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Potato Bazookas

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the in-times-of-desperation dept.

Science 672

Zog The Undeniable writes "The latest craze in Germany is "Kartoffelkanone" or potato bazookas. These use hairspray ignited by a spark to fire potatoes at colossal speeds. The authorities are not amused." Everyone needs a hobby I guess.

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Who cares? (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181230)

Linux still sucks.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181232)

Post First!

Odd. (5, Funny)

g(zerofunk.org) (596290) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181235)

Bet you can't shoot just one!
g

Re:Odd. (2, Interesting)

Kalewa (561267) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181352)

Especially not with one of these [frii.com] .

Re:Odd. (5, Funny)

giel (554962) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181386)

Sooner or later Iraq will have to prove they don't own potatoes.

Hardly new (4, Interesting)

kramer (19951) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181239)

We made one in our Physics class in high school. I'm due to go to my 10 year high school reunion in a little more than a year.

Re:Hardly new (0, Funny)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181300)

I remember my neoghbor putting a hole in the garage roof misfiring one of these when we were little.

Re:Hardly new (5, Funny)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181313)

Pity the poor Germans. Once they led the world in starch based weapons technology, now they have to play a distant game of catch up.

The Iraqis don't stand a chance against our mighty potato cannon, not to mention our highly intelligent french fry cluster bombs!

So 1985 (-1, Redundant)

jobugeek (466084) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181241)

I was doing this years ago in high school.

Re:So 1985 (5, Funny)

ducman (107063) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181268)

About 20 years ago, as a kid in Denver, we used to shoot tennis balls out of guns made from soda cans and fuled with ligher fluid. At least we did until I had the great idea to soak the ball with lighter fluid before we fired it. The first few times were great, but soon one of our flaming balls set the neighbor's yard on fire.

Me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181319)

I think mine is still at my parents house somewhere. Man that thing was fun!

KABOOM!!!!

aren't those (-1, Redundant)

apraetor (248989) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181242)

called potato cannons? I used to play with one growing up.

Re:aren't those (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181309)

Yes, they are fun, and useful. We used them back on the farm to slaughter sheeps.

Re:aren't those ..Spud Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181385)

We called them spud guns. And yes its an old idea.

Behind the times... (4, Funny)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181247)

The germans JUST NOW discovered potato guns? Damn, get with the program people!
Just wait until they figure that if you fill a tin can with cement you can put a hole through a car, not just a big dent in the side.

Kintanon

Re:Behind the times... (4, Informative)

G-funk (22712) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181298)

I find it's easier to simply get a matching diamater chunk of potato and put it in the freezer for a day :)

frozen oranges are good too if you've got the right diamater pvc

Re:Behind the times... (2, Informative)

filth grinder (577043) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181325)

Other good ammo is taking a bunch of D batteries and duct taping them together. They are excellent for taking out street lights.

Orange Fusion (2, Funny)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181378)

So, if you put a bunch of these tubes together in a sphere with the barrels all pointed inwards and use Estes rocket motor ignitors so they all go off at the same time can you cause the oranges to fuse?

OJ, with lots of pulp!

Re:Behind the times... (4, Informative)

kris (824) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181355)

No, german kids have always been building things that go boom, as did kids all over the world. It is the german magazine DER SPIEGEL [spiegel.de] which discovered the topic and decided to make it an issue just now. Seems to fit with the overall mood, US going to war in Irak and weapons inspections and all.

Kristian

Retro... (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181356)

Perhaps there are other things from Backyard Ballistics by William Gurstelle that are re-experiencing a renaissance.

shoping at home despot (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181368)

The germans JUST NOW discovered potato guns? Damn, get with the program people!

Obviously not the kind of people who shop at Home Despot [homedespot.com]

that's right, despot, not depot

Yeah! (-1, Troll)

ptrangerv8 (644515) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181249)

Potato guns are kewl
but not really News for Nerds nor Stuff that matters
BTW (mod away)
In soviet Russia, POTATOS fire HUMAN GUNS!
beer

Re:Yeah! (1)

haedesch (247543) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181285)

In Eastern Germany.... :-)

We used to do that in the '80s (-1, Troll)

babylon93 (611333) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181250)

Those Germans are always behind!

I want this (1)

slackerfilm (520597) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181251)

We used to make potato guns in high school for the "pep rallys" but sheesh!! This looks like fun.

Being close to Cleveland, I have to wonder if you can modify this for beer bottles.

Obviously (1)

doubtless (267357) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181252)

ther German should immediately pass a homeland security act to combat these behaviour of terrorism.

Re:Obviously (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181266)

If Kartoffelkanone are outlawed, only outlaws will have Kartoffelkanone.

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181267)

Potato bazookas don't kill people. People kill people.

Saddam's super-spud gun of envy (1)

British (51765) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181373)

Didn't the Israelis do that already with Saddam's gigantic spud cannon that he had built? I wonder how far his could have launched a potato. That would be a project!

Re:Obviously (2, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181388)

ther German should immediately pass a homeland security act to combat these behaviour of terrorism.

Since potatoes are a munition, all potato sales must be strictly regulated. Henceforth, no potato shall be sold to the public unless it has been chipped, julienned or mashed at an approved and licensed facility so as to render it harmless.

Dupe (-1, Offtopic)

TLI_ (598782) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181254)

Dupe, Dupe, Dupe...

blow it out your (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181256)

cock hole!!

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a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/_Cock_\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__Hole_|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
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*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_e_x_*_


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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Blah (-1, Offtopic)

cyranoVR (518628) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181257)

News for Hooligans, Makes Cops Madder.

I got one of these (0)

mtc162 (604327) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181258)

I got one of these I made a few years ago. Talk about having some fun times with the friends. I got to the point of having interchangable barrels. Ahhh the memmories that this topic brings back.

spud gun.. (1)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181261)

I made one of these 10 years ago. :-)

They are a lot of fun, but I live in more of a city now.. can't fire it anymore.

These have been around for quite some time (2, Informative)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181263)

That doesn't make them any less fun, though. For Xmas I got Backyard Ballistics [amazon.com] which documents how to create a potato gun as well as many other loud and violent ballistic weaponry for children of all ages. Highly recommended.

Old (0, Redundant)

Syris (129850) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181264)

This is the "latest craze" in Germany? We used to bombard a neighboring fraternity at my college 6-7 years ago, and I'm sure aerosol powered potato cannons much older than that.


The Germans are finally discovering how fun it is to launch things? Re-discovering?

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181393)

No. The article is basically nothing but BS and sensationalism. I live in Germany and this is not the "latest craze". Apparently the timesonline author read an article [spiegel.de] in the german magazine "Der Spiegel", which is titled as "The return of the potato bazookas". This is only in the news because somewhere somebody got hurt by such a thing. Then the British author turned into it into "latest craze". Great. Michael Jahn

Damage (5, Funny)

SPF6 (627659) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181265)

Potato's as weapons. You could supply an army and feed them at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone.

Re:Damage (2, Funny)

trikberg (621893) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181302)

> Kill two birds with one stone.

Stone? Surely you mean potato?

Re:Damage (5, Funny)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181344)

You could supply an army and feed them at the same time

I hope not... I wouldn't want to be fed by one of those machines :-)

Re:Damage (1)

laurensv (601085) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181347)

But wouldn't there be a problem with only two birds to go with a million potatos's?

California has banned these (2, Insightful)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181269)

The nannies in the California legislature banned spud cannons some time ago. Living here is like having an overprotective and dysfunctional mother living with you.

Mods... (-1, Offtopic)

ryman (518071) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181379)

Just a question for the mods: How is this post flamebait?

When potato guns are outlawed... (5, Funny)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181270)

... only the Germans will have potato guns! :-D

Who's backwards now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181271)

And I thought Indiana was backwards (we do the potato gun thing here all the time)

This is nothing new. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181273)

Honestly, you've never seen these before? They're nothing more than a 3 foot PVC barrel, a 1 foot gas chamber, and a barbeque grill lighter drilled into the top. It really is simple and cheap to make, and if you shoot it straight up, you lose sight of the potato it goes so far.

I don't see why authorities in Germany would care, oh wait, Germany's a backwards fuck. "Yeah, that's a good idea, we are going to completely ignore our fascist history."

Cops around here don't care if you wield one, as long as you don't cause any trouble, they don't give a shit.

"from the in-times-of-desperation dept." (-1)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181276)

Wow, the title says it all, huh?

"In other news, Belgian children were delighted to find a unique contraption called a "Lite-Brite" under their trees this Christmas, which claims to "turn on the magic of colored lights"."

surprising (2, Funny)

Boromir son of Faram (645464) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181277)

I'm sort of surprised to see this posted here, as potato cannon are made by almost every young boy when growing up. Especially engineery types who end up reading Slashdot, I'd think.

Funny also to see the authorities upset about it. In the US, our relative comfort with weapons of all sorts probably allows us to more easily accept that "boys will be boys."

While the danger of such a device is frightening, I cannot but believe that in the right hands, a potato cannon could be used as a weapon for good.

Re:surprising (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181336)

Did not have one of theses as a kid, probably a good thing, what did was make blow dart guns out of piping and then rolling a magazine page into a cone. You put a pin in the tip of that and you would have something that would stick to dogs and cats.

Home Depot..... (2, Interesting)

alexc (37361) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181281)

A guy who worked at home depot actually helped my friends create a potato gun.. Needless to say the advice he gave was great.

Bake or Raw? (1)

nexusone (470558) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181282)


Baked ones make a good sqash when they hit something...
But the raw ones hit like a brick....

Old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181283)

I've seen these on and off for two decades.... Aqua Net [yesterdayland.com] is a really good/cheap fuel for them.

Building instructions (4, Informative)

giel (554962) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181284)

For anyone interested in doing this too, building instructions can be found here [lycos.de]

I had one... (2, Interesting)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181287)

I had one in high school. WE used to steal the electronic ignighters off of our neighbor's bar-b-que grills to create the spark. After testing every product, we found that starting fluid (basically ether) gave the best launches. The next best is that aqua net hair spray crap that everyone's grandma uses to make their helmet hair. Once, we even made a double-barreled one, which actually worked pretty well (seperate chambers and ignighters). I wish i still had pictures!

Re:I had one... (4, Informative)

bmwm3nut (556681) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181396)

even better, acetylene. any hobby store sells calcium carbide (the stuff in old miner's helmets to make the light). just put a little calcium carbide in water and you have instant acetylene (used for welding). ignite that with a gas grill ignitor and you can easily have potatoes going 150mph. when i was little my brother and i experimented with many different style guns. the best we came up with was using acetylene as the propellant and using a 1 inch pvc barrel (rahter than the traditional 2 inch). you couldn't shoot a whole potato with it, but the part you did shoot went about 150mph. (we figured that out by timing how long the potato stayed in the air when shot vertically).

or for an aliternate site... (4, Informative)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181289)

Not like no one else has done this on the net. Here are detailed instructions (at least enough to build) if you are so inclined... http://blizzard.rwic.und.edu/~nordlie/cannon/

I'm making one when I get home (5, Informative)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181290)


Old, but very sweet!

GotSpud? [gotspud.com]

Tony's page [tommasi.org]

Spudweizer [tripod.com]

Simple Spudgun [mshamash.com]

My mom would never let me build one when I lived at home, so now's my chance. AND, I'll be prosecuted as an adult, and possibly an 'American Terrorist'

In soviet Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181294)

We use pototo's to make vodka!

pumpkin cannon guy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181296)

remember the pumpkin cannon [cnn.com] guy from october?

flashback... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181299)

reminds me of when I was a kid (25+ years ago) we use to take a couple of tennis ball cans cut out one of the bottoms, tape them together and using lighter fluid create a little tennis ball cannon....

Foriegn exchange student program gone wrong! (1, Funny)

Monofilament (512421) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181301)

Oh my I can see exactly how this happened.

Billy-Bob from Southern Louisianna (sp?) finally gets into the foriegn exchange student program to go study in Germany. Dieter from Germany does the same to come to Souther Louissianna.

Billy-bob gets bored one day with builds potato cannon and shows it to all his german friend. Crazy fad begins.

Dieter learns of said cannons in the US and brings idea back to find the fad already there. He then proceeds to spread the art of potato cannon building.

the FORTH REICH ENSUES!!!!! except now the BLITZKRIEG isn't their Major offensive weapon its the POTATO CANNON!!!!

Overrated (2, Informative)

mseeger (40923) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181305)

Hi,

the story calling it "craze" is somewhat overrated. At every time in the last 50 years, kids have built something that goes boom. I think that is the same in every other country.

I live here and i haven't seen or heard of a single "Kartoffelkanone" prior to the article and the photos of the SPIEGEL magazine [spiegel.de] .

At least it's an interesting method of delivering mashed potatoes.

Yours, Martin

Fashion... (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181307)

So it is not just fashion that Europe is 30 years behind the US...

Back in the Day (1)

GenusP (645673) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181311)

The easiest way to build one is to use PVC piping (two diameters, one for the chamber one for the nuzzle), the igniter off a gas grill, and some supper glue and silicone caulk. Depending on the diameter of pipe you use and the propellant, which can be almost anything from butane to hairspray to your own special mixture, you could get a potato to go a good quarter mile or more. Use to be a hobby back in the day.

prediction...next slashdot article (-1)

handybundler (232934) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181314)

Making Cars Backfire by Putting Potatoes in Exhaust Pipes.

Old news (1)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181315)

Veryold news in the states. Dave Barry [davebarry.com] did an article on these a few years ago. He notes you can launch many things with them (including a Barbie doll). Not that he advocates that or anything.

That being said - this article seems pretty irrelevant to slashdot. Not only is the potato cannon old news, I'm sure assorted techies have come up with far more interesting stuff than that.

Let's scare the hell out of authorities (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181316)

A website used by the Kartoffelkanone enthusiasts was receiving only 20 hits a day just three months ago: now there are more than 700.
It looks like there are quite a few sites [google.com] in Germany on this subject.

Let's visit them all!

hair spray is for wussies (5, Informative)

schematix (533634) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181318)

It just so happens I had this same hobby a few years back. Except we used propane as the fuel and golf balls as the projectiles. Tiger Woods beware! It was truly amazing to see a golf ball launched several hundred yards, almost out of sight. For those interested, www.spudtech.com has a load of information on these fun toys.

You'll shoot your eye out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181320)

...or someone else's.

Do NOT stand in front of one, though.... (5, Interesting)

Doctor Fishboy (120462) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181321)

My friends and I built a potato canon and regularly fired it over the skies over Tucson. It was fun to a potato hang in the air for up to 10 seconds at a time, and a bit of basic math estimated it to travel over 1/3 a mile. Beware though that the potato emerges at about 100 miles per hour (but slows down alomost immediately due to air resistance).

We stopped fiting it after we stuck a 1/4 inch thick board of plywood about 3 feet in front of the canon and fired away.

Damned if that potato didn't punch a perfect 4 inch hole through that board. As the potato emerged on the far side though, it almost completely stripped off the last ply layer from the board.

We gained a new respect for tuber-based weaponry that day....

Dr Fish

Its's not a spud gun officer.. (4, Funny)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181323)

Reminds me of the time a couple of Iowa State students got out of trouble for having a spud gun by claiming it was an internal combustion engine. When the officer asked where the piston was, they replied "About 5 blocks that a way.."

Tests have shown (5, Funny)

zeus_tfc (222250) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181324)

My favorite part of the article:
German police fear that the youths will turn to more lethal ammunition than potatoes. Tests have shown that such a bazooka firing an empty film canister filled with sand and the cardboard centres of toilet rolls filled with cement could penetrate brickwork.

I can just picture these "experts" in a lab doing "testing".

It probably went something like "Whoa, that was way cool, lets see what else we can use. Hey, if we use something really heavy it'll be just like those cannons on junkyard wars!"

Those guys must have a cool job.

What teh hek? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181327)

A friend of mine used a little bit of hairspray (Salon Selectives) along with a ton of compressed air. He took a plastic pipe (about 10" in diameter), sealed off one end, and glued a barbeque lighter in about 1' from the back of the pipe. He used to use tennis balls -- soak them in WD40 and they would light on fire after they were launched! Anyway, he also fitted a crosshairs on the sucker.



Probably not a coincidence that he was German, either. BTW, the above "directions" probably don't work. Really.

Crazy Germans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181328)

They say we're violent and warmongering but christ the woods here in the US don't "echo with the thump-thump of potato guns". Not they're a bunch of f***ing retards. Drainage pipes and masking tape? Are you f***ing kidding me? I was pretty nuts when I was younger but I used 330 lb test pvc and the 3 step glue made for it. Not to mention I had an old jeans pants leg over the combustion chamber just in case.

Just before I put on my serious adult face... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181329)

Cool. I want one of those Katyushka multi-potato launchers! Hee hee hee hee hee!

Ahem. Bloody dangerous. Ought to be banned.

The Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181333)


Anon karma yada yada

Safety chiefs target German craze for 'bazooka' spud guns
From Allan Hall in Berlin
GERMAN youths have taken up a dangerous new pastime: firing potatoes as fast as a rocket from "bazookas" made from drainage pipes.

One man almost lost an eye, a woman had her leg broken and one teenager was badly burnt when the hairspray used as the propellant exploded in his face as he prepared to fire.

A 16-year-old in the university city of Göttingen lost part of his ear when the firing chamber ripped open as he pulled the trigger.

The so-called Kartoffelkanone are made from piping and masking tape bought at any hardware store. With a range of 200 metres they could split a man's head at 15 metres and penetrate a wooden wall at 90 metres.

The guns are not governed by the usual strict firearms regulations in Germany, but prosecutors in the republic's 16 states are passing emergency rulings to try to outlaw them.

Horst Przbyla, a munitions expert for police in Brandenburg near Berlin, said: "What started out as an extreme form of paintball has become deadly dangerous. Certainly, anyone caught in the path of the projectiles can expect to sustain very serious injuries indeed. It can only be a matter of time until the first death."

Police are considering asking leading hardware chains to sell piping only to adults.

Local stores that sell hairsprays and pressurised lighter fluid, the favourite propellants for the DIY weapons, may also be asked to sell them only to adults. Failing that, police suggest that youngsters should have to explain why they are buying them.

A website used by the Kartoffelkanone enthusiasts was receiving only 20 hits a day just three months ago: now there are more than 700.

German police fear that the youths will turn to more lethal ammunition than potatoes. Tests have shown that such a bazooka firing an empty film canister filled with sand and the cardboard centres of toilet rolls filled with cement could penetrate brickwork.

An apple fired from one of the guns almost took out the eye of a middle-aged man near the Baltic coast.

In Bavaria a 55-year-old woman suffered severe injuries when a potato smashed into her thigh as she walked near woodland with her dog. A school in Weinstadt in Baden-Württemberg recently came under a potato barrage from children playing truant, while in the Taunus region several windows of a block of flats were smashed.

The hairspray is ignited using a battery which provides a spark. Some youths have made multi-barrelled potato cannons, resembling the Soviet Katyusha rocket launchers of the Second World War and capable of firing at a phenomenal rate.

Thuringia in the east has imposed a ban on the guns and four youngsters in the town of Schlotheim caught by police had their weapons destroyed and were sentenced to 25 hours community service. Police also caught two teenagers with a cannon nearly 6ft long in one Rhineland town. A spokesman for the police in Brandenburg said: "Woodland on Sundays echoes to the thump-thump of these guns. It is a growing social problem that needs to be tackled."

Collateral Damage (1)

phil reed (626) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181334)

At least when I made mine, I didn't shoot it in crowded areas. Why are so many innocent bystanders being injured in Germany?

Re:Collateral Damage (1)

HiQ (159108) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181391)

Perhaps because in Germany, no one is innocent **ducks** :)

In other mischievous innovations... (1)

ArizonaBay (265782) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181335)

"The latest craze in France is "sac de fèces" or bags of feces. These use paper bags filled with feces and then are ignited upon the doorsteps of the unsuspecting. The authorities are not amused." Everyone needs a hobby I guess.

Not just for kids... (1)

umrgregg (192838) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181337)

A lot of people are saying "I made these years ago with pvc, blah blah, not new."

Well, this much like saying the concept of firing lead out of a barrel is not new, and ignoring the fact that the technology behind it hasn't changed much either.

I don't know about you, but the potato guns I build were not industrial steel tubing with rifeling controled by butane-ethenol mixes. Nor could it punch through a wheelbarrel and the side of a house consecutively, like some I've seen today...

Counrtries with low military budgets (Ireland anyone?) should really consider these for artillary.

Tennis balls instead of potatos (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181338)

Longer range, and great bounces.

Stop! It's Deadly! ....but have you tried THIS? (5, Funny)

nettdata (88196) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181341)

From the story:

German police fear that the youths will turn to more lethal ammunition than potatoes. Tests have shown that such a bazooka firing an empty film canister filled with sand and the cardboard centres of toilet rolls filled with cement could penetrate brickwork.


I love that... "hey kids, those potato gun things are WAY too dangerous for you! Don't try it, but THESE things are WAY more destructive!"

Ya gotta wonder.

Hairspray is for girls (5, Informative)

Slightly Askew (638918) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181342)

Hairspray is for wimps...real men use compressed air. Compressed air is much more powerful, you don't have the legal ramifications of using an explosive, and it's cheaper than hairspray. It takes a little more work to get it air-tight, and you have to buy a thicker PVC pipe, but the results are worth the extra effort.

Flying Tomatoes (1)

Martok7 (634005) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181346)

I remember when I was 10 or 12 we use to shoot tomatoes out of mufflers. It was great to watch them shoot out and splatter on another car. Today, if someone did that to my car I would kill them.

Wow... (5, Funny)

new death barbie (240326) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181348)

An apple fired from one of the guns almost took out the eye of a middle-aged man near the Baltic coast.

...that's got to be distance record...

Courtesy of google (1)

forged (206127) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181349)

Courtesy of Google [google.de] , the blueprints [lycos.de] and forums here [rapidforum.com] and here [rapidforum.com]
(all the above in german, obviously).

OMG! They are killing potatoes!!!! (2, Funny)

Cyb3r (224792) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181353)

I am currently growing a potato in my basement, and am documenting it online at

http://www.projectpotato.com :)

We made an olive gun (3, Funny)

Scratch-O-Matic (245992) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181354)

when I was a kid. We took a used model rocket motor and duct-taped it to the top of a wooden gun, with the nozzle to the rear. We'd put a firecracker in the motor casing, with the fuse sticking back through the nozzle. We were fortunate enough to have an olive tree in our yard...fresh olives are about as hard as avacados. We put an olive down the tube, in front of the firecracker, and light the fuse. It could cause welts at 15 yards. Later improvements included a mounted lighter for ignition. Not one eye was put out that summer.

Additional Relevant Links (2, Informative)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181359)

Check out this story [scifitoday.com] we ran over on Sci-Fi Today which included some relevant links. You can get Sci-Fi Today daily headlines on your Slashdot home page by clicking here [slashdot.org] and putting a checkmark in the Sci-Fi Today box. Or heck, just join us as a member [scifitoday.com] and help us build a science-oriented discussion community!

Oh, the horror... (1)

Maeryk (87865) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181360)

We used to build these. Then we got _REAL_ cannons.. (black powder, medieval carriages, neat things to play with.. 16 oz of cannon powder will fire an empty 1 lb propane can quite a distance..).

Wait till the Germans discover this throwing larger fruit for fun and profit" [atbeach.com]

Maeryk

When we were young (4, Interesting)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181366)

and stupid, we made several of these.

The most "impressive" one was a 6ft long black barreled cannon known as "black beauty". It had an ignition switch from a grill, eliminating more clumsy homemade solutions for ignition and could put a potato through a wooden fence from about 20 yards. It could fire them @150 yards on a good day. It was tremendously dangerous, with a 3 foot flame shooting out of the barrel each time you fired it. The heat and pressure on the piping caused it to crack and need replacement, a function often ignored by my more idiotic friends. Here in texas some younger kids at my church got caught firing one in a golf course not too long ago and recieved some fines from the local police. These things are not safe...

My last memory of that cannon involved modification to shoot sprays of water. Ignition, upon filling the barrel with water after placing a "separator" in the piping caused a huge spray of water and steam to eject in every direction. Took the bark right off of trees...

STUPID

Potato guns, for great justice. (5, Funny)

revision1_1 (69575) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181370)

I went back to my parents house to build one (and test fire, since the apartment complex I was living in presented an environment a little too target-rich). After the PVC cement dried and I completed some test firing with a rag stuffed into the barrel, I managed to put a potato into the air, across the street, over the house across the street and smack into a humongous water tower that has loomed over my childhood memories for 20 years.

Talk about a thrill. It was early evening, and a little dark, so you could see the long tongue of orange flaming Aqua-net.

First a click (of the grill igniter in the trigger)...then a sort of "thomp" sound...then a long silence...then a huge, resounding GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG sound.

It was awesome. A childhood dream come true.

I need to build another.

The one and only dannon cannon (1)

fluffhead234 (319072) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181375)

In my frat we had the dannon cannon. You would be amazed to see how far one can launch a grapefruit from the top of a building in Philadelphia.

Fluff

A threat to be taken seriously (1)

ReelOddeeo (115880) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181376)

President Bush needs to immediately respond to this unprecedented threat to our national security.

Alternate... safer version of the guns (5, Interesting)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181380)

We have done this for physics often... no explosives or flammables involved. (I know... where's the fun then :} )

All you need is a length of pipe that just barely fits a pingpong (table tennis whatever) ball through it. Fit a connector into one end of it that can hook to a vacuum pump.

Ok.. now here is the operation.
*WARNING do not have anything in line with EITHER end of this device!!! It is VERY unlikely but either end can give way and it fire either direction!*

Place the pingpong ball in the pipe. Place a single piece of plastic packing tape over each end. (Clear or brown... not filament!)

Use your pump and lower the pressure as far as you can. (You will have to expirement to make sure you can get it that low without imploding the tape on the ends)

When ready to fire.. put end with fitting slightly lower. Wait for pingpong ball to settle at that end of the tube. Aim. Using something sharp or pointed pierce the tape on that end of the pipe.

Bye-bye pingpong ball :}

Basically the inrush of air propels the ball through the tube and straight through the tape on the other end. We have clocked these pingpong balls in excess of 150mph :}

Please only do this under carefully controlled circumstances... It makes a great science expirement and is relatively safe. But as always be careful, wear protection and DON'T BE STUPID.

BTW You can pick up used vacuum pumps for cheap on Ebay... cheaper than 20 or 30 cans of hairspray so...

These have been around forever (1)

CmdrWass (570427) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181387)

When I was a kid we'd have potato wars with these.

Also, Moms would get upset when she'd go to make dinner and find out she didn't have any potatos left.

Hash (1, Funny)

jefu (53450) | more than 10 years ago | (#5181389)

I've long contemplated (without building one) building a "spam cannon" from fastened together spam containers and shooting the meat product - not the icky email.

Probably wouldn't make dents in most things, but my thoughts always work more toward the notion of a high angle shot (a "spam mortar" perhaps). Imagine standing in line to see "The Return of the King" and suddenly being bombarded with spam. Or maybe being that email spam king and having your back yard picnic, well, spammed.

Of course, combined with a potato bazooka, we'd have Hash Artillery (and not the kind you'd smoke or bake into brownies). Toss in a cabbage trebuchet and a flambe' (why didn't the ampersand-eacute-semicolon character entity work there?) thrower and you'd have mealtime covered.

I don't understand.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181394)

What's wrong with homemade artillery?

(Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

WMD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5181398)

Weapons of Mass Destruction, I say!

Bomb the bastards before its to late.
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