E-Mails Say 'Mystery Weapon' Found in Iraq Could Be RPG Launcher, 'Potato Gun' or a Toy

The votes are in and FOXNews.com viewers overwhelmingly believe the "mystery weapon" found by GIs in the Iraqi town of Mosul is ...

A rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher ...

A mock-up of a homemade "potato gun" ...

Or, a toy.

Nearly 1,800 viewers e-mailed their best guesses, and while more than half thought it was an RPG launcher of some kind — a homemade version of the Iranian-made RPG-7 was the top guess, followed by a knockoff of the Carl Gustoff anti-tank weapon — more than a quarter of our e-mails said it was a common homemade "weapon" that actually launches ... spuds.

Often called a spudgun, a "potato gun" is described on several how-to Web sites as a recreational firearm that uses a propellant to launch potatoes, golf balls or other small objects between 200-300 yards.

It also, however, can hurl grenades about 200 yards, according to descriptions on several how-to Web sites.

Another common response: "It's a toy!"

• Internet Buzzing Over Mystery Weapon Found in Iraq

Sorry, but we checked that out and Michael Yon, the freelance journalist and weapons expert who found the "mystery weapon," wrote that he and the GIs he accompanied on patrol in Mosul handled the "weapon," and they all report that it was full-sized.

FOXNews.com did, however, check photos circulated on the Web that claimed to show the "weapon" as part of a toy soldier accessory pack. We found that those photos were doctored, probably using Photoshop. We also contacted the toy manufacturer who told us that the "weapon" was not part of their product.

Whatever the "weapon" is, here's a sampling of "expert" responses:

— "Carl Gustoff shoulder-held recoilless gun produced by the Fornade Fabriksverken Co. Sweden currently in use with at least 11 armies worldwide. There is also a resemblance to the West German manufactured Armburst."

— "This is a toy. It definitely looks plastic and if it could ever really shoot something the scope on the gun would leave a serious bruise on the head of the gunner. Also, it doesn't look like its made to scale."

— "It’s a Taliban Hair Dryer."

— "A miniature stinger-missile launcher."

— "It appears it might be an improvised weapon used for launching grappling hooks by SWAT units. It might also be used to 'fire' blunt objects against doors for the purposes of penetrating buildings."

— "Al Gore's Greenhouse emitter."

— "Looks to be able to shoot a small capsule of a biological or chemical substance sort of like a teargas grenade shooter."

— "This is a device used to detonate other more larger already placed bombs in certain locations so that detonation devices cannot be detected."

— "The weapon appears to be a crude laser weapon intended to blind enemy combatants, such as tank crewmen and pilots. It has the same general shape and size of 'range-finding' lasers used by armored vehicles. And, if used as a blinding laser, the optics would have been modified to produce a more confined and intense beam."

— "It's a sonic blaster."

— "That weapon is called the Ruchihezran-4, a weapon that consists of parts made from Russia, China, Hezbollah and Iran."

— "It's a plastic miniature. Look at the details of it, they're too unrealistic. The shadow is too long, and the trigger looks fake. This is a hoax." (Editor's note: Sorry Connor, but journalist Michael Yon was there when the "weapon" was removed by GIs in Mosul. ... They handled it, he handled it and he has photos.)

— "This thing is clearly an ultra-sophisticated, high-tech beer can launcher."

— "Your weapon is a complete hoax. It wasn't found in a weapons cache ... It was found in a toybox." (Editor's note: Sorry Christian, but our reporter checked your "toy" reference and the photo that you submitted; we found that IT was a hoax, made using Photoshop.)

— "It is nothing else but a toy that the CIA came up with to frighten us." (Editor's note: See above.)

— "Saddam's grandson's toy gun."

— "I don't know what it is but if you send it to [New York City] Mayor Bloomberg he'll find the gun shop in Virginia that sold it."

— "It's used for launching T-shirts into a crowd."

— "I think it is a laser cannon developed by aliens and left in Iraq."

— "A ray gun that makes the person being fired upon feel like they are on fire with some type of convection ray but it is totally non-lethal."

— "Looks like it could be a non-working training device, used to simulate the working operation of a real RPG? Maybe an Al Qaeda kids' toy? Train 'em early!"

— "It is a potato gun. The builder added the scope to increase accuracy. It will shoot potatoes or golf balls or anything that will fit in the barrel. The fuel caused the slight burns. It will work on hair spray or something similar."

— "It's a FAKE!!" (Editor's note: OK, Ed, but a fake what?)

— "The Mystery Weapon is a railgun." (Editor's note: You'll have to Google that one yourselves.)

— "I made one of those in high school. ... You take a potato and shove it down the barrel, then you spray hair spray in the bottom and pull the trigger. Bye bye potato."

— "Old actual rocket tube (burn marks) that looks like an old Viper FGR-17/ LAW 66mm/ SMAW 72mm. Larger PVC/ Piping w/wood blocks for handles. The olive drab w/ tiger black paint makes no sense in the desert environment. Possible import from woodland areas of the middle east. The scope is worthless as these type of weapons are only accurate up to about 200 meters. Looks like 4x25 scope."

— "Looks like anti-tank weapon more likely made in China."

— "This looks like a decoy, some PVC, scrap wood, and an old scope to make unarmed insurgents appear armed, for intimidation."

— "My husband, formerly in the U.S. Army Infantry and JAG Corps, says it looks like some kind of shoulder-fired rocket launcher. Could this be downing our helicopters?"

— "Looking at this item it is impossible to fire with one's ear and face close to the rear. It would be burned off."

— "It seems like a very interesting and lethal development. It could fulfill a new role on the modern battlefield by being a truly compact and reloadable standoff rocket launcher, capable of firing widely available RPG-7 rounds. Based on images on an Iran arms and defense site, I would say it is a homemade knockoff of an RPG-7."

— "This looks to me like the SMAW (Shoulder launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon)."

— "I think it is a Bullpup minature bazooka launcher. Bullpup is a rifle design that enables a longer bore than a conventional carbine, yet provides for a compact overall length. There may be a battery located in the handle/ stock to ignite a small missile with flip down fins. I think it is a compat launcher rather than a gun."

—" Looks like a Tesla pulse rifle." (Editor's note: The reader is referring to a "weapon" used in the movie "Alien" and also referred to in video games.)

— "Weapon used to fire British four-prong anti-aircraft missiles, is a modified handheld."

-- "It is a signal gun. Ask anyone who served in WW I or WW II especially shipboard. The barrel is used so only the receiving party sees the code flashes."

That pretty much covers the range of guesses. We still don't know what it is, though weapons experts we have contacted seem to agree it can function as a crude RPG launcher or a "potato gun," and all agreed its origin either is Iranian- or Hezbollah-made.

Whatever it is, FOXNews.com will add to the mystery on Thursday when we reveal "Mystery Weapon 2."