Pancor Jackhammer

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Pancor Jackhammer Mark 3-A2
Pancor Jackhammer.png
Side-view of Pancor Jackhammer, with Drum magazine
Type Bullpup revolver automatic shotgun
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service Cancelled
Production history
Designer John Anderson
Designed 1984
Manufacturer Pancor Corporation
No. built 3 (2 were destroyed in testing)
Weight 7.9 kilograms (17 lb)
Length 787 millimetres (31.0 in)
Barrel length 525 millimetres (20.7 in)

Cartridge 12 (2¾") gauge
Action Gas-operated, revolving cylinder
Rate of fire 240 rpm
Feed system 10-shot detachable cylinder magazine
Sights Iron sights

The Pancor Corporation Jackhammer was a 12-gauge, gas-operated automatic shotgun designed in 1984 and patented in 1987. Only three working prototypes of the Jackhammer were built. Nonetheless, its distinctive aesthetics and futuristic design have made it a prop in action films, television programs, and video games.

External video
Pancor Jackhammer: The Real One
A detailed look at the Jackhammer.


The Jackhammer was designed by John A. Anderson, who formed the company Pancor Industries in New Mexico. Reportedly, several foreign governments expressed interest in the design and even ordered initial production units once ready for delivery.[citation needed] However, the design was held up for production due to United States Department of Defense testing, though the design was eventually rejected. With no customers and little interest, Pancor went bankrupt. Supposed overseas orders were subject to United States Department of State approval that was not forthcoming. The assets of Pancor were sold off, including the few prototypes built.[1]


Components of the Jackhammer Machine Shotgun
1987 patent drawing of the Jackhammer fully automatic shotgun

Though unconventional, the Jackhammer can best be described as a gas-operated revolver. Many parts were constructed of Rynite polymer to reduce weight. Layout was of a bullpup configuration with a 10-round revolving cylinder that fired conventional, 12-gauge shells. The cylinder's method of rotation was very similar to the Webley–Fosbery Automatic Revolver, an operating rod being used to rotate the cylinder.[2]

At the moment of firing, the front of the shell sealed inside the breech of the barrel much like the Nagant M1895 revolver. Unlike the Nagant, whose cylinder moved forward to form the seal, the barrel of the Jackhammer was driven forward and away from the cylinder by a ring-piston, using gas tapped from the bore. As the barrel moved forward, the breech cleared the front of the fired cartridge and an operating rod attached to the barrel rotated the cylinder through a "zig-zag" cam arrangement. As the next shell aligned with the bore, the barrel returned under spring pressure. Spent shells were retained in the cylinder, as in a traditional revolver. For reloading, the cylinder was removed from the bottom of its housing and shells were manually extracted. Removing the cylinder required the barrel be moved and secured in the forward position.[2]

Bear Trap Anti-Personnel Device[edit]

Unique to the Jackhammer was the ability to convert a loaded cylinder from the weapon into an anti-personnel device similar to a mine by the addition of a firing mechanism. The cylinder would be loaded with up to 10 12ga shells and the firing mechanism fitted over the bottom section of the cylinder. A pressure plate or plunger can then set to mechanically fire the shells in the cylinder upon pressing or initiate a spring-loaded timer which can be set to trigger firing up to twelve hours later, in one hour intervals. As the cylinder is designed to contain the pressure of firing normally, it can be discharged and reused when used in Bear Trap configuration. As of 1994, development of the Bear Trap concept was completed.[3]

Related developments[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jonathan Glazer. "The PANCOR Jackhammer". Movie Gun Services. 
  2. ^ a b Bishop, Chris (2006). The Encyclopedia of Weapons: From World War II to the Present Day. San Diego, California: Thunder Bay Press. p. 355. 
  3. ^ Hogg, Ian V. Jane's Infantry Weapons 1994–1995. Jane's Information Group. 1994

External links[edit]