Red Hot Rebar Firing Crossbow
I’ve wanted to do this project ever since I first saw it in Half Life 2, and subsequently, Garry’s mod. It’s the Resistance Crossbow. It’s likely one of our most accurate Make it Real projects yet, both in aesthetics, and functionality. It really works.
The Resistance Crossbow is a long-range sniper weapon featured in Half-Life 2 and Episodes. It is ruthlessly effective against distant, unsuspecting opponents, but is difficult to utilize in melee combat or against fast moving opponents due to its very slow reload and the low velocity of the projectile. The primary trigger fires a bolt; the secondary trigger zooms in on targets, the only weapon in the unedited Half-Life 2 with such a function.
We built it out of mostly scrap steel, using a leaf spring from a trailer as the limbs of the bow. Two contacts short a piece of rebar, which acts as a giant resistor (and ammunition). Upwards of 1000A @ 7.4V (that’s 7.4kW of electricity) flow through the rebar, heating it up within seconds. It has an estimated draw weight of around 180lbs, which is very high for a crossbow. But due to the weight of the bolts, they do not fly very far. Using a regular crossbow bolt it is terrifying.