Nitron N-32 gas powered cannon

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The Nitron N-32 is a semi-automatic cannon microprocessor controlled high pressure inert gas cannon. Is fires 1.250” steel ball bearings at over 1000 fps. That is about 3000 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. For comparison a 7.62x51mm NATO round has about 2600 ft/lbs of energy!

Nitron N-32

The gun runs off either compressed Nitrogen, air or Helium. Its peak performance is at 1200 psi. Depending on supply pressure it can fire at up to 60 rounds per minute which, sadly, would be to slow for full automatic fire.

Trigger

The gun is fed from a tube magazine which holds 32 bullets (+ 3 bullets in the gun’s magazine adapter).

Sights

The company tells me what they have designed for gun for maritime recreational use … read into that what you will ;)

A video of the beast in action.
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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Vin

    “maritime recreational use” huh… :D

    all i need now is a Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, a tri-corner hat, and a parrot and i’m in business :}~

  • Alaskan

    thats cool.

    I wonder if how long until the Japs get one to hunt whales with..

  • http://bit.ly/9L8dJ0 leopard

    Mount an Aimpoint and PAQ4 on it and you’re ready to rock!

  • 54Bravo

    More like a potential defense against pirates of the Gulf of Aden.

    1.250” bearings would tear up a pirate dhow really good, I’m thinking….

  • Don

    “My hobby is recreational shooting of pirate hijackers…”

    nice.

    -D

  • Robert Slaughter

    Finally, a (should be) legal way to ‘arm’ private vessels to defend against pirates, but bypassing the silly restrictions around regular firearms that many nations have in place. If I had an ocean-going vessel and traveled internationally, I’d have several of these mounted, or readily available. While we hear about the big vessels being boarded around Somalia, smaller yachts are vulnerable globally, and piracy is on the rise around the world. Without this, I’d restrict myself to US waters, which kinda defeats the purpose of the “open seas”

  • Josh

    Are ball bearings not made of solid steel? Because if it were solid steel:

    The ball bearing is 1.25 inches in diameter, or 1.25*2.54 = 3.175 cm. So it has radius of 1.5875 cm. Its volume is (4/3)*pi*1.5875³ = approx 16.76 cm³. The density of steel is listed (depending on the source) as varying between 7.5 and 8.0 g/cm³. I’ll use 7.8, as it’s close to what’s most often listed. That means the ball has a mass of 16.76*7.8 = 130.7 grams. That’s about 0.2881 pounds. So:

    (.5*0.2881 lbs * 1,000²)/32.163 ft²/sec² = 4,479 ft-lbs of energy

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Josh, I imagine it would be very soft steel. I don’t know how much that weighs.

  • fred johnson

    A possible way around prohibited firearms in foreign ports on a ship, I guess.

    Pretty cool airgun. :D

  • http://firearmsandtraining.blogspot.com Olav

    To solve the 60 rounds per minute they can add multiple barrels!

  • Crabula

    Maritime recreational use? Sounds like as good an excuse as any.

  • jonathan

    I wonder what this thing sounds like?

  • Gomi

    My calculations might be off, but this thing seems to have a range of about 120 feet!

    Uses 1.25″ steel balls as ammo. Density of steel is about 7.8 g/cu cm, giving a final shot weight of 2,017.44134 grains.

    Ballistic coefficient for a sphere is approximately [Grain weight / (10640 * ball diameter in inches squared)]. This gives you a B.C. of 0.121349855.

    Maximum range is roughly [Muzzle velocity * B.C.], which is about 121.35 feet.

    Short range maritime recreational use. But fun. Just hope the recreational targets don’t have something with a longer reach.

  • dogon1013

    Any chance it can come with a rifled barrel and shoot lead balls?…I don’t think the gun ranges like steel projectiles. But steel could certainly be usefull against “maritime” targets.

    And why not make it full auto? If it’s electronically fired, it should be easy to do.

  • kvalseth

    I hope “Maritime recreational use” ≠ “tragic boating accident”

  • John Waters

    You should check out Survival Research Labs, if you haven’t done so already. Their pitching machine and shockwave cannon might peak your interest.

  • Bryan S

    Well, the original air propelled electronically controlled gun was in a Navy patent, so it does not surprise me. And that was back in the 40′s.

  • Burst

    This is actually a pretty good idea.

    Autocannons cost big bucks and wear out relatively quickly. This allows a fair simulation of naval battles, while being unlikely to damage a military hull. I’d be neat if they could develop a 200r+ magazine for it, though.

  • Sian

    I wonder what kind of range it has, and how well it works on Somali pirates.

    Seriously though, I could see a few of these on the back of a cruise ship for a little target practice fun.

  • mmathers

    Don’t forget the “puffy shirt”.
    Arr!

    -mm

  • Mac C

    Seems awfully “specialized”. I guess the real question is what does this do BETTER than a 7.62 NATO machine gun ala the M240? It must solve some short coming of the M240 et al or it’s solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

    I’d take 10x the rate of fire over this thing right now…

  • TGM

    If the “gun” uses compressed air as a propellant is it subject to firearms laws/regulations like the National Firearms act of 1934?

  • Roy Rapoport

    It’s pretty neat. I assume the intention here is as an anti-pirate defense system for ships which cannot for some reason use “real” firearms (e.g. commerce constraints).

    Close range, it clearly would be pretty deadly. I do worry about the BC of round steel balls — especially since it doesn’t look like the barrel is rifled.
    The problem is, at the range where it’s effective, an AK47 (or, worse, RPG) would also be effective — and for that purpose, probably even more effective.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    I always wondered why high power compressed gas rifles were not popular.

  • El Duderino

    Soooo…

    Are airguns subject to purview of the BATFE and the NFA of 1934? Well if not, why aren’t there giant full-auto air cannons out there for purchase???

    I’ll take one I can hold in my hands, with backpack air tanks, that shoots 1/2″ steel ball bearings at over 1000fps please. Make it so.

  • DaveR

    is it just my computer or is that video extremely annoying to watch?

  • Jared

    Vin:

    You left out the most important thing…

    Rum.

    TGIF folks!

  • dogon1013

    Firearms in the US are legally defined as using an explosion (fire) to propel a projectile, so airguns are not firearms and not regulated by the BATFE (Unless they add another letter to that ever expanding acronym).

    There are plenty of full-auto airguns available, most are just not practical when compared to firearms though (Airsoft and paintball guns mostly, but there are some full auto bb guns available now).

    There is one exception I know of, that hopefully will be available soon. http://www.fullyautomaticairgun.com/ a full auto 22 pellet gun could have the ability to reach near 22LR performance, which would be fun….and legal…as a full-auto (in the USA at least). I have met the designer of this airgun, and it looks great.

    something tells me this cannon will cost several thousand dollars, and will consume gas pretty quickly, which can get expensive…..none of the pictures show the 4 foot tall air-tank that this thing must be tethered to to shoot those big balls.

  • Josh

    dogon1013
    A firearm is defined as using an explosion to propel an object, but included in the definition of “destructive device” is:

    …any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, EXPEL A PROJECTILE BY THE ACTION OF an explosive OR OTHER PROPELLANT, the BARREL OR BARRELS OF WHICH HAVE A BORE OF MORE THAN ONE-HALF INCH IN DIAMETER… (emphasis mine).

    I’m not quite sure why this would not qualify as that. This is not a “potato gun” designed to “launch potatoes recreationally.” This is, without doubt, designed as a weapon.

    And Steve, these are ball bearings. I don’t know who in the world would make a ball bearing from “very soft steel.” It seems to me that would be the worst ball bearing in the world!!! In order to generate 3,000 ft-lbs of energy, the ball would need to have a density of only 5.23 g/cm³; a full 33% less dense than the steel density I earlier quoted. Who makes these? I want to avoid buying any bearings from them! ;)

  • Just a Guy

    Josh
    “Are ball bearings not made of solid steel? Because if it were solid steel:
    That’s about 0.2881 pounds.”

    To be exact….. 2045 grains or 0.2921 lbs per round.

    Olav
    “To solve the 60 rounds per minute they can add multiple barrels!”

    60 rounds = 17.528 lbs of steel down range per minute.

    Gomi
    “Maximum range is roughly [Muzzle velocity * B.C.], which is about 121.35 feet.”

    I’d re-check those calulation as they seem to be several+ thousand feet short.

  • Josh

    Gomi:

    I’m wondering where you get the “BC times muzzle velocity equals maximum range” idea? That makes no sense to me. I imagine if you launch almost anything that weighs nearly 1/3 of a pound at 1,000 fps it’s going to go farther than 120 feet. If you enter that bullet weight, that ballistic coefficient (I got something different, but not enough to make a huge difference in this calculation), and that muzzle velocity into a ballistic calculator, you’ll get something much larger.

    I put these numbers into JBM’s online ballistics calculator, and set the zero for 100 yards, you get a bullet drop of less than four feet at 200 yards. At 50 yards, the bullet rise is less than 5 inches. At 150 yards the bullet drop is only about 16 inches.

    I imagine that the calculator assumes a rifled barrel, and for a smooth bore it might be a little different, but I would think the maximum effective range is far more than 120 feet.

  • Oswald Bastable

    Hello Greenpeace- meet my ‘little friend’…

  • Josh

    Just a guy:

    If you’re going to imply that I did my math wrong, you need to offer how. My calculation was based on an assumed density of 7.8 g/cm³. If you use that, you should come up with 130.71 grams. 130.71 g * 2.204622622 lbs/1,000 g = .28817657362 lbs… It would seem that I did round off somewhere to get .2881 instead of .2882; I was off by about 0.0347%.

    Either you did your math wrong, or you used a different density for steel than I did (7.91 g/cm³ would do the trick). If it’s the former, you could explain how you came up with that figure so we could see what was incorrect; if it was the latter, I would have appreciated it if you explained that the density of steel in ball bearings is not what I assumed, rather than just implying that I was incorrect.

  • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

    In the USA this would NOT be considered a firearm. Large bore airguns capable of humanely taking deer and pigs are sold here by Quackenbush Airguns and GL Barnes among others, and several states allow using these during bowhunting season for deer. However, in several other countries there are laws that restrict the output of air rifles and this would be considered a firearm there. In Britain any air rifle with a power output over 12 ft lbs is considered a firearm, for example. In India – perhaps the world’s biggest market for air rifles because of severely restrictive gun ownership laws and also a country where the shooting sports are extremely popular thanks to India’s history as a popular shikar destination – laws insist that an air rifle should not be capable of penetrating a certain thickness of plywood (I am not sure what the thickness is, but this approximates the British limits) from a range of 5 meters.

    I am not sure whether this would be allowed on ships that sail into some ports precisely because of the power output, but if these are sold stateside, they would be interesting fun “guns” albeit expensive from what I can see.

  • David Weller

    “Depending on supply pressure it can fire at up to 60 rounds per minute which, sadly, would be to slow for full automatic fire.”

    Not so sad, actually. Seems that the gases would provide natural cooling, so 60rpm would be 60 _sustained_ rpm. Sustained rate for an M249 is about 100rpm, and I’ll bet anything that the total sustained duration is far longer than an M249.

    Just sayin’.

  • D_Hall

    @Gomi,

    You state (in brief)….
    Uses 1.25″ steel balls as ammo. Density of steel is about 7.8 g/cu cm, giving a final shot weight of 2,017.44134 grains.
    Ballistic coefficient for a sphere is approximately [Grain weight / (10640 * ball diameter in inches squared)]. This gives you a B.C. of 0.121349855.
    Maximum range is roughly [Muzzle velocity * B.C.], which is about 121.35 feet.
    ———
    Problem is that you’re using rules of thumb that are intended for use on high density, small bore projectiles well into the supersonic region. Rules of thumb are highly dependent upon assumptions and a system such as this is NOT within the defined assumptions. Not even close.

    For an extreme counter example…
    A golf ball as ammo. Weight is 1.62 oz or 709 grains with a diameter of 1.68 inches. To use your equation, BC = 709 / 10640 * 1.68^2) = 0.023.

    Maximum range for a 600 fps golf ball is therefore (again, using your equations) 0.023 * 600 = 14 feet.

    Ironically enough, I’ve got a video showing pretty much that exact scenario (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZdhDNHj1dM). Do you honestly think that moving the target 100% further back would have resulted in a significantly different outcome? As the guy in the video (ie, I’ve played with that ammo/velocity a bit) I assure you that even with such a pathetic BC, that particular setup is effective to 120 feet (although accuracy becomes an issue thanks to hooks/slices).

    A steel ball with a 1.25″ diameter?

    Just for fun I just ran some numbers… The ball bearing at 120 feet should still be moving at 880 fps (assumed Cd = 0.75). Still moving right along….

  • Martin

    @ Olaf

    The low rate of fire isn’t related to the single barrel, but the gas system. You don’t see the nitrogen cylinder in any of the pictures, but the long hose takes a second (or more) to reach full pressure after each discharge, hence the low rate of fire. The only way to offset that would be to increase the pressure, which would require more robust hardware, and you’d still have that recharge lag.

  • dogon1013

    Josh,

    Good point about the Destructive Device definition….that is written so arbitrarily that anything with a barrel bore over 0.50″ could be ruled as such…even if the “propellant” is compressed gas, or even electromagnets I guess.

    but if they re-barrel it for .50 cal lead balls, it wouldn’t meet the definition of a DD…..hopefully they will, for those of us who are land locked.

  • spudfiles

    There was an interesting discussion on the viability of such “spudguns” for *cough* maritime recreational use: http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/spudguns-on-the-high-seas-t19764.html

    “There is one exception I know of, that hopefully will be available soon. http://www.fullyautomaticairgun.com/ a full auto 22 pellet gun could have the ability to reach near 22LR performance, which would be fun….and legal…as a full-auto (in the USA at least). I have met the designer of this airgun, and it looks great.”

    There are designs for a much more powerful automatic airgun out there, the Caselman, which is reputed to achieve the same energy as 0.32 ACP and seeing it in action certainly lends credibility to this claim:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUKxO03HlOM

  • Just a Guy

    “spudfiles”

    Trevor,
    So now you are calling yourself…… “Spudfiles”?

    “I have met the designer of this airgun, and it looks great.”

    Trevor, It would be impossible for you NOT to meet the designer since THE TWO OF YOU ARE THE SAME PERSON. Apparently, you have more personalities than “Sybll”

    SPAM!!!!!!

  • dogon1013

    Actually it was me who first posted he had met the designer (and no I am not trevor)….spudfile was just quoting me in one of his posts. but there is no “quote” button so it looks like he is saying it himself. (take a closer look before you throw out accusations….)

    if you look above, spudfile quoted many other things too that don’t look like they are quoted.

  • spudfiles

    Just a guy, you will note that the segment containing the phrase “I have met the designer of this airgun, and it looks great.” in my previous post was within quotation marks, I was quoting an earlier post by dogon1013, indeed it is copy-pasted ;)

  • spudfiles

    Speaking of which, are we allowed to use html when commenting? It would make links and quotes much clearer.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      spudfiles, some html works, I think (b, i, blockquote)

  • Darryl

    I went to a mfg site of steel ball bearings and learned that a 1.25″ ball weighs 4.6oz or about 2000 grains. Doing the math at 1,000fps that works out to 4,442 foot pounds. That should punch some pretty nice holes in a hull. Pound it at the waterline and it will sink. As far as legality of it in certain countries, change the hoses from air to water and call it a water-cannon when in port.

  • Duane

    Had to look it up, but after the ATF seized the shipment of Airsoft M4′s earlier this year they did claim that the have the full authority to regulate them. Copy of the response at
    http://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/tag/m4/ at

  • Josh

    Duane:

    I followed that case and had quite a bit to say about it at the ENDO blog you linked to. That seizure is not relevant to this “weapon.” Those airsoft guns were not seized because the ATF claimed authority of airguns. Those guns were seized because the receivers of those airguns were classifiable as “firearm receivers.” Since they were able to be converted with a minimal amount of work to function with an upper receiver, they were then classifiable as “firearms.” The fact that they were airguns was not material to the decision. They could have been toy cap guns, or just replica guns that didn’t shoot anything – it was the fact that it was able to function as the lower receiver to a real weapon that was important.

  • Winghunter

    Reduce the ball down to one inch for several reasons and raise velocity to 2,500 fps….and THEN call me.

  • Zach

    I wonder if you could make it an auto turret and put it on ships to defend against somali pirates.