This Modified Nerf Gun is Powered By Liquid Nitrogen
You're never too old for a Nerf war. That said, foam projectiles have evolved somewhat since you were a kid, thanks in large part to tireless efforts from a community of modders who range from the enthusiastic to the slightly dangerous.
On the more concerning (but altogether very cool) side of the spectrum is Giaco Whatever, a YouTuber who has taken apart and entirely rebuilt a standard Nerf gun to run on a somewhat unorthodox power source. While traditional Nerf guns use hand-pump power or electric motors, this gun, repainted to look significantly more intimidating, is fueled by liquid nitrogen.
See the whole process, and of course the liquid nitrogen Nerf gun in action, below:
The gun works by taking advantage of the expanding size of the liquid nitrogen when it begins to warm up to room temperature. Nitrogen has to be kept at -320 degrees Fahrenheit in order for it to stay a liquid, so once it's removed from a super-cooled environment, it turns into gas fairly quickly.
This causes the nitrogen to expand, thus taking up more space and creating pressure within the gun's barrel, which eventually bursts through a protective layer, causing a Nerf foam bullet to shoot out like a cork popped from a champagne bottle.
As complicated as this all sounds, Giaco Whatever's approach to creating the gun is somewhat makeshift - for example, the protective layer that creates pressure within the gun is made from a potato chip bag. This is a mix of low-fi technology and expensive, volatile chemicals, and this particular experiment probably shouldn't be tried at home.
What's more, the gun isn't exactly efficient. Like an old-fashioned rifle, the gun will fire off precisely one shot before it needs to be reloaded, and because of the somewhat unpredictable nature of the liquid nitrogen that's returning to a gaseous state, the gun's timing for firing is impossible to plan for. It's simply a matter of pointing the gun at a target, carefully filling it up with liquid nitrogen, and then waiting for it to fire.
So why create something this hazardous, cumbersome, and slow? Because it's cool, of course. Why else?
So no, this gun won't be winning any Nerf wars any time soon. That said, it's a genius little project that shows how far the Nerf modding community can go, and what can be accomplished when liquid nitrogen is put to good use. Now, if only Giaco Whatever could make his way to Pluto, he'd be set with an unlimited source of fuel for his gun, and the chance at the weirdest toy shooting range of all time!