One thing that has kind of bothered me with the whole world of spud chucking is the waste. Potatoes are food and as such should be eaten (I'm Irish what can I say) . . . not hurled at breakneck speeds to please the whooping and hollering primates behind its path (yeah I'm one of those too).
I have devised a way to make additional use of dirty paper towels and reduce the waste of potatoes simultaneously . . . behold the duct spud!
Here's me and then a friend of mine using it:
Not bad considering it's quite windy!
Step 1: Materials
Right so here's what you're going to need to make these:
- old dirty paper towels (preferably not wet and definitely not having anything like linseed oil which is prone to spontaneous combustion . . . .that would be BAD)
- a roll of duct tape
- orange (or any color that stands out from your surroundings) Extruded plastic flagging tape. The kind you see tied to wooden sticks around construction sites. (i bought mine from home depot it's kept near their caution tape)
- (optional: will make for better range due to increased momentum) a smooth but dense rock that fits, with plenty of room, inside your spud gun's barrel (so if you have a 1.5 inch inner diam barrel I'd suggest no bigger than an inch in diameter and a couple of inches in length
- Paper towel -$0.00 : Should never be short of dirty paper towels so I'll consider that cost negligible
- Duct Tape - $0.10 : the whole roll costs only so the 3 or so feet you'll need come to this amount
- Flagging tape - $0.30 : 300 feet cost less than $2 and you need only 6 inches
- Rock - $0.00 : besides being optional the earth is practically made of these . . .if you can't find one the see an optometrist and a neurologist for poor eyesight and/or lack of feeling.
That's it! Pretty simple huh?
Step 2: Make the Bullet
Okay here's the fun bit. (well shooting it is better but that's another story)
Take your rock if you have one and wrap paper towels tightly around it until it fits nicely (no force needed to push it down into the barrel but not sliding around either) into the barrel of your spud gun. Make sure you get the wrapping fairly even and a bit thicker at one end. You'll see why later.
Next take your duct tape and wrap the new bullet until no paper towel shows through with one end tapered like a real bullet. Make this wrap tight. Now measure the bullet with your spud gun's barrel and when it fits snugly (like the ole' potatoes used to) you're done with this step.
Step 3: Now How the Heck Can I Find This to Re-use?
Well I'm glad you asked! This is what that brilliantly colored stretchy tape is for! take a section about 6 inches long or so and drape it over the nose of your new spud and wrap a half width of duct tape around it to secure it to your spud. I wrap a few pieces to make sure it isn't going to come off.
The spud is now completely finished and ready for aerial adventures of awesomeness!
Step 4: Launch and Retrieval
To fire, simply push it butt end first into the barrel of your spud gun and push it down with a broomstick as usual.
When fired, this tape functions as a locater for the silver spud. You can even see the projectile easier than a standard potato!
After you fire it watch it land to get an idea of the general area where it landed. Walk over to this general area and begin looking for orange! thanks to the tape these things stand out like a sore thumb in a nose party. I've actually fired it in the middle of a forest and found it buried in a bush!
No more wasting yummy potatoes and laughing in the faces of "those poor starving kids in China" (no offense meant here it's a quote from a movie where a kid was refusing to eat his meatloaf and potatoes). The best part is these are reusable practically indefinitely as they don't smash on impact! the only thing that really incapacitates them is landing in water but even so they can be dried out and used again! If your streamer tears off then simply add a new one!