Introduction: Golf Ball Gun!!! How to Make One That Can Shoot 400+ Yards!

Picture of Golf Ball Gun!!! How to Make One That Can Shoot 400+ Yards!
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This is my golfball gun, it features a 2" barrel sealing piston with 1.5" porting. The chamber is made from 2" Pressure Rated PVC pipe and the barrel is 1.5" PVC pipe. For more information go to:,p,100616.html#100616

Big Thanks to Nicholas Benigni, owner of
You can find his website and spudgun products here:

Note: In the video I am wearing safety glasses you just can't see me, the shot at the end without them is perfectly safe as I was only firing air.

I also have more then enough objects as a back stop to make certain the projectile doesn't go all the way.

One shot I am firing into the open, I was shooting a golfball 380m at a golf course that was closed due to weather 50m away.

You may need to use some Lube to help the piston slide easier:

Step 1: How It Works:

Picture of How It Works:

1) Air is sent through the inlet valve, this pushes the piston(green) forward and sealing the barrel, the air leaks around the chamber and fills the chamber up.

2) Once the air is equalized all around the chamber and valve, the inlet valve is closed.

3) When you want to fire, you open the pilot valve and all the air behind the piston(pilot area) vents out this valve, since the pressure on the piston is un-equalized with more pressure at the front pushing it back, then pushing it forward the piston actuates.

4) The piston flies back at incredible speed and all the air goes out the barrel and launches the projectile.

That's how simple it is.

Step 2: Parts

Picture of Parts

All you need to make a more basic version of this is:

*3" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC(chamber)
*1.5" SDR 21 PVC(Barrel)
*3" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC end cap
*2" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC End Cap
*2" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC tee
*3"-2" PVC Bushing
*3" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC 90* elbow
*3" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC 6" long pipe x 2(these join your fittings together)
*2"x1.5" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC bushing
*2" NSF-PW Sch40 PVC 3"x1"
female threaded bushing
*1" threaded ball valve
*1"x1/4" bushing
*1/4" quick connect(for air compressor)

PVC Glue
PVC Primer
Common Sense
Deodorant Can(for your piston)
Neoprene sealing face.

Step 3: Piston Construction.

Picture of Piston Construction.
To make a piston for a 2" PVC tee all you need is:

*Deodorant can
*Neoprene rubber gasket(found in plumbing section, this is your sealing face)
  • Suitable bumber
*Hot glue

Now cut the bottom 3" of your deodorant can, cut up some hot glue sticks, chuck 'em in there and melt them. Now your piston should be about 1/2 full with glue for reinforcement.

Drill a hole the size of your long bolt through the bottom of the can and through the glue, grab a washer that fits the bolt, put it on and then put your sealing face on the bolt with the washer on top.

Now thread the bolt through the hole in the cane and through the glue, it should come out on the other side, now find something thats soft and bouncy or rubbery as your bumper, this protects your tee from the piston breaking it when it fires back.

Put your bumper on the bolt and stick a washer on and then a nut, tighten the nut and thats your piston done.

In the picture below I had to seal the top of the sealing face because air leaked through the piston a bit.
The bottom of the piston in the picture is my bumper.

Step 4: Piston Housing Construction

Picture of Piston Housing Construction

Now you have two options:

1)Servicable piston housing(incase it breaks you can open it up)
2) Non serviceable piston housing(if it breaks your screwed)

I recommend the first option, now to achieve this you are going to need to cut a length of 2" Sch40 PVC pipe so it goes all the way inside the tee and hits the 'lip' inside the tee, now cut the pipe so it has about 7cm of pipe coming out of the tee, so the pipe would be around 15cm in total length.

With the 7cm of pipe coming out the back of the tee(which is your pilot btw) fit your end cap on it, if when fitted on there is still pipe visable between the end cap and tee, cut the piece of 2" pipe(the 15cm long one) so there is no pipe when the end cap is on fully.

Now with your end cap on, grab four screws that are long enough to go through the end cap and piece of pipe but still long enough the stop the piston when it moves back. So a screw thats about 3cm long should do.

Drill four holes evenly around the end cap and through the 2" pipe which its on, so you should have 4 holes, one at 12 o clock, one at 3, one at 6 and one a 9.

Now thread the screws in to make the threads in the pipe. Now remove the end cap, screws, 2" pipe, we will glue it later.

Step 5: Pilot Setup

Picture of Pilot Setup

Okay now you need your pilot valve and inlet valve.

The inlet valve you hook up to your air compressor, to fill the chamber up.

The pilot valve vents the 'pilot area' and actuates the piston which fires the gun. For this I recommend a 1/2" ball valve.

How you set this up is up to you but the basics what you need are:

1/2" Brass tee
1/2"-1/4" brass bushing
1/4" metal ball valve
1/4" quick connect(inlet valve)
1/2" metal ball valve.
1/2" brass nipple x 2

Using teflon tape thread one of the brass nipple in the bottom of the brass tee.

Still using teflon, thread the other nipple into one of the other ends of the brass tee, now thread your metal ball valve onto the other end of the nipple(this is your pilot valve).

Now teflon up your 1/2"-1/4" bushing and thread it in the final port of the brass tee, now thread your 1/4" ball valve in here and then your quick connect(this is because a QC doesnt have a valve and once disconnected will just let out air, the ball valve when shut will stop this)

Once everything is thread and working, drill a hole in your 2" end cap from the back of your piston housing. Thread the brass tee with the nipple into this and your set.

Step 6: Barrel Setup

Picture of Barrel Setup

When cementing and priming the barrel into the tee(which I will explain later) the barrel needs to extend through the bushing and into the tee like the picture below.

That pretty much explains it, you just need to modify the bushing so the barrel can extend through it.

Step 7: Putting It Together.

Picture of Putting It Together.


Drill a hole in your chamber for a pressure guage and thread it in and then....

Grab your chamber of 3" pipe, a 50" chamber will do.
Prime the pipe at one end, prime your 3" end cap, then glue the end of the chamber where the primer ios and do the same for the end cap. Stick it on and hold for 30sec.

Get one of your off-cuts of 3" pipe and prime and glue to the other end of the chamber so about 3" of pipe is still sticking out the end of the chamber, prime and glue your 3" 90* elbow onto this.

Prime and glue your 3"x2" bushing into the other end of the elbow, then prime and glue it to the bottom of the pisotn housing(tee)

Shove your 2"x1 1/2" bushing over your barrel so when the bushing is primed and glued into your tee the barrel should extend isnide the tee half way like in the picture in step 6.

Once you have sorted out this, prime and glue the bushing to your barrel, then prime and glue the bushing(with barrel on it) to the front of your tee.

Lube up your piston and isnide of the tee, chuck it in there and stick on the end cap which you are going to bolt one. DO NOT GLUE IT! Now that your end cap complete with pilot valve and etc out the back of it, is on your 2" pipe which is connected to the tee, line up the screw holes and screw them in.

Personally I use screws like this but with an allen key head in them:

Okay, thats everything I think, just wwait 24hours for it to dry and test it out. The piston will probably require either intense pumping from a bike pump or about 15psi from a compressor to seal, I can get mine to seal at 7PSI and shoot at 10psi.

I recommend not taking the gun over 130psi for safety reasons.

Step 8: The End....My Only Friend

Picture of The End....My Only Friend

That just about does it. Make sure you prime the pipe first then glue it using PVC solvent, just read the label on the back and you should be fine.

How you set up your piston is up to you, if you want it serviceable or not etc. Just drop into for more help.

If you hurt/injure/kill yourself/someone else, while making this pneumatic gun I am not liable. By using these instructions you are making this at your own risk. Make sure you know exactly what you are doing first.

Drop into and make sure you know what you're doing.

SGA Cannon:,p,100616.html#100616

Step 9: Time to Have Fun

Picture of Time to Have Fun

Now it's time to shoot some stuff.

Personal favourites:

Nothing(Distance shots)
Mounds of dirt/cliffs
sheet metal
anything you can find that isn't living.

Here's a video of me shooting a watermelon and a pumpkin with a basic golfball gun I made:


matt.stumpf.31 (author)2015-01-26

Are you willing to make one of these for me and sell it to me I need one that can shoot 450 at least name your price
Lmk 7276563358

Masher007 (author)2014-04-28

Danger: See link: This is not spam, but a warning. PVC will fail suddenly after a while. This was band member that hurt badly by a T-Shirt launcher explosion.

See the pictures and never use PVC to hold air, Please.

TorturdChaos (author)2011-07-11

A friend and I built one similar to this - using a sprinkler valve as a trigger tho. For a piston we used a piece of exhaust pipe with 2 round plats welded to each end. Used some sheets of gasket and such to make seals and bumpers for the ends.
We setup a ballistics pendulum to try to get a reading on the speed of a golf ball and after breaking several of them we finally got something around 700ft/sec for a muzzle velocity. Our measuring whole setup was overly accurate, but I willing to say were in +/- 60ft/sec, which still puts that golf ball going really freaken fast (something like 400-500MPH)

MrCrowley (author)TorturdChaos2011-07-11

I would have used to think 700fps was impressive but then I started building hybrids and now I'm shooting golfballs at around 1600fps :D

Pneumatics can be fun but don't even come close in power and usually cost the same to build as a hybrid.

danjo62 (author)2011-03-06

how much psi would you pump it up to if you wanted the golfball to shoot 400 yards like you said?

tomtortoise (author)2010-05-05

I was wondering what kind of can is the best for this like a specific brand or something. i was also wondering how much this costs about for a basic version?

MrCrowley (author)tomtortoise2010-05-05

Depends. Just go to a store and try different brands. Things are different in NZ (where im from) compared to the USA.

Same thing goes for the pricing. Check out my other instructables for better ideas such as a different way to make a piston.

In America I would guess this would cost you about $100USD for a basic version.

JamesTrick (author)MrCrowley2010-05-15

 I'm live in NZ and am just wondering what type of can you used. Or would a coke can work? 

MrCrowley (author)JamesTrick2010-05-15

Not sure, do you mean the new V sized coke cans? Possibly. Though I no longer recommend using them. You get far better performance if you just make your piston from wood, cut an o-ring groove and water treat the wood so it doesn't expand from moisture.

I made this cannon when I was quite inexperienced and only about 14 or 15.
If you have a better idea for a piston, go ahead and use it. Just remember that the piston has to be a pretty damn good fit.

If you have a 1mm gap around the piston between the piston and the piston housing wall (what the piston goes inside), that equals about 160mm^2 of area. If your piston is 6cm long, that's about 960ml's or 960mm^3 of volume that the pilot valve has to get rid off. If your pilot volume is too small, this area could fill up with air faster than the pilot valve can get rid of it. Which means all your air goes out your pilot volume and your piston doesn't open.

Your piston should fit nicely (always use vaseline or some lubricant) and shouldn't be too difficult to moven with a few pounds of force. If you can turn the cannon verticle and piston moves without any pushing, it is probably too loose.

Let me know how your cannon goes, i'll be glad to help so you don't mess things up and waste hundreds of dollars like I did. Remember to always buy pressure rated pipe as well! I wrote this article here about identifying pressure rated pipe, I specifically wrote a part on NZ/Aus pipe:


tomtortoise (author)MrCrowley2010-05-07

thanks. but also how do you attach the valves to the end cap on the back of the piston valve. i could use reducers to get it down to 1/2 inch but is there an easier way

MrCrowley (author)tomtortoise2010-05-07

Check out my other instructable.

audio8448 (author)2010-02-21

can you buy the 1.5" sdr21 pvc pipe at home depot or lowes?

imthatguy1125 (author)audio84482010-04-24


MrCrowley (author)imthatguy11252010-04-24

Depends where you live. Some lucky people have found it at their local stores.

imthatguy1125 (author)MrCrowley2010-04-25

 I can get mine locally but I have to go to a plumbers supply store, the have a giant scrap pile and sold me 8 feet for 75 cents

MrCrowley (author)audio84482010-02-21

no idea mate, we dont have them in NZ

Musicman41 (author)2010-04-01

I was trying to watch your animation, but I found it difficult to take in everything displayed.  It would be much better if you showed it in multiple pictures or had a button on the picture to advance the stages more slowly.  Just a suggestion. :)

Musicman41 (author)MrCrowley2010-04-15

Ah I see now.  That helps a lot!!  Thank You!

knex luver123 (author)2010-02-21

oops i said that in my friends login, he came over and we got on, he is cboyer123, so that was me.

cboyer123 (author)2010-02-21

no prob, now this was only at my local lowes, and your local lowes might not have the 1.5" sdr21 pvc piping, so dont get mad if it isn't there, but yes, only trustowes piping, my friend said his home depot one blew apart, so i built two of the same canoon (simple bal valve) with the same sch, and the home depot one blew up, and the lowes one owned, so i only trustlowes pipe.

audio8448 (author)2010-02-21

 thanks knex luver123! i have an air cannon that i should be able to make another barrel for using the sdr21 pipe

knex luver123 (author)2010-02-21

cuz iv dun it accesable with the deodereant one, and never needed yo acessit, and i think after 20 minutes i lose some air, and would like the maxikum amount of air for the bird removal.

knex luver123 (author)2010-02-21

oh and Mrcrowley, with the qwooden piston from your other cannon, do you still need the piston housing to be accessable?

knex luver123 (author)2010-02-21

audio8448, i foud it in my local lowes, and didn't really find what i wanted at all at home depot, and lowes piping is way better quality, if this will help at all.

knex luver123 (author)2010-02-20

i made it completily out of metal, and shoot it at 300 psi, and shot the ball, well i dont know, i never found the ball, but i am guessing around 600 yards. and then a custom (homemade lead slug) through 6 sheats of plywood!!!!!

pablorox (author)2010-01-08

How much did This gun cost?

bombmaker2 (author)2009-08-28

those poor melons

Kaiven (author)2008-08-20

im confused how this works. i wish you could make slightly better instructions, or more pictures of the inside.

it looks great, but i doubt i could make it right without better instructions. thats just how my brain works :/

akatsuki666 (author)Kaiven2009-07-23

use his otyher instructable same thing just ignore the cartoon on the other one

biggy smalls (author)Kaiven2008-11-27

i agree as well, shallow and pedantic

MrCrowley (author)biggy smalls2008-11-28

This was my first instructable and considering I had no construction pictures, just the final product, it was very difficult to write out so you could understand. Look at my other instructable, it's far better. They still lack detail because these are so easy to make I don't want 13 year old kids running around (or just using) cannons that can EASILY kill someone, when they have no clue to it's operation as they just followed step by step plans/ It's 'shallow and pedantic' for a reason, to save people. You guys just don't understand and i'm glad you don't as I wouldn' trust someone withone who doesn't know how to build it.

GBG77 (author)MrCrowley2009-06-05

Where can u find all of the materials????

Speedmite (author)MrCrowley2009-05-02

STEREOTYPER!!!!! I have never shot anyone with anything remotely dangerous excluding myself.

biggy smalls (author)MrCrowley2008-11-28

that was a reference to "family guy". but the point was that this instructable is not as easy to understand as the new one.

akatsuki666 (author)2009-07-23

no offence but this explains it much much better than ur other 1

imthatguy1125 (author)2009-07-21

thanks and those were before i had a whole lot of experience so i could of just done a bad job glueing them

Colonel88 (author)2009-07-02

I agree. The instructable is not so good, but the result is awesome. maybe better illustrations?

aflacgoose (author)2009-05-30

Amazing design!

Speedmite (author)2009-05-02

I read more and more of the comments, and I am shocked at gullible some people are. I am pretty sure this isnt the best instructions, no offense, and it might not be as good as MrCrowly's when you make it. Compare it to other thing in books and other sites to find the one to build that is right for you.

There are pneumatic and combustion cannons. Pneumatic cannons are safer and work up to 80 psi with my cannon. stronger PBC= more psi like 140. There are piston (like this one) and a much simpler valve one which there is no piston and one larger ball valve. I like the simple valve. and pneumatic.
Combustion are weaker at 15-30 psi, make a large boom and fire, and are more varied and simpler.

pneumatic is air pressure

coolpizzadude (author)2008-07-06

Will paint eat any chemicals in the pvc.

Speedmite (author)coolpizzadude2009-04-30

PBC isn't styrafoam. Big difference.

MrCrowley (author)coolpizzadude2008-07-06


imthatguy1125 (author)MrCrowley2009-04-06

well i have about 10 air gun i have painted 2 and those were 2 of the 3 that ev entually broke

Speedmite (author)2009-04-30

Simplify. Just put a single ball valve in and it works just fine. I can launch whole potatoes 250 ft with 60 PSI

sev17 (author)2009-04-30

this is my first instructable as a member, and its pretty sweet

SPRBEANERDAZD26 (author)2009-04-30

im berlye getting into this,well im tryinhg to mak a diffrent type of "pressure gun" but i also whant to make something like this ,id like ideas on how to release the air as fast as possable to get maxim release ,to get the object frther because by he time i pull the trriger its lost to much pressure

coppeis (author)2009-04-18

It can blow off a guys balls and nut sack clean off :D believe me I've tried and succeeded XD

raf34 (author)2008-05-28

does anybody know where to buy pvc so a golf ball fits in 1 1/2" the standard sch. 40 pvc is not large enough to house the golf ball

MrCrowley (author)raf342008-05-28

1.5" sdr 21 PVC does the trick. Do some bloody research before even attempting to build this.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love building things that shoot other things whether they be small plastic BBs or 135g steel ball bearings. If you need help with a ... More »
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