1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.


Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Magwa45, Apr 13, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Magwa45

    Magwa45 Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    Volksrepublik Maryland
    I have been thinking about mortars and how to get into this exciting bp shooting. When I was a kid, one of my Dad's buddies had a civil war mortar he used to shoot orange juice cans filled up with cement. I never got to participate in this, but it always sounded like a lot of fun. Dixie Gun Works has a nice Coehorn mortar as well as some small cannon that require some finishing or building bases, etc. This can be quite challenging or even dangerous if you do not have the right training, etc. Hmm, maybe I should join an NSSA artillery unit and learn how to do it the right way. But is their anyone out there who has experience with mortars or small cannon? I'd like to hear what you would recommend for breaking into this fun pastime. Cheers!
  2. Iggy

    Iggy Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I had a coehorn (mortar)from South Bend Replicas. (extinct now) I fired V8 juice cans filled with cement over 80 of Fg cannon powder and they would go at least a couple hundred yards.

    I also had a 1/3 scale Sea Service cannon. small scale replica of the main guns on Old Iron Sides. The barrel weighed 75 pounds. Used a 12 gauge shot shot gun shell of Fg powder wrapped in aluminum foil behind either a 35MM plastic film can filled with cement or a 1/2 pound 1 1/4" lead wad cutter.

    The lead wad cutter would go through an old pickup at 100 yds and keep on going.

    Sold both of them last fall. They were a kick in the butt kind of fun.

    Knew a guy years ago that made a mortar that fired bowling balls. They would go way up there and when they came down you could hear the air whistling around the finger holes. They would bury themselves in a meadow a couple of hundred yards a way.. He could get a purty durned fine group with that old gun too.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  3. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Standard procedure to keep the barrel at 45 degrees. Make sure the weight of your cans (mortar rounds) are consistent. You adjust the powder charge for the desired range.
  4. ElvinWarrior

    ElvinWarrior Member

    Mar 24, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    You might also consider launching your own home made fireworks shells from your cannon(s). mortar(s) as well...

    That could be alot of fun too !!!

    Imagine... a bunch of crows two hundred yards in the trees, eyeing your neighbors corn field...

    You level your cannon at about 40/45% and fire your fireworks shell loaded with BP, Stars. Flash Powder, and a big brace of flash firecrackers...

    The birds scatter like all hades...

    The farmer comes out and shouts and yells at you...

    You just set his grove of trees on fire....

    LOL !!!

    Have FUN with it !!!


    ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"
  5. ofitg

    ofitg Member

    May 17, 2010
    The bigger the bore, the more awesome it is to shoot.... and the more hassle it is to move around.

    Try to find a happy medium - you'll have the most fun with something that you can manage to lift into/out of your vehicle.
  6. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    Making explosive shells is seriously illegal in most places without explosives and or pyrotechnic licensing, otherwise you'd see a lot more of it in black powder artillery.
  7. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    I was an 11C (infantry mortarman). What Gary said is on the mark. For consistency, speed, and safety, you might consider using small powder bags instead of loose powder.

    (Edited to add) A single powder bag should be the smallest charge capable of launching the projectile. Each charge bag should be the same amount.

  8. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    May 5, 2006
    People's Republic of Maryland
    I have launched projectiles from mortars, field artillery, naval artillery, and I also have launched fireworks shells. Fireworks shells are launched from a tube at vertical for a reason. A mortar works well when the projectile is very near the bore size and thus getting a pretty good closure over the powder chamber (which is smaller than the main chamber), but mortars are not so good with anything that doesn't "fit", and even if the pyrotechnic shell did fit, they are meant to go straight up, and have their own launching charge. Launch a pyro shell (even when legal) from a Mortar, you have a good chance at dropping it on the ground before it detonates, or having the blast radius impact the ground if not..., which might be really cool to watch, but not recommended. If it doesn't fit well, you have a good chance of it coming down as a "short round" and you're inside the blast radius.

    You might look into a Rev War sized mortar of brass. They make a lovely boom, they can be machined to accept energy drink cans with concrete, and if you absolutely must try it, the smaller of the pyro shells (out over water please).

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page