Question of the Day: What Gun for Drones?

The intrepid boys at Danger Info have shown us the-not-too-distant future of domestic drone technology. You may look up from your back yard one day, annoyed by the high pitched whirr of rotors, only to see a hovering video platform staring right back at you. Now the guv’mint, as you’d expect, is taking a higher dollar approach to drone defense with a laser-powered weapon. But since it’ll be hard to generate the necessary kilojoules of energy you’d need from your standard utility hookup without blowing breakers throughout the neighborhood, you’ll probably want to use something you already have on hand. Our friends in the anti-2A community love to tout the potential a .50 cal rifle has of bringing down flying objects. But we’re thinking something as mundane as a Remmy 870 with some OO buck would acquit itself admirably. What would you use to take down that spy with the little unblinking eye?


  1. avatar m.ia says:

    11-87 with extended mod waterfowl choke from cabelas. 3″ 12 ga steel BBB or T shot. I have a stockpile of it and if it can drop a goose at 45 yards it should break a drones rotors easily.

  2. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    A nice stone upside the motherboard ought to do it, Randy

  3. avatar Steve in MA says:

    Stinger missile if they’re legal. otherwise, a 30-06

  4. avatar RAN58 says:

    What with the power of today’s hd camera’s and lenses regular drones can remain well beyond the range of shotguns. And hitting a drone that is hovering is one thing but a moving target is a lot harder. In my time in the infantry in the later 70’s early 80’s we used to practice shooting down a remote aircraft, not as easy as it seems.
    So why not utilize a low end kamikaze drone?

    1. avatar Mike S says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. BANZAI!!!!!

    2. avatar speedracer5050 says:

      70’s and 80’s?? Easy!! M60 MG just behind the roof peak or for much more giggles a 20mm Vulcan.
      At Ft Hood in the mid 80’s we actually practiced shooting drones( the MI Bn our LRS was assigned to had a UAV unit) and we got to shoot them with M60’s and even got the chance once on the range to fire at one with a Vulcan!!
      Talk about a hell of a giggle switch!

  5. avatar DrewN says:

    Yeah, radio interference of some kind seems the best option. I’m guessing remote control aircraft must have a limited range of assigned frequencies, probably wouldn’t take too much to crash one.

  6. avatar Cyrano says:

    I am sure all of the above if it came to it.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    Let’s see. You shoot down a drone for shits and giggles. Drone of course is videoing your actions the whole time. Next thing you know there’s a swat team stacking up outside.

    How’s about we ignore the drones and work, thru legal channels to get them regulated out of our lives.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Yep. If the Feds go apeshit (for good reason) over idiots shining lasers at aircraft, then I can imagine they’ll have a similar reaction to someone shooting down legally authorized drones in US airspace.

      On the other hand, if it’s some creeper using a drone to peek into people’s backyards, then a paintball gun seems like it would be eminently appropriate. I’ll be glad to spend 5 minutes hosing down whatever house is at the terminus of the ballistic trajectory for the rounds that inevitably miss.

      When I was in South Carolina with the extended family for a beach-house vacation this past summer, there was a creepy old guy with a golf cart towing a 6-foot helium blimp rigged up with a wireless video system. It took me a few minutes to realize that he was trolling the neighborhood for women sunbathing topless or nude poolside behind privacy fences. If I’d had a paintball gun that day…

  8. avatar old fashioned says:



  9. avatar great unknown says:

    I’m wondering if the green lasers which have been used against airline pilots might have an effect on the cameras in the drone. Otherwise, a drone mounted with a paintball gun would do wonders on the lens. This could be done without revealing the identity of the operator – taking into account the previous comment about a visit from your friendly SWAT team.

    Also, consider this, which I found in some obscure blog:

    The vertical range wouldn’t be 1000 yards on a standard rifle, but on a .50 caliber sniper rifle, this system would equal the range of the drone-mounted cameras.

  10. avatar Gregolas says:

    A Frisbee. Although one look at my ugly mug would probably cause it to explode.

  11. avatar mblakely says: “GPS Spoofing” seems to be the most effective. Many drones fly way out of the reach of your 12 gauge.

  12. avatar APBTFan says:

    First I’d start with a better drone,

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Beat me to it. Well played, sir, well played.

      1. avatar APBTFan says:

        It was the first thing that popped into my head! Personally I’d have lasers shoot from his eyes.

    2. avatar Aharon says:

      speechless here

  13. avatar RKflorida says:

    To shoot down enemy aircraft effectively you need to build fighter aircraft. Attack from a higher altitude and you can easily defeat it. It can’t be moving that radically while it is trying to get pictures/video of it’s intended target, so just wait and it will get itself nice and steady for your nifty “Fighter” drone. You guys can take it from there and arm this puppy with things like mini bang sticks, etc.

  14. avatar Sebudei says:

    GAU-8 Avenger. Go big or go home.

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      A .9mm minigun might work.

  15. avatar Bryan says:

    Depending on proximity…….I like the idea of a shotgun propelled throw net. Bringing down/crashing the drone. Upon switching the receiver I now have my own drone.

  16. avatar 4thInfantryVet says:

    There was somewhere I read that clear plastics make one “invisible” to IR… something about the materials used instead of showing white “hot” you would show “cold” instead.

    Other than that, high intensity lasers could fry out the optics.

  17. avatar Aharon says:

    I’m assuming the drone will not be a government drone but rather a violation of my privacy by some private citizen bent on a dark purpose. Since firing a real gun can cause real trouble in a city I would consider the drone a flying rat and take it out with my TruMark wrist rocket using 1/2″ white marble ammo for easier target acquisition. High quality sling shots can have an accurate long reach. Don’t laugh off old technology.

  18. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Well I think we need some references here as to what we are dealing with.
    1. Is this a DIY type drone or military grade.
    2. Is this a hover helicopter type drone or a fixed wing?
    3. Is the drone itself armed?

    All drones rarely have any type of armor. Military grade drones usually have encrypted communications as do digital transceivers for DIY. You could theoretically over power the entire spectrum but it would take a lot of power to do so. The new digital transceivers work off of pairing and mac addresses. So it only listens to signals from the transmitter.
    The easiest idea I can think of is a self destructing drone. It would be fast a nimble, there are electric flying wings which are quite fast. This would simple crash into the evil said drone and take it down. You would need some sort of infrared or other electronic directional device which would guide it home in it’s final approach but it would work. A small DIY from the neighbors kid could be shot down with a shot gun, since those are usually close enough.

  19. avatar Bulldog says:

    I prefer the technological irony of taking out a drone with a good ol’ bow and arrow meself.

  20. avatar Bulldog says:

    …or you could go the route the British Admiralty took in WWII to keep those Nazi planes from strafing too low: fire a rocket with a parachute and a trailing wire that will get wrapped around the propellers.

  21. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ll hit it with my high powered green laser which will etch leather and fry the camera. Oops!

  22. avatar APBTFan says:

    If it has a camera all I’d need to do is strip down naked. Naked me is enough to cure anyone watching the video feed to ever want to do it again.

  23. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Surplus weather balloon filled with helium, on 80-lb monofiliment, from salt-water reel mounted to portable anchor. A few hundred feet of monofilament to get it high enough that it is over the drone altitude, watch the flight path, move it into the vicinity. Call it “drone fishing”.

  24. avatar The Knight says:

    Maser Weapon. Not sure if a homemade one is powerful enough.
    Written by a Phd theoretical physicist who understands wave propagation, lasers, masers.

  25. avatar Dr John G says:

    A Browning A5 Goose Gun

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