A grappling gun is a gun that propels a grappling hook into a
secure holding surface. In films and comic books (such as Batman, Kim Possible, and James Bond), a grappling gun
consists of a gun, a rope, a hook that automatically latches on to a secure surface, and a motor that functions
like elevator hoisting the hero up.
Grappling guns do now exist in reality. Beginning the 1980s, military contractors
and private companies have been developing different designs of grappling guns. Common uses of grappling guns are
found in covert military applications, secure ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore, inshore and cliff rescue, building
retrieval/rescue, and in traversing difficult terrains.
A grappling gun provides more force and straighter projectile than hand-thrown
grappling hooks. The winch function that allows a person to be automatically lifted along the rope line as found in
Batman movies, however, is still pure fiction... you have to climb or traverse the rope manually.
There are two variants of grappling guns. The more common pneumatic grappling gun
uses compressed air to propel its payload. Rocket types are less common, but give grappling hooks better range.
Grappling guns vary in size and design. Most handheld models are as small as a rifle. Models as large as leaf
blowers or more are typically built with tripods and need to be launched from the ground.