30mm Breechloader - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default 30mm Breechloader

Thanks to our very own carbineone1964 (Bruce), I now have possession of a slick little 30mm breechloading cannon. After the thread where he was talking about letting it go, I took him up on the offer.

I finally got a chance to get the little guy out to the range this weekend, where it got to have the place of honor (well, next to the 1919A4) and fire off the first shot, kicking off the machinegun shoot I was helping run.

I thought I would upload some pictures and video of the cannon.

First up, this is the very first shot I fired and the opening of the shoot. It's a blank round, with a charge of 1 1/2 ounce of Goex Cannon Grade powder, wrapped in foil.

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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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This is the fourth shot (3rd with a projectile). These were with cast lead slugs that I made using carbine's mold (with some mods a friend of mine made to ad a sprue cutter). The powder charge is roughly a 1 oz charge of cannon grade Goex. I say roughly, because I put together pre-made charges the night before and apparently my form was off and none of them fit. The charges were too fat and too long. So I re-wrapped them on the fly, putting about 2/3rds of the pre-preparded 1 1/2 oz charge in the new one. Next time I'll be better prepared.

We were aiming into the dirt hillside for this show and hit a bit high, at the top edge of the cut, near a root ball.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Some pictures:













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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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A little bit on the projectile making, if you aren't bored yet (it's like a new parent incessantly showing pictures of their baby).

I hadn't done any lead casting before. So I read up on it a bunch and watched a lot of youtube videos. I ended up buying a Lyman Mag25 smelting pot and a bunch of tools and accessories. I bought some lead from Rotometals (for too much... going forward, I'm trying to locally source it) and on Thursday night got to smelting.

Probably went overboard on the safety gear...



The melting pot and Bruce's modified mould.



Of course, we had the inaugural pour

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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Then, the final product:






So, finally, thanks again to carbineone1964 for selling me this fun little gun. I've had a blast over the last week getting it set up, getting ready for the shoot, and then shooting it (cleaning is less fun). Now I can't wait until her big sister is finally ready to go...

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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:03 PM
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Nice cannon and furnance, were you using pure lead and did you preheat the mold? A mold needs to warm up to get a good clean casting. And NO, you did not go overboard on safety! Hot lead on skin is no fun at all. Looks like your having a great time... congrats.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingblock View Post
Nice cannon and furnance, were you using pure lead and did you preheat the mold? A mold needs to warm up to get a good clean casting. And NO, you did not go overboard on safety! Hot lead on skin is no fun at all. Looks like your having a great time... congrats.
Yes and yes. Though, the mold is made out of aluminum, so the pre-heating probably isn't as effective. My buddy turned a cast iron sleeve for it, to connect the sprue cutter. After our experience casting with it, we are going to give it a proper base with either a handle attached or with some milled flats for a better grip with tongs (though better tongs would be required, as those crucible tongs weren't the best).

I will say, though, by the end of the casting session and after we had cast 21 slugs, that mould was nice and hot and stayed that way for quite a while.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:03 AM
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Wrinkles usually mean the metal isn't hot enough.

Hum, I agree that you can never have overkill on safety, but maybe....
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:14 AM
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Glad you are enjoying it.


I like the mold improvements. Funny thing is I have the same setup for casting my larger 1.5 Projectiles. And for some reason I get a lot more smoother casting of the projos with the larger one than I did with the smaller ones.


I do think the wrinkles are more troublesome cosmetically than performance wise though.


The Cannon almost looks like miniature setting next to your larger one. And the 30mm is not a tiny Cannon by any means.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by double d View Post
Wrinkles usually mean the metal isn't hot enough.

Hum, I agree that you can never have overkill on safety, but maybe....
Yeah, we ended up moving up to 750 on the temperature later on during the session and the later ones were less wrinkly.
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