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Spud Gun History.

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Spud Gun History.

Unread postAuthor: rna_duelers » Tue May 22, 2007 3:29 am

About two weeks ago my Grandfather was visiting our family and I was using one of my Pneumatic cannons which he got into and enjoyed and he told me a story,and it goes like this.

When he was young about 10 or so and the germans in invaded were he lived in Holland early on in WWII.The germans were doing alot of air supply drops and such to supply there armies.He was young and was running messages for the under ground.

Him being young he wanted to have a little fun.So every now and then him and his friends would steal some of the supplies dropped,a few smoke screens,food and come calcium carbide among the things the took.They were aware of calcium carbide being used to make flammable gas when mixed with water(acetylene).

One night around new year I believe he said they got some calcium carbide and dropped it into a Milk can they used on there farm with some water in the bottom and dropped a match in it after a short while making a nice boom(not like they needed any more explosions around then).They grew bored of the small explosions and woofs of the gas burning so they put a lid on one of the cans and made a small hole were they place a match and when they did this it made a HUGE boom and shook all the houses windows fairly far away.

When the war had ended he moved with his wife to Australia were he lives to this day.Raised a family and was a farmer and builder,but at one new years he remembered about the calcium carbide 'bombs' he used to make and he had some fun with them going boom until a friend of his suggested the idea of making a hole and putting in something to shoot out.I believe the projectile was a Lime.They fired the can again and the lime blew apart but sent it a good height into the air,naturally they tried different types of ammo including potatoes but police interrupted there fun and came asking if they new anything about people letting off huge bombs and of course he blamed it on some young kids living down the road and he never did it again.

This would of been in the early 60's late 50's and is possibly the oldest home made high combustion velocity potato re-locator to date I know of.Anyone else have stories of old spudguns,to find and trace there history as it would be interesting.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue May 22, 2007 4:45 am

Pneumatic cannon have quite a long history, and have also been used in warfare.

http://www.heliograph.com/trmgs/trmgs1/dynamite.shtml

http://www.spanamwar.com/dynamite.htm

In the above cases, the gentle acceleration of air power allowed high explosives to be used in artillery shells before they were desensetised enough to be used in conventional powder-burning cannon.

Some UK merchant ships in WW2 were fitted with pneumatic cannon (actually powered by steam from the ships' boilers) that were used to launch hand-grenades in the path of approaching enemy bombers. While this venture was of limited success, apparently these devices were used during periods of inaction to lob potatoes at the crews of other merchant ships in convoy as a sort of impromptu wargame.

also, it appears the first combustion cannon is a few centuries old, have a look here :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: mega_swordman » Tue May 22, 2007 5:12 am

Interestingly, there was also a myth around WWII that dealt with pneumatic cannons. According to this, the Germans claimed they had a large, artillery sized cannon that was filled with compressed air so it could blow away groups of citizens and protesters without harming buildings. This was just a rumor, but does give mention to the fact that they actually came up with the pneumatic cannon theory.
There is also another rumor that said the navy of the British had steam powered cannons to launch grenades into the air to scare off divebombers. I don't know if it is true, but there was also the funny note that the weapon could also fling potatos at other ships for fun.
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Unread postAuthor: rna_duelers » Tue May 22, 2007 5:19 am

Well,thats all interesting and also people in the Phillipines make combustion guns out of bamboo,just one large piece of bamboo wiht a small hole and a smouldering piece of bamboo for a ignitor.
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Unread postAuthor: schmanman » Tue May 22, 2007 5:32 am

WWII. early WWII? that's way later than the 60's.

that is the 40's.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue May 22, 2007 5:34 am

mega_swordman wrote:Interestingly, there was also a myth around WWII that dealt with pneumatic cannons. According to this, the Germans claimed they had a large, artillery sized cannon that was filled with compressed air so it could blow away groups of citizens and protesters without harming buildings. This was just a rumor, but does give mention to the fact that they actually came up with the pneumatic cannon theory.


I think you mean this - they went a bit further than the theory.

There is also another rumor that said the navy of the British had steam powered cannons to launch grenades into the air to scare off divebombers. I don't know if it is true, but there was also the funny note that the weapon could also fling potatos at other ships for fun.


See my post above - I had read about this in an old book that dealt with special weapons developed by the British in WW2, as far as I can tell its more than just a rumour.
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Unread postAuthor: rna_duelers » Tue May 22, 2007 5:42 am

Are you refering to the story?The early 40's is when he first made use of the gas and in the early late 50's 60's is when he shot things out of one when he moved from holland to Australia.

Who can't love a spudgun?
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Re: Spud Gun History.

Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Tue May 22, 2007 12:04 pm

rna_duelers wrote: This would of been in the early 60's late 50's and is possibly the oldest home made high combustion velocity potato re-locator to date I know of.Anyone else have stories of old spudguns,to find and trace there history as it would be interesting.


<a href="http://www.spudfiles.com/spud_wiki/index.php?title=History">The first "homemade" combustion spud gun was made more than two hundred years ago.</a>
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Unread postAuthor: mega_swordman » Tue May 22, 2007 12:56 pm

Cool! That's very nifty jack.i simply read these in a book and thought of them as myth and theory, but you have proved to me it is much more than that. Could you please give me the title of said book. Oh, and i apologize for repeating what you said, it appears my reading skills are deteriorating. :oops:
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Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Tue May 22, 2007 1:45 pm

As i recal, i while back somone mentioned the US testing a nuke at the bottom of a 200ft steel tube which had a 10 ton steel plate over the top. Upon detenation the top was blown off with such a velocity that it is believed to have entered orbit as they couldn't find it anywhere.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue May 22, 2007 3:17 pm

PT Boats in early World War 2, In the Pacific theater used Compressed air to launch a torperdo out of a tube on the side of the boat.
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Unread postAuthor: goathunter » Tue May 22, 2007 4:33 pm

Air rifles were used in the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as to clear out Buffalo for the railroads.
http://www.bbhc.org/pointswest/PWArticle.cfm?ArticleID=52
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Tue May 22, 2007 7:05 pm

That german wind cannon sounds fascinating.

I'd love to have a cannon that could demolish a 25mm thick board 200m away just from the sheer force of the compressed air and water vapour jet.

The ultimate untraceable weapon :P

Of course if it really did have to be that big then there might be a few problems in concealing it but hey, it's effects still sound very cool.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue May 22, 2007 11:08 pm

I'd love to have a cannon that could demolish a 25mm thick board 200m away just from the sheer force of the compressed air and water vapour jet.


In the words of noted artillery expert Ian V. Hogg, "Were one to be attacked by 4 inch wooden spars at a range of 200 yards it would doubtless have been an ideal weapon, but getting the vortex up to more practical height was an insuperable problem, and the Vortex gun never achieved success."

Could you please give me the title of said book.


The title escapes me, I'll check it out next time I'm at the library

PT Boats in early World War 2, In the Pacific theater used Compressed air to launch a torperdo out of a tube on the side of the boat.


... as did the USS Holland almost 50 years before ;)


Air rifles were used in the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as to clear out Buffalo for the railroads.


amazing weapons, even by modern standards :shock:
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue May 22, 2007 11:23 pm

Funnily enough the found that it damaged them and resorted to a mechanism that simply dropped them over-board :lol:
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