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How To Make a Potato Gun?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Brenda Block
How To Make a Potato Gun?

Have you ever wanted to make your own potato gun? These devices, also known as spud guns, are a fun and easy project that you can create with basic materials found around the house. Not only can they launch your favorite tuber at impressive speeds, potato guns can also provide hours of entertainment for all age groups. In this article, we’ll be covering the steps required to create your very own potato gun, from selecting the right materials to assembling the gun and firing it for the first time. So grab a bag of potatoes and let’s get started!

1. Gathering Materials: A Comprehensive List of What You Need to Build Your Own Potato Gun

To build your own potato gun, you will need a few basic materials. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned DIY enthusiast, you will find that constructing a potato gun can be a fun and rewarding project. In this section, we will cover everything you need to get started.

PVC Pipe

The first thing you need is a PVC pipe to act as the barrel of your potato gun. You can buy them at most hardware stores, and they come in different sizes. We recommend using a 2-inch diameter pipe since small pipes may not offer enough space for the potato, and large pipes may not provide enough pressure.

End Caps

You will also need two end caps to seal off the PVC pipe. The end caps should be the same size as the PVC pipe you selected. Make sure they fit tightly, but not so tightly that you can’t remove them easily.

Ignition Source

To ignite the fuel, you will need an ignition source. You can use various sources, such as a grill lighter or a BBQ igniter, but we recommend using a piezo ignition. It is easy to use, and you don’t need to touch any wires or batteries to ignite the fuel.


The fuel for your potato gun can be bought at most grocery stores. It is called hair spray, and it contains a highly flammable gas that ignites easily. It is cheap and easy to find, but be sure to buy a brand that doesn’t contain any oils or other additives that could spoil your gun.


Lastly, you will need some potatoes. You can use any type of potato, but we recommend using the large Russet potatoes since they are easy to find and offer a good fit for the PVC pipe. Try to find potatoes that are the same size so that they fit snugly in the barrel.

Now that you have a list of materials, you can start building your potato gun. With the right tools and a little patience, you can create a fun and unique device that will provide hours of entertainment.

2. Building the Barrel: Step-by-Step Instructions for Constructing Your Potato Gun’s Firing Mechanism

The barrel is the most crucial part of the potato gun as it creates the vacuum pressure needed to launch the potatoes. In this section, we will guide you through the process of making your own barrel step-by-step.

Step 1: Choose Your Materials

The first thing you need is a PVC pipe. The diameter of the pipe is up to you, but a 2-3 inch diameter pipe is the most commonly used size. You also need PVC end caps for both ends of the pipe, PVC cement, drill bits, and a cutting tool.

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting PVC Pipe

Measure the PVC pipe to your preferred length, keeping in mind that the longer the barrel, the more pressure it can build up. Cut the pipe precisely using a cutting tool. Smooth out the rough edges using sandpaper.

Step 3: Attaching End Caps to the PVC Pipe

Position the end caps at both ends of the PVC pipe, making sure they are aligned correctly. Mark where the end caps should sit and apply PVC cement to one end of the PVC pipe. Quickly attach one of the end caps and hold it in place for 30 seconds. Repeat the process, cementing the second end cap.

Step 4: Preparing the Ignition System

Drill a small hole close to the center of one of the end caps. This hole will be used to inject the fuel into the combustion chamber. Drill a second hole on the same end cap with a one-inch diameter. This hole is where the ignition will go. It is imperative to keep the two holes separate, or you risk igniting the fuel too early.

Step 5: Finishing the Barrel

Your barrel is now complete, and it’s time to check that everything is secure and in place before testing it. Insert a potato into the barrel from the open end, pack it tightly, and close the end with the ignition system. With a lighter in hand, hold it at the ignition chamber hole and press the button to ignite it.

Remember to double-check that the fuel is securely inserted and that the potato is tightly packed to get the best results from your potato gun. Now that you’ve finished building the barrel, let’s move on to the next step of adding fuel and ignition to your potato gun.

3. Adding Fuel and Ignition: How to Fuel and Ignite Your Potato Gun Safely and Effectively

In this section, we will discuss the process of fueling and igniting your potato gun. This is an important step and needs to be done with caution and care to ensure your safety.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Fuel

The most common fuel used for potato guns is hairspray or butane. Both are highly flammable and can create a powerful explosion when ignited. It is important to choose a fuel that has a high ignition point, as this will create a controlled explosion.

When choosing hairspray, choose one that contains a high percentage of alcohol. This will make it more flammable and easier to ignite. Butane, on the other hand, is available in a canister and can be easily ignited using a barbecue lighter.

Step 2: Adding Fuel to Your Potato Gun

Once you have chosen your fuel, the next step is to add it to your potato gun. It is recommended to use a funnel to add the fuel to the gun. This will prevent any spillage and ensure that the fuel is added evenly.

It is important not to overfill the potato gun with fuel. Overfilling can lead to an uncontrolled explosion, which can be dangerous. Fill the potato gun with just enough fuel to create a smooth and controlled explosion.

Step 3: Igniting Your Potato Gun

To ignite your potato gun, use a barbecue lighter or a lighter with a long stem. Stand at a safe distance from the gun and ensure that there are no flammable substances nearby.

It is also recommended to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any accidents. Before igniting the gun, ensure that the ignition point is dry and free from any fuel residue.

With these steps, you should be able to safely and effectively fuel and ignite your potato gun. Remember to always handle fuel and ignition sources with care and be aware of the potential dangers they pose.

4. Firing Your Potato Gun: A Beginner’s Guide to Using and Maintaining Your Homemade Device

Now that you’ve successfully built your own potato gun, it’s time to learn how to use and maintain it for optimal performance. Here’s a beginner’s guide to firing your potato gun.

Step 1: Loading Your Potato Gun

Before you can fire your potato gun, you need to load it with ammunition. To do this, cut a potato to the same size as the interior of your gun’s barrel, and ram it down the barrel with a cleaning rod or other long, sturdy tool. Make sure the potato fits snugly in the barrel, and don’t overstuff it.


  • Avoid using rotten or wet potatoes, as they can cause your potato gun to malfunction or become damaged.
  • Never use rocks or metal objects as ammunition, as they can cause damage to your gun or harm to you or others.

Step 2: Preparing for Firing

Before firing your potato gun, make sure you’re in a safe location away from people, buildings, or other potentially dangerous objects. Ensure that the ignition system is properly charged, and that the gun is pointing in a safe direction. Aim at a target with a wide, clear area behind it to avoid any accidental injury or damage.


  • Wear eye and ear protection to avoid any potential injury from flying pieces of potato or loud noises.
  • Check your local laws and regulations to ensure you’re firing your potato gun in a legal and safe manner.

Step 3: Firing Your Potato Gun

To fire your potato gun, press the ignition system and wait for the gun to fire. Be prepared for a loud noise and recoil, and monitor the direction of the gun to ensure it doesn’t stray off course. After firing, immediately inspect the potato gun to ensure it’s still in working condition and hasn’t become damaged in any way.


  • Don’t reload your potato gun until you’ve inspected it thoroughly and are sure it’s in good working order.
  • Practice firing your potato gun to improve your accuracy and aim.

By following these beginner’s tips, you can safely and effectively use and maintain your homemade potato gun. Remember to always prioritize safety and caution when using DIY devices like this one.

5. Exploring Advanced Techniques: How to Enhance Your Potato Gun for Improved Accuracy and Distance

Once you have successfully built and fired your potato gun, you may want to take your creation to the next level by improving its accuracy and distance. In this section, we will explore some advanced techniques that you can use to enhance your potato gun and make it more efficient and effective.

1. Adding a Scope

One way to improve your potato gun’s accuracy is to add a scope. This will help you to aim more precisely and hit your target more consistently. To add a scope to your potato gun, you will need to purchase a suitable mount and attach it to the top of your gun. You can then attach a scope to the mount and adjust it to your preferred level of magnification. Keep in mind that adding a scope may increase the weight of your potato gun, so make sure to adjust your firing technique accordingly.

2. Using Different Fuels

Another way to enhance your potato gun is to experiment with different types of fuel. While hairspray is a popular choice for most potato gun enthusiasts, there are other fuels that you can use to achieve different results. For example, using propane can increase the power and range of your potato gun, while using lighter fluid can create a more dramatic flame effect. Make sure to use these fuels safely and follow all necessary precautions to avoid accidents or injuries.

3. Upgrading Your Barrel

Finally, you can improve the performance of your potato gun by upgrading your barrel. You can do this by increasing the length or diameter of your barrel, or by adding rifling inside the barrel to improve the stability of your projectile. Keep in mind that altering your barrel may require additional materials and expertise, so make sure to research and follow proper guidelines and safety procedures.

By using these advanced techniques, you can take your potato gun to the next level and impress your friends with its improved accuracy and distance. Just remember to use these techniques safely and responsibly, and always follow proper precautions to ensure a fun, yet safe, DIY experience.

People Also Ask

What materials do I need to make a potato gun?

To make a potato gun, you will need PVC pipes, PVC cement, a drill, a saw, a lighter or a grill lighter, and a potato.

How do I assemble a potato gun?

First, assemble the PVC pipes to make the gun’s body. Then, drill a hole in the back of the gun and a smaller one on the side for igniting the fuel. Put the potato in the barrel and spray a small amount of aerosol inside the gun. Ignite the fuel through the small hole and watch your potato soar!

How far can a potato gun shoot?

Depending on the size and power of the gun, a potato can fly up to 200 yards when shot out of a potato gun.

Is it legal to make a potato gun?

The legality of making a potato gun varies by location. It may be legal in some places as long as it is not used for dangerous purposes, while it may be strictly prohibited in others.

Can I modify a potato gun to shoot other objects?

It is not recommended to modify a potato gun to shoot other objects as it can be extremely dangerous and cause serious injury or harm.


Making a potato gun can be a fun and entertaining activity, but it is important to ensure that the gun is not used inappropriately and is legal in your area. Remember to follow proper safety guidelines and exercise caution when using the potato gun.

Toby Wooten

Toby Wooten

Quora SpecialistNovice 👶
Living in the historic town of Princeton, New Jersey, I've carved out a niche as a Quora Specialist, sharing knowledge and unraveling mysteries across a multitude of topics. Spanning the corners of history to the finicky details of today's technology, my aim is to enlighten and engage. With a curious mind and an insatiable appetite for learning, I thrive on the challenges and rewards that come from deep-dives into questions, illuminating answers for a global audience.

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