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I saw an add in the GUNLIST for fullsize and scaled down cannons. They have a website www.wildimports.com . THey look pretty neat and some seem reasonably priced. Has any one tried shooting a cannon before :?: I'm kinda partial to the full size naval cannons they have :!:
 

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I have a little. The cost of the actual piece will be small spuds compared to the REAL expense: the large quantities of C-grade black powder needed to become proficient with it! Projectiles are no small consideration, either.

Once upon a time ( actually twice), I attended explosives-related training at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. As part of the practical aspect of the course, we blew up large amounts of explosives. Some of which was GI C grade black powder in 50 pound bags. I'm not sure why the Govt had so much of it - battleship rounds? Perhaps Roundsworth can answer that.

Anyway, among the miles & miles of rows of explosive bunkers, there was more of the black powder than I can describe. Will the Govt surplus it? Doubtful. :?

Anyway, yes, cannons are fun. ( I've always wanted to say something like, "Arrrrrrr, fire as yer guns bear!!" and let rip a salvo from something like the USS Constitution. :wink: )You just need long arms & deep pockets to feed them! :D SW
 

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A freind of mine just bought a fullsize 1841 Napoleon from OHIO and it was 17,000 with carraige. Out of my bread and butter. I have had some experience with small mortars. They shot 1/4 lb of 1 f and beer can full of concrete. Definitely a blast to play with. FWIW moodyholler
 

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A few years back, my younger brother showed me a set of plans to build a cannon from old hydraulic cylinders. The plans called for a specific size that would accept a soda pop can. The cans were to be filled with concrete or mortar mix, and fired in the cannon.
Well I thought he was a little nuts, and warned him against homemade cannons, but he proceeded. After purchasing a used cylinder from a supplier, and building a wooden frame, he made up some projectiles, and headed for the hills.
His first firing was with 3 ft. of slow fuse, which he said allowed him and his son-in-law to run a long ways away! The cannon went boom, and the projectile sailed off safely. They repeated this 5-6 times, until they felt safe to stay close to it. He's rigged up some sights, and played with it for the last few years.
Since he lives halfway across the US, I've never seen it fire. But from his phone calls, it seems they're having way too much fun with it!
 

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I have a buddy that works for a "major airline", and found a rather beefy piece of steel tubin. He had one end threaded, and screw/welded a plug in the end, and drilled a flash hole. ID was PERFECT for tennis balls. We proofed it by loading with way more black powder than we thought it would hold, and pack the remainder of the barrel with rocks and dirt, well tamped, and added 2 minutes of fuse. We set it down into a deep gully, lit it, and high-tailed it out of there!!!! The blast drove the cannon 18 inches deep, but it held. Man, did we have a ball with that sucker. We also learne that PVC end caps would fit nicely as well..........yup - we made a few "noismakers and lobbed them several hundred feet straight up and the puff of smoke was a good bit before the distant boom.

Shum8
 

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'Hogger,
On the Missouri, we used tons of smokeless propellant from the Korean War era, and newer. Each bag weighed 110 pounds and had about 1 pound of black powder secured to one end of the bag to enhance initial combustion when firing. A standard service charge was 6 of these bags with either the 1900 pound HC or the 2700 pound AP. This would give an initial velocity of 2600+ feet per second. The guns recoiled 4 feet. Recoil was slowed down with a hydraulic cylinder holding about 100 gallons of a glycerin and water mixture. Counter-recoil was by 2 cylinders with about 1550 PSI of compressed air. Our gun crews were good. We could fire, reload and be on target again in about 43 seconds. During Desert Storm , we fired 18 AP rounds at a bunch of concrete bunkers. Our AP could penetrate 33 feet of steel reinforced concrete at 10 miles. HC rounds contained about 147 pounds of explosive and made holes 12 feet deep and 36 feet across. The Iraqis will verify that. They figured out that whenever the little remote controlled plane buzzed overhead, 16" rounds were only a minute away! I also recall some extensive urban renewal in Kuwait, compliments of BB-63.
 

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Hogger,
Dn't forget to yell, "Shiver me timbers mates!" :wink:
 

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marlinman,

I worte a short science fiction piece about an old Gunner's Mate reincarnated from the 'iron men in wooden ships' days & he had to deal with a bunch of very young, upstart Naval cadets. I sold it, but the mag folded. I will NOT be including it here - we get Millie & FMG in a dimly lit room after the dust all settles & hearts are bubbling all over the place, I am staying ON topic! :wink:

Roundsworth,

That is very interesting! I don't know what BB was firing (Iowa?) but I have seen the rounds impact about 5 miles away. Just south of the DMZ. Boy, howdy - I would have been a lot more comfortable if I'd been TEN miles away! :shock: IIRC, Uncle Ho's boyz recalled they had urgent biz elsewhere & departed posthaste! Much greater ground effect than the 750 pounders the F-4s were carrying most of the time. SW
 

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'Hogger,
That was USS New Jersey. I hope I have my dates correct, but....the Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Jersey were decommissioned in the early to mid 50s. Missouri was on active duty until 1955. New Jersey was the only Iowa Class wagon brought back for Vietnam service. Mighty Mo was towed from Bremerton to Long Beach in '84. I got there in '85. We commissioned her in Frisco, May 10 of '86. I left in October of '91. Speaking of old Gunner's Mates........I made Chief (E-7) and never really expected to make 8, let alone 9. My NECs (MOS for you land lubbers!) were for 3" guns, a post WW II system that became outdated when jets became popular, 16" guns, and Small Arms Instructor. By Bureau standards, I was somewhat of a dinosaur. Damn, I sure had fun, though!

"As for you, Mr. 'Hogger, hoist th' mains'l, set the tops'l, man the capstan, raise the anchor! Mind your helm, Mr. 'Hogger, steady as she goes!"

I can imagine that the Captain dumped an awful lot on his 1st Louie, who in turn barked orders at the Bos'n and the Helmsman. I stood many a watch underway. We still do it like the Sailors (we now capitalize it in honor of Admiral Arleigh Burke) of yesteryear, just a bit more refined and somewhat modernized. I do miss it, though.
 

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It seems the Navy changed slowly. Dad was a Machinist's Mate on the Nevada @ Pearl Harbor - joined in '40. He said at Great Lakes, they still had to know the rigging nomenclature of a ship of the line. And pass an exam of same.

He still has his Bluejacket's manual & it shows a flag for Naval Infantry! Here I thought the IJN were the only ones with infantry in those years.

The New Jersey sounds right - that would have been in '69. SW
 
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