The Pig Popper 2000

(more of a rant than a guide)

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Potato Missile

I'm for gun control, but guns are just plain manly, and as everybody knows, you can never be too manly.  Look at the rocket-launcher in Quake; it's no coincidence that the thing's so unnervingly phallic.  Anyway, here's the gun:

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Rear view of The Gun.  kind of a weird angle

This gun is not complete!!!  The air chamber should be enclosed in a thick wooden case, with the trigger box and the whole copper part 10' away on an pressure-rated air hose.  I'm lazy, so I probably won't finish this for several years.

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If you're planning to make or use a similar spud gun, please read this:

[[[Disfigurement and Death]]]


"
Hey man, just a heads up story for you. I built about a dozen spud guns in college, and figured I had seen it all. I joined the Army and went to Korea. Over there, we had mortars, but no training devices to simulate mortar fire. I figured I'd build a spud gun and we could use that. I still don't know what went wrong, but the chamber exploded. Just exploded. The whole bottom half of the gun turned into tiny bits of PVC shrapnel. I broke 2 fingers, burned my right hand real bad, one finger was smashed so bad the tendon came out the top of the knuckle, I can only bend it part way now. I'm not done with spud guns or anything, but this first hand warning might be a good addition to your web site. -Roy M.

  ps. It was manly, though. Lots of blood. Would have been real cool, if I had been the one watching."

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Nice paintjob, huh?  The operation's very simple:

1) stick something down the barrel with a stick.

2)  Then use an air compressor/bike pump to pressurize the chamber (donut), no higher than 100PSI.

3)  Aim  (good luck w/ this part)

4)  Now ya flick the switch & press the button on the control box (above, far right).

      This opens the heavy-duty sprinkler valve (funny lookin' grey thing).

You should hear a loud "ffWH00MP!!!shhhhhhhhh" sound as the gun fires.  If u use the bottom half of a paper cup behind the spud, it'll just be "WH00MP!!!shhh..." and u'll get greater distance, but there won't be that cool condensation trail in the barrel.  Apparently, the pressure heats the spud, and it leaves an actual vapor trail that looks like a twisty white string if you look down the barrel.

If u fire it empty at 20PSI, there's a loud 'WH000000t' sound as the diaphragm in the valve vibrates.  This doesn't happen after a normal high-pressure shot.  btw I haven't had to replace the diaphragm.

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Wooh0O!  Below u can see the copper pipe w/ the fill valve & the bottom of the pressure guage.  I close that bronze-lookin' valve (between copper T and PVC) before firing so the sudden drop in pressure doesn't hurt the guage.  BTW - The valve was hard to move before I soldered the copper fittings on, but now it moves very easily.  It's still airtight...  u have to solder it to use it, right?.  The first time I moved it (closed it) after soldering it made a loud cracking sound as the pressure (hot air) around the ball escaped.  I think this is normal.

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Underside of The Gun, showing fill valve, gauge, & sprinkler valve.

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I enjoyed building this thing because Purple Primer and PVC cement smell great, and they make your lungs and liver dissolve away into your bloodstream if you breath enough.  Also, the PVC pipe itself releases poisonous fumes when you cut or burn it.  So if you're planning to convert this gun to a flamethrower, use metal pipe on the tip.

Now u have at least a rough idea of how to make a legal-but-lethal weapon with parts available at your local hardware store!  I've read that if you load it with a rock or bullet (in this case, a mortar >:), it's legally a firearm.  Call your local precinct to find out how conspicuous to be.

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Beginner Stuff

I'm no expert, but I didn't kno this stuff & don't have any helpful spud-gun buildin' plumber frends, so here's my lil contribution to the world.

--  How to glue PVC pipe:  You'll need PVC primer and PVC cement/glue (both usually have brushes built into the top of the can).  If you're gluing a joint to a joint, don't forget the little piece that goes inside.  Coat the glue area with primer, let it dry.  Coat the inside end with alot of glue, and the outside end with glue, & quick b4 it dries push them together, twisting about 1/4 turn as u push em in.  The glue actually dissolves the pipe, so if u push really hard the pipe will peel up or kinda shred at the ends.  Hold or clamp it for a minute, or else it'll slowly push up/out a little as the glue dries, then leave it for 24 hours.

--  How to solder copper pipe:  You need paste flux, a butane/propane torch, and, obviously, solder.  Cover both ends with the flux.. kinda paint it on thick.  Push the pipe together how u want it, careful not to scrape the flux off (hard if it's a tight fit).  Now light the torch & move the middle part of the flame around the joint.  The flux might smoke a little.  After a minute or so, press the solder against the crack; if it doesn't melt torch it more & try again.  When it's hot enough the solder disappears as it gets sucked into the joint where the flux is/was.  Touch the solder all around the crack, & stop when it starts to make a drip at the bottom.

--  How to secure threaded joints (I knew this one):  You need either teflon tape or some kind of thread paste.  I used non-drying teflon paste for the guage and valve & their adapters, the joint where the copper pipe meets the PVC T, and each side of the (threaded) sprinkler valve.  Just mush alot of this stuff on with a paper towel or tape it w/ the tape...  nice 'cause u can unscrew it l8r.

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Email The Mack

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[[[Read this first]]]

--Compressed air is not safe like compressed water!!!--

--  Why?  Water doesn't compress much, but at 100PSI, air is compressed into about 1/7th its original volume, which means that if the pipe cracks, your gun has become a bomb.  There'll be shrapnel which can literally blow your arm off (hey, I said it was manly).  PSI means pounds per square inch..  picture 100lb weights pressing outwards on every single square inch of your gun's air chamber.  Respect it!  Here's a sobering excerpt from some email I recieved:

"As a PVC fittings manufacturer your contraption scares the hell out me...  It is right up there with some of the most dangerous things anyone could do.  If you had ever seen the damage that could occur to your body if it ever did explode you would never build it out of PVC...

  I have personally come into contact with people who have not heeded the warning, it is not a cool sight."

--  I see pics of people on other sites holding their guns, sighting along the barrel..  either they're igniting a fuel (instead of compressing air) that doesn't approach 100PSI (hairspray is almost always under 20PSI), they really wrap heavy cloth or something around the chamber when they shoot for real, or they're taking a chance to look a little cooler.  I used a heavy blanket testing it in a rural driveway, but since I want to feel safer & also have friends shoot it, I'm going to add an air hose & lengthen the wire to put a plywood cover over the gun.

--  Make sure that all your pipe is pressure-rated PVC pipe (printed on the pipe itself).  Normal joints like the 4 elbows and 2 T's in this gun are apparently ok, but I don't know what they're rated for.  I'm wary about trusting my life to a rating anyway.

--  Don't even aim at people (or cats, squirrels, cows...).  Just show em how powerful your gun is, and then threaten to do it instead.

--  Put the bottom half of a paper cup behind the projectile, and u can shoot plastic bags of soup, flour, paint remover, etc.  Phun!  My usual shot is a potato shot this way at "only" 70-85PSI.

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Contents Copyright Bluewolf 1999;  Do whatever you want with it, just don't say it was your idea.  There's at least 20 similar www pages out there anywayz, & they're better, too =).

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