Go Medieval: 11 Booby Traps to Defend Your Castle

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Traps have been around since the dawn of man and initially protected a home or camp and were invaluable in hunting and fishing.  And apparently, they’re still used by drug dealers in the UK to protect their stash.  Talk about do it yourself security systems!window sill security system

They can be as simple as a game funnel or fish weir or get very complex. But the purpose is always to funnel, trap, or harm through deception.  The major benefit of traps is that they’re inexpensive, and they can work while you’re resting or doing something else.  Keep reading to see how you could protect your pad with some booby traps like the medieval spike trap that would really make criminals think twice. Speaking of home defense, check out why bolo rounds and rock salt shotgun shells could be among the worst home defense shotgun shells to use to protect your home.

Here’s our top list:

Don’t Try These Do It Yourself Security Systems at Home

[alert type=”warning” close=”true” heading=”Warning”]The idea of using these traps for crime prevention is just for grins, please don’t set them up at your home. They are much more likely to injure you or another innocent than a burglar, and they are most likely illegal where you live.  Don’t end up in jail like these guys in Utah who set up some booby traps along a hiking trail.[/alert]

1. Viet Cong Rolling Spike Trap

The Viet Cong were pretty resourceful booby trap builders.  This one is particularly cringe worthy.
Viet Cong Booby Trap

2. Russian Crazy Glue

Use your imagination with this improvised glue trap!  You could leave some of this on a ladder outside your window.

Looking for something more serious? You might like these other articles:

3. Punji Stick Pit

During the war, stakes were made out of sharpened and hardened bamboo and were often dipped in human or water buffalo feces to promote infection in wounds.

4. Corn Flour Explosive

Corn flour, the primary ingredient in suburban special effects.

Obviously, you’d have to supplement this with an air source and a trigger mechanism to make a viable deterrent.  But, unanticipated fire balls are pretty scary.

5. Side-closing Spike Trap

This modified form of a pit trap is particularly vicious.  Not only do you impale your foot, but it gets your ankle and lower leg too.

The side-closing punji trap works by balancing two boards on ledges inside the trap so that they’re held in place. But when someone steps into the trap, the center gives way, closing the trap on the victims leg and pressing the spikes into their flesh.

Side Closing Punji Stick Trap

6. Rubber band powered sliding trap

Here’s another one from the Viet Cong.  The victim knocks a block (stick) out of the middle of the trap and the sides come closing in.

sliding spike trap

7. Spring Spear Trap (Malay gate)

You can make a trap like this except mount it horizontally between two trees like the one in Rambo: First Blood.  And, I would suggest much thinner stakes for the strength of this trap.

8. Fireball device

This video shows you how to make a nifty air release and combines that with fire.  How can that go wrong?

9. Medieval Mace Trap

This trap happens to be one from the story about the guys in Utah who set it up on public land and got sent to jail for it.  It relies on a weighted mace with spike shafts and a remote release mechanism.  You get the idea.

large mace trap

10. Apache Foot Trap

This type of trap is a form of foot trap like those used by Native Americans (and probably others as well) and is made with wooden stakes driven into the side of an earthen pit.  It does its damage as the startled quarry extracts their leg without realizing the consequences.

11. The Grand Finale – Cartridge Trap

[sociallocker] The cartridge trap uses a very simple design with an improvised barrel and firing pin made of bamboo and a nail. Of course, you could also make these with metal pipe and plates, but bamboo is pretty strong stuff.

I put together this concept so that you could get an idea of how it works. It would have to be placed on a hard surface that did not yield when stepped on to activate the improvised firing pin. When it’s stepped on, the foot presses the bullet down onto the firing pin, causing the round to go off. I suspect many of these didn’t fire depending on the speed and force of the foot coming down on the trap. Rifle and shotgun primers require different pressures to go off as well, so I would think the shotgun versions would be more reliable.

Bullet booby trap standing

This shot gives you an idea of how the “mine” might be set up. Of course, it would normally be buried up to the tip. I didn’t have any 5.56 around, so you get .270 soft points instead.

rifle bullet trap standing

Here’s a mock up the shotgun shell version.

shotgun booby trap standing[/sociallocker]

As you can see, there are all kinds of crazy ways to use traps (or even flechette shells) to even the odds between you and the bad guys.  Put these in your back pocket if you’re fending for yourself after a societal collapse and there are no laws and little chance of fratricide.

Please don’t actually resort to something this crazy for your home’s security.

If you’re into DIY, you might like these other articles too

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3 thoughts on “Go Medieval: 11 Booby Traps to Defend Your Castle”

  1. I would like to say as a firefighter, please do not do anything like this to your home. There have many many fire, ems and other emergency first responders hurt or killed by devises like these across the world. If your house catches on fire or if you have a medical emergency to where we may have to enter your home without your presence, we can unknowingly be putting our lives in unnecessary danger.


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