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Discussion Starter #1
Luckily I've stumbled across this sight, there seems to be a vast amount of knowledge here. I've been reading, but there is so much info( much of it - very technical) that I'm not going to have time to sort through it all before I order a cannon. I'm going the economical route to start off, my question is based on cannon strength. I'm going to order a .69 cal old iron side from cannon mania for a little under $200. The barrel is machined from steel, but I have no idea how strong it is, 45-85 grns 1 or 2 fg is what they recomend when shooting a ball. As thick as it looks, I would assume that it could handle full power loads without weekening or maybe slightly higher loads at that. But you know what they say about "assuming" so I figured I would check with the pros before I buy. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I would start with the minimum load of Fg powder and one .69 cal ball and see how much recoil you get. The gun weight to shot weight ratio for this gun is about 147:1 versus that of the original which is about 233:1 so you will be getting proportionately more recoil than an original which had a lot.

I would stick with the manufacturer's maximum. It will probably be more than you want anyway. If you want a more powerful gun, you should go to a larger one, not try to put too much powder in a small one.

And you should take the Virtual Tour of the USS Constitution and check the pages they have on their guns.
 

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uz2busmc -

WELCOME to the board. You're starting off right - asking questions. Keep 'em coming!

When the time comes we'd love to see pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanx for the replies fellas. I'll definitely keep the questions coming, I'm still scanning through all of the info here. Trying to learn some of the lingo as well.

GG, - Not to worried about the recoil, actually, I'll probably find that part fascinating. The only thing that I would be worried about as far as recoil is concerned would be damage to the carrier, well, serious damage anyway. I'm going to hunt down some more info on something I had seen about proofing the barrel... I'm off........
 

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From a former one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, to another, welcome.

As George and CW have said you are starting out right, asking questions. Following the manufacturers recommendations is a good way to start off. Be sure and tell Cannon Mania you saw their link on our board.

When you get your gun, be sure and post pictures and tell us all about it.
 

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Welcome!

You shouldn't have to worry about damaging the carriage if you take certain precautions.

I started out shooting smaller model cannon. One of the things I leaned early on is that you need to have some sort of shooting platform to really get the most out of your rig. Little guns do not work well on the bare ground.

What I used was a third of a sheet of ¾" plywood (32" x 48"). This is not too large for most people to haul around. Thinner plywood will work but the weight of the ¾" gives it more stability.

You will need two eyebolts in the front corners (the 32" sides are the front and back). To these you can attach your arresting lines. These lines can be any kind of cord. The only thing you want to avoid is anything with a lot of stretch, more on that later.

The idea is to have the lines just long enough to allow the carriage to roll to a point just before it falls off the rear edge of the platform, and no farther.

You place your gun "in battery" at the front of the platform. You could even build a barricade at the front for more realism if you wanted.

The gun is going to recoil violently with even a moderate load, but only for the first couple of feet. After that, it's expended a lot of its energy and will jerk to a halt. It will also roll back forward some, and if you have a really stretchy cord it can slingshot off the FRONT of the platform. Best to avoid the 'bungee' effect and use a cord that does not stretch like a rubberband.

You will also find that it does not take a heavy load to make these little guns buck and roar like the big boys. As GGaskill said, these small guns are much lighter in proportion to the big ones.

One final note. Use black powder. If you can't get it locally, there are sites where you can order it online. Pyrodex and the other BP replacements are certainly fine products and have their place.

That place, however, is not in a cannon. At least not in my opinion which is worth every cent you paid for it.

A cannon needs to smoke. It needs to stink. It needs to be scrubbed in a bucket of hot soapy water at the end of the day. It won't be happy with some high-tech low-smoke non-fouling non-corrosive internally-lubed poly-unsaturated blackish powder-like substance.

Now have some fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanx again for all of the (fast) replies and the warm welcomes. Always nice to see some other formers running around as well. I also appreciate the lengthy reply Terry, some good info, I might have to make a set-up like that.
Well, hopefully next week I will be placing the order.
Semper
 

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Terry C. said:
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A cannon needs to smoke. It needs to stink. It needs to be scrubbed in a bucket of hot soapy water at the end of the day. It won't be happy with some high-tech low-smoke non-fouling non-corrosive internally-lubed poly-unsaturated blackish powder-like substance.

Now have some fun!
Say Terry, tell us, what do you think of the new black powder substitutes? :-D :)
 

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uz2busmc,

I have one of these cannons, also purchased from Cannon-Mania, and I agree with everything that's been said in this discussion. It's a strong little piece, and I think you'll enjoy the flash, smoke and boom these pieces are capable of producing with recommended loads.

 

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I don't tie the cannon down and usually place it on a 30" long board. Recoil with a ball is in excess of 2 feet or about two full cannon lengths before it slids off the end on the board and hits grass. The wood wheels need a smooth surface to recoil, otherwise it will dig in and flip over.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
man, all this cannon talk and research is gettin' me fired up. I might have to take a break from the forum for a couple of days till I place my order, the anticipation is killin me... just waiting on my cc payment to post.
 

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John N said:
I don't tie the cannon down and usually place it on a 30" long board. Recoil with a ball is in excess of 2 feet or about two full cannon lengths before it slids off the end on the board and hits grass. The wood wheels need a smooth surface to recoil, otherwise it will dig in and flip over.
Sounds like this one is better behaved than the smaller gun that I had. It was, if I recall correctly, sold by CVA and was identical to the "Old Ironsides" above except it was a .45 caliber with a rifled bore. Probably about two thirds of the size and weight of the .69.

This small gun would recoil all the way from the front to the back of the 48" platform and still jerk the cords hard enough to roll forward about a foot! If memory serves me right, the charge with a patched (didn't know better at the time) .440 ball was 30 grains of FFg.

Recoil from an unpatched ball might not have been so nasty.


uz2busmc, one thing you don't want to discount is the fun factor of blank "salute" charges. I love to fire cannonballs, but I shoot a LOT more blanks than live rounds simply because I can fire a blank in places where a live round is totally out of the question. Most spectators want the flash, boom, and smoke and could care less about the projectile.

Plus, when I shoot blanks I load twice as much powder. :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Terry,

Trust me, I certainly like the idea of firing blank rounds as well and I have taken into account the double charge for that occasion too. To tell you the truth, I just seem to like all aspects of the cannons, especially for the 4th and new years. It's also something that could be interesting for people to watch that don't share similar tastes in cannons or firearms like myself, but enjoy a good show on these holidays. Another thing I like about this hobby even before getting the cannon is the support, all the people into this are very helpful and knowledgeable, so it makes it easier to navigate through the hobby with all of this info around here.
 
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