ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Build a Spud Gun - Videos and Plans to Building a Potato Cannon

Updated on February 12, 2018

What is a Spud Gun

If you grew up on a farm, you are probably familiar with the term spud gun, or its other common name is a potato cannon. Like many pastimes on the farm, some wouldn't consider it completely safe, but it is an impressive display to see a potato launched from a good spud gun. Its one of the great forms of traditional backyard ballistics.

If you've never seen one, they are similar in design to the cannons they use at ball games to shoot t-shirts and the like into the crowds, only cranked up a notch. (By the way, at a recent college football game I attended, an air cannon shaped like a pickle was used to shoot the t-shirts into the crowd!)

Some of these designs create a great explosive sound when fired, satisfying the pyrotechnic urge in many of us. And the range these "guns" can cover is truly impressive.

A Compressed Air Potato Cannon

In this video, they build a compressed air gun. It uses lengths of approximately 2 inch pipe as an air reserviour, and what appears to be a lawn sprinkler valve as the trigger mechanism.

They follow the construction up with a sequence of test shots in the neighborhood. You'll note that a compressed air gun is not nearly as loud as some of the other types of guns.

WARNING - Spud guns are not legal in some jurisdictions.

If you decide to build and use one proceed at your own risk, and check with your local authorities first.

There is a listing of places where spud guns have been outlawed at Wikipedia, but this may not be completely up to date.

Spud Gun Plans

Basically a spud gun is a device constructed with PVC pipes or some similar tubing, that will impel a whole potato that is tightly inserted into the tube. The method of propulsion will vary, some use pneumatics (basically are compressed air), while others (known as combustion launchers) use some combustible gas like hair spray or propane mixed with air. An ignitor like a BBQ starter is used to fire the propane. A few designs are hybrids in nature, compressing a fuel air mixture, which as you may imagine gives an extra pop to the design.

The Backyard Ballistics books gets a lot of good reviews, and it covers a number of projects in addition to potato cannons that appeal to the junior pyrotechnic expert in the family, but are designed to be relatively safe.

There are a variety of places to buy plans and parts for building your own spud gun.

One of the more popular is, but at the time of this writing the owner was selling off the business, so it's uncertain if they are still around.

Make Magazine - Stun Gun Potato Cannon

Build this night lighter potato cannon as a weekend project.

Another Combustion Type Gun

This is actually one of the more complete instructional videos. Ignore the spelling on the instuctions. Do be careful, this is a combustion chamber type gun.

Children's Spud Gun Toys

There are factory made spud guns, which are typically very low power kids toys, which launch small pieces of potato using compressed air. These are available at many toy stores, and are safe for younger kids to play with.

Check the ratings on the individual guns, but you can find some that are rated as OK for kids as young as age 5.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Keep working ,impressive job! dcefdfaekcbb

    • Jed Fisher profile image

      Jed Fisher 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      Spud guns are cool.

    • profile image

      3D HDTV 

      8 years ago

      I work with this! Nice tool

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      two to three seconds spraying

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      my dad has one

    • profile image 

      10 years ago

      This is my first spud gun and I want to use hairspray as my fuel. If the chamber is 3 inch by 24 inch long. How much hairspray would I need to have a successful launch. And is there a better fuel to use. I am open to any ideas and all suggestions or recommendations. Thanks!!!

    • moonlake profile image


      10 years ago from America

      My husband is called the spud man because he works with potatoes everyday but I don't think I'll tell him about the spud gun.

    • Whitney05 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      Definitely check state laws before buidling and using potato guns.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)