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Cannon Junkies

interstatepawnllcinterstatepawnllc Member Posts: 9,390
edited June 2003 in General Discussion
OK fellow cannoneers, here are the questions. How many grains of FFFG is safe to fire in my 20mm cannon? The cannon weighs 25 pounds. I will be using newspaper for wadding. What are the best techniques to incorporate to obtain the maximum "boom" for my buck? Any imput is appreciated. Thanks.

Ted Kennedy's breath has killed more people than my car.

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    powdersmokepowdersmoke Member Posts: 3,241
    edited November -1
    Interstate',

    Got pictures. Guy I work with wants me to turn him a small brass one with a steel sleeve. Like to see yours.

    fc3cdbfd.gif

    When you wrestle a 'gator, there ain't no good end!!

    "Molon Labe!" Spartan General-King Leonidas
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    interstatepawnllcinterstatepawnllc Member Posts: 9,390
    edited November -1
    Smoke, will do, it's a scaled down naval cannon with wheels and all. I will take pics around the 4th and have someone post them here for you.

    JC

    Ted Kennedy's breath has killed more people than my car.
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    FrancFFrancF Member Posts: 35,278 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:OK fellow cannoneers, here are the questions. How many grains of FFFG is safe to fire in my 20mm cannon?

    Grains? Hell we just pore till it looks right and then use a wine cork with a little wad. Ours is home made from a 3" Dia. Stainless Steel High pressure steam pipe with a 7/8" (Strait bore) No expansion chamber.

    This one my Dad Built When he was an Engineer at M.I.T or Yale
    I do remember you would get about 3 Healthy shots to a pound of Pyrodex. and It could be heard though out the Puget sound in WA.

    DO NOT USE MY MESURMENTS! My brother is the keeper of the Cannon and the load guru.[:D]

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    gun1.gif



    "I know Everything!"

    "My Wife is a Hair Stylist"
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    offerorofferor Member Posts: 8,625 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    You guys have your own cannons? Cripes, I've gotta get on the ball!!!! (So to speak!) [:D]

    T. Jefferson: "[When doing Constitutional interpretation], let us [go] back to the time when [it] was adopted. [Rather than] invent a meaning [let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed."

    lifepatch.giffortbutton2.gif
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    jjmitchell60jjmitchell60 Member Posts: 3,887
    edited November -1
    interstatepawnllc, FFFG is not recommended for that size bore. FFg would be OK at around 50 to 100 grains but Fg is what is call cannon powder for bores over 1 inch. As the rule of thumb goes FFFg is used for calibers under 50, FFg is for 50 cal to 1 inch and Fg is for 1 inch and above. My Bess is a 75 cal and a dry fire charge is 50 to 80 grains of FFg. Your cannon is 20 mm which would probably put it in the 80 cal range so I would start with 50 grains of FFg. 40 grains of Fg would also do the trick to start with. From there you can play with the grainage till you get the report you like to here. If you are going to use FFFg then by all means be careful because 50 grains of FFFg does not equal 50 grains of FFg. The F stands for FINE and the g stands for ground. FFFG is triple fine ground powder. A powder measure set at 50 grains holds more power with 50 grains of FFFg than 50 grains of FFg. I hope I am not confusing you because it was confusing me when we started to play with cannons. Ours had a 3 inch bore and shot 4 ounces of Fg. It would take a ten foot length of 1/4 inch chain and shoot it through a briar patch so hard it looked as though you mowed the briar patch! Had to get rid of it because it really did not fit our Rev. War reenactments. I have been to live fire Rev War cannon competitions and you should see what they can do to a 55 gal drum of water!
    All I am trying to say is be careful using FFFg powder in a 20 mm cannon. If FFFg is all you have start with 40 grains and work upwards till yo get the noise you want but don't go much past 70 grains due to excessive pressure since you are paper wadding it.
    Dixie Gun Works catalogs have all the info as to BP that a person would ever want to know. It is worth the $7 or $8 it costs. It has a lot of info on shot sizes, colt guns, and BP cartridge guns as well. Just my 2 cents worth.
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    mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,456 ******
    edited November -1
    My old boss owned a 1/4 scale 12-pounder (Napolean type) which was the same as the cannon used by both sides during the Civil War (or what ever name you choose to call this conflict). This cannon, which was on a full wheeled carriage, the barrel turned from bar stock and not cast, cost him $1,000 back in the mid 1970's and came from the old Military Armaments Corp. (the MAC 10 people). The replica had a 1" bore (close to yours) and we'd load 2 to 3 ounces of FFG black powder. With a 3 ounce load you could fire a 1" round ball with sufficent accuracy to hit a fair sized target at 100 meters or "bombard" an area at 200! At close ranges I'm sure this thing would have killed you dead. When the gun went off it was DEAFINING and the gun would roll back four or five feet and had to be returned to battary position and resighted...just like the original. Be careful, too much powder could blow you and your cannon to bits and I'd hate to hear about that happening (believe it or not!).

    Mark T. Christian
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    paboogerpabooger Member Posts: 13,953
    edited November -1
    Mine have one inch bores, and I have used up to two film canisters full! Normally 1 film canister will be loud enough to scare the be Jesus out of all the neighbors!!!!
    We had an idiot here in Bradford last week who bought one at a garage sale and loaded it with rifle powder, yes it blew up , and half of it went clear thru his gut, he is still in very critical condition!!!! The other half went thru the side of his neighbors house!

    pa.gif

    To Ride, shoot straight,and speak the truth
    This was the Ancient law of Youth
    Old times are past, old times are done:
    But the Law runs true, O little son!
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    select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,453 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Pa, OMG the story sounds familiar. Years ago a fellow machinist wanted some high power rifle powder. Gave him a pound for an .06. Then later in the day he wanted to know how much would be needed for his cannon. I ask him for the powder back and when it was in my hands I explained everything to him. Explosives in fools hands.
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    BlueTicBlueTic Member Posts: 4,072
    edited November -1
    It will all depend on bore size and projectile weight - just like reloading bullets. Mine has a 1-11/16" bore (jee - just right for a golfball) made out of schedule 80 seamless pipe. Takes a little boreing out, cause the pipe is 1-5/8". For mine I use Fg at 260grns, since the golfballs are so light. It makes quite a boom, but is only rolling back about a foot. This is about 30lbs of pipe and oak and metal wheels - I have a pic but no hosting site.

    IF YOU DON'T LIKE MY RIGHTS - GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY (this includes politicians)
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    nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 36,024 ******
    edited November -1
    One of my colleagues has a home-made cannon with a bore about the size of a beer can or tennis ball. He uses cans as a mold and fills them with plaster of Paris for projectiles. That and about 1/3 pound of Pyrodex and a cannon fuse is all it takes.

    The plaster projectiles make it easy to see hits at long range.

    It sounds wicked when it goes off.

    I can just imagine being an infantryman in days past, charging down cannon loaded with grape shot. Glad I wasn't there.

    SIG pistol armorer/FFL Dealer/Full time Peace Officer, Moderator of General Discussion Board on Gunbroker. Visit www.gunbroker.com, the best gun auction site on the Net! Email davidnunn@texoma.net
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    OleDukOleDuk Member Posts: 1,195 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Nunn, you've got that right!!!
    OleDuk
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    BufflerBuffler Member Posts: 821 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a replica Coehorn mortar,3 inch.I use a Veg. can
    of concrete,2.2 lbs.and 1 ounce of FG powder,propped on
    a 4x4 piece of wood.This load will go 300 yds.I walk up
    and pick them up for reuse unless they hit rocks!GREAT!!
    I had one round that I had shot over 30 times!I'm still
    working on the bed for the mortar.BE SAFE!! Buffler
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    kriskris Member Posts: 973 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    i build bronze cannons...sand casted....for the one inch bore on my guns..i use approx 120 grains of 3f or 2f..Black Powder...the compression of the powder will be the important factor on wether or not you get a boom or a poof out the tube..instead of pouring loose powder down the tube..if you dont swab it out..careful of a coke off..try and create a round using alum foil rolled and packed nice and tight...ram that down..it is the same way we do it on the big guns.. ..this method is used by most civil war artillery gun crews...also too....dixie gun works has a nice item you may want to add...it is a firing hammer that uses the 4 winged musket caps....just pull the line and BOOM...no need to wonder if the fuse went out.
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