The Can Cannon is officially back in action thanks to a recent Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, BATF or ATF decision. The X-Products Can Cannon, introduced two years ago, was pulled from the market late last year after the ATF classified the AR-15 accessory as “any other weapon” or AOW.
Literally a can launcher, the wide-mouthed upper uses 5.56 rifle blank rounds as a propellant to blast soda cans across the sky, at distances up to and over 100 yards away. It is the very definition of a “range toy” and it’s last-hour reclassification as an NFA-regulated upper confused and upset gun owners everywhere.
Thankfully all that is in the past. X-Products posted an ATF clearing their updated Can Cannon design as not a firearm thanks to a couple of small changes they told GunsAmerica.com were in the works back in September of 2015.
See Also: Exclusive Interview: ATF Bans Can Cannon
“The Can Cannon has been officially acquitted by the BATF and is not considered a short barrel shotgun, short barrel rifle, or any other weapon when installing it on an AR-15 lower receiver,” said X-Products in their short and sweet announcement. “Our new design restores the Can Cannon back to the status of “not a firearm” and ‘not a destructive device’ in the eyes of the law.”
The ATF determined that the new sample doesn’t construct any type of firearm, NFA-regulated or otherwise, if installed on an AR-15-pattern rifle or pistol.
“As a part of this device, we noted the muzzle portion of the barrel portion is welded to prevent a projectile from passing through,” stated the ATF. They also noted the “metal blocking bar welded in the forward portion of the chamber, to prevent the chambering of a commercially-available .223 Remington cartridge.”
The redesigned “gas port” is available as a free upgrade for all existing Can Cannon owners. If you have a Can Cannon and would like the upgrade–which is necessary to use without a tax stamp in most cases–head over to the X-Products “Legalize My Can Cannon” website.
X-Products will replace gas ports on a one-for-one basis. “The only part that requires replacement is the actual gas port which is located inside the barrel,” explains the exchange program website. “Simply unscrew the barrel from the upper receiver and pull the gas port from the upper receiver.
Turnaround time for ATF-approved gas ports is expected to be around two to three weeks.
In the interim X-Products has been working on expanding the utility of the launcher with their soon-to-be-released grappling hook. The company just posted this sneak peek of the Can Cannon Grappling Hook in action.
With this slick little accessory, the Can Cannon is not only a great range toy, it can be a versatile little utility launcher as well. The can-sized grappler tows a rope as it flies to its target, deploying four spring-loaded hooks as soon as it pops out of the Can Cannon tube. The grappler is propelled by blanks just like cans, with a round pusher plate at the bottom.
Now that the Can Cannon has the green light for the second time, we’re sure to see more fun and utility payloads developed for the entertaining launcher.