When I was just a kid living in very rural Arkansas my brother and I made this cork shotgun, a close relative of the alcohol powered potato gun.

Since my parents had built this log cabin that we lived in, there was always a lot of scrap lumber lying around, and plenty of hand tools (no power tools though, we didn't have electricity). So anyway, there was this Hungarian guy that lived not too far from us, (about 2 miles walk through the woods, that's what "not too far" means to the hillbilly of the Ozarks. It's nice that there's still such a place in this land where you may walk 2 miles from through the woods. Actually, and sadly, even that changes these days.) So this Hungarian guy has 2 grocery sacks filled with corks, and my brother and I take them, without really knowing what to do with them.

Then one day we get a length of pipe, which the corks just fit inside. And we notice that the corks also just fit inside a used 12-gauge shotgun shell. (BTW, in most states, shotgun shells or other expended ammo cartridges are legal litter.) So, we get some scrap lumber, this length of pipe, and a gross of Black Cat firecrackers and make a cork shotgun.

It was really cool. It was hinged in the middle, so it would break open like a real shotgun. You'd load the shotgun shell, which had a hole drilled out for the firecracker fuse, (the firecracker was inside the shotgun shell, obviously), and then the shotgun shell was plugged with the cork. You'd take this combination, load it into the pipe, then close up the "shotgun", and light the fuse and aim. The cork travelled so fast that it was impossible to see. We pretty much used up both of those sacks full of corks, except for the champagne corks. Those wouldn't work, of course.

Man, it was awesome being a kid in the Ozark Mountains, though, I didn't realize it at the time.

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