Bowling Ball Cannon


September 27, 2003, 09:45 PM
:evil: Where can I get one...


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Mark Tyson
September 27, 2003, 09:49 PM
Oh . . . my . . . goodness . . .

Is this thing registered as a destructive device?

September 27, 2003, 09:51 PM
Fun! I need one of those.

But Doc Nickel standing downrange from that beast is not smart.

September 27, 2003, 10:31 PM
as i told the koolaid drinking Bradyite one night

"so you want to completely eliminate guns from the public?

see that lamppost over there?

Thats a gun in 1 hour"

September 27, 2003, 10:34 PM
Commercial versions of the bowling ball mortar are available from a couple of sources. Check out the ads on There are some available there now, I think.

They're expensive but well made.

September 27, 2003, 11:06 PM
Is this thing registered as a destructive device?

Nope. You don't even need to have/use an FFL to buy one.

Mike Irwin
September 27, 2003, 11:34 PM
Years ago a friend and I made a series of mortars that culminated with our shooting a 1 pound can of baked beans about 800 yards...

4v50 Gary
September 27, 2003, 11:59 PM
Met a park police Lt. who told me that as a youth, he was part of a "Union" mortar crew that re-enacted for the public. Instead of the two or less ounces of powder they normally used, they, while inebriated, poured in a pound. :eek: Now, we're talking about 20 pound mortar round and not a can o' baked beans. Well, the report was pleasing enough and the ball sailed into the air like it was designed to - and out of sight. Opps.

They formed a skirmish line and marched forward in the direction of the ball. About a mile later, they found it and happily enough, no car or person was beneath it. The poor sober soljers got a royal chewing out from the Park Ranger for that stunt but they knew they deserved it. :D

Anyone in San Bruno CA should swing by Tabor Engineering. Frank Tabor has one for bowling balls and while not pretty, it works. He once demolished a tree with it.

September 28, 2003, 01:33 AM
Sorta takes pin shooting to a whole new level, huh?

September 28, 2003, 04:28 AM
Be sure and read his footnote...:p

September 28, 2003, 09:16 AM
When the Doc wrote he was 'downrange' to get the next photo, I think he meant he was on the other side of the firingline. Wish he did take photos of the impacts too.

What they need to do is set up ten pins down range and shoot for a strike.

September 28, 2003, 10:39 AM
I like it!!!
Do you realize that with bore that size you could use a mop to clean it?:D

September 28, 2003, 11:27 AM
Actually, you know what I'm thinking?

"Bowling for Moore's apartment."


September 28, 2003, 12:53 PM
Actually, you know what I'm thinking?

"Bowling for Moore's apartment."


oh, the visions in my head right now....


September 28, 2003, 02:13 PM
"Bowling for Moore's apartment."

Now that would be worthy of an Oscar.

Mike Irwin
September 28, 2003, 04:32 PM
If you used duckpin balls that would be like the old cannister shot!

September 28, 2003, 05:39 PM
"Bowling for Moore's apartment."****!!!!!! ROFLMFAO!!!! I needed that.:D

50 Shooter
September 28, 2003, 11:02 PM
I'll just say that I know of at least three, they are awesome.

September 28, 2003, 11:30 PM
:what: :uhoh:

September 28, 2003, 11:43 PM
Thing I love about em is the whistle the holes create as they arc in the air....................................waaaaaay up there.

50 Shooter
September 28, 2003, 11:45 PM
As long as the balls don't hit any rocks you can recycle them. ;)

who me
September 28, 2003, 11:49 PM
Man talk about penetration. I wonder if Speer would make gold dot ball for it. :D

September 29, 2003, 12:00 AM
Put that at the top of the X-mas wish list!:D

September 29, 2003, 12:04 AM
I had a Pat McManus flashback. From memory, but it's pretty close.

Deputy: Now you boys know you shouldn't be out here smoking.

Pat: Shoot, if you'd been out here sooner you could have seen us while we were still on fire.

Deputy: Sorry about your dog.

I get a smile just thinking about that one. It's one of my favorites.

September 29, 2003, 01:37 AM
Those are the ones I've seen, rick314.

From my limited knowledge, they use a cut-off ox-acetelene tank mounted on an "X/Y"/motar mount.

Drilled to accept a standard percussion cap & use some amount of black powder as the charge. You pull a string & the cap takes the whole thing off & away - basically a percussion muzzle loader - just at a higher elevation.

Betcha Bill ll (w/4 Ls) could fill y'all in some..... he's made some things.

BBWs shoot a standard bowling ball about 500 yds+ downrange & in fairly sodt dirt, you'll have to dig to rcover the shot.

Nighttimes, they'll fill the fingerholes with a "paste" that gives quite the nice tacer effect. ;)

In any event, the spin of the ball always whistles like an SOB .... firing turns the ball into a dot in about one heartbeat.

Quite the trick.

September 29, 2003, 01:39 AM
50 Shooter, nice design and construction! Got any pics of the base?

rick314, am I seeing that right? Industrial gas cylinders? Is the tripod band bolted, or bolted/welded?

Both of you, what's your favorite load?

Gee, I love ingenuity at play...:D

50 Shooter
September 29, 2003, 02:12 AM
It's not mine but one of these days...

You can make one out of an old Oxy cylinder as long as the ID is big enough to hold a bowling ball. I can't recall the powder charge offhand, somewhere around a 1/4lb of FG or FFG black powder. Here's the scary/fun part, they pressure test them with two balls and 1lb of black powder! When my friend did his he said the balls flew about 1000 yards, took it back and fluxed it, no cracks.

The base and legs on his he made, you can find a regular mortar base but it will set up back a few bucks. If you do it yourself, go to the local scrap yard and get a piece of one inch plate about 18" in diameter. You can find legs also but like the base, they won't be cheap.

50 Shooter
September 29, 2003, 02:14 AM
One thing to add, that base bent. He has since changed it for a thick plate to withstand anything it can dish out.

September 29, 2003, 05:35 AM
This is a photo I took of one of the ones Rick314 posted...but at a different time.
firing at night with a prolonged exposure.

September 29, 2003, 10:01 AM
Nice pic Freeride
You got more of those hidden doncha?

side note; Those arn`t mine and I don`t know enough about chanrges and such to give out info.

September 29, 2003, 01:24 PM
This is just soooo cool!

Does anybody make one with a shoulder stock?


September 29, 2003, 02:36 PM
Shoulder stock???


Look at the pad and look at the earth
Think of the physics involved in moving a bowling ball up 500 feet and out 800yards

September 29, 2003, 02:41 PM
Think of the physics involved in moving a bowling ball up 500 feet and out 800yards



September 29, 2003, 05:27 PM
Does anybody make one with a shoulder stock?

Reminds me of the WWII Marine that decided to test fire the Japanese "Knee Mortar" he had liberated. He thought the name indicated the proper way to fire the mortar.

September 29, 2003, 06:09 PM
Well, that's what they make those decelerator butt pads for, and of course you'd want it ported...

Can you imagine the look on a burglars face when the lights came on and he found that thing pointed at him?


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