the vortex cannon is a device that was developed by someone for the military in the 40's or 50's.( supposedly the germans were working on one also) they put a bit of money into developing it, and decided it wasn't going to work. they thought they could shoot down aircraft with it. so this same person, took this same idea to a bunch of toy companies. a number of different versions of this toy were made. this was a toy gun that shot a puff of air that you could use to knock down paper targets and scare the pets. kids used it to put out their eardrums too, and then the lawsuits and such, and it was taken off the market. in the early 80's, Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories made what he called the shockwave cannon. the first ones were based on principles of blast deflection, which is something different. he then developed ones based on the toy that he had when he was a kid.

this design is similar to ones mark pauline has made. i have actually made a number of significant design changes, but really, probably the only person that would notice them would be mark. the performance and/or necessity of said changes is up for discussion.

what it does: it uses an oxy-acetaline explosion to shoot a "donut" of air similar to a smoke ring. this is a gradually expanding ring about 24-36" in diameter, that travels about 100 feet or so. sometimes it can be seen as a transparent distortion. when it hits something you can see the outline of a ring. sometimes the vortex itself makes a weird sort of whistling noise as it travels. getting hit with it doesn't hurt, it feels kind of like being hit with a pillow.

why? i think it's a really neat idea. and in person it's really really odd.

this made it's public debut at the destroy ape technology show on june 30, 2001 in san francisco.


 if anyone has any addditional informantion on the history or design of vortex cannons, please feel free to contact me at


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