7 Absolutely Terrifying DIY Survival Weapons

It is The End of the World As We Know It, there are mobs of starving people rioting outside, and your stockpile of ammo is all gone.

What are you going to do?

In a total SHTF situation, you will be happy to know how to make these absolutely terrifying homemade survival weapons.

1. Pipe Shotgun

This beauty is in the Cleveland Police Museum and shows what some ingenious criminals thought up.   There are plenty of instructional articles and videos online about how to make your own gun. But, is it legal to make your own firearm?

homemade shotgun

In most cases, it is legal to make your own firearms. But, there are some exceptions. At the ATF.gov website, they write this: (Disclaimer: Always check your own states laws before proceeding!)

Also read how to make shotgun shells.

Q: Does an individual need a license to make a firearm for personal use?

No, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. However, a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution. The law prohibits a person from assembling a non–sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as well as firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x–ray machines. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF. (source)

2. Spiked Nail Bat

spiked bat
The bat (or club) is one of the original weapons used by humanity.

Even when people figured out how to work with metals and make weapons like swords, the club never completely went out of style.

It just got some upgrades – like the spikes of a mace.

This bat one is really easy to make and sure to bash out the brains of any zombie which comes near you. Plus, just carrying it around is going to scare away most attackers.

In practice, the only real downside to it is that the nails will bend after hitting something hard – which can also compromise the interior of the bat.

If you don’t have a baseball bat, then take any sturdy piece of wood. A part of a bed post will work well.

3. Flamethrower

Got a can of hairspray and a lighter? You can make it into a scary flamethrower.

This isn’t the most reliable of DIY weapons because it depends on the aerosol can working well, and the direction of the wind being in your favor. But, in a pinch, you will definitely scare someone away with this DIY weapon.

You could set their clothes or hair on fire, which would give you time to get away.

homemade flamethrower

4. PVC Bow and Arrow

It is easy to make a bow and arrow out of found materials like sticks and string. But if you want one that has killing power, you will need to use a sturdier material. PVC is perfect for this.

It is tough but flexible, and easy to work with. If you have them, wear gloves when working with PVC because it splinters. Learn how to make it here.

5. Rebar Tomahawk

The tomahawk has been hailed as one of the best tactical weapons because it can do things like dig a foxhole, open security doors, chopping wood, setting up camp, and self defense.

Plus, its shape means you can easily hide it in your jacket or carry it hanging off of your survival belt. It was the favored tool by the Native Americans, and now is frequently used by Iraqi and Afghan military.

This video shows you how to make your own tomahawk out of a piece of rebar. It will require quite a bit of work to bang the rebar into shape, and you’ll need a blazing hot fire so you can forge it, but you will be rewarded with a really cool homemade weapon.

6. Homemade Grenade from Cheap Cologne

This might not look much like a weapon, but it is actually a high powered grenade. It was made by rebels who are fighting the Syrian army. They really have to get creative with their weapons and you can find all sorts of homemade weapons in their arsenal.

You can turn just about any aerosol can into a grenade, such as air freshener cans, shoe spray cans, household cleaners…

homemade grenade

7. Spike Pit Booby Trap

Need to defend your home or survival retreat? You might try putting these ultra scary booby traps around it.

This one comes from the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and it was designed to injure American soldiers. The door on top of the trap swivels and could cause a person to fall into the spikes.

Please don’t make this – or ANY – booby traps around your home unless it is really a SHTF situation.

First off, you are more likely to injure yourself, your family or a friend than an intruder. And, even if you do get an intruder, it could backfire when you end up having to pay the intruder a big lump sum. You could even get sent to jail for booby traps.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about how you’d defend your home in a disaster situation.

Make your plans but don’t try them until they are really needed.

booby trap
Ever make your own weapons?  Let us know in the comments below.

The Exiles by Crysco Photography; CC BY NC ND 2.0
Standard issue flamethrower by Arko Sen CC NC ND 2.0
Pipe shotgun by Snake Oil Magazine CC BY SA 2.0
Grenade by Freedom House CC BY SA 2.0
Door to avoid at all cost by Dennis Jarvis CC BY SA 2.0

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  1. Remove the button then run the fuse to the little hole where it once was stuff it in there good and secure it preferably with a adhesive that drys quickly such as crazy glue. Mind you this is only a ” theoretical explanation” and I by no means am saying that this is the way anyone should manufacture this theoretical device.

  2. creatures from long ago (apes) learned to kill other apes with what they had lying around. ie.: a jaw bone of another animal . Probably a larger horse type beasty. Then clubs were made. and so on and so on. Look where we are today. We still are killing each other. Just more efficiently and from longer distances. We have not changed that much. Sad to say.

  3. Ex actually made #2 on your list, but with PVC pipe for the base!
    Metro Detroit here, dangerous.
    Right after he made this, a random guy started following us by car, we tried to loose him, couldn’t, called Police. Forgot that this was in the back seat.
    The cop saw it, and oddly was admiring this thing. He should have taken it, but did not. He kept asking to look at it again and again. Ex promptly got rid of it when he went home.
    I had a roll-over deer-car accident in on I-94 in Kalamazoo. Most everything flew out of my Ford Tempo. Except oddly my 3′ long Mag Light.
    The Sheriff who arrived on the scene suddenly had this in his front seat next to him. I thought it was really off that this cop would steal my Mag Light, and no, he didn’t try to say it was a weapon or anything, guess he just liked it.

  4. Bike lock chain or any chain with a lock on the end can serve many uses to tangle and bludgeon.
    Metal filings, pepper, glass shards and other irritants can be stored in a pipe ot tube to be flung. I’ve even filled party poppers.
    If you can buy fireworks and firecrackers, there’s a world of resource there. Especially if you know how to make your own pipe guns.
    If you have access to sheet metal and can cut squares, they sharpen easily to make shuriken.

    If you plan to make a shield, you can easily find resources at any hardware store. Just make sure to keep one handle and not secure to your arm. You want to be able to punch, but not be thrown if someone grabs your shield.
    A small electric leaf blower is excellent if teargas is used against you.

    • I like the electric leaf blower idea but am laughing a bit when thinking of carrying one around to a protest or riot 😀 Thanks for the comment!

  5. Former 0331:

    You’re far more likely to fail a thousand times without directions, and never once hurt yourself. However, with ingredients, and even directions, you could succeed once, and lose your hand.

  6. I’ve made my own tools, weapons, and display pieces since I was a child. There is no joy, or honor to be taken from harming others. That being said; there’s far better methods of crafting a flame thrower, than just wielding a can of aerosol lol Roger, if you look into survivalist animal hunting traps, you’ll see how to make a tree deadly. Best of luck bending it though..

    Richard, though I agree that a weapon alone is not a danger; that doesn’t mean there aren’t dangerous weapons. The first knife wasn’t crafted to take life. Not even for hunting. The first blade was used as a foraging tool. However, the type 89 grenade launcher, packing a massive 50 mm shell?.. that was designed for one thing, and one thing only; to take human lives. One day soon, weapons will not need a dangerous human to wield them. A computer will decide who’s life is worthy of a shell discharge by way of complex algorithm. I assure you.

  7. Why are so many focused on making weapons, like the TV show “Forged in Fire” (“It will Kiell”) It’s so irresponsible.
    Knives and Tomahawks were & are primarily tools, Tools, that as a youth I legally walk around with hanging off of my belt, Now illegal.
    If you want even tighter Government controls keep going, publicising illicit weapon manufacture rather than “cool tool manufacture” come the apocalypse we’ll work out which cool tools have a secondary use.

    • Blacksmiths are by far artists and there knowledge of metal combining to make works of art are not just for killing. That show for the most part is recreating weapon from our past . And proving that are as good if not better than the original pieces.

  8. At the end of the day it comes down to this; There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people. ANYTHING can be made into a weapon, if the person holding it has the will and desire to cause harm. Stop and let that sink in. Because most people are wired NOT to hurt other human beings, training and psychosis aside. It doesn’t matter how many weapons you have, if you’re not prepared, truly prepared, to take another life, you’re screwed.

    • In my experience, most who are even trained are not wired to harm other people. What you see in training is largely bravado.

    • I am a blacksmith and bladesmith. I have had extensive martial arts training I am and amazing shot with a rifle and very very good with a bow. I can throw knives well also. But anything can be turned into a weapon that can take someone’s life. Bare hands can take someone’s life. It is in the person behind it who chooses to take the life. But all these “wepons” in the proper hands put food on the table so people or my family don’t go hungry.

  9. Follow up comment / question: Maybe you have to strap a strong firecracker to the canister, maybe near the seam, to get it to go off? Please, inquiring minds want to know.

    • We can’t give explicit instructions for obvious reasons. Inquiring minds will need to do their own further research …

  10. The section on homemade grenades is surprisingly void of details… do you have to remove the little button on top where the finger pushes to make it spray? Do you have to tap into the cannister somehow? … or is a fuse all it needs to set it off? The lack of details could get someone hurt trying to figure it out.

  11. Remember on the cartoons, when someone gets clobbered by a swinging tree-trunk after they have unknowingly tripped the trigger? I need to know how to set that up…

  12. #2, nails in bat, is a horrible weapon. Check out actual historical maces – Spikes are VERY SHORT!! This is so that when striking a target the weapon does not get STUCK, forcing user to then take time and effort to remove it!

  13. Some good ideas but you have only scratched the surface.Ask any VietNam vet who had to take point,He can name at least 50 ways to secure your area.


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