Tater Tot Gun Theory

how the pneumatic gun works

History of Spudgun Designs

For a comprehensive overview of spudgun designs, take a look at Aerodynamic Invention's "How Spud Guns Work" . Or, you can look below for my explanations.

Pictures and Diagrams

Here are a couple of diagrams which demonstrate how the gun works.

This is a simple diagram of the gun. There are several important parts to notice. From left to right...

  • The ball valve on the back allows you to release pressure.
  • The small intake valve can be hooked to an air compressor or a bike pump.
  • The separator between chambers is a stiff (yet flexible) rubber sheet. It acts as a diaphragm.
  • The main pressure chamber should be 3-4 times the diameter of your barrel.
  • The barrel extends inward all the way to the diaphragm.
Click to get a bigger version.
pvc_anim.gif This animation of the diaphragm shows how it works.
  • Gun is loaded, with no pressure. The release valve is shut.
  • Pressure is pumped in. The two air chambers equalize, because the pressure leaks around the diaphragm.
  • Pressure stays in. The barrel is a "low-pressure" zone, and sucks the diaphragm toward it. This keeps it sealed.
  • Open the release valve, and the first chamber depressurizes. This sucks the diaphragm away from the barrel, so the air can escape, firing the bullet.
  • Gun is empty and depressurized.
Last modified: January 11, 2005 @ 7:52 MST
Copyright (C) 1996-2024 Selene ToyKeeper