Solid Delrin Balls for Cannon & Mortars - Page 2 - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 09:54 PM
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Thanks! Let’s us know how it goes.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 10:42 PM
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Is the bore exactly one inch? Remember that you have to allow for windage....something in the range .03 to .05.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 02:09 AM
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I though[t] steel balls may be a bad idea in case of static electricity and sparking danger.


There should be no creation of static electricity with metal projectiles in a metal bore and little to no chance of sparks being caused by any loading actions. You can get steel balls from onlinemetals, $19.28 for 25 balls plus shipping. But you need to measure your bore size and make sure it is consistent the whole depth. The bore needs to be at least 1.025" if you use 1.000" shot. You don't want one to get stuck in the bore.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 05:59 AM
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About steel balls in BP mortars. I have a couple of golf ball mortars. The difference between a golf ball and a steel ball using the same load is astounding. The added weight of the steel has a substantial effect on pressure. The golf ball leaves with a satisfying boom; I can see it go. Steel leaves with a sharper bang and I cannot see it at all. I chose to cut the powder charge in half to reduce the stress on the mortar.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 06:45 AM
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I know nothing about cannons, but is it possible to use a patch on the delrin? Works on black powder rifles. I am sure you would have to get delrin a bit smaller than bore so the patch would work.



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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
I know nothing about cannons, but is it possible to use a patch on the delrin? Works on black powder rifles. I am sure you would have to get delrin a bit smaller than bore so the patch would work.



Rosewood

I was thinking the same thing. We even shoot glass marbles in ML'S with a thick patch target shooting.
Aren't these mortars and small cannons just BIG bore muskets? Sort of

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 10:11 AM
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Cannons need windage. Cannons are not just big bore muskets. They are not hand held thus not hand controlled. They are shooting large heavy projectiles with large heavy charges. They are very different.

Patches-no patches in cannon bores. The larger circumference creates greater friction/resistance on trying seat a ball in the bore and it is is very easy to stick a ball in the bore. Then If you do get the ball seated you get extra velocity due to increased pressure. Increased pressure means increased recoil. That brings on issues of carriage control. The excessive recoil, way above the values a longgun, can also batter and break carriages. The extra velocity is just not needed in cannons. Patches are counter productive in a cannon.

I do use wads to hold the ball against the charge. Sabots were commonly use in Cannons with the ball strapped on front and a charge strapped on behind the sabot.

If you are shooting a mortar and you cannot see the ball fly, you are missing half the fun. Mortar charges should be light and you should be able the ball fly all the way down range to impact. Part of that is safety. If you can't see where your ball is landing how do you know it landed in a safe area. You may not always be able to find the ball, but if you can see the area where it is landing, you can know if it is landing in area that is safe.

My golf ball mortar uses 24 grains of Fg and will send a golf ball 30 yards are so. A steel or zinc ball will go slightly further with the same charge, about 40-50 yards. 90 grains gets me about 100 yards.

Here is a load chart for popcan mortars.

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Did some bracketing to test preliminary to building a load table for the Lady Jane.

The powder chamber is 1 1/4" in diameter and maximum suggest safe charge is 300 grains of FG. 300 grains fills the chamber. Chambers larger than .7 cal should use Fg. Do not use FFG.

I just did four loads with two different projectiles-standard popcans full of cement and zinc round ball. Some surprising results

Powder Distance
weight can ball
load 1, 25% 75gr 150' 220'
load 2, 50% 150gr 336' 424'
load 3, 75% 225gr 389' 663'
Max -100% 300gr 368' 835'

Average can weight 21.6 oz.
Average ball weight 36.2 oz.

Barrel elevation-45 degrees

That last can was spinning end over end, very fast from shot to impact and jumped 4'-5' in the air at impact and took off spinning down range.
My bowling ball mortar will send a 15 pound ball 440 yards with 6 ozs.and 652 yards with 8 ozs. I have also fired 16 ozs of black powder with a 15 lb ball from this mortar.

With all these loads listed above you can see the balls fly all the way to impact. Even the one pound load, you can see the ball fly all the to the impact zone, somewhere between 1-1/2 and 3 miles down range. we can see where they going, we just can't find them.

Good luck with the delrins. That 30 grain chamber should be good. But a caveat. You have not provided us with a picture of your mortar or any dimensions such as diameter of the powder chamber and diameter of the barrel over the powder chamber..

Without seeing that info it is hard to say what you have is safe.

Last edited by double d; 02-11-2019 at 10:48 AM.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 10:22 AM
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(Edit: DD beat me to the post!)

.50" and thereabouts? Probably no harm.
But 1"? No.

Opinions vary, but I consider the cutoff point .69" caliber. (personally, I never patch anything over .50")
3/4" and bigger you are beyond the point where it can be treated like an oversized BP rifle and into the realm of real artillery.

It may not look like it compared to a full sized field piece, but a small cannon can make a big mess of you. Study and follow the procedures for full sized guns.

This is a 3-bore ball for the cannon in the background in my avatar . . .


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Last edited by Terry C.; 02-11-2019 at 10:29 AM.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 11:05 AM
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Estes model rockets sells flameproof wadding to use between the rocket engine and the plastic recovery chute that is packed in the rocket to keep the chute from melting when deployed. This is just tissue paper that is specially treated. You just wad a sheet of it up and stuff it in the one inch tube, and push it down on top of the engine before packing the parachute into the tube. I see no reason why it wouldn't work the same way in a mortar to protect delrin balls from melting. The wadding is cheap and comes 75 sheets to a package.

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGaskill View Post
You can get steel balls from onlinemetals, $19.28 for 25 balls plus shipping.
Caution - onlinemetals is rather notorious for exorbitant shipping charges, often as much as the material itself.
See
https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/onlinemetals.com#2
and other reviews.
A friend of mine just ordered one 18" piece of 5/8" square tubing from them. Again, he paid about as much for their shipping overcharges as he did for the metal.
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