DIY 20mm Cannon with remote Electronic Trigger

Josh writes …

I recently completed a home-made 20x102mm (20mm “vulcan”) destructive device, registered on an ATF Form 1. This gun is a single-shot, breech-loading firearm that lobs out a ~1520 grain inert steel projectile at an estimated 3100 feet per second. It’s locking mechanism can be nest described as being a very crude “falling block action”. The gun sits atop an M2 tripod from my 1919A4 rifle, and can be “steered” with the traverse/elevation mechanism. The cartridges use electric ignition, which I used a Nintendo 64 controller to build the remote control inside. It delivers a brief, but very intense burst of 300V DC to the primer, through an insulated electrode in the breech block.

Very nifty!

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.


  • SP mclaughlin

    They need to make the N64 controller serve as a spade grip assembly.

  • Today this guy wins it all.

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Your profile pic is somewhat disturbing.

      • ^^^ This is the Freeman. The Combine’s reckoning has come.

  • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

    Awesome job!

  • Spencerhut

    Looks well made. I’d try to get some recoil control so you have a possibility of a second shot. That thing flew so far your going to have to completely reset after each shot. Besides, sooner or later you’ll want to hit something.

    • Twilight sparkle

      The hydraulics system from something in a scrap yard would probably work well, it’s already got a muzzle brake so there’s not much he could change there

      • Hi Twilight!

      • Bill

        It worked in Breaking Bad.

        • Twilight sparkle

          I’ve heard a lot about that show but the premis just seems weird.

          • Bill

            Just watch the finale for proof of your concept.

      • Jess Johnson

        My 20×102 uses a revalved Fox offroad truck shock on an M3 tripod.

  • John

    I wonder if he turns his TV/Monitor on it’s side to watch that video?

  • BattleshipGrey

    That’s pretty sweet. I like the simplicity of it. How much does it cost for each round?

  • Lance

    Nice N-64 controller!

  • Nate H

    OK that is… freaking AWESOME!!!

  • gunsandrockets


    Or as the camera-person said, “holy sh*t.”

  • mosinman

    i wanna make mine in 37mm

  • Geoffry K

    Why do people keep making tall skinny videos when you have time to turn the iPhone horizontal?
    I could see doing it this way if it a spur of the moment gotta get this recorded right now, but when you pre-plan a video?
    1/3 video, 2/3 black bars.

    Nice cannon, though.

    • Jess Johnson

      Natural way to hold a camera is vertical.

  • Bill

    Stay Off My Lawn.

    But seriously, a Nintendo controller? Go wireless with a RC plane radio.

    • CountryBoy

      Nope. Too much chance of interference setting off the round prematurely, even with the latest digital helicopter radios.

      Would you want to take that chance?

      Besides, the Nintendo controller was laying around, and free.

  • lurpy

    Dude, I miss Goldeneye 64 too, but this is ridiculous.

  • Idrathergofishing

    More pictures

  • Marlon

    What happens to the shell casing at the 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock position right in front of the “block”? Looks like that area is “open” and would allow for major deformation if not bursting of the shell casing.

  • Secundius

    Nice “Swivel Wolf”! I’d prefer a Birkigt 404 in 24.1x110mmR instead…