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Old January 02, 2019, 22:16   #1
K. Funk
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Need Some Cannon Help....

So, I got this cannon, 2-1/4" bore which gets fired with blank charges on holidays in the yard and with billiard ball ammunition when we get a little crazier at the spring shootem-up. So, since we can't hit nuthin with the round balls, I was thinking maybe some cannister. Low and behold a box of REALLY big bearing balls shows up on my desk from the roll shop. Apparently we had a really big bearing go bad on the mill. The balls are about 1.3". First thing I think is GRAPE SHOT!! So, I have this idea of getting a wood plug for a wad/piston and a heavy duty cardboard tube sized appropriately to hold the shot charge, like 5 or 6 balls. How does one go about calculating a 1F powder charge for something like that? Just futzing around, I came up with 2.5 Oz for a 1 Lb projectile package. So then, I start looking for smaller balls for cannister rounds. It seems like you can get slingshot steel balls pretty cheap, but once you go past 1/2", they become precision bearings and the price climbs dramatically. Then it hit me...I have about 1K lb of lead. I started looking at round ball molds and low and behold I found a .690" ball mold for $28 shipped with handles. So, now I am back to calculating powder charges. If I keep the shot charge to 1Lb, I think I am still looking at 2.5 Oz 1F. Can anyone confirm my math or lead me to a source to estimate?

Thanks,

krf
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Old January 02, 2019, 22:57   #2
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Pics of cannon???
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Old January 02, 2019, 23:09   #3
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Old January 02, 2019, 23:10   #4
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Old January 02, 2019, 23:13   #5
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Now that’s cool. Lucky bastage.

No cannon forums out there?
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Old January 03, 2019, 11:19   #6
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You Sir have a beautiful cannon. I have a crude but heavily made cannon that is 2.25 ID. The OD is 5” Timkin tube that is 5’ long. I shoot a sized 2” down rigger cast lead ball over 4ozs of Goex 1Fg. That load shoots pretty flat out to about 300 yards. I just got a nice mold that a couple of ex/Navy Machinest Mates green sand cast and turned the plug for a 2.25 pound Minnie Ball. I have cast a few but won’t shoot them until the spring Washington shoot. Be advised that a 6 oz charge of Goex 1Fg will send a 2 pound 2” round ball 1.33 miles down range at less than a 10 degree raise over horizontal. Have fun.
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Old January 03, 2019, 12:16   #7
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I seem to remember watching a video a few years back guys shooting cannons (maybe mail call w/ the Gunny ?)


they shot either a turned aluminum "slug" about 6" long or it was a cast Zinc "slug"

they could hit w/ some decent accuracy

maybe you could turn some aluminum "slugs" that are scaled up lyman 525 gr sabot slugs

or if you're really serious get a mould made to pour a scaled up version of the 525 gr slug

problem would be stopping a 1 pound air rifle pellet on steroids, 'cause you want to be able to reclaim the pellet & melt it and recast
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Old January 03, 2019, 12:30   #8
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Beer can full of plaster or cement.

If you want, make a wooden swaging plug and cup to put a point on it.



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Old January 03, 2019, 16:04   #9
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KF:

I'd use caution on internet resources

You might subscribe to Artilleryman magazine
here's a online sample issue:

https://issuu.com/civilwardealerscol...r_2018_-_issuu

They currently offer a "Half Shell" book on cannon shells including canister rounds:

http://artillerymanmagazine.com/default.asp?45

these rounds can get rather complex, a great deal more than folks realize
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Old January 03, 2019, 20:03   #10
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Buy bulk Ball Bearings from Auto Parts Store for Canister or Grape Shot.

A guy I used to shoot with had a replica Cohorn (sp?) Mortar that launched Sand-filled Soda Cans approx 100 yards, propelled by a 35mm Film Canister of Black Powder (I don't remember what "F", probably 1, but was like 20 years ago)

OTOH, I spent a few years as a Medic for an Artillery unit which used 155mm Howitzers that fired 96lb projectiles up to 15 miles, and used variable powder charges. Taking that idea, you may be better to take range into account.
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Old January 03, 2019, 20:33   #11
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If the cost Of Black powder does not eat you up the cost of projectiles will !!
+2 Vote for soda cans filled with plaster
Some years ago I stopped at the local machine shop and the 10 Wheeler flat bed truck has this GIANT Lathe on the back --Huge Chuck and long bed.. First thought CANNONS Boring barrels ---I say new toy and hes says going to the scrap yard -- I about DIE on the spot - WHY I say? 75 Hp Motor requires soft start and Costs are too hi !!
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Old January 03, 2019, 21:14   #12
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a cute little home brew explosive round can be fashioned thusly:

you take a fired 16 and a 12 gauge hull knocking the spent primer out of one and reaming the flash hole to 3/32nd"
Run a length of standard cannon fuse up inside and seal around the fuze with hot glue
After the glue sets cut the fuse at an angle and dip in Ntrocellous varnish

Fill the hull with no more than a 1/4 ounce of FFF powder to remain within federal regulations
You will want to cut out a series of "doughnuts" from heavy stock cardboard stacking them over the 12 gauge hull then hot glue everything together
the Doughnuts need to be a decent interference fit both over the hull and within the bore

Used to do this up with flash powder in black powder mortars, that though while impressive when it goes bang could lead to catastrophic failure. Not much danger with triple F

by the War between the States most canister ran a bursting charge.
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Old January 03, 2019, 21:25   #13
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Here’s my baby. We had this made some time between 1958 and 1960 out of cast iron. It’s what my Cub Scout Pack could afford. Bronze and Brass was way too costly. It gets shot once or twice a year using ¼ pound charges of cannon powder and a good wad of paper towel. Barrel is 36” long with a 3” bore which is 32” deep. It just wasn’t large enough for a two wheel carriage, so I built it as a naval gun.





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Old January 03, 2019, 21:32   #14
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Here’s my baby. We had this made some time between 1958 and 1960 out of cast iron. It’s what my Cub Scout Pack could afford. Bronze and Brass was way too costly. It gets shot once or twice a year using ¼ pound charges of cannon powder and a good wad of paper towel. Barrel is 36” long with a 3” bore which is 32” deep. It just wasn’t large enough for a two wheel carriage, so I built it as a naval gun.







Sweet!
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Old January 03, 2019, 21:38   #15
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That. Is. Fuggen. Too. Cool.

When you get ready to upgrade your cannon Karl, I will gladly buy it like some of your other hand-me-downs I have bought in the past.

An awesome "bit of kit" there brother Karl
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Old January 03, 2019, 22:11   #16
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Only artillery I have left is a Stokes Brandt pre war 60mm Mortar
same as our M2 but fully brass mounted
Had a fellow turn out a new 60mm tube with fuze hole and a machined powder cup then fusion weld it all to the original Stokes base cup

Nice rig, has the optical sight and will launch standard 60mm cast iron dummy rounds with a loose black powder charge
yeah the 60mm bore is legal, it does not need to be undersized. That's just a myth on these things

Had one of the Russian 50mm mortar conversions to fuze fire that Odin International used to sell in the 70s. Sold that 5 years back for 3K

Used to be huge into these things
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Old January 04, 2019, 08:44   #17
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I built a cannon some years ago for a hi tech company that wanted to test electronic packages for extreme shock resistance. I made it so that the bore would accept a standard beer or soda can but the projectiles for testing by the company were two piece machined aluminum made to contain the electronics. I found that plaster filled soda cans would shoot but would tumble in flight and were not at all accurate. I have the makings for another cannon as my quote to them included parts for a second gun (in case I made a serious error with the first one) and work on it now and then but still have plenty to do on it. Myself, I would stay away from ball bearings as they are HARD and will bounce and ricochet readily as well as score your barrel. I am thinking cast metal, aluminum, zinc, lead or even iron would be the way to go for an "accurate" projectile while wood, plaster filled soda cans or just wadding would be fine for noise making. I have used sand as well, it has collective weight to create pressure and noise but the individual grains lose energy quickly and don't go far.
I also have a small 1" bore cannon which can shoot cloth patched 3/4" annealed copper pipe caps filled about halfway with lead. These can travel nearly a mile which was a big surprise to me.
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Old January 05, 2019, 22:16   #18
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I have a 2"/2pounder cannon that I bought at an auction. The ship carriage that it was on was pretty much rotted so I built a new one using the old one as a guide.
I'm currently in the process of building a field carriage for it.

That said, Funk, if you go on line and look up companies that sell supplies to build your own firework - salutes, rockets etc, several of them sell round empty shell cases for fabricating star shells and such for mortar tubes. I know I saw 2" shells on one of the sites...

Me, I'm going to try building an exploding shell filled with glitter for daytime use.(We do Gasparilla down here every year.)
I do have an actual mold for casting round balls for a cannon. I'll check and see what the mold diameter is.
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Old January 05, 2019, 22:43   #19
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whatsa matter? did you run out of bottle jacks?
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The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
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Old January 05, 2019, 23:30   #20
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No cannon forums out there?

There are.

https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/forumd...-War-Artillery

https://www.go2gbo.com/forums/88-bla...artillery.html

https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/forums/cannon.14/
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Old January 06, 2019, 09:01   #21
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Good information. I appreciate all of the info and links. I won't comment on the bottle jack since you guys were kind enough to help me out in my time of need, both to free the beast and then to supply the projectile. I'll do some more homework and let you guys know what I come up with. Should have something ready for the spring shoot, we can finally shred that camper!!

krf
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Old January 06, 2019, 12:50   #22
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In the past have made molds, filled with ball bearings, scrap nuts and bolts, etc then poured full of epoxy to bond it all together. If find correct epoxy blend/strength can hold your projectiles together till impact target. If play with blends can have your choice of projectiles clear muzzle but force of launch and travel down bore will have them start separating in flight. Have several friends with cannons in variety of sizes and a couple with bowling ball mortars. I really would like to have a bowling ball mortar at house as would be perfect for discouraging boats in lake behind house and anything in sight of house due to terrain could easily drop big heavy bowling balls on them before they got close enough to be a bother in SHTF scenario.

Favorite cannon I ever built for myself had a bore size (not even looked at in a decade) of approximately 2.125" which mostly used 5.5 ounce V8 juice cans to make projectiles. An easy and relatively safe projectile was pour can almost full of water and freeze. Makes an impressive impact on a 55 gallon drum without any real mass carrying through it or say tree line behind (have 160 acres of mixed pines and hardwoods before another 1,000 acres of Wildlife Management in any direction) if carries above backstop.

Used to have a bounty on U.S. size 202 Standard cans (2 1/8"×4"), 202 Tall cans (2 1/8"×5 1/2") or about anything approximating 2" O.D. could stuff in my cannon. Believe Red Bull cans are same size and have some taller ones than we ever played with now. Used cans filled with BB's, buckshot, ball bearings or anything. Some for quick fracture and dispersion could fill dead space with water and freeze or for projectile that had to hit something solid before comes apart epoxy or fiberglass resin. Filled cans with Sackcrete with gravel or different blends of concrete and mortar mix for testing. While expensive to purchase and launch 2" aluminum extrusion cut to length. Tried heavy wall pipe with detaching sabots or using a solid disk to allow pressure to launch them. Being a 13 year old kid with full metal and steel fab shop unsupervised like reloading bench it's by God's grace lived to get a drivers license.

Hid it away in the barn on the farm years ago which has been hit by a tornado lost most of its roof and is near collapse. Unsure if should retrieve it or let barn fall on it and go to mixed scrap when mess is cleaned up. Had it on a sled rather than a rolling carriage and was rather crude. Have not played with it since nephew became old enough to realize what it was and may get the idea to show off to friends. Can see him loading in back of his truck and taking somewhere not realizing it's potential if pour enough powder in with proper weight projectile. Probably need to go rescue it, take to shop and have my fabrication man come in and build a proper carriage with repeatable reference marks for estimating range after some testing with a more adult approach.

Have a friend with a golf ball (~1.7" bore tube) cannon which he launches D cell batteries from along with other odd items. Sure the EPA would like to put him under the prison for doing so but wraps them with a few turns of duct tape or patches them and make an impressive holes in old car bodies. He also turns wooden bullets which hollows and fills with lead weights. Honestly have tried to not get back into cannons as farm is too far from house and know I would become obsessed.
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Old January 07, 2019, 16:47   #23
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Oh, HELL YEAH!!! Way, way cool, dude.
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