Can Cannon… Can’t

As you may recall, we were early adopters of the XProducts Can Cannon, which is great fun to fire. (We’re still waiting, by the way, for X Products to contact us about fixing it so we don’t have to use it only on a registered SBR lower). But it never occurred to us to fire it at anything. The guy at The Wound Channel on Yoot Oob is not like that:

And, as you’ll see, his Can Cannon is great at breaking cans, not so good at breaking anything else. A windshield, weakened by being taken out of its perimeter support structure of an automobile? For crying out loud, a pumpkin? 

Can’t almost anything smash a pumpkin? Well… watch the video. The Can Cannon can’t.

We suspect he’s using very light beer cans, not stout name-brand soda cans, which we’ve found best. But we haven’t tried busting stuff at point-blank range; it’s more fun trying to hit stuff at longer range, which is quite a challenge with unstable cans in the smoothbore Can Cannon.


While XProducts never contacted us, their website does describe how to get the Can Cannon legalized here. The original version is not legal, except on a registered (NFA MG or SBR) lower. We’ll have to do that when we’re back home, and then we can use it on whatever lower, not just an SBR one.

16 thoughts on “Can Cannon… Can’t

  1. Hayabusa

    Well, I sure wouldn’t want to get hit by one of those.

    How would you say the muzzle velocity compares to, say, a 40mm baton round?

      1. BillC

        109fps according to TFB. Can looks to be Fresca or something similar. No weight listed (yes it’s a 12oz can, but that isn’t true weight). Knowing the weight of the can and contents, it’s just simple maths from there.
        Link in name. They used a Doppler Chrono.

  2. Sommerbiwak

    I think it is a good thing that the cans cannot penetrate much. There are enough idiots out there that think it funny to drop stones on cars on the motorway. Shooting beverage cans would be the next step.

    And yes just like you hognose, If I owned one of these (no chance in djormoney) I’d set up big pumpkins and old manikins and such on the range and try to hit em.

    Could one rifle the can cannon? hmmm

  3. Jim Scrummy

    I have not yet saved enough of my lunch money to purchase one these pieces of “way too much fun and stupidity”….yet! Also on my wish list is their X-37 Launcher. Again too much fun and stupidity, but that’s part of the male genetic code. Good times…!

  4. BAP45

    I saw on the MAC youtube he was gettting pretty consistent hits on a steel plate out a ways. Forget the brand of soda he was using. Want to say shasta. But they were really drilling the plate.

  5. Aesop

    Clearly, a flat can end isn’t doing anything for aerodynamics, ballistic coefficients, or penetration, before we even consider what must be a pretty tame muzzle velocity, so I wouldn’t expect any earth-shattering, let alone windshield-shattering penetration performance. I doubt it would even penetrate a peach, let alone a pumpkin.

    But given the heritage of the thing, the greater question for utility is “How far could it hurl a notional projectile downrange?”

    And then “To what degree of accuracy?”
    Say, minute of open window…?
    Or minute of, um, …20′ conex box…yes, definitely 20′ conex box.

    At that point, you get into theoretical discussions of what sort of projectile (by which, of course, considering only a choice between Coke or Pepsi, naturally…) one had in mind.

    Because we wouldn’t want some Deplorable to postulate an imaginary conversation between, for instance, zombie Comrade Molotov, and zombie Eugene Stoner.

  6. TBoone

    Perusing these comments stirred my mind to frozen chickens. Air cannons. Highway/auto safety testing. We all know frozen Pop (Midwest nomenclature) cans deform due to expansion. Drill a hole or two, freeze in a plastic Tupperware for over-flow catchment and see what improvements in pumpkin-lethal follies ensue.

  7. Ken

    I would try filling some cans with concrete using a form in the bottom of the can to make a hollow base and lighten it up some.

  8. Jacobs


    I work in automotive distribution and can confirm the windshield performed exactly as it was designed. It is ERY difficult to shatter a windshield into a million pieces. On some occasions we have had to throw them away when they were no longer carried by the company, which is always a fun time. Rather than simply throw them in the compactor, some of us have used them to vent our frustrations (and see who is the strongest???) by breaking them with everything from crowbars to hatchets. Even a 2 foot crowbar swing by a former baseball player will not shatter it into oblivion. Sometimes, in fact, they will catch the object. The glass may have deformed 2 inches around your bar and is now holding it hostage!

    They are designed to hold together no matter what hits them as a safety feature. They may shatter and you may not be able to see out of them, but you won’t get glass in your face. Side windows, on the other hand, simply explode…. :)

  9. redc1c4

    i too was an early adopter of the Can Cannon… likely because of this website.

    i got ours retrofitted through a local FFL that sells them, but haven’t been to the range with it yet since then.

    i can share two ways that increase the range/effects of the device:
    1. procure IMI manufactured blanks, as they are loaded to function Galil actions, vice AR, and have a hotter load. (warning, they can and will rupture the can, unless you adopt pro tip #2 below)
    2. Buy a can of cheap cooking spray (think “Pam”) and take it and some paper towels to the range with you. Spray the towels, then wipe down the outside of the can, prior to loading.

    not only did that solve the problem of can rupture, but the range was increased too.

    Pro Tip #3: they kick like a mule, so you might want to consider a recoil or shoulder pad, if you’re firing it more than a few times.

    we also have one of the flare launchers, which we picked up on sale (sign up for their e-mail alerts), but haven’t taken that out yet, because “#Failifonia” and “fire season/drought” here.

    lastly, we eagerly await the release of the AR-10 version of the Can Cannon, and will likely be early adopters of that as well.

    1. Brad

      I wonder, can the can-cannon cope with honest-to-God grenade launching blanks, as opposed to blank-fire blanks?

      As far as recoil absorption, I suggest using old school techniques used for shooting spigot rifle grenades: for direct fire tucking the buttstock underneath the shoulder between the body and arm, for indirect fire bracing the stock on the ground at a 45% angle.

      linked picture provided

  10. DSM

    Need a set of long Harris or similar bipods, an old rifle grenade sight from the surplus store and some scraps of wood to make a baseplate. Good times.

  11. staghounds

    I just ran onto a few 71/84 Mauser barreled actions. I wonder about can cannoning them? Cut them off short, plug the barrels, drill them, and spin on some sort of old gas cylinder? I suspect that an 11mm case can deliver a lot more oomph than a 5.56 blank.

  12. Jeff Fisher

    If you have any non-SBR AR lowers, I’d “sell” the can-cannon to a friend until you can get it fixed. The human garbage we euphemistically call “ATF Agents” would love to get their claws into an ex-Army SF veteran for “constructive intent”. It’s hard convicting actual criminals, but they’d go after you with positive relish. You can never be too paranoid when the ATF is involved.

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