Backyard Ballistics

Insty links to a pretty neat book called Backyard Ballistics. It looks like hours of fun. The Amazon page says:

Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices

Now, the ATF got a wild hair once to regulate model rockets. Thankfully, they were put in their place. They have also issued opinions on potato guns and flaming tennis balls that may qualify the items as destructive devices depending on which particular projectile they are loaded with. Additionally, a few states regulate such items. So, careful out there. You don’t want to get your kids a book that may get them a visit from the authorities.

ETA: And I’m not saying said activities aren’t fun, educational and entertaining. I am saying that activities I engaged in as a youth now can lead to an interest by the powers that be. And that’s just sad.

3 Responses to “Backyard Ballistics”

  1. Instead, how about getting them the Handbook of Model Rocketry? Go to Wal-Mart or the local hobby store and buy a starter kit, which comes with rocket, launcher and some motors. Rocket and launch pad are reusable; motors are cheap and come in various power levels. Lots more kits available in different skill levels from already built to “lots of cutting and fitting,” and plenty of styles and types. You can build gliders, or cluster engines for MORE POWER!, or build scale models of real rockets.

    I’ve been flying model rockets since I was a kid. Nothing beats watching something you’ve built go screaming into the sky and almost out of sight. I’ve launched rockets as much as a mile high! Others have launched high-power video-camera rockets (still at the hobby level — not amateur rocketry) so high the sky turns black and you can see the curvature of the earth!

    Safe, fun and exciting. It’s the better way to go.

  2. […] SayUncle took me back more than a few years with this post on Backyard Ballistics. […]

  3. KCSteve says:

    I’ve got that book and highly recommend it. Rather than the ‘explosive’ vesion I made a pnuematic potato gun. Lets you lob spuds a couple of hundred yards with just a quiet ‘pwumpf!’ when you fire.