Semi Automatic Pneumatic Tennis Ball Air Cannon


Update: See Version 1 Developed!

Semi Automatic Pneumatic Tennis Ball Air Cannon Graphic

June of 2011 the Youth Pastor at our church asked me to build him a gun that shot tennis ball guns which we could then fire at the Youth Kids while they ran through an obstacle course. His request, and my design, spawned the Version 1 Death by Foam Pneumatic Tennis Ball Cannon.

However, this design was not my original plan, and I am woefully unsatisfied with Version 1.

What I really wanted was a Semi-Automatic Cannon with 10 tennis balls loaded in a vertical magazine which would allow the balls to gravity drop into the barrel and fire. Similar to the way the Death by Foam HAMP Hopper Clips work.

Unfortunately that dream did not become a reality in the 3 month timeline I had to build the Version 1 DBF Cannon.

Today, I’m here to report my dream of the the Death by Foam Pneumatic Tennis Cannon (DBF PTC) is going to become a reality!

Thanks to Alan’s advice,  of, I found a 2 ½ PVC pipe called SDR26.

SDR26 is the same external 2 ½ diameter as the SDR21 which comprises the Barrel and creates a very tight seal for the balls to leave the launcher. But SDR26 has a larger interior diameter (thinner pipe wall) which will allow the Tennis balls to gravity drop in the magazine. Otherwise the tennis balls would not have fallen into the barrel to be fired.

New Trigger Mechanism!

Death by Foam Pneumatic Tennis Cannon Solenoid Trigger Assembly

Again thanks to Alan, instead of the TERRIBLE ball valve “trigger” of the DBF v1 PTC the Semi-Auto PTC (SAPTC) will have a proper solenoid operated trigger!

  1. This will allow a plentiful burst of air to launch a tennis ball,
  2. then quickly close the valve,
  3. allowing the next tennis ball to fall into place
  4. and allowing the air compressor to refill the shock tank
  5. to be ready to fire again, and again, and again…!

The parts are on order and the first Version 2 Death by Foam Pneumatic Tennis Ball Air Cannon will be built in the next few weeks!

For those already asking about price, I’m thinking these are going to cost in the neighborhood of $200-$300 each because of the expensive and specialty components.

By comparison the Version 1 PTC will cost around $100.

Stay Posted to see video of Version 2 in action!