Whats better for safety and your wallet?
Generally speaking, there isn't much difference between ABS and PVC pipe. ABS pipe is used for non-pressurized drains and I have read articles in trade publications regarding a tendency for ABS fittings to crack. However, these were mostly anecdotal and not scientific studies. PVC pipe and fittings are pressure rated for fluids and must conform to specific ANSI/NSF standards for pressurized systems. For this reason, I would choose PVC for a potato gun, using PVC with a high pressure rating, say Schedule 80 or 120.
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+1 Neither is really ideal for compressed air, but I'd pick pressure-rated PVC over ABS any day of the week.
hah whats more important? safety or your wallet? luckily I don't think there is much of a difference in price, I have always used PVC although I could only find the right size reducers in ABS. I would want all PVC though. Unfortunetly, I have blown all the caps off the rear of my potatoe guns (and they are just combustion type guns) so make sure you don't make the combustion chamber to big. Or find a good strong looking end cap and end cap fitting. Have fun with it man.
Both are fairly cheap... All the spud guns that I've seen used PVC. Look around on here ( Instructables) until you find a project similar to yours, then use the same type material.
PVC is tried and proven plus it's available easily at almost all hardware stores.