Introduction: Candy Cannon

Picture of Candy Cannon

A way to send halloween treats into the sky, without wadding or dangerous projectiles.


see the video. 3 sec. hang timefor the candy. container didn't leave the barrel because of loose seal.

Step 1: First You Need a Large Barrel Potato Gun.

Picture of First You Need a Large Barrel Potato Gun.

This is the threaded end, where the fuel goes (I use ether). I added screws in addition to the ABS glue for extra strength, although it probably isn't necessary. It is also your access to the ignitor (see next step) and how you ventilate the cannon between shots, to get some fresh air inside quickly.

Step 2: The Ignitor.

Picture of The Ignitor.

I put mine about 8 inches from the end cap. Close enough to work on. It is a replacement barbeque ignitor that comes with a AAA battery powered ignition switch. I sealed the holes with silicone. You can bend the wire electrode until you get the gap that's right for you. On the outside, I reinforced and protected the connections with epoxy, since they are a little fragile for this application.

Step 3: The Firing Button.

Picture of The Firing Button.

If you are unfamiliar with barbeque ignitors, the battery is underneath the red button. I put mine too far along the barrel to use fasteners which might protrude into the barrel. So it's two-part epoxy and lots of black tape. I stretched out the supplied wires as far as they would go.

Step 4: The Most Important Part.

Picture of The Most Important Part.

Once you have built a 4 inch barrel potato gun, you will probably realize that pototoes are too small to touch the sides and you can't build any compression. Rutabegas work, but firing off 2 dozen of those gets expensive. Wads of wet newspaper is labor-intensive and messy. Bigger suddenly isn't better. However, if you take a yogurt or cottage cheese container, and trace around it snugly in the barrel, you get a perfect fit.

When you are done, cut off the excess, and see if it fits tightly.

Now, for a little strength and better compression, wrap the surface that will contact the barrel with some electrical tape.

Step 5: Almost Ready.

Picture of Almost Ready.

You have put some tape around the lip of the container for a better seal. Push it down to the last 12 inches of your cannon with a broom stick. Put your candy in. and you're in business.

The finer points of potato guns are widely available on the internet. This one is probably pretty crude. The point of this instructable is again, about delivering candy without dangerous projectiles. A giant slingshot, or pneumatic cannon might be better alternatives, but I like the explosion, and so do the neighborhood kids. Their parents not so much.

- leaves or toilet paper or confetti can enhance the effect.

- Rice cakes are another safe item to add to your load

- you fill it up with water if you like, or paint for that matter, but I find even the moisture from the combustion makes for a lot of mis-fires.

- to make retrieval of the container easier, i tried attaching a tether and it tore right off. good luck with that!

-for a good shot keep in mind, the projectile's friction holding it in the barrel is crucial. the longer the pressure can build up, the better the force of the cannon. a loose fitting container may not even leave the barrel, but still move the candy out.


instructables-kid (author)2013-08-23

So cool

Jakeg (author)2009-10-18

so what do I use that makes it explosive. Is it just the air thats pressurized?

Jimmy Proton (author)Jakeg2010-07-31

hairspray is the most common but you can use most any flammable in a spray can

Colonel88 (author)2009-11-13

"GTFO you crazy kids! *Shoots at the kids* There, you happy?!?"

An Villain (author)2009-09-28

i see i am supposed to aim it up instead of pointing it at them.

7777777777 (author)2009-06-03

where can I buy this cannon?

An Villain (author)77777777772009-09-28

you have to build it, here is a link to a basic cannon, works very well.

thefunktopus (author)2008-04-16

whats a potato gun? could it be something that fires potatoes? where would i get one? Is there any way to mod this so it can fire rocks or small animals?

Wafflicious (author)thefunktopus2009-03-09

Make one with PVC. Yes it can fire small animals but just not your little sisters pet mouse.

finnster (author)thefunktopus2008-06-29

how do you not know what a potato gun is

thefunktopus (author)finnster2008-06-30

i thought they were small handguns

Wafflicious (author)thefunktopus2009-03-09

those are spud guns

finnster (author)thefunktopus2008-07-05

big foot duck can explain

Big Bubba (author)finnster2008-08-17

look at this Bad @$5 potatoe gun finn

finnster (author)Big Bubba2008-08-21

lol haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Big Bubba (author)finnster2008-08-17

look at this one, thats bad-@$5

bigfootduck (author)thefunktopus2008-06-11

a potato gun is a big cannon, about the same size as this cannon, but it launches potatos hundreds of feet. It is powered by a chamber full of hairspray. You stick the potato in, light the hairspray, and watch the potato burst through walls. I mad a mini one out of a chapstick container once. It was cool!

DYLEGO (author)bigfootduck2009-01-09

hairspray is for whimps! you need to go pneumatic if you want to go "hundreds of feet". A pneumatic potato cannon has an air chamber filled to 80-90 psi, and a sprinkler, ball, butterfly, or piston valve right after the air chamber. when you open the valve, the air pushes the projectile out the barrel.

hahahahahah wow the last line made me crap my pants laughing

yeerk21 (author)Thundertydus2008-11-07

i agree

T3Hprogrammer (author)2008-10-18

I've built a similar device and found that you can nearly double the range/power by putting the container in the other way (opening facing down.) This way the air pressure will expand it, making a better seal, rather than compressing it and creating leaks around the edges.

kiss my donkey (author)2008-10-18

bad @$$ potato gun

Camster911 (author)2006-09-09

Wow! Knock the children out by embedding hard boiled sweets in there sculls, nice one! :D

Ushanka (author)Camster9112006-09-09

For the record, I launched lollipops out of a model rocket. Yeah, I got hit in the head with one falling from 500 feet. No, I did not crack my "scull". It's friggin CANDY. There's very little momentum and it's mostly prone to shatter if it hits something firm.

Kayjay (author)Ushanka2007-07-13

not to mention the extra drag created because of the wrappers they arnt the best 4 aerodynamics

knexgunner94 (author)Kayjay2007-09-12

lets make candy parachutes, then we could drop them from model airplanes

lol my uncle flies thoughs

lol knock someone out with a good 15,000 feet of momentum

Ushanka (author)xproplayer2008-04-02

Nah, the candy will break before anything bad happens. The momentum will be about the same from 15,000 feet as it will from 150 feet. Candy is not very aerodynamic (Well, I suppose Tootsie Pops are pretty bullet-like) and it will have a slow terminal velocity. Combined with the small mass the momentum will be less than knock-someone-out strength. Moral: No Tootsie Pops. :P

octavian234 (author)Ushanka2008-09-14

what about jaw breakers?

jeffconnelly (author)Ushanka2007-12-23

yeah, try using it at a parade

Bad Donut (author)Ushanka2006-09-10


johnnyoh (author)2008-09-12

I had encountered the wadding problem with my cannons as well. I found that a simple paper cup works if you mark the outside of the cup where it becomes snug in the barrel and then cut down to that point from the rim at the 12 3 6 and 9 o'clock points of the rim. Basically it functions much like a shotgun wadding and lands a few feet away.

paper warrior (author)2006-09-11

use a beer can filled with concrete for ammo, you could probably knock down a tree or total a car

theosullis (author)2008-07-14

My friend used gasoline instead of hairspray and the whole gun blew up in his hand and almost sent him to the ER. Just a moral, HAIRSPRAY IS YOUR FRIEND!

zachninme (author)2006-09-11

I would like it if someone could build a "nice" one... one that you can do inside... and won't kill innocent bystanders...

adamazing (author)zachninme2007-08-25

Prrrfft. In my experience, bystanders are rarely innocent.

xproplayer (author)adamazing2008-04-02

lol there could be a robber in a crowd dun dun dun lol

buterSBob29 (author)2007-11-10

ok just question do you have to use candy?

buterSBob29 (author)2007-11-10


Kaiven (author)2007-09-19

lol, i cant try this with my gun, mine uses gas :P Mommy mommy, look! bright burning wads of candy!

Kaiven (author)Kaiven2007-09-19

oh lol! nvm. yours uses gas too XD

jongscx (author)2007-09-02

I was at a pep rally in my sophomore year of high-school for our homecoming football game. It was close to the end and the cheerleaders come out with candy, throwing it at the crowd. I was just waiting for my piece, when I feel a sharp pain a warm feeling over my left eye that started down my cheek. I wasn't really sure what happened, but I headed for the nurse's office. There was a 1-in cut on my eyebrow. It was shallow, but deep enough to bleed. Also, we pulled out what appeared to be a shard of glass and the nurse dropped it into a cup of alcohol. By the time we finished patching me up, it was gone... and the alcohol had a green tint. What we assume happened was that some dumb-5h17 threw a jolly-rancher at the ventilation fans. It broke and I was just lucky enough to be in its way. Ironically, 15 years earlier, I was dancing on a glass table (I was 3, give me a break) and I fell off. that gave me a cut on my right eyebrow. Now I have matching scars :-D

spification (author)2007-08-26

for your container you could put some tipe of removable lip on the end of the cannon so that it wouldn't leave the barrel but the candy would or you could put a small screw in the bottom of the cup and attach some twine on the inside of the cup and have the twine on like a reel with plenty of twine bound up so that once fired the container takes the twine and then all u have to do is reel it in a lot like fishing just with an explosive cast

gunmanx (author)2007-03-30

lol thoes little kids ar funny "wow i never seen so much candy" ima probly build this thing it looks good for a b day party

sparks (author)gunmanx2007-04-01

do consider, air powered cannons are more reliable, but you need a compressor. if you have an audience waiting and your are using starter fluid, hope you have the fine art of air/fuel mixture down. i have had so many mis-fires on halloween night with kids and parents waiting. no harm in investing in building one though. they are so simple. good luck

gunmanx (author)sparks2007-04-01

o lol

2cool (author)2006-10-31

ha. im surprised no one thought of this sooner. i used it while sitting on the roof and almost knocked this little 10 year old out( my bro).

trialex (author)2006-10-25

Dude where did you get that AAA powered BBQ lighter? I'm searching high and low for one. If by any chance it was an online supplier could you let me know? A reward is offered for anyone who finds one in Australia.

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