AR Can Cannon, declared legal by ATF

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In a promising turn of events, the recently controversial AR15 upper receiver, aluminium soda can firing “Can Cannon” made by X products, has now been declared fit for market sale again by the ATF. All existing Can Cannons that are currently in private ownership (I’ve heard about several thousand) have to be converted to the new configuration which doesn’t allow the chambering of a live 5.56x45mm round, which was the problem that ATF had beforehand, because in essence the previous Can Cannons were short barreled rifles. Although they had been designed with the intent of only shooting 5.56x45mm blank cartridges, one could load a live round in there and fire it. The accuracy of it would probably be completely off, and the fact that the handguard is the size of a fire extinguisher would make it quite difficult to conceal, but in the ATFs all seeing eyes, this was none other than an SBR. The new modifications include a sort of metal bar that doesn’t allow the chambering of a live round.

The Can Cannon has been officially acquitted by the BATF and is not considered a short barrel shotgun, short barrel rifle, or “any other weapon” when installing it on an AR-15 lower receiver. Our new design restores the Can Cannon back to the status of “not a firearm” and “not a destructive device” in the eyes of the law. In honor of the Can Cannon’s street legal status we will be raffling away 5 new BATF Approved Can Cannons to customers who make purchases during our Tax Day Sale April 4/15 through 4/18. Winners will be announced on 4/22.

Stay Tuned, we will be announcing a part swap program for our existing Can Cannon customers shortly!

If you currently have one, make sure to contact the company for that parts swap program, or you can buy the new ATF approved version for $398.95 on their website, in addition to 100 rounds of 5.56x45mm blanks. All you need is an AR lower to fit it to. If the idea of shooting cans out of an AR platform gets boring, (they don’t even go that far, look at Demo Ranch below) the company has a list of other projectiles they are planning on, that do have some practicality-

Grappling Hook (In Pre-Production)
Net Launcher (In Sketch)
Dog Training Toys For Duck Hunting and Retrieval
T Shirt Launching
Lawn Darts
Harpoon



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • MAGDUMPED

    Because shooting somebody in the head with a tall boy at 150fps would be so much safer.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      And to add insult to injury its Bud Ice.

      • Anonymoose

        It could be Natty Light.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Put me down with a Corona at least.

          • Anonymoose

            I never drink anything less than regular Yuengling.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Thats pretty good stuff. I prefer Asahi Dry.

          • Anonymoose

            Good stuff. Kirin is my favorite Japanese beer, but I’ve never seen it in the States.

          • Weundjdj

            I guess you haven’t looked.

          • Anonymoose

            Trust me, I have.

          • We’ve got plenty of Kirin Ichiban here in Florida. You can pick it up in the local supermarket. Is that what you are looking for or is there another Kirin you are wanting?

          • Anonymoose

            If I ever go back to Florida, I will be sure to. Thanks!

          • Anonymoose

            Would you like a lime and some salt with that?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Just pack a lime in there on top of the beer can. Make it a tall boy so I die a clean death.
            A soldiers death.

          • MAGDUMPED

            If your beer needs condiments, you need new beer.

          • BattleshipGrey

            I’ll take a Guinness if we’re allowed requests

    • Al

      It would certainly be more awesome. Particularly if the video is on youtube.

    • CissyScum

      Ask Creepy Cooter how he feels after being decked with a can.

      • Lothar92

        The motto of this site is “Firearms but not Politics” but you can still comment with a “Falanga” and post stuff like “Have a great day being white!” on your profile, right?

        Wyjątkowo mądry nacjonalista. Rzadko widuje się tak mądre zwierzęta z tego gatunku.

        • CissyScum

          Nacjonaliśći kochają swój kraj, i ja także kocham Amerykę i Polskę.

    • Schnee

      Before the ruling, I used mine quite a bit to launch cans. Range is about 100 yards with a normal soda elevated at 45 degrees. Kicks about like a mild 12 gauge or a 20 gauge. If one of these caught you square in the chest inside 15 feet, I’d give you about 50/50 chance of death from blunt force trauma. It’s no joke. But lots of fun.

    • Budogunner

      If you ever thought US gun law is about safety you have been grossly misinformed.

    • Sianmink

      I want to see how well they fire:

      1: Cans of shaving cream

      2: Cans filled with concrete

      You know, for Reasons.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        I fired a mostly-empty spraypaint can out of one once. Most of them are identical in diameter to a soda can, so they drop right in and fire real nice.

        Anyways, I had one come down sprayer-first and launch itself straight back up into the air in a jet/cloud of white paint.

        It was pretty awesome.

        Cans filled with concrete will be punishing on your shoulder.

        Also, a 2.5″ hole saw (err, might have been 2 1/4″) makes a PERFECTLY-sized wooden plug to shoot out. You can stack a couple and bolt them up. Paint them neon colors and you can pretty easily recover them for multiple firings.

      • Badwolf

        Or ball bearings. Or nails. You know, for reasons hehehe

        • Michael Rice

          Canister shot? Langridge? *rubs hands* Purely for research purposes of course.

          • Badwolf

            Yes yes langrage…for umm research. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

          • Michael Rice

            Yes! Exactly! We’re one of those semi famous youtubers, testing how molten nickel reacts to spoons fired out of a gun…wheres our camera? Well uh…its over there! *throat punch, flees*

      • Random Disabled Person

        Don’t forget to test a tub of astroglide, to reduce the friction and increase range. Other greases may not disperse messily enough on impact…. * also environmental friendly*

        What good is science without some messy fun factors every so often? (cue Dr. Bunsen Honeydew voice) Hey Beaker go down range…

        …Meep Meep Meep more reasons and for da science Meep Meep Meep …..

        Can a “tar and feathers” versions be made available, but that is politics and not allowed.

      • AzureRaptor

        It ain’t Science until something blows up.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    My Yeti koozie came with a fake can with a screw on top. Could fill that with gas with an impact primer on the end for a nice fire bomb.

    • Nandor

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        As if embedding a Schlitz tall boy into someones brain pan isnt just as lethal.

        • AzureRaptor

          I mean you’re not much better off ingesting it.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah I’d rather take one on the Mellon than have to drink it.

    • iksnilol

      And that’s why they’ll make it illegal.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I can build my own suppressor or convert an AR to full auto but those things arent illegal.
        Yet…..

        • iksnilol

          I know, but advertising the possibility of launching incendiaries and bombs is sorta more scary than a piddly suppressor.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I guarantee im not the first person to think of something like that. Its not like im going to buy one anyway.
            Guess ill have to keep launching my fire bombs via sling-shot.

          • iksnilol

            True, but kinda like the arm braces, as long as we aren’t advertising it all the time then it should be okay. 😛

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Dont worry I dont need the ATF banging on my door.

  • CupAJoe

    I assume the legacy upper would still be legal with no modification on a pistol lower?

    • Schnee

      Nope, that could be construed as a short barreled shotgun because it is smooth bore. You have to start with an “other” lower to do this. It’s akin to doing a short barrel on a Pistol Grip Only shotgun. It puts you in an odd little legal pocket that frankly I’d not want to get in front of a jury if the ATF decided they didn’t like it. Better to wait for the mod.

      • CupAJoe

        Thanks for the clarification.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        AOW.

      • asdffdsa

        That’s wrong. As long as the upper can’t fire fixed ammunition (primer, powder, and bullet all in one) it’s legally considered a muzzle loader, and the NFA and GCA don’t apply to muzzle loaders.

    • Cymond

      The legacy upper was a smooth bore, and the inner barrel could be unplugged, allowing it to fire a round of 223.

      Of course, a smoothbore pistol is classified as an AOW.

  • felix

    ….ill take the harpoon please

  • Schnee

    Mine would chamber a round because there is room for the shell and the bullet. But even on the legacy ones (out there with the public as of now) the end of the “barrel” is closed and would surely result in carnage if you pulled the trigger on a non-blank round. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was that it would chamber and there was an inch or so of “barrel” before the gas ports.

    • asdffdsa

      I’ve heard this claim that the end of the barrel is closed multiple times, but have yet to see any actual evidence of that. On the other hand, the picture at the top of this page shows the end of the barrel being open.

      • Schnee

        From this angle it looks open, but there is a plug down in that indentation.

  • Pete M

    I REALLY want to Form 1 that shroud into a suppressor. Awesome.

  • GhostTrain81

    Does someone make an optic with a 12oz’er BDC reticle?

    And this thing tested with Wolf Soda cans??? Thx..

    • Ira

      Wolf Cola, the right cola for closure.

    • AzureRaptor

      Rip-Its, applied for, uh, medical reasons.

  • Uncle Festet

    What are they used for?

    • Paladin

      This thing called “fun”, it may be an unfamiliar concept to some.

    • Cynic

      Skeet with soda

  • Bill

    If it launches tennis balls, I’m in. Tiring out Chloe the Fur Missile with balls launched by a slingshot or a ball launcher is too much like work.

    • B.malloy

      Tennis balls work great. The demolition Ranch video shoes them launching tennis Balls around 100 yards.

  • Kivaari

    Launching pop cans would be fun a couple of times. If they don’t explode with enough force to disable a Hummer, what’s the point?

  • gunsandrockets

    Would these things be safe to use with standard 5.56mm GL blanks?

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Because there’s nothing the crowd at a ball game loves more than someone shooting t-shirts at them with an AR. Where’s the AK version that launches ushankas?

    I’m not going to lie, the harpoon sounds fun. I’ve been messing a new whaling instrument. I mean not whaling instrument. Who would do that? It’s for a gopher issue.

  • rob in katy

    That his booger hook on the trigger while loading the can(s). probably not as bad as a bullet but my still take a finger off.

  • Joey Dryer

    Their ruling was garbage to begin with. ATF mixed and matched definitions from the NFA and GCA to suit them. The fact is, if it chambers a rifle cartridge, the barrel MUST be rifled, or it is not an SBR. If it is a smooth-bore (which this is), it can’t be an SBR (but would be an SBS if it held a shotgun cartridge). Not to mention, it would blow up if you put a full 5.56 cartridge in there (seems like more of a liability issue than an NFA issue). I doubt it would have held up in court, but it is just another example of ATF making the law up as they go.

    • asdffdsa

      >ATF mixed and matched definitions from the NFA and GCA to suit them

      No, they didn’t. They were correct in calling it an SBS in their letter as the definition of SBS does not require the gun to fire shotgun shells, if it did then you would see a large market for guns that would normally be considered SBRs but with smooth bore barrels as an NFA “hack” (any accuracy problems could be eliminated by using bullets with the center of gravity closer to the front of the bullet, just like shotgun slugs).

  • Ira

    Am I the only one who thinks its neat that the larger barrel doubles as a barrel nut?

  • Dual sport

    “The Can Cannon has been officially acquitted by the BATF…”

    Even gun owners and companies have no concept of how our legal system works. The ATF is not a court system and has no authority to acquitt anyone or any product.

    • Cymond

      Ib think the writer was taking poetic license.

  • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

    Whoa! I did not see that coming.

  • Anon. E Maus

    When can we expect to see sex toys launched with these things