back to article Nazi-doodlebug-powered father of all paintball guns patented

Intriguing and/or terrifying news from the world of paintballing today, as it has emerged that an inventor in America has been granted a patent on a fearsomely powerful new paintball gun, powered by the same "bunker buster" principle as secret World War II Nazi superweapons. The patented fuel/air paintball gun. Credit: USPTO …


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  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Someone got a patent on a spud gun?

    You have to be kidding me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      got searched by the police once for having a spud gun. In the pub. I didn't know whether to laugh or be embarrassed, but in the end thought it was more embarrassing for the rozzers. At least that was back before routine armed response. Still, better to be shot for a spud gun than a chair leg I guess!

      1. thefutureboy

        A spud gun in the pub?

        Either you are a very old looking 8 year old or a rather sad over 18...

        (Hand grenade cos there isn't a spud gun icon)

        1. Brutus


          I'm saddened that someone with your nick should be so lacking in the understanding of simple pleasures like shooting your mates with water pistols and spud guns, especially in the pub.

          Unless I've misinterpreted your nickname and like Merlin, you are living your life backwards and you are currently in the bitter, old codger phase ;-)

          1. Elmer Phud


            As possibly getting towards 'old codger' stage I resent the idea that older people wouldn't be prone to arseing about with spud guns.

            (recently introduced small children to D.I.Y bottle-rockets 'the tighter the fit , the more pressure you get and the bigger the bang' )

        2. Michael 28

          As an Irishman....

          .... i have some misgivings as to where this might be going.

          ( Is the hand grenade a weapon of ....mash...destruction?)

          ..all right officer, i'll come quietly!

        3. jake Silver badge


          I can easily (under 5 minutes) construct a small cannon out of materials found in my garage that is capable of firing (most of) a potato with enough force to do serious damage to a car's windshield. Smaller, pocket sized versions are also possible. These smaller versions have enough force to make for serious bruising, worse than paintball guns (a "friend" thought it would be funny to shoot me in the leg .... I'm here to tell you he won't do THAT again any time soon!).

          These things are dangerous, so I'll leave the exact construction technique, materials list and the propellant (also available in most households) out of this post ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            These things are dangerous, so I'll leave the exact construction technique, materials list and the propellant (also available in most households) out of this post ...

            Spoil sport :)

  2. Chopper Mozart

    The magic bullet?

    Even though the patent has just been granted, I believe this machine has been available for a while. Not seen many on the field though, I wonder why? Carrying a bottle of compressed flammable gas may seem even more dangerous than compressed inert gas?

    Either El Reg has raised it's game in terms of parody outrage, or they have never played paintball. I'm hoping it's the former....

  3. Michael 82

    Clearly you know nothing about paintball

    Clearly this is only a patent but Tippmans will fire both on either Co2 or N2 with an compressed air system. Air being cleaner and more reliable.

    He holds the patent but being able to fire a paintball through a pig will most likely mean the marker being banned for play as the legal limit is 300fps.

    If you want the father of all paintball guns, tippman already have a gatling style marker called the 'hedgehog'.

    1. Mark Butler

      Legal limit

      The limit is 330fps, after that it's classed as a firearm.

      Tournament markers will usually be capped at 300, and public days usually have site markers 250-280.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Gattling paint gun? now that I've gotta see please!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Tippman Gattling Gun

        Bugger me.. I would pass you a link but it seems to have been placed in the dark recesses of history, I had a small photo of it at home... somewhere :(

    3. Marvin the Martian

      So you're all thinking inside the wrong box.

      Given this is useless in recreational and competitive paintball --- too high fps --- the application lies elsewhere.

      Crowd control.

      At the point where the police has to fire baton rounds, tear gas and rubber bullets at football hooligans, you know they can limp off acting all innocent bystanderish. With say 400 fps paintball they will limp off clearly marked (maybe give one colour to each police foursome, to help identification). It works both ways, police cannot claim somebody else's fault when an innocent gets hurt, and claiming to have been elsewhere will not work for those hit.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Russia's 'Father of all bombs'

    That would have been the Tsar Bomba's dad then?

  5. Rob Crawford

    Prior art

    it already exists in so many forms (including the internal combustion engine) how can a patent be granted.

    I had a fine spud gun that ran on ether or nitrous oxide almost 20 years ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I suspect

      becouse it is a new and novel appliaction of the principle.

    2. Intractable Potsherd

      US patents.

      It is almost impossible NOT to get a patent awarded in the US once an application is filed. The US Patent Office seems to work on the principle of "award and wait for a challenge". This is the root of patent-troll cases - patent something obvious, and then keep ripping people off for use of the patented thing until someone can afford to take it to court. Basically, the American patent system is inadequate at best, and fatally flawed at worst.

  6. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    "Just like a V1"?

    I guess "just like the kid-down-the-street's potato cannon" would have been too prosaic.

  7. Holtsmark Silver badge

    Doodlebug? -Beetlebug!

    This is not a pulse jet engine.

    Pulse jet engines, like the WW2 Argus engine uses reflected shock waves both to inhale fresh air and to create sufficient compression of the fuel-air before ignition.

    This invention does not appear to use shock waves, and appears, technically to be closer to a quite normal two stroke engine. Sadly this does not make for a just as good headline, since Mr. Page cannot insert NAZI into it without looking ridiculous.

    "Nazi-WV-beetle-powered father of all paintball guns patented" really does not have the same ring to it does it?

  8. TRT Silver badge


    Does it come with a stencil so you can emboss "DANISH" throughout the flesh of your mature pig?

  9. hugo tyson

    Paintball cannon?

    ...and no mention of epic WWII drama-documentary "Kelly's Heroes" ??

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to 2005...

    its been around for ages.

    to slow a rate of fire for anything other than punters , and its also get a bit toasty...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    New Reg Measurement Unit?

    Has this article introduced a new unit of measurement for kinetic energy - "the mature pig"?

  12. Herby

    Now for the proper question...

    Where can one buy one? How Much??

  13. max allan

    Wouldn't it pop the ball in the barrel?

    Wouldn't the acceleration of a significantly high power gun pop the paintball in the barrel? (Imagine throwing a water bomb too hard and it popping in your hand)

    It does seem like the whole idea has been done before in slightly different guise (igniting black powder instead of "fuel&air" in a musket rather than a paintball marker)

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Yes, it would, as anyone who has ramped up their markers to >300fps could attest.

      However, it doesn't stop you firing non-paintball balls from it. 11/16" nylon bearings for example.

      Lightweight, solid, and probably lethal even at 300fps. Not to mention a marker that fires 15 balls per second fully auto with a hopper which can carry 200 'rounds'. The day someone uses a marker like this in public is the day the law changes on air-guns I can assure you.

      I've seen video footage of 'non-lethal' guns in America that fire a variety of ammunition, primarily bean-bags which quite literally floor your target.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Pig density

    "....theoretically capable of firing a paintball through a mature pig"

    Is this the new benchmark measurement for all new weaponry? I would suggest that a mature Gloucestershire Old Spot would be harder to penetrate than a Swallow Belied Mangalitza. I feel we need some clarification on the matter.

  15. Edward Clarke

    Paint balls - bah!

    Here's how real men/women/kids do it:

    You'll note that the 2009 winner fired a four kilogram pumpkin a distance of one and a quarter kilometers. It's a heck of a long drive for me, but someday I'm going to go to this contest. I seem to recall that current distance limitations are due to rules against freezing the pumpkin solid and having the pumpkin disintegrate when it hits the mach barrier.

  16. Victor Ludorum

    That's all very well, but

    Surely if the impulse from the chamber is too strong the pellet will just explode inside the gun?

    Although if the pellet will go through a pig, it could be a bit tougher than the ones I used to play with 10-15 years ago. In which case it will HURT! A LOT!

    (Boffin goggles to protect my eyes from the paint... and porcine gizzards...)

  17. Gordon861

    Ball Bearings

    How long before some nut decides to load this up with steel balls or marbles?

  18. criscros

    Patent granted.

    Also eligible for a Darwin award.

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Lasers? pah!

    Lets see one of those paintball cannons fitted to a shark instead

  20. Rob Crawford

    Oh Yeah

    I forgot it's also the reason that one has to be careful about the oil used in decent air rifles as along side an increase of muzzle velocity would usually be accompanied with a fragmented pellet (and unhappy air rifle)

    I have vague memories of a British air rifle from the late 19th century which used the compression of ether as a propellant (technically it becomes a firearm at that point).

    Actually thinking about it surely the paintball gun becomes a fully fledged firearm and therefore requires a licence

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ball Bearings

    Made my own 1/8" calibre* one about 20 years ago to shoot at birds shitting all over the workshop I worked in. The workshop had a very high ceiling to allow the gantry crane to traverse the workshop. Unfortunately our workbenches were under the broken air conditioning vent and the beams where the birds nested and that were most of the bird shit ended up, so I made my own hopper fed BB flak gun powered off the 100PSI workshop supply.

    It was handy to leave it plugged in and when the birds came in to the workshop and started squawking somebody would pick it up, give the trigger three or four squeezes and send about 20 ball bearings skywards.

    It never got rid of the birds but at least that stopped squawking when they entered the workshop.

    Neither did the facilities maintaince people ever figure out why there were so many poc marks in the windows, although I think the IT people were a bit suspicious when that found ball bearings in the shorted-out printer.

    Paris, who also knows how to blow ball bearings,

    * (Attempts to create a successful larger calibre weapon failed due to lack of long enough material for a barrel and a limited supply of 3/16” ball bearings, however the short barrel and larger ball bearings were found to be very effective at destroying Christmas tree decorations)

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Whatever next eh?

    Tch! Those wacky Yanks and their cap-guns! What is this need to punch holes in flesh from a distance, from the minute they drop out of the womb?

    Mines the one with the Pearl Jam - Glorifed single in the pocket!

  23. GrantK

    Thank you for this story

    That is all...

  24. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Punching through a mature pig is easy.

    Front to back that is. Probably best done with the pig being dead first.

  25. Winston Smith
    Thumb Up

    "Fort Wayne, Indiana: Plainly a dangerous place"

    Dr. Zaius wholeheartedly agrees!

    (In the original "Planet of the Apes", Taylor claimed to be from Fort Wayne, and ape-leader Zaius cited that as evidence of his people's warlike intentions.)

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Captain 5150

    It's too bad everyone believes everything they read!! The Tippmann C-3 doesn't shoot any faster than 310 fps, it doesn't shoot any faster than 5 balls per second (It's a pump, like a shotgun, so one pump, one shot!). If it could shoot a paintball through a pig it's made of paper!!! Do the research before you throw words like NAZI around, bonehead!!

  27. David Sidebotham
    Jobs Horns

    Heavy crew-served doodlebug pulse bomb splatter weaponry...!!!

    AAAARRGGH!! Overkill

  28. Anonymous Coward

    New proof of Sod's Law

    Slightly off-topic, but anyone who's done paintball might testify...

    The chances of getting shot in the face at paintball is directly linked to Sod's Law.

    ie you will be shot in the face if:

    - you are at the opposite end of the game to your shooter, even if that is outside the technical range of his weapon. By the same rule, he will not hit you if you're only 6ft away, standing directly in front of him.

    - Your shooter is Steve Wonder with advanced Parkinsons, his gun is 25yrs old and it's barrel has more corners in it than Silverstone. Olympic marksmen on the other hand, won't hit a thing all day.

    - ..and he was actually aiming at someone else at the time. The further away from you that person is, the more likely it is you will be shot. This rule works best if the shooter hasn't even seen you at all. "Blue on Blue" is common.

    - you wear the goggles. That's just asking for it.

    Grenade, because those paint genades are just pure evil too.

  29. 2camjohn

    PLEASE check your facts before submitting articles.

    Or at the very least dont base an entire article around stuff you have just made up.

    1 The principle is nothing like that of Nazi secret superweapons.

    2 Paintball markers using this principle are no more capable of firing a paintball through a mature pig than any other paintball gun.

    *The pressure required to do that would destroy the paintball gun.

    *The pressure required to do that would destroy the paintball itself before it leaves the barrel.

    *The pressure required to do that is already available in compressed air form from any dive shop

    3 There is no such thing as a paintball warhead.

    Heavier paintballs are impossible to make because they have to be biodegradable. You cant make them out of heavy metals like mercury.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Me thinks the author does wank (too much)

    Me thinks setting aside the aplomb for the bomb, that the inventor decided to go with an air fuel powered paint ball gun because it's cheaper to buy 1 liter of fuel and get a million shots with that than it is to buy CO2 cartridges all the time.

    That is about as simple as it gets.

    Dressing the basic information up with "Legends of the death destroyer wars" capable of punching holes in time and space through planets, makes you the author - look like a wanker on poetic license.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gatling Paintball Gun...

    Somebody required links, but no one is needed. I googled for it, and I've seen BEAUTY. Apparently some guys on their Mechanical Engineer Graduation Thesis built one, and they choose it would be gas-powered exclusively, (rotating the barrels, and for propellant as well). Apparenty, they could have the barrels rotating on eletricity, but they would have to lug around a 12V car battery. Not handy enough. They already used CO2 canisters and simple compressed air, so they went with it.

    On another note... you can freeze the paintballs. The PFY did it. Prepare to be called a bastard should you ever do that.

    Air guns can be as letal as firearms, just add pressure. A LOT. High pressure hidraulics can leak, and potentially KILL if the oil is sprayed by any compressed air bubble. Not pretty.

    But you all know that.

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