Author Topic: Signal Cannon  (Read 5443 times)

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Offline imnukensc

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Signal Cannon
« on: October 29, 2012, 05:34:08 PM »
Wondering if anyone has a signal cannon.  I just bought one on ebay.  Six inch barrel, 1 inch bore, 4 3/4 inch deep, 3/4 inch barrel wall thickness.  Supposedly it comes with "basic instructions."  From my reading on the inet, I need to use FFg blackpowder, or cannon powder, or Pyrodex RS.  If anyone has any experience with these things, I'd appreciate any info you have.  I just wanna make some noise!!!!
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 06:12:24 PM »
I do.....what do you want to know?
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 06:27:00 PM »
I guess the biggest thing I need to know, Wolfy, is how much powder to load in it.  Another guy from another forum has a .45 caliber "Old Ironsides" that he loads 80 grains of FFF in.  Think this one will hold twice that?  I don't want to experiment with powder charges from getting a "poof" to getting a mild "bang" to getting shrapnel and hurting someone---especially me!

Also confused on powder..........I've read FFg, cannon powder, and Pyrodex RS.  I have absolutely no experience with these things so any info at all is appreciated.  Pictures are not required:)
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 07:17:12 PM »
First of all you have to determine if it is safe to fire at all :P.   Your barrel sounds substantial enough to be fired with reasonable charges if it is made from proper barrel material and it is breeched safely.   Welded breeches are unsafe to fire, even with small charges.  If it is bored from the muzzle from a solid billet of steel with a breech-thickness that equals your barrel wall thickness you're probably OK.  If the breech is mechanically 'fitted' or screwed in at least as far as the barrel is thick, it should be OK, too.  Check with your rammer by marking with your thumbnail at the muzzle and then measuring on the outside of the tube.

As far as charges go, there are several powders you can use for a safe charge.  There is a new black powder that is PERFECT for blank charges in muskets and signal cannons intended for reenactors in Civil War skirmishes and it's even slightly cheaper than Goex FFg or Fg, which is also suitable.  The more 'Fs' there are, the finer the powder and the more pressure it generates due to burning rate, so stick to FF and F for your cannon.  I will find the name of that new powder for you, but its' name has changed and my brother has my new MUZZLELOADER MAGAZINE with that information in it.  It was called 'Battle Powder', but the name has changed. 

You should be fine with 100 grain charges, but I always 'proof' new barrels with triple charges to be sure.   Use a LONG fuse and take cover behind a berm or something impenetrable in case it comes apart.  It's well worth the peace of mind to find out with the FIRST shot, rather than when a bunch of kids are watching at a 4th of July picnic!  I use fresh grass clippings for 'wadding' because it won't catch fire like paper or some other materials will and it won't make a mess in your yard, either.  You don't need huge charges to fire off an impressive 'salute'......they're cheaper to shoot and safer with sensible loading, too!   I always swab the barrel with a damp swab after each firing to ensure no sparks linger in the barrel before loading the next charge, too.

They're FUN, but can hurt people, too......so just use common sense and treat them like any other firearm.  Anything else you'd like to know, just holler.  Can you post a picture or two of it?


DISCLAIMER:  Oh yeah, if you kill yourself or somebody else with it, disregard everything I just said :shrug: :rofl:
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 07:20:39 PM by wolfy »
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 08:59:30 PM »
Thank you so much, Wolfy.  As soon as I get it and as soon as my screwed up schedule will allow, I'll post some pics.  I've got the ebay pics, but they're so small (unless you're looking on ebay) you can't tell squat.  You've given me a lot of information to process in my one semifunctioning brain cell.  But, I'm happy to say there is nothing from the ebay pics I have and its description that would leave me to believe anything is welded.  I saw lots of less expensive ones on there, but I steered away from anything that was welded.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 09:26:40 PM »
  I'll refrain from suggesting a powder charge,  but what ever charge you use you may find easier and safer to prepare if you wrap the charge in aluminum foil,  load it into the barrel,  then using a pick the same size as the fuse, run it down the touch hole and into the foil covered Powder charge.
  This does several things,  it makes the powder easier to handle and load,  the foil casing creates a bit of pressure and adds to a better bang,  aluminum foil doesn't burn enough to start a grass or brush fire,  and loading another charge encased in foil will add a layer of protection against any ember left in the bore that didn't get snuffed out by swabbing.

  My cannon is an original naval piece circa late 1700's early 1800's used on naval transport row boats and Prague's,  it was rescued from Boston harbor during a construction project,  the bore is 20" long,  has the muzzle flared,  and has a 1-1/8" bore,  it's sits on an oak deck carridge on wheels and has a period aiming adjustment devise,  the gun and carridge weigh about eighty pounds.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 09:31:20 PM »
Wow that sounds like a priceless piece of history, Moe!
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 10:12:53 PM »
Perhaps we should call this the 'artillery thread' 8).   My battery consists of a nice little .58 cal 1856 mountain howitzer that CVA made at one time.  They also made a small Napolean that was scaled the same.  These were nice replicas, but they also made some smaller ones that were cheap and not so 'nice' :-\.  I paid $75 for the howitzer at a gun show a long time ago and it sits on top of a hutch in our living room......my wife puts up with a lot O:-).   We saw one just like it in a shop in Paris that had a price of $2300 on it........can't recall what is was in francs, but it was astronomical.  If I'd have had it with me I could have financed our trip by selling them another 8)

My mortar was turned from a 6" diameter billet that came from a giant electric motor shaft and it is bored to shoot golf balls.  I once launched, in a high arc, 3 golfballs in one loading over 3/4 of a mile across the Missouri River into South Dakota.......they were brand new balls in a sleeve with advertising stamped on them.  A friend found two of them next spring when he was mushroom hunting with his kids.  The charge for that one is a level-full Kodak film canister of FFg......about 550 grains.   It's a crowd pleaser :D :D :D :D :D :D

My last one is a 1/3 scale 6 pounder that shoots those 1# lead sinkers that you cast with the aluminum fish sinker moulds.  We made a 'monkey tail' tiller handle and a yoke for it so we can fire it from the bow of our Lewis & Clark pirogue and keelboat.  I never did build a carriage for it.......too much fun this way :banana:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 10:24:05 PM »
See, you guys are making awful hard for a guy with a lathe not to order a huge expensive hunk of brass...  :tent:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 10:26:14 PM »
These little things are cheap enough, shoot real BB's and are almost too "cute" not to get one...

http://www.pocketartillery.com/




Plus they look like a design I could make pretty cheap and easy on the lathe rather than trying to make a big brass behemoth.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 10:59:09 PM »
Wow that sounds like a priceless piece of history, Moe!

  I suppose it is,  as strange as it sounds I inherited it from my wifes first husband,  he was a wizz at anything mechanical,  and a hell of a craftsman,  they married young and he was killed in a racing boating accident a couple of years later,  My wife told me that he got the barrel from his brother who was working a construction site in Boston,  some diver/welders working on steel piers found it,  I guess it was never mounted or used,  they said it appears to have been sealed with some kind of tar or heavy grease like stuff and sewed into a canvas oil cloth, she said they found some remnants of fabric.
  It was rusty but cleaned up well,  her husband researched cannon mounts and built a deck carridge for it,  he forged the iron furniture and axles,  and he made the wheels out of 1-1/2" oak cut outs, and used pieces of 5" cast iron soil pipe for the wheel rims (tires).
  He also made the elevating device for aiming the cannon,  so I can't claim any part of building it,  but we use it for celebrating independence day,  and once in a while just for fun, but it does tend to piss the neighbors off if we get carried away.

  Someday when I learn to post pictures I do a little review of it.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 11:17:18 PM »
That would be great, I'd love to see pics of it.

I'll bet the neighbors get riled up, lol! :D If you ever need help posting pics, send me a PM and I'll try to set up a time I can walk you through it on the phone or something. It will be a lot easier than trying to do it in text. Red does have an excellent photobucket tutorial here as well.

http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,39.0.html

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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 11:51:39 PM »
That would be great, I'd love to see pics of it.

I'll bet the neighbors get riled up, lol! :D If you ever need help posting pics, send me a PM and I'll try to set up a time I can walk you through it on the phone or something. It will be a lot easier than trying to do it in text. Red does have an excellent photobucket tutorial here as well.

http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,39.0.html

  Thanks,
  I saw that and have it book marked,  and my brother in law is a wiz at computer stuff,  he says he'll get me set up as soon as he can,  but I have a lot of stuff promised when I do get to it,  at least it's a good thing that I don't have to take them to the drug store to get them developed.   :)
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 11:55:20 PM »
That would be great, I'd love to see pics of it.

I'll bet the neighbors get riled up, lol! :D If you ever need help posting pics, send me a PM and I'll try to set up a time I can walk you through it on the phone or something. It will be a lot easier than trying to do it in text. Red does have an excellent photobucket tutorial here as well.

http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,39.0.html

  Thanks,
  I saw that and have it book marked,  and my brother in law is a wiz at computer stuff,  he says he'll get me set up as soon as he can,  but I have a lot of stuff promised when I do get to it,  at least it's a good thing that I don't have to taken them to the drug store to get them developed.   :)

Lol, I am so glad not to have to deal with that hassle anymore! The ability to take pictures and share them with the world within minutes is truly amazing. I remember thinking when I was a kid that the day would never come when we had telephones with TV screens so you could see the person you are talking to. It's so funny that nobody I know uses that technology even though it's available on almost every smart phone now.

But, cannons!
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 08:35:47 AM »
That would be great, I'd love to see pics of it.

I'll bet the neighbors get riled up, lol! :D If you ever need help posting pics, send me a PM and I'll try to set up a time I can walk you through it on the phone or something. It will be a lot easier than trying to do it in text. Red does have an excellent photobucket tutorial here as well.

http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,39.0.html

  Thanks,
  I saw that and have it book marked,  and my brother in law is a wiz at computer stuff,  he says he'll get me set up as soon as he can,  but I have a lot of stuff promised when I do get to it,  at least it's a good thing that I don't have to taken them to the drug store to get them developed.   :)

Lol, I am so glad not to have to deal with that hassle anymore! The ability to take pictures and share them with the world within minutes is truly amazing. I remember thinking when I was a kid that the day would never come when we had telephones with TV screens so you could see the person you are talking to. It's so funny that nobody I know uses that technology even though it's available on almost every smart phone now.

But, cannons!

  Since our oldest daughter moved to Arizona my wife has started using stipe to keep in touch with her,  it's kind of on the same idea of your phone screen,  it is pretty amazing considering I go back to a time when many people in my old neighborhood didn't even have phones or used party lines and actually talked with an opperator to be connected.

  Cannons are not what one would call practical,  but they can be fun,  several guys at one of my Rod & Gun clubs have them and even hold informal matches from time to time,  I can get up to a couple of hundred yards with mine,  once dialed in it'll shoot three foot groups using  old "D" cell flashlight batteries as ammo.   :)
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 08:55:14 AM »
One of the reasons I bought that little mountain howitzer replica was that our blackpowder club had, on loan, an original Ames bronze 1856 howitzer tube that was owned by the director of the Sioux City Public Museum.  He loaned it to us in trade for building a carriage for it for display at the museum when we were not playing with it.  One of our members was a machinist, which came in handy for building trunnion caps and other 'furniture' for the carriage.  He also made moulds for casting aluminum round shot for 'grape-shot' loads and a single round-ball mould for solid shot charges.  It would put the roundball ALMOST :pissed: completely through a 2' diameter elm tree.....took a chainsaw to get our ball back for re-use :P.  The grape-shot charges were the most impressive, however.....I can't imagine being in the ranks of the infantry that had to face that thing :-\
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 12:20:25 PM »
One of the reasons I bought that little mountain howitzer replica was that our blackpowder club had, on loan, an original Ames bronze 1856 howitzer tube that was owned by the director of the Sioux City Public Museum.  He loaned it to us in trade for building a carriage for it for display at the museum when we were not playing with it.  One of our members was a machinist, which came in handy for building trunnion caps and other 'furniture' for the carriage.  He also made moulds for casting aluminum round shot for 'grape-shot' loads and a single round-ball mould for solid shot charges.  It would put the roundball ALMOST :pissed: completely through a 2' diameter elm tree.....took a chainsaw to get our ball back for re-use :P.  The grape-shot charges were the most impressive, however.....I can't imagine being in the ranks of the infantry that had to face that thing :-\

  Your post brings to mind a clip in a civil war movie that I watched a while back,  the scene was so disturbing that they chose to highlight it in a after movie review of how they filmed some of the action scenes.
  I'm not sure which movie it was now,  the Blue & the Grey maybe,  but the scene had the the rebel malitia charging across a field,  at the end of the field was a split rail fence then a stone wall,  behind the wall was a detachment of union artilery backed up by mounted cavalry,  as soon as the confederates got near the fence the union cannons were fired.
  The scene was set up with plastic dummies dressed in confederate rebel clothes,  and the cannons were loaded with real grape and canister,  when they were touched off the fence disappeard,  it was turned into tooth pick sized chards,  and the manaquins were blown to pieces and their clothing turned into bits and pieces of fabric,  the smoke from the cannons added to the horror of the scene,  to say that it was disturbing is an understatement,  to think that real men,  brother countrymen,  faced those cannons and were turned into carrion is truely horrific,  it's something I'll never forget.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 05:53:03 PM »
I saw that program too, Moe.....don't remember the name of the program either, but it had to do with the Confederate charge across on open meadow at Gettysburg, which came to be known as 'Pickett's Charge'.

Imnukensc, I got my magazine back from my brother today and looked up the name of that powder and where to get it.  It's now called "BLACK POWDER SUITABLE FOR MUSKETS AND CANNONS".......not really too imaginative, is it :shrug:    For more information or orders contact Jack's Powder Keg at 888-245-9631 or www.jackspowderkeg. com
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 08:30:22 PM »
Thanks for all the info and personal experiences.  This has been very enlightening and entertaining for me.  Still don't have the cannon yet, but did figure out how to save the ebay pics to a suitable size so here they are.  Reckon she'll make some noise?





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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 09:12:57 PM »
COOL :thumbsup:   Looks like a miniature Coehorn......it should make an impressive salute that commands attention! :cheers:
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2012, 10:56:59 PM »
See, you guys are making awful hard for a guy with a lathe not to order a huge expensive hunk of brass...  :tent:

Just here to help, PW :shrug:

http://www.buckstix.com/MortarBarrel.htm

 :cheers:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2012, 11:39:38 PM »
Wow it would be fun to build a 1/4 scale one. That would be closer to the ability of my lathe and budget for materials. Something that can shoot golf balls for instance. That C360 brass is the same stuff I use for firesteel handles and it machines like butter!
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2012, 08:54:58 AM »
Thanks for all the info and personal experiences.  This has been very enlightening and entertaining for me.  Still don't have the cannon yet, but did figure out how to save the ebay pics to a suitable size so here they are.  Reckon she'll make some noise?







  Cool looking little cannon,  does the box stand come with it ?

  I'd suggest you get a worm rod made up for it,  it makes cleaning a lot easier.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2012, 09:05:38 AM »
My swab came from my local tire-repair shop.  It's one of those swabs they use to moisten tire beads before slipping them onto the tire machine......works dandy :thumbsup:
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2012, 10:00:59 PM »
Moe, yes, the stand comes with it.  Re: using the aluminum foil.........I really like the idea of that, but it sounds like a pain in the butt unless you put the aluminum foil in the barrel first, add the charge, and then ram it home.  Not sure how I'd do prepackaged charges without it looking like a small aluminum turd I was trying to stuff down the barrel.  No offense at all, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around how to do it.  As far as cleaning goes, it took me a bit to figure out what a worm rod was.  Got all kinds of Google hits on fishing rods until I went to a black powder shooting website!  Not sure I'll need one of those as I have access to any number of kinds and sizes of brushes.  Also, if I recall correctly, lots of blackpowder rifle shooters use to clean their rifles with hot soapy water, brushes, patches (might need that worm rod here!), etc., dry well, and then apply a light coat of oil.  Is that not the way it is still done?
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2012, 11:07:59 PM »
We used aluminum foil for the charges in that full-sized howitzer as Moe apparently does in his deck gun.  It's easier to load them in a horizontal tube if they're foil-wrapped, but in a mortar you don't really need them because of the steep angle of the barrel.....the powder falls clear to the breech when you dump the charge in the muzzle.   If you want to use them for whatever reason, anyway, make yourself a cylindrical mould to form the foil around.  A section of 1" dowel or something like that would probably work....just so it will fit down the tube when you're done forming it and filling it.  Crimp it shut by folding the open end down firmly on the powder and use your rammer to push it home, prick the charge through the vent, install your fuse and fire for effect :banana:  If you use the foil you will then have to come up with a worm to get rid of any small bits of foil left in the breech after the last shot....that's what it's for.  It looks like a corkscrew with two opposing points.  My mortar bore gets squeaky clean with just the tire swab, but I don't mess with the foil in it, either :shrug:   That's another nice thing about mortars 8).   I always put a fuse in the touchhole and well into the interior of the gun before dumping the powder in......easier to get it into the powder and no piercing of the charge to make room for the fuse itself is necessary.

Cleaning it is the same as for any blackpowder firearm.....sounds like you have a handle on that already :P.  I just use the tire swab with a 'patch' of folded paper towel over the tire swab, but a round bottle brush would probably make a better jag for holding the paper towel in your smaller bore :thumbsup: :shrug:
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 11:14:34 PM by wolfy »
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2012, 08:11:08 AM »
Moe, yes, the stand comes with it.  Re: using the aluminum foil.........I really like the idea of that, but it sounds like a pain in the butt unless you put the aluminum foil in the barrel first, add the charge, and then ram it home.  Not sure how I'd do prepackaged charges without it looking like a small aluminum turd I was trying to stuff down the barrel.  No offense at all, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around how to do it.  As far as cleaning goes, it took me a bit to figure out what a worm rod was.  Got all kinds of Google hits on fishing rods until I went to a black powder shooting website!  Not sure I'll need one of those as I have access to any number of kinds and sizes of brushes.  Also, if I recall correctly, lots of blackpowder rifle shooters use to clean their rifles with hot soapy water, brushes, patches (might need that worm rod here!), etc., dry well, and then apply a light coat of oil.  Is that not the way it is still done?

  The use of aluminum foil for forming charges is pretty well acceped in the reinactment community,  usually for making blank rounds for muskets and cannons,  the biggest reason is to prevent grass and forrest fires,  but as I said before,  the foil acts like a casing and keeps the powder together enough to get a louder report than if it was packed lose in the barrel and backed up with wadding.
  What most people who fire these things a lot will do is to use a wooden dowel just under the bore size of the barrel, and as long as the volume of powder they want to use,  then simply wrap the piece of dowel with the foil,  then pull the dowel out and seal one end by taking a couple of folds in the foil,  next pour in the powder and fold the opening.
 Now you have a foil cartridge about the same dia. as the bore,  when the cartridge is inserted into the bore and ramed down into the chamber it will expand a little and hold there very well,  no additional wadding is needed.
  To prime the gun,  a pick is used to insure that the touch hole is open and to punch a hole in the cartridge,  the pick is removed and a fuse inserted in the touch hole and down into the cartridge,  then the fuse is touched with a "match" to set it off.

  It must be mentioned that While this is a lot of fun,  it can be very dangerous if there are not careful preperations taken ahead of time,  such as a loading proceedure,  and a firing proceedure,  to include making sure that the gun is clean and the bore unobstructed,  that all bystanders are well away from the gun before any loading takes place,  that the powder, fuses, and cartridges are kept in a locked container,  and that the gun is never loaded until the time when it is to be fired,  that once the gun is loaded and the fuse inserted the fuse should be covered at all times until the moment the gun will be fired,  that a "match",  being a piece of cotton rope affixed to a stick or dowel at least 24" long and smoldering be used to ignite the fuse,  never place the hands near the fuse when it is being lighted.
  It is important to take the time to do this the same way each time the gun is fired,  and to make sure that everyone in the area of the gun knows what is about to happen and that the gun is about to be fired,  one last check should be made to insure that no one except for the person holding the "match" is anywhere near the gun or in line with the bore.

  Enjoy, and be safe.   
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2012, 08:15:20 AM »
We used aluminum foil for the charges in that full-sized howitzer as Moe apparently does in his deck gun.  It's easier to load them in a horizontal tube if they're foil-wrapped, but in a mortar you don't really need them because of the steep angle of the barrel.....the powder falls clear to the breech when you dump the charge in the muzzle.   If you want to use them for whatever reason, anyway, make yourself a cylindrical mould to form the foil around.  A section of 1" dowel or something like that would probably work....just so it will fit down the tube when you're done forming it and filling it.  Crimp it shut by folding the open end down firmly on the powder and use your rammer to push it home, prick the charge through the vent, install your fuse and fire for effect :banana:  If you use the foil you will then have to come up with a worm to get rid of any small bits of foil left in the breech after the last shot....that's what it's for.  It looks like a corkscrew with two opposing points.  My mortar bore gets squeaky clean with just the tire swab, but I don't mess with the foil in it, either :shrug:   That's another nice thing about mortars 8).   I always put a fuse in the touchhole and well into the interior of the gun before dumping the powder in......easier to get it into the powder and no piercing of the charge to make room for the fuse itself is necessary.

Cleaning it is the same as for any blackpowder firearm.....sounds like you have a handle on that already :P.  I just use the tire swab with a 'patch' of folded paper towel over the tire swab, but a round bottle brush would probably make a better jag for holding the paper towel in your smaller bore :thumbsup: :shrug:

  Sorry Wolfy,  I didn't get past his post to read yours before I wrote my last piece,  but considering the topic it doesn't hurt to reinforce the thought that safety is the most important part of enjoying these grown up toys.
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2012, 08:18:13 AM »
Thanks, Guys.  I had thought of the mold/wooden dowel after I made my last post.  Just another  "Duh!" moment in my life.  Also, thanks for the tip on putting the fuse in first and then the powder.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2012, 10:21:53 AM »
Moe mentioned the lockable ammunition chest which is standard equipment for a cannon crew.....VERY IMPORTANT!   You can probably pick up a standard .50 cal. BMG ammo can from Wilderbeast that is both lockable and water-resistant......it's about the perfect solution. Always put the powder can back in the box and lock the lid before firing!   Plenty of room for powder, fuse, paper towels, swab, fuses, etc.   I precut all my fuses and keep them in a 'waterproof' aspirin bottle for dispensing one at a time........saves messin' around when you are loading, the fuses are 'timed' the same and it keeps them fresh & unbent for easy insertion in the touch hole 8)
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2012, 10:36:36 AM »
Moe mentioned the lockable ammunition chest which is standard equipment for a cannon crew.....VERY IMPORTANT!   You can probably pick up a standard .50 cal. BMG ammo can from Wilderbeast that is both lockable and water-resistant......it's about the perfect solution. Always put the powder can back in the box and lock the lid before firing!   Plenty of room for powder, fuse, paper towels, swab, fuses, etc.   I precut all my fuses and keep them in a 'waterproof' aspirin bottle for dispensing one at a time........saves messin' around when you are loading, the fuses are 'timed' the same and it keeps them fresh & unbent for easy insertion in the touch hole 8)

Not to be picky, and a lockable case is a good isea, but you never want to store powder in a strong sealed enclosure. If something ignites it, the enclosure will allow pressure to spike with potentially disasterous results. I would suggest a ligntweight wooden or plastic box like one of the mtn ammo boxes.

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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2012, 11:06:44 AM »
Just to be even 'pickier'.....
http://mainepowderhouse.com/powder-storage-safe/
 8)

It's like the one in my shed.....lined with OSB, on casters, with looped handles that can be snagged with pike to pull from a burning building.  Room for 50# of blackpowder.  Has to be lockable to meet the Fed's standards, IF you offer it for sale.....which opens a HUGE container of worms :pissed:
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 11:13:04 AM by wolfy »
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2012, 12:05:58 PM »
I was thinking about storing my powder and other supplies in one of those old army mermite insulted food containers I got from my now deceased father-in-law, Colonel Francis W. "Bull" Dawson.  For those that are unfamiliar with his story, he is credited with coining the term, "Rangers, lead the way!" during  the D-Day Normandy invasion on Omaha Beach.  He also recieved the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions that day.  (I know y'all didn't need to know all of that other information, I just felt like throwing in my version of Paul Harvey's page 2 for the "rest of the story.")
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2012, 01:19:27 PM »
Just to be even 'pickier'.....
http://mainepowderhouse.com/powder-storage-safe/
 8)

It's like the one in my shed.....lined with OSB, on casters, with looped handles that can be snagged with pike to pull from a burning building.  Room for 50# of blackpowder.  Has to be lockable to meet the Fed's standards, IF you offer it for sale.....which opens a HUGE container of worms :pissed:

Well that looks like it will contain it. Approaches the problem from the other direction. ;)

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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2012, 06:38:46 PM »
The cannon is................L OUD!!!!!  (Sorry, no pics or video.  Gotta take my word for it.)
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2012, 02:53:27 PM »
The cannon is................L OUD!!!!!  (Sorry, no pics or video.  Gotta take my word for it.)

  What did you end up using for a charge volume wise ?
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2012, 06:06:53 PM »
Still experimenting...... ...slowly.......but   120 grains went poof.  I'm pretty certain that was because I didn't have the wad packed tight enough on the powder.  Next charge was about 240 grains with a wad of paper towels that fit much better and tighter than the wads provided by the seller.  Once I get it all figured out, this thing is gonna be a blast!  No pun intended.........or maybe it was.   ;D
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2012, 06:34:35 PM »
Another 'wolfy' story.....One New Year's Eve party we had drew numerous requests from our guests to fire a midnight salute to welcome the new year :cheers:    It was a typical Nebraska winter evening complete with a backyard full of snow drifts and below zero temperatures, but of course I was long out of fresh grass clippings for wadding, so I went to our kitchen trash can and retrieved a handful of damp red party napkins as a substitute :P.  All went as planned with several robust blasts echoing down the hill and off the high school auditorium with attending accolades from our guests :banana: :banana:

I was awakened the next morning by my bride telling me that the neighbor's cat had been at our bird feeders again and had killed our visiting 'pet' cardinals because the back yard was covered with red "feathers" 8).    After reassuring her that it was merely the red napkins I had used as cannon fodder during the festivities of the previous evening,  I was told to go outside and clean it all up before her parents came for turkey dinner.........shou ld'a just shot the cat and kept my mouth shut :-X >:(
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 06:45:19 PM by wolfy »
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Signal Cannon
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2012, 07:30:02 PM »
LOL..........too good, wolfy.  My cat is a murdering little machine.  Lots of bird feathers under my bird feeders.  Birds, rats, mice, voles, moles, lizards............ she don't care as long as she can play with it until it's dead.  And then she'll toss it around awhile longer.  I like cats, but then I pretty much like all animals.
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