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Discussion Starter #1
A childhood friend and I were discussing our youthful exploits a while back and the subject of "gunfights" came up. We both remembered the "rubber" guns made with innertubes and clothepins, the cork guns made with pieces of pipe and a rag wrapped dowel as a plunger.
We also remembered the "match guns" that fired a flaming match. But neither of us could remember how the match guns were made.
It's eating me alive that I can't remember how to make them.
Did any of you play with these weapons and if so how were they made?
 

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:D Like you, my memory is clouded on the actual construction of the match guns. I remember that old fashioned clothes pins were the main component. Rubber bands were also needed. All else fails me, so far. I do remember nearly burning my uncle's barley crop while "shooting" one of 'em.
 

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I remember something very similar. We made them with a spool thread came on. A rubber band was cut and taped over one end of the center opening. The match went into the other end of the opening. A quick swipe against something hard lit the match.

It was all fun and games until I shot one into the back of my older brothers pants. He wasn't half as mad as my Dad.
 

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I remember the guns well, but I can't think of the details of manufacture. A three-piece wooden clothespin, two wood halves and a coil spring, had to be taken apart. The two halves were laid back to back. That's where memory fails me. It also had a striker, but I can't even remember what we used for that.
I hadn't thought about them for a long time, now I want one again.
DC
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One guy I talked to said he thot they were rubberband powered but I don't think so.

Do you remember the buzzers made with a match, paperclip and rubber band that were placed in an envelope and buzzed dramaticaly when the envelope was opened?
 

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I remember the same thing as Bigfoot, and with Ohio Blue Tip Matches. Nowadays they would lock a kid up as an arsonist, and bring in the shrinks. Now, how about the two bolts and a nut with a couble of match heads or a couple of caps for a cap gun----Had a lot of fun with those as well. Also remember a match incident that goes back to when those fuzzy Banlon type sweaters were big. Was just about the time I was starting to smoke, about 14 or maybe younger (we all smoked back then). Anywho, was sitting at a soda fountain and my 14-15 yr. old buddy was lighting a cigarette when another kid with a water pistol walked in and squirted him. He flipped the lit match at the kid with the water pistol. That fuzz on the fuzzy Banlon went up just like singed hair. Went out just as fast as it went up. Scared the **** out of the one wearing the sweater, and he beat feet out of the area. Seems like yesterday-was pushing over 50 years ago. Kids were kids then. They are pushed far to hard today, and a lot of kids don't know how to create their own fun!
Paul
 

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I also remember an incident involving an envelope, small manila 1" x 2", full of Ohio Blue tips in my older brothers' back pocket. Seems I swatted him for some reason with an old tennis racket on the rear. It ignited the matches and didn't even hurt when I was pounded because I was laughing too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I sent my request for information to a friend in OK. Here is his reply.


I don't know how to make a kitchen match gun. However, in grade school we
used to sneak into the Coal House during recess, stuff pulverized match
heads into the 'nut' part of a bicycle spoke, poke a sharpened match stick
into the spoke, hold a lit match under it, and laugh like crazy when it
exploded and shot the match stick like a bullet. It was even more fun if we
could hit someone with the match stick, but they had to be really new to
Wayside School, or really stupid to get hit, because it took several minutes
and a couple of matches to heat it up enough for the damn thing to blow up.

We also played marbles "for keeps," shot bean flips and sling shots, played
"Keep Away" when the teacher was outside and "Take Away" when she was
inside. We used a basketball for Take Away which made my first pickup
basketball game at Jr. High, in "Town," embarrassing for everyone. We had
to fight every boy in all eight grades. The ones we couldn't whip we got to
fight a couple of times a week. There was one kid I never could whip and he
wanted to fight on a regular basis. I hadn't seen him for twenty years
when, one day he walked into my office in Vinita. Without realizing I had
done it, I jumped up ready to fight. He laughed and said he hadn't come to
fight, that he had been saved and now was a preacher. (Thank you
Jaheeesus!)
 

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Reading this thread brought back a lot of memories, and since no one could remember how to make a match gun, I thought I'd try. Oddly enough, I remembered.

Here's how it goes:
1. Take the spring off a wooden clothespin.
2. Place the spring on the bottom clothespin wood with the front prong inserted in the forward groove on the outside of the clothespin, the spring folded backward.
3. Go to the large rounded area about 1/2 way along in the center of the clothespin.
4. Take the forward edge of the rounded area and square it off.
5. The idea is that you push the spring back and the rear prong goes into the squared-off front of the rounded area and that holds it under spring tension with the spring(trigger) in the more or less straight up and down position.
6. Rubberband the back (thin) part of the two clothespin halves together so that they are in the same position they were in prior to altering the clothespin.
7. Insert a kitchen match into the gun until it won't go in any further, with the head of the match facing the rear of the gun.
8. Aim in a safe direction and pull the trigger.

I just did all the above and got a flaming match that traveled about 15 feet into a very mild headwind and started to set some weeds on fire in my back yard.

Have fun teaching the grandkics this as your revenge on your own children.

Ka6otm
 

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Can you post a picture?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yea! That's it.
Tore the house up last night. Due to modern convienences, did not find a clothes pin. Going to WalMart today and the war will be on.
 

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Oh yeah. As soon as I saw the pic I ran out to the clothesline and grabbed a pin . Although somewhat weathered, the pin was still able to perform. There were Diamomd matches all over the driveway. Sub 3 ft groups at ten feet. LOL. Gotta keep this one away from the grandkids. Thanks.
 

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Hi all
In Baltimore in the 1940's my friends had match guns and they were constructed with a frame of either a broom handle section or a pencil. The barrel( an empty thread spool or two) was fastened to the frame with rubber bands.A trigger was fashoned from a spring clothespin one side of which was fastened to the frame with rubberbands.
The top of the clothespin had an extra rubberband wrapped around it to increase the springs pressure.
The power for the device came from an innertube strip that was to the barrel fastened by guess what? Either wrapped string or more rubberbands.
A sulpher tipped match stick (the projectile)was breach loaded down the barrel(spool)and gripped by the innertube strip which in turn was stretched back and held cocked between the jaws of the clothespin trigger.
Take aim.and squeeze the trigger,and the projectile would shoot out and burst into flame on impact.
I hung out with an older crowd whose dads had tools and they
were allowed to use them.Their moms lit the stove with wood,sulpher topped Diamond Blue Tip matches so they also had an amunition source.
I on the other hand I had a dad who wasn't sure of which end of the screwdriver one would use,if one had a screwdriver.My mom had all the modern stuff like an ice box and a stove with a pilot light(when the pilot would blow out my dad would call the service man to come relight it)--hence no easy access to matches.
Necessity being the mother of invention,I came to construct a new model match gun which had no frame or trigger.
My grandfather who was a tailor had lots of old wooden spools,one of which became my barrel a thick rubberband fastened to the barrel was pulled back like a slingshot and a regular wooden match stick was my projectile.I solved the ignition problem by lining the spool hole with the striker abrasive from the match box.
Aim ,pull back the match sloooly and let er rip.That boy came flaming out of the barrel.At short range it was devastating.
The older kids terrorized me at long range,but up close and personal,watch out.
More then fifty years ago.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Isn't it great to be able to recall all the things we did that would get our grandkids thrown in jail.
It' a wonder we survived!
ka6otm's model is the one I remember. The other models would work. A cousin e-mailed to say that when in the boy Scouts (40 years ago) they made it a practice to light their council fires with a model of gun similar to ka6otm's.
 
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