Solid Delrin Balls for Cannon & Mortars - Page 3 - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 02:55 PM
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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.

That was my second thought. Treat as wad instead of patch.


I can see the issue though. If steel projectile, you couldn't have a tight fit, would be dangerous. Tight fit only works with soft metal like lead. Also guessing the cannons do not have rifling either.


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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 07:57 AM
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You don't patch a large lead ball either.

Patch being defined as wrapping around the ball and obstructing windage. Wadding does not wrap around the ball.
If straps are used they must be a loose slip fit in the bore.

Bottom line is that if you have to "ram" the ball like a rifle, something is very wrong.

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 08:37 AM
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Bottom line is that if you have to "ram" the ball like a rifle, something is very wrong.

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This is a great bit of advice. Thank you all for the input on this important discussion. You might think at first that shooting a cannon is no different than a large bore BP rifle or pistol, yet they are quite different.

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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I'm not a PowerPoint artist by any means but here's a diagram of the keys aspects of the little mortar I'm going to experiment with.
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 10:52 PM
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That looks good. What is it made of?

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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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That looks good. What is it made of?
Not sure. It was made by Austin @ Seacoast Artillery. He was having machinery problem and gave me this gratis several years ago. I've fired it quite a bit in the past, always using the WW alloy cast balls. I've just always been underwhelmed by the range with the heavy balls.
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 02:45 AM
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I don't think Austin is with Seacoast Artillery. Does a magnet stick to it? Is it really parabolic at the breech end? What is the overall length and the trunnion diameter?

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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 08:47 AM
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Austin was not part of Seacoast artillery. He displayed some beautiful guns and appeared to have some incredible machining skills. Haven't seen him around for a long time.

You have a one inch mortar, no matter what ball you shoot don't expect to have a lot of range with it. 100 yards would be a long range with your mortar. Beyond that I doubt you will be able to see the ball fly in one inch.

For the drawing above, a ball with windage would be .99. The Zinc balls at 1.003 from Rotometals would work also.

I think someone up thread already mentioned the lesser mass of the delrin balls. Don't be surprised if they don't have the range of lead. But then they might. What kind of range are you expecting? Zinc and steel balls are between Lead and a Delrin in Mass.

Shooting my golf ball mortar out to 100 yards is fun. The Popcan dictator and even the bowling ball mortar are fun at 100 yards are fun also. But I will admit shooting the bowling ball 400 yards is more fun.
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 11:11 PM
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Delrin is very light. 1.42 g/cm³ according to my sources.

As opposed to zinc @ 7.13 g/cm³, iron @ 7.87 g/cm³, and lead @ 11.36 g/cm³.

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