Gut Rumbles

August 20, 2008

a potato gun

Originally PUBLISHED April 28, 2005

If you never built a potato gun, you didn't grow up in the South. Constructed correctly, it's not really a gun--- it's more like a cannon or a mortar. I made my first one out of aluminum conduit, then graduated to PVC once I discovered that plastic pipe was easier to work with.

I built my mount out of wood, but you can prop your rocket on anything that will point it in the right direction. Just make sure that it holds still when you fire.

Cut off a 2" piece of pipe about two and a half feet long. Cap the bottom and drill a small hole near the end of this "barrel" you just built. When I was a kid, I could walk into ANY hardware store, seed & feed, or gun shop and buy a cannister of black powder. It was cheap, too.

When you get ready to fire, just pour the powder down the tube, pack it down with a piece of rag, then load you missle on top of that. I used baby-food jars, raw potatoes and live toads for ammunition. Soak a piece of twine in fuel oil to make a fuse. Stick THAT in the hole at the bottom, light it, and run like hell.

When that fucker goes off, one of two things will happen. You will have a magnificent explosion that will propell a missle an incredible distance, or your gun will blow itself to pieces and throw shrapnel everywhere. That's why you run like hell when you light it off.

I got pretty good at building the right kind of gun and calculating the right powder charge before I gave up potato guns. I blew up several before I learned to do it the right way. But nobody died and nobody got hurt during my experiments. A few toads had a really bad day, and few potatoes learned that they could FLY, but all my friends and I survived.

Mama would have shit her panties if she had known what we were doing at the time.

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