Potato as a silencer...?

I was reading a piece of news about a sordid affair (a mother lured and killed a man who apparently had raped her 6-year old daughter) and one particular aspect of the whole thing caught my attention. Copy-pasting the relevant section of the article:

(The article can be read here)

So… My question is… How on Earth can a potato be used as a silencer? O.o Is this some kind of bizarre urban legend I am not aware of? If not, again… How?

Color me baffled…

Youtube video on the very subject.

I would also imagine a hollowpoint would expand and not be good for more than a minor laceration.

In a related video, the guy says he tried onions as well.

Interesting… in the video, though, it doesn’t sound as if it made any meaningful difference. Some comments in the video say that you are supposed to firmly tape the potato to the muzzle.

I am really surprised because I had never heard of this particular technique to silence a gun…! Well, every day you learn something new…

Pillows and potatoes have both been used as silencers. Actually, anything that starts with the letter “p” can be used to silence gunfire.

/munitions talk



'round these parts, we prefer using a Parisian.

You have t obe careful what part you use. Screaming will negate any silencing effect.

Didn’t Mythbusters use an empty Pop Bottle?

The only episode I remember them doing with suppressors was debunking the Hollywood “thwip”.
It’s on now if you get The science Channel.

ETA: The did do “shooting through a carton of milk” but that involved the muzzle flash and a room full of methane.

Sometimes, there’s a very fine line between Mythbusters and those Jackass movies. :wink:

To quote Adam:“The difference between science and screwing around displays clipboard is writing it down.”

Tried it. Makes a frightful mess because the potato gets blown to smithereens by high pressure gases. Does nothing to reduce noise. Taping the potato reduces the mess slightly but there is still no noise reduction.

Wouldn’t taping the potato firmly to the barrel greatly increase the chance of the barrel exploding?

You want fries with that?

Based on the video, more like hash browns. For mashed potatoes, bring a rifle.

Back in the olden days, I once watched an episode of the TV crime drama Shaft. I recall virtually nothing of the episode, except that at one point, Richard Roundtree opened his apartment window, aimed a high-powered rifle out, and shot out the tire on the car of some baddies. He had first “silenced” the rifle by jamming its muzzle a couple of inches deep into the end of a large potato.

Worked a treat.

As far is improvised silencers go, apparently the ones that actually work are oil filters. There’s actually a company that makes an adapter to screw an oil filter onto a gun barrel.

Here’s a video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t_pcWPdSDs

Note, however, that such an adapter, or an oil filter used thusly, is legally regulated the same as an actual silencer, years in federal prison if you don’t get the right paperwork. It’s the same principle that causes a shoelace to be legally considered a machine gun if it’s used to make a gun fire automatically.

Several years ago, I tried using a small watermelon as a silencer. The result was predictably messy. I did not try the tape. It is pretty amazing what sort of blast you get from the muzzle of a handgun. You might as well stick an M-80 in the melon (or potato).

Can confirm, M-80 + melon = fragments like Gallagher with a hammer.