Picture of Casing Cannon
This instructable will show you how to make a cannon, but not just any cannon, a mini cannon.


I will not show you how to make the stand for the cannon because I don't think most of you have a pair of skis lying around. I also dont believe you have a trumpet you can take the keys off of. I WILL encourage you to make your own stand. I Just happend to live near a junk yard full of this stuff.

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Step 1: Finding a bullet casing (or two)

Picture of Finding a bullet casing (or two)
First of all you will need a bullet casing. I used a .303 but that was because I had lots of them. I suggest EXTREMeLY that you shoot the bullet (at a rifle range) to get the casing. In fact I could not advise it more. My great uncle (my father's uncle) once tried to get a bullet out of its casing by smashing it with a hammer, in doing this he succeeded but also shot himself in the leg...

I say find a bullet casing or two because you might mess up and need to try again.

Step 2: Getting the gun powder

Picture of Getting the gun powder
There are many ways of getting gunpowder. You can make it (there are instructables on that), you can buy it, and you can take it out of a shotgun shell (thats what I did). If you decide to take it out of a shotgun shell, which is what I would expect most of you to do because I am pretty sure many of you who have a gun also have a shotgun, and therefore you probably have shotgun shells.

Step 3: Other things you will need

Picture of other things you will need
Of course you need a bullet casing and gunpowder, but there are other things you will need...

~ A drill
~ A 1/8 inch metal drill bit (or around that size)
~ A Toothpick
~ "strike anywhere matches"
~ Saftey glasses
~ Fuse (optional)
explocivo122 months ago

I have an old trumpet and like 5 pairs of skies. that i used when i was like 4-9

Colonel885 years ago
Theoretically, you could also get tiny amounts of gunpowder by taking apart those 8 ring pop caps. They're pretty cheap here in NJ like 9 rings for a dollah.

um they put a mix of potassium clorate and red phosphorus, ur better off going with strike anyware matches. I use a magnesium, match mix.

You'd NEVER get enough...just get a can of FFFg Or FFFFg black powder or pyrodex... LITTLE bit, like, 10 grains TOPS.

(Gotta love muzzleloading..traditional-style...I have all this stuff already!)
They do not contain gunpowder they contain the very sensitive powder; Armstrong's mix.  Don't mess with it unless you know what your doing.
Si Armstrong's Mix is basically gunpowder which ignites when you strike it? So then it would make a good pre-lighting powder, for example, you put primer, some of Armstrong Mix, and then gunpowder. The Mix should help the gunpowder catch on fire.
Armstrongs's Mix is a high explosive that means it detonates rather than deflagrates which causes it to have unsuitable brisance for a cannon.
Also if you want a primer for gunpowder it would work relatively well, that and lead styphnate.

I made one with a 270 shell and fires with the firecrackers found in party popper

Nipple pick :P (For real!)
Stephen D. Alverez (author) 5 years ago
 I don't see your point, are you saying that I use the wrong kind of powder, or are you just not saying anything at all?
just that bp burns faster so more boom
Plus, Black is more heat-sensitive... I'd go with the finest (FFFFg, or 4F granulation) or second finest (3Fg) powder...
Holden_vy_s5 years ago
This is AWESOME. Wish i had a few casings laying around, got a few .50 BMG but they are too big IMO. Maybe you could use the little white stuff out of caps (For cap guns) as fuses, instead of using a little extra powder on top.
Too big? NAH!!! hella bb's comin' out'a that thing, shotgun-style!
really cool but I live in a place guns (and bullets) are banned, where could I buy or find one (bullet casing)

at gander mountin you can buy reloading brass and i know australia has a gun ban
umm, I live in canada and sooooo yeah.
Stephen D. Alverez (author) 4 years ago
WARNING: I know I said to be careful, but I just got a first hand look at how dangerous this really is. I was making a bullet for a PVC cannon/gun that uses gun powder. Since I had all those shotgun shells lying around, with the primer caps still in them, I thought It was a good Idea to use those as the primer. So I fitted the bullet around the shell and (extreme stupidity in play) slammed the primer cap with a nail. The resulting blast could have costed me my hearing and my hand, luckily I can still type and use my ears.

This is VERY important, and I think I may take this instructable down because of the danger, sorry.
erie945504 years ago
If you add like 2 espresso spoons of gun powder it sounds like a cannon
pinkhairkid5 years ago
quick stand:
take a piece of scrap 2x4, attach one side of a long hinge to it, put a small wood screw under the part of the hinge that is not screwed down, and tape your cannon to said part of hinge.  you can adjust the trajectory by turning the screw.
you used smokeless powder black powder is better.
JAKEjones15 years ago
pretty sweet. im going to make a mini AA gun out of one. and as im making mine i just will cut the fuses out of Black-Cats and Water Dinomites (the red version of a black cat that has a green fuse and takes more time to pop and is somewhat water proof) so that way ill have some decent fuses for lighting it and wont have to worry about a match.
Stephen D. Alverez (author)  JAKEjones15 years ago
Show me when your done!
erie945505 years ago
I tried adding a bb for ammo and it didn't work lol The end of the shell gets smaller so it bounces out and the gun powder blows up in your face.
Stephen D. Alverez (author)  erie945505 years ago
That happens to me too. but if you try putting lots of little bits of cotten ball and shoving that in the barrel you can get a pop as loud as a bullet! (or thats what happened to me. tissue paper gets stuck in the barrel and is really anoying to get out.
oh and if you put in the gunpowder then lots and lots of cottenball bits then even more gunpowder then another cannon ball it makes your ears ring and if you film it you can see the shock wave on slowmo!
erie945505 years ago
I just made one and it works great :)