Why would you make a cannon that shoots bowling balls? This is exactly what I asked Larry Progreba, an inventor and custom guitar maker who lives in the backwoods of Montana. He answered with, "Well, if I didn't do it, who would?"
I was filming a special for the History Channel called "Secret Earth: Yellowstone Supervolcano" when the producers from Grizzly Creek Films mentioned they had found a guy that built a massive cannon that shoots bowling balls more than a mile and a half; his name was Larry. They said that we were going to visit Larry and film him shooting the cannon to help viewers understand the idea of pressure building up in a volcano.
Larry loaded the cannon with a tupperware dish filled with gunpowder, gently slid a bowling ball down the barrel, and lit the fuze. The smoke slowly billowed out of the barrel as the fuze burned toward the powder until, after what felt like an eternity, a shuddering boom rang out through the valley. What happened to the bowling ball? Watch the video to find out...
Craig Beals and Larry Progreba watch as the homemade bowling ball cannon launches a bowling ball a mile across the valley during the History Channel special "Secret Earth: Yellowstone Supervolcano".
Four years after I met Larry and shot his cannon, I finally built my own bowling ball cannon. But, my cannon build got a little out of control - I ended up rebuilting an old Jeep and installing the cannon in the back of the Jeep! As far as I know, it is the only Jeep Cannon is the world! Find out all about it and watch the video of it shooting here.
Keep on Learning! Craig Beals