Pnuematic Pocket Football Cannon


Introduction: Pnuematic Pocket Football Cannon

This instructable is an air cannon that fires nerf pocket footballs at 145psi up to 450 yards. For is simplicity i think this is one of the best high powered air cannons on instuctables. If your wondering why i didn't usea sprinkler valve its because it doesnt release the volume of air a ball valve does and i didn't feel like spending $60 on a 2 inch sprinkler valve. All the pipe i used was pressure rated to 250 psi and up. The valve being the acception it was rated to 165 psi. I am making a pnuematic ram to turn the ball valve very quickly.

Step 1: Collect What You Need

To start buy the following as seen in the image below.

Step 2: Dry Fit Your Cannon

dry fit your cannon to make sure everything fits together right, as in the image below. The wooden thing in between the barrel and the chamber is a spacer I cut out with a zipsaw to keep the barrel and the chamber apart. I put on a large hose clamp later

Step 3: Glue Together

Glue the assembly together using pvc glue be sure to prime it with pvc primer do not use abs glue or other types of glue they will not hold it together as well as pvc glue will and may fail. I use oatey rain or shine it works very well.

Step 4: Now Fire!!!!!!

At 145 psi this will go 1/4 of a mile or more. I fire nerf pocket footballs as seen below the 2 inch barrel also fits billiard balls perfectly but those are more dangerous so be careful. you may have to cut the wings ends a little bit to fit it in the barrel but once you fire it, it will fly out of sight very quickly. at only 35 psi I have gotten distances of 250 yards.

Be careful this is not a toy I am not responsible for any idiot who overpressurises it and kills or seriously injures themselves or others or damages property by using it in the wrong place or at the wrong time.



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    65 Discussions

    Make sure your pipe says NSF-pw and has as pressure rating (for example, 330 psi will be printed on the pipe) Also, 180 degree elbows are for sewers, not for pressure. The bend in the sewer under the sink is where this fitting is used. The adapter and cap are not pressure rated either.

    I have built one of these a while back, it is awesome

    do you mind if I use the concept for an instructable to make a nerf gun the same way? (i will link it to this instructable)

    what type of tire vale did you use and where did you get it from? also what sealant did you use on the valve to keep it air tight?

    1 reply

    I used a tank valve. It is supposed to go on a portable air tank. Drill a 3/8 hole where you want to and wrap the threads with teflon tape. I got mine at the auto parts store but major DIY home improvement stores should have them in the pneumatic tool section.

    I have built this cannon.  The only thing different is that I used a brass ball valve with a large handle that lets me "throw" the valve open very quickly.  I also have made interchangeable barrels.  For golf balls I used 1.5 inch SDR 21 Sch. 40 PVC.  For foam "mini footballs"  I used 3 inch Sch. 40 PVC.  I also have a 2 inch barrel for the "nerf" pocket football but I have never used it for fear of losing the only one I have.  This cannon is VERY powerful!!!  At only 100 psi I can puncture my METAL wheel barrel with a golf ball  from about 30 or 35 feet.  The only cons (which are very insignificant) is that the darn thing is rather heavy and it takes a while to pressurize up. 

    there are pressure rated bell reducers, however i was naive and younger when i built this gun and didn't know the dangers of using no pressure rated fittings. the reason people suggest not using them is because of their reduced socket depth(area where pipe can solvent weld to fitting) not because of how thick they are, if you traffic spudfiles a test was done a while back that proved that bell reducers could take as much shock and pressure as "pressure rated" fittings of the same size

    i will be making an instructable on a medium size piston gun next, it will be in 2" so people will be less likely to get non pressure rated "pipe" where the real danger lies

    would it be a bad idea to drill a hole in the air reservoir and stick a pressure gauge in it?? really sweet gun btw. roughly how much for all the materials??

    1 reply

    it would probably compromise the pressure rating (blow up?) you could make a metal valve extension, but most compressors, or bike pumps already have a gauge on them

    sorry I haven't been on Instructables in a while I got it from a local place called Wilson's plumbing supply I have moved on since I made this cannon my new ones are much more powerful and advanced

    hey! i finally got all the materials (and consent form my parents) and just built it last night evry body was thinking like 2 ft. and it wasnt gonna work but we were all amazed at how far it went it is an awesome gun!!