Awesome Tennis Ball Mortar

Introduction: Awesome Tennis Ball Mortar

About: I'm a 13 year old dude with a arduino obsession.

Do you have a lot of tennis balls lying around, do you have a like for ballistics. If so this is the project for you. My freind (WeaponsMaster10) and I built a tennis ball mortar, one thing i must say about it is I OWE ALL CREDIT TO THE BOOK OF BACKYARD BALLISTICS AND I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE TO ANY INJURYS CAUSED BY THIS DEVICE.

Step 1: Get Stuff

this is a relatively cheap weapon compared to the potato cannon. its only around 30$.

Stuff to buy

  1. Lighter fluid (the propellent) 5$
  2. 3 cans of Pringles (the body) 8$
  3. long matches or Barbecue igniter (the ignition) 5$ to 10$
  4. Lots of duct tape (one full role) 5$
  5. 4in sewer pipe (the same length of pringles put together about 29 to 30 in) 10$


  • Drill or Drill Press
  • files
  • tin snips
  • hack saw (not included in picture)
  • ruler

The stuff you need to buy totals around 30$ (relatively cheap)

Step 2: Mark Body of Gun

This step is simple. All you have to do is chose one Pringles can as base and mark one inch up from base. then you drill a 3/16 hole on your mark. This will be your ignition hole were you put your lighter.

Step 3: Baffles

Now take the other two Pringles cans and make the baffle the purpose of Baffles is to A) keep ball from going into combustion chamber. They should be about half of the bottom area. My circles were about 1 and 1/2 in. To make the baffle simply find the center of can. Then using a compass ,or just good judgement, mark your 1 and 1/2 in hole cutting this hole is tough but if you drill a lot of holes around the outside ring you can just pop it out later.

Step 4: Putting It Toghter

This is the most fun part DUCT TAPE! Duct tape the gun together and remember to make it at least 3 think layers. dont forget to solder in the Barbecue igniter if you are using one.

Step 5: Done!

Done go fire. to fire this awesome gun put A little less than half a teaspoon into top of gun swirl and try to get it all to go to the bottom. Next wait about 30 seconds to evaporate then tilt up like a mortar add the 4in sewer pipe as blast shield around outside and finial FIRE. it will be very loud so cover ears and don't shoot your self it is very powerful!

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    We made these as a kid using the older sturdier pre-aluminum soda cans. After much experimentation, the common design in our area used four cans. One was left intact with the pop top removed and a small (~1/4") hole punched in the side at the bottom. The rest were hollowed out, top and bottom. Enough lip was left on the top can to only allow the tennis ball to drop inside that can. As with your design they were joined with duct tape and the joints were reinforced with electrical tape. Then we just put in a small squirt of lighter fluid in the bottom hole and a small squirt in the top; followed by a vigorous shake to distribute the liquid. Then we popped the ball in the top and touched off the hole with a match. KABOOM!!... and the tennis ball would rocket ski-ward. This design was much sturdier and we never used a blast container (PVC). Dozens were made by the kids in my town and I never heard of a mishap. Alas, this type of can is long gone... but I have heard that there are certain spray cans (like WD40 and whipped cream) that are the proper size and just as strong or stronger. Might be a better, safer alternative to the Pringles design.


    4 years ago

    I forgot to add put less than half a teaspoon of lighter fluid