The Story So Far-- Explodophone Version 1.0 Part 1

A project log for The Explodophone

An instrument using tuned impulsive sounds (snaps, cracks, pops, or bangs), a.k.a. the Internal Combustion Organ.

bryanlowderbryan.lowder 05/05/2018 at 22:131 Comment

After my Fourth of July "concert" for my siblings (see previous log), my youngest brother suggested I get a REAL cap gun that wouldn't misfire so much. When the cap gun didn't fire, instead of a lovely note, I got an awkward silence and an interruption of the song, along with a derpy repeated pulling of the trigger until I did get a bang.

Most cap guns are semi-automatic, but he suggested one that took plastic strip caps, which could be hooked together into a continuous string. Although the caps are not too hard to find, the guns can get relatively expensive for cap guns. An example of the kind of cap gun I obtained can be seen here. (I am not recommending or promoting any particular sales site-- you might find it cheaper on another site.)

Apparently it's a Parris brand replica of a 1911 pistol cast in avocado-green plastic. There really aren't many other guns that fit my specifications. 

I obtained one, but experimentation (drilling holes to get more sound out) and my kids sealed its doom. I resurrected the idea a few years later and got another pistol. To get slightly more sound out of it, I cut off some of the barrel, which is pretty much for show anyway.  I would like to take it to pieces and get a better idea of how it works, but it has no damn screws-- plastic is completely welded. As I am on a shoestring budget, I opted to keep it together. The caps I obtained from a local ranching store (my area is a rapidly developing semi-rural area), which really likes guns of all types. Walmart* used to carry the caps, but apparently stopped a few years back when they were outlawed in certain cities. The caps aren't cheap-- it costs roughly 1.5 cents for one note.

The strip caps look like this.

For my first performance (video in a later log), at the last minute, I decided to use a drop of hot glue at each junction to hold the strip caps together. There were still misfires (nonfires), but I don't know whether to blame that on the glue, mechanical misfeeding, or on the differences between the standard gap between caps and the gap between strips. At any rate, the glue did the gun no favors. 


Erica Martin wrote 01/19/2021 at 19:25 point

Actually, these guns are not allowed in some countries due to the high percentage of the murders. I have found it out when I was working on my college paper on gun control and read the few samples from site. I understand that technically this gun is replica but still, we should think more about gun control.

  Are you sure? yes | no