Continuing The CZ History Books series of posts dedicated to the company’s history and their most interesting firearm designs, Ceska Zbrojovka has published an article about an extremely obscure gun from the ’90s – the CZ Tarantule water cannon. Shooting a high-velocity jet of water, the CZ Tarantule was designed to be used in applications like destroying locks, punching through walls and disposal of explosives. CZ themselves say that this gun is probably the strangest weapon in their collection.
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CZ Tarantule was supposed to be used in cases where explosives couldn’t be used due to a high risk of collateral damage. The Tarantule uses a modified .50 caliber blank round loaded from the breech of the 18mm caliber smoothbore barrel to propel the 70ml of water which is poured down the muzzle and sealed in the bore via a special plug. The muzzle velocity of the water jet is a whopping 3500 m/s or 11,483 fps.
After loading the CZ Taratntule, the operator uses the two wires attached to the gun to fire it with an electrical current from behind a cover, to be protected from any debris that can be blown back as the distance to the target has to be very short – 3 to 5 meters. For aiming the cannon, there are two lasers and also optical sights can be attached. Although the gun weighs 20kg (44 lb) and is mounted on a heavy tripod, the large spring wrapped around the barrel is for recoil mitigation.
Despite being such an interesting design with many advantages for use in the above-mentioned applications, the CZ Tarantule was never adopted by any unit and only 6 samples were ever made. CZ says that “it probably became a victim of being way too progressive as it often happens with such products“.
Pictures by Česká zbrojovka a.s., www.czforthosewhoknow.com