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The BL-520 Review

Built a combustion cannon? Then post it here! This section is for completed, finished cannons that you have built. Please include pictures and information.
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The BL-520 Review

Unread postAuthor: PCGUY » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:43 pm

The BL-520

Reviewed by - Kyle (PCGUY)

Made by Sureshot Inc. http://ultimatespudgun.com


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The BL-520 is a combustion potato launcher based around a piece of 5" PVC as the chamber, and a 60" long 2" diameter spud-cutting barrel. There are a number of unique things about this cannon, one being the fact that the barrel comes all of the way through the chamber for breech loading action when you screw off the back of the cannon. The other unique features are the fully custom machined aluminum pistol grip igniter, a plunger action MAPP gas meter/injector, and custom clamps and mounts made to hold it all together. When this was shipped to me, I knew it was going to be a serious cannon, but I really underestimated the size until I received the box.

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When the UPS delivery man brought this to my door, he was dying to know what was inside. When I showed him, he thought it was the coolest thing ever, and he didn't even get to use it. I put the cannon away for the day and woke up the next day to find some MAPP gas for it. This launcher can be run on propane, but MAPP gas gives a more powerful shot. I had to run all around town trying to find MAPP gas, I was told by a manager in one store that there has been some shortages of it around here. Odd... but I finally managed to find some. It's usually just as common as finding propane cylinders.

I laid the cannon out on my picnic table to get it hooked up and ready to go. Within 5 minutes, my new neighbors (who I had yet to meet up until today) had spotted this massive launcher sitting in my backyard, so they had to come and ask about it. Turns out he is ex military, so he wanted to stick around to try it out. The meter on this cannon is really neat. When it is pushed in (as it normally would be), a piston inside of the meter cylinder seals up the MAPP gas line from flowing into the cannon. When you pull out on the plunger, you hear the gas rush into the meter cylinder, but it doesn't go into the cannon. When you push it back in, it injects the metered MAPP gas into the combustion chamber, and seals off the MAPP gas line again. It also seals off the chamber, so the combustion does not come back into the meter. There is even a hidden check valve for safety to prevent pressure from the combustion leaving the chamber.

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The ignition grip is also really neat on this cannon. Inside the dummy magazine are electronics from a propane powered post pounder that is wired up to ignite the chamber. The cannon comes with a tiny allen wrench that is held to the side of the grip via magnet, so you always have it to take off the side of the magazine to replace the battery when needed. The trigger on the grip works the spark, and there is very little play in the trigger to get it to fire, it is effortless really... no suspense wondering where in the trigger pull it will fire, it fires as soon as you move it. There is a 40mm fan in the rear of the cannon, with a control switch that becomes exposed when you screw the back off. The fan and barrel are mounted via a piece of machined aluminum, and the fan has a piece of pipe attached to the back of it to send the air flow all the way down to the other end of the combustion chamber. During all of my shooting, I just left the fan on and had 0 problems with it. The fan is really required to be running to shoot, since the chamber is so big, the MAPP gas needs assistance to mix with the air that is in the chamber. I once attempted to fire it without the fan running, but the potato didn't even leave the barrel. I was warned that potato may clog up the fan, but the fan blades stayed clear for me.

I got some plywood together, a healthy 1" piece provided by my neighbor. I laid a Craftsman yard cart on its side and setup the 1" plywood in front of it. I figured that #1 it would not go through the plywood, and #2 if it did, it would barely get though and it would be mush, so the inside of the cart was perfect for collecting the mush and stopping what may be left of the spud. The yard cart is a lot like a wheel barrel, but instead of being metal it is made out of very thick, rigid plastic. It's designed to haul around rock and dirt and really take a beating. After my very first shot, I came to the conclusion that I am going to need a much more serious backstop for this launcher.

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My first shot not only made a clean hole through the 1" plywood, but it also blasted straight through the bottom of this cart and out the back side. I didn't intend on destroying this $60 cart, but with just 1 shot it became useless for hauling. After setting up a stronger backstop, I started to blow consecutive perfect holes through the plywood, so it was no fluke. Since the cart now had a huge hole in it, I decided to destroy it the rest of the way as well. As part of my backstop setup, I had a healthy pressure treated piece of 2x8 lumber. I decided to put it in front and shoot at it, and as you can see from the video with just 1 shot I split the 2x8 in half.

After a few shots, I had attracted the attention of every one of my neighbors. First, someone would come outside to see what was going on, then they would disappear back inside the house to only come back with their entire family. Along with a few friends of mine that came by this day, I had quite the crowd coming to check this cannon out. A number of other people shot it, and they all loved it. At first they were afraid it would have a lot of recoil, but due to the cannons overall weight, there isn't much recoil.

I have had this cannon for a few weeks now, and I have so far put 6 full bags of spuds through it. I have not had to replace any batteries, nor have I even emptied this MAPP gas cylinder yet. The spark is very consistent, fuel is consistent, and it is easy to operate. It works like a well oiled machine, there is never any question if your next shot is going to be as cool as the previous one, it always produces the same amount of power and sound. Overall, I have had a ton of fun with this cannon and am glad to have got my hands on it!
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Last edited by PCGUY on Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Mr.Sandman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:54 pm

Wow is pretty much all i can say. I Think with all the custom machining and its power, this gun is definetly worth its price tag.
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Yeah, it's that important.
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Unread postAuthor: c11man » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:00 pm

wow when i saw the site it just looked like anyone could build it...

but this is no average gun!!!

still think it is overpriced no matter how powerful it is :(
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Unread postAuthor: rcman50166 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:38 pm

Wow PCGuy, did you actually purchase this cannon or was it a deal from the site since they are spudfiles' sponsor?
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:19 pm

It never stops :roll:

That is a really good cannon, i think the website content doesn't do it justice. Some more pics and scale refrence, and it would look much better on the site.

The only improvment i can think of is putting the fan switch on the outside.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:20 pm

rp181 wrote:The only improvment i can think of is putting the fan switch on the outside.


Since you have to open the back to load the spud and you'll probably want to run the fan all the time anyway, I don't see having the switch inside a serious issue. The biggest thing would be forgetting to turn it off when you're done.

@PCGUY: Thanks for giving this cannon a thorough review. It seems to have power consistant with similar metered propane/MAPP, fan enhanced cannons of this size. Truly, the unique feature is the coaxial configuration. The recirculating feature of the fan is also unique and I'm sure pretty effective.
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Unread postAuthor: jook13 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:59 pm

It is a very slick gun. Much larger than his site led me to believe. I am a big fan of that pump action fueling, Though I would prefer an inline or over under to that coaxal design, it would make the breach loading less work. I guess the coaxal design allows the most compact version of a gun this size.

Again, beautiful work.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:06 pm

Cool looking, powerful and they're giving us money to boot! It looks good, a safety would be nice but I suppose caution is the name of the game. The meter is also great!
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:05 pm

@PCGUY being the owner of the site pays off sometimes, doesn't it ? :wink:

I wish I had access to a machine shop (and had $ for it).. the parts look soooooo good
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Unread postAuthor: Carlman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:27 pm

wow that does look good in those pics ay! i sugest sureshot pdates its pics.

Is the paintjob quality?
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:52 pm

POLAND_SPUD wrote:I wish I had access to a machine shop


Even with an unfortunate acronym likePMT? :D

It really looks like an awesome piece of work, pricey but clearly one is getting a lot for one's money, good stuff :)
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:13 pm

I didn't realize how big that thing was LOL! It really is pretty friggin sweet looking, and functional. I like the unique functions it features.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:57 am

What's the function of the muzzle attachment?
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Unread postAuthor: benstern » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:57 am

Wow, sure is sell out in here. Seriously Kyle... isn't this the first spudgun you've fired in a few years?

Otherwise it looks like a nice cannon. looks sturdy, clean, and powerful. How's recoil? Is it centered on your hands? Looks like a shoulder pad might come in handy.
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:16 am

benstern wrote:Wow, sure is sell out in here. Seriously Kyle... isn't this the first spudgun you've fired in a few years?


Wait, you calling Kyle a sell-out? Why?

But yes, I do think this is the first cannon PCGUY's fired in a while.
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