13 Homemade Survival Weapons Plans You Can Build Today

By Will Brendza | Updated: 03/06/2023

Homemade Survival Weapons You Can Complete In A Weekend

Homemade Survival Weapons

You need to be ready to handle a bad situation…

Even if it happens when you’re unarmed, unprepared, and unaware.

Because otherwise, you’re dead.

That is why I put together a guide of 13 of our best homemade weapon ideas.

In a pinch, you can still find scraps and use your noggin to create something life-saving.

Before You Begin

Tools and building materials are more abundant than you first realize.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

And if a situation arises such as:

  • an atom bomb goes off while you’re at the office
  • your family is kidnapped while on vacation
  • the government turns on its own citizens
  • or a revolution begins, and blood runs in the streets

While everyone else is running around frantic and unarmed, you will coolly assemble your homemade survival items.

Able to assemble weapons to get you through whatever catastrophe you face.

Heck, even a nonlethal weapon is better than nothing.

Thinking Creatively

This is the biggest takeaway from this article.

The number of useful resources you have in any situation depends solely on your capacity for innovation.

If two people are locked in a room with the same materials laid out before them, one might have no hope, while the other has an entire toolbox at their disposal.

Don’t be the first person, be the one who can invent their way out of any tight spot.

 So don’t forget some general rules:

  • Everything can be a tool
  • Tape (especially Duct Tape) is your friend
  • If you need a tool to build something else, make that tool first
  • Always start from the ground up
  • Time and efficiency are extremely valuable
  • The simplest solution is almost always the best one
  • Think outside of the box

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13 Best Homemade Weapons You Can Build Today

1. Flamethrowers

Here’s a badass, relatively easy-to-make, and highly effective weapon for SHTF.

However, before you build this one, just know, it’s inherently dangerous for both the user and the target.

Using the wrong fuel type or pointing it into a strong wind, you’ll set yourself on fire.

That being said, here’s a video on how to turn a fire extinguisher into a legit flamethrower.

Oh, and this dude is nuts, which makes this video entertaining to watch.

↓ How to Build the Cheapest & Laziest Flamethrower ↓

2. Homemade Pepper Spray

If you’d rather not spend a few dollars on a high-powered pepper spray, you can make your own one at home.

Get your hands on a spray bottle or can.

Clean out the container and combine the hottest dried chili peppers you can get your hands on.

You’ll also need some water.

Mix the chili peppers in a bowl.

Add water; you’ll only need enough water so the chili flakes float.

Next, use a spoon to crush the dried peppers to expose the seeds completely.

Add black pepper and stir.

Add a bit more water and then heat the mixture up using a microwave, over a fire, or in an oven.

Heat to the point of boiling. Let it cool, and then add it to the spray container.

Now you’ve got a very potent homemade weapon.

Here’s the basic concept and this “how-to” video:

↓ How to Make 10X Powerful Pepper Spray ↓

3. DIY Survival Bow

When confronting the prospect of constructing a bow, one faces many questions.

Time is an essential resource for making a bow.

If you have a lot of time and access to various tools, I’d recommend crafting yourself a legit hunting longbow.

On the other hand, if you don’t have time (or a significant amount of tools and resources), you can decide to build yourself a makeshift, cheap PVC bow.

So here are two ways to make a bow on a budget:

PVC Bow (this is just one of many methods for creating a PVC bow)

  • Cut a piece of 1”- 1 ½” PVC piping into a 4’ segment.
  • Cut grooves into each end of the PVC segment to hold the string.
  • Take string (ideally mason wire), tie loops around each end with two long string sections, and gently bend the PVC pipe.
  • When you have achieved desired curvature (a shallow bend is better as it generates more force when fired than a deep bend will), tie the two pieces of string together in the middle and cut off the excess string.
↓ Xtreme PVC Bow! ↓

Plywood bow

  • Like the PVC bow, you need to find yourself a 2” – 3” section of plywood about 4’ long and some string. It strengthens the bow if you have time to glue another identical plywood segment to the first, doubling up the power.
  • Trim the section down to the desired width for the handle and tapering on the ends.
  • Carve notches for the string on each end.
  • Attach the string to one end, bend the plywood to the desired curvature, and tie it off.

4. DIY Arrows

Arrows are important if you decide to build a bow. But luckily, they are easier to build than the bow itself.

You need a straight rod with a sharp point and fletching to make a homemade arrow.

↓ Make Arrows For Less Than $2 – 5 Simple Steps ↓

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Want a free 54 item survival gear checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

5. Survival Slingshot

The classic neighborhood hooligan’s weapon.

It doesn’t get as much survival weapon credit as it should.

It’s small, simple, packable, and easy to find ammo.

The bottom line is:

Survival slingshots are very useful.

And they’re fairly easy to make.

Here is a guide that tells you everything you need to know about slingshot building and slingshot hunting.

However, if you’re serious about using a slingshot for self-defense or hunting, you may want to consider buying a professional one before SHTF.

The accuracy and power will typically be better than a homemade slingshot.

↓ Homemade Slingshot with Household Materials ↓

6. Bullwhip

Indiana Jones made the bullwhip an iconic weapon.

↓ Indiana Jones Bullwhip Compilation ↓

But beyond Hollywood’s world of “make-believe,” these can be useful in a survival situation.

They were invented to control animals (as well as punish human beings).

So buy yourself some survival paracord, and cut it to 6’ – 8’.

Pick which side you want the handle on, tape it up for a grip, and tightly tie a short string to the other end.

Using small strings is important because it creates that famous CRACK when someone uses a whip.

That sound is the end of the whip breaking the sound barrier or a mini sonic BOOM.

It still works to harm things without the string … but it’s less dramatic.

And here’s a video showing you step-by-step how to make a paracord bullwhip.

↓ How to Make a Paracord Bullwhip ↓

And if that seems like too much time and hassle, you can always snag one for only a few dollars.

7. Throwing Spikes and Stars

Bend some scrap metal to resemble the weight and shape of a throwing star.

You’ll need a few shop tools and some scrap metal to do these right.

You can also bind shards of glass together, but this is somewhat dangerous and typically only good for one use.

↓ How To Make a Ninja-Throwing Star ↓

8. Caltrops

These are great for stopping pursuing vehicles.

Welding or some other method of fastening the blunt ends of nails together so that they form a road spike that always has a sharp end pointing up.

You can toss these across a road to stop almost any vehicle in its tracks.

↓ How To Make Caltrops ↓

9. Blunt Force Weapons

Blunt force weapons are easy to find, and you can easily upgrade them.

A whole lot of random things can be used for clubs: table legs, broom handles, pots and pans, instruments, etc.

Add a few nails to any club for a massive (deadly) upgrade.

Quote from the next video ”

They can never take away the junk you got lying around in your shop.

↓ Spiked Club, Improvised Melee Weapon ↓

10. The Homemade Taser

A small taser can be made without too much difficulty.

You only need a barbecue lighter, scissors, a pen, and some duct tape.

Remove all the screws, open the lighter to access the inside, and cut the cables close to the end that sparked the flame.

Next, strip the plastic off about a half-inch.

Dismantle the pen and use the empty body tube to hold the wires.

Attach the pen’s tube with duct tape to expose the wires at the end.

Pressing the button should create a spark between the two wire ends.

Needless to say, this is a fire hazard, so don’t go starting an accidental fire.

The following video shows how to make this work.

However, a lighter won’t provide a constant electrical pulse.

To make it a real taser, you must change the trigger from a single zap to a constant one.

Otherwise, it’s more of a toy than a real self-defense weapon.

Or you could always buy the real deal instead

↓ How To Make A TASER From A Lighter ↓

11. Knife or Shiv

Many objects can be turned into knives.

Here’s a good video showing you how to turn a file into a razor-sharp knife.

↓ Turning A Rusty FILE Into A Razor Sharp KNIFE ↓

12. Homemade War Hammer

By fastening something heavy and elongating it to the end of a pole, you can craft yourself a weapon for the likes of heroes.

Attach a brick or rock, or piece of metal to the end of a pipe or pole, and that’s it!

The more creative you get with the fastening part, the better off you’ll be.

Check out these tactical war hammers for a bit of inspiration.

↓ How To Build A War Hammer ↓

13. Pocket Dart Guns and Blowguns

These are easy enough to construct; you need a long tube and some pointed projectiles (like nails, pencils, or carved wooden darts).

Ensure that the dart fits snugly into the blowgun so that pressure builds up before the object releases.

This can be achieved by wrapping tape around the blunt end of the dart shaft until it sits lightly in place inside the blowgun.

Here’s how to make a laser-guided blowgun for under $3.

Or, again, here’s a professional one.

↓ How To Make A Laser-Assisted Blowgun ↓

14. DIY Sheet Metal Self Loading Pistol

One of our readers shared this with me in the comments (thanks, David).

It takes some serious metal-working skill, but it shows that you can build damn near anything yourself with skills and patience.

↓ DIY Sheet Metal Self-Loading Pistol ↓

And here’s a video of the final product working as designed.

↓ Krikit 25 Success… Just The Fire Sequence ↓

Prepare, Adapt, and Overcome – A Different Way Of Thinking

I have said it before, and I will say it again:

This article does not even come close to listing every possible DIY weapon or tool one could dream up.

The possibilities are literally limitless.

The power of creation lies with the creator, and that is you, The Survivor.

But creative thinking does not always come naturally to everyone.

It takes practice.

Survival Gear Checklist eBook Cover -with fire piston on a rock and campfire in the background

Want a free 54 item survival gear checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Homemade Survival Weapon Lessons From McGyver

The crazy 80’s character could think on his feet so fast and with such success that his name became a verb.

To “MacGyver” something is to create it quickly and with skill out of only a few random resources at your disposal.

While many of the MacGyver improvisations were a bit far-fetched (or ludicrous), the basic idea is still valid: be like MacGyver – think like MacGyver.

Sadly, no matter how much you train your brain to be creative on the fly, there’s only so much you can do.

It would be nice to get stranded in the end times with your whole family, alone in a hardware store where you have several weeks of food and can create whatever supplies you could ever imagine.

But that probably won’t happen.

On a final note:

There are no wrong answers when it comes to homemade survival weapons.

Anything can be used to accomplish your goals, Anything can be a tool, and anything can be a weapon.

In a survival scenario, labels and categories tend to fall away.

For more inspiration, check out this list of real weapons found in prisons.

Will Brendza

Will Brendza

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Member of The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR (expired), CPR (expired)
  • 8+ Years Researching, Writing, About Survival and Preparedness
  • Awards from Society of Professional Journalists
  • Winner of Camp Cold’s “Happy Camper” award in 2020
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