Lethal Pneumatic Ping Pong Ball Gun.

Ping pong ball aftermath

I just moved to Colorado, and being new to the area I was really excited to find out that there is a Denver maker’s meetup. For those of you who don’t know, a makers meetup is where inventors and fans of Make magazine get together and talk about their inventions, ideas, and plans. It is held at a hacker space called Club Workshop on the gritty side of denver. The shop is amazing! I didn’t even get a tour, but I saw a full woodworking room, a metal shop, a multi-lift automotive shop, a small textile area, and their laser cutter. This place looks like the kind of place I could definitely spend some more time.

Picture 1

The meetings are loosely structured, and the point is to bring and show other people what you’ve been working on. This particular meeting was largely filled up by Ron Kessinger. He is an artist/inventor/sculptor/prototyper and even that description doesn’t even begin to properly describe him. He brought a big binder filled with photos and sketches of his previous creations. He had pictures of the giant dome house he built, really cool collimated flow water sculptures, knives, and prototypes for a variety of industries and products.

The project that really took center stage was his ping-pong ball gun. You can think of this as a variation on a potato cannon, however his is built to run on compressed air, and it runs on much tighter tolerances.

Ping pong ball cannon Wide

It runs off of a compressed air line and a standard wall outlet. After firing a few “dry” rounds, he proceeded to shoot off a few (ok a LOT) of ping pong balls filled with water. These things might not weight a lot, but they are moving FAST. A sheet of drywall was no match for them, and even particle board failed spectacularly when faced by a 1″ sphere of water.

I have a ton of videos in a second. First here is a top view of the gun with the parts called out.

Pneumatic Ping Pong Ball Gun

Here’s the basic rundown of how this thing works.
By pushing one of the two trigger buttons (top I believe) you charge the 14 shot magazine that runs on the left side of the barrel and load a round into the cylinder. By pushing the second trigger once you begin to pressurize the gun, and by pushing it a second time you release all of the air through the mass relief valve, and then whatever is in front of the gun disappears!

I’m sure you are tired of reading, and just want to look at some videos of things getting shot. Here you go!


If you are watching this and absolutely NEED to have one (and want to pony up the bucks for it!) I might be able to get in touch with Ron and see what he says…

35 replies on “Lethal Pneumatic Ping Pong Ball Gun.”

  1. aproxomately how much would this gun be if i bought each of the parts separetly

  2. cheanoeun – I don’t know because I didn’t build it myself, but I do know it requires some pricey parts and some high precision machining. It would not be cheap, that’s for sure…

  3. Wow, this is really cool.
    I remember as a kid I used to have a similar device but it was a potato gun. It was also slightly smaller, but it had a pretty good effect.
    I think I will definitely have to give this one a go though. I think I may need to save up a bit first though because it looks like it could be quite expensive to build. Do you have a rough figure on what it cost you?

    All the best,
    Bill Jenkins
    Webmaster, LearnHowToBuildADogHouse.com

  4. Wow that were great activities and reading this post makes me thrill. I just saw how powerful this pingpong gun is and it was amazing that it can create hole with a single shot. That was really amazing.

  5. I am in a robotic engineering program and a big fan of building fun things to shoot. I was wondering if,it would be possible to get some plans or blue prints for that gun. I have actually been looking high and low for several of the parts that I believe are on that gun. The parts I am lookin for are for a ping pong project that I am working on now for school. I dontknow what I need or exactly where to find it but, that gun is awesome and I would love to build a similar replica, crediting ron for the design to build for my robotic engineering project. is there any chance I could get a copy of some plans ? Thanks.Pp

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