Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Give a hero a modified nail gun and a box full of nails, and he could take over the world.
Some people—mostly normal, everyday people—get into the news for showing some form of above-average heroism. Pulling people from burning buildings, catching toddlers who fall from tall buildings, you know the type of story, right?
From time to time, though, we get some normal guy or gal who kicks ass with an amazing and incredibly inventive weapon. Here are 10 of those people.
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10 Tony Stein And ‘The Stinger’
This hero of World War II was essentially a real-life Transformer. When he went into battle, he turned himself into a land-faring fighter jet and gunned down enemies in droves as if they were bunch of Messerschmitts . . . except humans go down easier than planes.
Tony Stein equipped himself with a modified M1919 machine gun to fight the Japanese. This firearm, which was upgraded from firing 400 rounds per minute to an astonishing 1,350 rounds per minute, was attached to fighter planes.
Sergeant Mel Grevich liked this a lot. But he wasn’t a flyboy. He salvaged some guns from scrapped planes, attached an M1 Garand rifle butt and a box magazine, and “the stinger” was born. One of these modified monster weapons was handed to Tony Stein before the Battle of Iwo Jima.
During the battle, Stein took out enemy pillboxes and killed at least 20 enemy combatants. He made his frequent ammo runs without boots or a helmet in order to be as quick as possible.
9 An 11-Year-Old North Carolina Boy And His Machete
“This is a very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” remarked Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. He was referring to a heroic 11-year-old child who had repelled a violent burglar with a machete. The boy had just been forced into a closet at gunpoint by Jataveon Dashawn Hall, the 19-year-old burglar who was toting a pellet gun he’d grabbed while ransacking the house.
Most kids would do what they’re told. Maybe cry. Maybe wet themselves. Not this kid.
The boy left the closet and grabbed a machete. Then he ran downstairs where he saw his tormentor greedily swiping electronic goods like a TV and a PlayStation. The boy cracked the burglar over the head with his big knife and got kicked in the stomach for his trouble.
Still not licked, the boy took another swipe but missed, getting a roundhouse to the head this time. Just then, the burglar realized he was bleeding profusely from the back of his head. He dropped the stuff he was planning to steal and fled, taking two accomplices with him.
8 Lars Andersen With A Bow And Arrow
Lars Andersen must be at least half wood elf to pull off some of his amazing feats with a bow. It’s always cool to see cool people doing cool things. Andersen’s incredible, record-smashing feats with a bow and arrow make us question why we became so reliant on firearms (until you remember Tony Stein’s “Stinger”).
Andersen is also a talented painter. He attended art school and completed private tutelage under artist and fellow Dane Otto Frello. What relevance does this have? None really, but it should be covered lest the author get hunted down and pinged with 10 arrows in under five seconds.
7 ‘Jason’ And His Jar Of Instant Coffee
Many people are almost useless without their cup of morning java. But how many of us become Charles Bronson when holding a jar of coffee granules?
“Jason,” a 48-year-old man from Victoria, Australia, was getting ready to fill up his Mercedes at a petrol station in Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne. Before he had even decided whether he was going to purchase a meat pie or a pack of Tim Tams, Jason was confronted by a gun-toting man who appeared to be in his twenties.
The would-be carjacker demanded that Jason hand over the keys to his swanky ride, but Jason was having none of it. “I think most people probably should hand the keys over, but I’m sort of not one of those people,” Jason said.
After a scuffle with his assailant caused his recently purchased jar of coffee to drop to the ground and smash, Jason used a shard from the broken jar as a knife to fight off his attacker. Luckily for Jason, the criminal’s gun wasn’t real. Unluckily for the carjacker, the broken glass was real. Real sharp, that is.
Eventually, the wannabe carjacker ran away with a pack of Jason’s cigarettes.
6 Darryn Frost Fights Terrorist
Here we have the story of an extremely brave Englishman who took on a murderous terrorist with a piece of a dead animal. That is bravery.
Originally from South Africa, 38-year-old Darryn Frost confronted terrorist Usman Khan as he rampaged across London Bridge while armed with two knives. What weapon did Frost use? A narwhal’s tusk.
Frost grabbed the decorative antique from the interior of Fishmongers’ Hall where he and some colleagues were attending an event. He managed to restrain the knife-wielding attacker by pinning him to the ground while struggling to disarm him.
Khan had already murdered Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23. So Frost wasn’t dealing with just some angry guy. This was a killer. Soon police swooped in, took control of the situation, and shot the terrorist who had claimed he was wearing a bomb vest. (It turned out to be fake.)
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5 19th-Century New England Whalers And Their Explosive Harpoon Guns
Continuing with the giant ocean-dwelling mammal theme, whaling was once the cornerstone of New England’s economy. Fat from these giant animals was rendered and used as fuel for lamps all over the world. Demand was incredibly high, and the job of procuring the commodity was perilous.
Until the mid-19th-century invention of the awesome-looking harpoon gun pictured above, whalers used regular old harpoons, the type you just throw and hope for the best. One traditionalist whaler commented, “A whaler does not like to shoot a whale anymore than a sportsman would shoot a trout.”
Trout can be strong little buggers, it’s true. Whales are a different kettle of fish, though. Even with this handy invention, it must have been a heck of a job to bag enough whales to light the whole planet. Respect.
4 Joerg Sprave And His Arsenal Of Homemade Weapons
The only thing cooler than this bloke’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 conducted using PVC pipe recurve bows!
Sprave makes YouTube videos showcasing his awesome slingshot tinkerings, which have a serious amount of destructive power. They include incredibly entertaining inventions like the bowling ball–firing slingshot.
Sprave has also invented the “Instant Legolas” (now called the “Fenris Rapid Fire Bow Magazine”), an add-on to your humble bow which auto-loads arrows. This dude 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 wartime. When you consider that Australian serviceman Billy Sing completed 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 battle with the famed Turkish sniper “Abdul the Terrible” at Gallipoli. Abdul was a marksman who was so revered that even his gun had a name (“Mother of Death”).
During this sniper vs. sniper battle, it seemed as though Abdul would be victorious. Having stalked Sing and located his exact position, Abdul dug his trench and readied himself to pick off the elusive Sing. But Sing was quicker. Before Abdul could fire, Sing had pinpointed his location, seemingly using hunter’s instinct alone, and won this legendary fight.
After the war, Sing’s life was not the type that you’d expect for a returning war hero. He lived out the rest of his days in a boarding house in Brisbane as an unknown man in poverty. His unmarked grave was uncovered by Brian Tate 50 years after Sing’s death in 1943. It is now rightfully marked.
2 Jerry Miculek And Any Gun You Hand Him
It has often been suggested that you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. If the gunfight in question includes Jerry Miculek, you may need to consider bringing an even more advanced weapon . . . some sort of pulse weapon, perhaps?
When you can fire a revolver downrange and achieve a grouping smaller than the size of a playing card on the target, you’re a good shot. Jerry can do that in 0.57 seconds. He’s also a very proficient gunsmith and handyman who can design and maintain guns as well as fire them quicker than any man alive.
1 Marcus Attilius And His Shiny(us) Gladius
Some people just love a good scrap. A lot of blokes enjoy getting loaded on the weekend and find any excuse to swing for somebody. A spilled drink. A misheard insult. A cockeyed look.
For Roman citizen Marcus Attilius, his love of violence went far beyond a drunken coping mechanism for a dreary life. He genuinely loved a good dustup. His name can be seen in the ruins of Pompeii on graffiti that lists the names of the gladiatorial superstars of the day. Marcus Attilius is the only gladiator listed who was not a slave. He chose to fight.
It is probable that Marcus had been an experienced soldier. His record suggests that he was victorious against at least two veteran gladiators. Moreover, we can assume that he had fallen on hard financial times because a gladiator sacrificed his rights as a citizen.
But isn’t it cooler to consider that this guy just wanted to fight? Maybe he missed the glory and gore of the battlefield. Whatever the motivation, Marcus Attilius chose to enter one of the deadliest environments ever fashioned. And he won.
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About The Author: CJ Phillips is a storyteller, actor, and writer living in rural West Wales. He is a little obsessed with lists.