Black Powder Cannon thread

Hi guys, I have been wondering about black powder. One of the main things I have been wondering is how big of a cannon I should build once I can build one. I've been thinking of building one that can fire a soda can, and potentially one that can fire a concrete filled soda can. The only instructions I could find to build soda can cannons that aren't fired using an AR-15 and a blank are weird 17th century artillery pieces. Does anyone have a guide or maybe a place I could buy a kit to shoot something the size of a soda can at high velocities?

Oh also, what if I loaded 00 buckshot into a full sized cannon? What could I expect for the shredding capability of that? I've seen pictures of buckshot-like pellets for cannons in the past, but I'm talking about stuffing about the same amount of buckshot into a cannon as there is birdshot in a 12 gauge shell.

Also, show off your cannons (if you've got any). They're always fun to look at and talk about.

picrel is pulled from Google

  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I have a lathe and have always wanted to make one but never got around to it. A friend of mine made one when he was in gunsmithing school a million years ago, and we had great fun blasting small trees with it.
    The problem now is for what it would cost to get a piece of brass now I could buy a decent rifle.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Is there any benefit to using brass instead of something like a billet of stainless or something?
      I mean aside from like tradition?
      I've got an industrial cutoff in (I believe) 316ss that's 4"OD, 2"ID, and ~1.5 feet long.
      I know SS is hard to turn down and I'd have to plug the end, but I've been looking for something to do with it aside from holding my shop door open, and a cannon feels appropriate.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Nowadays? No. But in the early days brass and bronze were used for safety reasons. Iron and steel metallurgy weren't all that great ca. 1400 onwards. When iron-based metals get overpressured, they explode. Early iron cannons often became bombs, killing gunners with shrapnel. Copper-based alloys bulge outward and then rupture. Much less fragmentation, much less danger.
        Also, copper alloys are easy to cast and easy to bore out.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Copper-based alloys bulge outward and then rupture. Much less fragmentation, much less danger.
          Actually that might not be a bad reason to continue the tradition and make one out of some copper based alloy today, even with modern metallurgy.
          I heard about a guy who was killed at a bachelor party just a year or two ago by a cannon that grenaded and caught him in the dome with a piece of shrapnel or something.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Not really. You can cut one out of stainless no problem, but it's kind of tricky to get a good surface finish. I just prefer brass for aesthetics.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Oh also, what if I loaded 00 buckshot into a full sized cannon? What could I expect for the shredding capability of that? I've seen pictures of buckshot-like pellets for cannons in the past, but I'm talking about stuffing about the same amount of buckshot into a cannon as there is birdshot in a 12 gauge shell.
        Grape shot? They'd pack it with musket balls. I have no idea how many but France did that pretty regularly during riots in cramped streets.

        Most modern cannon makers regardless of what they use (brass ect) tend to have a steel liner inserted.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Is there any benefit to using brass instead of something like a billet of stainless or something?
      I mean aside from like tradition?
      I've got an industrial cutoff in (I believe) 316ss that's 4"OD, 2"ID, and ~1.5 feet long.
      I know SS is hard to turn down and I'd have to plug the end, but I've been looking for something to do with it aside from holding my shop door open, and a cannon feels appropriate.

      Nowadays? No. But in the early days brass and bronze were used for safety reasons. Iron and steel metallurgy weren't all that great ca. 1400 onwards. When iron-based metals get overpressured, they explode. Early iron cannons often became bombs, killing gunners with shrapnel. Copper-based alloys bulge outward and then rupture. Much less fragmentation, much less danger.
      Also, copper alloys are easy to cast and easy to bore out.

      make it from titanium

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Fuck that. I made a form 4 suppressor from titanium and I'll never work with that devil material again. The cuttings were fun to burn at least.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The king of metals demands sacrifices.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Bought 3 feet of 3.5" ID seamless tube with half inch wall. Reinforce first foot with .75 wall tube pressed on and welded. Turned out solid breech with .005 interference fit and had local shop with 100 ton press press fit and then reinforced with weld. Had buddy with cnc shape trunnions and then welded on to tube. Now I need a carriage and buy the navy arms cannon sight and fit a front sight. Shoots progresso soup cand filled with concrete about 600 yards

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Well you're ready for civil war.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Shoot a level 4 plate, it's never been done.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Shoot it with a cannon, or shoot it out of a cannon?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          No ones ever shot a level IV plate with anything larger than a 700NE rifle. The closest was someone shooting at level III steel twice with a 40mm black powder gun, one plate shattered but stopped the bullet, the other bent but held.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >No ones ever shot a level IV plate with anything larger than a 700NE rifle.
            wrong again.

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              In terms of Caliber, I can't recall a single test involving anything over .70 caliber. If you have an example, go right ahead, no need to be coy.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Grapeshot driveby.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Or in their words, purple shot.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    N-SSA has a black powder mortar and cannon class competition. Follow their rules if you want a safe cannon. Still looking for good video of a shoot on YT. Carrige will cost more than the gun.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Carrige will cost more than the gun.
      What makes the carriage so expensive?
      My father and grandfather were carpenters, I have generational woodworking knowledge and experience, and I literally can look to my left and see a stack of black walnut logs 12' long out the window (I cleared them from a home site and have them drying under tarps).
      Looking at them they appear pretty simple?
      Is there a market for them?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Is there a market for them?
        it comes down to that shit essentially having to be bespoke one offs for that specific cannon. if you got the skills to be that carpenter good on you. but you cant prefab the things and send em out. at the same time who the fuck has a cannon looking for a carriage? the small amount of both lets guys charge what they want.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I have none of that. can you make a set of wheels ?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah, probably. I've got a milling machine and a lathe at home (I went more metal fab instead of wood like my forebears), it looks like it's just about turning down rods and fitting them into holes.
      I think the most difficult part would be the steel band on the outside, and even then I've got a sheet metal roller and a welder, so it's not too out there.

      >Is there a market for them?
      it comes down to that shit essentially having to be bespoke one offs for that specific cannon. if you got the skills to be that carpenter good on you. but you cant prefab the things and send em out. at the same time who the fuck has a cannon looking for a carriage? the small amount of both lets guys charge what they want.

      >the small amount of both lets guys charge what they want.
      That makes sense. What would be a decent way to go about it would be to build the full carriage but without the inlet and retention straps for the cannon and trunnions, then just cut those in when you find someone in need.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Building spoked wheels is, literally, an art. It can look & seem simple, but getting tension & balance exactly correct is a fair bit more complex than 'just tapping spokes into holes.' Not trying to say that it's beyond you, just that it's not as simple as you're making it out to be. People who learn how to do that well can often do only that as a business. Depending on location, but the Internet has changed that drastically.

        On the other hand, if you set yourself up with the proper kit to run a cartwright's shop, there is a specialty market for spoked, wooden wheels that can pay quite handsomely if you produce a quality product. Research carefully to make your own full carriage, but you can make "just wheels" for numerous markets. It would be hard to break into the Amish market for their horse buggy's (because they have their own authentic cartwrights living in their communities), but most major cities have some sort of horse & buggy tours for tourists. Look into where they get their carts & buggies and you can track down companies that need your wheels. If that turns out to be your jam, invest in more equipment you need and you can work on other necessary parts such as axles, suspensions, etc. And, full carriages for canons.

        To address the high degree of customization needed for some things, work out a method for your shop with a standardized form so that people who want to place an order can get all the critical measurements very exactly and communicate them to you. You may not eliminate all possible mistakes or intolerances, but you can reduce them to the point that they can be corrected easily, either by yourself or the people who receive the delivery and perform the installation.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          On the third hand, if he's not planning on hauling the cannon at moderate speeds for hundreds of miles in the carriage, building a proper wheel becomes much less important.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Learn a bit of engineering before making it so that it doesnt fail in some dangerous way. ( Read up on this link and on “infinite fatigue life” “failure stress” “von misese stress” understand the formulas and do the calculations so its thick enough and the right kinda steel
    Proccess should be similar to this
    https://www.instructables.com/Medieval-Hand-Cannon/
    >be low key if you make a big one the gaytf might sperg out on you

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    OO buck doesent have enough mass to retain energy more than50ish yards. Grape shot in sawdust compressed in a hydraulicpress would retain mass and be more effective at 150ish?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >OO buck doesent have enough mass to retain energy more than50ish yards.
      I can't even begin to get my head around how stupid you are. Fuck. You actually exist out there somewhere as well and you apparently don't even know you are retarded

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        launch 00 buck with black powder and see how far it is effective. Please.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I'm genuinely interested to know the data on this question, too.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The carriages were able to be dissasembled and packed on mules, especially for a howitzer, which is what mine is with its reduced, reinforced powder chamber. I wouldnt be adverse to modern materials if I could get it to work. All I see plans for is antique style

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Haven’t fired it yet, but I’m making my own 75 cal handgonne
    Bought the barrel off of McMaster, it’s a seamless 3/8” wall steel pipe with a 3/4” ID, reinforced at the chamber with another pipe I found at work.
    Handle is threaded in at the chamber to ensure I can clear the barrel if it ends up getting jammed shut for whatever reason
    Anyone have recommendations on how much powder I should use? I’m completely new to black powder shooting, this was just a fun project I started on a whim

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Sorry for the sideways pictures

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