The Firearms Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings y'all.
After seeing a post here the other day, I was reminded of my cannons, and dug a couple out of all my stuff.
I was curious if there is a good place to find some load data and tolerances.

I haven't fired any em' of off in YEARS, but even when I did the was nothing scientific or exact about it. Power measure was done roughly and by eyeballing "cap fulls" lol.

I'm fairly certain all of them have forever been overloaded, but have held up well. The big ones will set off car alarms well over a block away. The only problem ever encountered was the biggest (not pictured) destroying its carriage.

Being pointed in the right direction or any help would be awesome!

Thanks
242082

242083
242084
242085
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,791 Posts
A general rule of thumb for muzzle loading rifles is a starting load of the same number og grains of black powder by volume equal to the caliber. That black cannon looks like about a 75 caliber so 75 grains by volume for a starting load. Sounds like you've more than proof tested it at much higher charges without it imitating a grenade though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Much thanks.
Thankfully there was some serious overkill in the construction.
I found at and past a certain point you just waste powder.

I never bothered to truly look into what they SHOULD be loaded with since they COULD and DID hold up to anything thrown their way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,791 Posts
Yeah a barrel can only burn so much powder before it starts spitting out unburned powder.
The old timers used to fire a rifle over a clean patch of snow to find where too much powder was just wasting powder, you could see the unburned powder on the fresh snow. You could do similar test with a wet white bed sheet. They also would find the charge for a gun by placing the round ball it shot on a flat surface and pouring powder on the ball until the cone of powder just covered the ball.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I may need to do some hands on testing!
Luckily new years is right around the corner. I expect a visit from the boys in blue though lol.

With crazy tamping and packing the percussion rattles your very core.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
I use 35 grains of 2F in my .45 caliber and will probably use about the same in my .50. I would start with about 45 in your .75 and work it up until you get the sound where you want it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
I expect a visit from the boys in blue though lol.
This is what keeps me under control. I live in a fairly calm and quiet neighborhood. Setting off a cannon any larger than a few inches would likely be frowned upon here. Even my little trigger cannon that uses 209 primers sounds like a small caliber handgun going off outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I use 35 grains of 2F in my .45 caliber and will probably use about the same in my .50. I would start with about 45 in your .75 and work it up until you get the sound where you want it.
I want maximum sound and percussion, without killing myself or causing bodily harm to others.

When fired at a friends lake house, the sound rolled around the lake echoing several times like thunder.

Learned the hard way that it can't be fired on the dock, even pointed as high as possible.

I guess I'll have to play with powder measures and packing/tamping amounts and styles..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
This is what keeps me under control. I live in a fairly calm and quiet neighborhood. Setting off a cannon any larger than a few inches would likely be frowned upon here. Even my little trigger cannon that uses 209 primers sounds like a small caliber handgun going off outside.
I can't get too crazy when I'm real close to home with several military installations fairly close by.

But a fair amount of control is good with these matters. Especially when celebration and alcohol is involved.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
On those little cannons I'd think 20 grains would be oodles and gobs if you're shooting a round ball. For shooting blanks 30 grs. would probably be plenty. Lightly tamped is all you need. You don't want to pound it into a solid mass.

Years ago a friend made a cannon out of I think 2 1/2 in. high pressure steam pipe, rated at 30 KPSI. A soda or beer can would just fit in it so whatever that would measure. Wes would fill the cans with Sack-Krete, let it dry and that was his solid shot. Sure was rough on saplings up to about 6 inches. Or he'd fill the same cans with pea gravel. Made for a good imitation of grape shot and would just about cover a 1/2 acre pond at 100 yards. We had a lot of fun shooting it 40 years ago. Wes was kinda crazy. I don't know now where he got it but he had real corn powder for shooting it.

I have another friend who has a full size, muzzle loading Mountain Howitzer on a carriage. I've only seen it fired once or twice. I've tried to buy it but he won't sell it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
On those little cannons I'd think 20 grains would be oodles and gobs if you're shooting a round ball. For shooting blanks 30 grs. would probably be plenty. Lightly tamped is all you need. You don't want to pound it into a solid mass.

Years ago a friend made a cannon out of I think 2 1/2 in. high pressure steam pipe, rated at 30 KPSI. A soda or beer can would just fit in it so whatever that would measure. Wes would fill the cans with Sack-Krete, let it dry and that was his solid shot. Sure was rough on saplings up to about 6 inches. Or he'd fill the same cans with pea gravel. Made for a good imitation of grape shot and would just about cover a 1/2 acre pond at 100 yards. We had a lot of fun shooting it 40 years ago. Wes was kinda crazy. I don't know now where he got it but he had real corn powder for shooting it.

I have another friend who has a full size, muzzle loading Mountain Howitzer on a carriage. I've only seen it fired once or twice. I've tried to buy it but he won't sell it.
I've never shot anything other than newspaper. Layers of dry then wet then dry newspaper, but tamped to near solid lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,791 Posts
A guy I used to work with, his Dad has one of those Dixie Gun Works mountain howitzers mounted on a full scale praire carriage. Our town has a celibration including a parade every year except of course this year. Last year he and a muzzle loading group were in the parade and all weekend he was shooting blanks out of it. There is always a make believe gun fight between a local legend gang of outlaws called the Lemati Gang and the town Marshal and his possee. They used the howitzer to signal the start of the next performance of the gunfight. We live about a quarter mile from where the thing was going off and it rattled the windows. I didn't know it was a cannon shooting blanks the first time it went off until the grand kids came in telling us about the really cool cannon. When I saw it being rolled up main street with the "Lemati gang" and the marshals possee, I knew who's cannon it was.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
12-15 years ago I volunteered at the Boone Home near Defiance, Missouri. Nathan, Dan'l and Rebecca's youngest son built it but Danl and Rebecca lived with them quite a while and Dan'l died there and maybe Rebecca. I'm not sure about her. Anyway, there was a War of 1812 Artillery unit over in Illinois and they had at least two, full size cannons of some poundage, with caisson's AND a team of Belgians to pull them. They looked bigger than they typical 6 pounder to me. Anyway, when schedules didn't conflict they would come over to weekend long events. They would mark the hour with a cannon shot. Our camp was a good 3/4 mile upstream from where the cannons were set up. We didn't have any windows to rattle in our fly camp but you knew something bigger than a Kentucky rifle went off!!

I walked up to where the cannons were and there was about a 3 year old Belgian staked out. They fired the cannon about the time I got there and the colt got more than a little anxious. He didn't tear up anything or bolt but he didn't like that cannon fire. He'd go from one end of his tether to another. I talked to one of the guys in the unit who told me they were trying to get him used to cannon fire but he didn't believe he was going to make it. Takes a trusting, well trained horse to accept just small arms fire, let alone cannon fire. I trained two of mine to take 22 fire while I was in the saddle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
I went to what was going to be the largest Civil War reenactment at Shiloh TN that was ever put on. It was called for inclement weather when a tornado was spotted on the ground. They had a field with cannons of all sizes lined up hub to hub for about 1/4 mile. In the middle was a 30 lb Parrott Rifle. The guns were all loaded prior to the event and had to be fired. It was a blast watching all those cannon being fired but when that Parrott went off even with just a blank charge that baby shook the ground.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top