Ban Flashlights!

Flashlight zip gun (courtesy

It’s easy to make a gun! Tube, nail, rubber band, cartridge and Bob’s your uncle. “Zip guns” may not offer GLOCK-like reliability or Springfield XD-esque capacity but they will fire a ballistic projectile. Back in the day, zip guns were plumbers’ specials, fashioned from lengths of pipe, particularly popular in “gun-free” NYC. This modified Helping Hand flashlight shows that the concept has grown a bit more sophisticated. I’d sooner have one of these than . . .

the vaporware Palm Pistol, which could be mistaken for an asthma inhaler. Ouch.

I’m glad the St. Alban’s police called in the local bomb squad to handle the incident. And I so totally believe this guy just found the gun. Oh, and if anyone does offer a single-shot flashlight it should be Surefire. Amiright?

[h/t Dr. Johnny Ray]


  1. avatar MikeP says:

    Sure on the Surefire. But a mini Maglite would offer a cross-merchandising opportunity with CCI.

    1. avatar Kevin A. says:

      This made me laugh uncontrollably.

  2. avatar scoolbubba says:

    Looks very similar to the pencil flare launcher I used to carry in a SV2. That would fire a .38 blank easy peazy.

    Might want to try to sell these to the Navy…a twofer on survival gear!

    1. avatar Rick says:

      Yep, looks like whoever built it was heavily influenced by the design of the Mk 79 Mod 0 pencil flare gun.
      (Yes, I had to get my NATOPS out for the nomenclature. Cut me some slack, it’s been 21 years since my last checkride.)

      And is what we’re talking about

      1. avatar scoolbubba says:


        Don’t forget to screw your pencil flares on with the launcher in the “cocked” position.

  3. avatar Lfshtr says:

    Use a car radio antennae and bingo .22 cal. zip gun. People have been engineering for decades. You can also include bump keys. Better not say to much more, we’re being watched.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Hollow automotive aerials are generally one with the dust o’ history.

      Hobby-grade stainless tubing secured in 1/4″ steel pipe by a layer o’ JB Weld, on the other hand…

      1. avatar Don says:

        cough… brake line… cough.

        1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

          Brake line is typically 1/8″, 3/16″ or 3mm.

        2. avatar DavidT says:

          OK, fuel line then, available up to 1/2 inch.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Reminds me of my neighbor. He died putting up Christmas lights.
      Fell off the roof, landing on his ford Aerostar with his arms outstretched. The AM/FM antenna punctured him through the armpit into his heart.

      He died of a Van-aerial disease….

      1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

        I admit…I groaned, then chuckled.

      2. avatar peirsonb says:

        Must not laugh….

        1. avatar Andrew says:

          Its okay, I laughed for both of us.

      3. avatar Gregolas says:

        I laughed, I cried, it moved me Tom.

      4. avatar Deadeye says:

        Man that is sick. I like it!

  4. avatar Maineuh says:

    We joke about banning flashlights, but would any of us be surprised if that’s the next common item to be demonized within the hallowed halls of our schools? Nope. Not surprised at all. At least a flashlight can actually be used in a self-defense way, unlike the freakin’ pop tart or the freak squirt guns.

    1. avatar knightofbob says:

      I have an old, giant Maglite that has been an object of debate more than once (it wasn’t popular with higher ups during room inspections when I was in the Air Force, but there was also no rule against it. I told them if they made me get rid of it, I’d go buy the heaviest ball-peen hammer at the BX and keep that by my bed).

      1. avatar great Unknown says:

        Have one of those also, and am now considering converting it to shoot .50BMG. Of course, given the recoil, it would be useful for simultaneous targeting front and back. As long as I let go in time.

        1. avatar knightofbob says:

          I’m thinking a miniaturized recoilless rifle design in something like 7.62×54. I mean, not my flashlight, too much sentimental value. But if some talented machinist might want to modify one like it…

  5. avatar John says:

    How about banning the wheelchairs?

    “A Houston nursing home resident accused of using the armrest of his wheelchair to beat two of his roommates to death faces a capital murder charge, the police said Wednesday. Guillermo Correa, 56, is accused of killing Antonio Acosta, 77, and Primitivo Lopez, 51, at the Lexington Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday night.” Day&region=FixedCenter&action=click&pgtype=article

    Them old feisty people are running a dangerous weapon around all over the place.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      How does one guy beat TWO people to death. Wheelchair ninga? Joe Biden doublebarrel wheelchair?

      1. avatar Chris (not one of the other 2 chris's) says:

        He was only 56?

  6. avatar The mayor of Candor says:

    I’d go with Elzetta.

  7. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    Time to make a new battery size that is 0.452, 0.429, 0.357, or 0.224 inches in diameter!

  8. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    I’ll just make me a phased plasma LASER pointer in the 40 watt range…

    1. avatar Todd S says:

      Sorry pal. Only what you see on the shelf.

  9. avatar Hannibal says:

    “Saturday, Tolbert and a friend were walking by the Wendy’s in St. Albans when they thought they saw a flashlight on the ground.However, Tolbert was about to be the only thing lit up.”

    I see what you did there.

    And the whole story sounds like bull.

    1. avatar J Star says:

      My thoughts too. Yeah buddy, you “found” it. Right after you made it and it went off when you were loading it, right?

  10. avatar lolinski says:

    What really bothers me is the lack of proper grammar. Shouldn’t it be “man shot with flashlight-gun”? Since a flashlight un-modified cannot be used to shoot someone, also it can’t shoot someone by itself.

  11. avatar Shire-man says:

    Dude looks just like Artie, the strongest man in the world.
    I guess things havent been too good since the show ended living in a zip gun filled trailer park and eating at Dennys.

  12. avatar TITAN308 says:

    I thought the title said FleshLight at first.

  13. avatar Bill says:

    you can also make some pretty effective suppressors out of flashlights 😮

    1. avatar J Star says:

      At least according to The Walking Dead.

  14. avatar Bob says:

    Don’t forget the ubiquitous cell phone guns. You know, the ones that any time a cop is being recorded he or she wants that phone to “make sure it’s not a weapon ’cause we see those all the time and I’m fearing for my safety.”

  15. avatar defensor fortisimo says:

    So if you have a light with a strike bezel, would that count as a permanent bayonet/grenade launcher attachment point?

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