Building a Solenoid-Triggered Air Cannon

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by Brian Brushwood & Jason Murphy

Earlier this year, we attempted to make an improvised tank. And by that we mean we built a potato cannon, stuck it on a tripod, and mounted it to Brian’s Jeep with tape. Sure, that doesn’t sound very high tech, but it looked pretty cool and allowed us to make short work of our imaginary adversary.


OK, it wasn’t “short work,” but it was still rad as hell.

As badass as it was, there were obviously limitations in terms of ... well, reliability. We really didn’t know when or if it was going to fire at any given moment, which in terms of weaponry is what experts call “less than ideal” or “sucky,” especially if you’re dealing with a hostile alien takeover. And we can probably all agree an invasion is definitely in our future, and that a spud gun is absolutely the best tool of choice for combating such a scenario.

Many of our viewers suggested looking into a pneumatic cannon, which solves the reliability issue since you’re not dealing with the inherent unpredictability of how gas and air combine to create the explosion needed to launch death via potato. And because we’re obviously novices at this, we enlisted the help of Evan and Katelyn to show us how to put one of these things together.

The results were pretty damn incredible, convincing us that this is definitely the cannon we need to defend our planet. At least if we don’t take Brian’s approach and simply succumb to our new extraterrestrial overlords.


Like this video? Check out “5 DIY Weapons That Are Completely Insane” and “How To Turn Your Home Into A Badass Rogue Lair”.

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Editor’s note: Sorry for the recent slump in articles. Here’s why that happened. We’ll be back up to speed next week.

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