A Florida Bowling ball mortar - Graybeard Outdoors
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar



Bill Tyrrell sent these pictures and drawings of his bowling ball mortar.

The mortar is made from an old O2 tank. Bill says you need the one that is 29 1/8 inch in circumference. Cut it to about 18 inches. While cutting it also cut the valve stem off the back leaving a 4 inch flat for welding on the Chamber. The chamber Bill made is a piece or 4" x 5" round stock with 2" x 2 1/2" deep hole for the chamber.

Bill milled a flat and rigged a slap hammer on the side of the chamber . His nipple is made from 1/4-20 bolt

The Trunnion is a 2" solid round with a flat milled on the side to fit the bottom of the chamber. The trunnion is welded to the bottom of the chamber.







Ball warns not to make a carraige like his. the trunnion is too far back and the Mortar has a tendancy to turnover.

Here is a drawng from Bill for building the mortar. I have left it sideway so you can print it out and it will be large enough to read.

.

Thanks Bill for sharing it with us

Douglas
www.GBOCannons.com
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 09:14 AM
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Nice, Love the shots caught during firing. :grin: Hermit
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 04:18 PM
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Dear Double D:

The pictures, text and sketch look great. I do my best to answer what questions people may have.

Best Wishes, Bill
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Bill,

I have two questions.

Do you have any pictures of the splash when the ball hit the water.


Do bowling balls float?

Douglas
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 09:07 PM
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Dear Double D,

No, we don't have any pictures of splash down. It would probably take a telephoto lens to capture it due to the distance. It is a big splash.

Most balls sink. We had one that floated. I think that there are some 8 pound balls and since their volume calculates at a little over a gallon those would be the floaters.

Best wishes, Bill
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 01:55 AM
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Great looking mortar Bill. I am wondering about the fireing mechanism and what type cap and nipple you use. Also what BP and how much is a typical shot?
Do you completely fill the powder chamber or use a filler or wad?

Jim Waits
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 07:45 AM
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Dear Jim,

I made a "nipple" out of a 1/4"-20 bolt. The top is counter bored to accept a large rifle primer. It gas a saw kerf across the top of it to make it a little easier to expell the primer. There is a sketch of it in the items that Double D posted.

The firing mechanism is a slap hammer pulled by a lanyard. That shows up in the pictures fairly well.

The charge is about 1500 grains of FG.

Take Care, Bill
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Bill,

You say in your letter that your chamber will hold 4 ozs of powder. Is that what you use?

In order to "enhance" the visual effect of firing your gun may I suggest you reduce your charge until you get impact say at 100 yards. It already looks like you have about 45 degrees elevation. On hard pack gound you will feel the impact of a bowling ball at 100 yards.

The old mortars and even the new modern ones range is controlled by the projection charge. Reduced charges were the norm in the old black powder mortars.

I can tell you that there is nothing more exciting than to fire a mortar and watch the projectile go up in the air. Watch projectile get smaller and smaller and smaller until it just becomes a speck that just seems to be hanging there. Then suddenly realizing the speck is getting larger and larger. Then becasue you have your head tilted back and are looking almost straight up get the feeling the speck is coming at you, only to impact in the pond 100 yards away, kicking up a geyser of water 25-30 feet high.

Warning. Always make sure you fire with the wind at your back. The Wind can and will blow you projectile back. Also a 25-30 ft column of water will soak you at 100 yards. :grin:

Douglas
www.GBOCannons.com
My Cannon album
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2004, 10:19 PM
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Default Bowling Ball Mortar

I can't wait to make one of these monsters! I cannot read the small dimension at the bottom of the primer holder.
Does the 4 oz of BP fill the cavity or do you use a filler or wad?
How well does the ball fit the barrel and do you use any patch or wad here?
Picked up one bowling ball yesterday at the "Waterfront Mission" for $2.85.

Jim Waits
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2004, 09:58 AM
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Default A Florida Bowling ball mortar

Dear Jim,

I you are going to build one of these, I would like to talk to you and also snail mail you some more of the details on mine. I am at 772 223-1681.

Sincerely,

Bill
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