If you’ve ever watched a Batman movie or played Just cause, you probably thought “wow, it would be so much fun to use a grab hook.” YouTuber Built IRL, named JT, thought so too – and he has been working on getting it for the past year. The end result is a gripping hook gun that works pretty much like the one we’ve seen in movies and games.
As you can see in the video above, this new grab gun is more impressive than many previous attempts. First, it’s independent – the whole unit fits on his arm, including the CO2 – powered blasting mechanism that shoots the hook using standard cartridges, and a very powerful 1
Unlike other DIY grip hooks, JT’s equipment can also bring him back to earth. He can control the direction and speed with a wheel near the thumb.
You can also see some of the real limitations of a handgun, the ones that Batman never had to deal with since he is a work of fiction. The device can be difficult to control – partly because JT tries to use the thumb while also supporting all the weight with one hand. For the most part, he uses it attached to a harness, so that the effect of being pulled up in the air can be spread over his entire body instead of being pulled by a single arm. (Just thinking about it hurts my shoulders.)
It also turns out that it is not so easy to wrap a grab hook around what you are trying to climb Overwatch or Titanfall 2. This is especially true when it is kicked out by something attached to your arm.
Despite the drawbacks, the device still works shockingly well for something so small, and it’s amazing to see a project like this come together. He’s also working on a version of Spider-Man’s snipers, and his success with the grab gun makes me believe he may actually have a shot.
If you want to see the origins of the project, you can check out the video JT made with Hacksmith Industries in November 2019. If you want to see the entire construction process, you can also check out this playlist with videos describing the project’s development.