How to Build a Spud Gun or Potato Cannon
What is a Spud Gun?
A spud gun is usually a home brew device (very popular on farms and other rural settings) that will shoot a potato as a projectile and, depending on the type of gun, can shoot the potato up to several hundred yards. As you can imagine, these are serious devices, and should be handled with care, as they can give an impressive display of firepower. We take a look at some plans and videos on building a spud gun, along with a little on the legality of spud guns.
Planning on Building a Spud Gun? - Check Out One Of These Books
The Backyard Ballistics book gets high marks in the reviews. It presents several types of different pyrotechnic projects for the adventurous builder that can be done in your backyard. There is an emphasis on safety, but the projects still pack a wallop.
Types of Spud Guns and Potato Cannons
There are 3 basic types of spud guns:
- Combustion Cannons - These are the simplest of designs, using a simple mixture of fuel and air in a combustion chamber, which is ignited with some type of spark typically, including Taser guns. Common fuels for these guns include hair sprays and other aerosols, and sometimes propane fuel.
- Compressed Air (Pneumatic Cannons) - These are a little more complicated because the guns propel the potato with compressed air in the gun, which is filled with a pump or from a compressed air tank. This means the gun has to have an airtight holding container, so building it is a little more complicated than the combustion types.
- Hybrid Cannons - These are the most complicated to build, but are usually the most powerful as well. They use a fuel - air mixture that is held under pressure, and fired with some spark again. It is this type of design that can often launch a potato several hundred yards.
Warning: Spud Guns Are Not Legal Everywhere
Please check with the local authorities before purchasing or building a spud gun!
Toy Spud Guns For the Little Ones
There are toy spud guns on the market that shoot small pieces of potatoes and are pretty safe. Most are powered by compressing air when squeezing the trigger mechanism, so some of them are safe for use for youngsters as young as five years old. A grand old-fashioned shooter!
Have You? Would You? Are You Interested?
Have You Ever Heard of a Spud Gun or Potato Cannon?
Building a Spud Gun on YouTube videos
Some of these are a little crazy, and some show people doing some pretty stupid stuff, so be careful before you try any of this at home.