A friend of mine did what I've only jokingly dreamed of - he and his friend loaded their mortar with several pounds of shot & went duck hunting. Two boat loads full - a serious mistake - well past the limit.
My two big mortars (4.5" and 16/20/24oz pop bottle calibers) will easily launch concrete filled bullets to 350 meters and God-only-knows how far. The 24oz Pepsi bottle cleared the mountain at the back of the range & it was still going up! (Did you know that Pepsi and Coke are the same caliber?)
Those 4th reunion fellas are having a bunch of fun. As they should. But us cannon making and shooting types have our fun also. We could use our own forum so we don't tread on those Country gentlemens toes.
I would like to hear more on the construction details of the pop bottle mortars?
Double D - The first one I made (July 4, 1975 - 200th anniversary) was from a billet of hot rolled steel - very hard, tough - wore down a cutter bit just getting the scale off. Bore was only 1/4" deeper than the can. Range about 130 meters with a water filled can over ff or fffg powder.
I've made many of recent of 4140 (prehardened). I'll send pictures as soon as I can figrue out how to post them.
The first Mortar I built or rather had built in the 1980's was from a piece of 6 inch monel. I got the plans from a 1970's copy of Guns magazine. When the plans were made beer came in a steel can that took a church key to open. Those cans were bigger around than the now ever popular pop-top extruded aluminum cans. I found out by trial and error that Campbell soup cans fit that gun just perfect.
We filled those cans full of cement and fired them. We were able to put 10 of those cans into 20 feet at 900 yards. We would just point the Tube in a safe direction and fire away.
While I was in gunsmithing school I dimensioned out a hollow based air-gum pellet to the diameter of that gun's bore and made mould for it. I cast two slugs out pure wheel weight that weighed about 8 lbs each.
The Muzzle loading artilleryman had a formula for determining powder charges for cannons by bore size and I made two charges. Turns out that formula was for straight bored guns and not guns with powder chamber smaller than bore size.
I loaded the gun up and fired it off. A huge smoke ring came out about 30 feet in diameter and the slug cracked through the air and disappeared never to be seen again. The recoil broke the 2x6 oak bases in half on both sides. Mind you now the trunnions were bolted into blocks mounted on the 2 inch side of the 2x6 oak sides. The recoil broke those sides like match sticks.
I had this gun along on the trip also.
That's Montana's Sweetgrass Hills in the back ground.
The fella that owned the ranch we were visiting had just pulled a old abandoned Ford Falcon out of the brush. He said why don't you shoot this old car with that cannon. I set the gun up about 20 yards away and aimed at the door. I lit the fuse and got out of the way. Big boom and a cloud smoke. The smoke drifted away and there was a big hole in the car door. We all hooted and hollared a second, when a 6 inch alder about 50 yards beyond the car fell over. Cool we killed that Falcon and a tree too!
I have built two of the navel guns and two parrot rifles since. Well actually I have completed one Parrot rifle and have the carriage hardware to finish on the second. I have built two other Mortars and am working on my fourth. It is the proper bore size to slip fit a diet coke can.
Alas, I am no longer in Montana, stuck here next to VA's beltway. Don't know what I am going to do about shooting around here, but I am already hearing rumors about cannon shooting going on. People jammed so close around her that you can't pass gas least someone complains, let alone do any shooting
Scott check the date on the poll December 2002. Back then, Graybeards Outdoors had just did a remodel and update. They were looking for new ideas for the boards and Tim and I chimed in together asking for a cannon board.
Before Graybeard will open a new forum, you have to take apoll and see if there is any interest. This is the very first post with the poll and shows that an interest existed for such a board. As a result Graybeard open the board.
As you can see from this first Post, Tim and I talked to each other to get things going. Didn't know who Tim was back then. I was in Montana at the time and Tim in VA. We have since got together several times and become pretty good friends.
The board has opened some doors and grown a great deal and is one of the more active boards on GBO....we'll never be able to compete with those NEF guys.
So vote on the poll if you want but it don't mean nothing now, we are here for the long term!!!
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