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Something different — The Wandering Earth pistol

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Wandering Earth
  • Plot
  • The pistol
  • The manual
  • Done!
  • What does it shoot?
  • How powerful?
  • Summary

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Wandering Earth

Well, you can’t stay bored by this! Today we look at a catapult pistol inspired by the Chinese sci-fy film classic, Wandering Earth. It has grossed more than US $700 million, worldwide.


In the year 2161 the earth is threatened by an aging sun that will expand into a red giant and engulf the planet within 300 years. So to preserve life, enormous planetary thrusters are positioned around the globe to push the earth out of the solar system and to the Alpha Centuri star system, which, at only 4.2 light years, is closest to us.

I won’t spoil the plot for you, except to say that it takes a LONG time to make the journey and life as we know it has to undergo some drastic changes. Apparently one of those changes is to make use of the incredibly fat double action only catapult signal pistol that we are looking at today.

The pistol

I don’t remember where I saw this pistol, but when I ordered it I was intrigued by the video that showed someone shooting plastic army men with it. I could see that it is powered by a rubber band, but what I absolutely overlooked is the fact that it comes in a kit of 431 pieces! Apparently there are people on this planet who are captivated by lego puzzles and this pistol is for them.

It was only about $20 so I figured what the heck? We’ll have a little fun.

Wandering Earth gun manual
You get a manual of about 40-pages with illustrations of how to put the gun together.

Wandering Earth pieces
Bags of thingamabobs, whachamacallits, dodads and spare parts that will be left over after assembly.

The manual

The manual doesn’t have any directions in text because it is made for everyone on the wandering planet. But there are plenty of pictures that show where things go — sort of.

Wandering Earth manual page
These are the goesintas and comesoutas.

So you keep putting the pieces together as the directions show and eventually you get something that looks like a gun. It takes 2-3 hours of focused time.

Wandering Earth manual almost done
Only a few more pages to go!

Build a Custom Airgun


So — what do you get when you are finally done? Remember airsoft? Well this pistol is nowhere near as powerful and destructive as that! What this pistol is, is a 0.0001-joule thingy launcher. It’s labeled as a signal pistol but the video shows it shooting plastic army men. Apparently parents read the words and kids watch the videos.

I’m kidding about the power because I have no way to accurately determine the velocity of this thing. I’ll say more about that later, but I don’t want any of you running out to get one based on that.

When you are finished what you have looks something like a pistol. The parts want to fall off so you have to handle it with kid gloves. But what the heck — it’s made for kids anyway!

Wandering Earth pistol right
I left off the decals, but the pistol is complete — almost! Some parts have already fallen off.

Wandering Earth pistol left
Here is the other side.

Wandering Earth pistol top
Looking down from the top.

Wandering Earth pistol bottom
And up from the bottom.

What does it shoot?

The technical term for the Wandering Earth pistol projectiles is thingys, but you can call them signaling devices. When you hit a plastic army man with one and topple him over you can holler, “Did you get the message?”

Wandering Earth thingys
The pistol comes with a rack of thingys to shoot.

Wandering Earth thingy
Here’s a closer look at a thingy.

You can see from the shape of the thingy that it is designed to go into the pistol one certain way. A look at the muzzle confirms this.

Wandering Earth muzzle
The pistol’s muzzle is keyed to accept the thingy.

Wandering Earth loaded
The thingy is loaded.

How powerful?

This is where my report breaks down. I had hoped to chronograph the thingy for you and give you a full report. Even with accuracy! But this pistol just isn’t up to it. The thingy flies out at maybe 15-20 f.p.s. and starts dropping rapidly after 6 feet. I had hoped for at least 15 feet, but it doesn’t go that far unless the floor is smooth.


I guess this report didn’t work out the way I had hoped, but it did teach me that there are a whole group of people who enjoy putting 3D puzzles together. I will now receive lessons from several readers on just exactly what this is all about.

Strangely enough the finished gun does look like the ones in the movie!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

69 thoughts on “Something different — The Wandering Earth pistol”

  1. B.B.,

    You forgot to properly LUBRICATE the Thingy!
    I recommend Slippery Stuff!

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Statler Hilton Sandwiches for the leftover turkey breast/white meat; on Sour Dough Rye.


  2. BB,

    It almost looks like a spring is visible through the muzzle opening? It looks like the thingys have a sear engagement molded in, so I guess the catapult is not spaghetti compatible?

    Maybe the original was intended for zero-gravity use during the long trip to the nearest star.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. Among other things I’m thankful that the Sun hasn’t started going red giant quite yet and that the gravity is still working. Of course, 2020’s still young…

  3. BB,

    Well that is certainly an interesting project. For anyone that wants a usable one, it would seem that some form of glue/adhesive would be in order. Maybe that is the job of the stickers?

    The projectiles are quite interesting. I pictured them being loaded dome end first,.. with the trailing “tail” for stability. I guess not. Are they soft or hard? They look like silicone.

    I would be interested to hear someone explain the aerodynamic benefits of the projectile design.

    Is the back strap adjustable for different sized hands? Is it a safety back strap?

    I see what looks to be a V rear sight, but not sure what I am seeing up front. Is there elevation and/or windage adjustments?

    Where is the rubber band? Can more be added? Is the trigger adjustable at all? Was there parts left over? Can the pistol be reconfigured by leaving pieces off, or adding them?

    That is enough for now. I am sure others will think of other things to ask that I have overlooked.

    Chris (Happy Turkey Day all) 🙂

    • I see (now) the dome end is ahead of the tail. I thought that I was seeing it breech loaded. My guess is that the tail is grabbed onto (by some internal means), stretched and then released (like a rubber band shot from a finger tip).

  4. BB,

    I love it! I think it looks awesome! I have to say that the ergonomics of the grip could be improved, but as I have a pretty big paw, it should work. It is indeed tempting to get one.

    This is something I have never really understood, most especially with CO2 pistols. Why try and replicate handguns? Why not take a C96 and turn it into a Han Solo blaster, with low slung holster? Something like this could easily hold a good sized rotary clip up top. Design one to take the Sig belt fed mags.

    Airguns do not have to look like firearms. Evanix is trying, but they still have some things to learn. We are starting to see results coming out of SE Europe. I guess if they start seeing a market, the gang from Wuhan will jump in.

    What is really funny is AirForce led the way. They have built air rifles that are pure form follows function. Now if they would just do something with that dinky pistol grip.

    I wish to all a Blessed Thanksgiving!

  5. Obviously, the thingys need to be sorted before firing.

    Five years ago, the Pelletgage was introduced. I wish to thank all those who have accepted and supported the product. Until Monday, November 30, shipping to US customers via USPS First Class Package Mail will be free. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. BB,

    Chris pointed out to me that you left out a most important lubricant from your list. Bacon fat. Since he has brought such to my attention, I too recall your commenting on how the Chinese seemed to have an affinity for this lubricant.

    • RR,

      I know it taste good. I fried up 3# of Hickory smoked thick cut yesterday for a freezer stash. Bacon and sausage is one of the things that are REAL hard hit at stores during Covid in the spring and now. Despite Covid ramping back up, Walmart was in pretty good shape (on most things) on Monday. I think the stores getting wiped out in the spring caught the shippers, suppliers and manufacturing off guard.

      I do a lot of big cook items with precook and then divide into single serve freezer stash. 3# of bacon will fill a 1 quart zipper bag real tight.


      • Chris,

        Today we will take a turkey breast roast and basket weave applewood smoked bacon over it and then bake. That is if I do not decide to roll the grill out and smoke it.

        Add stuffing, gravy, oven roasted taters, carrots and onions, green beans and cranberry celebration. No wonder I have been noticing an increase in gravity.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Parts are already falling off? Seems like superglue should have been included in the kit.

    “……parts will be left over after assembly”. Of course. Completely normal in my world.

  8. Those thingys look to be moulded in some sort of translucent red plastic.

    I know this is an entirely different kind of gun, altogether, to what you’re used to, but surely they must form part of the sights?


  9. BB, nice work. The manual needs no words, maybe a better job than what you get with some of the fancy imported air guns from Sweden.
    My laser cut F22 raptor is has yet to get built, I have some catching up to do. I will need to provide my own afterburner sound for it.
    Happy Turkey day folks, be well,

  10. BB
    Now I’m only guessing and I have wondered for a long time now, how can they ever replicate the red laser blast that comes out of just about every science fiction movie assault weapon ? A red translucent projectile ! Wonder if it glows in the dark?
    Now if the “Thingies” were to travel too far they would probably turn into ‘no-see-ums’.
    Add a battery, a peanut bulb or LED in the gun and make those thingies glow and game is on. Signal visible!
    We can only hope. 😉
    Haven’t noticed any serial number, so I guess there are no plans to track them or ever issue a recall from a dramatic defect that may cause great bodily harm.
    Not sure if they teach 6 yr olds about the shooting eyes out thing so a reduction in FPS may be mandatory.
    And how on earth did they ever get around the orange glowie paint requirement ? It’s a 3D puzzle. We need to start selling airsoft guns in puzzle form.
    Bob M

    • Bob,

      Somewhere? Here? I saw some air soft glow in the dark and they worked great! Shine a bright light on the bottle, load, shoot.

      As for puzzle guns, I think there is more than enough 3D printed stuff out there now. It has been a few years, but I know that I have seen it.


    • Fish,

      I remember all of those.

      Many thoughts and words come to mind,… none of which are good and not fit for print on this blog.

      I will say that I think it is wrong and no one here appreciates it in the least.


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