Have potato guns ever been used in combat, even guerrilla warfare? Also, how popular are they, do a lot of people have them?
I had one last summer. Now, I’m not kidding…that thing could kill. No joke, if you were hit in the temple or the solar plexus, well, you might be saved by some fast emergency treatment.
It was made with PVC and an electric sparker from a barbecue grill starter. The propellant was regular old hair spray. Even though I had it reinforced with strapping tape, it scared me. If that thing ever grenaded…
It scared me. I got to thinking what if my son found it and used it? I dismantled it.
I have no idea whether they’ve been used in combat. I could see how something like a cue ball would be pretty deadly, but I think there are many other means that would be more deadly and less cumbersome.
Nah, they wouldn’t be much good in combat. They take too long to load, and need to be cleaned every few firings. There are other, better ways to put large projectiles through your enemies.
I had mine taken from me by the county police. It would launch spuds well over 150 yards. I used lighter fluid instead of hair spray, never had the nerve to try gasoline.
I agree they are impressive. I built mine to chase moose out of the garden. Only had to use it once! Took the rest of the day to repair the fence it tore out making its hasty retreat.
I’m a member of a spudgun forum, and they take them pretty seriously. I doubt one has been used in war, but one certainly could be. Our unofficial range record was just under a mile with a PVC and rebar dart. That’s with a pneumatic cannon, which is a lot safer than combustion guns.
There were also developments into semi-automatic or fully automatic guns. The machining required gets really expensive really quickly, though, so a real gun becomes more cost effective quite quickly.
I have a very simple, fairly small cannon that is powered by 16 gram threaded CO2 cylinders that could easily be used to launch grenades. A guerilla warior could have a half dozen of them loaded on his back, fire them, then retreat and reload.
I’ve seen PVC sniper rifles that are made for paint balls but could be used for poisoned darts or exploding projectiles or chemical weapons or whatever. Some police have semi-auto paintball guns with balls full of “pepper spray” chemical in powder form. They’re used for crowd control; you can hit the one guy throwing rocks in a crowd in the chest with a few shots and it will get in their eyes, instead of lobbing tear gas grenades into the whole crowd and causing a total riot.
As for the second part of your question, they seem pretty popular. As you’d expect, a lot of teenagers have them (I did). I lost mine, but it was just a simple combustion type. Now I’m more interested in big pneumatic or helium powered designs for launching hybrid devices into space. Seriously. http://home.networkone.net/~oglenn/trimode/
When I was a kid a ‘spud gin’ was a little metal handgun for kids with which you fired a tiny piece of potato from. You stuck the nozzle into a potato and pulled it out ‘loaded’, and it then fired the tiny cylinder of spud about 15 metres max.
A large potato could be used as ammo for a whole days play.
I thought the OP was kidding…