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Canister Shell

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"A tank shell encasing thousands of tungsten balls fired through the cannon muzzle like a shotgun."
— Battlelog Description

A Canister Shell is a shell consisting of a closed metal canister typically filled with tungsten shot, achieving a similar effect as a shotgun, but with much higher damage and range potential. They are used against enemy infantry in the open or behind light cover; historically, they served as a back-up round of field artillery, cutting down entire waves of advancing infantry. They also prove useful when enemy infantry is targeted near a friendly armored vehicle, because the pellets cannot penetrate armor.

Battlefield 2142Edit

The main weapon on the A3-Goliath IFV is a scatter gun that fires canister shot. It is often fatal to infantry, and can also inflict damage on fast cheetahs. 

Battlefield 3Edit

Canister Shell
Thermal Camo Reactive Armor
Unlocked at

• 68100 MBT score
• 34000 TD score

Special Feature

• Scattergun capability
• Shares chamber with main weapon


MBT (Driver)
Tank Destroyer

Customization slot

Vehicle weapon

The Canister Shell is a specialization for tanks and tank destroyers in Battlefield 3. It inflicts much higher damage than the coaxial machine guns but has the same reload time as regular HEAT tank shells. The damage tapers with distance as the individual pellets disperse. The operator can instantly switch between either type. After firing either type of shell, the cannon must be reloaded before either ammunition can be used.

While the Canister shell doesn't achieve quite the same effectiveness as the coaxial LMG in close quarters due to its much longer reload time and single shot, the Canister shell, unlike most scatterguns, excels in medium and long range, as it fires a high number of high damage pellets within a fairly tight firing cone. It is still useful in certain situations in close quarters, as it allows for a faster kill where time is of the essence. This not only makes the tank driver extremely devastating against infantry at ranges where the coaxial guns would be too inaccurate or low damaging, but is also able to damage light armored vehicles, which most notably includes aircraft.

The canister shot provides the tank with a reasonable amount of AA firepower, dealing serious damage to low-flying jets and helicopters with much less effort than that required using standard shells. A single well-placed shot can disable or even destroy low-flying aircraft at close range. Its anti-aircraft ability is limited, however, by the traversal of the tank turret, and by its turning speed on consoles.

Battlefield 3 Tank Guide - Canister Shell(04:28)
Video about Canister Shell

Patch historyEdit

• Prior to the 1.06 patch (September 2012), the canister shell could be fired immediately after firing a regular HEAT shell, and vice versa, as reload time with the single breech was not properly assessed. Now there is a realistic delay in switching between either ammunition.

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