So, after seeing this xkcd question...

What if you strapped C4 to a boomerang? Could this be an effective weapon, or would it be as stupid as it sounds? —Chad Macziewski

Aerodynamics aside, I’m curious what tactical advantage you’re expecting to gain by having the high explosive fly back at you if it misses the target.

At first this sounds really stupid, but C-4 is a very stable explosive, requiring heat AND shock to trigger.

So the question is, with modern tech, Could a C-4 boomerang arm/disarm itself reliably/fast enough to blow up a target on a hit, but not blow up the thrower? (or hurt the thrower when it blows up due to shrapnel or other explosion related injury)

For 'Practicality", lets say this is for use by a secret service agent for whom money is not a problem.

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    $\begingroup$ You do realize that the basic concept of a boomerang is that they return to the person who threw them, right? Also, there's these things called RPG's ... $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Nov 29 '16 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ What would the advantage of a boomerang over a disc? After all, if all goes well the boomerang is not going to be returning to you. $\endgroup$ – Kys Nov 29 '16 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Kys, maybe you want to throw it around an obstacle to make sure nothing is hiding behind it? What are the advantages of a normal boomerang returning after all? $\endgroup$ – Tezra Nov 29 '16 at 21:03
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    $\begingroup$ The normal advantage of a boomerang is that it returns to you without blowing up halfway out. Also, you can do some pretty fancy things with discs. Look up some disc golf trick shots. $\endgroup$ – Kys Nov 29 '16 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ Despite what most people think, "Traditionally, most boomerangs used by aboriginal groups in Australia were 'non-returning'." So the whole 'blowing yourself up' problem is only an issue if you use tourist boomerangs $\endgroup$ – Samwise Nov 29 '16 at 21:18

You can imagine a futuristic boomerang packed with explosives.

There are already UAVs were explosives have been duct taped (http://thehill.com/policy/defense/300609-styrofoam-isis-drone-killed-peshmerga-forces-injured-french-troops), so why not ?

A carbon-fiber body well designed will generate very deadly shrapnels when the C4 will detonate (plus, of course, the blast-wave and the heat).

Since boomerang have a very predictable and curved trajectory, they could reach hidden targets where grenades can't be used OR where a clunky grenade-launcher will be required. Also, for what I know, boomerang fly silently.

Also, a "intelligent" explosive boomerang could also lock onto the target heat and slight adjust his trajectory.

But due to obviously high-production cost and very specific use for this kind of weapon, it's sounds more like a Special Ops weapon than a classic infantry weapon.

In short : Explosive Boomerang for Ghost Recon. Grenades for standard soldiers.


We think of boomerangs as returning to the thrower. But think about Angry Birds, where you primarily use boomerangs for their curved trajectory rather than to actually return all the way back.

This could be handy for throwing what is essentially a grenade to attack enemy "from behind," or to throw around corners or you could chuck it into a window and down the hall into the third door on the left.

  • $\begingroup$ p.s.: I still think it's a terrible idea! $\endgroup$ – Xplodotron Nov 29 '16 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ When xplodotron thinks it's a bad idea you might want to think twice. $\endgroup$ – jorfus Nov 29 '16 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @jorfus, To be fair, I never said it had to be a good idea, just a practically achievable/usable one. :p $\endgroup$ – Tezra Nov 29 '16 at 21:05

Once the detonator is triggered, the C4 detonates in a fraction of a second. If the trigger mechanism initiates the explosion and the target is somehow missed, the boomerang is going to explode regardless.

Many area weapons work on this principle anyway, with either a timer or proximity sensor triggering the detonation of the explosive filler when the target is in proximity (or the user brings the explosive in close proximity to the target, i.e. throwing a hand grenade).

The only plausible advantage a boomerang might bring to the table is the ability for a skilled user to throw the device "around the corner" and hit a target which is otherwise inaccessible. Modern weapons like the XM-25 use laser rangefinders and computerized timers in the fusing system to detonate the round when it is close enough to damage the target under cover, and would seem to be much easier to issue to soldiers than to spend extensive time training soldiers to use a boomerang.


There's a really cool panel in some Batman comic where he rushing to get to a meeting on time and uses his batrang to hit a sniper who is hiding behind a statue.

There's a time and place for an exploding boomerang, and it's probably trick shots. The simplest way to activate the explosive is probably with a radio-controlled detonator (maybe use some encrypted authentication so your enemy can't cause your belt holster to explode on you).

Advanced versions could have variable timers, variable effects (one boomerang that can slice, burn, explode etc. user decides)

Also of course you have to play on the word boomerang. Call the cutting one a cut-erang, the liquid nitrogen one freez-erang, but not never call the explodey one a boomerang because everyone's waiting for it.

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    $\begingroup$ For some reason I just found boom-erang really funny... "Robin you idiot, the boom-erang, not the boomerang!" $\endgroup$ – Samwise Nov 29 '16 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ An incendiary Phwoom-erang? And depending on the explosion size the explodey one could be the DOOM!-erang. $\endgroup$ – Lu22 Nov 30 '16 at 10:57

You could make one, it would need a carbon fiber body with C4 filler,it has to be light to work. It would need some kind of wireless proximity sensor to turn on the timer, and would be expensive in terms of construction and electronics.

The better question is why make one when grenades are cheaper and more devastating and don't require weeks-months of training to master. Honestly a C4 frisbee might work better for distance, and a drone is going to work better for distance and angle of attack.


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