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Steam powered spud gun?!?

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Steam powered spud gun?!?

Unread postAuthor: truemanator » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:58 am

hi,i have had an idea, a steam powered spud gun (it would be extremely clunky to use, but it would be pretty cool) bassclly, the idea is you have a metal container that you fill 3/4 with water, then heat this container, so that lots of stem pressure would build up, like i said, it probably wouldnt fire very powerfully, but it would be cool, then when the pressure has built up to a desired amount, release a valve, and Boom! it should fire, loeaving a path of burning hot steam in its path, again, the goal wouldnt be power, it would just be doing it!
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:05 pm

The original spudgun used steam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holman_Projector

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Make sure you put in a pressure relief valve though ;)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bU-I2ZiML0[/youtube]
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Unread postAuthor: truemanator » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:25 pm

have you seen the new myth busters where they make a full on cannon with a water heater, it was pretty cool.
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:44 pm

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:The original spudgun used steam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holman_Projector
Actually, the original spud gun was a combustion and was built a hundred years before the Holman.

I know the above is true because it says so on the <a href="http://www.spudfiles.com/spud_wiki/index.php?title=History">Interweb thingy</a>
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:48 pm

jimmy101 wrote:Actually, the original spud gun was a combustion and was built a hundred years before the Holman.


Key word, spud. Volta made the first cork gun ;)
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Unread postAuthor: wyz2285 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:40 pm

A really really old thread :wink:
Nothing new about using steam as power source, and they can reach high pressure :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:29 pm

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:
jimmy101 wrote:Actually, the original spud gun was a combustion and was built a hundred years before the Holman.

Key word, spud. Volta made the first cork gun ;)

Holman never shot, AFAIK, a spud from his "projector". He was trying to sell the device to the British Military as an antiaircraft weapon so I suspect he was pretty serious about his projectiles.

On the other hand, get a bunch of Italians together, throw in a couple gallons of cheap wine, add an "electric-phlogopneumatic" pistol and I bet they were sticking all kinds of things into the barrel. :shock:
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Unread postAuthor: truemanator » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:38 pm

jimmy101 wrote:
jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:
jimmy101 wrote:Actually, the original spud gun was a combustion and was built a hundred years before the Holman.

Key word, spud. Volta made the first cork gun ;)

Holman never shot, AFAIK, a spud from his "projector". He was trying to sell the device to the British Military as an antiaircraft weapon so I suspect he was pretty serious about his projectiles.

On the other hand, get a bunch of Italians together, throw in a couple gallons of cheap wine, add an "electric-phlogopneumatic" pistol and I bet they were sticking all kinds of things into the barrel. :shock:


actually, apparantly the projector was not reliable, so the sailors on the ships, instead of loading live grenades into the barrel, which may have blown up in their faces, the put poatoes in instead to have mock battles with other ships. (well, apparantly thats what the spud wiki says)
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:59 pm

truemanator wrote:actually, apparantly the projector was not reliable, so the sailors on the ships, instead of loading live grenades into the barrel, which may have blown up in their faces, the put poatoes in instead to have mock battles with other ships. (well, apparantly thats what the spud wiki says)


Indeed, I remember reading this in an old book about British Naval intelligence and secret weapons of the second world war but I can't for the life of me remember the title.

edit: thank you internet!

"The Secret War 1939-45" by Gerald Pawl.
Forward by Nevile Shute.
Published by George G.
Harrap & Co. Ltd. 1956.

Here is the actual text:

They spent two days filing on the range and three days at the
works attending lectures on maintenance and learning how to strip
and reassemble the gun which the trawler men had christened the
"Potato Thrower." When two ships met at sea it became a regular
practice to fight mock battles, each crew bombarding the other with
potatoes fired from their Holmans
, and this game was taken up with
great enthusiasm by the craft of Coastal Forces on their way back to
base from sweeps along the enemy coast.


There are claims it was tested with potatoes too:

article wrote:The Royal Navy was summoned to view this ‘contraption’ during test firing – using in this instance potatoes – on the ranges at Porthtowan, a few miles from Homan’s factory.


As to the reliability issue, the grenade couldn't really explode in the barrel because it was not armed until it left the muzzle and the lever was allowed to spring up. Having said that, if for some reason the shot was low powered and it just rolled on to the deck...
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