Grappling Hook Cannon! Shoots Cans, Too

In Reviews & Videos by TWANGnBANG

How Much and Where to Buy: $399.99 from Brownells for the Can Cannon, and $145 for the grappling hook once available

+ One of the most fun things you can do with gunpowder
+ Simple design means it simply works every time
+ Capable of launching improvised projectiles
+ Grappling hook now available with net launcher and lawn darts pending
– Does not include BCG or charging handle


The Can Cannon is an upper receiver for an AR15 designed to shoot full 12oz cans.

The X Products Can Cannon is pretty well known by now, but in summary, it’s an AR15 upper receiver designed to launch 12oz cans using 556 blanks.  Though the ATF recently recanted their approval of the original Can Cannon design, X Products made the necessary changes and is repairing all units previously sold free of charge.  That’s an important point right there- X Products followed the correct process with their original design, got burned by an ATF waffle job, but is eating the costs to make sure their customers are taken care of.

The main difference with the new design is a fully welded endcap and a steel pin welded in the chamber to prevent successful firing of a live round. It should also make loading a live round a difficult proposition, but I’m too cautious to outright say it would be impossible for a determined Darwin award contestant.

The new gas stem has a fully welded endcap and a steel pin welded in the chamber.

The new gas stem has a fully welded endcap and a steel pin welded in the chamber.

When loaded with the proper blanks, the Can Cannon can launch a full 12oz can over 100 yards at a pretty solid velocity. I recommend seltzer water because it’s cheaper than most soda and leaves behind no mess other than the cans themselves.  I said it in the video and I’ll say it again here: this is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done with gunpowder, and it will be the one “gun” that I bring to the range every time I’m shooting with family and friends just for fun.

Of course, this is just a fat tube with a gas stem, so you can imagine all of the stuff people have shot out of these.  X Products makes no claim that shooting anything other than cans or tennis balls is a good idea, but they are well aware it’s commonplace to load these up with fruit, potatoes, glow sticks…  You might need to cut a sabot from a can to create a gas seal, and never force anything into the launch tube or you risk Daffy Ducking the thing and absorbing the resultant shrapnel yourself.

The grappling hook weighs 3lbs. MSRP is $145.

The grappling hook weighs 3lbs. MSRP is $145.

X Products took this spirit to another level by designing a working grappling hook ($145 MSRP) specifically for the Can Cannon.  Outwardly, it has the same maximum dimensions as a 12oz can, though its 3lb weight means it doesn’t fly as far.  It’s not meant to support your body weight, nor is it possible to attach a line heavier than something like 550 paracord, but even that limitation will give you lots of ways to use the grappling hook.

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