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Ugh, more bad press "potato gun" kills 21 year old

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Ugh, more bad press "potato gun" kills 21 year old

Unread postAuthor: clide » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:23 pm

Never mind the fact that he turned it into a pipe bomb by putting an "explosive powder" inside it.

http://www.ksfy.com/news/local/9523117.html


The Sioux County Sheriff's office responded to an explosion with injuries at 915 Hayes Street in Hull, Iowa around 8:20 Friday night. 21-year-old Ryan Meerdink was reportedly firing the potato gun when an explosive powder inside it ignited and ruptured the device. Meerdink was rushed to the Sioux Center Hospital with life threatening injuries and later died. The state fire marshall is calling the explosion an accident.

KSFY spoke with Ryan's family today about what happened last night to with the potato gun. They said that Ryan was hit in the stomach when the device ruptured. Three other people were with Ryan when the accident occurred, including his soon to be fiance, Cortney.

When KSFY spoke with Ryan's mom, Donna, she said "He was a young man who's life was taken too early. He was a good man to all. He has many friends and loved the outdoors and was very adventurous."

While the family did not want to appear on camera at this time, they say they do want to raise awareness about the dangers of potato guns. We spoke with a local expert about the dangers that come with building such a device.

"When something goes wrong with a potato gun, it goes very wrong," said Jim Sideras, Division Chief of the Sioux Falls Fire Department.

Ryan Meerdink's life was taken by a homemade potato gun when something didn't go as planned.

"They sound very innocent. It sounds kinda fun. When you see them being shot it looks fun, but just because of the nature of what involved they're very dangerous," stated Sideras.

Potato guns are typically handmade with PVC pipe, a propellant, and an igniter. When these three ingredients are combined, they cause a powerful force, shooting a potato 2- to 3- hundred feet in the air. But these ingredients can also cause deadly consequences....

According to Division Chief Jim Sideras, "The problem can be if something gets plugged up, too much propellant, it will actually explode."


The problem with potato guns is that while they're very dangerous, they're also very easy to make. There are hundreds of videos and websites that have directions on make such a device.

"It's very concerning when you see the amount of information on the Internet on how to build them," said Sideras.

But no matter much information is available, there is no safe way to make one.

"If you or your child has a potato gun, its best just to get rid of it. Its not safe. Sooner or later someones going to get hurt with it and the injuries can be very sever and be life threatening," stated Sideras.

Once again, Ryan Meerdink's family members hope people will learn from their son's accident and that it will keep future incidents from happening.


:(
In the video they refer to Division Chief Jim Sideras as an "expert"
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Unread postAuthor: thespeedycicada » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:33 pm

dear lord i cant stand retards like this who make stupid choices,get killed and because evryone thought he was a perfect little angel they blame on the potato gun "when something goes wrong with a potato gun it goes very wrong" not true stuff goes wrong alot but it wont kill you because smart people dont put "flammable powder" which might have been gun powder in the cannon.On top of all of that he was probaly using cell core!!! ARRGGG!!!! :x whew ok thats all over sorry i do feel bad he died but it was probaly his fault this is what will get spud guns banned once again sorry i just needed to go on that rant ok :)
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Unread postAuthor: trae08 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:36 pm

thespeedycicada wrote:dear lord i cant stand retards like this who make stupid choices,get killed and because evryone thought he was a perfect little angel they blame on the potato gun "when something goes wrong with a potato gun it goes very wrong" not true stuff goes wrong alot but it wont kill you because smart people dont put "flammable powder" which might have been gun powder in the cannon.On top of all of that he was probaly using cell core!!! ARRGGG!!!! :x whew ok thats all over sorry i do feel bad he died but it was probaly his fault this is what will get spud guns banned once again sorry i just needed to go on that rant ok :)


i second that
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Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:38 pm

It's a shame this happen, but i really can not feel sorry for the guy since he clearly lacked any common sense. And Jim sideras the fire chief clearly does not know what he is talking about and has formed an opinion about this hobby based upon stupid people's mistakes.
"If you or your child has a potato gun, its best just to get rid of it. Its not safe. Sooner or later someones going to get hurt with it and the injuries can be very sever and be life threatening," stated Sideras.

Its this kind of thinking that ruins the fun for everyone else.
KSFY spoke with Ryan's family today about what happened last night to with the potato gun. They said that Ryan was hit in the stomach when the device ruptured. Three other people were with Ryan when the accident occurred, including his soon to be fiance, Cortney.

I'm kind of glad he didn't contirbute to the gene pool.
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Last edited by Killjoy on Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:42 pm

I've heard of people using black powder to fire spudguns before. It's simply a stupid idea because with solid propellants there is always to possibility of adding too much.
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Unread postAuthor: windshrike » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:45 pm

I feel sorry for his family but not for the guy himself, and the Fire Chief's statement is appalling.

Explosive powder? Thats solid propellant!! Therefore it does not qualify as a potato gun!!!! I like to call such items 'firearms'. So do most state statutes.
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Unread postAuthor: thespeedycicada » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:46 pm

three other people were with ryan when the accident ocurred including his soon to be fiance, courtney.
ahhh natural selection at work who knows what his kids might have done :shock:
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Unread postAuthor: PinHead » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:50 pm

I can't believe I'm reading this, especially since this is less than 15 minutes from where I live, and the name sounds really familiar. I think that a good friend of mine knew him growing up. Also I can't figure out why I never heard about this yet... I guess I don't watch the news enough.

That being said, while this definitely IS another blow to the legitimate world of spudding, it gives us all a reminder of how important safety is in all forms. We don't know exactly why this thing blew up, if he was using actual gunpowder, if he used crappy parts and components, if he just plain made a whole bunch of stupid choices building/firing that thing... but it doesn't really matter. It just shows us the reality of what can happen if you're not careful and know what you're doing.

I like the stuff that you highlighted, clide, because everyone on this website worth their salt know that these things aren't true. There was definitely something else seriously wrong going on here.

I just can't get over the fact that this was so close to me... if you're from around Sioux County, you know that there are waaaaaayyy too many over-reactive conservative types who will blow this crap out of hand. :cry: Still, I still feel sorry for this kid and his family.
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Re: Ugh, more bad press "potato gun" kills 21 year

Unread postAuthor: bob-a-lu » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:06 pm

"If you or your child has a potato gun, its best just to get rid of it. Its not safe. Sooner or later someones going to get hurt with it and the injuries can be very sever and be life threatening," stated Sideras.

screw them.
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Unread postAuthor: goathunter » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:14 pm

We had this idiot in Charleston a while back who did almost the same thing with steel pipe.He had one end capped loaded the gun with black powder and made a basic muzzle loader for the 4th of July.Then low and behold he decides to put a second cap on and see what happens.Anybody with a normal amount of common sense knows how this turned out.
KABAAM!, elimination, lack of education.

The good part:The stupid gene is once again not passed down
The Bad:The cops decided to get really active about anybody with mild explosives.Including fireworks.
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:34 pm

One of the real beutiful characteristics of a correctly designed and operated spudgun is that it is foolproof. Fuel it with propane (or butane or ...) and there is no possible way to "use too much fuel". Too much fuel simply won't ignite.

If you are stupid enough to be using a solid propelant then it is not only possible, but extremely likely, that too much fuel will be used.

A typical propane fired spud gun is fueled with what 50 to 100cc of gaseous hydrocarbon? WAG the mass of fuel at 0.05 to 0.1g (based on a gas density of ~1g/liter).

Idiots keep putting in gram quantities of powder. Guess what, the gun explodes in their hands.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:25 pm

Spud guns are only as dangerous as the person useing them! I wonder how far the family is going to try and push the banning all together? Watch and see if this guys folks wind up testifing to congress for a all together ban. We Americans see this kinda thing happen alot, someone gets themselfs killed and the rest of the family becomes a sqeekie wheel that congress will greese to make it look like they are doing the rite thing. In this case, the end of legal spudding!
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Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:42 pm

Spud guns are only as dangerous as the person useing them! I wonder how far the family is going to try and push the banning all together? Watch and see if this guys folks wind up testifing to congress for a all together ban. We Americans see this kinda thing happen alot, someone gets themselfs killed and the rest of the family becomes a sqeekie wheel that congress will greese to make it look like they are doing the rite thing. In this case, the end of legal spudding!


Reminds me of this guy in our town who stole a truck, led police on a high speed chase, crashed the truck and tried to stab a police officer with a screw driver so the police shot and killed him,and the family sued for wrongful death, and the city settled out of court despite the fact this guy deserved to get shot and wasted money and time investiagating the officers for the shootings.

I still remember the up roar about the kid who had never played paintball lifting his mask up to see and getting shot in the eye, so he and his parents went out to try and ban paintball or at least tell people how dangerous it was and how it could never be safe (for the stupid people at least).
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:01 pm

A good example of the self chlorinating gene pool. He has done the human race a favor by exterminating himself, but he has done the spudding community a great disservice with his final act.

Anything made out of plumbing parts that uses solid fuel/oxidizer mixtures (such as gunpowder, flash powder, C4, etc...), is inherently unsafe. On the other hand, a well built spud gun using gaseous fuels such as propane, and air as an oxidizer is completely safe, so long as the entire system is rated for more than the pressure that the combustion can produce.

Idiots are the enemy of our community, and this story involves a hell of a lot of them: Ryan Meerdink, who ignited a solid explosive in plastic pipe, his parents, who didn't keep him locked inside a padded room, Jim Sideras, who thinks he actually knows something about spudguns, when he obviously doesn't understand their most basic operating concepts, and, second only to Ryan himself, whoever it was that called Jim Sideras an "expert ".

Can someone give me the email address of that news channel so that I can respond to this attack directly?
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Unread postAuthor: mopherman » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:08 pm

DYI wrote:
Can someone give me the email address of that news channel so that I can respond to this attack directly?

bad idea. they will smash the site on the news and then we get a flood of hate spammers.
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