Spud Gun Fuels
Potato Gun Fuels, Or How to power the beast without blowing yourself up…
Your combustion driven spud gun needs fuel to…well…make it combust…and launch that potato into orbit. Selecting the right fuel for the job will make the difference between multiple successful, reliable launches, and singed scalps, hurt feelings, and unimpressed onlookers.
The Difference Between Canons and Grenades
Your potato gun is essentially a canon, taking its roots back to the very first black powder canons and mortars. Instead of cast iron with reinforced bands, you have an ABS or PVC barrel. Instead of an iron ball, you’ve got a spud or tennis ball. Instead of black powder, you’ve got an ignitable propellant. And therein lies the rub. When the propellant ignites, it pushes the spud out of the barrel towards the path of least resistance – straight out the open front. If you use too hot a fuel, however, the explosion will be so concentrated that the PVC itself will explode in hundreds of deadly fragments, turning your beloved canon into a giant grenade. You want a fuel that is powerful enough to thrust the spud out the end of the barrel but not so powerful that it blows up – which is why you want to avoid fuels like acetylene, hydrogen, or oxygen.
Safe Fuels for Spud Guns Mean More Fun!
There are plenty of safe fuels to power your spud gun, and many of them are sitting right under your nose – you may not even realize that some convenient home products are good for your gun. Some hairsprays, deodorants, air fresheners, colognes, and other similar fuels are decent choices to power the gun and are readily available – the drawback? Inability to properly meter the fuels so that the quantity is appropriate for good ignition.
Less Is More. No, Really!
Fuel metering is essential to reliable spud gun operation. You don’t want to pump the combustion chamber full of fuel because doing so eliminates the amount of oxygen available in the chamber, thus weakening the explosion. Lose oxygen, and the results will be anything from a weak launch to no ignition at all. You’ll find through testing that there are diminishing returns to adding more fuel, so start with a small quantity and dial it in until you get good results. There’s a much easier, more reliable fuel that’s easy to meter, however….
Propane – The Ideal Ball Launcher Fuel!
Propane is an ideal fuel to power spud guns with. It’s clean, reliable, combustible, easily metered, and doesn’t have the additional byproducts and additives that things like hairspray and air fresheners have. This results in clean shoots with the minimum of barrel fouling. Propane is also inexpensive and comes in many different container sizes so it goes where you go. You can build a spud gun with a perfect combustion ratio by designing the size of the combustion chamber to hold a preset amount of propane, therefore making launch after launch a simple task – you’ll never have too much or too little fuel
I was Told There Would be No Math
Well, a little bit of math would go a long way to making your shoots reliable, so pay attention. Propane has some clearly established and time proven properties, and we know that it will only burn when it has a volume, mixed with air, of between 2.4% and 9.2%. What that means to you, oh spud cannoneer, is that if there is less than 2.4% of your combustion chamber’s volume in propane, it won’t ignite. Neither will it ignite if there is more than 9.2% of propane. You need to find the sweet spot – ideally about 4% propane. Buy our Ebook, How to Build Your Potato Gun Arsenal for all the information you need to calculate the size of your gun so it works best.
Houston, We Have Ignition…
In closing, stick to reliable, safe, and available fuels to power your spud gun and don’t get fooled into using powerful but unsafe fuels – you want to keep launching and launching, not wind up in a burn unit. Check out our plans and ebooks for the best spud gun fuel systems. Happy shooting!!
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The Eradicator Potato Cannon Plan
If you want to be the King of the Potato Field you Need the Eradicator Potato Cannon. It is impossible to carry this Spud Gun and not have the locals give you a double take! The Eradicator Spud Gun has a self contained fuel injection system and fuel circulation system, with a pulsating ignition and a barrel over the combustion chamber, this Spud Gun truly is Stacked! Be a Pro and go with The Eradicator Potato Cannon!
007 Spud Cannon Gun Plan
Here is your Hand Held Potato Gun. If Bond was to use a Potato gun, this would be the choice! This sleek sexy Spud Gun fits in one hand and will shoot your smaller spuds with great accuracy. Holster the 007 Tator Gun easily in a pocket until it is time to impress the Friends!!!
The Night Crawler Mini Spud Gun Plan
This is an incredibly enjoyable Spud Gun to shoot! This is a smaller gun that still Holds its own to the big boys! This is a Favourite among the Spud Cannon community, and it is easy to carry and will shoot farther then you could believe. Fun Fun Fun!
The Punisher Potato Cannon Plan
The Punisher is not only pretty to look at it is also a deadly shot in the world of potato Artillery. The Punisher is sporting a smaller diameter barrel so you are able to load your smaller spuds and still make remarkable shots! With a comfortable custom fitting grip system you will want to shoot an entire field of potatoes with The Punisher Potato Gun.
The Desert Storm Potato Gun Plan
Is this gun military issued? No it is for civilian use But if the military did shoot spuds then this is what they would be using! The Desert Storm Potato Gun is what you want to shoot if you are looking to hit the Bullseye! Equipped with a push button igniter and very relaxing grips this gun is Sure to be a Favourite! Zing!
The Underdog Spud Gun Plan
It is always remarkable when the underdog shocks you and that is Exactly what happens with this Potato Gun. The Underdog will Blow your socks off! Being extremely reliable and simple to build, this Spud Cannon will have you launching the dinner potato farther than you ever thought possible! Man Up and build this ultimate Spud Gun! Pow!
The Babysitter Spud Cannon Plan
Oh watch out! This Babysitter is Not to be messed with! The Babysitter Spud Cannon is very diverse as it is more than capable of launching a Tennis ball, or Vegetable roughly to the Moon. Using this Bad Ass Spud Gun is effortless, as you simply spray then twist a wheel and you are then launching your ammo like the Big Boys! Boom!
The Bazooka Potato Cannon Plan
This beast of a Spud Gun is the pinnacle of the Spud Gun series and a Sure Shot. The Bazooka is very diverse as it is more than capable of launching a Tennis ball into the sunset. You also have a steadfast pulsating electronic ignition system that will light your innovative Propane injection system. The Bazooka is set up to effortlessly downsize barrels for your little spuds or balls. The Bazooka is The One! Bam!