Make A Co2 Nerf Cannon

Make cannons for big kills in paintball with Nerf projectiles.

Paintball has become an industry across the country. Enthusiasts gather in large convention and events to compete against each other to find the best paintball team in the nation. There are even teams that play internationally. The development of new tools and weapons for use in the battles continue in a small part in the commercial sector, but most developments occur through the inventiveness of the players and teams. One such development is a CO2-powered cannon that fires Nerf projectiles. These cannons are not for use on people but work against tanks or serve as mortars.


1. Lay the 2-inch PVC pipe on the ground and place the PVC cap onto one end. To seat the cap securely on the piece of tubing, strike the cap directly on the ground in a vertical fashion.

2. Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the side of the 2-inch tubing near the end containing the cap. Enlarge the hole slightly using a rounded metal file until it will almost fit a 90 degree steel elbow.

3. Soften the PVC around the hole and screw the male end of the steel elbow into the side of the PVC tubing. Hold the blowtorch far enough away from the PVC tubing so that it doesn’t ignite the PVC or burn a hole through the side. Softening the PVC will form a seal against the steel as you screw the elbow into the tubing. To aid the threading and seal, also heat the steel elbow slightly before screwing it in. Use an oven mitt to hold the steel elbow and to screw it in so that you do not burn yourself.

4. Remove the elbow after the PVC and steel have cooled. Use the elbow to construct the high pressure side of the cannon.

5. Attach the quick change adapter of the Brass Eagle CO2 holder to one end of the steel pipe using the adapters to bring the size up to 1 inch NPT (Normal Pipe Thread). Screw the 5-inch steel pipe into the adapter. Use plumber’s tape to create an airtight seal.

6. Connect one side of the ball valve to the end of the 5-inch steel tube. You can adjust the length of the pipe to make it longer if you desire, but do not make it any shorter. The pipe is the expansion chamber for the CO2 used as a propellant.

7. Screw the 2-inch piece of 1-inch steel tubing into the other side of the ball valve. Screw the other end of the 2-inch piece into the female side of the steel elbow.

8. Screw the male end of the elbow into the side of the PVC tube. Perform this by rotating the entire high pressure part of the cannon around repeatedly until the connection is tight. Use plumber’s tape to make the connection airtight.

9. Screw the CO2 cartridge holder onto the end of the quick change adapter. To fire the cannon, load a projectile in the PVC tube. Make sure the ball valve is closed. Load a 12 gram CO2 cartridge into the holder and tighten it on the quick change adapter. Point the cannon and open the ball valve.