Do they make PVC big enough to launch a goat out of?

Also, would PVC be the right material to make a goat cannon? Can structural soundness of the barrel be counted upon while properly launching the cloven ones? What would be the best propellant? Black powder, butane, gasoline, semtex? Would you use newspaper for batting? Would the goat remain integrated without trussing it or using duct tape or something? Also, what’s the terminal velocity of an object with similar mass, surface area and shape of a goat? How high would the goat have to go to reach terminal velocity on the way down? Let’s say a moderate sized rumianant of 80 pounds. Should I call the FAA before I launch? Thanks for any help you can give me.

No, no, no!

Goats need to be launched from a catapult! Explosives are just not acceptable!

See for a sample design.

Why go through all that trouble of gunpowder and the law, not to mention the fact that you’re gonna blow yourself to hell when that PVC explodes? Just build a BF slingshot. That way said cloven one will be going slow enough for you to see the startled look on his face AND even you could probably figure out the construction required!

Don’t worry about duct taping it down, just throw a cabbage or maybe some Lucky Charms down the tube to keep it occupied. Just a thought…

Catapults have a crude beauty. I can see the lovely parabola of the gently arcing goat, but I really need the big launch. ButI have just thought of another problem. I’ll really need boring for any accuracy and I must devise a way to get a proper spin on the little shnibber. Cast pig iron would be cheap and easier to put rifling in. I’ll make a heavy duty break away plastic launch capsule simultaneously solving the concerns about goaty integrity while achieving the rotation necessary to avoid drift.
What kind of muzzle velocity will I need, do you suppose? How long should the barrel be?


I don’t know anything about cannons and whatnot, but I want front row seats.

May I suggest you wrap the goat in Christmas lights and do it at night?

Please aim the goat at 26 Barnes Street in Providence, Rhode Island. My neighbor has not mowed his yard in two months. Thank you. I will return goat fire as soon as possible to give you your goat back.

but no need to send it back. I only use live ammo.

Ah, YOU only use live ammo, but maybe Grendel has no qualms about sending a dead goat hurtling through the air just to get it off his hands. I think you need to buy a special goat disposal bag for the garbage man to pick it up.

I am going to build the cannon. I need more data on engineering and whatnot. The goat will ascend for quite awhile and the various ideas are good (some kind of lights, for instance), but this little buddy is going to be going very fast when he hits the deck. Should’nt be much left at all. Maybe a red mark. Tall grass sure as hell ain’t gonna stop 'im. 26 Barnes should have a hefty crater in front of it, emitting pleasantly hircine odors of cordite and grue.

Actually, that is not a catapult it is a trebuchet. There are lots of plans for trebuchets on the internet. I’ve seen them/

Before you actually do this… if you actually do this, which you for some reason seem serious about… please check out the animal cruelty laws in your particular neck of the woods. And watch out for PETA activists. I mean, they protest useful killing of animals…


Fascinating stuff on the net:

Spanish villagers drop annual goat-hurling ritual
What Dave Barry has to say.
Dropping A Goat From A Distance Of One Hundred Feet Using The Mind Alone

By the way, some goats have the sexiest tits. Have you noticed?

This has to be the funniest thread I have seen in some time.

As a budding engineer, I love the idea and fully support it through name alone!!


PVC is unlikely to work. Not enough tensile strength. Steel is better; hope you know a good welder.

Your cannon should use compressed air; that’s how the guns that fire human cannonballs work. Pyrotechnics are out as they will generate intense heat, to the detriment of the goat.

You’ll need a length of oil field casing, 20" OD (a bit tight) or 30" OD, and a casing collar (connector). Used casing is fine and will be much cheaper than new. A standard length is approx. 40 ft; you can cut it down if necessary, but greater length will increase muzzle velocity.

You’ll need to make a fixed plug for one end, using the casing collar and some sheet steel. The plug can be screwed onto the existing casing threads, but should spot-welded for safety. Cut a small hole (1/2" or so) in the plug and weld on a flange so that you can attach the air supply later. Fabricate a moveable internal plug (wood, fiberglass, rubber, plastic?) to allow the air charge to build up behind the projectile (goat).

Fabricate an “A” frame to support the muzzle at about a 45 degree angle from horizontal. Depending on your skills and available funds, you might even adapt the hydraulic system off a junked piece of construction equipment to make it easier to raise and lower the barrel.

Air source can be an industrial compressor or bottles, as you prefer. Rig up a dump valve, regulate the air supply to about 200 psi or so to start, then test with inanimate objects at different pressures until you get the results you want. You should be able to send a projectile several hundred feet with such a device.

One last thing; when you are ready to fire the goat, give it the day off and launch yourself instead.

BTW, I will not accept responsibility if anyone actually tries any of this.

I am not an engineer, though I could offer to help you write an environmental impact statement if needed. The point of this post is that since I fancy myself a musician of sorts, I don’t think I can pass up the name “Goat Cannons” as an excellent band name. Since BrothaTJ and other dopers will be there to witness the spectacle, I think it would be a good idea to form an ad hoc band to add an air of dignity to the occasion. Volunteers?

I really would like to keep this goat alive as long as possible. We could start a goat launching network.

Brrrrrrring Brrrrrrrring
BLah Blah: “Excuse me Chronolicht, BlahBlah here from Bumblenuts, New York. I need a lawn done ASAP…”

Chronolicht: “Well I just fired off a Nigerian Dwarf over to Northern Jersey and he should be done by mid afternoon. I can have him launched over to Blah Blah by 3 PM.”

And all of the world’s grass would be shorn :wink:

Great links sailor. From the first one:

I was just wondering if your average goat has the structural integrity necessary to withstand such a launch. I would think that once the explosion of air/pyrotechniques occured, the goat would immediately…er…um…loosen.

Sort of like putting a tomato in a potato launcher.