This is awesome: A butane powered mini-gun with interchangable barrels capable of firing a wide range of ammo.

I started playing with this several months ago. I had seen the film canister cannon and wondered about the possibilities. Initially I saw this: Pirate Cubicle Cannon. I then saw several other implementations all using a sprayed fuel, typically Binaca.

I thought that "autoloading" would be better than having to spray fuel into the canister and attach it. I thought that the fuel-air ratio was probably too rich, not too light in the Pirate Cannon but I planned on making a small hole in the film canister to relieve the pressure and allow fuel to flow in if it were indeed too light.

I built a prototype using butane as the fuel, piped in. There was no problem, just a _very_ rewarding *loud* report + fireball followed by insane laughter. Finally I calmed down and began thinking (ir)rationally.

As I thought about making a hole, my thoughts morphed from a small one to a larger one to a barrel: a-la the "ultimate spit-wad shooter".

I tried it and the performance was beyond anything I expected. I used a Bic Round-stik pen as the intitial barrel...hunting for ammo... would you know that Tic-Tacs fit really well in a Bic pen? Yeah and when the tic tac hurtled across the room, bounced of an angled door, down the hallway and ricocheted arround in the bathroom for a while I knew I had something.

I scoured the web looking for anything similar, I found one thing at the BleachSoft website. At instructables, I filtered through all the KNEX guns, marshmallow guns, airsoft guns, etc and turned up nothing. I have however recently seen several similar projects appearing here on instructables:
Q-Tip Gun
Small Dart Gun
Axe Rocket Launcher/ Mini Spud Gun
Mini Spud Gun, Classroom Nemesis
Mini Spud Gun
Now that my fear of being the sole corruptor of the DIY builders of the world has abated, and I will not share sole responsibility for the fallout, I present my work so far.

Step 1: Parts Overview

All parts should be easily found around the home or office. The Ronson lighters came from a local pharmacy. The candlelighter came from a dollar store.

1. Wood.
This could be 3/4" stock, 1" stock, Exotic hardwoods...anything you want. For office
expediency a flat ruler could be employed or better, one of the square cross-section yard
sticks. I'm using 3/4" here. It would be great to combine this: Wooden Luger with the project...mayabe in the future.

2. Lighter to be used as trigger and fuel control
- I used the illustrated Ronson lighter. Almost any would work. Make sure it is refillable.
You will be refilling it. Trust me. Choose one and get several of the same type -- they all
have little differences. Once you've used one type it will be easier in future devices.

3. Film Canisters.
- These are easily available and will be used as the combustion chamber and for
changing barrels for firing a variety of ammunition. Agian, you may want several. I have
not tried the translucent Fuji variety or the oval advantix ones.

4. Fender washer.
- Dimentions are not critical. You could use any round rigid flat piece of material.
This will support the back of the lid as it attaches to the body of the device.
I've used plastic scrap before. You want a rigid plataform that adheres well to the lid
and the device body.

5. Barrel.
- shown are a standard Bic pen and a black tube - this is the spindle from a CD spindle
pack. Other options are chapstik tube, pen barrels of other dimentions; basically any
straight piece of tube of a diameter that matches the ammo you want.

6. Candle lighter.
- From the dollar store. Bascially we are harvesting the wire and the gas tube from this.
I also use the piezo striker as it has the wire already soldered neatly to one of the leads.

7. Wire.
- Used to convey spark from piezo into chamber. Not needed if using wire from
candle lighter.

1. Saw - cutting wood to proper angles / lengths
2. Dremel or other carving tool for channeling the wood to accept the lighter
3. Drill or method of making long thin holes for gastube and wires
4. Soldering iron - for attaching / tinning wires
5. Hot melt glue gun - could use another adhesive if desired

That's it. Move on for the good stuff.

So I'm not the only one. I've been tinkering with breach load and .68 paintballs. How have you got on?
<p>Nice instructable. Thank you.</p>
I have been working on a project that involves an Airsoft gun powered by this system but using shells, really just individual chambers, to fire. I just witnessed the raw power of butane, by having a PVC cap shot into my wall. please, don't be dumb like me.
Wanna make this more interesting you should make a crude blow back loading system so it atleast reloads by gravity, you know like opening a trap door or something but probably will be tricky
<em>I would like some muzzle velocity measurements. I am exploring high-speed photography for this and other interesting image capture.</em><br/><br/>Try a ballistic pendulum instead:<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://webphysics.davidson.edu/physlet_resources/bu_semester1/c12_ballistic.html">http://webphysics.davidson.edu/physlet_resources/bu_semester1/c12_ballistic.html</a><br/>
This is an interesting idea that I also had in the back of my mind. It may acutally be simpler than I imagined it. Thanks, I'll check it out.
Another way to find speed is to make and cast some ballistics gel (i think there is an Instructable for this), and fore into it at point blank range. Then, i think, by using some fancy math that im sure you can find somewhere, you should be able to find out how fast its going.
how bout a defined shutter time and a scale in the background like 100/S shutter and a metre rule as close to projectile... take start of the blur to the end of the blur on the ruler to find out the distance travelled in 100/S x 100 gives you cm/s and leaving it undivided gives you M/s
Or video at a known frame-rate (say 30fps) and compare adjacent frames?
Alright, I have been experimenting with an ~30 fps video camera. I have collected quite a bit of data but have not completed the analysis. What I have found so far using a marshmallow as the projectile: 1. It is difficult to see in flight against a well lit dark background 2. It can travel 2m in a single frame 3. Frame rate is constant but exposure or "on" time varies with ambient light 4. This means "off" time varies as well 5. one must determine the "on" to "off" ratio for accurate calculations 6. it would be nice to have a "slow" constant velocity object to calibrate this Roughly, I can estimate that we're seeing 91 m/s or ~300 f/s. Stay tuned, detailed analysis to follow along with better performance pics...video?
<strong>1, 2.</strong> Try a banded background - black and white stripes of known width (1cm?) to allow accurate measurement of distances, plus increasing the chance of spotting the 'mallow.<br/><br/>At 30fps, 2m in a frame = 60m/s, not 91m/s.<br/><br/>60m/s = 134mph = nearly 200f/s (not 300, but still impressive).<br/><br/><strong>3, 4, 5, 6:</strong><br/><br/>Make or buy a clock with a smoothly-moving sweep-hand (as used by crash-test centres) or a simple &quot;bob&quot; pendulum of known length (and hence calculable period).<br/>
The banded background sounds interesting I'll have to try that. As it is, I've included a measuring tape in the video which I then use to calibrate the image processing software. As for velocity calculations: At 30fps you would be correct if each frame was exposed for that entire time. I was interested to discover that this is not usually the case. Time is necessary to record each frame. Beyond that ambient light can change dramatically--this is dealt with by varying the exposure time of each collected frame. The maximum exposure time would be 1/30th of a second, but under bright lighting conditions this could be significantly less. The meaning of all this is that the data collection rate is 30fps but the actual exposure time of each frame will be somewhat less than that. I'm estimating that this could 50-60% with the setup I'm using. Hence the time scale of the recorded distance per frame is less than 1/30th of a seocnd. I do like the pendulum idea. The need for a known velocity is not so great as the need for a fixed velocity. This will allow easy calculation of the exposure time of each frame as a ratio of the collection rate of 30fps.
yeah I used the 100/S as a way of getting a direct measurement, timing would be everything and prefocusing is a must but the video idea might provide more reliable figures say: (travel over 10 frames)/30 = velocity in M/s also using ten frames cuts down on error by a huge amount.<br/>
These are good ideas. Thanks for your patience with this. I have been spending time elsewhere of late, but I am interested in collecting this data. I will try out these suggestions - there are a lot of potential pitfalls, but planning to avoid them will take time. I may get lucky just by trying.
yeah a decent camera with a reliable framerate or shutter timing is the main thing to get over then timing the firing and capture so video is a better bet
youy know airsoft bbs fit perfectly in bic pens... just an idea
Just a GREAT idea.... Haven't tried it myself yet, but i've been eyeing them for a while...
An Airsoft bb does not actually fit very tightly in a bic pen tube. Not a big deal, but annoying, as it may roll out.
Some FYI for the high speed photography,you can buy glow it the dark airsoft BB's which might make tracking the projectile a little easier.
Good to know....thanks!
those things are almost useless. When fired, they cant be seen even in a totally dark room.
try shooting cotten balls soked in alcahal or other flamable liquids
Oooooh flaming projectiles i like o__0
that is a really good idea. dangerous, but good.
Fireballs! Hehe. Ha ha ha. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHA! MAHAHAHAHA! Sorry you had to see the evil genius in me...
Not half bad an idea try putting kerosene in a super soaker thats real fun.
that is astoundingly dumb. normally i wouldn't be that out-and-out rude, but that is REALLY DUMB.
Mine doesnt work... My dad says that if i use something flammable it will go up in flames. i tried using the easy way by putting the barrel assembly on a unmodified lighter and there IS a lot of fire, but i think it would burn up the ammo. I'm going to do this project another way. Cheers.
Just follow the directions in this instructable and it will work fine, without the huge conflagrations your dad fears.
does it have to be a ronson lighter? or can i use a bic lighter?
Just brad names, no difference.<br>
well, $10 bbq lighter is too expensive for me. is there something that can replace the piezo? will it work if with a flint lighter?
here's mine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=relTzpgsRt8<br /> I kinda cross between ethago and chaslak invention its the same principle...I think. (' '_,)<br />
Wow this is really cool i must build one, keep up the good work
the cake is very delicious.<br/>Butane Madness?<br/>I'm making one charged with HHO----In the syringue?!<br/>Push the Embol? to charge.<br/>
mine uses a mini can of axe spray for fuel and i use a piezo thingamabob to ignite it. it works really good and flames go out after the projectile
I just built mine today from a broken butane torch gun. Only the flame part was broken, the valve and butane tank were all OK. So I built my combustion chamber with a Steadler sharpener and hot-glued a hollow pen as the barrel. I used the igniter from the butane gun (trigger like, very nice) to light the thing. However, butane NEVER worked. For whatsoever reason which escapes me. I could only get it to fire when spraying Axe. I assumed this was because the axe is sprayed like a small mist and thus my spark hits it. Any hint on why butane would never work? Thanks! PS: my design worked super well also just with axe!
I have a quick question do you have to open the chamber every time you reload because of lack of oxygen, or have you found a way around it? I ask because i have some mini spud guns and they can have enough fuel, but i run out of oxygen to do multiple shots without reopening the chamber.
for your future design, use a refillable flint lighter for gas flow then a shocker for your ignition system but make a hole in the side of the film canister and stick it in thereand a nother hole on the other side of the canister,also by useing a refillable flint ligher u won't acidentally set off tthe gas
i made one and modeled it to look like an ak-47.
what the heck? i clicked "add comment" and it appeared as a reply to your comment. sorry for the mistake.
u can delete ur own comments u kno?...
essentially use a bic lighter for your fuel control, then attach an electrical shocking butane lighter or something of the sort into a foregrip below the film canister to ignite the gas.
this looks alot like a lego gun
Effective and they look great!
it would be so friggin awesome if someone made a desert eagle out of this thing :P
if the valve to the butane tank failles you will blow up your hand . right?
Great idea for a spud gun. Looks very cool.

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