About Us

Take a moment to get to know us.

 
 

Secondary

  1. Who we are ...
  2. Why spud guns ...
  3. How we started ...
  4. Where we are located ...
  5. What's new on the horizon ...
  6. Where can I get more information ...
  7. Read about us on the "Wire"...

Who we are

Spud Gun Extreme, LLC is a Florida Limited Liability Corporation begun by Nicholas Benigni. His hobbies include golf, fishing, and shooting spud guns. Potato guns and fishing consume most of his free time when he is not spending time with my wonderful family. I have three girls, one is five, one is three, and his beautiful wife just gave birth to a beautiful daughter.

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Why spud guns

The vision for Spud Gun Extreme began first and foremost as a hobby. One day, while doing research on the web, I ran into a huge wall when it came to a detailed plan that would help me construct a working model for combustion and pneumatic cannons. The designs evolved purely out of past experience coupled together with ingenuity.

After spending about 6 weeks on the internet searching for a detailed plan, I was unable to find one that first looked like a real gun, and second had power. So, to the drawing board I went. After several designs and about $600.00, I created the two guns shown in the “Products” section of this site. Here you will be able to utilize the forum and the “How To” section of the site to assist you in making your own gun.

These plans and kits are detailed with step by step instructions accompanied with diagrams showing exactly how to create your own gun. Most people, once they have an idea, try to keep it a trade secret. Well, now these secrets are available for a small price. Trust me, it is worth it. Don’t waste your time and money trying to figure it out on your own. Most plans on the web are very basic, cumbersome, and lacking in power. This is not the case with these two potato cannons at Spud Gun Extreme, LLC.

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How we got started

One day, at one of our weekly, family “get-togethers,” my brother Brandon broke out what appeared to be some PVC crudely glued together to create what seemed to be some form of cannon. It was a three inch piece of PVC pipe tapered down to a two inch pipe. It had a cap on one end, and a Coleman Lamp igniter glued into the side. With the cannon in one hand and potatoes and Aqua Net hairspray in the other, he walked out of the garage. With a motion of his head he signaled me to follow him. Crackle, crackle went the bag of potatoes. Grind, grind went the potato into the barrel. Flump, flump sounded the barrel as he shoved the potato down with an old golf club. He then twisted the cap off the back and sprayed about three seconds worth of hair spray into the three inch section of the cannon. He then quickly twisted the cap on and yelled, “Potato in the hole!” with a twisting flick of the Coleman Lamp igniter I heard a CRACK! The potato went about 100yds. After my ears quit ringing, I did not hesitate to say, "My turn." And as the famous line goes, “That’s all she wrote!”

Ever since that day, I have been hooked. I have been making potato guns with a clean look that had POWER! MO POWER is better.  I love this past time that has grown to be one of America's favorites.

Another Person whom had an incredible influence in launching this company was my good friend Charlie Eddlemon. His advice and expertise will continue to play a key role in what is now called Spud Gun Extreme, LLC.

Since I received so much pleasure from this pastime, I thought others would too. That is why I started putting together detailed plans and offer kits for the spud / potato guns available in the "Product" section of this site. I am simply passing on what I know so you can have the same enjoyment with half the work. You can do the same in the Spud Talk section.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds.  I look forward to seeing some ideas and pictures of you creating and enjoying your cannon.

Keep on spudding.

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Where are we located

The company is based in the Buccaneer city. For those of you who are not NFL enthusiasts, that is Tampa, Florida. I moved here when I was seven years old.

Leaving New York behind, Nick and his family set our for the sunshine state. (You can only imagine what it was like for a kid with a New York accent entering the "Red Neck" schools of Tampa, Florida.) Wow what a shock! Nick received a bachelor's degree in Communications and is a builder for a national home construction company. He finds that even though somewhat "refined," you cannot take the good ole' boy, desire for fun and more fun out of him. Night fishing in the Alafia river and shooting spud guns in the lower 40 is just some of the activities which make up Florida living. I guess that is what you call ironic.

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What is new on the horizon

I built a CO2 version of my multi-shot pneumatic t-shirt cannon. I worked out the bugs, and is available for purchase in the product section.

Check out the new 50 cal. air rifle in the Spud Pics section of my the site. I built this for my father in-law. If you would like one...email me and I will give you the details on how to purchase one.

We have had interest from all over the world; United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and Belgium to name a few. Below, you can read an article about us on the Syndicated "Wire."  MJ morningshow of Tampa Bay has featured us and currently the National Rifle Association (NRA) has shown interest in Spud Gun Extreme.

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Where can you get more information

Well, first of all I recommend you beginners to visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spud_Gun. This site has been a tremendous help for me in the past. Make sure you click on the “hot words” to gain a full understanding of what they are talking about. Spend a good amount of time here. Trust me, it will help you a great deal when buying parts, researching the web, and building your own gun.

Another site I would like you to visit is YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=spud+gun&search=Search.

YouTube is a great source of information. Most of the information is of what not to do. However, you will come away with a greater understanding of the potential danger, power, and fun you can have with a spud gun.

Take it from me, the more research you do, the less you will spend in the long run! The more sources of information you have at your disposal, which I call tools, will allow you to enjoy this incredible hobby to its fullest potential.

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Read about us on the wire

   
   Potato guns have a real punch
   Some use these homemade launchers for trouble, others just for a little fun

By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's not classified as a firearm, but high-tech versions shoot projectiles at the speed of sound.

And it's not hard to make. Many teens are adept builders and responsible users.

Yet the potato gun -- or cannon or spudzooka -- can lead to trouble, even for adults. In one recent local case, Glenville police allege that one of their officers used one to shoot out a streetlight. He is charged with criminal mischief.

In the United States, where potato guns are not classified as a firearm, the only laws specific to potato guns appear at the local level. Some towns and villages have ordinances banning the devices, as do most cities. Potato cannons are considered firearms in Australia and Germany, however.

When asked if a potato cannon could be fired in Washington Park, Albany Police Chief James Tuffey smiled and said, "Not in our city."

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a potato cannon is not a firearm because it does not use an explosive such as gunpowder to hurl projectiles.

That does not mean penalties are less severe for those who use a potato cannon rather than a gun to commit a crime. Killing someone with a potato instead of a bullet would not mean a lighter sentence.

"Homicide is homicide," said ATF spokesman Joe Greene.

Gun, knife or potato.

Backyard cannons hurl potatoes as fast as a highway speed limit. Advanced versions can break the sound barrier.

Dozens of videos on the Internet show teenagers shooting their friends in the stomach, back and groin. Some shooters have even died using potato cannons after the devices, illegally loaded with gunpowder, exploded.

But they can be used responsibly. Take Tom Cardinal of Altamont, for instance.

Cardinal was 14 years old when he built his first cannon. He found the instructions in a children's science book.

It took him less than an hour to build the device from PVC pipe using $30 worth of supplies from a hardware store. When he finished, Cardinal fired the cannon into the woods and at targets near his home. His parents said they are supportive.

"I love my potato cannon," Cardinal, now 17, said last week as he wrapped his arms around the four-foot device in a mock hug. "I've shot apples out of it. I've shot onions out of. And I've also shot wads of taped-up newspaper out of it, which I like, personally, because you can run out and reuse it."

For Cardinal, launching potatoes -- or onions, apples and balls of newspaper -- will never become a business interest, although he does view the activity through a different lens than most others. The Voorheesville High School senior will attend Northeastern University in the fall.

He's majoring in physics.

For most potato gunners, like Cardinal, following the law and taking safety precautions is automatic. That means loose restrictions on usage and business for enthusiasts like Tampa Bay resident Nicholas Benigni, who sells potato cannons and accessories through the Internet.

Like many others who have turned their potato cannon hobby into an income, Benigni sells his devices to amateurs looking to see how far they can shoot a potato and to arenas and sports teams that load the cannons with T-shirts and other souvenirs to shoot into the crowd.

"It's popular to different types of people," said Benigni, whose grand creation is a golf ball cannon that can shoot a golf ball more than 600 yards. "Not just kids in rural areas with lots of land and not much else to do."

David Filkins can be reached at 454-5456 or by e-mail at dfilkins@timesunion.com.

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