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Put your hand up if you remember the spud gun..!
That's you then? And her behind you as well..? In fact, I can see that most people around the age of forty have got their hands in the air, their minds flashing back to the good old days when we were running down the street with a spud gun in one hand and a raw potato in the other, or for those 'posher' people an apple instead.
But for those people who have no idea what a spud gun is then allow me to explain...
Many years ago when spud guns hit the streets they were silver metal objects which slightly resembled hand guns, and I mean slightly, with the strange looking trigger and plastic flimsy cover.
To load the spud gun you simply press the potato against the end of the gun, or push the end of the gun into the spud, which ever way you choose as both ways works just as well as each other. Then you simply pulled the trigger back, dragging the front end with it, which forces the small piece of potato out of the end and into the air.
But before you jump off your chair shouting about the fact guns are dangerous, this one is about as dangerous as a toothless crocodile wearing a muzzle. And if your child's the sort that is constantly fascinated by guns then it's worth getting them this one as that fascination will disappear faster than an ice cube in a kettle of boiling water.
They are built to last though, made of a strong metal which takes all the knocks and drops that a person of the right age will no doubt put it through. I remember when I had one, before they were sprayed red, it had more dents in it than my wife's Nissan micra, but it still manage to do exactly what it should do, it managed to spit out that tiny bit of spud.
And even these recent ones, the red sprayed ones which stop the police from surrounding you with so many guns pointed at you that you'd think you were a rabbit in a field in the middle of hunting season. Yes even these recent ones have still got that little kick about them, although when I say kick I really mean spit, but the fun is there to be had.
Sadly though, once you get passed a certain age, say ten, then this spud gun becomes as enjoyable as an itchy bum when you're hands are tied to a tree, (not that that's ever happened to me, well, not for a while now anyway). Mainly due to the fact that you realise that it is as powerful as a gnats trump in a bowl of jelly.
But for the price of less than a fiver if your youngster wants a gun that doesn't just fire those annoyingly snappy caps, then this may be worth looking at, and as it's covered in a lovely red colouring there's no danger of it being mistaken for a real firearm.
In all, if you're aged ten or below and you like the thought of a gun that fires something, even if it is a small piece of potato, then this is for you as it can be lots of fun without doing any damage, although a spud in the eye is certainly not worth two in a bush... or something like that anyway, and the starch will hurt quite a bit.
© Blissman70 2012
Spud guns were part of life growing up - mainly because you could shoot anything without actually hurting anyone, so when I saw this £4 opportunity to relive some of my youth, I seized it with both soon-to-be-gripping-potato hands.
This spud gun is in the classic red of the spud guns when I was a kid. It has an attachment as they did back then for making it into a water pistol, although this wont be replacing any of your proper water pistols any time soon.
There is also a new feature - little soft rubber "bullets" which I guess you can use if you can't find a spud or don't want to leave rotting vegetation all over the house.
To use, you simply push the nozzle at the end of the barrel into a potato, it will slice into it, then when you pull the potato off you should have a potato "cork" left in the gun - then fire as you would normally fire a gun and it shoots out.
Now these things only fire a few metres and you would be very unlucky to actually hurt someone even in the very unlikely event you hit them in a place you wouldn't sensibly aim for, such as the eye, provided you were not a point blank range. These are not the most accurate of weapons so this is probably a good thing!
Overall, a good laugh for a few minutes as an adult and I am sure a lot more for kids.
This little spudun is widely available in corner shops and supermarkets everywhere, and is very robust, being made out of metal and spray-painted bright red. Its colouration means that wouldnt be much use in a bank robbery, but on the other hand it does detract from its realism somewhat, although its not-inconsiderable weight does make up for this for the most part. The gun is basically in the shape of a Colt-45, albeit with some odd little modifications here and there (eg on the trigger guard and where the hammer would be). It has a comfortable grip with embossed crosshatching, and is sizable for a gun of its type, which is probably due to the fact that it is only really suitable for older children and adults, given that, whilst generally quite safe, it could potentially cause damage (eg eye injury) if handled irresponsibly.
The gun has a device on the front that when pressed up against a spud clicks back whilst simultaneously pushing the middle of the gun-barrel into the vegetable, forcing a tube of vegetable matter into the barrel before retracting again. The gun also coems with several foam tips, which are loaded in the same manner, ie by putting them into the barrel and clicking the barrel abck against the main body of the gun. The gun fires its projectiles by means of a hydraulic system that is primed each time the gun is cocked from the front.
It can fire its projectiles quite far, and powerfully enough to be good fun to use, but as i said above, must also be operated with caution for this reason. The gun has a very basic design that means it will not break in a hurry, and the only real downside that i can think of is the trigger, which is quite fine and can easily chafe the trigger finger after only a short period of use. The gun is of good quality overall however, and as it can be picked up for a couple of quid and has no energy source and essentially infinite ammunition, is certainly good value for money. A great little air-powered projectile toy, but one not for younger children.
After my brother babysat for me recently, well my kids not me, you knew what I mean, my children have not stopped talking about the fantastic toys my brother has at his flat, bearing in mind he is nearly 30!
One of the toys is the one I have had to go out buy for my youngest and one that in fairness both myself and my little brother Ian owned as children.
The product I will now review is - "Metal spud gun".
Now I don't normally encourage my children to pay with things like this, in fairness my son is obsessed with fighting at the moment anyway due to the rough and tumble time he has with his dad, but it was obvious just how much both my kids had enjoyed playing target practise with Uncle Ian, and knowing that when fired the potato "bullet" was shot out so un-forcefully that even if aimed at someone (Con's sister!) it was unlikely to do any damage....oh, yeah and I wanted one too!
After trying to locate one and my brother saying he had had his as a present off the internet I was overjoyed to find them on sale in a specialist toy and joke shop "Hawkins bazaar", located in York, though have also discovered much to my displeasure they are now stocking them in Poundland at a saving of £4.00!
The gun itself is red in colour and made of quite heavy metal, meaning it feels sturdy and un breakable, but we have yet to see if this implies it may rust as this is also sold as a water pistol too.
Within the pack you get the gun, four rubber bullets and a small plastic attachment that can be fixed onto the end of the nozzle, which in turn can be left on for the bullet and potato firing, then simply clipped over the nozzle end for when you wish to use the water pistol facility.
The potato shooting was of course the reason we bought it so that is the way it gets used most, and this is quite simple to do though my son still can't seem to be able to load it himself yet!
To load you take a potato, push the nozzle into it, then as you bring the nozzle out sharply snap the end up, effectively breaking a bullet sized piece of potato off and leaving it just inside the nozzle end, then point, aim and fire.
As mentioned earlier there is not much force behind the trigger, with the potato bullet travelling (if you are lucky!) about a metre, this is more than enough for my son to still enjoy shooting it, but gives me the knowledge that he should be real hard pushed to cause damage with it, though he does try to get outside to pay with it, when he notices next doors cat on the yard, well if it will come and do its business in my patch! Lol!
The water pistol and the rubber bullet elements are pretty much the same, to fill with water you attach the clip over the nozzle, then immerse the nozzle into water, pump the trigger a couple of times to draw the water into the barrel of the gun, then shoot the water back out, and the bullets just get pushed into the nozzle end and shot out the same way you would with the potato bullets, all ways are done for fun with no real force behind them.
Price wise I paid £5.00 for this gun, but they are now being sold for an undisclosed price in Poundland!
For more information visit - www.tobar.co.uk
Thanks for reading x