Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Give a hero a modified nail gun and a box of nails and they could take over the world.
Some people – mostly normal, everyday people – get on the news because they display some form of above-average heroism. If you pull people out of burning buildings, catch toddlers falling from tall buildings, you know the kind of story, don’t you?
However, from time to time we get a normal man or woman kicking the ass with an amazing and incredibly inventive weapon. Here are 10 of those people.
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10 Tony Stein and ̵
This World War II hero was essentially a real-life transformer. As he went into battle, he turned into a country hunter and shot enemies down in droves as if they were a bunch of Messerschmitts. . . except people drown more easily than airplanes.
Tony Stein equipped himself with a modified M1919 machine gun to fight the Japanese. This weapon, upgraded from 400 rounds per minute to a staggering 1,350 rounds per minute, was mounted on fighter jets.
Sergeant Mel Grevich liked that very much. But he wasn’t a flyboy. He rescued some weapons from scrapped aircraft, attached an M1 Garand rifle butt and a crate magazine and “the sting” was born. One of these modified monster weapons was given to Tony Stein prior to the Battle of Iwo Jima.
During the battle, Stein took out enemy pill boxes and killed at least 20 enemy fighters. He made his frequent ammunition runs without boots or helmet in order to be as fast as possible.
9 An 11 year old boy from North Carolina and his machete
“This is a very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” remarked Charles Blackwood, Orange County Sheriff. He was referring to a heroic 11-year-old child who blocked a violent burglar with a machete. The boy had just been forced into a closet at gunpoint by Jataveon Dashawn Hall, a nineteen-year-old burglar who was carrying a pellet pistol he grabbed while searching the house.
Most children would do as they were told. Maybe cry. Maybe get wet. Not this kid.
The boy left the closet and grabbed a machete. Then he ran down the stairs to see his tormentor greedily steal electronic goods such as a television and a PlayStation. The boy hit the burglar over the head with his large knife and was kicked in the stomach because of his problems.
Still not licked, the boy took another punch but missed and got a roundhouse in the head this time. At that moment the intruder noticed that he was bleeding profusely from the back of his head. He dropped the stuff he wanted to steal, fled, and took two accomplices with him.
8th Lars Andersen With a bow and arrow
Lars Andersen must be at least half a Wood Elf to do some of his amazing feats with a bow. It’s always cool to see cool people do cool things. Andersen’s incredible, record breaking feats with a bow and arrow make us wonder why we were so dependent on firearms (until you remember Tony Stein’s “Stinger”).
Andersen is also a talented painter. He attended art school and completed private training with the artist and colleague Dane Otto Frello. What is the relevance? Not really, but it should be covered so that the author isn’t chased and pinged with 10 arrows in less than five seconds.
7th ‘Jason’ and his glass of instant coffee
Many people are almost useless without their cup of java in the morning. But how many of us become Charles Bronson when we hold a glass of coffee granules in our hand?
“Jason”, a 48-year-old man from Victoria, Australia, was preparing to fill up his Mercedes at a gas station in Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne. Before he could even decide whether to buy a meat pie or a pack of Tim Tams, Jason was confronted with a man who was apparently in his twenties.
The budding carjacker asked Jason to hand over the keys for his glamorous ride, but Jason got none of it. “I think most people should probably hand over the keys, but I’m not one of those people, so to speak,” said Jason.
After an argument with his attacker resulted in his recently purchased glass of coffee falling to the ground and shattered, Jason used a shard from the broken glass as a knife to fend off his attacker. Fortunately for Jason, the criminal’s weapon wasn’t real. Unfortunately for the carjacker, the broken glass was real. Really spicy that is.
Eventually the wannabe carjacker ran away with a pack of Jason’s cigarettes.
6 Darryn Frost fights terrorists
Here we have the story of an extremely brave Englishman who defeated a murderous terrorist with a piece of a dead animal. That is courage.
South African native Darryn Frost, 38, confronted terrorist Usman Khan while he was rampaging over London Bridge with two knives. What weapon did Frost use? A narwhal tusk.
Frost reached for the decorative antique from inside the fishmonger’s hall, where he and a few colleagues were attending an event. He managed to hold back the knife-wielding attacker by holding him to the ground and trying to disarm him.
Khan had already murdered Jack Merritt (25) and Saskia Jones (23). So Frost wasn’t just dealing with an angry guy. That was a murderer. Police soon broke in, took control of the situation and shot and killed the terrorist who claimed he was wearing a bomb vest. (It turned out to be a fake.)
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5 19th Century New England Whalers and their explosive harpoon rifles
Whaling was once the cornerstone of New England’s economy. The fat from these giant animals has been used as fuel for lamps all over the world. The demand was incredibly high and it was dangerous to get the goods.
Until the mid 19th century when the fantastic looking harpoon pistol pictured above was invented, whalers used regular old harpoons that you just throw and hope for the best. One traditionalist whaler commented: “A whaler does not shoot a whale more than an athlete would shoot a trout.”
Trout can be tough little guys, that’s right. However, whales are a different kind of fish kettle. Even with this practical invention, bagging enough whales to illuminate the whole planet must have been a bloody task. Respect.
4th Jörg Sprave and his arsenal of homemade weapons
The only thing cooler than this guy’s arsenal of homemade projectile weapons is his insanely infectious, deep and booming laugh. He sounds like a drunken medieval king after a boar hunt. Probably a hunt with PVC pipe recurve bows!
Sprave makes YouTube videos showing off his awesome slingshot handicrafts that have a ton of destructive power. This includes incredibly fun inventions like the bowling ball sling.
Sprave also invented the “Instant Legolas” (now called the “Fenris Rapid Fire Bow Magazine”), an addition to your humble bow that automatically loads arrows. This guy invented what is essentially a bow and arrow machine gun. Bad. Ass.
3 Billy Sing and his Lee Enfield rifle
Two hundred confirmed kills is a high number for any sniper during the war. When you consider that Australian soldier Billy Sing accomplished this feat with a simple Lee Enfield rifle during the brutal trench warfare of World War I, it is all the more impressive.
Perhaps his most amazing achievement was his legendary fight against the famous Turkish sniper “Abdul the Terrible” in Gallipoli. Abdul was a marksman who was so revered that even his weapon had a name (“mother of death”).
During this battle between snipers and snipers, it seemed like Abdul would win. After tracking Sing and finding his exact location, Abdul dug his trench and prepared to pick up the elusive Sing. But Sing was faster. Before Abdul could shoot, Sing had pinpointed his location, apparently only with the hunter’s instinct, and won this legendary fight.
After the war, Sing’s life wasn’t the type you’d expect a returning war hero to be. For the rest of his days he lived as an unknown man in poverty in a guesthouse in Brisbane. His unmarked grave was uncovered by Brian Tate 50 years after Sing’s death in 1943. It is now rightly marked.
2 Jerry Miculek and any gun you give him
It has been suggested many times that you don’t bring a knife to a shootout. If the gunfight in question involves Jerry Miculek, you may need to bring an even more advanced weapon. . . maybe some kind of pulse weapon?
If you can fire a downrange revolver and get grouping smaller than the size of a playing card on the target, you are a good shot. Jerry can do it in 0.57 seconds. He is also a very skilled gunsmith and craftsman who can design and maintain weapons, and fire them faster than any living man.
1 Marcus Attilius and his brilliant (us) gladius
Some people just love good junk. Lots of guys enjoy getting charged on the weekend and find an excuse to swing for someone. A spilled drink. An interrogated insult. A crazy look.
For the Roman citizen Marcus Attilius, his love of violence went far beyond a drunken coping mechanism for a bleak life. He really loved a good dustup. His name can be seen on graffiti in the ruins of Pompeii listing the names of the gladiator superstars of the day. Marcus Attilius is the only listed gladiator who was not a slave. He decided to fight.
It is likely that Marcus was a skilled soldier. His record suggests that he beat at least two experienced gladiators. Furthermore, we can assume that he got into difficult financial times because a gladiator had sacrificed his rights as a citizen.
But isn’t it cooler to consider that this guy just wanted to fight? Perhaps he missed the glory and blood of the battlefield. Whatever the motivation, Marcus Attilius chose to step into one of the deadliest environments ever created. And he won.
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About the author: CJ Phillips is a storyteller, actor, and writer living in rural West Wales. He’s a bit obsessed with lists.