Worried about the future? Hell yes!

Posted by: RickR on April 29, 2005 09:25 AM

Here is a comment on today's kids, I was lamenting that when I was a boy not only did we have no air conditioning, we only got three channels on the TV (black and white!). When asked to list them, my son asked since we could not get channel 4, how did we watch our VCR?

where to begin?

Posted by: hoosierboy on April 29, 2005 09:46 AM

I always favored the heavy rubber band and a box of hair pins. Those fuckers HURT when they hit you and they had long range accuracy. I always favored the movie balcony as a hide. See sniper wannabe in my previous comments.

Posted by: DrugStore Cowboy on April 29, 2005 10:08 AM

Speaking of bombs. I think one of the stranger things that ever happened was a bottle rocket fight we had. We used old tent poles as rocket launchers. youd set up somewhere in the woods take aim at the dumbass across the way light the fuse. get the hell burned out of your hand as the rocket took off and bam miss damn near everything by a mile. You couldnt hit shit with a bottle rocket until the worst possible moment. Hell half the time nobody knew who was shooting at them. Shit flying all over the place.

Well I was no better at controlling them then anyone else, although freak occurences happened and one day I shot one straight as a damn arrow it bounced off a pine and blew up not a half inch from an unintended victims ear. Burned his ear lobe and of course as always when I post here, I got a ass beating.

Posted by: Lanceredstaterant on April 29, 2005 10:47 AM

Ahhhhh..... Yes.
The weapon of choice.
A handful hurt like hell.

Posted by: Boogpusser on April 29, 2005 11:30 AM

There are still kids growing up the same way u did. I'm only 18 and thats what i was raised on.

Posted by: Ryan on April 29, 2005 05:11 PM

Grew up in the 70s - the only girl with 3 brothers at the time (#4 came later). Every weekend I was pretty much exiled to my room until I HAD to eat or pee. The boys would set up their army men ALL OVER the house and the minute I opened that door and tried to come out I'd feel those rubber bands stingin' me everywhere. The long skinny kind. Those suckers HURT!

We also had a deep sandpit for a backyard. One day the oldest bro threw my Barbies into a 6' hole out there and told me I wasn't gettin 'em back unless I went in there after 'em. Being 5 or 6 at the time I thought, big deal I'll get 'em. When I tried to get out the sand just kept falling down on top of me and I was afraid I was gonna be buried so I gave up and yelled and screamed for probably 30-45 minutes before finally they helped me out. Of course, when I got out it was the usual: "I'm gonna tell MOOOOOOOOM". Just as I was yelling MOM, I got a sandball right in the mouth!

One of my younger bros, the lovable "hood", loved to make "Works" bombs. I'm pretty sure all that is is Works toilet cleaner and tin foil in an empty 2-liter pop bottle. Put the lid on an in a few seconds.....KABOOM! The cops came looking for him more than once, but never could pin it on him.

Posted by: Linda on April 29, 2005 05:26 PM

Don't give up hope quite yet. It wasn't all that long ago that I was a little kid, and we used to terrorize our classmates with all sorts of devious implements.

We used to take the tin foil from our school lunches, make them into little balls, and shoot them from straws like spitballs. Much more accuracy than a mere spitball, and plauseable deniability because they don't stick to the target. Best of all, not only can you can stockpile the little things, you can use a gravity fed magazine to make an "automatic" spitball shooter.

Woe to the other guy, when you got your hands on some McDonald's straws....

Posted by: Tim in PA on May 4, 2005 01:39 PM

OK this is crap. I'm in 5th grade and I make rubber band guns with sticks and clothes pins, i play with bottle rockets,wrestle on my tramplene,we have stick wars and it is realy fun. Only kids with bad parents grow up in the life u talk about

Posted by: Rob on May 26, 2005 08:40 PM

This is a stereotype i am 15 years old and I do not own a video game system. In my freetime i take apart small engines and shoot all of my freinds with the many rubberband guns that i built myself

Posted by: ryan neary on June 2, 2005 04:24 PM

I'm 15 and i own 6 video game systems and i play them all the time but i also steal rubber bands from my teachers and shoot them at the kids on the bus, have any of you elders ever made a really big bomb out of fertilaizer news paper and a lighter? untill you do that dont you complain about doing things the old way

Posted by: Dustin on June 16, 2005 09:36 PM

Im 13....and my friend and i always get bored and have to come up with something to do.....And You know what we did??? We made some rubber band guns...using a clothes-pin and some left over wood me and my dad used to make the porch with. So far we have 5 guns a Shotgun, Uzi, pistol, sub machine gun, and a MP5... We also made a potato gun and that was hilarious we didnt seal the piston good enough to withstand the hairspray and axe mixture so like half of or backyard was like in flames......hahahaha

Posted by: Sean Huber on January 1, 2006 10:35 PM

i knew a guy who got this gun imported from china, a 52 round elastic gun, which was powered by a battery, which went through a prossess to wedge the rubber bands off of notches on top of the gun. it even had a semi/fully auto switch on the side. i found another gun on the websight i found that sold these guns, being , which a bar was pulled across the wedges to lift the rubber bands off. being such a simple idea, why cant we get a piece of plywood and a dowel and build 50 shot rubber band guns on our own instead of 12 shot rubber band guns, or single shot clothspin guns? its not fully translated, but take a look at it,

Posted by: mecandles on February 17, 2007 07:28 PM
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