The Silver Spud: Cheap Reusable Spud Gun Projectiles




About: I am a recent recipient of a BS in Computer Science. Currently working for an eDiscovery company as a web repository technician (hosting, searching and helping attorneys to process their electronic data) but...
Picture this: The wind gently brushes the grassy turf of a pine-surrounded meadow. A hawk floats serenely across the sky. The breeze dies down and all is silent. Then without any warning there is a faint click and instantly the serenity is shattered with a deafening blast as an unfortunate tuber is launched across the meadow scaring the living daylights out of the surrounding wildlife. Anyone that has tried it knows the sheer thrill of operating a spud gun and the thrill is even better if you've made your very own.

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

Okay obviously there's the whole danger thing of operating a spud gun and depending on where you are there are legality issues as well. It's YOUR responsibility not mine to keep your hide intact and yourself out of jail.

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.

All in all each of these will run you less than a couple of quarters. While a single potato will likely be as cheap, there are other considerations. Each time you reuse your silver spud you're effectively outweighing the cost. Environmentally speaking you're helping out too by recycling trash!

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!



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    15 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Look up plastic "bag soccer balls" and use that method to wrap things

    mr. cool 384

    8 years ago on Introduction

    ive found while just experementing that a wiffel ball (its like a golf ball but with holes drilled in it) that it fits perfectly into my 1.5 inch barrel. (of course you have to stuff the inside or something so the holes are covered so all the gas dosent just go through it)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    well I've found that fluorescent orange spray paint works pretty well and you can avoid the decreased performance issues I experienced with the tape.

    well, for reuseable ammo, simply insert anything that will snuggly fit into your pen barrel, then behind it place some cotton so there are no gas leaks, basicaly insuring a successful fire.
    this is a method used way back in the 1700's when bullets were odly shaped all the time and so cotton was inserted to fill up that extra space allowing a full sized blast regardless of size.

    i do this on my spud gun to fire lumps of plasticene coverd by glad wrap, or odly shaped things like lego men, also , due to the rapid decompression of the cotton, it basically disperses itself in the air like a hand full of hair thrown in the wind, so theres no need to kleen up after wards, yay

    have no fear i have the answer to your question!!!!
    i just created a kind of re-usable ammo for my spud gun , the barrel is about 4cm(allitle over an inch )wide, but it should work for smaller ones.
    this is recomended for those of you using pvc pipes

    get a size of pvc pipe 1 size smaller than what you have now, there should be only around 5mm of space between outside of the small pipe and inside of the larger pipe when the small is inside the large (barrel).
    get some kind of glue, i use hotmelt glue, and glue some foam sheet around a 1.5inch cut of the pipe, 1 layer is all you need, the foam sheet is avalible at all craft and hobby stores, and also supermarkets and anywhere that sells the "kool kids brand" of cheap toys and breakable thingys.

    wrap a few layers of duck tape around the pipe now wraped with 1 layer of foam, until it almost fits snuggly inside you barrel (aka the larger pipe)
    then get some gas pipeing tape, this stuff is basicaly soft, easily compressed, plasticene like , soft tape, it is not sticky, its also called thread tape for jamming anything that is metal or plasic that screws in somewhere.
    wrap this stuff around the front of the ammo, until its made a high enough to only just get jammed into your barrel. next get some vaselene, or some other lubricant (as the tape is rubbery), preferably soap from a bar (not liquid), then wet the soap, or smear the vaselene, onto the threading tape, then insert into your barrel.
    you should be able to blow it outwith difficulty, if so, then its perfect, fill the ammo with whatever you want, be it lead to mud, you can change the weight and center of gravity.

    personaly i use a capasitor, that is charged, so i cna shoot it at someone, then it electrocutes them on impact, the high voltage given out (300v from camera cap), will make it hang on like a magnet for the 2 seconds it takes to discharge)

    i will make this into a instructable later, but as re-usable ammo for mini spud guns,

    this wont work for potato launchers that dont require a totaly airtight barrel to fire, well it will, but theres no real point, this is for mini spud guns


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    hmmm . . .that one's a bit tricky since bic barrels are only just over 6mm . . .you could just roll little bits of duct tape around iron rods until they're the right size . . . on a side note . . .with wadding bic barrels are awesome with airsoft bbs!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    ever tried to make this into a grappling hook launcher?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i just made a new type of ammo ideal for night time. get a sinker glue a piece of flint to the front of it and lots of steel wool at the back so it is air tight (and glows and sparks) then fire it at something (far away) and you should see a glowing fireball droping sparks and glowing metal everywhere flying at whatever your shooting at and then when it hits it will (hopefully) smash the flint wich should be hot by now and give you a very nice flash and sparkle. enjoy if it works because i only just made it up but will be trying this 30 second plan ;)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    get a medium sized spud gun and get a sinker and wrap it in a tissue and fire it at a fence............ and hope that the neighbours cat isn't sitting on the other side........

    1 reply