View Full Version : COnsidering making my own shot gun cannon

October 6, 2007, 12:25 PM
I want to make a small cannon that shoot shotgun shells. I have access to a pretty ballsy lathe as well as CNC machines and some nice lathes. I don't want this to be a class III weapon though so I was wondering, is the 16" (or was it 14") barrel rule of a shotgun from the end of the shell, or beginning of the shell? I want this to be as compact as possible while being within the rules of the law. If there are any other federal laws I would run into or any advice you have to offer I am certainly listening.

My plan was to basically buy a single shot shotgun take off the hammer/firing mechanisms and replace the trigger with a pull string.

Also Any advice as to what to make this out of? I was planning on firing .410 shells and don't know what barrels are made out of so i figured chromoly (4140 or 4340) would do nicely, if I can use a lesser material a without significant wear or need for a lined barrel let me know. This is mostly a conversational/occasionally show my friends piece, and a do it just cause I can piece.

October 6, 2007, 02:26 PM
I don't want this to be a class III weapon

In that case, the barrel must be at least 18", measured from the breechface to the muzzle, and the overall length of the gun needs to be at least 26".

Most people add an extra .25" or .5" to these numbers "just in case".

The Tourist
October 6, 2007, 03:09 PM
In all seriousness, get a government official to get you the regs. It's nice to debate here, but there are many possible legal issues at stake, and you have no guarantee that folks here are who they say they are.

There are just some things that need to be verified, and the idea of manufacturing any firearm should set off red flags in your head.

Handcuffed in a squad-rod is a lousy time to exclaim that you read things in a forum.

October 6, 2007, 04:01 PM
I sent the BATF an email.

The Tourist
October 6, 2007, 04:35 PM
KyleH, good idea.

I sure would like to see some pics when this project reaches completion.

David Hineline
October 7, 2007, 02:56 AM
If you want a cannon then make it black powder and there are no regs.

A .410 shotgun would have to be 18" barrel and 26" overall so what you are building would be giant and just as large as a shotgun.

October 7, 2007, 09:56 AM
I may build a black powder one thats small and shoots .177 air pellets or .22 rounds first simply because it would be very easy, .177 is a # drill size. But it wouldn't be as cool as an actual functioning shotgun. It will never matter how fast they make the new Corvette, it will never be a Ferrari even if it out performs it in every way.

3 weelin geezer
October 8, 2007, 09:58 AM
Why take apart a shotgun? Just tie it on whatever you want as a base and use it like that. You take it apart and assemble it on that stand, and it will look very much like a shotgun mounted on a stand with a pull string on the trigger. It won't look anything like a cannon. Then you feel foolish.:o Imagination is a great thing till you realise thats all it is.

BTW, Atf is going to respond to your email to send in a snail mail clarification because they don't do it by email. Its so anonymous. It would be easier as I have gotten them to simply answer the question but, they like paper. They like to feel it. They like to write on it. They like to fold it. And they like to put it in a paper envelope to write upon that and lick a stamp (delicious!) and bog down the US mail with more junk to transport.