How To Build a Mini Matchstick Shooter

how to build a mini matchstick shooter

Is there no limit to the clever and creative but ultimately useless things people can come up with? Case in point, the mini matchstick shooter. This is an invention created by Grant Thompson, who calls himself “The King of Random.” Using some wood glue, a utility knife, and a simple clothespin, Thompson has developed a way to create a miniature shooter that can launch a matchstick over 20 feet and fire a toothpick fast enough that it can stick in an apple. Practical jokers and pranksters can now rejoice.

It’s difficult to think of a good use for this mini matchstick shooter invention. I can imagine a time-wasting coworker thinking that this invention is the greatest thing ever and shooting toothpicks and matchsticks all day over the top of his cubicle. That could get pretty annoying, but not nearly as annoying as it could get for school teachers, who would have to deal to six or seven hours of class clowns bringing these cheap and easy to make shooters to school day in and day out. There may not be a legitimate practical use for these creative little shooters, but they look like a ton of fun, and the internet agrees. Since posting his mini matchstick shooter video to YouTube a little over a week ago, Thompson has already attracted over 750,000 views to his creation. There are going to be a lot of annoyed coworkers and school teachers in the coming months. Checkout the video below for step-by-step instructions on how to build the matchstick shooter.

  • Larry Johnson

    Thompson invented these?? I was making Matchstick shooters from
    clothespins nearly 50 years ago, and learned how from a guy that had
    also been making them for 20 – 30 years at that time.

    • Jack Brannon

      I agree Larry. I used to live in Newnan, GA and we were making these in 1952.


    can be very dangerous.if it hits the eyes.

  • James L. Donahoe

    We made them with a needle stuck in the front and a small tail made of paper cut into the back end of a match stick. Needless to say, they would stick into ANYTHING!!

  • rb

    This is not new!! I remember making these 40+ years ago. Exactly the same design. Guy probably found one in his attic and ‘re-invented’ it. I bet this guy will also invent the lighter fluid powered “beer can cannon” for shooting tennis balls :)

  • Donmo

    we made these back in the 50′s and they fired the matchsticks and struck them at the same time. awesome, (for the time) flaming missiles for those days. we didn’t have to use glue either, we repurposed the springs and used one side of a second pin as a cocker. it was very cool back before cool was a word.