Carbide Cannons

Shoot your own cannon – or simply own an awesome replica – carbide cannons make unique gifts that will be talked about for years!

This is how a carbide cannon works: You add your ‘ammunition’ to your cannon. You also add water. The mixture then begins to interact with a small amount of air that is in the cannon. Similar to a gas engine when you pull the igniter the mixture is ignited creating your ‘bang’ and explosion from the cannon.

This video will show you how it works:

YouTube Preview Image

So what you need is a cannon, ammunition (calcium carbide), igniter (spark plug) and water.

No matches or explosive power are required.

Carbide Cannon Examples:

This cast iron carbide cannon was made in the 1940s:

Cast Iron Carbide Cannon

Cast Iron Carbide Cannon

This picture is of a cast iron carbide cannon from Big Bag. It is about 17 1/4 inches long and 5 inches wide. Model 10 FC. With a push button magazine it drops a measured charge of calcium carbide into the chamber of water which then generates the gas. Simply pull up ignitor, push down and experience the roar of the cannon.

Fun Cannon Alternatives:

Here are some pictures of products that work like the cannon, but which are molded into different types of military equipment: a tank, gun boat, and bombing plane:

Carbide Cannon Tank

Carbide Cannon Tank

Carbide Cannon Gun Boat

Carbide Cannon Gun Boat

Carbide Cannon Bombing Plane

Carbide Cannon Bombing Plane

The Ammunition or Calcium Carbide Needed for Your Cannon:

Carbide Cannon Ammunition

Carbide Cannon Ammunition

More information about the calcium carbide needed for your cannon is on the Bangsite Calcium page.

List of Currently Available Carbide Cannons and Supplies on e*Bay:

Large Vintage Big Bang 150mm Army Carbide Cannon


Vintage Conestoga Big Bang Carbide Field Cannon No. 10FC 4 Wheels 17 1/2”L

Big Bang Cast Iron Carbide Cannon – 17″ Major Field Cannon – Toy Noise Maker

Vintage Conestoga Big Bang Carbide Field Cannon No. 105MM With 4 Wheels 17 1/2”L

Vintage Conestoga Big Bang Carbide Field Cannon No. 10FC 4 Wheels 17 1/2”L

Vintage Premier Big Bang Cast Iron Carbide Toy WWII Cannon Army Military 1100×20

Vintage c1940 Conestoga Big Bang Bangsite Carbide Cannon Cast Iron Model Toy yqz

Vintage Ad -Big Bang carbide cannon – June 1963

7 Responses to “Carbide Cannons”
  1. Darrel says:

    Looking for carbide pistol.

  2. Zbys says:

    How loud are the BIG BANG 24 Carbide Cannons. Compare it to an real M-80 like thew ones from the 1960’s when they were legal.

  3. ajfan1977 says:

    I am just now pulling the one I have out of storage for the last 40 years. My father was a chemist and allowed me to play with one of these in the 60’s I found where to buy powder calcium carbide on line. When mixed with water it creates acetylene. I remember the bang was equal to a firecracker not a m80. I’m going to get mine going for the grandkids. I was also on the road last week and found one in an antique shop missing the breach lock with the flint and they wanted 24 dollars. remember this comes from my memory of a 8yr kid back in the 60’s.

  4. Jessica says:

    What would someone do if they had a 1930’s Smith’s Carbide Machine Gun Toy and wanted to sell it?

  5. Kurt says:

    I live in a city where “fireworks” are illegal. Does anyone know whether a carbide canon would fall with the definition of fireworks?

    • Pam says:

      as long as there are no projectiles coming out of the cannon they are legal most everywhere. They are toys. You might have to explain about the noise ordinance.

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