CZ Tarantule Prototype Water Cannon

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H

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.

CZ Tarantule Prototype Water Cannon (2)

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.

CZ Tarantule Prototype Water Cannon (4)

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.

CZ Tarantule Prototype Water Cannon (5)

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.,

Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at

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  • Cymond Cymond on Apr 28, 2022

    If somebody told me this was a steampunk art piece, I would have 100% believed it

  • EODCROW EODCROW on Apr 29, 2022

    This is nothing new, when I went into Navy EOD in 1989 we used a .50 caliber de-armer and J rod de-armer, both way smaller than this and EOD at DEVGRU had even better. They both used .50 caliber electric fired carts, or if needed you could use a standard .50 cal which you pulled the bullet off and stuffed with a material to contain the powder and used det cord to set off. Remember this is before nonel (shock tubing) was in the military. We used water, solid slugs and even silicon gel to disrupt packages and weapon fuzes. Now a days there are PAN disrupters which are again so much smaller than this piece of kit.