Introduction: NASH Air Gun / Cannon

Picture of NASH Air Gun / Cannon

I've had a small fire extinguisher sitting around for a while and since I have more I decided to turn it into an air cannon. The acronym stands for "Nerf Air Soft Homemade" since it can shoot Nerf darts, airsoft BBs, paper rockets (with plastic bottle fins!), and whatever else fits in that wonderful 1/2" barrel. 

Those of you who are older and have more sense in you can shoot AA batteries, but be aware: these can be lethal if they hit a person in certain places. NEVER EVER shoot at a person, animal, or something you don't want to damage!

That said, let's get started. Here's the shopping list (or parts list if you're like me and have a 30' trailer of pure plumbing parts ;-)

(1) Pressure Gauge: Make sure it measures from 0-100 PSI (or near there), has an air fill valve, and 3/4" threads on the bottom.
(1) 1/2" x 3/4" Brass / Iron Adapter (threaded of course)
(3) 1/2" Brass / Iron Nipples (about 2" - 4" long, doesn't matter)
(1) 1/2" Brass / Iron Tee
(1) 1/2" PVC Male Adapter
(1) 1/2" Ball Valve (metal, threaded ends)
(1) Small Fire Extinguisher

That's it! On to the build...

Step 1: Disassemble the Extinguisher

Picture of Disassemble the Extinguisher

Go outside, pull that pin, and enjoy emptying the extinguisher. Or have a weenie roast and then put out the fire with it. Either way, make sure it is completely empty.

Now depending on your extinguisher, you'll have to figure out how to unscrew the top from the tank. Mine had a metal label with a tab that I secured in a vise and then I used a wrench to loosen it. Turns out the one I have wasn't that tight. Not sure if they are all that way, but take courage! It will come off!

You can use a crescent wrench or channel locks on this guy.

Step 2: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

For those of you who don't have a relative who is a plumber, I'll go over the basics of assembling iron pipe.

Take the sealing tape and wrap it around the threads as shown. Read the comment on the image too :-)

After 3-4 wraps you can just hold the tape on the pipe and snap the rest off (the tape on the roll). Now take some of that pipe-thread compound (we plumbers call it something else but it could give people the wrong impression... ok, ok, we call it dope :-) and lightly coat the taped area with it.

Now take a couple of wrenches (channel locks or crescent, heck even a small pipe wrench ;-) and tighten it up! Make sure it is in there pretty good. The nice thing with iron pipe and brass is that if it started leaking at a joint, you can just tighten it.

Now assemble the rest of the gun using the pictures.

I'd assemble it in these groups:

1. Extinguisher, nipple, tee.
2. Air Gauge, reducer, nipple.
3. Nipple, ball valve.

And then screw assemblies 2 and 3 into the other ends of the Tee as shown. Lastly, attach your barrel/attachment of choice.

Step 3: Testing and Firing

Picture of Testing and Firing
Now that it's built, it's time to test it! Take it outside (preferably) and pump it up to 30 PSI. Listen for any leaks and tighten any joints that are leaking (make sure there aren't any cracks).

If there aren't any leaks you're all clear. Load a dart in the barrel by removing the barrel and putting it in the back end (breach loader or box magazine coming later), put the barrel back on and fire!

I'll repeat myself for all ye builders, do not pressurize over 100 PSI!!!

Here's a video of a AA battery being shot at 100PSI. Video quality isn't that great, sorry about that...

Have fun, be safe, comment, and check back for updates:

- Breach loading barrel
- Box magazine barrel
- Gun-Mounted Pump
- And more!


Step 4: Add-Ons and Extras

Picture of Add-Ons and Extras

Since I made this 'ible, I have modified my NASH gun. Here's some pics and what not so enjoy! Maybe it'll give you some ideas on how to take it to the next level!

The "scope" was from a cheapo airsoft gun, and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. As always, if you have any questions, comment!


KRAYS made it! (author)2015-01-09

hey bro.. Made this a few days ago im trying to post a picture of it but its not working ill try again. My air gun shoots 5mm Bmx ball bearings. I used a 1 lbs fire extinguisher bottle and what a surprise mine did the samenthing un screwed easily as yours did lol.

godoggie (author)KRAYS2016-05-21

A year late, but I never saw a notification for the comment :-( Looks awesome, diggin' the paint job!

the modder (author)2017-07-31

cool idea why dont use the tap that came with

KRAYS (author)2015-01-08

I made one of this will post a short tutorial.. and photos.. later

MetalworkingMaster123 (author)2014-10-11

I am making this. My fire extinguisher has different threads, but I have an adaptor. This is really cool. I will have a female air compressor quick disconnect for faster filling.

HowToBen (author)2014-08-30

I made mine entirely out of scrap pipe lying around. I did buy the fire extinguisher. I found my extinguisher has 3/4 inch female flare threads.

godoggie (author)HowToBen2014-08-30

Very awesome! Got a pic?

HowToBen (author)2014-08-24

My cannon is rated to 13.8 bar (200 psi)

tdimare (author)2014-06-22

could you use a solenoid valve instead of a ball valve? Or does it not make a difference?

godoggie (author)tdimare2014-06-22

Yes, a solenoid valve would make it release the air pressure faster; if it would shoot further I'm not sure, but theoretically I would think so :)

forge tech (author)2014-03-12

where would i put the end of the bike pump on the nash gun? do i just take off the pvc bits and put it on the end of the valve r what? thnx

godoggie (author)forge tech2014-03-12

Hi forge tech,

The end of the bike pump connects to the fill adapter on the gauge. With the firing valve closed, you can pump it to the necessary pressure and then disconnect the pump from the gauge fill valve.

Make sense?


megarobotdude (author)2014-01-31

I built one but couldn't find a pressure gauge like his so i put another tee on with the air fill valve and pressure gauge separate.

tazautoM89 (author)2014-01-17

How wide was your extinguisher hole

godoggie (author)2013-05-11

I know how but haven't yet, I've made a couple of gas cannons that shoot spuds though. Pleasure's mine :)

Shreddi (author)2013-05-11

Ever use as a potatoe gun? STick barrel into potato and break off a plug in end? Thanks much for sharing this.

Ghostsniper1979 (author)2012-01-18

it does but i fail to see the Nipple for filling, can you explain where it is
thats a funking sweet design by the way,


godoggie (author)Ghostsniper19792012-05-21

Thanks AJ! Yep that is correct. You might have to do some looking around for a pressure gauge that has the fill valve integrated. Otherwise you can go to ACE hardware and get a fill valve for $0.99 and an adapter fitting that goes from the valve to your pipe size.

In this design it is at the base of the pressure gauge; its that little metal but that sticks out to the side. You may have gotten a pressure gauge that didn't have one, but that isn't that incredibly hard to fix: you can either get a new gauge altogether or just get a new fill valve to attach at another spot (you will need another 'T' piece too, and perhaps some more pipe for this).

sjoobbani (author)2012-01-23

I recentely made a fire extinguisher air cannon, but then I realized there might be instructables about it! so I checked, and I noticed that none of them use the existing fire exinguisher valve?!
WHY NOT?!?!?!!
My entinguisher's rated to 595PSI, so basically, I pressurize it
and unscrew the 'stock' nozzle, and screw on a barrel that has a T on it for "auto feed" so It's kind of full auto..

sjoobbani (author)sjoobbani2012-02-14

Sorry it took me such a long time to reply!!! I"ve changed up my design!
I didn't really like the 'auto feed' thing I had going on with the T, so I have a 'deep socket coupling' attached.

godoggie (author)sjoobbani2012-02-14

Hey looks nice, I like it. I hadn't thought about using a 1/2" m.a. as an adapter... Thanks for the pics!

sjoobbani (author)godoggie2012-02-22

The trick is, taking your extinguisher into a hardware store, and trying to see which fittings fit the best. I added some JB WELD to it later on to make sure it's solid (like you can see on my pressurizing adaptor) but when I took the picture, it was just pushed down in there!

godoggie (author)sjoobbani2012-01-24

Adapting the nozzle to 1/2" PVC pipe can be a pain if you want to do it nicely. Sure you can ghetto something on, but that's not my style. If you unscrew the nozzle, most of them have 3/8" or so MECHANICAL threads, not PIPE threads, so you can't adapt it to 1/2" anything.

I'd like to see a picture of it just for kicks, it sounds pretty cool :)


Ghostsniper1979 (author)2012-01-17

how are you pressurising the tank?

godoggie (author)Ghostsniper19792012-01-18

With a bicycle pump, but you can use an air compressor too. Does that answer your question?

stevenh429 (author)2011-10-23

and where would i get the pressure gauge like that?

godoggie (author)stevenh4292011-10-23

ACE Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, most anywhere... Just make sure it goes from 0-100 PSI or so. I'm assuming you live in the US, but if not a plumbing supply or hardware store should get what you need...


stevenh429 (author)godoggie2011-10-27

Yes, i live in the u.s. , I go to home depot...
but where would I get the pressure gauge with the valve like that?

godoggie (author)stevenh4292011-10-28

Well I got mine from a plumbing supply company, but if you don't have one around (probably not as they can be few and far between), you might look at trying eBay... I'm not a huge eBay guy, but they might be your best bet as I've been looking online and haven't been able to find many gauges with fill valves. I'll check at my local ACE and see if they carry it (their online store is garbage). I'll keep my eyes out and let you know.

I'm really spoiled because I have a 10' x 30' trailer full of plumbing parts ;-)


stevenh429 (author)2011-10-23

This is THE best instructable ever.
PS, what brand is that fire extinguisher and what kind?

godoggie (author)stevenh4292011-10-23

I don't have the tag but I'm assuming it's a "General" brand, of the Quick-Aid variety. Not that that makes any sense, but any general purpose should do. ABC or anything tested to 300 PSI should work just fine :-)

And thanks, glad you like it!


sithlil (author)2011-09-08

how far do u think it shoots?

godoggie (author)sithlil2011-09-19

Well I shot a AA battery about 100 yards @ 100PSI, with other types of ammo it varies. If you use it as a Nerf shotgun, you won't want to pressurize that high.

didgitalpunk (author)godoggie2011-10-06

true it would just be stupid to have written on your friend's death testament "killed by a nerf dart" XD

godoggie (author)didgitalpunk2011-10-06

Haha yeah. And have a Felony as a result of "a nerf dart murder"... lol

hifatpeople (author)2011-08-31


godoggie (author)hifatpeople2011-08-31

Thanks I'm glad you find it cool too! It's always nice to know that people do indeed read my ible's :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a inventor, hacker (not a cracker!), lover of my free electrical and parts supplier, etc. I don't normally write bios, so you ... More »
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