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 20% faster than the Grenade Launcher's projectiles, however, due to the Loose Cannon shooting a different projectile there is no difference in speed. Cannonballs explode faster than grenades, only having a fuse of 1 second. Unlike other grenades, bombs from this weapon do not explode when hitting players, instead dealing damage and significant knockback on the target while continuing in the same path, potentially hitting multiple enemies until it explodes due to its fuse or bounces off a surface. On Tank Robots, however, the cannonballs work identically to the default launcher's projectiles. The explosion of the bomb works as normal and has the same property as normal grenades where they deal half damage if they hit a surface before exploding. Overall the impact of a bomb deals half of what a normal grenade deals, and the explosion is 40% less damaging than a normal grenade, but shares the same explosion radius.

The Demoman can hold down the fire button to start the cannonball's fuse 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 takes mini-crit damage from the explosion and ignores explosive damage falloff (meaning the total damage is 131); other enemies hit by the explosion do not receive Mini-Crits, and are damaged as normal. This is known as a "Double-Donk" and produces a unique sound and "DONK 2x" effect on success. Holding a primed shot for too long automatically fires the shot, which explodes immediately and deals damage to the user. Over-shortening the fuse in this way can allow for a strong grenade jump known as a cannon jump.

Both the impact and explosion of a cannonball are considered explosive damage.

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%
Maximum fall-off 50%
Splash damage
Minimum splash 50% 2.8m
Damage reduction 1% / 2.88
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 covers 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.
Laddy Macdeth
Laddy Macdeth
Kill 50 enemies with direct hits from the Grenade Launcher.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye
While using The Classic, kill a rocket/grenade jumping enemy in midair with a full charge, no-scope headshot.
Jumper Stumper
Jumper Stumper
Kill a rocket or grenade-jumping enemy in midair with your Sniper Rifle or the Huntsman.

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.

December 17, 2015 Patch (Tough Break Update)

  • Changed attributes:
    • Reduced projectile speed increase from 50% to 20% (now a visible attribute).
    • Reduced cannon impact damage from 60 to 50. Damage also scales with distance.
    • Reduced knockback from cannon hit. Knockback strength is now similar to airblast.

December 18, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed a bug related to the Loose Cannon and bots in Mann vs. Machine mode.

December 22, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed an issue where the Loose Cannon would sometimes not apply knockback on hit.

October 24, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed the Loose Cannon not being able to Double Donk.

December 21, 2017 Patch (Smissmas 2017)

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Fixed The Loose Cannon continuing to play the priming sound if the weapon is holstered while priming.
  • [Undocumented] Updated Loose Cannon's projectile textures.


  • Cannonballs reflected with a compression blast do not deal mini-crit damage.
  • Since the cannonball impact is considered to be explosive damage, it gibs players on kill should their health be low enough.
  • Rarely, the priming sound and effects still play, even if the Loose Cannon is not being primed.
    • This can be fixed by switching to a different weapon, or firing the Loose Cannon again.
  • 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.
  • Despite the cannonballs visually appearing to be much larger than any of Demoman's other grenades, the size of the cannonball's hitbox is the same.


See also