Yemeni Rebel Improvised Cannons On Display in Houthi Propaganda Video

    Creating improvised firearms is one thing, but a recent propaganda video released by the Yemeni rebel and terrorist group Ansar Allah (better known as the Houthis) threw the spotlight on some weapons that take this to the next level. 20mm, 23mm, and even 30mm caliber improvised cannons are being produced by the Houthis in makeshift workshops, representing some of the largest and most powerful improvised small arms ever produced. Footage of the cannons firing, as well as their manufacture was included in the video. Despite their large caliber, the cannons appear to be quite crude indeed, with many parts shown being ground with dremel tools, and with scope bases and muzzle brakes simply being welded together. The barrels for the cannons appear to come from military autocannons. The barrels of 20mm Hasem cannon bear the distinctive “hump” towards the muzzle of M61 Vulcan cannon barrels, for instance – which may be an indication that the barrels are being supplied to the Houthis by the Iranians, who have stockpiles of Vulcan barrels for their F-4 and F-14 fighter aircraft.

    EDIT: Since the video got taken down before the article even went live, here are some screenies from it. Thanks to Yuriy Lyamin’s blog:


    Also featured in the very Western-looking video were 14.5mm and 12.7mm rifles (pipsqueaks, by comparison!) and modified Yugo M48 rifles converted into sniper weapons with the addition of a side dovetail mount and 4x24mm POSP scopes.

    More detail on the Houthis improvised cannons and rifles can be found at IUVM Online, as well as Yuriy Lyamin’s blog.

    Thanks to Retiv for the tip!

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]