It all started with this idea I had for a Halloween costume. I’d tell you more, but someone might take my idea. It’ll be good (If I can put it together)… But thats not what this post is about. Casey joined me and we went for a stroll through Home Depot. It’s always fun finding things there that are usefull, and not at all for what their intended use was.
We stopped in the PVC pipe aisle. The friendly staff at Home Depot kindly cut various sizes of PVC pipe and stacked them in a display. I picked up a 4 inch diameter pipe and a 2 inch diameter pipe and asked casey to start looking for various interconnecting peices. One of their less lazy employees came by and asked if I needed assistance. I explained I needed a peice to connect this to that and that to this and such. He asked, what I was using them for in a manner that showed not his curiosity, but to help recommend the right producs. The look on Casey’s face when I exclaimed, “I need them for a Potato Gun” was priceless.
Nonetheless, the clerk assisted me in finding all the right fittings and even recommended the PVC primer and glue. I already had the Spud Gun assembled and was walking around home depot looking for various parts I needed. I needed a push-rod and an igniter. The guys working (or I should say, not working) in Kitchens and Baths got a good kick out of it and advised I go with the BBQ igniter. I would like some sort of electronic ignition, but I can work on that in the future. They didn’t have the BBQ lighters in stock so I headed out to another home depot with Tiffany and Kerri. We picked up a BBQ lighter and I had everything I needed.
Assembly was simple. Casey and I primed and cemented all the PVC parts together and I gave it 2 days to dry. We drilled 2 holes and set 2 screws, a quarter of an inch apart from eachother. We hooked up the igniter to the screws and headed out for some Hair Spray and Potatos.
With all the components, we headed out to a secluded area and stuffed the potato into the barrel of the Spud gun (Spud Cannon? BOOMSTICK!!!). We sprayed hairspray into the larger chamber and sealed it shut. One of the leads from the igniter came loose so I had to hold it against the screw while I hit the ignition….
Nothing happened. I tried again…
I could have sworn that the entire spud gun turned orange for a second as the potato was launched way out of sight into the distance. The recoil pushed the gun back, even though both me and Casey were holding it! It was music to our ears (and enough to get us in serious trouble if anybody else heard. lol)… We took a drive by the probably landing area, but we didn’t find much and I wasn’t comfortable with parking the car and walking around.
The next step will be to find some large fields/woods where we can fire and test range/acuracy/etc and do so without bringing a lot of attention to us… Also, we have some plans on painting it and making it look a lot cooler. It’s very plain now, just some joined PVC. Picture available after the cut and I’ll post more when we decorate/paint it.
1) On a federal level, at least, potato guns are legal; indeed, unregulated.
Further, the police generally don’t care, if you use them responsibly.
2) It looks like you have a non-pressure rated (DWV) bell reducer and a DWV female adapter. These are more likely to come unglued under stress than the proper fittings… so either replace them, or at least make sure that you are not standing directly behind the launcher when you fire.
I only know of one casualty involving gaseous fueled spudguns: the (probably DWV) end-plug came out and hit the operator.
I know of a couple cases where the moron filled the thing with black powder and blew himself up. Just a reminder: don’t do that.
3) I can’t read the writing on the pipe, but if it doesn’t say “NSF-PW” (or ###-psi) on it somewhere, it’s not rated for pressure either.
It probably won’t fail, but I know of a couple cases where someone was seriously hurt when their DWV chamber/barrel failed. (gas fueled, not black powder)
–regards, BoilingLeadBath of Spudfiles.com
Hey! I appreciate the concern and the tips.
Aside from being one of those crazy people who enjoy launching spuds out of an exploding PVC pipe, I am somewhat concerned with safety. Even the screws we put through to generate the spark are secured with wingnuts on the INSIDE of the chamber so they won’t fly out under pressure. There were two of us there and we both stood to the side of the launcher. Open woods ahead of us and a brick wall about 10 feet behind us. If anything did blow apart it would not be in direct path of anyone or anything that could be harmed.
I’ll check out the details on the pressure capabilities. Thats something I did not know about. I have seen similar guns made up with similar looking parts.
A [=====]———– C
Using this representation, Are you referring to A or B that looks like its most likely to snap? I was a bit concerned with B as I had to use 2 adapters to step down from 4 inches to 2 inches. Everything is thoroughly primed and coated with the PVC cement to ensure maximum hold, though.
Is the pressure rated PVC and fittings available from Home Depot (in the event those are not them.)
The diagram didn’t space right… Should be A [=======]B—— C, with A being the screw-on cap and C being the tip of the barrel.
I could have sworn that it was Sarah with us in HD, not Tiffany.
Lol.. Your right.
was soooo much fun – reaction in hd because i just dont like telling people i dont know what im up to… this would have been an entry i kept private….
i think some cops will hassle you anyway in the same way theyll give ya tickets for driving barefoot just to make you waste time in court fighting it…
hey anon – if you are in the long island ny area you wanna join me for target practice? i wanna make my own, but a little smaller – think shotgun instead of grenade launcher…. standard disclaimer will apply…
It’s not like we went to a populated area and fired the thing off. And besides, Cops have better things to do than to track down kids with explosive spud launchers over the Internet. Especially when we’re just firing it into empty wooded areas nowhere near residential areas. lol. Wish I knew where that potato went though! lol Besides, we asked a cop. She didn’t know how to charge us anyways… If we were caught on-site, well, that would be different. 😉