ATF Approves Modified X-Products Can Cannon: No Longer a NFA Weapon


As we reported last year, the the ATF had declared the X-Products Can Cannon an “Any Other Weapon” thereby making it a restricted item under the National Firearms Act. The main point of contention: the chamber which contained the blank cartridge had an opening at the front. The ATF determined that this small opening made the item a “firearm.” X-Products has since fixed this with a permanently welded block. The good news: the ATF sticklers now seem pleased enough to allow the company to continue selling the item without NFA paperwork. From the website . . .

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. 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.

In honor of the Can Cannon’s street legal status we will be raffling away 5 new BATF Approved Can Cannons to customers who make purchases during our Tax Day Sale April 4/15 through 4/18. Winners will be announced on 4/22.

The full ATF letter is available on X-Products’ website. Expect to see the Can Cannon in action once again at the 2016 Texas Firearms Festival this October [click here for tickets]. Want?


  1. avatar wrightl3 says:

    Only the atf would call this a gun.

    1. avatar CHS says:

      Given the fact that it could chamber and fire a standard 5.56 cartridge, I would call it a gun too.

      1. avatar Kalroy says:

        I don’t think that’s correct. I believe the chamber could ONLY chamber blanks, and not take a 223 or 556 full length round.

        1. avatar CHS says:

          The ENTIRE REASON the ATF declared that the use of a Can Cannon would lead to creating an AOW (They didn’t actually declare the can cannon itself an AOW) was because the internal barrel and chamber COULD in fact chamber and fire regular 5.56 ammo.

          The internal barrel stub was bored all the way through and a set-screw was installed in the muzzle-end to stop a bullet. If you removed that set-screw, it could fire a standard 5.56 round. I’ve taken apart the can cannon and looked at it pretty closely. It’s pretty clear that they can fire regular 5.56 if you wanted them to.

          That’s why they’re now welding the ends shut to comply with the ATF.

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Yeah. Since the internal barrel part was only a few inches long and the external shroud “cup” that the can goes in is easily removed (plus only 11.5″ long anyway), the fact that it could chamber and fire a standard .223 round meant it was an NFA item due to the shorty barrel. There are further details that explain why it fell into specific NFA categories rather than others and why it was NFA even on a “pistol” lower receiver, but the important fact is that it would fire a normal .223 round and can be easily made to allow the projectile out the muzzle and the barrel was under the legal minimum necessary to prevent it from the purview of the NFA. So, yes, it really was an NFA item when assembled on a lower receiver.

        3. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

          Could be modified…anyone notice the disturbing trend wherein the .gov decides that legal compliance needs to be criminalized in certain instances?

          I don’t mean criminalizing new things, l mean criminalizing deliberate attempts to behave legally.

      2. avatar Robert B says:

        OMG! No. The Can Cannon cannot fire 5.56 rounds. It GOES ON YOUR EXISTING AR-15! You’ve already bought the AR-15, and gone through the paperwork and background checks. It’s just an add-on to the lower receiver that replaces the barrel and upper receiver. If an upper receiver is not considered a firearm, then why would this be? careful, an AR-15 can chamber and fire 5.56 rounds! Scary!

  2. avatar Mk10108 says:

    First time some jackass launched a explosive device, they will reverse their decision.

    1. avatar Silo says:

      Meh, cheaper, easier and more distance from an old fashioned spud gun….

      They havent banned them yet have they???

    2. avatar Jim says:

      Actually, under the NFA grenade launchers aren’t destructive devices but the grenades are. So using the Can Cannon as a launcher shouldn’t change that.

      Of course. Never say never with the ATF

      1. avatar Elvis says:

        Actually, under the NFA, grenade launchers ARE destructive devices, and the grenades are too if they are the explodey kind.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          I think the only reason this isn’t is because the charge and the projectile are separate units — a blank cartridge and a can or tennis ball or t-shirt or whatever. If X-Products had created an ammunition where the can was contained in a cartridge with the propellant and you chambered it as a single unit, it would be a DD. Or then again it may well be the muzzle loading of the projectile vs. breech loading of it that creates the exemption here. Ehhh whatever. But in most cases if you’re putting a self-contained cartridge into a gun and it has a bore of larger than .50 caliber then it’s a destructive device. Exemptions for shotguns and for one or both of the reasons previously mentioned.

      2. avatar Dan says:

        Yeah, let me just go to the LMT website and order an M203. Oh wait, I can’t without a cuckstamp because grenade launchers are DDs.

  3. avatar Geoffrey Hoffman says:

    So does this mean old ones are still AOW, but new ones are safe?

    1. avatar Geoffrey Hoffman says:

      Found the answer on their page:

      “Stay Tuned, we will be announcing a part swap program for our existing Can Cannon customers shortly!”

  4. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    I will shoot this in October.

  5. avatar notalima says:

    Just a heads up: Their Tax Day sale (15% off sale 15th-18th) does not seem to be working.

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Just got off the phone with them. The sale does not apply to the CC as they are just starting to build the new specification.

      Thanks, Dewey! (In case anyone from Xproducts wanders through)

  6. avatar wrightl3 says:

    You might be a bloated government agency if…

    1. avatar MurrDog says:

      You exist.

      1. avatar Anner says:

        Haha, I chuckled

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    Thanks to the ATF, we can all sleep soundly at night. Way to go, ATF! You saved us from a Can Cannon.

    I guess that you needed something to do once Fast & Furious was exposed.

  8. avatar Abram G says:

    Despite the BATFE’s nitpicking, I’m still chalking this up as good news. Now all I need is spare cash for a scary black rifle…

  9. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I almost died laughing when I saw that sight on it. Is somebody kidding? I shot that suckah at TFF 2 years back, there were roughly 3 million soda cans strewn about by then, and the guy said somebody hit the (enormous) target *once*. The can follows an arc reminiscent of what you’d see if you threw the can as far as you could. A working sight for such should noticeably pitch down about 45 degrees from the centerline of the gun. A lobbing sight. I very nearly bought one, if I’d known I was subverting the government by purchasing unregistered NFA “weapons” (boy, is that a joke!), I probably would have.

    1. avatar Paladin says:

      Seems an M203 sight could conceivably be made to work.

  10. avatar Dave says:

    This is so stupid. Anything nefarious that you can do with the can cannon can also be done with a shotgun and a wooden dowel with a DD attached to the end of it.

    It was shown in the Anarchist Cookbook, and some bankrobbers in CA did exactly this with some Molotov cocktails to keep the cops at bay.

    The ATF really is a waste of tax dollars and oxygen.

  11. avatar jjimmyjonga says:

    Boy, how about we just make it illegal to hurt an innocent person, or threaten to hurt an innocent, with any kind of weapon and if you do break those laws, you go to jail, maybe for a real long time if bad enough… and call it good.

    1. avatar Paladin says:

      If we did that then politicians would have nothing to do all day. They’ve gotta justify their existence or people will stop voting for them!

  12. avatar Wrightl3 says:

    We can all sleep peacefully in our beds knowing that idiots stand ready to protect us from non existent threats.

  13. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

    “The main point of contention: the chamber which contained the blank cartridge had an opening at the front. The ATF determined that this small opening made the item a “firearm.” X-Products has since fixed this with a permanently welded block.”
    Wait…. So if there is no passage from the chamber to the barrel how do the gasses expell the can?

    1. avatar Paul says:


  14. avatar Libertarian says:

    This looks still the part of problem

    Where anti-personnel rounds are to be fired from a 37 mm launcher, the launcher must be registered with the BATFE as a destructive device. Possession of a destructive device is also restricted or banned by some local and state laws. The specific wording of the BATFE rule is:

    Enjoy 0,1% of federal branch ,,,,,,,,,,

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