Burnt Latke
spudtech rifled barrel tests

outdoor range: 150 feet

  free ordinance

The outdoor test was delayed for nearly a week by rain. The day the skies finally cleared, 25 lbs. of russets deemed unsafe by the Emergency Feeding Program were left on our doorstep.

Without delay, the equipment was gathered for the long range tests. The launcher and barrels were the same used in the 50' tests. Again, 37 PSI fuel pressure was used for a calculated 4% propane mixture.

loaded up
  look out for that...

The outdoor firing range consists of a concrete loading dock surrounded by windows, parked cars and a freeway. Hundreds of rounds have been shot here without incident or accident. Rockets and missiles are never fired at this location, only potatoes. The distance from the target to the muzzle was 150'.

The launcher was sighted by looking through the rear of the barrel then locked in place and checked after each shot. The L1 launcher again functioned perfectly delivering a strong hit every time despite the humidity and intermittent rain.

bang, reload, bang...  
  smooth bore at 150'

The smooth bore barrel performed as expected. The russet slugs would leave the barrel then tumble or spiral toward the target. The resulting wide spread shows the poor flight characteristics of potato slugs fired through a smooth barrel. The distance between shots #5 and #10 is under 6'. Not bad for a spud gun at 150'.

The rifled barrel surprised us with its' excellent performance. The slugs were visibly stable in the air with little spiral or tumble. A small grouping was the result of the spinning slugs improved flight quality. The widest shot and the odd man out is #10 which is 4' from #7. The majority of the grouping has a spread of just 2.7'. Combined with the breech barrel knife, the SpudTech rifled barrel has become our first choice for potato deployment.

rifled at 150'
  vented barrel

Just for grins, a 1.5'x56' vented barrel was tested at 150'. Almost half of the vented shots hit the ground before reaching the target due to the loss of 14" of effective barrel. Future tests will explore the stabilization properties and muzzle velocities of vented barrels. Also fired from 150' was a 2"x 32" smooth bore with a C:B ratio of 1.5:1. The 2" barrel performed excellent, maybe as good as the smooth bore 1.5" barrel. Unfortunately, the 2" shots were not recorded , then it started to rain again. Four cheesy animated gifs of the outdoor tests are available below.

view animated gifs.