Any cannon owners here?


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Glock19Fan
December 9, 2013, 12:00 AM
Just curious if anyone here owns any cannons? I figure with as many lifelong firearm collectors here there must be a few cannon owners around here as well.

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Crosswire3
December 9, 2013, 09:38 AM
I have been building custom cannons of all sizes for some time now and finally made it an official business. I can say with certainty that there are quite a few happy cannon owners out there.

Patocazador
December 9, 2013, 01:37 PM
I've got a small cannon on a carriage that I bought unassembled years ago. The kits were all over the ads about 30 years ago. It's only about .80 cal. (smoothbore). I've only shot it twice.

Note: I measured the ball size after I guessed at the caliber. It shoots a .790 ball.

forward observer
December 9, 2013, 01:53 PM
I have a sizable collection of small scale cannon--from static models to black powder shooters along with a few vintage toy models.

I got my first static model at the museum shop at Ft Sill, OK when I was going to artillery school--and built my first shooter from a Dixie gun works kit sometime later. I guess I have around 40 to 50 now (some still packed away from my last move), but at least 20 of them are shooters.

First 50 caliber shooter I built from a Dixie kit--1/8th scale--penny in the picture for scale
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels2003.jpghttp://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels2007.jpg


Brass and Walnut 50. cal USS Constitution model from another kit. (Rhodes, I think)
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels043.jpg

Another Dixie kit--a noon day or sundial cannon
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels048.jpg



A couple of small .45 cal rifled barrel 24 pounders from CVA
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels010.jpg

A Napoleon III built from a CVA kit--69 caliber along with a little non firing static garrison model
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/morecannons013.jpg

18th century howitzer and limber I found on EBay--.75 cal
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/empirecannons025.jpg

Some more on a table mixed in with vintage toy cannons from the 1930's and 1950's
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/newestcannons014.jpg

I've got more, but just have to find the pictures and get them organized

Cheers

PokeyOkie
December 9, 2013, 02:01 PM
I have a 1/4 & 1/2 scale that are literally a blast! I've shot roundball and grape shot on occasion but mainly just blanks at historical events and Fourth of July events. If you're going to get one, beware! They are addictive, fun, and another money hole. NSSA has some very good training as well.

Milkmaster
December 9, 2013, 02:04 PM
My homemade boom maker! 300 grains of pyrodex makes for a nice pop.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=79262&d=1212342912

Pete D.
December 9, 2013, 03:21 PM
Not cannons.....I do have three golf ball mortars.
This is the first one that I made.
http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/KISSmortar2.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/KISSmortar2.jpg.html)
Disassembled for cleaning:
http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/Mortardisassembled.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/Mortardisassembled.jpg.html)
The hardest part to make was this breech block: http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/mortarbreechblock.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/mortarbreechblock.jpg.html)

It sits on this shoulder machined into the barrel: http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/breechblockbarrelshoulder.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/breechblockbarrelshoulder.jpg.html)
Great fun.

BowerR64
December 9, 2013, 06:11 PM
Is there any that use a percussion cap?

I dont think my local range would allow a lighter and a fuse down on the line but maybe a canon that uses a percussion cap

tpelle
December 9, 2013, 06:30 PM
I have ALWAYS wanted one of those mountain howitzers that Dixie Gun Works sells. The cool thing is that they're full size! I think the hardest part would be building the carriage - the wheels would be tough.

Wonder if an Amish carriage maker would take on the job if he knew it was for a cannon carriage?

230RN
December 9, 2013, 07:20 PM
forward observer:

Niiiiice collection! And gorgeous pix!

I've only got three.

One's one I built from scratch from some round stock I found by the railroad tracks. Half-inch bore.

Another I "got" (don't remember how) which was from a model ship kit and I built a carriage for it. Quarter inch bore.

The third is a toy pistol cap-firing model I picked up at a garage sale or someplace a long time ago. Was all corroded in the cap-firing mechanism from the cap corrosives. Tested it, it worked OK, then cleaned it up.

Sorry, no pics right now.

Terry, 230RN

ETA: Well, I did find one pic but it's muzzle views. cap firing one is low and left.

CraigC
December 9, 2013, 07:36 PM
Not yet but I've been thinking about it. If I did, it would have to be a big one. ;)

BowerR64
December 9, 2013, 08:34 PM
There was one i thought was cool on pawn stars last week me and my dad were talking about it.

You put this glue stuff in it from a tube mixed with water and it made and explosive gas then use a spark i believe to fire it. It was a small thin walled little green GI Joe looking thing.

forward observer
December 9, 2013, 09:15 PM
Found a couple of more pictures--1/5th to 1/6th scale
The one on the left is an steel barreled M1841 and on right is another Napoleon III made in Spain (like the old CVA kit only pre-made and nickeled)
http://imageshack.us/a/img228/8205/newcannon017cropandresi.jpg

On the left a 1/6th scale Napoleonic Gribeauval 12 pounder and limber (non-firing) and on the right, a revolutionary war type with spit trail and brass/bronze barrel--70 cal
http://imageshack.us/a/img3/7666/newcannon029forpost.jpg


Another Sundial cannon--flea market find
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels2015.jpg

A couple of small brass models--a Spanish pedrero and a Dahlgren (shootable)
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels009.jpg


and the best for last---a museum quality scale model of a British light 6 Pdr. of 1770. The trails appear to be curly maple. It's a .308 caliber (being a Brit model, what else?), but I have never dared to fire it. These were made in a limited run back in the 60's or 70's for some historical society, but I got it real cheap on Ebay because the seller listed in with the toys. That's a US quarter on the base in the second picture
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/empirecannons007cropandcontrast.jpghttp://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/empirecannons014.jpg


Cheers

forward observer
December 9, 2013, 09:23 PM
There was one i thought was cool on pawn stars last week me and my dad were talking about it.

You put this glue stuff in it from a tube mixed with water and it made and explosive gas then use a spark i believe to fire it. It was a small thin walled little green GI Joe looking thing.


Those are called "Big Bang" cannons made by the Conestoga company and the stuff in the tubes is a form of carbide called "Bangsite" When mixed with water, it puts off a flammable gas. They are just noise makers though and cannot shoot projectiles. I have a couple and they are still fun though.

They've been around since the early 1900's, so some of their older models are very collectable. Here's their web site

http://www.bigbangcannons.com/

zimmerstutzen
December 9, 2013, 11:05 PM
I had a Big Bang when I was 12 yrs old. The little one. Cost $6 at FW Woolworth Co. My Uncle had the huge model with the giant long barrel. That thin would rattle windows for a mile. Carbide mixed with water gives off Acetylene gas. Same thing that was used by the coon hunter's lanterns and the first carriage lights.

I have a collection of scale cannons, including a 1.5 inch bronze tube 30 inches long. Also a Winchester 10 ga blank cannon. Last time I fired a blank load from the 1/5 bore cannon, the concussion broke windows iin a house a third of a mile away. My first cannon was an antique muzzleloading cast iron/steel cannon used to start sail boat races up in the great lakes. I have fired blanks and live loads in the antique. The 3/4 inch ball bearing really rattled through the woods behind the backstop.

BowerR64
December 10, 2013, 12:44 AM
Those are called "Big Bang" cannons made by the Conestoga company and the stuff in the tubes is a form of carbide called "Bangsite" When mixed with water, it puts off a flammable gas. They are just noise makers though and cannot shoot projectiles. I have a couple and they are still fun though.

They've been around since the early 1900's, so some of their older models are very collectable. Here's their web site

http://www.bigbangcannons.com/
Thanks! i found a few websites selling some.

One site has a PVC pistol setup that shoots ping pong balls.

The part i thought was cool was that you mixed the stuff with water to create the charge. First ive heard of this stuff and i like this kinda stuff.

forward observer
December 10, 2013, 02:20 AM
Thanks! i found a few websites selling some.

One site has a PVC pistol setup that shoots ping pong balls.

The part i thought was cool was that you mixed the stuff with water to create the charge. First ive heard of this stuff and i like this kinda stuff.
When I was a kid, those big bang cannons used to always be advertised in the back of comic books along with sea monkeys and x-ray glasses.

As zimmerstutzen mentioned, carbide was pretty common for use in lanterns back in the day. It was also used in the first half of the 20th century for miner's lamps among other things.
Back in the 1950's, one could still find it in old country stores and it cost next to nothing by then.

When we were kids, we would take any kind of empty cardboard canister that had a press fit metal lid like Hersey's cocoa or baking powder and first pierce a small hole in the side of the canister.

Then we'd put a rock of the carbide in, drop some water in or even just spit on it, and then press the lid in place. Next we set the canister on a stump with the lid side down.

Then you waited a second or two for the gas to form and held a match or lighter next to the hole. The canister would make a big bang and usually go flying high into the air having blown out the press fit cap. Of course the person who was elected to set it off had to lay low to avoid getting whacked by the flying canister, but we thought it even funnier if they did.

Cheers

BowerR64
December 10, 2013, 03:20 AM
Man i missed all that.

I do remember the junk on the back of comics but i must of missed the big bang cannons.

Glock19Fan
December 10, 2013, 04:59 AM
Awesome looking cannons here! I didn't expect there to be so many collectors here!

I have a few cannons myself and I had a question about one of them they I acquired back in August. I was wondering if I posted pictures if anyone here would know enough about them to possibly give me some info on it and possibly how old it was? The previous owner told me it fired just fine, and although I don't intend on firing it (at least not any time soon) I have been trying to find out what, when, and where it was made for the last 4-5 months.

kBob
December 10, 2013, 07:58 AM
FO,

When I was at Sill there was no gift shop at the Museum, but they had some non firing models in the book store at Snow Hall. The museum had not been modernized with interpretive displays and was a collection of stuff piled here and there. When I arrived as a casual, (got a regular commission and so orders were soonest transport from commissioning, while my class, mostly West pointers got a bunch of leave) I checked in at the school, managed to get off post housing, and spent three weeks following the advice of the school Company Commander "Find something to do so they don't put you on post details" Did manage to over see a few four hour long police calls but spent a lot of time at the old museum and in the library at Snow Hall. Also took my private vehicle and some maps out to various spots indicated on a big map in the library and became very comfortable with the perimeter roads around the East range and learned what the exact center of the universe (Blockhouse Signal Mountain) looked like from various angles and times of day. Even checked out an aiming circle and shot really good azmiths from spots marked by the school to various piles of trash on the range.

As I was a student in the basic and cannon battery courses they would not let me join the Saucy Cans re enactment crew, much sadness.

Any how spent a number of days as a guide at the museum and just bummed around a bit helping there. Then everyone else in my class showed up and it was work, work, work, except weekends.

Saw a "Cannon" at Petersberg Welcome station that featured a spring loaded mousetrap like system that used musket caps. I suspect it was a model made after the Late Great Hate was over for 4th of July and such.

-kBob

elhombreconnonombre
December 10, 2013, 09:25 AM
At the last local gun show I came across a feller that had a couple of approximate 1/2 size cannon mounted on a wheeled gun carriage. The barrels were about 3 feet long with a 2 3/4" bore made from heavy wall field drill stem pipe. He was asking $600 for each.

Mike1234567
December 10, 2013, 09:40 AM
I've been wanting a golf ball cannon but decided against it after pricing them.:)

forward observer
December 10, 2013, 10:50 AM
Kbob,

What year were you at Sill?

I got my commission through ROTC, so Sill was our boot camp in the summer of 1966, and then I went back there for 4 months of artillery school in 1968 after graduating from college--then on to Vietnam. Since that's over 45 years ago, my memory is a bit fuzzy as to where I bought the cannon kit. It was on post, and I remember having visited the museum the same day, but now that you mention it, it probably was the book store.

Anyway, it was a small static all metal model of an M1841 and limber made by company called Model Shipways.

I still have it---and being made of "Britannia" metal, I can't believe it's survived all these years. These 1/16th scale kits are still sold by a company called "Model Shipways"
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels2013.jpg

Since it's just a smaller non-firing version of the shooter that Dixie still sells, I used it
as a prototype to help fabricate all the chains, hooks, pointing rings, and other stuff that the Dixie model doesn't come with.

When got back from oversea, I was assigned to an artillery battalion at Ft Hood in Texas. I had decided by that time to get out when my two years reserve duty was up, so I never got back to Sill.

Cheers

230RN
December 10, 2013, 12:16 PM
I understand that up until recently, they used BP signal cannons for dangerous waters instead of the lighthouses when fog or whatever blocked the view of the lighthouse. Supposed to be fired at regular intervals so ships would be aware of the hazard to navigation. As far as I know, there's still one out at Montauk Point on Long Island.

They also apparently still use signal cannons for starting yacht races and golf tournaments --hence the term "shotgun start."

Some of these were breech loaders and some were propane cannons.

I still wouldn't mind getting a breech loading BP cannon. I gave up my machine shop before I got around to building one.

Terry

Here's some transparent blank BP shells. Pretty, huh?

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=67402&d=1195280340

Gambit88
December 10, 2013, 01:27 PM
Don't own one but there are two I can play with whenever I want. My neighbor has a signal gun that shoots 10 gauge blanks. The other is a Mexican war/Civil War era 6 pounder. The second I've shot both blanks and live.

For anyone interested in July (normally last weekend) there is an antique artillery compitition in Grayling Michigan. They do smoothbore, rifle, and mortar shoots. Its fun to be a part of and cool as hell to watch. We get people from all over the country haulin guns up.

If anyone wants more info pm me and ill let you know the exact date when I'm made aware.

Gambit88
December 10, 2013, 07:45 PM
From Greyling

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v395/gambit814/20130727_144643_2_zps7adc9134.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/gambit814/media/20130727_144643_2_zps7adc9134.jpg.html)

timgd
December 10, 2013, 08:32 PM
This one is completely hand made in my shop. It has a 1 1/16 th bore, weight about 30 lbs. I use a mix of 50/50 fffg and cannon powder. With the right charge it will do back flips.

kBob
December 10, 2013, 10:48 PM
FO,

Was at Sill MUCH later than you, 1981. Used my GI bill from Enlisted service to go back to college and wanted that extra cash for a ROTC contract so got commissioned and they granted my request for an age waver based on prior service. As Enlisted Infantry I had a very low opinion of Red Legs as most of my experience with them was not cannon cockers but Pershing folks, an odd breed indeed. I placed 13A nowhere on my dream list, had experience as an Infantryman with some additional training and such, a degree in Criminology, a hobby of small arms and rifle team membership and very high scores on my Pre aviation tests.......so naturally the Army offered me a Regular Commission in Field Artillery (Cannon Battery). Not content to crush my dreams of going back into the Infantry, or putting my Criminology education to use as an MP or maybe slapping me with a flaming piss pot to wear at some small arms depot they then after my being top shot in a basic course and well on my way to the same in the cannon battery course, cut my orders for a warhead depot for Lance with the Dutch Army......and then wondered why I resigned at the earliest possible moment.

I actually enjoyed the courses at Ft. Sill and some FO (we called it FIST TEAM FIre Support Team Team) work at Graff with 3rd Armored just before I got out. Guess it was a good thing they treated me like dirt or I would be like few of my buddies as bitter old retired Colonels....though the benies would have been nice.

I would not have minded being with a flying battery of 6 pounders in Mexico or with The Gallant Pelham (worked for a grand nephew of his when I was a kid) in Virginia, but maintaining and securing Nuke Warheads to give to a foreign government when the balloon goes up just did not do it for me.

-kBob

RetiredUSNChief
December 11, 2013, 01:15 AM
Yes, of a sort.

Check the video link by my signature at the bottom of this posting.

That is a 2/3 scale replica of a 24 pounder off of the USS Constitution that I built as a carbide cannon for the kids (OK...and Daddy, too) to use during the Fourth of July last year.

I had two criteria in mind when I designed it:

1. It couldn't look like a redneck cannon. A bunch of PVC pipe glued together and painted black may be quick, easy, and fun, but it doesn't LOOK like a cannon...it looks like a bunch of PVC pipe glued together and painted black.

2. Operating by the general principle that bigger is better when it comes to noisemakers, it couldn't be small.


As completed, this cannon is approximately 6 feet long. The cannon itself weighs 23 pounds and the carriage weighs 79 pounds, for a total of 102 pounds. The entire thing breaks down in a few minutes to fit into my car (a 2005 LeSabre). Lay the front passenger seat all the way back and the cannon will sit across it into the back seat, pointing out the back window. The axels come off with four wing nuts and the entire carriage sits in the trunk otherwise fully assembled.

The video doesn't really do the sound justice, but if you have good speakers and turn the volume up a bit, with some extra bass, it'll give you an idea what it's like.

I built it as a noise maker...not a spud gun. I never pressure tested it as such and I'm reluctant to tightly pack the barrel with a potato and light this off as a carbide cannon. Acetylene is a wee bit more reactive than hair spray, and the firing chamber in the breech is 6 inches in diameter...a lot of area for such forces to be felt.


As I said...it's a carbide cannon. The breech is a 6x6x4 Tee, necked down to a 3 inch barrel. The breech end is capped off with a cleanout plug which has two electric gas grill igniters built into it. The 4 inch opening in the Tee is capped with a removable cleanout plug and serves as the water reservoir necessary in a carbide cannon.

The vent is positioned directly above this reservoir. Fill the reservoir with about half a soda bottle of water. Then pour a heaping half-teaspoon of calcium carbide powder in the vent. When the calcium carbide hits the water, it generates acetylene gas. Give it about an 8 second count after adding the calcium carbide and push the button for the ignitors...and if you've forgotten your hearing protection the first time you do this, you'll never forget them again!

This thing will wake the neighbors blocks away and makes a totally awesome rolling boom across a lake.

And it'll easily launch an oversized inch tennis ball 100 yards downrange at the outdoor shooting range.

Here's the core of the cannon, sitting next to the wood jig I built to do the body work.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3672/11319531436_4c7c72c7df.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319531436/)
P5300592 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319531436/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

Here's the body of the cannon after I had added several layers of 2 inch thick foam insulation blocks and carved the shape of the body using a hot wire I made using a transformer and guitar string. Note the wood patterns on the side of the jig.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3734/11319606893_6d784b00f6.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319606893/)
P6020600 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319606893/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

Here's the body of the cannon after the final shaping of the foam, installation of the trunnions, and two coats of latex KILZ thickened with drywall mud. It's shown upside down and the 4 inch cleanout opening is showing, which serves as the water reservoir.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3743/11319532326_2e905018f1.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319532326/)
P6060621 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319532326/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

This is the 6 inch cleanout plug that goes on the breech end with the two gas grill igniters installed.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7452/11319559314_9a83893e16.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319559314/)
P6150649 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319559314/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

This is a shot of the breech end of the cannon before the 6 inch cleanout plug is installed. If you look closely, you can see the vent hole in the top (directly above the water reservoir) and the round bolt heads in the barrel which hold the trunnions in place.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7400/11319533346_4254374904.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319533346/)
P6150662 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319533346/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

RetiredUSNChief
December 11, 2013, 01:33 AM
This picture is an overhead shot of the breech end of the cannon with the 6 inch cleanout plug installed. It's sitting in the carriage I built for it. Note the position of the vent hole. In the real deal, the vent is positioned a few inches further back, but I had to move it forward in order to get it over the water reservoir.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5548/11319609143_522e252507.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319609143/)
P6150667 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319609143/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

Profile shot of the primed cannon sitting in the carriage as I was completing the rest of the work on it.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7291/11319534326_76fcb83728.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319534326/)
P6150668 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319534326/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

Again, a shot of the cannon upside down showing the water reservoir. I've added the custom carved breech endcap and it's shown being clamped in place as the glue sets by temporarily bolting it in place using what will become the cascabel and a block of wood. You can also see the cable I hardwired to the gas grill igniters sticking out of the side and connected to the battery powered pushbutton.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5535/11319534776_e93c1023b9.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319534776/)
P6150672 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319534776/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

Jumping ahead, this is a photo of the nearly completed cannon, profile shot. Two coats of flat black paint over the latex primed cannon. The carriage bolts were eventually painted black (I wanted to powder coat them, but ran out of time) and the axel pins were eventually fully centered. Standing next to this, you'd honestly think "WOW! Cool cannon!" and you wouldn't really get the sense that this thing wasn't cast iron until you actually touched it.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5522/11319610933_2452f953c8.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319610933/)
P6200706 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredusnchief/11319610933/) by RetiredUSNChief (http://www.flickr.com/people/retiredusnchief/), on Flickr

For a practical simulation, there is a ramrod made using 1 inch PVC pipe and a big, fat roller brush. After firing the cannon, you run this thing in and out of the barrel three or four times and it freshens the air in the cannon and readies it for the next shot.

Pour Calcium carbide in the vent, wait 8 seconds, push the button, cycle the ramrod a few times, and repeat. Simple as that!


She may not be a "real" cannon, but the first time my wife saw it she said "THAT'S COOL!" High praise, in my book.

:neener:

kBob
December 11, 2013, 07:36 AM
Chief,

That is fantastic. Fulfills what aught to be, that is, "Get it done right and make it look good"

You must have been a great NCO to work for or with or have working for you to do that sort of well done project.

I really like the idea of the paint roller on PVC to stir up the air mix.....beats the leaf blower we used on a LP PVC cannon ( very red neck though we tried to make it look like an 81 mm mortar but never got around to painting it)one year all to heck for style points.

-kBob

kBob
December 11, 2013, 07:44 AM
Gambit,

Neat photos and good info. Here in Gainesville, Florida all we know about Greyling is that Fred Bear had his factory there before moving here. I have a little Bear Greyling made bow out in the shop the kids sometimes use.

Looks like a lot of fun. Did you ever see a model of a Whitworth Breech loader made from a 40 mm AA barrel there? I know there was one that shot nationally in the 1970's and wondered what had happened to it.

Locally we have a private battery that includes this original 3 inch rifle. Unfortunately the guy running the battery has gone WWII and currently spends more time on a very good fake German Armored car and a VW than the ACW cannons.

-kBob

Loyalist Dave
December 11, 2013, 07:53 AM
I have a full sized, though smallest of the variations, 18th century, repro mortar.

LD

Mike1234567
December 11, 2013, 10:09 AM
RetiredUSNChief... I need to build one of those to display from my front deck and "aimed" at my front gate. :D

RetiredUSNChief
December 11, 2013, 10:43 AM
One of these days I need to dig up my notes and sketches and make a drawing with a list of material for that cannon project. I've no accurate idea what the material cost, because I bought want I needed over several months before I started. The wood also came from my oldest brother's woodshop, scraps he needed to get rid of anyway, so that didn't cost me anything.

Next project on the books is a pair of civil war era mortars, scaled down to a 3 inch barrel with sleeve inserts of various sizes so that I can use them to launch fireworks from.

Wouldn't mind making a civil war era field artillery piece, either, but that's a bit more in the future...preferable when I've cleared out some storage space for it.

:):)

Gambit88
December 11, 2013, 10:47 AM
Kbob,

I havent seen the whitworth but ill ask around.

I've been to the Fred Bear museum. Its a really cool place.

whughett
December 11, 2013, 11:53 AM
Kbob,

What year were you at Sill?

I got my commission through ROTC, so Sill was our boot camp in the summer of 1966, and then I went back there for 4 months of artillery school in 1968 after graduating from college--then on to Vietnam. Since that's over 45 years ago, my memory is a bit fuzzy as to where I bought the cannon kit. It was on post, and I remember having visited the museum the same day, but now that you mention it, it probably was the book store.

Anyway, it was a small static all metal model of an M1841 and limber made by company called Model Shipways.

I still have it---and being made of "Britannia" metal, I can't believe it's survived all these years. These 1/16th scale kits are still sold by a company called "Model Shipways"
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/forward_observer/cannonmodels2013.jpg

Since it's just a smaller non-firing version of the shooter that Dixie still sells, I used it
as a prototype to help fabricate all the chains, hooks, pointing rings, and other stuff that the Dixie model doesn't come with.

When got back from oversea, I was assigned to an artillery battalion at Ft Hood in Texas. I had decided by that time to get out when my two years reserve duty was up, so I never got back to Sill.

Cheers
On the Napoleonic Gribeauval what is the purpose of the "scoop" shaped device mounted near the left wheel.

Awesome collection by the way.

kBob
December 11, 2013, 03:59 PM
The ladles are used to load and unload a cartridge. In older times even loose powder would be loaded with a ladle.

The cartridge consisting of a paper covered or foil covered cloth bag of powder affixed to a projectile by various means (though typically a wooden sabot had the powder bag tied on the rear and the projectile wired to the front) this was placed in the ladle and the ladle with the open side up run to the breech then the ladle was rotated so the open side was down and removed, leaving the cartridge in place. Some times the ladle had a head cut for ramming to finally seat the cartridge on the other end. TO unload the ladle was run back in and simply scooped up the cartridge, if all went well.

If the ramming had made the cartridge to tight that cork screw looking thing could be used to grab the cartridge by the wires or straps holding the projectile to the sabot and powder charge and then pull every thing out. The Cork screws main use was removing the reminants of powder bags that might be left in the bore.

The swabs or mops were used to extinguish any embers in the barrel before you tried to put a new powder bag into it and to clean out some of the fouling.

As I meantioned in loose powder days the ladle or scoop was very useful to ensure the powder all made it down to where it needed to be. Some of the older guns have a third bucket ( the two on most ACW carraiges are one fore water for the mops and one for grease for the axle. ) that was a powder bucket. It was of a known size and the gunner used it to measure his charges as he in those days used charge weight to vary range as much as or more than elevation of the muzzle. Many gunners carried a special dagger that was marked to show what charge was in the powder bucket by shaking the powder level then sticking the dagger to the bottom of the bucket so one filled close and then trickeled powder for the final measure much as a modern rifle reloader.


The crow bar looking things are for moving the trail of the gun to provide azmith corrections.

That enough explanation?

-kBob

Pete D.
December 12, 2013, 06:58 AM
A book that might be of interest to some of you is George Switlik's "The Complete Cannoneer"..... Hard to find and expensive when you do but loaded with useful information and history.
Pete

whughett
December 12, 2013, 09:14 AM
kBOb.
Have you taken the boat out of Key West to Fort Jefferson in the dry Tortougas
Now there are some cannons. Some of those big rifles took upwards of 50
Pounds of black. The furnace to heat cannon balls to red hot was also interesting. Had to take some big cohones to be the one to ram a red hot cannon ball wet wadding or no.

Milkmaster
December 12, 2013, 10:26 AM
This group may be able to answer a question I have had for years.

What is the "official" difference between a cannon and a mortar?

I know a mortar when I see one like the short platform where the ball sits. However, I don't know when or what the official distinguishing difference is when one becomes the other etc. Can anyone explain?

whughett
December 12, 2013, 11:47 AM
Google "mortar' and take a look at the wickipedi definition. Too detailed for me to and type out.
Barrel length seems to be a factor.

doug strong
December 13, 2013, 10:31 AM
I have ALWAYS wanted one of those mountain howitzers that Dixie Gun Works sells. The cool thing is that they're full size! I think the hardest part would be building the carriage - the wheels would be tough.

Wonder if an Amish carriage maker would take on the job if he knew it was for a cannon carriage?


I have had the same thought. Has anyone investigated Amish cannon carriage makers?

I am serious about getting one but the carriage has been the holdup for me.

RetiredUSNChief
December 13, 2013, 05:14 PM
This group may be able to answer a question I have had for years.

What is the "official" difference between a cannon and a mortar?

I know a mortar when I see one like the short platform where the ball sits. However, I don't know when or what the official distinguishing difference is when one becomes the other etc. Can anyone explain?

From Wikipedia:

"A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as (mortar) bombs at low velocities, short ranges and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortar_(weapon)

A cannon is usually something that is fired directly at the target (line of sight), whereas the mortor is not. Think about it like the difference between trying to hit a rabbit with a rock thrown directly at it versus trying to hit a rabbit by arcing the rock way up in the air such that it hits the rabbit on a distinct downward trajectory.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. For example, if you have a fortified structure and you wish to fire upon the enemy, you can do it with cannon aranged as a line-of-sight weapon whose teams will be more exposed to enemy fire, or you can use mortors which are completely obscured from the enemy by the walls of the fortress.

kBob
December 13, 2013, 10:42 PM
whughet,

Not made it to Dry Tortuga, but ben to Pensacola a time or two and St. Augustine a good bit.

Picture is from Pensacola well actually Santa Rosa Island which oddly enough was featured in a Matt Helm book I read on kindle last week.

-kBob

Phantom Captain
December 13, 2013, 10:53 PM
In the spirit of forward observer, I also have a few of the Model Shipways cannon kits that I've built over the past few years. I'm a Civil War buff (obviously for those of you that know my previous posts) so mine are all of that era.

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4339a.jpg

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4338a.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4338a.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4332a.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4332a.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4210a.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4210a.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4136.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4136.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4133a.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4133a.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4121a.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Cannon%20Models/IMG_4121a.jpg.html)

kBob
December 13, 2013, 11:06 PM
Milk Master,

Wiki or not a mortar is a high angle of fire weapon, it generally uses indirect lay, that is the crew can not see the target and so aim at something else such as a pair of aiming stakes, though most have the capability of "direct lay" that is the crew can see the target and use the target to aim at.

Early Mortars were pretty much as primitive as one can get.....think 1500s and Moor and Spaniards trying to kill one another..... they would hollow out a round of wood and use it to hurl a rock over the wall of a besieged city. Later Mortars became more "advanced" and used metal barrels. Still many mortars of pre 1900 were of a fixed elevation. That is the tube was set up at a specific angle that did not change. Changes in range were made by changing the amount of powder use to hurl the projectile.

Even modern mortars make use of 'charge incraments' to vary range at any given elevation setting A standard mortar round will have its propellant in bags or discs that can be removed or left on in combinations to provide range corrections.

Cannons can take a couple of different forms depending on when and were they were used.

"Guns" tend to be low angle and in early days used direct lay for almost all shooting. Now guns more often use indirect lay as direct lay on a target say 17 Kilometers down range is not likely. In earlier tie a "gun" was a low angle cannon that could fire a heavy charge of propellent and heavy projectiles such as solid shot or Cannister (AP).

"Howitzers" where cannon that had a reduced sized chamber area and lighter construction that were meant to fire only lighter projectiles such as "shell" a fairly thick walled hollow cannon ball filled with BP and fuzed or "Cased Shot" a lighter walled hollow cannon ball with musket balls or iron balls of that size and a smaller bursting charge and reduced Cannister rounds. These in the past were also direct lay. But today a howitzer is something different all together and it generally means a cannon that can be elevated above 45 degrees ( actually something like 42.5 degrees is max range in the atmosphere with most cannon) and increasing the elevation brings the strike closer to the gun and allows one to engage targets behind obsticals like say on the back side of hills.

It was the French that gave us the "GUN-HOWITZER" concept a single cannon that could do the job of both types of gun with what is commonly called the Napoleon 12 Pounder. They lightened a gun through redesign so as to have the lighter weight of a period howitzer but still strong enough for solid shot and full canister loads.

To day Gun Howitzer describes guns that can be used in low angle fire or high angle fire and both direct and indirect lay.

Confused enough yet?

Basically the definitions change for what time period we are discussing.

-kBob

Gambit88
December 14, 2013, 08:38 PM
Hey captain is that breachloader model a whitworth or williams?

BCRider
December 14, 2013, 09:59 PM
I don't have one YET. But I just wanted to thank all of you that posted the great photos of your collections for feeding the monkey on my back.... :D

One of the first things on the list for when the machine shop is back up and running is a golf ball cannon. Probably a ship's style so the wood working isn't too much for first off. I'll set it up to drag heavy sandbags on ropes around the front edge of the shooting tables at my ranges to suck up the recoil.

Mind you a mortar would be fun as well. Just imagine the confused looks on the others when we all go out to put our targets up when I lay mine out flat on the ground.... :D

Phantom Captain
December 14, 2013, 11:02 PM
Hey captain is that breachloader model a whitworth or williams?

Whitworth!

Col4570
December 15, 2013, 04:01 PM
http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s452/livebattery/005.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/livebattery/media/005.jpg.html)
This is one of a pair I have here.

Col4570
December 15, 2013, 04:02 PM
http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s452/livebattery/003.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/livebattery/media/003.jpg.html)
The Pair.18" barrels 1.5" Bore.

Phantom Captain
December 15, 2013, 04:59 PM
Awesome! Way cool.

Gambit88
December 15, 2013, 06:21 PM
Whitworth!
Cool! I know a few guys who've built williams guns. Those things are cool as hell!

RetiredUSNChief
December 16, 2013, 02:34 AM
the pair.18" barrels 1.5" bore.

Sweet!

230RN
December 16, 2013, 04:44 AM
Interesting video of details of loading and firing a Parrott rifle, including fuse setting, loading, firing, and hitting a target 2K yd away with shells.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzvRjazXeSA

doug strong
December 16, 2013, 12:42 PM
Chief, That is amazing. I may have to follow suit and build one myself.

RetiredUSNChief
December 16, 2013, 05:39 PM
Chief, That is amazing. I may have to follow suit and build one myself.

If you get serious on this at some point, PM me and I'll send you some more details on how I did this. Eventually, I'll draft up the exact dimensions for my patterns and the carriage components, but I do have a Word document which explains the history of my project, with pictures and links.

One of these days, I'll sit down and draft up a list of all the materials required, including material part numbers from Lowes and such.

;)

Gambit88
December 19, 2013, 10:56 AM
Does anyone know the size of the eve mortar? By the bore size I'm guessing its a 24 pounder but it doesn't say. I'm thinking of going half in on one with a friend of mine. I think we could build one carriage and all for under 700.

Problem is finding the implements to go with it

Mike1234567
December 27, 2013, 12:10 PM
I have been building custom cannons of all sizes for some time now and finally made it an official business. I can say with certainty that there are quite a few happy cannon owners out there.

Mike... SS cannon arrived today. It's very nice. Thanks!!

jaxenro
December 27, 2013, 03:25 PM
I really like those 1/6 scale cannons have always wanted to get some exact scale 1:6 civil war cannon but I don't know where to

RetiredUSNChief
December 27, 2013, 03:29 PM
Does anyone know the size of the eve mortar? By the bore size I'm guessing its a 24 pounder but it doesn't say. I'm thinking of going half in on one with a friend of mine. I think we could build one carriage and all for under 700.

Problem is finding the implements to go with it

Give me a few links to illustrate what you mean by this and I'll do a little research to see what I can come up with. I hadn't heard of an "eve mortar" and simple google searches turn up stuff about "organic mortar".

Myself, I'm going to work on a pair of replica Civil War era mortars sometime for the kids...something to launch fireworks from. I've got notes/sketches somewhere of the Civil War mortars on the Charleston Battery in downtown Charleston, SC.

kBob
December 27, 2013, 05:38 PM
The ACW Coehorn was a 24mpounder and used the same shell and case as the 24 pound howitzer. For short distance it was portable by four men and four others carried a few shells, fuzes ,and cartridges. Firing was an art form as one had to be able to tell range, judge how much powder was needed with the base at the angle it was at that moment and how long to cut the fuze plug.

Their chief value was their ability to drop bursting shells and case behind a wall or in a depression. Their portability was also a plus.

On the other hand they had little value against rapidly advancing troops and no ability to defend themselves with Cannister as the range got close.

They filled the same niche as a modern Infantry Battalion 122mm or older 4,2 inch mortar company sort of though more likely only a few were available per regiment.

-kBob

forward observer
December 28, 2013, 03:35 AM
I really like those 1/6 scale cannons have always wanted to get some exact scale 1:6 civil war cannon but I don't know where to

I was away for some time and lost track of this thread. Anyway to catch up.

@ RetiredUSN Chief,
Love the carbide naval cannon. I wish I was that handy with PVC and lumber.

@Phantom Captain,

Nice models, I still have some kits packed away, but just never seem get the urge to build any now. Besides, I've simply run out of room to display them.

Looks like KBob has provided good info on the historical stuff.

and last, but not least
@Jaxenro,

Only one of my four 1/6 scale models is a shooter. It is the M1841 with a steel barrel. It was made in China by CAS Hanwei, but is no longer in production.

The others are static models made in Japan to go with 1/6th scale Napoleonic action figures.

However, Dixie gunworks in Union City, TN still carries several cannon models from small scale to full size.

They still sell a kit to make a small bronze 1/8th scale M1841--the same one posted in my very first picture. It's a .50 caliber and sells for $130. (When I built mine 35 years ago the kit sold for $40. The barrel comes rough cast, so it helps if you have a lathe to turn it down and polish it. However, I did it years ago by chucking it in a drill. It's carriage is cast aluminum, but they have others with wood carriages.

If you don't want to fool with a kit, they also sell several finished models--including a large Napoleon III, which is approximately 1/5 scale.

This is a .69 cal. model made in Spain and is essentially the same cannon that CVA used to sell as a kit. It's the same as the cannon on the right of the steel barreled M1841 in one of my pictures of two cannons on an old picnic table.

Here's a link to their cannon page:

https://www.dixiegunworks.com/default.php?cPath=22_106_665&osCsid=2tijm0enecthas0jtui2erprh5

At $765, the large Napoleon III isn't cheap, but it's a beautiful model.

However, they do occasionally come up at auction for less. I see them on
Ebay quite a bit in the $400 to $600 range, but one has to watch for condition
because many of the people who buy them are not black powder enthusiasts
and thus don't know to clean them after every shooting session.

Cheers

Mike1234567
December 28, 2013, 09:43 AM
I was away for some time and lost track of this thread. <snip>

Sorry to go OT but "forward observer"... was away and lost track. Kinda funny. :D

Kaeto
December 28, 2013, 07:05 PM
I'd love to have a scaled down copy of "The Dictator" Which was a 13" mortar.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/13inMortarOnRailcarNearPetersburg.jpg

forward observer
December 28, 2013, 08:11 PM
I'd love to have a scaled down copy of "The Dictator" Which was a 13" mortar.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/13inMortarOnRailcarNearPetersburg.jpg

There is a gentleman by the name of Dominic Carpenter, who was making such a model in several sizes--from very small to at least a golf ball size. Here's a shot of his golf ball size model:
http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/carpenter/dscn1724800x627.jpg

Unfortunately, he downsized his shop and no longer makes them, and I missed out before he quit.

He also produced a limited run of nine inch Dahlgren's mounted on an iron Marsilly style carriage in micro scale.
http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/carpenter/dscn2371540x497.jpg
I was lucky enough to get one of these. It's really a neat cannon, but I've yet to fire it.

Cheers

Kaeto
December 28, 2013, 09:20 PM
Nice!

If I was going for Dahlgrens I'd want models of a pair of 12"ers on slide carriages to do a mock-up of the Monitor's turret.

Pete D.
December 29, 2013, 06:45 AM
Dom Carpenter does still make Coehorn style mortars.

Pete

forward observer
December 29, 2013, 09:50 AM
Dom Carpenter does still make Coehorn style mortars.

Pete
You are correct, and I should have mentioned that.

I am unsure about posting commercial links here, but one can simply enter
"Dominic Carpenter Cannons" in Google and it will bring his site up.

However, his production now seems limited to stylized simple mortars that are not modeled after any particular historical piece. I think this may be due to the fact that he no longer has a large enough lathe or milling equipment to do such work.

Cheers

Phantom Captain
December 29, 2013, 10:12 AM
Speaking of the Dictator,

I have a couple shots from when I was doing one of my many battlefield tours of a reproduction Dictator in one of it's actual positions in the trench lines around Petersburg. It's massive in the flesh.

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Petersburg/IMG_3441.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Petersburg/IMG_3441.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Petersburg/IMG_3442.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Petersburg/IMG_3442.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Petersburg/IMG_3444.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Petersburg/IMG_3444.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Petersburg/IMG_3440.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Petersburg/IMG_3440.jpg.html)

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Petersburg/IMG_3439.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Petersburg/IMG_3439.jpg.html)

It's not the greatest picture but on the plaque there is a photo of this actual position back during the war.

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/mboyd13/Petersburg/IMG_3443.jpg (http://s143.photobucket.com/user/mboyd13/media/Petersburg/IMG_3443.jpg.html)

Mike1234567
December 29, 2013, 10:53 AM
Sorry to go OT but...

How loosely should the mortar rounds fit in the barrel? Should the bore diameter be approximately 20% larger than the projectiles? That seems a bit too loose to me.

I guess everyone can tell I know nothing about cannons. :)

Gambit88
December 29, 2013, 11:02 AM
Give me a few links to illustrate what you mean by this and I'll do a little research to see what I can come up with. I hadn't heard of an "eve mortar" and simple google searches turn up stuff about "organic mortar".

Myself, I'm going to work on a pair of replica Civil War era mortars sometime for the kids...something to launch fireworks from. I've got notes/sketches somewhere of the Civil War mortars on the Charleston Battery in downtown Charleston, SC.
Damn I never noticed that typo. Was supposed to be the dgw mortar. I thought the Paulson brothers might have had the implements but I didn't see any listed.

Phantom Captain
December 29, 2013, 11:16 AM
Mike1234567,

Ask and you shall receive...

http://www.civilwarartillery.com/shottables.htm

Mike1234567
December 29, 2013, 11:38 AM
Phantom Captain... thank you!! :)

So the bore diameter should be approximately 1.025x the mortar diameter. Me thinks I have a problem with mine which is more like 1.15-1.2x.

elhombreconnonombre
January 1, 2014, 11:50 PM
I have been doing some historical research concerning the cannons used in the defense of the Alamo. Apparently there were as many as 4 swivel guns and perhaps at least One large caliber Wall gun in addition to their large calibre cannon. I talked to a cannon maker at a local show to see if he could make a monkey tailed swivel gun, but eqipped with a removable mug shaped powder holder and wedge mechanism to hold the mug in place. This is an old design dating back to 1400 that allowed for quick recharges.

BowerR64
January 2, 2014, 08:40 PM
How many grains did you use for new years?

We used Oxygen Acetylene in a 12" balloon PUH-POW!

RetiredUSNChief
January 2, 2014, 08:56 PM
My carbide cannon used a heaping half-teaspoon of calcium carbide, which the kids and I figured gives the optimal blast.

Hearing protection required!

:)

BowerR64
January 8, 2014, 11:27 PM
My carbide cannon used a heaping half-teaspoon of calcium carbide, which the kids and I figured gives the optimal blast.

Hearing protection required!

:)
Here is what i have so far for mine. I figure ill start with about the same load as yours.

Large section is 4" then down to 3" im going for a little deeper pop then yours i hope!

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=193350&stc=1&d=1389241474

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=193351&stc=1&d=1389241491

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=193352&stc=1&d=1389241491

A little sanding on the edges and then the slealer to kinda give a "Weld" look to the sections and then the textured satin paint i hope gives it a sort of pirate kinda look.

I also got a little BBQ grill ignighter for the carbide detonation

RetiredUSNChief
January 8, 2014, 11:31 PM
Keep us posted on how it turns out!

BowerR64
January 8, 2014, 11:41 PM
Keep us posted on how it turns out!
It wont look near as cool as yours but ill still have fun with it.

RetiredUSNChief
January 8, 2014, 11:51 PM
So long as you have fun with it, who cares?

:)

elhombreconnonombre
January 9, 2014, 01:56 PM
Bower64
I like the lines of that carbide shooter ya got there. Its got me to thinkin about making a removable mug breech loading propane powered tater launching swivel gun.

Arizona_Mike
January 9, 2014, 03:43 PM
I own two mortars and two thunder mugs and due to work and other issues I have yet to fire them!

I hope to remedy that soon.

Mike

BowerR64
January 9, 2014, 05:20 PM
Bower64
I like the lines of that carbide shooter ya got there. Its got me to thinkin about making a removable mug breech loading propane powered tater launching swivel gun.
Im just wanting to make noise.

theotherwaldo
January 9, 2014, 05:52 PM
I used to buy Lyle line-throwing guns in San Pedro, California and sell them at various Oregon rendezvous. Double or triple my money. None of them stuck to me, darn it. Also had the barrel of a 2-pounder Indian chaser for a couple of months. Had to donate it to the local historical society when I had to move yet again.

BowerR64
January 10, 2014, 06:22 AM
I dont have the bangsite i ordered in yet but today i got in the grill trigger.

I kinda stole an idea from a few other designs i seen on youtube with a little rod mounted to the rear plug. I used hot glue and glued a 9mm shell to the end of the rod to hold and dump the bangsite.

I then glued the 2 electrodes to the end. It throws a nice healty spark about 1/4" long it should work good.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=193391&stc=1&d=1389352927

RetiredUSNChief
January 10, 2014, 08:21 AM
Looking good so far!

kBob
January 10, 2014, 09:40 AM
Well if we are segueing into gas, how about LP? One newywears I had great fun with a friends tennis ball mortar that used LP. nice sound and net projectile. Note to self, remember not to ad lighter fluid to tennis balls to be launched with LP mortar unless you WANT local LEOs on scene.......

When I was at Ft Knox both times the salute cannon, mounted on a Sherman Tank of course, used LP for a blast that could be heard all over post. This was a large steel affair a fixed to the actual barrel of the Sherman. These were used before the Hoffman devices to simulate main gun fire. There must be designs in public federal records some where. Also at Knox we had Machine gun simulators that used LP and an automotive spark plug that we convincing enough to cause trainees to eat dirt. They sounded a lot more like an M2 HB .50 BMG than an M-60 firing blanks. Main use was for noise on the two man move out range. Besides being safer than real overhead fire it was cheaper, besides, one was in plenty of danger from the other trainee firing live ammo while you advanced......

Lucky me I got picked for a first run of the day before they ran out of quarter pound blocks of TNT in pits along the route......those things really can loosen fillings. Never though BP powered grenade and artillery simulaters were quite so bad after that.

Those PVC cannon are looking interesting. I used a Spud gun ta buddy made that had some PVC parts for a bit and Gasoline from a perfume atomizer for propellant. Got worries about the PVC getting brittle and wondered if PVC is x-ray transparent if it become grenade fragments.....

-kBob

RetiredUSNChief
January 10, 2014, 12:25 PM
You can use whatever you wish based on how you want to design the cannon. Using a gas, whether propane or otherwise, simply means that you need to design the cannon such that you can easily and conveniently add the gas, in proper and adequate amounts, to the firing chamber. This is why many spud guns use hair spray...it's simple and easy enough to unscrew a cap, squirt hair spray in for a count of however many seconds, and put the cap back on.

So what you really need to ask yourself is "How easy will it be for me to build and operate something that uses LP?"

What I like about using calcium carbide is that it's very easy to measure out identical quantities or to change quantities and get known, consistent results. It's also incredibly easy for me to ready the cannon for repeated shooting the way I designed it. All I have to do is pour a measured amount through the vent in the breech of the cannon and wait about 8 seconds or so. That's it...no fumbling with unscrewing a cap and screwing it back in afterwards. Push the firing button for the Earth shattering KABOOM, then run my ram rod in and out of the barrel three or four times to freshen the air inside, and repeat. It's absolutely that easy.

Periodically I flush the dirty water out of the reservoir through a built in drain valve and add clean water through the vent to refill.

One of the advantages of using calcium carbide, or other gas systems, is that it's inherently safer than using something like gunpowder. With gunpowder, you can directly scale up the explosive result by continually increasing the amount of gunpowder...the only limit is literally the volume of the cannon itself. But this has serious issues:

1. You can quite easily increase the amount of gunpowder to the point where you can blow the PVC cannon apart. (Or even steel pipe cannon.)

2. Chamber pressures can radically vary based on the amount of gunpowder used and how it's packed.

3. You can't build the cannon out of light weight material like PVC when you're burining chemical powders.


Using gas, or in my case calcium carbide which generates acetylene gas, the system is inherently self-limiting in terms of the explosive result possible. Using only air (as opposed to supplimenting by adding Oxygen), there is an optimal mixture range which will produce an explosive result. Too little calcium carbide and you don't generate enough acetylene to get a bang...you end up with a dud. Too much calcium carbide and you generate so much acetylene gas that you end up displacing too much air in the cannon...and you get a dud.

The only way you can blow up such a cannon is to block the barrel. Then the damage is determined by the type of gas you use (hair spray, propane, acetylene, etc) and the air mixture involved.


In addition to the obvious appearance of my cannon, part of my design criteria was to make the cannon as easy to transport, maintain, and use as possible...to the point where my kids (the youngest at the time I built it being 10) would have no problem with the basic mechanics of operation. This meant no clumsy unscrewing of components and such for operation or cleaning.

If I were to build another one, or if I were to have to repair the ignition system on this one, the only change I would make in keeping with the "ease of operations" aspect would be to replace the hardwired ignition system cable with a jack/plug mounted system. This way I could unplug the pushbutton cable from the cannon for both ease of transportation AND to make it easier to replace a damaged/broken cable without having to spend a weekend cutting apart and rebuilding the breech end to replace the hardwired cable. The current hardwired design is one of the major reasons I built two ignitors into my cannon...reliability in case one failed, so I wouldn't have to spend a lot of time doing just this kind of repair.

BowerR64
January 16, 2014, 03:41 AM
You can use whatever you wish based on how you want to design the cannon. Using a gas, whether propane or otherwise, simply means that you need to design the cannon such that you can easily and conveniently add the gas, in proper and adequate amounts, to the firing chamber. This is why many spud guns use hair spray...it's simple and easy enough to unscrew a cap, squirt hair spray in for a count of however many seconds, and put the cap back on.

So what you really need to ask yourself is "How easy will it be for me to build and operate something that uses LP?"

What I like about using calcium carbide is that it's very easy to measure out identical quantities or to change quantities and get known, consistent results. It's also incredibly easy for me to ready the cannon for repeated shooting the way I designed it. All I have to do is pour a measured amount through the vent in the breech of the cannon and wait about 8 seconds or so. That's it...no fumbling with unscrewing a cap and screwing it back in afterwards. Push the firing button for the Earth shattering KABOOM, then run my ram rod in and out of the barrel three or four times to freshen the air inside, and repeat. It's absolutely that easy.

Periodically I flush the dirty water out of the reservoir through a built in drain valve and add clean water through the vent to refill.

One of the advantages of using calcium carbide, or other gas systems, is that it's inherently safer than using something like gunpowder. With gunpowder, you can directly scale up the explosive result by continually increasing the amount of gunpowder...the only limit is literally the volume of the cannon itself. But this has serious issues:

1. You can quite easily increase the amount of gunpowder to the point where you can blow the PVC cannon apart. (Or even steel pipe cannon.)

2. Chamber pressures can radically vary based on the amount of gunpowder used and how it's packed.

3. You can't build the cannon out of light weight material like PVC when you're burining chemical powders.


Using gas, or in my case calcium carbide which generates acetylene gas, the system is inherently self-limiting in terms of the explosive result possible. Using only air (as opposed to supplimenting by adding Oxygen), there is an optimal mixture range which will produce an explosive result. Too little calcium carbide and you don't generate enough acetylene to get a bang...you end up with a dud. Too much calcium carbide and you generate so much acetylene gas that you end up displacing too much air in the cannon...and you get a dud.

The only way you can blow up such a cannon is to block the barrel. Then the damage is determined by the type of gas you use (hair spray, propane, acetylene, etc) and the air mixture involved.


In addition to the obvious appearance of my cannon, part of my design criteria was to make the cannon as easy to transport, maintain, and use as possible...to the point where my kids (the youngest at the time I built it being 10) would have no problem with the basic mechanics of operation. This meant no clumsy unscrewing of components and such for operation or cleaning.

If I were to build another one, or if I were to have to repair the ignition system on this one, the only change I would make in keeping with the "ease of operations" aspect would be to replace the hardwired ignition system cable with a jack/plug mounted system. This way I could unplug the pushbutton cable from the cannon for both ease of transportation AND to make it easier to replace a damaged/broken cable without having to spend a weekend cutting apart and rebuilding the breech end to replace the hardwired cable. The current hardwired design is one of the major reasons I built two ignitors into my cannon...reliability in case one failed, so I wouldn't have to spend a lot of time doing just this kind of repair.
I built 2 one cost more and is more involved with the ignighter and one is just the tubes a cup in the breech and a hole above the cup. I have a little katchup bottle that ill use to fill the cup and then ill just use a small funnel to get the bangsite into the cup. Ill then just hold a flame near the hole to ignite it. This one will be messy and hard to clean im sure.

The other one with the grill ignighter and the 2 cleanouts will be much easier to fill, refill and clean. When removing the rear cap to refill the scoop it will allow more air into the back or i could blow threw it. Also with the rear cap i can repair or replace the ignighter or have a complete new rear cap with ignighter and everything on it just screw the new setup on and go.

The only downside is they dont look near as cool as yours, like you said they will just look like a bunch of PVC glued together. These are my first with carbide cannons so i can improve on the next one.

RetiredUSNChief
January 17, 2014, 04:19 AM
You know...many improvements to hobbies end up being non-stop, addictive hobbies...

:)

BowerR64
January 26, 2014, 06:16 AM
You know...many improvements to hobbies end up being non-stop, addictive hobbies...

:)
Do you use bangsite? How much do you use?

I watched alot of youtube videos and most were just using really really small amounts. The big bang cannons use like a BB size amount just a pinch and they are pretty loud.

I started with like 12-14 grains (9mm case full) and i couldnt get it to do anything. When i heaped up the 9mm shell i got a little puff out of it but nothing like ive seen on youtube.

The last one i watched they said they used 2/3 teaspoon so i used about that much and wow! it was pretty loud to say the least.

I just want to use the optimal amount without wasting any.

RetiredUSNChief
January 26, 2014, 10:22 AM
Do you use bangsite? How much do you use?

I watched alot of youtube videos and most were just using really really small amounts. The big bang cannons use like a BB size amount just a pinch and they are pretty loud.

I started with like 12-14 grains (9mm case full) and i couldnt get it to do anything. When i heaped up the 9mm shell i got a little puff out of it but nothing like ive seen on youtube.

The last one i watched they said they used 2/3 teaspoon so i used about that much and wow! it was pretty loud to say the least.

I just want to use the optimal amount without wasting any.

Yes, I use Bangsite. It's already in powder form, which is very convenient for my design. It comes in convenient tubes, each sealed air-tight until unscrewing the cap and puncturing the seal. So I have no worries about large quantities going bad due to air (moisture) exposure from a bad seal on a can.

Due to the size of my cannon, a larger amount is needed than the "BB" size you see for smaller calcium carbide cannons. I started off with 1/4 teaspoon, which worked OK, then gradually increased the amount until I had about the maximum blast effects with no further increase. For my cannon, that worked out to be a nice, heaping half-teaspoon. Remember, my cannon has a large firing chamber, being a 6x6x4 Tee. Your optimal amount may be different.

Remember...you need to give the calcium carbide a few seconds to generate the acetylene gas, probably not more than 8 to 10 seconds at most. Waiting too long will result in gas loss by leakage, which could decrease the effects.

The 9mm shell was a good starting point. Increase the amount from there and see what happens. You'll find out what works well soon enough!

BowerR64
January 28, 2014, 05:56 PM
I didnt glue mine together yet because i wasnt sure if i wanted it this way. Ive shot it 3 times now, the first few were using the 9mm shell as the amount and it was not enough i got a few puffs.

I then went to youtube and watched the guy who made one about my size and i heard 2/3 teaspoon so we tried that and it made a little bigger bang.

Got it home and did one with a little more and noticed more black film then the first good one. today i backed it down a little moresay 1/2 teaspoon and it rocked the pipes apart.

The rear sleve for the cleanout section backed out a little when it went off. I glued it together now i think this setup is good enough for the bang i get out of it.

The second one i cant get a good bang out of it using a lighter threw the charge hole at the top. I think ill go back and get another "T" for it with a smaller opening at the bottom like yours for the water.

I cant really put my finger on how loud it is, it has a crack like a 357 magnum but i dont think its near as loud. Ide say louder then a 9mm but has a sharp crack like a magnum.

I dont wait, as soon as i get the rear cleanout screwed in all of the bangsite has reacted and i push the ignighter quickly.

I may try waiting but i dont think i need to with my setup.

RetiredUSNChief
January 28, 2014, 10:15 PM
Hmmmm...

If you use a TEE (with a clean out plug for the water reservoir, you might consider completely eliminating the rear cleanout plug setup you have now, with it's shell casing and such.

Simply drill holes and mount your igniters directly into the rear cleanout plug, then screw it into the end of your cannon and leave it.

Drill a vent hole in the TEE over the bottom cleanout plug. Use this to pour your calcium carbide directly into the breech and into the water. Wait a few short seconds then press your igniter button.

This completely eliminates all the screwing/unscrewing of a vent plug every time you want to fire the cannon.

To air your cannon out between shots, make yourself a ram rod with a PVC handle and run it in and out of the cannon a few times between shots...then pour more calcium carbide in and hit the button again.

Easy-peasy!


EDIT:

One other suggestion:

For cleanout plugs that you're going to be removing/installing, take a few moments to make sure the threads on the plug and pipe are free of little ridges, seams, and such so that they screw in and out freely. Then spend a few bucks at the hardware store to get some silicone lubricant paste to rub into the threads to keep them from getting stuck.

BowerR64
January 28, 2014, 10:43 PM
Im glad mine has 2 cleanout because this stuff stinks. Ive washed mine out a few times with soap and water with the rear ignighter/spoon out of it.

I even found a cap form a can of peanuts to put over the muzzle when i store it to keep that rotten egg smell in.

I glued it all together and let it cure a few hours and shot it again and it didnt budge

edit: i thought of something else, my cup at the bottom is about 3" round and about 2" tall. I use a teaspoon measure glued to the dowel. When i put the bangsite on the spoon i dont put it in a pile i kind of draw around the outside edge of the spoon. So when i dump it its not in a little pile its more spread out over the water. This might be why mine reacts so quickly?

RetiredUSNChief
January 29, 2014, 11:22 AM
Not really. The simple act of dumping the spoon spreads it out...and regardless, it's a very quick chemical reaction with the water. Doesn't really matter if you dump it in all at once or kinda sprinkle the powder.

Get a glass jar or cup of water and pour some in so you can see what I mean.

As for the smell...it's not too bad outside, of course. When you're done, drain the water and rinse your reservoir to cut the odor down some more. After a day or so, it's not so bad.

Transporting my cannon inside my car a few hours after use isn't too bad, though the odor is still present.

Trap4570
January 29, 2014, 04:44 PM
I have a few cannons and shoot only one of them. I bought it in 1970 from Barneys Cannons - they have since changed their name. It's a 1/8th scale of a Dahlgren 9 inch shell gun. It has a 1 inch bore and shooting a lead ball with holes drilled in the ball makes the ball whistle. The problem is that I have no place to shoot it that is safe. It takes at least 600 yards at high elevation to enjoy hearing the ball whistle down range. I now use it for the 4th and New Years and fire blanks. A neighbor has bought a replica 3 inch ordnance rifle which always wins the boom contest.

RetiredUSNChief
January 29, 2014, 07:52 PM
BowerR64:

I think you said your cannons go down to a 3 inch barrel. If so, and you feel the urge to shoot something with your cannon, go to Walmart or a sporting goods store and buy some "Wilson Red" tennis balls. They're 3 inch diameter, low bounce balls meant for shorter courts and little kids. They fit the 3 inch barrel perfectly.

At max elevation in the carriage, my cannon will launch one of these about 100 yards.

I chose these oversized tennis balls because I never tested the core of my cannon as a spud gun before I put all the work into the body of the barrel. All the spud guns I've ever seen had smaller barrels and firing chambers than my cannon, plus calcium carbide is far more reactive than hair spray...I'm not at all certain my cannon would hold up to the peak pressures generated if I were to pack a tight fitting potato down the barrel and light it off. Because I've never tested this, I wouldn't recommend using your cannons as spud guns either. Use the oversized tennis balls instead.

Remember not to insert them down past the actual barrel to where they fall into the firing chamber, though.

And after a few firings...the fuzz on them ain't so fuzzy any more...

:neener:

RetiredUSNChief
January 29, 2014, 07:53 PM
I have a few cannons and shoot only one of them. I bought it in 1970 from Barneys Cannons - they have since changed their name. It's a 1/8th scale of a Dahlgren 9 inch shell gun. It has a 1 inch bore and shooting a lead ball with holes drilled in the ball makes the ball whistle. The problem is that I have no place to shoot it that is safe. It takes at least 600 yards at high elevation to enjoy hearing the ball whistle down range. I now use it for the 4th and New Years and fire blanks. A neighbor has bought a replica 3 inch ordnance rifle which always wins the boom contest.

600 yards? WOW!

Maybe you could try this over an open lake somewhere?

BowerR64
January 30, 2014, 01:24 AM
I just tried to make one i could shoot in the house like a small big bang cannon and i cant get it to even pop.

I used all 1" PVC parts.

Im starting to think it needs to have a taper, i should of got a 1" to 1/2" redicer or something to take it down like our big ones.

Ive searched and searched and i cant find any calculations on how it works or what makes it work as far as how much air per inch or a way to calculate it.

i just want it to pop like a fire cracker and i cant even get that.

RetiredUSNChief
January 30, 2014, 06:21 PM
A one inch one wouldn't require very much at all...a tiny pinch at most. Too much calcium carbide would mean generating enough gas to displace all the Oxygen in the chamber, which would mean a dud result.

Try backing off to a very tiny amount and slowly building up in tiny increments to see what happens.

BowerR64
January 30, 2014, 07:37 PM
BowerR64:

I think you said your cannons go down to a 3 inch barrel. If so, and you feel the urge to shoot something with your cannon, go to Walmart or a sporting goods store and buy some "Wilson Red" tennis balls. They're 3 inch diameter, low bounce balls meant for shorter courts and little kids. They fit the 3 inch barrel perfectly.

At max elevation in the carriage, my cannon will launch one of these about 100 yards.

I chose these oversized tennis balls because I never tested the core of my cannon as a spud gun before I put all the work into the body of the barrel. All the spud guns I've ever seen had smaller barrels and firing chambers than my cannon, plus calcium carbide is far more reactive than hair spray...I'm not at all certain my cannon would hold up to the peak pressures generated if I were to pack a tight fitting potato down the barrel and light it off. Because I've never tested this, I wouldn't recommend using your cannons as spud guns either. Use the oversized tennis balls instead.

Remember not to insert them down past the actual barrel to where they fall into the firing chamber, though.

And after a few firings...the fuzz on them ain't so fuzzy any more...

:neener:
I thought about it when you mentioned that a tennis ball fits perfect down the 3" pipe till i seen this chart.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=194267&stc=1&d=1391128563

Yours might be different then mine but i used SH40 pipe and mine says right on it not for pressure. I think it will be fine just making noise like im doing but if i stuff something down the front it may let go.

Acetylene i think has to fast of a reaction for shooting stuff im not going to be the first to try it. :/

RetiredUSNChief
January 30, 2014, 07:43 PM
I thought about it when you mentioned that a tennis ball fits perfect down the 3" pipe till i seen this chart.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=194267&stc=1&d=1391128563

Yours might be different then mine but i used SH40 pipe and mine says right on it not for pressure. I think it will be fine just making noise like im doing but if i stuff something down the front it may let go.

"Not rated for pressure" means it's not rated to have pressurized fluids or air in it as a piping system component. Those pressures are low, usually steady, pressures.

Even if the PVC is pressure rated, it's definitely NOT talking about the kinds and types of pressures and pressure peaks caused by some kind of combustive force, such as acetylene or hair spray. So using any kind of PVC for this use is, strictly speaking, outside the intended design parameters of the PVC components and would not result in the manufacturers being held responsible for any bad things which may happen as a result.

BowerR64
January 31, 2014, 08:22 AM
I know this is off topic but i had to share what i built.

My brother built a stand for his DJ table to hide all his wires and equpment and junk. He used the 1" and i believe 3/4" it had no size markings it might be 1/2"

Anyway i bought a couple of Tees and caps in 1" and 2 $1. grill ignighter lighter things. They worked great!

I figured on 1/4 of a .22 shell for the amount of carbide. Its just a pinch like you said.

I started with 1 full .22 shell and i got black suit inside the pipes wich im pretty sure means to much acetylene to oxygen. I slowly cut the .22 shel down and it got louder and louder.

I think i can shoot marshmellows out of em. :p

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=194282&stc=1&d=1391174557

RetiredUSNChief
January 31, 2014, 10:29 AM
Niiiice!

My son wants a bazooka. I told him if he'll draw up a sketch/plans, I'll help him make it. (He's 15, old enough to learn I won't do everything for him.)

So far, no plans...and no bazooka!

SC45-70
January 31, 2014, 12:09 PM
Here's one of mine in action.
http://i977.photobucket.com/albums/ae252/sc4570/Farm%20America/farmamerica006.jpg (http://s977.photobucket.com/user/sc4570/media/Farm%20America/farmamerica006.jpg.html)

SC45-70

RetiredUSNChief
February 2, 2014, 02:06 AM
Sweet!

How do you transport your cannon? Flatbed trailer or something?

SC45-70
February 2, 2014, 09:20 AM
RetiredUSNChief

Mines is 1/2 scale, to haul it I either take the back seat out of my van or haul it in the back of my truck. I made a wood box to hold the barrel, with the barrel removed I can load the carrage by myself.

SC45-70

RetiredUSNChief
February 2, 2014, 09:00 PM
So, it's a fairly manageable size, then. What's the weight of the cannon and the carriage components?

BowerR64
February 3, 2014, 01:42 AM
RetiredUSNChief

Mines is 1/2 scale, to haul it I either take the back seat out of my van or haul it in the back of my truck. I made a wood box to hold the barrel, with the barrel removed I can load the carrage by myself.

SC45-70
woah thats half scale!? for some reason it looks bigger then that.

On the ground inftont of the cannon looks like full size foam cups that kinda made me things its huge like the wheels are like 36" or larger.

So how big are the wheels? your image makes it look like a pretty darn big cannon.

SC45-70
February 3, 2014, 02:25 PM
This cannon is a mountain howitzer on a pack carriage built off ordinance drawings scaled 1/2.

The barrel is slightly larger as I built it before I had the blueprints.

The wheels are 19 inches. I made them.

The entire gun weighs a little over 100 lbs.

That's the nice thing about using scale drawings, the size is hard to tell with nothing to reference it to. FYI the objects that look like cups in the foreground are the aluminum foil cartridges pulled from the bore after firing.

SC45-70

RetiredUSNChief
February 3, 2014, 04:01 PM
Absolutely. My cannon is about a 2/3 scale replica of a 24 pounder off the USS Constitution. That puts it in about the same size range as a 12 pounder. If you didn't know better standing next to the cannon, without touching the body of the cannon itself, you'd think it was a real cannon.

Gives ya a warm, fuzzy feeling when people appreciate the work that went into the appearance and function. I'd like to make something like your mountain howitzer and carriage, but I'm running into problems preventing me...like storage space, for example.

:)

58limited
February 8, 2014, 09:36 PM
Here is an 18th/19th century swivel gun for sale near me. Pretty rough shape, not sure if it is worth the $1800 asking price. Probably from an old fort:

http://www.southeasttexas.com/classifieds/detail.cfm?id=1100670&classified_code=antiques&zipcode=&distance=0

http://www.southeasttexas.com/assets/classified_uploads/01-2014/B7EA88C7-EA47-64C3-221A0BA360F162E1.jpg

http://www.southeasttexas.com/assets/classified_uploads/01-2014/B7EC2619-F643-7CB0-69B1DCC30020EDC2.jpg

RetiredUSNChief
February 8, 2014, 09:48 PM
Neat!

Swivel guns were used aboard ships as light, easily aimed mall cannon which could be used for a variety of uses, such as signaling, firing harpoons, or a last defense weapon, because they were extremely short ranged.

They were used on land, probably because they were extremely portable compared to their much larger and more massive cousins.

58limited
February 8, 2014, 10:10 PM
I was thinking it was most likely used at a fort, either military or civilian, but it could have been used at a well fortified camp or even at an early ranch. The history of this piece would be interesting to know.

Kaeto
February 9, 2014, 02:17 AM
It's condition mirrors one I saw for sale just yesterday that had been pulled from the Atlantic ocean.

BowerR64
February 9, 2014, 02:48 AM
Hey RetiredUSNChief, Have you tried any other type of carbide?

I got some different stuff from this cheapcarbide site and its slightly larger granually. The guy said bangsite (wich he sells also) is only 70% carbide but his is 100%

His is better but the wait is slightly longer. i wait about 2X as long for his to react compared to bangsite.

I use less because his is larger not as much fits in the little scoop. Ide compare it to 2F in size i kinda wish i had got a pound insted of 8oz

RetiredUSNChief
February 9, 2014, 07:24 AM
No, I have not. I don't know the composition of the Bangsite, or whether it's 100% calcium carbide or not. In the end, it doesn't matter if it's less than 100% or not: you're not going to get any bigger bang for the buck from using something else.

I chose Bangsite because it's already a fairly fine powder, which is more convenient than something that has a larger granular composition. It measures consistently and pours down the vent easily. The finer powder exposes more surface area to the water, so it very rapidly decomposes to produce the acetylene gas, meaning less wait time. And I don't have to worry about leftover larger granuals still decomposing after my shot and screwing up my fuel/air mixture while I'm setting up for the next shot.

Getting it in larger chunks/granuals means I may have to grind it down myself...which takes time and more equipment, which makes it less fun to shoot. Also, calcium carbide will react with humidity in the air and decompose over time; so if it comes in a larger can, each time you open it you expose it to some amount of humidity...and if you should end up not sealing the can well for long term storage, then the whole can could be bad the next time you want to use it.

Bangsite comes in these sealed aluminum toothpaste-tube style containers and you have to puncture the aluminum seal on the tube to open it. It's easily capped with a plastic cap, just like a toothpaste tube. The tube is a convenient size with plenty of calcium carbide to get several shots out of. And if you mess up and don't seal the tube properly for a few months, all you lose is what's in that one tube. All the others will be good for a life time, so long as their seals are still intact.

So what it really amounts to is a matter of convenience and cost. It's a fine powder, sealed well in conveniently sized tubes, and very easy to pour, measure, and use. It may or may not cost more than some other source, but if you have to do any preparation time for it, that rapidly figures into the overall cost, in my opinion.

If what you have works well based on your design, though, then obviously it's good to go for you!

BowerR64
March 11, 2014, 07:40 AM
I finally got around to painting one of them today, i took it to a buddys house and we shot it a few times im getting it dialed in. Im having the best luck with 1/2 teaspoon and waiting about 20-30 seconds for everything to activate.

I picked up some of those over sized tennis balls and they do fit nice! The first few shots with it were a little scary but today i really hammered it hard waiting till all the powder stop sizeling in the breech and i think i got close to 100-150 yard with it.

I was wanting to try and build one with 6" till i went to Lowes and looked at the 6" Tee that thing is WAY to big. For some reason yours doesnt look that big. I wanted 6" to 4" but this 4" to 3" is plenty loud enough IMO.

I took it to the local range and they said it sounds louder then anything anyone shoots up there. I wasnt sure how loud it was i was figuring 308, 223, 30-06ish its got a nice crack to it ill tell you that.

Yours still looks better but i like how mine turned out and i love how it works!

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=195993&stc=1&d=1394537988

RetiredUSNChief
March 11, 2014, 04:10 PM
Sweet!

About my 6" Tee, you've got to remember that mine was specifically designed to be a scale model of a 24 pounder, so everything is proportional to that. It's about 6 feet long.

Is that little red thingie the ignitor? I like that!

BowerR64
March 11, 2014, 08:08 PM
Yeah i kinda designed it to be hand held kinda and that is kinda the trigger.

Problem is those screw in caps leak water.


My original design was to put the water in a cup glued to the bottom cap and then the trigger hole was large enough to hold a shell on the end of the ignighter so the whole unit would come out and as you press the button you create the seal for the blast.

I had issues with the shell dumping into the cup and the water spilling out and leaking out the bottom cleanout cap.

So now whats been more reliable is tipping the small cleanout upright dumping the water in from there and it just sits down at the back corner. Then i use a long teaspoon and feed it in from the small cleanout and cap it quickly. You can keep the trigger up or rotate it down more like a gun and fire it that way. So far im about 10 shots for 10 with no misfires or duds this way.

I shot it about 5 more times today at the range and then a guy really wanted it so i sold it to him and went and got me some more parts.

I cant decide now if i want to stick with the handheld design, or go with a more cannon style like yours.

Im finding with this carbide i have not bangsite is 1/2 teaspoon and about a 10-15 second wait gives the best bang.

BowerR64
March 11, 2014, 08:13 PM
Oh and check this out what i found doing some searching on google for "carbide cannons"

This was in the June 1976 issue of popular mechanics, the post said something about the year this came out they had their highest sales of bangsite! haha!

I like the idea of the cleanout swab thing to replenish the air. That is a sweet idea! And the use of flour in the muzzle to give that realistic cloud of smoke haha!

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196023&stc=1&d=1394583213

RetiredUSNChief
March 11, 2014, 08:30 PM
Yeah i kinda designed it to be hand held kinda and that is kinda the trigger.

Problem is those screw in caps leak water.

Here's the $4 solution to your leaking water:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_53861-1366-88693_0__?productId=1092167


Go to lowes and pick up some of this silicone stem grease and put it on the threads of the cleanout plug. Not only will it stop the leaking water problem, it'll make it easier to screw the plug in and out without it getting stuck.

I like the hand-held design...makes it a lot more portable and potentially more fun in some ways. My son wants a bazooka. I told him I'd help him build it if he designed it (even just a hand drawing will do). So far he hasn't put in the work for that, but if he did I could see that being a really cool idea.

4v50 Gary
March 11, 2014, 09:10 PM
Thanks Bower64, but I think I'll stick with steel. Carbide has no appeal to me but I'm sure others will find it amusing. July 4 is only a few months off.

BowerR64
March 11, 2014, 10:25 PM
Here's the $4 solution to your leaking water:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_53861-1366-88693_0__?productId=1092167


Go to lowes and pick up some of this silicone stem grease and put it on the threads of the cleanout plug. Not only will it stop the leaking water problem, it'll make it easier to screw the plug in and out without it getting stuck.

I like the hand-held design...makes it a lot more portable and potentially more fun in some ways. My son wants a bazooka. I told him I'd help him build it if he designed it (even just a hand drawing will do). So far he hasn't put in the work for that, but if he did I could see that being a really cool idea.
So it stops the leak but its still able to screw in and out?

I dont want to have to use a wrench or anything hand tight is fine.

Thanks Bower64, but I think I'll stick with steel. Carbide has no appeal to me but I'm sure others will find it amusing. July 4 is only a few months off.

Yeah i dont want to get to serious about it. The carbide lets me use a 3" opening. I think the laws might be different for something that uses blackpowder. Im handicap in a wheelchair so i need it to be fairly easy to haul around. These have just enough wow factor for me. :p

Most brush it off as a spud gun till they hear it, then their opinion changes. :D

RetiredUSNChief
March 11, 2014, 11:13 PM
Yep. It lubricates and seals. Hand tight is fine.

BowerR64
March 15, 2014, 01:39 AM
I ordered 2 pounds of carbide and got them yesterday. I ordered 1 pound of pea size rocks and 1 of the powder again.

One little rock takes about a minute to fully dissolve

If i use 3 little rocks about a minute 1/2 to 2 minutes gives the same pop as 1/2 tsp after 5 seconds. You can sometimes get more then one shot also.

I think the rocks would be good for say a lanyard type setup. You could drop in the rocks and then stroll back to the area and have a seat. It also burns so slow it needs a cover or the gasses roll out. With the powder the reaction is instant and stays contained fairly close to the breech.

This is what i built today, going to stain it and paint the hardware black. Its just kinda standing there a few strips of duck tape holding it together till i stain it and paint the hardware. I think it needs a few more steps also.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196151&stc=1&d=1394865708

RetiredUSNChief
March 15, 2014, 05:36 PM
Nice!

BowerR64
March 16, 2014, 03:44 AM
I used 2 4" couplers 4" pipe SCH40 between each, a cap and a reducer down to 3" The muzzle is a cut in half 3" coupler just for looks.

I just drilled a 3/8" hole in the top for a "touch hole"

The water i just pour in from the muzzle then i can pour the carbide in from the touch hole. Wait a few seconds and use a grill igniter to set it off.

I took a small cup and cut it down to about 3" and wrapped it with a wash rage then mounted all that to the left over 3/4" dowel from the axels this pulls fresh air in from the touch hole and pushes the old spent gas out.

Shot it twice so far, dont sound much different then the others, just looks WAY better. :D

Been a fun project.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196190&stc=1&d=1394955847

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