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:
I came home from school tired and bored, I had nothing to do, so what do you do, load your cannon with a potato and pump it up to 120 psi. now usually i fire it in a safe direction 200-300 meters of bush then i decided how cool it would be to fire the cannon between the fence and my house (1m wide alley thing) and see it fly across the valley, so in my stupid head I thought this would be cool. I flicked the saftey switch and then the two buttons, and boom the potato flies at speeds of over 100 m/s (225mph) through the alley thing and flys over 150 meters (500 feet) and slams into the roof of a house BAMMMM that ecohed all over the place!!!!!! (a rich ass 2 story house with all that rich stuff on it) My heart almost stopped, I quickly put everything away and assessed damage, the roof had a big mark on it and a chunky dent. The owner was not home and has never noticed it (how often do you go on your roof?) This was probably after 50 safe shots I have already taken, so always take care and watch where you are shooting ALWAYS.
|Nathan Lovern writes:
I saw your page with your potato gun and built me one. It is so fun to play with!!!!! My wife wont give me any potatoes so I have been shooting apples, oranges, greentomatoes and squash. The orange went the farthest. It went so far I couldnt see it!!! I'm using WhiteRain hairspray. My wife bought me some cheapstuff from Dollar General and it won't fire at all. My gun started misfiring some so I sanded the 2 screw points in the chamber and
it works alot better now. The one in your plans has a 2 in barrel with a 4 in chamber. I decided to make a bigger one in the same dimensions. It has a 4 in barrel and a 6 in chamber. This thing is HUGE!! Im still looking for a piece of 6 in pipe that is 16 in long for the chamber. I want to shoot heads of lettece, cantaloupe or anything else that will fit!!!! I bet this big one will KICK!!!!!! I've used 10 seconds of hairspray in the little one and got a good shot. I wonder how much it will take to fire the BigOne??????
Shawn Dees writes:
I've made (or helped make) 3 air cannons in the past 2 weeks. 2 of them were practically the same. It was the design off of "Spuddys Revenge" of the large gun with the ball valve. Well on the third cannon my friend had some extra money so he told me to design him a cannon that was rather powerful. So i came up with the idea of using two combustion chambers. I showed him some plans we tweaked it a tad and he liked it. So I helped him build it and it turned out to be massive. It has two five foot long, 4 inch combustion chambers and a 5 foot long, 2 inch barrel. It is HUGE!!! So we glued it up waited 24 long hours and then we fired that baby and good lord does it kick. We were shooting potatoes and other piddly things when we decided to get an ear of corn. We put a plastic bag down as wadding and then we shoved down the corn filled it up to 85 psi. and let it rip. WHAMMM!!!!! We hit our target, a half inch board with the corn and we couldnt believe our eyes, the corn was sticking more than halfway through it!! It was insane, an ear of corn through wood no way!! It was the coolest!! Keep up the good work on the page, more stories later.
I made my first spud gun for a school project. It was small pnematic w/ ball valve, only a half inch bore. I started shooting nerf darts out of it, b/c
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.
I built this gun with a combination of various designs I found around the web, subtituting 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.
Ian's monster air gun. The red circles are where the valve broke.
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 the 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 an air cannon. A 3 inch chamber about 3 1/2 feet long takes forever to pump but that baby shoots nice. Well I heard a leak, I aimed the gun kinda up and pulled the trigger. Me being the dumb one forgot about the spud in the barrel. I looked and saw two guys riding their bikes down the street and noticed the spud go in between 'em about a few inches from his face followed by a "WHAT THE FUCK!". Later on a cop car came to my house luckily they werent illegal but are ONLY lol a felony if you hit someone.
|Randall Fullman writes:
The stats on this toy is a 6 inch air chamber by however long (I haven't measured) 2-1/2 inch barrel about 9 feet long. Nothing is measured. I just cut it to look right. I will just have to go and measure it. When I Hydrostat test it, I will get measurements of the volume of both the air chamber and barrel. I am still doing some valve work so it isn't ready to pressure test yet.
Mark Robillos writes:
I made a pneumatic spud gun utilizing the standard sprinkler valve and 2" barrel and air chamber. Anyways, my friends and I were having fun shooting apples a brick wall. I then got out my special "slug" (The slug I made was found at a construction site, and was made of solid steel. I guess it was some sort of huge bolt made to hold concrete together...) that I found at a construction site. It's a good three pounds and about 5" long. I wrapped it in duct tape to make a tight seal in the barrel. Well, we set up a target (thick piece of plywood) on the brick wall and fired. The slug went completely through the wood and made a good-sized hole in the wall! Keep in mind that the wall was solid cinder-block! Suffice to say we hauled ass and took any incriminating evidence with us!
I had just made a spud gun the previous night and the two times I tried it earlier in the day it had an air leak in the sprinkler valve... so unaware of the awesome power of a spud gun I took aim in no particular direction and fired. That mother got out of site over some trees in a second. About four seconds later I heard breaks screech and a car door slam. One guy could be heard yelling, then screeching tires [again]. I booked home and about seven minutes later the cops passed by my house. I was scared shitless. Didn't get arrested though.
Sam (me) writes:
Last night about 10 o'clock I was bored and decided to take out my air cannon for some shooting. I got an eight inch ice slug out of my freezer and loaded it into the cannon which was charged at 100 psi. I went in my front yard and proceeded to take aim at the school at the end of the block. Well lo and behold, the shot doesn't go as straight as I had hoped. I ended up whacking the stop sign and I put a big crack in it and bent the corner. When i turned around, I saw our old neighbor with his dog who saw the whole thing. They then went back inside. I did too and waited for the cops to show. Lucky for me they didn't. My advice: ALWAYS LOOK BEHIND YOU BEFORE YOU SHOOT!!!
Thanks for the stories and keep 'em coming!