A staple among children — and (ahem) tech news offices — everywhere, Nerf guns are a harmlessly entertaining way to blow off a little steam. Or at least they were until an ex-NASA engineer got the bright idea to manufacture the world’s largest Nerf gun that resembles what would likely be the toy of choice for Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant. How big is it, you ask? So big that when Marc Rober (the savvy engineer) sets the butt of the gun on the ground, the top of it reaches the midway point of his abdomen. It’s as if Rick Moranis had a normal sized Nerf gun laying around his house after shrinking his kids in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Perhaps more impressive than the contraption’s sheer size is the fact it has the ability to shoot makeshift Nerf darts at an astounding 40 mph. Essentially a Nerf rocket launcher, Rober’s DIY project was completed by inserting a 3,000 psi paintball tank into the grip of the gun which helps transfer pressure into its air tank. Once the trigger is pulled, the air tank releases, causing whatever’s put into the chamber to come barreling out. As the above video shows, the finished product is beyond powerful.
“The darts exit the gun at about 40 mph,” Rober stated in published YouTube video. “And they’re made of pool noodles with toilet plungers on the end, which means they can actually stick to things. So you can use it for skeet shooting or Dude Perfecting.”
Rober and his engineering team — a duo from a YouTube channel called Eclectical Engineering — even 3D-printed a projectile which they were able to shoot an astounding 130 yards. As is typical with Mark’s prior projects (i.e. the semi-automatic snowball launcher), he felt it necessary to try out his newest invention on his nieces and nephews who just so happened to be picking on him.
That’s all fun and games, sure, but the real entertainment started when the engineering trio decided to swap the air system for a black powder cannon. To test the upgraded giant Nerf gun, the team headed to a desert seemingly in the middle of nowhere to fire more 3D-printed projectiles, only this time they also had a few wooden dowels on hand and a handful of unsuspecting watermelons. Expectedly, the Nerf gun annihilates the watermelons, leaving nothing but a few chunks of rind in its wake.
It goes without say that Mark Rober knows a thing or two about how to have fun. We know what you’re thinking, how do I build one of these for myself? Luckily, the guys at Eclectical Engineering put together a handy walkthrough for anyone interested in fabricating one of their own. Office Nerf wars just won’t be the same with one of these at the ready.