The Gentlemen from Seacoast Artillery posted the Following in another thread.
Originally Posted by seacoastartillery
Based on our experience firing about 100, 15/16" dia. steel ball bearings, lots and lots of cast lead shot of .985" dia. and 20 cast zinc shot of .960" dia. we can safely tell you we WILL NOT be firing more steel ball bearings. They are far too dangerous because of energetic bounce-back. Lead shot is by far the easiest to produce in quantity and zinc would come in second for being accurate and less weight than lead, but slightly more hassle to cast.
We have 7, 1" bore dia. cannons now and it is a great size with shot or bolts in rifled cannon. Lots of fun can be had with this size cannon and without huge expenditure of powder.
Mike and Tracy
You have a very valid point about 1 inch bore. It makes for a very good bore size. If you build yourself a cannon with 1 inch bore you will have a very respectable size cannon. It will not be so large however, that it becomes a storage problem. Cannons with a 1 inch bore are also a good size for a one man crew.
You mention the conservative use of powder, that's a big plus for the bore.
So show us you 1 inch bore guns and the tools and equipment you use to shoot it!
I'll start it with a gun that is familiar to those of you who have been around this board for a while.
Back in the early 1980's I built a model of M-1841 42 PDR from the U.S.S. Cairo. The gun was built by up scaling the model plans sold by the late William F. Green. Green drew the plans by taking measurements from the actual gun. I built the gun with 4140 and it was my first personal turning project on my lathe. I was going to college at the time and was learning how to use a lathe and doing the cannon barrel at home on the weekends. The deep hole drilling was done on a school lathe as a deep hole drilling project. Prior to this build I had no idea how to operate a lathe or how a lathe operated.
Green called this an M-1841 on his plans even though those in the know tell me that it is an 1845. The NPS says the 3 42 PDR’s recovered from the Cairo were dated 1837 and two dated 1856.
The Port bow gun was the one on the carriage with elevator as found in the Green plans. According to NPS the port bow gun is an Iron Rifle. Marks: right trunnion: K & W/F.P.F. Right rim base: 312. Left trunnion: 1856. Base of breech: 8359. Muzzle face: No.28/B.H. Top, between trunnions: U.S. Pitted. History: salvaged with U.S.S. Cairo; was port bow gun.
So most likely this gun is model after an 1845 pattern.
I shoot this gun a lot in the early days, but for almost 20 years it was just a pretty face sitting in the corner. When I retired in 2008 one of the priority projects was to refurbish this gun and get back to shooting it. Arsenal rebuild M-1841 42 PDR model
In the early days of this gun I used hollow base slugs made with this mould.
Even though this is a smooth bore gun the slugs from this mould flew straight and nose on. I always had problems with the base plug sticking. When I tried shooting the slugs cast solid they would key hole. The solid slugs also were easily damaged and would get stuck in the bore.
I also have a round ball mould that I use to cast lead balls. This ball shoots quite well.
I have tried steel one inch balls to which I glued wooden sabots . I wasn't all that happy with the results. I am going to try loading with out the sabot attached with the remaining steel balls, but I am not optimistic.
I would like to try zinc, but need a mould.
I also made my own implements; tapered head rammer, worm from Dom Carpenter and a small paint roller swab.
I use cartridges in my one inch gun. This is about the smallest caliber that you can make foil cartridges in.
I have one other Inch gun. It is a Parrot gun ready to shoot but needs hardware on its carriage. I would like to find a 25 mm rifled barrel to line it and make it a Parrot Rifle.
So tell us about your one inch gun!!!