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Very rare "Live Firing" Hispano-Suiza/Oldsmobile 20mm Cannon!


Recovered and completely restored from a World War II P38 Lightning!


Sorry - sold!


Hispano-Suiza Oldsmobile 20mm cannon 


P28 Lightning with a Hispano-Suiza 20mm Cannon


The Hispano-Suiza HS.404 was an auto cannon widely used as both an aircraft and land weapon in the 20th century by British, American, French, the Swiss Army and numerous other military services. Firing a 20 mm diameter projectile, it delivered a useful load of explosive from a relatively light weapon. This made it an ideal aircraft weapon, replacing the multiple 7.62 mm (.30 caliber) machine guns commonly used in military aircraft in the 1930s.


This Hispano Suiza cannon was in a P 38 Lightning during World War II.  After the war it was part of the great tragedy of chopping up all airplanes.  At the time there was a young collector who went out and gathered up a whole bunch of the 20 mm machine guns.  Since he didn't want to pay the $200 tax for each gun, he demilitarized them with a stick welder. Sometime later, this collector: J. Curtis Earl, ran afoul of the BATF.  When the 68 amnesty came around, he registered the guns.


The current owner bought this gun from J. Curtis just before he died and he spent the next four years restoring the gun. He put a new barrel in it, cut out all of the welds which had  been done with the stick welder and repaired a hole in the top of the receiver.

It was lucky that the gun was in Arizona for 20 years as there was very little rust.  It was mainly just surface rust.  None of the demilitarizing welds were in stress areas with the possible exception of the barrel.  The current owner did not know if the original barrel is usable, so instead, he put a new barrel on it.

 He also replaced the bolt assembly with a new one since he had to spend 5 months using diamond drills cutting out the old, welded-in one.

This great and very rare cannon comes with 1,000 rounds of original, belted ammo, that is very hard to find and costs between $20 to $40 or more for each round these days.  The current owner has made a manual trigger, which uses the clutch grip from a motorcycle.  The original electric trigger is also included.   Also included is the rest of the mount including; the arms you rest your shoulders in, the folding four foot long legs and all the rest.  Also included is a practice device which has plates with all the German and Japanese aircraft which you use to practice aiming leads and estimating distance.

    20mm Hispano-Suiza Cannon for sale

Ammo details:  The included ammo is a virtual wall of original 20mm cans weighing about a ton.  These original cans still have a gas in them which was used as a preservative. The original factory ammo is in storage and has been in a temperature controlled environment since it was new in the 1950's. 

PS: Please note: The ammo in the left photo below shows a box of 150 rounds and is the only box opened for testing.  The ammo on the right shows a comparison with a .308 tracer round.  
These rounds are a little tarnished because they have been handled for years to show the size of them.  This is the exact ammo included in the sale from the only open box.

20mm Ammo 

20mm Hispano-Suiza Cannon for sale

20mm Hispano-Suiza Cannon for sale   20mm Hispano-Suiza Cannon for sale   20mm Hispano-Suiza Cannon for sale

Hispano-Suiza 20mm Cannon for sale   Hispano-Suiza 20mm Cannon for sale  Hispano-Suiza 20mm Cannon for sale

Please look at these photos closely to see the great condition that this cannon is in!  More pictures and larger photos are available on request.

Be sure to watch the video on YouTube that is linked below showing one of these cannons firing!


Plus shipping for the cannon and ammo from Idaho or pick it up FREE.  Remember that the ammo weighs about 2,000 lbs.!

This FULLY automatic cannon and the ammunition MUST be paid in full and transferred through the BATF prior to pick-up, delivery, or shipping to your local gun dealer.  There will be no sale or shipping to anyone outside of the USA or to anyone that is not a US citizen.  Don't even ask!

The transfer taxes of $200 to $400 are to be paid by the buyer depending on his state of residence. 

There is no sales tax.

  Hispano-Suiza 20mm Cannon for sale

Hispano-Suiza 20mm Cannon for sale   

Additional information and links to several website about this cannon



Reference Links and Videos of this type gun firing!




The Hispano-Suiza HS.404 20 mm-caliber automatic cannon was one of the most widespread aircraft weapons of the 20th century, used by British, American, French, and many other military services. Firing a 20 mm diameter projectile, it delivered a useful load of explosive from a relatively light weapon. This made it an ideal cannon for use onboard fighters, replacing the multiple 7.62 mm (.30 caliber) machine guns commonly used in military aircraft in the 1930s.


Like the name implies, the Hispano cannon was developed by the French company Hispano-Suiza. It was based on the earlier Swiss Oerlikon FF S weapons, which the company manufactured under license in France as HS.7 and HS.9.

In the late 1930s, engineer Marc Birkigt designed a new and much improved version with a revised action, much faster rate of fire, and somewhat higher muzzle velocity. The result was the Type 404, or HS.404, which was widely considered the best aircraft cannon of its kind. The 404 was widely used on pre-war French designs, notably in installations firing through the drive shaft of the Hispano-Suiza 12Y engine, a system known as a moteur-canon employed in Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 and Dewoitine D.520.

The HS.404 was fed by drum magazines that could accommodate at most 60 rounds. Since in most installations the magazine could not be switched during flight, the small ammunition capacity was problematic. In 1940, Hispano-Suiza was developing a belt-feeding system, as well as derivatives of the HS.404 in heavier calibers such as 23 mm, but all these projects were halted with the German occupation of France.

British License

In the meantime, Great Britain had acquired a license to build the HS.404, which was first used in a British fighter as the Hispano Mk.I with the Westland Whirlwind of 1940. British engineers developed a belt-feeding mechanism. The new design was adopted by the RAF and FAA in 1941 in a slightly modified form as the Hispano Mk.II.

Four cannon replaced the eight Browning .303 machine guns in the Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIc and in Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc, and became standard armament in late-war British fighters such as the Hawker Typhoon/Tempest family or late marks of the Spitfire. Although earlier Spitfires equipped with Type C wing could accommodate four cannon, most of the carried only two because of technical difficulties such as inadequate gun-heating capacity for the outboard cannon leading to the gun freezing at high altitudes.

American License

The gun was also licensed for use in the United States as the M1, with both the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and U.S. Navy planning to switch to the 20 mm as soon as sufficient production was ready. A massive building program was set up, along with production of ammunition, in 1941. When delivered the guns proved to be extremely unreliable and suffered a considerable number of misfires due to the round being "lightly struck" by the firing pin. The British were interested in using this weapon to ease production in England, but after receiving the M1 they were disappointed. In April 1942 a copy of the British Mk.II was sent to the U.S. for comparison, with the differences being primarily that the British version used a slightly shorter chamber that they believed was the cause of the U.S.'s problems.

The U.S. declined to modify the chamber of their version, but nevertheless made other different modifications to create the no-more-reliable M2. By late 1942 the USAAC had 40 million rounds of ammunition stored, but the guns remained unsuitable. The U.S. Navy had been trying to go all-cannon throughout the war, but the conversion never occurred. As late as December 1945 the Army's Chief of Ordnance was still attempting to complete additional changes to the design to allow it to enter service.

Hispano Mk. V

Meanwhile, the British had given up on the U.S. versions and production levels had been ramped up to the point where this was no longer an issue anyway. They upgraded to the Hispano Mk. V, which had a shorter barrel, was lighter and had a higher rate of fire, although at the expense of some muzzle velocity. One of the main British fighters to use the Mk. V was the Hawker Tempest Mk. V Series II, which mounted a total of four.

The U.S. followed suit with the M3, but reliability problems continued. After World War II the United States Air Force (USAF) adopted a version of the M3 cannon as the M24, similar in most respects except for the use of electrically primed ammunition.

In the post-war era the HS.404 disappeared fairly quickly due to the introduction of revolver cannon based on the German Mauser MG 213. The British introduced the powerful 30 mm ADEN cannon in most post-war designs, and the French used the very similar DEFA cannon, both firing the same ammunition. The USAF introduced the 20 mm M39 revolver cannon to replace the M24, while the Navy instead combined the original Hispano design with a lighter round for better muzzle velocity in the Colt Mk 12 cannon.


The Mk. II Hispano fired a 130 gram (4.58 oz.) 20 mm x 110 mm projectile with a muzzle velocity between 840 and 880 m/s (2,750 and 2,900 ft./s), depending on barrel length. Rate of fire was between 600 and 850 rounds per minute. It was 2.36 m (7 ft. 9 in) long, weighing between 42 and 50 kg (93 and 110 lb.). The British Mk V and American M3/M24 weapons were lighter with higher rates of fire than the early HS.404 guns.

Type: single-barrel automatic cannon

Caliber: 20 mm x 110 (0.79 in)

Operation: gas operated

Length: 2.36 m (7 ft. 9 in)

Weight (complete): 42-50 kg (93-110 lb.)

Rate of fire: 600-850 rpm

Muzzle velocity: 840 to 880 m/s (2,750 to 2,900 ft./s)

Projectile weight: 130 g (4.58 oz.)

HE round explosive filler: ~6 g

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