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“Big Thunder” Shoots Pumpkins 1/2-Mile
Jim Bendzick credits COVID-19 for giving him time to make his latest toy, The Big Thunder Monster Missile, a pumpkin shooting cannon.
“I’ve wanted to build one for the last 10 years. I’ve seen them when they have contests, and I like unique stuff,” he says. His other “unique stuff” passion has been building monster trucks (Rolling Thunder and Thunder 4x4), and performing at events for the past 20 years. With no events in 2020, he had plenty of time to turn a big LP tank and a 21-ft. long, 10-in. dia. steel pipe into a cannon powered by air pressure.
Though he uses only 40 lbs. pressure, the volume of air and long barrel shoot pumpkins up to 1/2-mile away. That’s a distance that lets crowds see the pumpkins crash to the ground, Bendzick says.
“There’s not a big bang; it’s more like a quick spurt. But we get a jet stream with white smoke,” he says.
Because there aren’t many of them around his home in New Prague, Minn., his giant cannon was a new and popular attraction at the mazes and pumpkin patches he visited last year.
Kids loved it and challenged him to shoot two pumpkins at once. Before he was done, Bendzick dropped six pumpkins into the barrel and the cannon had no problem blasting them a long distance.
“I want to shoot one across a lake, and I want to shoot a bowling ball through an old camper,” Bendzick says of his ideas for future performances. “I love entertaining.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Bendzick, New Prague, Minn. (ph 507 384-3026; jbendzick@hotmail.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3