question on a cannon


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Russsty
December 10, 2003, 11:03 PM
I'm thinking of building a cannon out of 4140 carbon steel, 3" solid with a 1-1/4" hole, using a steel ball bearing with a patch. Should I use blackpowder,pyrodex,777, or smokeless? Is it even legal? how would I find out????Why you ask? cause I can.....mainly just for looks...like minnie cannon..

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Harry Tuttle
December 10, 2003, 11:42 PM
http://www.aeroballisticsonline.com/ballistics/propellants.html

http://www.finishing.com/72/78.html

http://www.cannon-mania.com/black_powder_cannon.htm

The half scale mortar can shoot soda or beer cans filled with cement._ How far?_ Distances of 1/2 mile were achieved using 350 grains of fffg powder

Poodleshooter
December 11, 2003, 01:38 PM
You'll have barrel walls of 7/8" with a projectile width of 1.25" then? Will it be screw or otherwise breeched, or will you have a solid breech? The reason I ask is that for safety reasons, you'd want to work up pressures slowly. That means you might have a stuck ball in the bore. One option to relieve that problem is to use a lead ball that you could tap into and screw out from the muzzle if it became stuck.
I'd use blackpowder or pyrodex. The pressure curve is longer and the overall pressure lower, so it's a bit safer than smokeless to experiment with. I'd start really low something like 20grs of BP, expect a stuck ball, and make SURE that that ball is ALWAYS rammed right up against the powder. An airgap between the two could walnut your barrel.
It's federally legal as long as the projectile doesn't explode, and it doesn't use fixed ammunition. Check your state laws, they may differ.
Where are you doing this? Wherever it is, you'd better have a LONG fuse, and something solid and unvaluable to stand behind, as well as a good base for your cannon so it stays pointed in the right direction and doesn't become a projectile itself.
Those mortars are really fun. Cheap projectiles such as golf balls or cans keeps it simple.
BTW, for legal reason I DON'T SUGGEST YOU DO THIS

Harry Tuttle
December 11, 2003, 03:20 PM
heres another way to have fun with golfballs:
http://www.mangonel.com/scorpion/sk1_1b.jpg
http://www.catapultkits.com/

MagKnightX
December 11, 2003, 06:17 PM
Apparently, cannons, provided that they are reproductions of old ones, are legal (see my thread on nock-guns in BP).

StuporDave
December 11, 2003, 09:36 PM
Harry Tuttle that is not nice! Now I have to build a damn catapult! ;)

Those kits are cool. I'm going to have to give one a try.

Dave

Harry Tuttle
December 12, 2003, 12:08 AM
start with a golf ball trebuchet
next thing ya know, yer shooting pumpkins a 3/4 of a mile

:evil:

Hkmp5sd
December 12, 2003, 12:57 AM
Apparently, cannons, provided that they are reproductions of old ones, are legal
Blackpowder cannons of any type are not regulated by ATF/Feds.

http://www.amalahi.org/Photos/P1010070.jpg

MrPhil
December 12, 2003, 01:58 AM
That catapult website is a hoot! Check out the photos of 'em launching 10 lb bags of flour . . . and blasting said bags with shotguns! Or the impact a melon makes. Good stuff.

AR-15Nutt
December 12, 2003, 07:48 AM
Cannons are great fun...!!! i have one, it is an exact copy of a swivel gun used on the keel boats during the fur trapping days.

it is made from a railroad car axel, is about 6" dia. at the breech & about 2 1/2" at the muzzle, 1" bore & is 26" long, i cast lead balls & use only Fg or FFg Black powder ONLY !!

NEVER use steel balls !! i saw a cannon blow up using steel pin balls, we figgured the steel barrel & the chrome plated balls had "welded" in the bore & she ripped open from the breech forward, also try to make it a tapered barrel, it is my experience that cannons be twice as thick at the breech than the muzzle.

have fun & be safe !!!!!!

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