Potato Gun Stories
Stories from the firing range!
This is a collection of stories fans wrote in to me about their spudguns. The best thing about having your potato cannon and using it for psort is that you meet so many people and just have fun with your potatoes! Kinda like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters, but without all the messy alien stuff.
The Spud Gun Scoop:
Carl Lakatos writes:
I recently built one of these following your design and parts list. Thanx a bunch for the part numbers. It was a huge help at the 'Shack. I was curious as to what kind of distance you've been able to achieve with your cannon? Using potatos I've been able to get about 300 to 350 yds at 80 to 90 psi. Cored spuds just don't
fly very well. They come out of the barrel looking like a knuckleball. What's been your experience with alternative ammunition?
Well Carl, thats all I've shot lately myself. But you'll find out here as my R&D continues...
Kevin Unger writes:
There's a viper that raced down the street. Ok for the story, today, 6/8/02 I had just bought some paintballs (PMI if you must know) and we were shooting them at a tree in my backyard. They went so far you would hear them hit cement, across a 1 1/2 acre yard. Anyways, someone called the cops on us saying we had fireworks. Cops came by, nautrally I threw my gun down (we were in front of my mom's van) so they pulled in and we started to talk, they were impressed. We had a history with fireworks, thats why they came. We told them about the Viper and they said they'll watch the street. Later that day we saw the Viper go by with a mean look on the drivers face!
I built this gun with a combination of various designs I found around the web, substituting a few parts here and there and adding wooden support beams crudely duct taped to the barrel and air chamber, I used silicone rubber to seal some air leaks, however, it didn't work very well. I got off, sadly, only 8 shots with this gun before it blew itself apart, breaking a weak glue seal and scaring me by flying apart pieces of it coming back at me. I wasn't getting the full power of my gun as I used metal elbows in joining of the solenoid and the pvc and I wasn't able to get a very good air tight seal around them that could stand much pressure, I guess I just did a bad job of siliconing. Oh well I am not defeated. This was a learning experience, however I give a word to the wise, when firing use ear plugs, not for the firing but rather, if it blows up it is EXTREMELY loud. I also recommend eye protection, thick clothing too and padding in case pieces come at you like they did to me, I had metal elbows and solenoid valve come back at me and If I wasn't wearing thick clothes it could have caused some damage. I also suggest using rediculous amounts of glue in every single piece you glue inside and outside of parts because it was because of a weak glue job I must now either rebuild or start over.
I first built my spudgun about five or so years ago but after a few short months of using it, my trigger broke and the gun was left to become homes for spiders in my garage. Now, I brought the gun out of hibernation and I fixed the trigger and all. I shot it off behind a movie theater near my house and I got a few good shots off. I loaded the gun up for another shot and after filling the chamber with hairspray I pressed the trigger. The potato flew out one end and the actual end cap and the area where it screws in blew off the back hitting my hand. My hand stung for a bit. I re-cemented it and next morning I brought it to work. A couple days later, I shot it off at work and after a few shots, the barrel completely blew off the end of the gun. The pipe shattered and the barrel was all broken up. Needless to say, if you build a combustion gun be careful and also without say, the gun I'm gonna build to replace my combustion gun will be a pneumatic!
I made my first spud gun for a school project. It was small pneumatic w/ ball valve, only a half inch bore. I started shooting nerf darts out of it, because they made a really good seal once the too-big sucker tips were cut off. Anyway I started out weighting them with plugs of glue to make them go farther and me and my little brother went out in the front yard. I shot the gun like a mortar and he'd catch the darts and toss them back . They only went about 25-30 feet. Anyway, then I decided hot-glue a metal nut on the end of one, to see what would happen ( I thought it would either shoot a little farther, or maybe even fall shorter) so I loaded the shot, charged the thing to 80 psi, and fired at a 45 degree angle. That fucker went all the way across the cul-de-sac i live on, nearly killed some guy working on his roof, and landed in a bush about 160 feet away! Luckily the guy on the roof didn't see the small projectile, but needless to say, after that I did all my test firing in the back yard, and into a sturdy target.
Recently, I built a pneumatic cannon with interchangeable barrels. It works quite well, but I used some valve with rubber diaphragm that I found in my basement. Anyways, Imade this thing modular and added a .75 inch
barrel, about 2 feet long. With a little toilet paper wadding, a .68 caliber paintball will fit snugly in the barrel. Charge to about 200 psi, and that thing FLIES. Playing with a couple of mates, I must have hit one guy at at
least 125 meters from my flag point. Slow to reload, but just get people to cover you. Idont know if they allow this at ranges either. Also: personal claymore - use a 2 inch barrel, loaded with about 30-40 paintballs and
wadding that wont fly and hit someone (i.e. a ball of tissue paper and duct tape) just aim (not really necessary with this thing) and fire! Bloody hell! Covered about 4 square meters of wall at a range of 8 meters (I used about
40 paintballs), just thought you might want to know.
I made some custom ammo for my combustion spudder. I found a 3 inch tall, 2 inch diameter bottle and filled it 1/2 with nuts bolts and screws and the other 1/2 with water and froze the whole thing. When it was completely frozen, it weighed about 100 grams. I fired it the next day and it went a good 250 yards and i went to find it and I found a
cinderblock right next to my bottle. The cinderblock had been pulverized by the 100 gram bottle and pieces of the cinderblock were everywhere within about 10 sq. ft.
Christine Scully writes:
I built the cannon that i found on your site and I Thought it kicked ass. I loaded in a potato chunk into the 1 1/2 inch barrel, charged it up to about 120 PSI and then fired. It missed my target by 5 feet and flew into the neighbors, and I have no idea where it went! I know it did some damage though cause Ipumped my cannon up to 90, and it broke a hole through a piece of plywood with a chunk of modeling clay! This thing is sick! Thanks a lot!