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Just how much power are we talking about?

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Just how much power are we talking about?

Unread postAuthor: spuddlymore » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:54 pm

Hello, ignant noob from UK here, am about to emark on my first launcher build, (pnuematic). Anyways as some of you may know we have a puny 12ft/lbs limit over here. I am wondering how powerfull are average to intermediate spud cannons (combustion and pnuematic) in ft/lbs. I am vaguely aware that there is an equation involving feet per second and weight of projectile? can anyone clear this up?
Unlikely, but getting caught with anything over legal limit is an automatic FIVE YEARS in prison.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:03 pm

most of spudguns here are way over 12ft/lb, only some BBMGs and other small bore (6mm and less) guns are below that
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Unread postAuthor: spuddlymore » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:09 pm

Hmmm, thanks for quick reply.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:12 pm

UK law specifies that a launcher *capable of* generating 12 ft/lbs is illegal, this puts most medium and large launchers in the league (after all, a good pitcher can throw a baseball with 12 ft/lbs of energy). A BBMG firing more than one projectile for each triger press is technically an illegal section 5 firearm if an individual projectile has an energy of more than 1 ft/lb.

In short, it's remarkably easy to go over the limit, but there are several UK members here who do so, but do so sensibly, without attracting the sort of unnecessary attention that gets people prosecuted.

In a nutshell, play with spudguns on private property, responsibly and safely, and you're very unlikely to be visited by the plod. Take potshots at your neighbour's cat, and Robert's your mother's brother, you probably deserve those five years ;)

spuddlymore wrote:Oh and what you think of my name? inspired I thought, thanks.


He does look a bit potato-like :)

POLAND_SPUD wrote:small bore (6mm and less) guns are below that


No kidding :P :D
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:48 pm

Depending on ammo, my 2 inch is less than 2,000 Ft*Lbs It most definitely exceeds your limit. I have not calculated the marshmallow cannon, but I think depending on ammo and pressure, it too exceeds the limit.

Only one of my low flow early designs may be legal there.
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Last edited by Technician1002 on Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: spuddlymore » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:11 pm

I got six cats of my own and could cheerfully shoot anyone who hurt them. :P

2,000 ft/lbs! is that close to a real firearm? :shock:
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:14 pm

Even the most basic noob combustion gun can hit 400 foot ponds.

Most people can throw a rock with considerably more than 12 foot-pounds (~16J) of energy.

So don't let the coppers catch you with a your arms.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:14 pm

I build what are fairly small launchers by spudgun standards - high pressures, but small. And they get in the 300-500 ft-lb* region.

(*Technically, the unit is ft-lb, not ft/lb. The terms are multiplied, not divided.)

However, I am one of the aforementioned UK members. And I did actually have a talk with some police types around about the turn of the year...

...fortunately, that was because I had forgotten to turn the lights on my bike on, not because of any stupidity with launchers. :D

Technician1002 wrote:Only one of my low flow early designs may be legal there.

Not actually true.

The trick is that the legal UK definition of a firearm is that it has to be designed as a weapon. If you can prove that it is not a weapon, then it's entirely legal.

The trouble is actually making that point believable - and hopefully believable enough that the CPS won't even try to take it to court.
The easy solutions are to, depending on size, pass the launcher off as either a paintball gun, or a special effects cannon - both of which are entirely legal, regardless of power.

spuddlymore wrote:2,000 ft/lbs! is that close to a real firearm?

It's a bit more than you'd get from a 7.62x39mm rifle - for example, the AK-47.
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Does that thing kinda look like a big cat to you?
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:21 pm

The equation for muzzle energy is E<sub>k</sub> = 1/2mv<sup>2</sup>, where E<sub>k</sub> is kinetic energy, m is the mass of the projectile, and v is the muzzle velocity.

Nearly any spudgun, even basic spray 'n' pray launchers, will exceed the UK's legal limit of 12ft-lbs. I'd estimate that a standard size 1.5" bore combustion can probably fire a 2 ounce spud slug at around 300fps, which gives you ~175ft-lbs.

As JSR implied, keeping your hobby low key and not attracting attention to yourself is the best way to avoid problems with the law.
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Unread postAuthor: spuddlymore » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:41 pm

Wow, some scary numbers here, i'm worried and excited at the same time :twisted: thanks all for replies.
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:14 pm

Get hit with a full size potato gun and you will probably die from internal bleeding. They are as far from a toy as you could possibly get.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:18 pm

You do not want to catch a full soda launched from some of these.
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Re: Just how much power are we talking about?

Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:19 pm

Oh yeah, one more point I forgot to make earlier.

spuddlymore wrote:Unlikely, but getting caught with anything over legal limit is an automatic FIVE YEARS in prison.

That would for be a Section 5 violation - possession of an illegal firearm.

Most things on this site would only require Section 1 licensing (if they couldn't be passed through a loophole), and the charge therefore only be that of possession of an unlicensed firearm, for which the sentencing is one year.

Still more of a life than one would want to lose, but not quite as nasty as the five years for a Section 5.
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Unread postAuthor: spuddlymore » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:40 pm

Low key all the way, already making plans for silencers/supressors.
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Unread postAuthor: velocity3x » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:06 am

spuddlymore wrote:Low key all the way, already making plans for silencers/supressors.


So....the UK has laws restricting muzzle energy but suppressors are legal?
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