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What historical cannon can I build from these if any?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by ApacheCoTodd, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I got these cannon barrels from the estate of a deceased gunsmith and they are committed to being cylindrical of dimension though I can return the muzzles to represent something of historical accuracy.

    They are: 14 3/8 inches in length
    1 5/16 inches barrel external diameter
    2 1/4 inches across the bell-mouth muzzle

    The bore on the one finish bored example is 7/8+ inch.

    As he was an accomplished smith and they have breech plugs, I assume he intended them to be firing examples though I could find no plans. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    I'd like to find out that he was on his way to something with a historical background and will construct the first carriage as such if it turns out to be the case.
     

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  2. kituwa

    kituwa Member

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    Do you think they may have been intended for making a blunderbuss?
     
  3. TheOld Man

    TheOld Man Member

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    Sadly, the plans probably went to the grave with him. :(
     
  4. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Member

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    I wouldn't try to pass myself off as someone who knows anything about cannons but I find it strange that it is a straight barrel. I don't recall ever seeing one where the breech was not larger diameter. Even most rifle barrels are that way.
     
  5. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    That one's really got me re-looking at the barrel. I'm going to search through the spares from his shop for clues that this may be the case.

    7.62 I couldn't help but wonder at the diameter issue myself as there must have been a lot of stock removed given the muzzle bell. Certainly blunder-bussy as speculated by KITUWA.
     
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Certainly not intended for cannons. They are far too long vs the bore and outer diameters. In addtion there's no trunnions to set into the carraige or base.

    So all in all I'm thinking blunderbuss as well.
     
  7. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I kind'a like cannons and I think blunder-buss is most likely for all of the above reasons.

    kind'a neat what ever it is/was. I wonder if the muzzle ring is a sepperate piece that has been attached to the tube or if he really cut away all that metal the whole length.

    It may well be that he got this in trade from someone that knew less about cannons and blunder busch than about operating a lathe.

    -kBob
     
  8. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I thought about a trunnion ring so spun one up and as the external dimension is tubular, I set it over knurling for a look-see. Doesn't look too bad but that cylindrical exterior still doesn't ring true to me. I even considered slipping on some faux-mass to get a better profile.

    I certainly would rather cannon these instead of making 9-10 blunderbusses.
     
  9. 303tom

    303tom member

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    I am going to say they are blunderbuss barrels.................
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  10. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    You'd want to at least silver solder the trunnion block to the barrels and use the strong high temp stuff.

    There's another reason to simply sell them or build them into blunderbuss'es. As a cannon the flared muzzle crown is going to do it's utmost to ensure really BAD accuracy. This sort of barrel is simply at it's best spraying an area with shot, bits of chain, forks or stray nuts and bolts. And frankly the barrel would simply look WRONG as a cannon.
     
  11. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Member

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    What about a signal cannon? Weren't these fired without a projectile?
     
  12. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Those definitely shout blunderbuss, with the shape and dimensions you've listed, I'd be pretty certain that was the original intention. In terms of what historical cannon you can make from them (I assume you mean as miniture reproductions)? None. Unless you plan on completely reshaping the brass, etc. Personally, I'd say built up some blunderbuss'es or go ahead and sell the barrels for people looking to build such a thing. I think it wouldn't be worth the effort trying to convert those into some sort of mini-cannon.
     
  13. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Definitely more likely a blunderbuss than a cannon, but still .... that "breechplug" is like nothing that would fit into a stock. Maybe we should think outside the box and not assume that it's a barrel at all. Looks to me like part of a candlestick.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'd go with that myself!!

    It's skinny in all the wrong places for a cannon or blunderbuss barrel of any kind.

    The back end holds all the pressure.
    And it ain't got a booty on it!

    The rusted steel 'breach plug' looks like a light-fixture fitting.

    Just because he was a gunsmith doesn't mean he only used his lathe & skill to make gun or cannon barrels.

    I BTDT lots of times myself with brass candle sticks, chess pieces, and gear shift knobs when I got bored!

    rc
     
  15. TheRodDoc

    TheRodDoc Member

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    The breach plug looks very correct for a blunderbuss to me.

    For a bolt on steel tang or threaded pin like many origanal brass barreled ones used.

    View attachment 181919
     

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  16. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Thanks for the responses fellas.

    A blunderbussing I will go!

    303 tom & reddoc Those pics really nail it don't they?

    I've sold a couple-three authentic blunderbuss but never really looked too hard at them and it's now a dead certainty that that is where the fella was heading. I was distracted by his attentions to ship modeling in his shop along with the firearms.
     
  17. limpingbear

    limpingbear Member

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    I would say blunderbuss or some kind of swivel cannon. Leaning more toward blunderbuss..
     
  18. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Swivel cannon!?
    Now that would really be cool if they had just a bit more meat to them and at least one of them might end up as such in any case.
    Thanks for that one Limpingbear.
     
  19. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    They don't suggest blunderbuss much at all (imho). Especially with the breech as it appears.

    They look like medieval hand gonne barrels. Especially if you look at the artword in the medieval drawing in the first link.

    Here is another link: handgonne.com

    LD
     
  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Doggone-it DAVE! Another county heard from and well noted at that. Good call on a very realistic potential for these rascals and an interesting read on your link.
    I've certainly got enough to give that a shot (NPI) as well.
    These would be the simplest and most basic of end uses for a couple of them.

    "ignition by glowing poker wire" Gotta love it!

    Thanks, Todd.
     
  21. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Another endorsement for blunderbus. Arrr!
     
  22. col.lemat

    col.lemat Member

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    Candle sticks made from a gun . I had a desk lamp made from three pistols years ago. looked cool on the coffee table
     
  23. raa-7

    raa-7 Member

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  24. raa-7

    raa-7 Member

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    I think if I were going to use one of those for a barrel,I would machine it, to put a liner in it.If there's even enough meat there.just a thought.
     
  25. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

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    I own a cannon (Daniel's howitzer) and from all I've read; cannon rule-of-thumb is wall thickness should be at least 1/2 the thickness of the bore...what you have doesn't appear to be that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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