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Carbide cannons

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Geord, Jun 21, 2006.

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  1. Geord

    Geord Member

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    Anyone have a carbide cannon? I'd like to know where to but one. They would be great safe legal noise makers with July 4th coming up. I had one as a kid but would not know where to get one today. Welding supply houses used to sell the cannons and the calcium carbide. They make a bang like a 10 gauge shotgun. Mine had a small can in which you put some calcium carbide and water. a rubber hose carried the acetylene gas generated to a combustion chamber made of pipe and closed on the rear end. It was ignited by a lighter like flint inside that was connected to a trigger. I'd like to find one again if anyone knows who sells them. they're perfectly safe for kids. When I was about 9 I was a nasty little kid out with my cannon waking up the neighborhood at dawn on the 4th of July.
     
  2. sfhogman

    sfhogman Member

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  3. shooter94

    shooter94 Member

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    I remember Winchester had one on their website...
     
  4. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Member

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    OMG

    I still have the one I bought off of Johonson Smith Co, 30+ years ago, and they still make it!!!:D
     
  5. 444

    444 Member

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    How loud are they ?
     
  6. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    I bought one for my son when he was 3 (10 years ago) and we still have it. Good clean fun.

    Here's funny Bangsite cannon related story:

    The powder for the cannon is calcium carbide that fizzes, smokes/steams, and releases acetylene gas when it comes in contact with water. My son once spilled a handful of the powder onto my driveway (it looks like sandy cigarette ashes).

    A little while later I was filling a tractor battery (next to where he spilled it) with distilled water from a 1/2 liter beaker. My nosy neighbor walked over and asked, "Are you putting acid into that battery?"
    I said, "Yeah, and this stuff's good!" and I took a sip from the beaker.
    She said, "That's not acid!"
    I said, "Sure it is" and poured it onto the driveway where my boy spilled the powder.

    It started fizzing and steaming the way cartoon acid would if you poured it onto a driveway. She pretty much ran away with a horrified look on her face and kept asking me how I was feeling for a few days after that.
     
  7. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    About as loud as a .410.
     
  8. 444

    444 Member

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    Are the all the same as far as their report (all the different models) ?
     
  9. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Member

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    Bigger cannon = bigger bang = bigger :D
     
  10. zeke1312

    zeke1312 Guest

    OK, do a google search for "mechanix illustrated june 1976 carbide cannon" and you will find plans to build a large cannon out of pvc. I've seen a video of this cannon in action some years ago. Wow! At night the flame and sound is impressive!
     
  11. America_without_liberals

    America_without_liberals Member

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    How loud are they?

    I have the 105MM army green cannon. I bought this probably 10 years ago and the hobby shop that I bought from didn't carry the 155MM. I have to compare my cannon to an M80 going off.

    Also if you live in a firework friendly state (which I don't so I don't have one of these) there is the kennesaw cannon company. Theirs are made to use black powder or firecrackers. I really want one. All that smoke. Looks like so much fun.

    http://www.tapco.com/product_list.asp?dept=33
     
  12. googol

    googol Member

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    Homemade Carbide Cannon

    You can get the same effect a lot cheaper by using an old one-gallon paint can. Punch a small pinhole in the bottom of the can, right out near the edge.
    Wet a few pieces of carbide and toss them in the can, then press the lid on hand-tight.
    Set the can down on its side, with the pinhole at the bottom, or 6 o'clock position. (The gas forming inside the can will rise. Keeping the pinhole at the bottom prevents the gas from escaping readily.)
    Give the gas time to build up, then put a match to the pinhole. You can get a booming report if you get a big enough buildup of gas. You might want to hold down the can with your foot, to keep the can from flying around. Don't worry about the can blowing up and injuring your foot. The lid will pop off long before the pressure inside can build to dangerous levels.
     
  13. LoneCoon

    LoneCoon Member

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    There are plans for this cannon and many other fun projectile weapons in the book "Backyard Ballistics."

    I suggest a copy for anyone who loves a good "bang."
     
  14. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    For the 4th I've always found that a cleaned and dried 2 or 3 liter soda bottle with about a tablespoon of FFFg in the bottom of it makes a heck of a racket and presents minimal risk of harm to personage or property.
     
  15. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    Never in a million years would I make one of those things out of PVC. It's dangerous enough when used to store compressed air--don't need it handling explosions. PVC=frag grenade.
     
  16. carterbeauford

    carterbeauford member

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    There are two kinds of carbide cannon, the novelty kind and the kind the BATFE probably has laws against. My coworker has the latter.

    It is made out of 10" steel pipe, I do not know what it fires, maybe a honeydew, I have never seen it fired.
     
  17. JesseJames

    JesseJames Member

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    How about a potato gun?
     
  18. Geord

    Geord Member

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    Thanks For The Tips

    I think I'll buy a "Big Bang" cannon and have some fun with my grand kids. I've seen some used ones on ebay.
    A search turned up a site http://privateer.omena.org/cannon1.htm with a discussion of these cannons, the chemistry of the reaction of calcium carbide and water, pressures involved, and detailed plans for constructing one. There is even a CD and scale drawings available for about $6.00 for those who like to make things.
    Fireworks and the firing of guns are illegal here, but New Years sounds like a full scale battle at midnight. I'll legally add my 2 cents with my "Big Bang".
     
  19. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    A number of years ago us like minded spudgunners (I was not personally involved in this, but I would have been if I knew about it then) posed the question of the legality of potato cannons, both compressed air and combustion, to the ATF.

    Their reponse is here, among other places.

    Short answer: Not firearms essentially for the same reasons as muzzleloaders aren't firearms. Specifically, the lack of fixed ammunition, no primer, and in the case of compressed air guns no fire for your "fire"arm at all. So if you have a hairspray/starting fluid/carbide cannon it's a big muzzleloader. If you have a compressed air cannon it's a big air rifle. Take your pick.
     
  20. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    Along the same lines is the 2L soda bottle with cannon fuse epoxied through the cap. Fill with oxygen (from welding kit) and then add just a sprit of acetylene....just a little, tiny bit. About a second's worth out of a #2 tip.

    Big bang. Shockwave and everything. Don't be near it when it goes off.
     
  21. Geord

    Geord Member

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    Ultimate Toy Carbide Pistol (Cannon)

    Here it is. Take this to the range. They had to shove a orange plastic plug in the barrel to make it a legal toy.
     
  22. Geord

    Geord Member

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    Ultimate Carbide Pistol

    6-P CARBIDE CANNON BIG BANG 1920 NEAR PERF ORIGINAL
    THE CONESTOGA CO aka BIG BANG CANNON WORKS BETH. PA
    ebay Item number: 280003337223
     
  23. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    A tablespoon of triple F has a similar effect and is less temprimental. Also, it's less likely to go off because it fancied to as acytleye and oxygen mixtures tend to. (See also: The long list of poor fools that thought filling a trash bag with the stuff would be a good idea, then learned about static electricty the hard way.)
     
  24. Otherguy Overby

    Otherguy Overby member

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    Some friends of mine tried something when I wasn't around to witness it... :cuss:

    Anyway, they filled some balloons with helium and tied them together. They used the balloons to lift a trash bag filled with acetylene and oxygen with a fuse attached.

    Everyone there says it was about the loudest explosion they can recall...

    Damn, I wasn't there. :(
     
  25. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill Member

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    I live in Allentown, where they make Big Bang cannons....I think every kid in the village had one. Good, safe fun. Couldn't recommend them more.
     
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