Osterschießen (Easter Shooting)

I like to celebrated Easter with some shooting or hunting. The folks in Upper Lusatia and southern Austria take Easter shooting to an entirely new level.

A tennis ball sized piece of calcium carbide and a few millimeters of water are placed in those barrel. The calcium carbide reacts with the water producing acetylene, a highly flammable gas. The barrel has a small touch hole to allow ignition of the gas.

[ Many thanks to Sven (Defence and Freedom) for emailing me the the info. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Munkfish

    That looks intense! I have a desire to reproduce this, only with safety gear and a remote ignition system. Still, that must be one hell of a trip directly settin’ ’em off like that!

    • SPC Fish

      this would be a great us for those model rocket igniters and a long wire

  • Patrick

    Excuse me while I go and book airline tickets for next April………….

  • Theodoric

    It’s also done in rural parts of the Netherlands around New Year’s.

  • Stalker

    Well, we have same custom in Poland, mostly during Easter Sunday. We take metal cans, with small chunks of calcium carbide, pour few drops of water on them, and we are blowing it up during procession around church. It’s quite harmless and funny. Two hundred years back, even cannon from XVII century was used in my village for shooting blanks in front of the church during Easter Sunday!

    Greetings from Poland!

  • mario franceski

    This video is not Austria though. It is Croatia, Zagorje province.

  • schizuki

    God bless rednecks. They know no national boundaries.

    How do you say “Hold my beer” in German?

    • Leonard

      “Halt mal mein Bier, bitte” would be the correct translation (note that “mal” is a fill-word with no further meaning here, and “bitte” (please) can of course be left away if you don’t want to sound polite 🙂

  • Ben

    I did that as a kid ( I was 15 I think) we would fill a 2L with a couple cups of water, drop a handful of C. Carbide from a caving lamp into it, cap it off (it stinks REALLY bad), sit it on a stump with a burning rag next to it and shot it from 100 feet with a 22LR. Just wait for the brand wrapper to stretch enough from pressure that it pops off, then shoot it. boom. Ahh, memories of being a kid living in the boonies back before the world went insane.