If there's one thing we've learned from studying improvised weapons, it's to never underestimate human creativity. Convicts come up with new ways to attack their fellow inmates, stranded castaways develop rudimentary hunting tools, and garage tinkerers craft ingenious contraptions from limited materials. When there's enough time and determination, it's possible to make some impressively powerful improvised weaponry.
We recently came across a video from a German YouTuber named Joerg Sprave, which shows a sort of MacGyvered projectile weapon we never would have dreamed of. Joerg built a full-auto crossbow from some plywood, wood screws, rubber bands, a little aluminum, and a Makita power drill. These are all items you'd find in an ordinary garage, workshop, or hardware store.
Joerg's crossbow works via a relatively simple gearbox. Pulling the trigger on the drill turns an aluminum-reinforced wood gear, which cocks the crossbow and puts tension on the rubber bands. When the crossbow reaches the cocked position, the gear disengages, a bolt drops into place, and a trigger sear releases the bow. The drill continues turning the gear, and the cycle repeats, firing up to 32 aluminum bolts before it's necessary to reload.
You might be thinking that this is some sort of toy, but wait until you see what it can do. Accuracy doesn't appear to be its strong suit, but it embeds the crossbow bolts firmly into plywood, even at what the host says is a distance of 40 meters (131 feet). You definitely wouldn't want to be on the other end of this:
Joerg later made a version with a replaceable magazine (although the thumbnail image incorrectly calls it a “clip”). He also discusses some of the challenges he encountered while developing the weapon, and responds to viewers' questions: