The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Okay - we've got Harlan, Steve McQueen and stuff in this 'found' post. Your pal Sparky says: GRINDING.BE caused me to scour the InterWeb as it cause my brain to hurt:
It's a cell phone disquised 4 shot gun!

Okay - it is just an annoying zip gun —

Zip gun

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zip gun disguised as a flashlight
Zip gun disguised as a flashlight

Zip gun is a term used for a crude, improvised firearm, usually a handgun. Zip guns are almost always single-shot, as the improvised construction sometimes makes them weak enough to be destroyed by the act of firing. Zip guns are usually smoothbore.

Basic zip gun designs

The most basic zip gun consists of a short length of steel tubing, into which a cartridge is placed. The cartridge is then held in place by an endcap, with a small diameter hole drilled in the rear to allow access to the primer. A nail or other thin object is then placed in the hole to act as a firing pin. A spring or rubber band can be used to propel a hammer against the rear of the firing pin, in order to fire the cartridge. Zip guns generally use .22 Long Rifle ammunition, due to its low cost, easy availability and - most importantly - its low operating pressure. Use of a larger, more powerful cartridge would require heavier tubing with thicker walls to withstand higher pressures. Since zip guns almost never have rifling, the bullets invariably tumble en route to the target, allowing even a non-expanding bullet to produce significant damage at the expense of range and accuracy (see terminal ballistics). Shotgun shells are often used in zip guns as well. Shotguns operate at low pressures, and produce far more energy than handgun cartridges.

In Harlan Ellison's Memos from Purgatory (chapter four), he describes his experience with zip guns while working with kid gangs:

Or how about that homemade cannon, the zip-gun, about which you've heard so much? Have you any idea how simple they are to make? Not the detailed and involved weapons made by kids who only want to sport a deadly-looking piece, but the quickly-made item to be used in a killing.
The tube-rod in a coffee percolator is the barrel. Did you know it's exactly right for a .22 calibre slug? Or perhaps it's not the stem of from a coffee pot. Perhaps it's a snapped-off car radio antenna. Either one will do the job. They mount it on a block of wood for a grip, with friction tape, and then they rig a rubber-band-and-metal-firing-pin device that will drive the .22 bullet down that percolator stem or antenna shell, and kill another teen-ager. What they don't bother to tell you is that a zip-gun is the most inaccurate, poorly-designed, dangerous weapon of the streets. Not only dangerous to the victim, but equally dangerous to the assailant, for too often the zip will explode in the firer's hand, too often the inaccuracy of the home-made handgun will cause an innocent bystander to be shot. It is a booby trap of the most innocent-seeming sort, and there are many kids in Brooklyn (or in Queens, Long Island City and Astoria, where the Kicks, another club much given to the use of the zip, roam) with only two or three fingers on a hand, from having snapped that rubber band against the metal firing pin.

Slightly more advanced are zip guns that use other items for the trigger mechanism. A popular method is to use a cap gun for the grip and trigger mechanism. A piece of tubing, such as a car's radio antenna, is added to provide the barrel and chamber, and the cap gun hammer is modified to provide a firing pin to strike the cartridge primer. While still highly unsafe, these zip guns may offer better accuracy due to their more gun-like shape and operation.

More elaborate versions

Other covert firearms
Other covert firearms

While most zip guns are single shot, multiple shot zip guns are also encountered. The simplest multi-shot zip guns are derringer-like, and consist of a number of single shot zip guns attached together. In late 2000, European police encountered a four shot .22 LR zip gun disguised as a cellphone, where different keys on the keypad fire different barrels. Because of this discovery, cellphones are now x-rayed by airport screeners worldwide. They are believed to be manufactured in Croatia, and were still being found in Europe as late as 2004, according to a report by Time magazine. Another example has been found which is machined to resemble a large bolt; the bolt shaft unscrews to reveal the breech of the barrel, and the bolt head is pulled back to operate the firing pin. Several zip guns have been found that are built into flashlights, ranging from small models firing .22 Long Rifle to larger ones chambered for .410 bore shotgun shells.

Privately manufactured weapons which require a significant amount of machining, high quality springs and so forth, are not generally considered zip guns.

Cultural references

  • The song "I Fought the Law" as originally written by Sonny Curtis and performed by The Crickets includes the line: "...Robbin' people with a zip gun.." (Many later versions, including the famous Bobby Fuller rendition, mistakenly changed the wording to "six-gun", slang for a 6-shot revolver).[1]
  • A T.Rex song is entitled "Zip Gun Boogie", as well as an album titled Bolan's Zip Gun.
  • The musicals West Side Story and Grease contain references to zip guns.
  • In the Steven Spielberg movie Munich, Israeli agents use zip guns to kill an assassin.
  • In the movie Death Wish 3, the Hispanic neighbor and friend of Paul Kersey uses a zip gun against the street thugs.
  • In the movie Carlito's Way, Benny Blanco uses a zip gun to kill another character.
  • The band Royal Crown Revue has recorded multiple versions of their song, "Zip Gun Bop". Another of their songs, "Hey Pachuco", references a zip gun.
  • In the movie Lethal Weapon 4, the captain comments on how old he is, saying he was once shot by a zip gun.
  • In the 1993 film In The Line of Fire, John Malkovich's character attempts to assassinate the President with an elaborately made zip gun constructed from composite materials.
  • In the movie U.S. Marshals, an assassination attempt is made on Wesley Snipes' character using a zip gun made out of a ball point pen.
  • In the song St. Jimmy by Green Day, from the album American Idiot, the opening lines are: "St. Jimmy's coming down across the alleyway/ Upon the boulevard like a zip gun on parade."
  • In the song "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier" by Tom Lehrer, one of the lines is, "When Pete was only in the seventh grade he stabbed a cop,/He's real R.A. material, and he was glad to swap/His switchblade and his old Zip gun/For a bayonet and a new M1"
  • In the Broadway Musical Grease, the character Sonny brings along a zip gun to fight the Flaming Dukes.
  • From the song "Juvenile Deliquent" by Los Gatos Locos: "...I'm a rotten apple; Bad to the root... I got a zip gun in my pocket and switchblade in my boot..."
  • In the movie Where the Day Takes You, King takes a zip gun away from Little J.
  • A zip gun was used in an episode of Picket Fences called "Be My Valentine." Deputy Maxine Stewart was working undercover with an ex-FBI agent named Barry Jenkins to expose a serial killer called Cupid. However, Barry double-crossed Maxine, revealing he was working along with Cupid in the murders. Maxine used a "pen gun" to shoot Barry in the stomach when he was about to attack her. It was referred twice that police officers are not allowed to use pen guns.

External links

Flexible baton round

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The flexible baton round is the trademarked name for a "bean bag round", a type of shotgun shell used for non-lethal apprehension of suspects.


A flexible baton round is the trademarked name for a "bean bag round". The flexible baton round consists of a small fabric “pillow” filled with #9 lead shot weighing about an ounce and a half. It is fired from a normal 12 gauge shotgun. When fired, the bag is expelled at around 70-90 meters/second; it spreads out in flight and distributes its impact over about 6 centimeters² of the target. It is designed to deliver a blow that will cause minimum long-term trauma and no penetration but will result in a muscle spasm or other reaction to briefly render a violent suspect immobile. The shotgun round is inaccurate over about 6 meters, has a maximum range of around 20 meters, and is unsafe to use from less than 3 meters. Changes to the bean bag round since its inception in the early 1970s have included a velocity reduction from 400 to 300 feet per second [1] as well as a shift from the square shape to a more rounded sock shaped projectile. [2].

Shotguns dedicated to being used for bean bag rounds are visibly modified with either yellow or green markings or bright orange stocks and stops to avoid the possibility of a user loading lethal munitions into the weapon or vice versa.

In British military and police usage, baton round is the designation used for plastic bullets.


"Bean bag" rounds are used when a person is a danger to himself or others. 50% of cases are when the assailant has a bladed weapon. Nearly half of the uses also involve a suicidal and armed individual. Bean bag rounds have caused around a death a year since their introduction in the US [3]


A flexible baton round can severely injure or kill in a wide variety of ways. A baton round can hit the chest, break the ribs and send the broken ribs into the heart. This is why many officers are taught to aim for the extremities when using a bean bag round. Fatalities are occasionally the result of mistaking other shotgun rounds for bean bags.[4]

In Movies and Television

Bean bag rounds have been used in many movies and a few TV shows. They are usually portrayed as an always safe non-lethal weapon.

In the "The Hunter", Steve McQueen's character shoots a bounty with one.

In the movie "The Rundown", the protagonist is shot with flexible baton rounds to subdue him.

In a scene from "Jackass: The Movie", Johnny Knoxville is shot in the stomach with a bean bag round.

In one episode of the television show 24 Jack Bauer uses a bean bag round to subdue a terrorist.

In the movie "Inside Man" bankrobbers are dressed identically to their hostages so the police decide to use bean bag rounds and shoot everyone.

In the movie "The Last Castle", beanbags are used to keep prisoners under control and in one instance even to kill a prisoner by a shot to the head.

External links

See also

Now, I've got nothing. - Sparky


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