BREAKING: ATF Declares Soda Can Launcher an AOW, All Owners Now Possibly Felons


X Products came out with a nifty little device a while back that uses blank 5.56 NATO cartridges to launch soda cans through the air. It was a really cool and fun concept, and we’ve had a blast using it. Apparently the ATF has caught wind of this little ray of fun and sunshine and decided that it must be stamped out at all costs. X Products received a love note from the firearms regulators the other day stating that their product is now considered an “Any Other Weapon,” an item which is highly regulated under the National Firearms Act. The hyper-regulatory brainiacs consider the can luncher a “shotgun” meaning your SBR tax stamp won’t cut the mustard here. In short, anyone who owns one of these things without paying the tax stamp for the privilege may be a felon in the eyes of the ATF. Here’s the letter from X Products . . .

Dear Customers,

We recently received a complete evaluation from the [ATF] on the legal status of the Can Cannon dated: August 26th, Received September 11, 2015. The evaluation of the Can Cannon as currently produced is in and of itself not a firearm and not controlled, however when placed on a rifle receiver is considered a (SBR) short barrel rifle, and when placed on a pistol (AOW) any other weapon.

We are submitting a revised design to address the issues in the [ATF]’s determination letter. We will update our customers throughout this process.

For any questions or inquiries about this matter, please email [email protected]

A copy of the determination letter will be available on our site shortly.

Best Regards,

X Products LLC

(As posted on their Facebook page, determination letter available here)

The problem here is that the ATF has defined this item as a shotgun. Since the “barrel” of the gun is smooth instead of rifled (the soda can is the projectile in this case) they can’t call it a rifle so the type reverts to a shotgun.

Shotguns must have a barrel length of 18 inches or more, and since the shroud for the launcher is only 11 inches and change, it doesn’t meet that standard. Therefore the firearm is considered an AOW when attached to an AR-15 pistol lower receiver. There’s no mention about what the gun would be considered when attached to a “rifle” lower receiver, but due to their determination, chances are it would either be a short barreled rifle or shotgun.

The ATF is going out of its way these days to make life as a law-abiding gun owner as difficult as possible. Admittedly it was arguably X Product’s fault that they started selling these things without an ATF opinion letter, but it seems that in this case the ATF is just being as pig-headed and obstinate as possible for no good reason.


  1. avatar PeterW says:

    Introducing the NEW, improved Can BAZOOKA, with tyranny-compliant 18 inch barrel.

    1. avatar borg says:

      I have a better idea. Have the AOW term be declared unconstitutionally vague.

  2. avatar Vhyrus says:

    My guess? The ATF figured out that you could shoot a glass bottle out of this thing and realized they were holding a molotov launcher. They then lost their minds.

    1. avatar John L. says:

      I think you got the order wrong…

      And I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be the first guy to try to lob a glass bottle full of gasoline (or other inflammable liquid) from this thing…

      1. avatar SammyD says:

        Thank youuuuuuuuu!

      2. avatar Matt in Maine says:

        Not only that but I think if I were in a position to need to hurl Molotov coctails I’d probably rather hurl a bullet, or 30, instead.

        1. Molotovs are for attacking armored vehicles. Not many bullets are as effective.

      3. avatar Old Guy says:

        I believe the original Molotov recipe from WW2 was a mixture of gasoline and sulphuric acid (from lead-acid batteries). I don’t know what the proportions were. Experimenting with this recipe is probably not recommended unless you’re in a totally desperate situation like the Russians were.

        1. avatar john says:

          sorry I posted on the wrong comment

      4. avatar john says:

        you mean “flammable”?

    2. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      My guess is that’s just as likely to be about the company not asking them first, prior to selling it to the public. Now, the ATF is making a point– not just to them- to anyone manufacturing a new type of attachment that they should go to the ATF prior to putting it on the market.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        Which, of course, is very problematic.

        We really live in an age where we have to seek permission of the Federal government to manufacture and sell an item? This is how far we’ve sunk?

        1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

          Yes. Unfortunately, its a pretty typical reaction of a bureaucrat seeing something as being within his ‘rice’ bowl, wants to assert his authority moreso than object to the product being sold.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          “have to seek permission of the Federal government”

          So you have a problem with them euro rules???

    3. avatar Rich K. says:

      Hard to lose what they never had…that’s why liberals “think” with their emotions (“Oh, eeek – a horrible gun!!!! It COULD be used to HURT or KILL someone – LET’S BAN IT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!”) rather than with logical minds (“A gun is a tool, and inanimate by itself no matter what its configuration, and is therefore no better nor any worse than the person behind the trigger”.).

      1. avatar Anon says:

        what you described is a conservative standpoint (ban everything that doesn’t conform to our way of thinking)
        a liberal would be against banning things, comes from the word “liberty” as in, “freedom”.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Those are the classical definitions, yes. But in today’s America, it is the Conservatives who champion liberty, and the Liberals (i.e. Progressives, i.e. Fabian Socialists) who champion using the power of the State to control the behaviors of others.

        2. avatar Duncan says:

          The NAZI’s called themselves Socialist Democrates.

    4. avatar int19h says:

      I very much doubt that any actual thought about real applications of something enters their thinking process. More likely is that ATF has some kind of a bonus system for employees finding stuff like that, and so they have an incentive to closely inspect everything and flag any cases of by-the-letter non-compliance.

  3. avatar Edward says:

    Jackboots be jackbooting… Is there any hope left of ever getting our country back?

    1. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

      Yes, but you and I are highly unlikely to live to see it happen. Such is the way of the cycle of liberty.


      1. avatar Dale says:

        I’d venture that we might see the start of it, but many won’t see the fruits of their sacrifice.

      2. avatar ken says:

        Speaking of cycles:

        “Most experts agree that we are somewhere between the 7th and 8th stage.”
        As usual, I disagree with the ‘experts’ that don’t know the difference between their ass and a hole in the ground. What stage do the AI here think we are in?

        1. I say between 6th and 8th, depending on a number of factors, such as which generation of people and what geographical area.

          My dad had that on his office wall both at home and when he was a county official.

        2. avatar Duncan says:

          Obomacare has moved us to the 8th stage.

    2. avatar Chadwick P. says:

      There is about as much chance that gasoline will be free in the next 50 years. Honestly the country is lost and we are just fighting off the eventual takeover. Now after that takeover maybe there is a chance but socialism is looking like a very likely new way of life for America. Sad right? Yeah it’s sad and even more sad to think what your grandparents or their parents would think of it.

      1. avatar WRH says:

        Your grandparents and parents allowed this to happen by not saying anything when these laws were put in place. You’re slowly becoming Canada… and trust me, our gun laws are pretty terrible.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          ^ This !!!!!

        2. avatar Jacky Tar says:

          WRH says:
          September 22, 2015 at 13:28

          You’re slowly becoming Canada… and trust me, our gun laws are pretty terrible.

          So? Anyone making you stay? You don’t like the law, do something about it instead of sitting on your beer-swilling ass whinging. Get involved.

    3. avatar ShiningKnight says:

      We need to fucking take it back. It’s not going to be handed back to us.

      1. avatar Fred says:

        Step one is fighting these little tyrannical incidents.
        The ATF shouldn’t be in the business of randomly declaring people to be criminals when the mood strikes them.

  4. avatar Jomo says:

    They have two reasons: Obama’s phone and pen. Barry used his phone to call his acting ATF director and told him to use his pen to write a nasty letter…

    1. avatar T M says:

      Seriously, the PotUS likely doesn’t even know this is a thing; contrary to your beliefs the President doesn’t spend his days trolling over gun forums to find new ways to limit your fun.

      This is the work of some petty tyrant bureaucrat over at the AFT tech division who is miffed that he didn’t get to pen an exception letter before this product went to market.

      I will say, when I first saw this I was wondering how the hell it wasn’t an AOW or SBS by definition. Guess the ATF got around to that.

      1. avatar Jomo says:

        It is a bit naive at this point to think that our wonderful president is completely oblivious to the goings on at the ATF. Does he know about every subtle detail of the law? No. Is he giving them guidance on things he wants shut down? Highly likely. It is a pretty well known fact that the current crop of gun-grabbers hate the innovation in the industry with a passion. It is quite possible for the POTUS to give directions that any new tech be viewed in the least favorable light possible–strict scrutiny if you will. With that said, it’s pretty sad that you can’t accept humor for what it is.

        1. avatar John L. says:

          Let’s call it harsh scrutiny, as we’re assuming a starting negative prejudice.

          Or maybe Gaze of Sauron.

      2. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

        Actually, I’m surprised ATF Firearms Technology Branch didn’t declare it to be a ‘Destructive Device’, as it’s most assuredly >.50” bore diameter.

      3. avatar Yeah right says:

        Go suck Obamanation’s dick someplace else, you disgusting libtard.

        1. avatar ken says:

          These statists will stop at nothing to excuse the illegal actions of the idols they worship. This tard most likely STILL believes that obomba didn’t sic the IRS on his political rivals also. Even after the ‘deleted’, but recovered Lois Lerner emals clearly state that her instructions came directly from the white house. She was proud of that, and bragged about it. But the tards are retarded, and so cannot read.
          Now, here comes the blast of hate mail from those who can’t contadict these facts with reason, so baseless insults are all the ammo they have.

    2. avatar Cole says:

      ^dano Correct but it cannot have a stock, and must have at least a 26″ oal to be a firearm. Also once a fire arm it cannot be converted back to a rifle. Pistol is still vague and I’m unsure of.

  5. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Waiting to see one of these actually used in a crime. Proof that there’s not a lot of “common sense” when it comes to gun control.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      I know. I thought it might actually be a pretty neat safety device. You could lob somebody the end of a rope, or a sandwich or something. : )

      I thought it would be pretty handy for tree work. It could be used as a weapon, but then again, someone could kill you with your underwear waist band.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        ^This- I am still brainstorming the best way to use it for launching a throw line to set a climbing line to the canopy.

  6. avatar Omni says:

    “There’s no mention about what the gun would be considered when attached to a “rifle” lower receiver, but due to their determination chances are it would either be a short barreled rifle or shotgun.”

    You say this…. But it says right in the letter: “however when placed on a rifle receiver is considered a (SBR) short barrel rifle.”


    1. avatar Katy says:

      Had to read the post a half dozen times, thinking I was going crazy when I saw that. Glad to know it wasn’t just me.

    2. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      The letter from X Products says that, but there’s nothing in the ATF’s Tech Branch determination letter to support that statement.

      1. avatar Omni says:

        I see that now that you pointed that out, thank you. Last night when I was discussing this in IRC they had not shared the determination letter yet.

        Although, reading through that they would NOT have to make the barrel 18″, but only bring the OAL of the entire set up to over 26″. So not much more would be needed to make this compliant.

        It would then fall under the whole “Title I Other” classification, like the old Birds Head 870s with the 14″ barrels.

        As you can go pistol -> other, and still be in compliance, I do not think it would require a “virgin” receiver either.

        So all in all, it should be a fairly easy fix, with some “fins” added on to the end of the tube.

        I say, I say boy. That NFA is a joke.

      2. The letter is poorly worded, and X-Products misunderstood it. It’s really making an SBS, not an SBR. Firearm with a smooth barrel of < 18" length. Yes, going over 26" would fix the AOW problem (presumably). It will not help you if you're using a stock.

    3. avatar MarkPA says:

      A strategy comes to mind.

      So, this thing is NOT a firearm AS-IS when SOLD. It merely becomes one when the user attaches a receiver – a device that is (in-and-of-itself) a firearm.

      So, let’s see. I was a law-abiding owner of a firearm until today. UPS arrived and I became in constructive possession of an NFA weapon. Putting the two artifacts together, I became in actual possession of an NFA weapon. And, what does it do? It hurls a can about 50 yards?

      OK, so, let’s see how many Assistant US Attorneys are willing to mount a prosecution for possession of one of these “NFA weapons”.

      I’d probably avoid pursuing this strategy in the lower district of NY or the upper district of IL where a jury of one’s peers would return with a guilty verdict within 15 minutes and with wet panties. Conversely, there are plenty of districts throughout the country where jury nullification would be predictable. That makes for a pretty moderate personal risk.

      After many years of selling tens of thousands of such artifacts it becomes clear that the ATF doesn’t have the guts to enforce the NFA as they interpret it.

      One product isn’t very interesting. OK, so, there is this one item that launches cans. Big deal. Not much different then the stock-less shotgun that turned out to be an NFA Destructive-Device. What happens if there are many such NFA weapons that are not viable for prosecution?

      How about a silencer for a starter pistol? Perfectly absurd; except to undermine the NFA. You have a perfectly legal artifact – a starter pistol – that is NOT a firearm. You have a “silencer” pinned in such a way that a projectile can’t possibly pass through it. Yet, it serves to suppress the sound of a starter-pistol. Does it fit the NFA’s definition?

      How about a SBR stock for a nail gun that fires – e.g., a nail into concrete blocks.

      How about an SBR stock for a Glock? Why yes, Mr./Ms Special ATF Agent; I do have a stock that would fit a Glock; but, I don’t happen to own or possess a Glock. So, what – in this peculiar case – can I do for you to help you to advance your investigation?

      How about a lemon squeezer that actually squeezes a lemon? And, it has mechanism that would fire a .22 short if only it also had a barrel.

      An SBS/DD that blows bubbles?

      Those PotG who want to undermine the legitimacy of the gun laws – and particularly the NFA – could do so with limited risk of prosecution. And yet, the production of such devices – especially if they are not intrinsically “firearms” themselves, serves to advertise the fact that “We will not comply!”

      The small pleasure would be the knowledge that such antics were driving ATF officials crazy. The greater pleasure would be – eventually – the accumulated evidence of NFA violations that the ATF is not bothering to pursue.

      Rome was not burned in a single day. It decayed over a long protracted period as its government lost legitimacy and efficacy in the eyes of its citizens. Finding a way to reduce the apparent legitimacy of government is likely an effective strategy.

      1. avatar Wee Liam says:

        Uh-oh. Is the ruling the death knell for the fearsome T-Shirt Gun, seen in operation at most Hockey arenas? The first ones of the 2015-16 season will be fired any day now….

        1. I had the same thought! I’ve also seen them launching bags of candy, and for that matter towels.

        2. avatar Rev. C. Blackwell says:

          T-shirt guns are indeed fired by compressed air, similar to that of a potato cannon.

        3. avatar Rev. C. Blackwell says:

          T-shirt guns are indeed fired by compressed air, similar to that of a potato cannon.

  7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Uh oh

  8. avatar RetroG says:

    How can a un-rifled barrel be considered a rifle?

    1. I believe that was X-Products misunderstanding the determination letter. It would be an SBS, not an SBR. Presumably, they were confused because the talk is about using a rifle cartridge, but it’s clear from context that the BATFE regards it as a shotgun upper of sorts due to the smooth “barrel” (which seems to be the chamber for the blank?).

    2. avatar Woody W Woodward says:

      The same way a rifled shotgun barrel is still a shotgun. You’re right, it really doesn’t make any sense.

  9. avatar Don't Tread on Me says:

    What about the fact that it is not breach loaded? Does that not matter? Honest question looking for some wisdom…

    1. avatar John L. says:

      The projectile isn’t breech-loaded but the cartridges that provide the propulsion, are. So I suppose one could argue that point either way.

    2. avatar Wee Liam says:


  10. avatar Jordan V says:

    What would a potato gun be classified as? A destructive device or will they just go with WMD?

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      Biological launcher.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      How about we refrain from advising the ATF that potato guns exist, whatcha think?

        1. avatar Gun_Chris says:

          Those appear to be air pressure powered, whereas ignited hairspray powered ones would constitute a firearm.

    3. avatar Omni says:

      Actually, they have been ruled as DDs or AOWs depending on configuration.

      You can ask for a ruling from the ATF Tech Branch on your particular design.

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        Depends mostly on the propellant used, I believe.

  11. avatar Siris says:

    Soda can launcher.. Yur goin to jail boy…
    M203 for my ar… $300
    Sounds about par to me..

    1. avatar Jon says:

      Where did you get an M203 for $300?

      1. avatar Siris says:

        Correction.. Gun store about a mile down the road has m203’s for like $399 not $300
        I say m203… I think it’s actually 38mm to somehow prevent people from buying live frags at Walmart or evil black market gun shows..

  12. avatar california richard says:

    Its well documented on these posts that I’m an idiot so someone please educate me… But, I thought that a shotgun (in its modern legal parlance) was designated as such by the shell it was designed to shoot and not the barrel characteristics…. Hello flare launchers and .410 Judge? Beuler?

    1. The Judge is rifled. Lightly, but it’s rifled.

      1. avatar california richard says:

        Thats my point though… A 12ga shotgun with a rifled barrel is still considered a 12ga shot gun because of the round it was primarily designed to shoot….. Defined as such because of shell and not barrel.

        1. avatar Surly Old Armorer says:

          A 12 gauge “shotgun” with a rifled barrel is not a shotgun, it is a 12 bore rifle. Doesn’t have anything to do with the ammunition, it’s whether or not the barrel is rifled that matters. Are you incapable of actually READING the law?

  13. avatar Gun_Chris says:

    Ok, potential dumb question, but how does this not fall under the same exception as flare guns?

    1. The difference is that you don’t use a 5.56 blank to launch a flare. The BATFE is basically saying that you (apparently) can fire a 5.56×45 round through this thing, and therefore it’s a shotgun due to the “smooth barrel” of what I assume is the chamber. Ironically, if they had rifled some of it, it probably would have been OK.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        If I recall the item correctly, if you fired an actual 5.56 round (non-blank) in it, you would blow yourself and it all to hell.

        1. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

          Not to mention, get soda all over hell and creation.

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          If it fired. The upper will not chamber a live round, and if the gun doesn’t go into battery, the hammer may not strike the firing pin

      2. avatar MoveableDO says:

        The “barrel” is the actual can holder. Although it is 1-gauge or whatever, it is still a cylindrical vessel through which a projectile is firing.

        And the thing blowing up would only be if a real round is fired with a can on deck. Right? If it is can-less, doesn’t this still fire, albeit with no power and accuracy?

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          I think the thing has a cap right in front of the chamber to redirect the gasses out the side and not directly onto the bottom of the can (which would probably rupture the can). If you fired a real round through it, can or not, the projectile would strike that cap and it might not be a super fun time for the operator.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          IOW, it is not a firearm and ATF is useless morons.

      3. avatar Sian says:

        It would have still been NFA due to short barrel if you use it on a rifle lower.

        X is going to drill a hole right at the chamber mouth to render the barrel legally nonexistent and then they’ll be fine.

  14. avatar JasonM says:

    What about the T-shirt cannons they use at sporting events? Are those next?

    1. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

      Mine has a 32″ barrel, is muzzle loaded, and air propelled.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I bet the can launcher would fire a mean wet T-shirt!

  15. avatar Pasifikawv says:

    So…. the can launcher isn’t a firearm and isn’t regulated. When attached to a receiver, it becomes a SBR or AOW. Let’s say Joe bought a can launcher. Joe reads that he cannot attach it to his AR lower. Joe decides he won’t use it ’cause he is a law-abiding gun owner. However, Joe still has both an AR and a can launcher. Couldn’t the fed then hammer Joe with “constructive possession” of a NFA item even if not installed or in use? Should upstanding sporting goods retailers still sell it knowing that its use would necessarily make it an NFA item and land the owner in hot water? What about the retailers with the item still in stock? Do they sell their existing stock knowing it may result in loyal customers inadvertently breaking the law if they use it? Is the non-class III FFL dealer guilty of “constructive possession” if he also has lowers in stock?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Here’s the answer; shutter the ATF, they accomplish nothing.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Oh, they accomplish plenty. None of it good, and almost all of it unconstitutional.

    2. avatar PPGMD says:

      Dealers are typically exempt from constructive possession charges.

      Probably because they have money and backing to fight it. The legal grounds on which constructive possession is built is pretty rocky when applied to private citizens, I would imagine that it has no grounds when talking about a dealer.

  16. avatar Shire-man says:

    I sometimes wonder why hardware stores are allowed to exist at all. Seems just about any geometric shape manifested in metal, plastic, wood or solid water is a violation of some ATF regulation.
    Containers, projectiles and methods of propulsion are infinite. It’s silly that only a very small number of these items are policed. Is the ATF that stupid or do they think we’re all that stupid?
    It’s not at all unlike the DEA. Plants growing everywhere, but only very specific ones, are by human decree unlawful.
    They artificially construct a box, write their own rules for the box then proceed to enforce them like petty gods over anyone foolish enough to join them in said box.

    It’s all just so absurd. On their side and ours. Ignore them. Let them wither and die as the worthless shit they are.

  17. avatar lionsfan54 says:

    Well, I don’t know about you guys but I feel a lot safer now. (rolls eyes)

    In reality this is a perfect example of the gov’t “doing something”. They can’t (or won’t) take action that would further reduce gun violence so they do this window dressing crap so they stay busy and justify their existence. Who cares if it really makes anyone safer?

  18. avatar Jeff the Griz says:


    1. avatar MoveableDO says:

      BATFE Ban Anything That’s Fun…Ever.

  19. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    According to ATF logic, if you put Snapple in a Jameson bottle, it magically becomes whiskey.

  20. avatar Noishkel says:

    Crap. If I know that those existed…

    1. avatar KMc says:

      We have 1 left….

        1. avatar KMc says:

          Evidently the market picked up rather quickly when the news broke. It has been sold.

  21. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    whats the problem… I’m sure Bloomberg has approved it (12oz soda) not the Big Gulps…

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Bloomie’s cool with it.

      If you load it with sugared soda, that’s soda that won’t make anybody fat.

  22. avatar BDub says:

    “Therefore the firearm is considered an AOW when attached to an AR-15 pistol lower receiver.”

    I believe it is classified as an SBS in the case of a rifle receiver, and an AOW if attached to a pistol receiver.

    Is the ATF planning to go after T-Shirt Cannons next? Screw the ATF.

    1. avatar Alan says:

      The reason this falls under ATF rule is because it uses an explosive charge to launch the projectile (can). The T-shirt cannons are pnuematic and dont fall under ATF rule (same as air rifles)

      1. So I’d probably better drop my plans to build a marshmallow gun that uses .22 shorts . . . .

        1. avatar ken says:

          Better hide your power hammer for driving nails into concrete also. They use rimfire blanks for power, the nails could be a preojectile, they load from the breech, and the bore is smooth. One could possibly put a rock in there, or even a .22RF round…
          And one could easily kill a human being with your chisel, a hammer, a wrench, etc., etc. Perhaps, to be safe, you better just get rid of everything, including your kitchen knives. You don’t really NEED them. You can just eat your potatos with the skin on. It’ll be more efficient use of food that way anyway.
          Lord knows we serfs can’t be trusted with anything more than sticks and stones. We don’t really need anything else. The cavemen lived that way. We should too.
          Or perhaps its time to stop letting the retarded and foolish run things, and bring some sanity to the US…… NAH! Its too much fun this way!

  23. avatar gbo says:

    They could fix all this by making it a muzzle attachment, such as the Golf Ball Launcher…..

  24. avatar Eric S says:

    Where do those T-shirt cannons fall in the NFA?

    1. avatar Roy says:

      So… it sounds like duct taping a forward grip under the launch tube and putting the upper onto a pistol lower would get this out of the AOW zone since it’s now two handed, smooth bore, and over 26″. But………… it would kind of suck not being able to shoulder this to shoot it. Many people do shoot it from the hip, but aiming was part of the fun (despite the monstrous recoil.)

    2. avatar GRW says:

      Lower than lite-brites and air soft without orange tips but much higher than Nerf.

      If someone put a potato gun to my head and made me classify it right now. I’d give it a 2.7 won’t somebody think of the children’s on the Bloomberg/Watts things that look kinda like other things but aren’t OMG deathy death-death scale(tm).

    3. avatar Alan says:

      They’re pneumatic and therefore aren’t regulated at all.

      1. avatar ken says:

        Being spring or air fired didn’t help this guy:
        All of these idiot rulings by various agencies is just the symptoms. The cause is that the ones in charge are morons on powertrips. Until that issue is addressed, no amount of redesigning or welding pins in place will ever ‘solve’ anything. The morons will just claim more idiotic BS, like a plastic toy will fire real ammo, because they are morons! To paraphrase Ron White; “you can fix any number of problems, but you can’t fix stupid. Stupid is FO-EVA!”

  25. avatar CLC says:

    Being that X Products didn’t look at the GCA, but only the NFA, when making their product, they glossed over that “any weapon which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive” is a firearm, and a firearm which launches using “a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile” is a shotgun, and the NFA states that a shotgun with a barrel under 18″ long (which the Can Cannon most certainly has) is an SBS or AOW depending on total configuration, well, there you have it.

    What bothers me is that the NFA also specifically states “designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shell”, which the Can Cannon does not… unless you count the fact it accepts a 5.56x45mm blank as using fixed ammunition, and the tech branch did, stating in part “We found the barrel’s chamber is capable of accepting a commercially available .223 Remington caliber ammunition cartridge and is devoid of any design features which would prevent the chambering and firing or a commercially available .223 Remington caliber ammunition cartridge.” Oh, well.

    X Products would have been wise to seek (and wait for) a letter before manufacturing and selling these. They didn’t, and if they had they could have made a design change to prevent anything but a blank cartridge being used to keep an NFA determination from happening.

    As it stands, with a stock, it’s an SBS. Without, it’s an AOW.

    A shame, but by the letter of the long-standing law, and by the construction of the launcher, it’s the correct determination.

    1. avatar california richard says:

      I bought a flare launcher that can be modified to fire (once) a .45acp…. It isnt a firearm…. There are other flare launchers that can fire 12ga rounds (once) then explode…. Again, not a firearm…. Maybe if you put the can launcher on a home made receiver, painted it orange, and wrote “US COAST GUARD APPROVED NOT GUN” on the side it would be totally legal.

  26. avatar LarryinTX says:

    OMG! OMG! I shot one of those last year, and almost bought one! Am I a felon, now, Mr Fedman? Can it get more stupid?

    Why did anyone ask the ATF? It is not a firearm, obviously, if they don’t like it, take me to court.

  27. avatar TruthTellers says:

    Because the ATF doesn’t have enough to worry about with arms trafficking, they decide they need another thing to regulate.

    They need to justify their existence somehow and since can launchers are just such dangerous cop killer assault weapons, the ATF rides in with the extra budget money to save everyone from the next mass shooting where everyone is doused with soft drinks.

  28. avatar GRW says:

    I don’t agree with the NFA but I would have checked first before putting my business and freedom on the line.
    This company seem to specialize in firearm accessories and decided to sell this (a device with unrifled barrel) before seeking the opinion of the relevants. Funny thing about Federal Agencies, rightly or wrongly, asking for forgiveness rather than permission usually doesn’t fly (statement not valid for the rich and/or powerful).

    IANAL (yay) but this is how I read the firearm definition. Any weapon (hmm) that can expel a projectile (soda can) through the use of explosives (powder in the blank) including devices that attach to the barrel (silencers). Close enough to go either way on an initial classification letter written by someone who is also not a lawyer.

    NFA sucks and the company dropped the ball and I hope they are contacting customers to inform them and try and offer refunds or further machining until its sorted.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “I don’t agree with the NFA but I would have checked first before putting my business and freedom on the line.”

      So, the proper frame of mind for life in contemporary America is “Yassa, Massa…may I please have thishere fun toy?”

      1. avatar GRW says:

        If you run a business you ask 50 people permission for something before the paint is dry on the signage. If I was running the business I would have checked. If the company wanted to live by their own rules NFA be damned, they would be selling out of the back of a truck and wouldn’t of asked for classification at any point.

        Had I personally chosen to sell something that could land me in jail or indebted for ever and a day in this litigious society I would have picked something with higher profits and more demand than a can launcher. Give me your digits though if I ever decide to run full-auto AK’s to fellow patriots I’d like you there as a trusted armed ally when the ATF/FBI come a knockin, after all I think we can agree that we shouldn’t have to ask permission to sell or own them despite what the law says.

        1. avatar Dave says:

          Even that would not have mattered. The ATF changed its mind on the Sig Brace after letters had been issued. It could have done the same here. Sig needs to fight for the sig brace and the NFA all together.

        2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          I’ve owned and run a couple of businesses and I did not ask permission for anything.

          Paid fees? Sure.
          Paid Taxes? Sure.

          But never asked “permission” to conduct my business.

          This is a very dangerous mindset. The Statist Programming is near complete. Citizens of this country now accept the complete dominion over their lives by the Federal Government…not only accept it but defend it the right proper state of existence.

          This is sad, really, more than anything.

        3. avatar GRW says:

          I guess your state or local government has no business licence or permit requirements, no zoning, allows you to choose whether you have public bathroom even if you serve food, has no building codes, no health department etc. Your banks allow you to take out business loans with no requirements to pay it back.

          Every time you pay that fee, “allow” an inspection, move a shelf to meet ADA, pay sales taxes, open your log books to an agent you are complying with the rules they set out that allow you to continue operating, saying “I’ve done what you wanted can I stay open?”

          The second you fail to pay that fee, fail to allow that inspection or fail the inspection your business will have its permission to operate cease. Sure they may give you time to fix some issues or just put a lien on you but your at their mercy.

          You can justify it however you want, pretend you are in control, draw the line just in front of you (as most tend to do) the licence is permission to operate within that jurisdiction, federal, state, local regulations say jump and you jumped, then every year you jump and pay the fee again. If you were in control, they wouldn’t be fees they would be optional donations.

          The dangerous mindset is the one the government loves, it’s the one where you fully believe you are in control, completely oblivious, they can do as they please with that person as long as they do it slowly and quietly.

          The ones that realize what’s going on still have a chance, they know what’s going on and can make an informed decision about where to actually draw a line, what battles to pick, knows not to give the government easy ammo especially in a 2A issue.

          The former can preach from their imagined ivory tower and then go inside while the government strokes their hair until they fall asleep.

          Never was a dumber sheep than the one in the slaughterhouse looking at the sheep out in the field thinking to itself “look at those idiots out in the cold”.

  29. avatar HandyDan says:

    Ok, so where does that leave the people who bought one under the assumption that the ATF had given them its blessing? Are they out the $400 or so they spent on it?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A good question, Dan.

      I sure hope X Products announces they will convert the existing ones to the yet-to-be agreed on compliant ones for free.

      NFA geeks – If the overall barrel length is made over 18 inches, would it then be legal?

  30. avatar Ralph says:

    First Bloomberg tries to ban Big Gulps and now this.

    What is it about asshats and Pepsi Cola?

  31. avatar Anonymous says:

    This is why gun control laws are a bad idea. Now you can’t even throw a soda can without a lot of red tape bureaucratic nonsense, and of course payments to the US federal gov. Welcome to the progressive socialist dream.

    1. avatar John L. says:

      Actually these are going to be reserved for the use of Congress and the Federal Reserve.

      Because kicking the can just doesn’t move it far enough along anymore.

  32. avatar John L. says:

    Actually this makes some sense.

    I think it’s actually part of a setup for a practical joke BATF wants to play.

    Now, given this ruling, these innocuous giggle generators can be provided to .. certain south of the border entities .. and represented as highly restricted weapons.

    Then after the first exchange of “fire” goes Whoomp -pause – SPLOOSH!!:

    “Hey guys, you’ve been BATFeed!”

  33. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Wow that’s stooo-pid. Oh well- see: 3 felonies a day…

    1. avatar John L. says:

      The thought crossed my mind. Not a “good” read but certainly an eye opening one.

  34. avatar jeff h says:

    The ATF can’t consider you a felon for possessing this.

    An individual isn’t a felon until they are convicted of a felony. The proper term would be “potential felon”. The sensationalist writing only serves the anti-2A agenda people.

  35. How is can cannon not an obvious muzzle loader?

  36. avatar ANdrew Lias says:

    This is particularly interesting:

    (e) Any other weapon
    The term “any other weapon” means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

    Notice the term FIXED ammunition. By defenition this does not quality. Ultimately my question is can you throw a standard round in and fire it. If there is something (say a blocking bar) that keeps it from chambering and firing real ammunition then it doesn’t fit the qualifications and/or may be serviceable with some minor tweaking.

  37. avatar Dumbass Jerk says:

    I am ordering a “come and take it” sticker for my potato gun, motherf***ers!! Sic Semper Tyrannis!!

  38. avatar MSouth says:

    The ATF has made this decision based on the illusion that the Can Cannon is a “Weapon”. As defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary, a weapon is:

    1. something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy
    2. a means of contending against another

    The Can Cannon is neither of these, so the conclusion of the ATF is based on a false premise to begin with.

    1. They probably consider it a weapon because it can be used in competition, which would come under “a means of contending against another”. But if that’s so, my tennis racket and golf clubs qualify.

  39. avatar Dev says:

    This is only about more “revenue” for the government.

  40. avatar Abram G says:

    I really wanted to buy one of those…thanks a lot, BATFE.

  41. OK, after reading the ATF letter it appears the the “barrel” is only plugged by a screw which can be removed and thus allow an actual round to to be fired. If the “barrel” were to be permanently sealed at the end then it would fix the issue.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      There are three parts to the fix. Permanently close the screw hole, drill a hole at 0″ in front of the chamber to change the barrel length from 1.05″ to 0.0″, and somehow prevent loading of cartridges with bullets. At that point it is a non-firearm attachment for a lower receiver.

      1. I guess everyone here read the ruling and completely missed what the ATF is actually saying.

        When they say smooth barrel they are not talking about the can holder, they are talking about the actual barrel, the part that vents the gasses.

        Go back and read the ruling. They say the barrel is smooth and capable accepting an actual 5.56 round. Then they say the end is internally threaded and capped with a screw that can be removed.

        Now, when you remove the screw you are left with a short, smooth boar barrel capable of firing actual bullets. That’s the hangup they have. It has nothing to do with the cup part being smooth or short.

        The simple answer is to just pin/wield that cap, or otherwise permanently plug the end of the barrel where it cannot be readily converted back.

        Bingo! Problem solved.

        1. avatar Sian says:

          I’ve been to X Products facebook, and they’re planning on drilling a small hole to make the ‘barrel length’ 0″ instead of 1.05″, as well as tacking that screw hole.

        2. avatar No one's business says:

          No you can not possibly say problem solved until you eliminate the batf entirely.
          Eliminate any and Every law that pertains to the arms which our constitution says the right to keep and bear shall not be infringed.




          TO ARMS
          TO ARMS

  42. avatar carson says:

    Can’t be an SBS, the NFA does not regulate muzzle loading shotguns.

  43. avatar bob says:

    So back to PVC and hair spray then.

  44. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    Posted the story on Reddit. Gotta repost this reply from /u/gunlawyer:

    I went to go read the ATF’s determination letter. I had every intention of writing a well-reasoned and articulate commentary on the failure of their logic. However, what I am left with is:

    What the everloving fuck are they thinking over there? They casually move between sections of the law like a drunk one-legged skier with a inner ear infection running a slalom course.

    These fuckwits define shotgun, then somehow conclude it’s a short-barreled rifle? They ignore the “concealability” portion of the definition of AOW.

    I don’t even know where to start. It’s like trying to explain string theory to a waffle. I haven’t seen that level of incongruity and strained legal reasoning since my first year of law school.

    I’ve often said to people “never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity”. Either the FTB took a giant dump on their collective intellectual selves, or this is the beginning another example of an effort to narrow the 2nd Amendment to the point where its protections are meaningless.

    I hope X Products challenges this ruling. If they want the help, I’ll advise them for fucking free.

    Where the fuck is my torch?

    1. avatar ken says:

      “Where the fuck is my torch?”
      Next to your pitchfork? 🙂

  45. avatar Matt says:

    I have a piece of pipe
    It’s not rifled
    Can someone tell me if i,m [email protected]$&ed?
    Thanks in advance

    1. avatar Jared says:

      Yes, yes you are.
      We all are.

      1. avatar Dustin says:

        I hate to make a shameless plug, but uh, what about me and the stuff I sell? How fucked am I?

        Still going to do it anyway.

  46. avatar mike says:

    Knew this was coming. Just a matter of time. Easiest thing X Products can do is put some rifling into the barrel portion so that it can be legally attached to any registered SBR. A classification as an SBS would truly suck as that would mean a dedicated lower, and another $200.

    1. avatar DanO says:

      By rifling the barrel, it can also be put onto any pistol lower and not be an AOW. The “offending feature” of a smooth-bore handgun is the smooth bore, so rifle it.

  47. avatar Dustin says:

    All the whining and crying. Not a single one willing to do the one and only obvious thing left to do…

    “They” are willing to kill to get their way. We are not. This is why we lose.

  48. Will the ATF make the potato gun illegal? I think the best thing to do is fire 75% of the ATF to help balance the budget and to keep them so bust they will not have time to be bothered by such trivial toys. Thanks for your support and vote. Pass the word.

  49. avatar Reginald Hafner says:

    It’s about time the ATF went the way of the Dodo bird. All the ATF does is eat feces and bother people and accomplish noting but collect a pay check at the expense of the American taxpayers.

  50. avatar DanO says:

    I’m not defending ATF, but nothing has changed. Let’s get off the idea that they keep changing the rules. I don’t like the logic used to make some of the rules either. It’s just that too many people in the gun field still haven’t learned what they need to know in order to avoid trouble.

    For decades, the definition of a Shotgun has always been, “any shoulder-fired firearm with a smooth-bore”, and shotguns require an 18″ barrel. Any smooth-bore handgun is an AOW, so what’s new?

    Not all guns are a handgun or a long gun. Mount your Can Cannon on a Firearm-Other, and you’re not violating the GCA. Don’t know what an “Other” is?
    Go to and take the “Firearm Classification” module to learn what you’ve been missing.
    Thankfully, the whole course that lets you avoid trouble with ATF has been around for a while. Check it out.

    1. avatar Roy says:

      Drill and tap a small hole (not all the way through the Can-Cannon shroud) and then use that tapped hole to attach a vertical grip. Now it’s an “Other” so long as you have a pistol lower laying around.

  51. avatar Roy says:

    I did some digging, and the ATF has been conflating GCA and NFA definitions for a long time. The most well known example is pistols and ATFs stand that they are an AOW if you add a vertical front grip because they’re no longer designed to be shot from one hand, but now they’re meant to be shot from two hands.

    The GCA definition of a pistol includes that requirement that it’s meant to be shot from one hand. The NFA doesn’t even define pistol, but they apply the GCA definition of one-handed to pistol meaning it’s no longer a pistol and can be included in the “any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person” part of the AOW definition. Even though we know it to be a pistol and pistols would have otherwise been precluded from AOWs if they had a rifled bore.

  52. avatar Scott Conklin says:

    Well, I wasn’t going to buy one of these but now I am, and I’ll put it on any bloody thing I want.

  53. avatar Libertarian says:

    If the goverment want it all are criminals.
    The reality is the goverment is it and most of the criminals are the patriots today !!
    Thats fact

  54. avatar Duncan says:

    ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) will really get their panties in a wad while I launch cans of beer out of my cancannon with a cigar in my teeth!

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