American Cannons Golfball Launchers

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you use for a propellant?

Muzzleloading Black Powder.  We prefer using a synthetic black powder because it is less volatile and burns cleaner.  Our most preferred is #1 Skirmish Powder found on the link on our website.  It can be ordered and shipped to your door in 5, 10 or 25 pound amounts.  Call them, they are great people to work with.  It is a course grind CANNON GRADE.   Tell ‘em, we sent you & they will know just what you need.

Most Muzzleloading retailers offer finer grinds for the rifle shooters. However they work well in our Cannons. Always purchase grinds as course as possible marked Fg or FFg. In a pinch you can use FFFg, but they are even finer and you will have more residue and waste as they do not burn as efficiently. FFFg is more for the Pistol folks. NEVER use a FFFFg. This is for the Flint Lock folks.

HODGDON’s Triple 777 brand makes an excellent sulfur free powder in Fg & a FFg and the Pyrodex brand makes several good synthetics as well. A good dealer will know other brands to recommend as well. Always let them know you are shooting a cannon.

Will smokeless powder work?


What does the cannon shoot out of it?

They are designed for golf balls, however you can shoot Blanks (also called Salutes). We recommend after loading the powder you pack in a slice of sandwich bread. It makes a great packing for more of a “boom” and is not a fire or pollution hazard. Always use the bread packing when shooting Blanks / Salutes. Use the cheapest doughy bread (Whole Grain not needed !!) Wad it into a ball & pack it in with the Ram Rod. Keep and store it in the freezer until you go shooting again.

How much black powder can I use?

We recommend shooting no more than 750 grains. (Powder weight varies a bit but usually an Ounce of Powder weighs approx. 480 Grains) The internal chamber in the bottom of the receiver is designed to hold 550 Grains. This is the most accurate load as well. When shooting Golf Balls, we do not recommend over 750 grains as you will start to damage the Stand due to high recoil. Blanks or Salute firing (no projectile) can accept loads of 2 ounces. NOTE: If you sheer the pins on the front of the stand slide rods you are shooting WAY too much powder.

What ignites the cannon?

We use a Chinese Visco Cannon Fuse, 3mm Premium (25 seconds per foot) cut about 6 inches in length.

What is the Cannon made of?

The receiver is made of 1018 high grade Carbon, American steel. The barrels are made of stainless steel. The echelons are made of stainless steel and the barrel ring is made of aluminum.

Why does the barrel remove?

American Cannons is the only civilian cannon with a removable barrel.  This is a major safety feature we are very proud of and want to always highlight.  If or when the cannon misfires due to misloading or bad or moist powder, the barrel and projectile can be removed by standing to the side of the cannon without putting anyone in harms way.  Never stand in front of or put any part of your body in front of a loaded cannon.  This separates the powder from the projectile safely allowing a person to unload the cannon risk free. The old design of cannons without removable barrels need to be unloaded from going into the front of the barrel taking a huge risk of the cannon going off.   

Is the cannon accurate?

Very, as far as cannons go. With a sight we consistently hit pumpkin size targets between 40 and 70 yards.

Can I hold the cannon when I light it?

NO NEVER HOLD THE CANNON WHILE SHOOTING, this could cause harm and/or serious injuries or death.

How far does the cannon shoot?

Starting at 300 grains about 300 yards, 400 grains 450 yards, 500 grains 650 yards, 750 grains 1200 yards.

Are salutes (blank shots) loud?

Yes, and tons of fun. They are very loud and have a lot of noise, fire and smoke.

A great substitution for fireworks at the 4th of July or New Years. We suggest standing the cannon straight up, placed on a square of plywood. (2 ft X 2ft).

Our Mortar /Fireworks Barrel is great for this as it expands the width of the flame.

Do cannons require paper work or permits?

No, cannons are not considered firearms and are exempt from most firearm laws. However, we are not aware of any city where it would be legal to shoot a cannon inside of a city limits without a permit. Always check with your city ordinances if in doubt.

Do I have to buy the stand?

No. While the Stand allows more accuracy. Some people will buy only the receiver and barrel and make their own stand. Look at our customer photos to get some ideas.

Can I buy an extra barrel?

Yes, all the barrels are interchangeable with the cannon receivers. You can buy a variety of barrels for a complete collection.

NOTE:  To assure that the Barrel will always unscrew from the Receiver,  (AFTER a day of shooting), always remove the Barrel & wipe the grease & residue from the Barrel.  Then re apply some anti seize on the threads of the Barrel & apply a light coating of same or grease to the lower shaft of the Barrel. (we use Bore Butter) (a Muzzleloading product)

Never DROP the Barrel into the Receiver as one could “flatten” the top thread & cause the Barrel not to screw in. We suggest a light tightening of the Barrel into the Receiver for storage. Remember to tighten the Barrel snuggly before shooting.

Do the barrels affect the shooting range?

In theory yes, but not enough to notice. The barrel length is mostly a personal preference.

Will the cannon rust?

Yes if not taken care of properly the Receiver of your cannon will rust. Each time you are finished shooting your cannon, wipe it down with some Gun Oil / Rim Oil or WD 40. The good news is, in most cases if it does rust it can be buffed / polished out fairly easily.

What is the inside diameter of the barrel?

1.7” sized just right for a golf ball. ALWAYS REMEMBER While Cannons can be fun… Used without Common Sense… They can INJURE or KILL you or those with you !! OLD PEOPLE DON’T GET OLD BEING STUPID

What is steel tattooing?

Steel tattooing is an artistic coating process used in the high performance racing industry. A company in Boerne, Texas has perfected this process and applied it for Nascar, Drag racing and Motorcycle racing. It is used for logos and art work on the exhaust systems and able to withstand temperatures of 1200 degrees. This coating is extremely durable and able to be applied in black or army green. The colors can be either the logo or base color using the steel as the logo. Most logos can be tattooed perfectly. Only very fine details are questionable. If you are interested in having your cannon tattooed, please send in you artwork for a quote.

Will you ship Internationally?

If you need us to ship Internationally (anywhere outside of the United States) please contact us before placing your order. We will need to determine International Shipping Cost, get your International Mailing Address along with determine if there is a list of Prohibited Items to your country, whether this would need special processing as well as calculating International Taxes or Tariffs we may need to collect/pay along with/for Customs. Thank you for your understanding.

How much is the shipping cost?

Shipping costs vary depending upon the weight of the package being sent and where it is being sent to. The best deal, when it comes to shipping, is to order a cannon and stand combo because we will ship the stand for free. Upon checkout a charge of $37.50 is added for shipping the Cannon. The average shipping cost for the CANNON & COMPETITION STAND is between $55.00 to $67.50 (depending on which state in which you live).