The VERY real dangers of potato guns.

Discussion in 'XDTalk Chatter Box' started by gsh341, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. gsh341

    gsh341 XDTalk 5K Member

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    Apparently, this guy's fun wasn't so fun after all.:cry:

    http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=0,60522

    I didn't know the guy, but it makes me think about all the potato guns out there and how poorly designed they are. I also wonder how many uses that PVC pipe can take before it gets weakened enough to be dangerous.
     
  2. ichy_trigger

    ichy_trigger XDTalk 10K Member

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    I had one years ago and built it out of the thickest PVC I could find. Im sure some folks dont look at the pipe rating before putting one together.
     
  3. nick_mur

    nick_mur XDTalk Newbie

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    They are dangerous. I had built one when I was in college. I gave it to my handicap cousin (he has spina bifada-has trouble walking, etc but gets around better than the dr.'s thought he would) who was 5 years younger than me when he came to my wedding with his parents permission. About a year after he had it, he was using it and it would launch a potato. Due to his handicap, he can't do a lot of things like you and I and one of those is bend over. So, instead of bending over to lay the potato gun on the ground, he grabbed the end of the barrel and swapped ends to lay it down. When he did this, the barrel was pointed right at his face and when the end hit the ground, it went off. It was probably a delayed burn. It hit him in the right eye, knocked out his eye and broke his right eye socket. They had to air lift him from western Kansas where they live to Wichita. He lost his eye. He has recovered and has a coral eye but I felt aweful and still do about it. Potato guns are dangerous and people should be very careful if they are going to mess around with them.
     
  4. LUVMYSIGP225

    LUVMYSIGP225 XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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    It wouldn't be fun if it wasn't dangerous.
     
  5. Mephis

    Mephis XDTalk 500 Member

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    Well mine was launching potatoes well over 300 yards.

    It has had a TON of potatoes through it with no signs of wear.
     
  6. scurtis_34471

    scurtis_34471 XDTalk 100 Member

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    I was a safe and responsible teenager who never built a potato gun. I did launch model rockets loaded with black powder or M80s though. Hmmm. Maybe I wasn't all that responsible after all...
     
  7. beardman2

    beardman2 XDTalk 4K Member Founding Member

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    Sucks for him but if you are going to build something like this it seems logical to do the research and stay within safe limits. Then again that is coming from a firearms enthusiest.

    The compressed air/rifled versions always intrigued me. But then again you can carefully watch pressures and be fairly sure you are not exceeding the limits.
     
  8. darkvibe

    darkvibe XDTalk 500 Member

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    The article lacks details. What type of PVC did he use? What propellant?
     
  9. gsh341

    gsh341 XDTalk 5K Member

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    How in the world should I know? :rolleyes:
     
  10. dasanii19

    dasanii19 XDTalk 4K Member

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  11. DanTheEldest

    DanTheEldest XDTalk 10K Member Founding Member

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    My only experience with "improvised devices for flinging non-standard projectiles" was one of those crew-served slingshots for water balloons. We figured out in a hurry they'd toss an orange an awfully long way, but I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end. :D
     
  12. Jmanwit

    Jmanwit XDTalk 1K Member

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  13. billbrasky

    billbrasky XDTalk 5K Member

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    :p the 2 1/2 in one my cousin built one bigger better than the one in the video. It could launch like they said 1/8 mile. We could blast a glavanized steel trash can, and it would look like a 200 lb man jumped on the side of it. lol

    His family business has a semi trailer out back they store crap in ... we blasted that and it made an impressive dent. Guy in the video is lucky it failed on the icecream truck out he might have had an $500 or more repair bill EASY.
     
  14. ichy_trigger

    ichy_trigger XDTalk 10K Member

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    I was showing a buddy of mine how they work and shot a hole through my chicken coupe... Damn chickens didnt lay for a good week after that!
     
  15. Bill in San Jose

    Bill in San Jose XDTalk 2K Member

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    I thought you were supposed to use the black ABS tubing, it will withstand higher pressure before failing. I worked for a guy who grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland and they'd build them, put multiple nails in the potato and shoot at British police. Pretty nasty.
     
  16. darkvibe

    darkvibe XDTalk 500 Member

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    Oh, I didn't mean you should know. Just saying, although they are all dangerous, if you make it out of DWV PVC or if you start messing with gasoline as a propellant, you're asking for a lot of trouble.
     
  17. darkvibe

    darkvibe XDTalk 500 Member

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    Lol. their "5 foot shoulder launched model" looks a lot like mine. Except my combustion chamber is a little bigger.
     
  18. aphexafx

    aphexafx XDTalk 500 Member

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    I think the white pipe is PVC while the plack pipe is ABS. I think PVC is the better choice, as ABS will shatter and is more affected by ambient temperature. PVC is more forgiving. I think....
     
  19. KEVWYO

    KEVWYO XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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    Back in 1979 when I was a freshmen in high school a friend of mine made a tennis ball cannon out of 6 Campbell soup cans attached by duct tape. He used lighter fluid to shoot a tennis ball 100 yards ... and he hand held it while another buddy did the lighting. It made a hell of a "whoooomph" sound and a pretty damn good kick as well. This is just one of many goofy things this guy did as we grew up together. I often wonder how he is still alive today.
     
  20. Timmy44221

    Timmy44221 XDTalk 500 Member

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    Hmm... When I was a kid, we relized how stupid it was to use PVC... I mean its not preassure rated. Cmon.

    So we built two different ones, with steel pipe and plate, welded together, and then fiberglassed to make them look nice.

    One ran off gas and a spark plug, and the other was pnumatic. Honestly the pnumatic one was so much more fun. It had a 6 foot barrel (one and one half foot was steel, and 6 feet of pvc was incerted for the actual barrel). It was super accurate, and launched potatoes arther than we ever realy had to shoot them.
     

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