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Ok, since I'm tHe BEaN dELiVerY mAn, I need an appropriate weapon. I want a (you guessed it) bean gun. I want something that could launch beans at a lethal speed. However, I don't want the ammo to have to be cut into a cylinder like a spud gun. I want something that can launch the beans whole (baked, refried, uncooked, just beans I don't care which.) Would something of the sort be possible? If so, please explain in detail.

Requirements:

  • Must shoot bean(s)

  • Lethal (or just as bad as a bb gun)

  • Doesn't harm bean gun wielder

Preferred Outlines (not required):

  • Handheld/rifle style

  • Bean case so if you get hungry you can eat them

  • Accurate scope

All of the above in one device/gun/rifle etc.

Or, just fact check it. Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Dec 3, 2020 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ please clarify if you want individual beans, or podded beans like Green beans, or are Has-Beans in scope too ? $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Dec 3, 2020 at 23:22
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    $\begingroup$ In his "Known Space" stories Larry Niven invented a species called the Tnuctipun, who were preferred by another of his invented species, the Slavers (a race of telepathic-but-rather-stupid mind-controllers who dominated the galaxy), for their inventiveness. The Tnuctipun developed at least one bio-tool known as a "stage tree" - basically, a tree with an outer reinforced skin and an inner core consisting of a biological solid rocket propellant. Smaller examples made handy booster rockets. Fully mature versions could reach escape velocity to launch seeds in space - or blow up nearby space ships. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 23:38
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    $\begingroup$ You could just use an extract of castor beans... $\endgroup$
    – SeanR
    Dec 4, 2020 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ This is the most... interesting... question that I've seen in a while... $\endgroup$
    – Ian Kemp
    Dec 4, 2020 at 15:50

13 Answers 13

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Hey there BEaN dELiVerY mAn! I made a video today demonstrating the operation of a real bean gun, and it's efficacy against a common backyard adversary.

Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/-r81fttEqrM

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Trivially easy. Buy a 12 gauge shotgun and some reloading equipment. Load 12 gauge cartridges with beans instead of shot. Put reloaded cartridges in your shotgun and fire away.

Now I don't say that this will be a very effective weapon, but it will work (or should: I have not tried it myself). The low density of the beans means you won't get much range, and the non-symmmetrical shape of the beans means you'll get a very loose pattern, so forget about the scope. But it should be effective at close quarters.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would a single shot rifle work the same way, but with more accuracy if i infused depleted uranium into the beans? $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2020 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ What is your digestive tract made of? You said you still wanted to be able to eat the things ... $\endgroup$
    – Gwyn
    Dec 2, 2020 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ +1 on the shotgun shells. That would be your easiest option. Use dried beans say 10 years old or so. The older they are the harder they get. $\endgroup$
    – Gwyn
    Dec 2, 2020 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ @bean delivery man not much difference in accuracy. It's the shape of the bean that's the problem. $\endgroup$
    – Gwyn
    Dec 2, 2020 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ @bean delivery man: No, at least if you're talking modern rifles that use cartridges. Muzzleloaders, sure, they're more like shotguns in that anything loaded ahead of the wad/patch (that forms a gas seal) gets blown out the barrel. But with a rifle, the bullet itself forms the seal, so unless you can grow perfectly round beans of the right caliber, you're not much better off than you would be shooting blanks. (Note: all my semi-informed opinion, as I haven't actually tried any of it.) $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Dec 3, 2020 at 2:27
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If refried beans are in scope, I find myself thinking of something more like this:

enter image description here

Maybe this could be your character’s vehicle. Have the water cannons pump out refritos at high velocity. Or maybe one shoots refritos, and the other shoots nacho cheese? The options are endless! 😄

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    $\begingroup$ @Gwyn, if it’s hot and high-pressure, it could be lethal! And if it’s thick enough, you might just drown your opponents. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 7:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Gwyn - get enough refritos and nacho cheese into your digestive system every day and, one way or another, lethal is exactly what it will be. Admittedly eventually lethal, and perhaps more immediately for anyone trapped in a room with you shortly after each dose, but lethal nonetheless. $\endgroup$
    – Spratty
    Dec 3, 2020 at 9:32
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    $\begingroup$ And spice things up with Habanero spray. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 16:43
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    $\begingroup$ This is totally ridiculous. +1 $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ @MadPhysicist, that's why we love it so! 😆 (I mean the question, not my post. :) ) $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 21:42
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Already bean done.....

(Sorry for the pun)

enter image description here

You can load up shotgun shells with seeds and fire them. Would be very short range weapon and pathetic stopping power but puts a whole new spin on "pushing up daisies"...

See Flower Shell

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  • $\begingroup$ I know this probably isn't very helpful, but the wording of your answer just begged for the following video to be linked: youtube.com/watch?v=031Dshcnso4 $\endgroup$
    – CitizenRon
    Dec 4, 2020 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ Reminds me of the climax of Grim Fandango :) $\endgroup$
    – hobbs
    Dec 5, 2020 at 5:59
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The Bean Can-non, and the RPB

The Bean Can-non: A small cannon, into which one packs a bag of powder, then a wad of rags, and then a can of beans. Point at enemy, stand well back, and poke a very long match into the touch hole. Boom! Headshots can be lethal, though difficult to achieve.

The RPB: The modern version. This is an ordinary rocket propelled grenade launcher, except the warhead has been cut off the rocket and a can of beans welded in its place. There is a small but non-zero chance of killing your enemies, and a very good chance of annoying them.

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    $\begingroup$ RPB: The future of engineering $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 20:56
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Depleted uranium beans.

They would have to be grown from depleted uranium - not just have a uranium centre. So some sort of weird GM beans.

Then, since they are GM beans, you could get them to be suitable for rifling, or a bean-calibre gun.

But by that time they are, pretty much, bullets.

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    $\begingroup$ Does not this contradict "Bean case so if you get hungry you can eat them"? $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Dec 2, 2020 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ That was added as an edit after I wrote this!! $\endgroup$
    – Konchog
    Dec 2, 2020 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ Ah. Sorry then. $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Dec 2, 2020 at 21:50
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Cooling the beans in liquid nitrogen to -196C/-320F ought to make the beans solid enough to do significant damage even if cooked, and cold enough not to just reheat during transit or from whatever mechanism is used to propel them

Now you have a lot of small hard objects, which can be launched at your enemies through any mechanism normally suitable for launching small hard objects. Slings, catapults, cannons with the beans loaded as grapeshot, airguns etc

Actual bullets might be trickier because you wouldn't want to keep the charge cooled with liquid nitrogen, but I don't see any reason you couldn't design a device that feeds charges at ambient temperature, and liquid nitrogen cooled beans into the chamber separately

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    $\begingroup$ Freezing with LN tends to make things very brittle - I'd be concerned that the frozen beans would just shatter when subjected to sudden acceleration. Dried beans are already pretty hard, so it seems unnecessary to cook and then freeze them (although to be fair, a bean gun in the first place is pretty unnecessary). $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ + 1d4 cold damage $\endgroup$
    – Jon P
    Dec 4, 2020 at 5:08
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I assume you have never heard of a "potato cannon", or you never played with blowguns made out of a pen case and paper balls as a kid.

Tight seal between the barrel and the projectile is needed only to maximize the usage of the explosive power and prevent losses by allowing gases to escape, otherwise you will get propulsion anyway.

There are even historical evidences where desperate defenders, having run out of proper ammunition, loaded their cannons with coins and cutlery.

If you want something handheld, in the very basic configuration you need a pipe closed at one end, an explosive and your beans. Put the explosive in, then the beans, fire the explosive while aiming in the general direction of your target.

Beans can be used too. The only thing is that if they are cooked they won't withstand the jolt of the explosion and will likely be splattered.

You can even load the pipe with the whole can of canned beans, to increase the damage on the target.

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    $\begingroup$ True, but I've never seen a cannon meant to fire cheese or gold or stuff like that. I mean that respectively, as I would want a gun that fire exclusively beans, handheld preferably. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2020 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ Colonel Jackson's followers took a little bacon and they took a little beans; and the caught the bloody British in the battle of New Orleans. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2020 at 19:40
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Shotgun shells loaded with hard dried beans would be easiest.

But if you insist on something like a rifle or hangun, and you still want to use the beans "as is" without encasing them in something or cutting them to size; you could use a small calibre black powder cap-and-ball revolver (like the really old derringers or lady's purse guns or even six-shooters in cowboy movies set pre-civil war) or front loading rifle - in other words 19th century stuff - with a dried bean instead of the lead ball.

Alteratively an air gun made to fire hard round plastic pellets would also work.

For both options, the rounder and smoother the bean and the closer they are to the correct size the better your accuracy results would be, so you'd have to use dried round beans - something like soya beans, mung beans or azuki beans - and sieve-grade them so all your ammo is the right size.

Remember dried beans get harder as they get older (which is why they have to soak longer before cooking) so for ammo, the older the better.

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    $\begingroup$ If i ever make a fortune im gonna get a bean gun desinged and optimised by a team of experts like the people answering my question $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2020 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ There are some very creative suggestions, that's for sure. You should consider accepting the answer you think best fits your question by clicking the tick mark next to it. $\endgroup$
    – Gwyn
    Dec 4, 2020 at 23:10
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Beans come in cans, which are made of steel and weigh more than a pound each. Launch the cans.

If you don't consider that cheating, I'm pretty sure it's the deadliest idea here.

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The answer is simple, your bean gun is actually a coilgun.

A coilgun uses wires in spools to magnetically pull an object through the barrel.

This has been made by the hacksmith on youtube

So now you just need the beans to be magnetic, so just insert a tiny piece of metal into the inside of an uncooked bean, load, and fire!

As you will be able to see from the video I linked, it can do some serious destruction and can definitely cause injury, and be potentially lethal.

Note: You would have a case of already prepped beans ready to load with metal already inserted for efficiency of course.

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  • $\begingroup$ Make that a railgun, and you won't need the tiny piece of metal. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2020 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ @JoannaMarietti No railgun requires metal as well, it uses a strong magnetic force. Also, the reason I picked coilgun was for the lighter design and higher possible fire rate $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Dec 6, 2020 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ my understanding is that a railgun using a magnetic sled can potentially fire anything - even an unmodified bean. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2020 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ that is true @JoannaMarietti, but the sled repeatedly hitting whatever guard that prevents the sled from actually shooting out of the gun would damage, even break the guard, and mess up the gun. Also, a railgun requires a lot more power, and that power would have to be stored on the gun, which makes it a lot heavier $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Dec 6, 2020 at 17:03
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A genetically engineered organism (shaped like a gun) that grows the beans internally (or via a symbiotic second organism) and fires said beans from a gullet via peristaltic action.

For prior (fictional) art see existenz gristle gun and warhammer 40k tyranid bioweapons etc

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So a shotgun is all well and good for short range, but you want long range. At this point the issue is basically strength of the bean and accuracy of the bean; you can only make it go so fast without it disintegrating (likely not fast enough to be lethal) and it definitely won't go straight with such an odd shape. It turns out, though, that how straight it travels is an issue not solved particularly well by changing shape, but by spinning the projectile. Muskets (which didn't spin bullets) were notoriously inaccurate, and guns only became accurate after rifling was invented to spin bullets as they fly, thus evening out uneven drag by applying it from all directions sequentially (the bean or bullet will travel in a spiral, but will go straight overall).

The issue here is that if ya spin the bean all that fast or try to spin it with rifling, it'll disintegrate. However, if you were to dunk it in epoxy first...now you're getting somewhere. If you start with wet beans, dunk them in epoxy and let it harden, now you've got slightly flexible bullets that could be pushed into a rifle and fired in one piece, with reasonable accuracy. As for stopping power, you'd have to fire them vErY fast; think about how rubber bullets are used in order to not kill people. But if you loaded a machine gun clip with these, you could definitely do some damage, especially if you use lots of gunpowder.

I wish you the best of luck in your future bean endeavors. May your enemies tremble upon hearing your hallowed name.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello Bob! Thanks for joining us at Worldbuilding. When you have a moment, please take our tour and read the first two bullets of the help center to better understand how our site operates. And +1 for the blessing alone. Cheers! $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 6, 2020 at 4:31

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