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Stephen Ward
(@stephen-ward)
1,000+ posts Member

I also discovered a use for the mountain of spent CO2 cartridges that I accumulated. 

They make great rocket bodies until you accidentally reinvent the grenade.  I had made a few and launched them horizontally, then I got curious to see how high one would go.  I went to the creek in the woods behind the house and set two flat rocks on the sand bar.  One was only tall enough to keep the fuse off the damp sand and the other was 4-5 inches tall so the cartridge/rocket could lean against it but still be almost vertical.  I used a short trail of rubbing alcohol for a delay and crouched down not more than ten feet away.   Instead of the expected whoosh, I got a blast.  I'm squatting there ten feet away hearing pieces of rock and metal whack trees a couple hundred feet away.  A large rock that acted as a blast deflector and a praying mama are the only reason I can think of that I walked away without a scratch from that one.

That's been almost 30 years give or take a day or two and I still don't build "homemade" rockets anymore.

Never let someone owe you more than you can afford to lose.

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Posted : July 8, 2019 12:43 pm
Brad Ott liked
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: Stephen Ward

....A large rock that acted as a blast deflector and a praying mama are the only reason I can think of that I walked away without a scratch from that one.

That's been almost 30 years give or take a day or two and I still don't build "homemade" rockets anymore.

Amen.  We used to make a lot of homemade bombs when we were kids and only by the grace of God none of us died.

I remember one we used an old salt-shaker made of glass with little square hatching all over it.  Took us days to tear open enough firecrackers to get that thing 2/3 full. We put packing on top of the powder and tamped it down solid with a screwdriver handle.  We had a fuse made from several fuses from smoke bombs.  To add injury to stupidity we took the completed bomb, poured Elmer's glue all over the sides and then rolled it around in B-Bs.  I guess we were after a homemade frag grenade.

We picked the crotch of an old elm tree to cradle the bomb and make a quick getaway after lighting the fuse.  We were probably 15 or 20 yard away hunkered down behind a wheel barrow on its side.  My older brother lit the fuse and ran like hell.  I've never heard anything that loud.  Jesus.  It blew B-Bs all over the place knocking holes in an old tin shed and blowing a 3" branch clean off the trunk.  You could hear the shrapnel hitting EVERYTHING for a few seconds after the blast. We found out later some of it made it 300 feet away and broke the glass on a neighbor's back door.

We all got busted big time for that one.  I think it was the last one we ever put together. 

Years later I watched the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the scene where they blow up the mail car ( "Think you used enough dynamite there Butch?") reminded me of our escapade.  My brothers thought the same thing too when they watched that movie.

“Education, I fear, is learning to see one thing by going blind to another.”
- Aldo Leopold

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Posted : July 8, 2019 1:08 pm
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