Loose Cannon

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This article is about the weapon. For the comic, see Loose Canon.
Ya call those bombs, ya wee little romance novel? I'll show you bombs!
The Demoman on old-fashioned bombs

The Loose Cannon is a community-created primary weapon for the Demoman. It resembles a pirate-style cannon with a stock and a sight near the front of the barrel.

The Loose Cannon fires explosive, glowing cannonballs that travel at approximately 1811 Hammer Units per second (roughly 77 mph), 50% faster than the Grenade Launcher's projectiles. Cannonballs explode faster than grenades, having a fuse of 1 second. Impact deals approximately 40% less damage upon contact with enemies and do not explode immediately, inflicting potent knockback instead. The subsequent explosion also deals approximately 40% less damage at point blank range, and as with other explosive weapons, scaling down to half that amount when damaging at the maximum explosion radius. The Demoman can hold down the fire button to prime the cannonball without shooting until the button is released, allowing control over how long it takes to explode once fired. As a reward for doing so perfectly, if a cannonball impacts an enemy and then explodes within half a second, the enemy will take mini-crit damage from the explosion. This is known as a "Double-Donk" and produces a unique sound and "DONK 2x" effect on success.

Both the impact and explosion of a cannonball are considered explosive damage. Holding a primed shot for too long will automatically fire the shot, which will immediately explode similar to the Beggar's Bazooka overloading, and deal damage to the user. Over-shortening the fuse in this way can allow for a strong grenade jump known as a cannon jump.

The Loose Cannon was contributed to the Steam Workshop.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Projectile
Damage type Explosive
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Base damage 100% Direct: 60
Splash: 29-52
Bounce: 29-57
Critical Direct: 180
Splash: 90-153
Bounce: 90-173
Mini-crit Direct: 82
Splash: 41-69
Bounce: 41-77
Splash damage
Minimum splash 50% 3 ft
Damage reduction 1% / 2.88
Self-damage Splash: 56-104
Bounce: 56-104
Overload: 64-71
Function times
Attack interval 0.6 s
Reload (first) 1.24 s
Reload (consecutive) 0.6 s
Maximum charge time 1 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Note: Explosive damage varies depending on how it hits a player. The larger the classes' hit box and the closer to the explosion, the more damage delivered. The further away from the explosion, the less damage. Explosions do the most damage when they happen at the mid point of a player model. The explosion will cover more of the hit box, thus doing the most possible damage.



See also: Crafting


Loch-n-Load Reclaimed Metal Loose Cannon
Item icon Loch-n-Load.pngx3 + Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png = Item icon Loose Cannon.png
Class Token - Demoman Slot Token - Primary Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Demoman.png + Item icon Slot Token - Primary.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Loch-n-Load.png Item icon Ali Baba's Wee Booties.png Item icon Bootlegger.png Item icon Loose Cannon.png
Item icon B.A.S.E. Jumper.png Item icon Iron Bomber.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

Blind Fire
Blind Fire
Destroy an Engineer building that you can't see with a direct hit from your Grenade Launcher.

Bloody Merry
Bloody Merry
Provide an enemy player with a freeze cam of your smiling face.
Kill 25 Scouts and Pyros with the Grenade Launcher.

Backpack Full Head Of Steam.png Foundry achievements

Terminated, Too
Terminated, Too
Kill a player by pushing them into the cauldron fire.

Doomsday icon.png Astro-chievements

Push a player into the rocket's exhaust path at the end of the round.

Update history

December 20, 2012 Patch (Mecha Update)
  • The Loose Cannon was added to the game.

January 24, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed missing text in the recipe description for The Loose Cannon.

June 11, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed not hearing the Loose Cannon impact sound when playing on dedicated servers.

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • Changed attributes:
    • Range no longer affects direct cannonball impact damage.
    • Reduced charge time to 1 second.
    • Added Double-Donk (directly impacting an enemy within half a second before the bomb explosion) sound and particle effects.
    • Double-Donk damage now mini-crits.
    • [Undocumented] Removed hidden +50% damage bonus.

July 12, 2013 Patch

  • Updated the Loose Cannon description to match the updated gameplay.

August 27, 2013 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Strange quality.

November 12, 2013 Patch

April 1, 2014 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Fixed crit boosted glow not showing.

June 19, 2014 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The Loose Cannon's cannon ball explosions now use a deeper sound.

December 22, 2014 Patch (Smissmas 2014)

  • Double donk explosive damage now deal full radius damage to victims. Previously double donk explosive damage was reduced by radius distance from the explosion.
  • Removed a hidden penalty where Cannonballs that touched the world would deal 50% less damage in addition to regular grenade damage reduction on world touch.
  • Reduced the amount of self-damage received from the Loose Cannon.

December 23, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed a bug related to the Loose Cannon's Double Donk damage calculation.

July 2, 2015 Patch #1 (Gun Mettle Update)

  • Updated description to better detail the weapon's features.


  • Cannonballs reflected with a compression blast do not deal mini-crit damage.
  • If the player taps the attack button and switches weapons before the weapon starts priming, the priming sound will still play.
    • This also happens when the players die as they are priming the weapon.
  • Since the cannonball impact is considered to be explosive damage, it will gib players on kill should their health be low enough.
  • The Loose Cannon uses the same reload animation as the Grenade Launcher, resulting in it reloading downwards instead of in the barrel.


  • A "loose cannon" was a cannon on a ship which broke loose from its mounts and thus became a danger to the ship and crew; in modern idiom, it is a person who has little to no self-control.


See also