school me on cannons

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by DeepSouth, Dec 25, 2020.

  1. DeepSouth
    • Contributing Member

    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    So I’ve decided I want a cannon, I don’t really know why but for now it’s a free country and I want one. The problem is I know very little about them, which makes buying one very problematic.

    I’ll sum up my thinking so far, first off I’d love to keep it under $2k else the wife will go nuts, obviously for that price I’m not looking at full size accurate reproduction cannons. I’m not much concerned about historical accuracy, I’m not looking at mortars....yet. I’ll likely build my own carriage, once I decide what I want. Also I want to be able to fire projectiles, nothing major, just something that will bust a plastic drum full of water or something to that effect.

    Mainly, I don’t want to die. You may tell me a projectile shooting cannon for $2k doesn’t exist, if so I may start looking into just blank firing, but I’ll still have a cannon. I should add I don’t intend on trying to wear it out, I’m aware black powder is not cheap and I probably want fire it more than a couple times a year after the new wears off of it.

    I have found
    www.hernironworks.com
    Their 3/4 scale ordinance rifle and the full scale mountain howitzer keep getting my attention.

    I have also found
    https://www.dixiegunworks.com
    Their 2/3 scale field cannon and the full size mountain howitzer really look appealing to me, the guy who knows nothing mind you. I especially like that Dixie is within driving distance for me (AL) so I can likely save on some shipping by picking it up.

    https://greystarcannontech.homestead.com/star.html
    Also has a mountain howitzer as well as some other smaller scale cannons.

    All of these, at least all of the ones I’m currently considering, have a seamless steel liner, which I have read is a must.





    So tell me am I even on the right track or am I on track to an early grave, any other manufacturers out there I need to be considering. What do I need to know before buying a cannon. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated as I’m basically lost in this area.
     
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  2. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    I made one from a old worn IH sickle mower pin from a scrap iron pile, busted grease zerk (missing the check ball) and a stick welder.
    I H balance head sickle mower pins are drilled through grease port, the metal is forulated and heat treated tough to handle the hammering reciprocating motion of the cutter bar pin that steel is plenty tough for black powder and a paper wad.
    Made a carrage from 1x6 lumber.
    Its was about .35 cal, as I remember I salvaged the contents from a dud roman candle, used a knife to open the paper tube and salvage the propellent.
    Used some that fuse off fire crackers to set it off, I just used some old brown paper from a cattle feed sack as a wad.
    It was Awesome!
    On firing it would do a complete flip and land on its base! :D

    I heard of a welding shop that built one for a guy that wanted a 4th july noise maker using some oil field drill pipe, since it was just making noise and not shooting objects other than a paper wad they used some surplus oil field drillpipe thats popular with cattle fence builders.
    That stuff comes with threaded ends.
    You could possibly make a breech loader?
    images.jpeg-5.jpg
    Most the places that sell that pipe by the foot have sections too short for fencing but eould be just right for what your looking for.

    Of you could buy new stuff
    Extra-heavy wall seamless steel tube
    http://www.steelpipechn.com/Thick-wall-seamless-steel-pipe.html
    1-160221132641914.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
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  3. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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  4. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    s-l400-1.jpg

    Vintage Big Bang (noise maker) Cannon 9"

    $69.95
    Ebay
     
  5. robhof

    robhof Member

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    DSCN1091.JPG Bought the barrel from DGW back in 60's built carriage for scout project .75 caliber still shooting fine have .69 mold for cannon balls.
     
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  6. coonbait

    coonbait Member

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    made one out of 2'' stainless sch. 40 pipe, weights about 35lbs. has a 1.5 inside di. a 35mm film container or two of 2F black powder sends a golf ball to who knows were with a big fire ball and a huge smoke cloud. sure wakes the neighborhood up.
     
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  7. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    If you decide to shoot it just remember how far they may go. A buddy had one 20 yrs ago. Shot a projectile about the size of a soft ball. He took it up in northern Wisconsin over a holiday and thought he'll shoot it into a lake and see a big splash. Well, guess what? It went over the lake and landed in some guy's front yard who had "chicken little syndrome" and called the cops. The judge fined the shooter a good amount of cash at the time and told him if it happened again he would lock him up and throw away the key.
     
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  8. indy1919a4

    indy1919a4 Member

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    Golf Ball cannons are fun, cheap ammo, fair sized cannons. Not to big, not to small...
     
  9. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    Excellent advise, I have a nice dirt bank on my property that would make an excellent backstop. It’s probably 30’ high and I can get on a hill 100 yards or so away, so I’d be shooting down as well.

    Myth busters also caused some trouble filming a show some years ago
     
  10. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    Why don't you try a carbide cannon. The report they make is really loud. Cost and ammo is cheaper than real cannon and less dangerous.
     
  11. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    Well, until 2 minutes ago I had never heard of one. Where can I go to learn more, who sells them.
     
  12. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  13. MIOkie

    MIOkie Member

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    With all due respect, there is nothing “Parrott” about that thing.

    It’s not even a fair representation of a reproduction.

    A pipe bomb on wheels.

    Decide on what you are wanting as for model and scale size. Decide what you wish to accomplish with it. Then do diligent research and incorporate a lot of skepticism before thinking of parting with your money.
     
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  14. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    Everything homemade scares the crap out me, even (especially) if I made it. I know enough to know that I don’t know enough to be doing that, I understand what I meant in all that :)

    All I am considering at this point is new production casts with seamless steel tube inserts. Part of my problem is that don’t know anyone that knows anything about cannons, the manufacturers seem to be so liability concerned (understandably so) they’ll tell you their decorative only, or some approve blank, no projectile, loads. So why do you put a 3/8 DOM steel liner with a pinned and welded plug in it if it’s only decorative? Why drill the bore more than 1’ deep? They are obviously in liability control mode, again I understand why, maybe I’m wrong but from what I know of physics (admittedly not much) ANY cannon could be turned into a pipe bomb, so I understand it’s just very frustrating.

    I can’t seem to find good real information, I can find people who make pipe bombs and call them cannons, (no offense to any one in particular) and I can also find people that are to scared to tell the truth. I’m just having a very hard time finding reliable information.


    Bit of a rant as much as anything, but I’m still trying to figure out how to do the diligent research spoken of, normally it’s not this hard and the consequences aren’t this high.
     
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  15. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    The problem with many "home made" cannons is that they look like what they are- a piece of pipe on a carriage. I would need at least a bit of period styled contouring of the outer diameter.
     
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  16. Bill Raby

    Bill Raby Member

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    I think the way to go is to buy from someone who has the confidence to say they build working canons and expect to pay for what you get. Might have to save up some more money.
     
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  17. MIOkie

    MIOkie Member

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    DeepSouth...

    The information you seek is out there.

    This forum is a great place to start. Lots of knowledgeable people here. Sometimes it takes a while for the members experienced with your topic to chime in.

    It is Christmas, after all.

    My experience lies in full-size Civil War field artillery, not the scaled down cannons, making my usefulness to you limited.

    When I hear of tube inserts I think of a bore liner intended to strengthen a poor quality tube or to repair one that has wear from heavy use.

    And a solid breech sounds a whole lot better than one thats been welded on. The quality of the weld comes into question, and you certainly wouldn’t want that to fail firing a projectile.

    As hard as it may seem, try your best to be patient... consider it a fun project in the making.

    Have fun... and be safe...!
     
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  18. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    I believe the North-South Skirmish Association uses cannon for accuracy competition. You might try attending a mach or visiting their website.

    Kevin
     
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  19. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    Just Google "carbide Cannon" and you will find several models for sale.
     
  20. sspierce8

    sspierce8 Member

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    Look at Peaceful Valley Arms.
     
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  21. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  22. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    Wasn't there an old saying about not being able to afford a cheap attorney, or doctor, or something like that? I have always wanted a cannon, but until I can afford the real thing, I'm probably not getting one. !!!
     
  23. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    Regular full-size or half-sized cannon are very powerful, very loud, and require a very safe place to shoot them.

    Golf ball cannons are like big firearms, and 75 or 60 caliber cannons are basically muzzle-loading pistols.

    I would avoid anything home made. The line between a cannon and a pipe bomb can be thin.

    IMO, a musket-caliber cannon with a rifled bore and decent sights (they are removed before firing) would probably hit the sweet spot for accessible fun. Something like this:

    https://www.go2gbo.com/threads/aiming-a-cannon-without-sights-south-african-style.95710/
     
  24. P89DCSS

    P89DCSS Member

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    The TV show "Mythbuster" had something similar happen with a bowling ball cannon. The projectile went over 700 yards:

    Mythbusters-cannonball-map_perceptionbuilder-com.jpg
     
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  25. indy1919a4

    indy1919a4 Member

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    WOW, Cannonball Mortars are so much fun, but geez you have to have the place for it. Those guys had their guardian angels looking out for them and everyone else that day. That could have been an expensive error.
     
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