Can Cannon
YouTube: X Products

The Can Cannon: The Unique AR Attachment That Can Send a Soda Flying

The only limits to the Can Cannon may be your imagination.

The world of firearms is filled with many interesting spin-off products. People are constantly experimenting and developing new and fascinating ways to use your firearms. If you own an AR-15 or M16 rifle, did you know you can use it to launch soda cans over a hundred yards?

It is true. The accessory is called the "Can Cannon" from X Products. It may look a little like a grenade launcher, but it is a perfectly legal launching device that mounts onto the lower receiver of a firearm and uses blanks to launch cans an average distance of 100 yards or more.

While the X Products Can Cannon has been designed with a few practical applications in mind, most people buy one simply because it is a blast to launch soda cans downrange. This is everything to know about this unique product.

What does a Can Cannon soda can launcher do?

The name is self-explanatory. The Can Cannon will launch just about anything and everything that you can fit into the tube. We should probably explain a little how it operates. The launcher attaches to the top of an AR and M16-style rifle. Just drop in the charging handle, bolt carrier group, and attach it to the rifle's lower receiver.

On their website, X Products explains that this launcher uses a proprietary gas tube. Load up some military mil-spec M200 blanks, add something to the tube, and let it fly. X Products smartly built a blocking bar into the launcher for safety. This means you cannot accidentally load in live ammo, which could make for a dangerous situation. The pressure tube diverts the gas from the blank into the larger tube, launching whatever you have loaded.

Now, normally with any firearm, there is a lot of high pressure gas that builds up in the barrel and sends the bullet downrange at a high rate of speed. However, the can cannon's larger volume tube reduces this force significantly. Otherwise, it would just shred whatever was in the barrel and you would have a lot of confetti every time you fired it.

The Can Cannon is designed primarily for soda and beer cans. However, the Can Cannon has proven quite versatile. Projectile options include just about anything that will fit in the barrel. People have used it to shoot small paint cans, T-shirts, tennis balls, and more. Some have even used it to launch delicate projectiles like oranges and potatoes.

Since the original release of the can cannon, X Products has released many accessories and projectiles for the launcher. This includes a fishing spear accessory, a grappling hook system, and launcher cups to load smaller projectiles inside. In fact, X Products jokes on their website that this is one of the safer options out there for a gender reveal. They even sell an adapter product called the X-Fore, which turns the system into the world's most effective golf ball launcher.

Since the original release of the can cannon, X Products has released many accessories and projectiles for the launcher. This includes a fishing spear accessory, a grappling hook system, and launcher cups to load smaller projectiles inside.

How far can a Can Cannon shoot?

This is going to vary based on the type of projectile you are using. Smaller, softer projectiles like an orange or a potato will not fly as far as a tennis ball simply because the tennis ball creates a better seal in the barrel allowing for more gases to build up. The more gases behind the projectile, the further it will fly. That is why beer and soda cans work so well in this launcher. The tube is the perfect diameter to get a decent amount of force built up behind it. X Products says with an optimum angle of 45 degrees, that cans launched from the cannon will easily travel 100 yards or more.

In addition to the grappling hook and fishing spear systems, X Products also sell some specially designed rubber launcher balls. The company says they perform a bit like an over-sized child's bouncy ball. Only they fly with a lot more force. To the point that the company puts a warning label on using them near walls because they can fly back at you.

While the can cannon may not fire traditional bullets, you should be careful when using one. Because at the end of the day, you are still firing something with a firearm at a high rate of speed. We recommend using common sense and following all the usual firearm safety rules.

Is the Can Cannon legal?

Because the can cannon looks a little like a grenade launcher, many might be quick to assume it is classified as a destructive device and is therefore, illegal. However, according to the Can Cannon website, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has examined the Can Cannon closely in the past. In 2016, their determination was that the launcher does not even constitute the NFA's definition of a firearm.

This ruling came after a slight redesign to make the can cannon fire mil-spec blanks only and not live ammunition. Otherwise, officials were prepared to classify the launcher as a short barrel rifle (SBR), which are prohibited unless you are willing to deal with a mountain of paperwork and registration.

Although the ATF may not classify it as a firearm anymore, you would be wise to check your local laws and regulations to make sure it is legal in your area before you buy or add it to your wishlist. Odds you will have issues are low, but it never hurts to check.

How much is the Can Cannon?

This depends on which version you decide to pick up. Most seem to fall in the $300 range, which is surprisingly affordable, and a lot less than we were expecting. X Products sells several different combo packages where you can save money by getting additional accessories like blank rounds, launcher cups, the grappling hook or even the fishing harpoon. This may be a niche product, but it is one you and your buddies will probably have a lot of fun with out on the range!

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For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels