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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Managed to text direct with Dom. Seems like a really nice fellow. Unfortunately he is unable to take on the project at this time. Have spoken with a local metal fabrication business and they are willing to give it a go. They have never made a carriage before but are skilled at making specialized industrial products. Taking the tube to them in the morning. More to come soon.

double d
Patients has never been one of my strong points. Regret I did not start this project a lot sooner. Thanks for encouragement.

Mike B
The impatient procrastinator (?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
The shop making the carriage for the Coston is gathering data and taking measurements in preparation for drawing a set of plans. They expect to have the project completed within two weeks. I need to start assembling the necessary items to fire it. Would any of you recommend a source for powder and fuses?

Most web sites that carry cannon grade black powder are out of stock. Understandable. Is "reenactor" powder suitable for cannons?
 

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Cannon Grade is best but Fg can be substituted. Do not use any finer grade. I don't know what grade "reenactor" is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Am I reading/reasoning this correctly?

National Safety Rules and Procedures of the American Artillery Association for “guns with bores larger than two inches” state that:
“Powder charges should not exceed 2 oz. of Fg or 3 oz. FFA or Cannon Grade Goex powder per inch of bore diameter. No excessive charges. Use black powder only” Quotes are from sticky at top of forum.

Therefore, with a two and one half inch bore as in the Coston, seven and one half ounces of Cannon Grade Goex (if I can find any) would be the top end. And, five ounces of Fg would be tops. I feel like I would be safe starting at one half of that. Is this reasonable?

Another question: What burn rate of fuse is recommended here? I am inclined to go with a slower burning fuse, at least in the early learning stages. Is this reasonable? I also intend to start with firing blanks for safety training and as a learning experience.

During my time with the US Army Field Artillery I was close to a number of serious incidents on gun lines, two of which cost the lives of soldiers. I do not want to do this wrong. All of my service with the FA was in target acquisition and computation of firing data. I have honestly never loaded a round or pulled tail. I welcome and will study any advice you can provide.

GCG
 

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What burn rate of fuse is recommended here? I am inclined to go with a slower burning fuse, at least in the early learning stages. Is this reasonable?

In my opinion, slow burning fuse is not the way to go, for it keeps the gun in a dangerous condition (imminently firing) for a longer period of time, allowing changes in the environment to occur, such as someone entering the down range area. Ideally, you would use something like friction primers which give instantaneous ignition yet keep the firer away from a recoiling gun.

What specifically do you think slow burning fuse would cause/allow?
 
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
GGaskill

You have an excellent point that I had not considered. Had the vague idea that slow burn would allow more reaction time. That really does not make sense. Need to research friction primers. The tube I have has a touch hole and no other apparent way to ignite the round. Thanks for the idea.

GCG
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 · (Edited)
Just got off phone with Grafs and Son. They tell me "reenator" grade is suitable for my purposes. Ordered 2 lbs Grafs Classic and 2 lbs Shuetzen. Four pound minimum order and this is what they have in stock. Also ordered 25 feet of Hodgon fuse. Burn rate 35 second per foot. Again, the only one in stock. Going to metal shop the afternoon to discuss plans for carriage with design/fabrication man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
View attachment 261010 View attachment 261011 View attachment 261012


The pattern is cut. After some modifications it will be cut from 1/2 inch plate using plasma cutter. The trunnion caps have been fabricated and work smoothly. This is a deviation from the original design, allowing for faster dismounting of the tube and transportation. The man doing the work, Adam aka Dawg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
We are trying to incorporate design features from the original Caston carriage and from the Lyle gun. May not be historically accurate but this is being built as a shooter.
Owner of the shop is going to make a full size reproduction of this gun. I may have started something here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Powder and fuse arrived today. A Sunday and one day ahead of schedule. Kudos to FedEx. Grafs and Son have won over a new customer. Had a delightful interaction with the lady on their customer service line. Re-reading info on loading blanks posted on this site. Any tips/suggestions would be appreciated.

GCG
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Went out to the shop and dug through boxes of old gun related books I have accumulated over the years. Unfortunately a good number were lost in the many moves involved in a military career. Still have copies of "Elements of Ordnance" 1938 by Hayes and "Elements of Ammunition" 1949 by Ohart. Have started some reviewing. Not too much info on black powder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Propose starting with 3 ounces of powder for a blank load. This is near the half way mark of the load recommended by AAA and should be quite safe. Will use foil wrap as per AAA recommendation. Am I on track here?

Now the question of filler;
AAA states "recommend a filler of a weight equal to the weight of a standard iron round ball". How might I determine the weight of a standard iron round ball 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter? Charts provided are for bores "less than 2 inches". When I attempt to use the "Spherical Shot Weight Calculator" I am told "NaN" which I am guessing means not available.

But hold fast! This has been changed to read "that no filler material should exceed the weight of an iron ball for the cannon." Well, we have a clue as to the maximum weight (if we can determine what that iron ball weighs) but what of the minimum weight? Seems like I am descending further down the rabbit hole here. Or am I just looking in the wrong place?

Novice needs help.
GCG
 

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Now the question of filler;
AAA states "recommend a filler of a weight equal to the weight of a standard iron round ball". How might I determine the weight of a standard iron round ball 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter? Charts provided are for bores "less than 2 inches". When I attempt to use the "Spherical Shot Weight Calculator" I am told "NaN" which I am guessing means not available.
I dunno, it worked for me. In my opinion, filler isn't necessary.

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Good luck with that. Take a look at the post in the stickies on making blank loads. In most cases if you try to make a filler-such as flour equal in weight to the iron ball it won't fit in the bore. Mass/density of filler and iron are way differnet.

I found that is you make the filler equal in volume to the powder charge it works very well. Oh yes and it will fit in the barrel.

Blackpowder wrapped in a cartridge will go boom. Use an equal volume of flour and it will go BOOM and your cannon will recoil.
 
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