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I've been trying to learn what I can about big mortars like the 1861 10 and 13 inch mortars and while several people have helped me with some invaluable information I still have quite a few questions that I can't seem to find answers for. I went to the N-SSA shoot 2 weeks ago and talked to many folks and have read every book and web site I can locate but I've run out of places to look for more answers. I'm hoping to own a 10 inch 1861 repro. some day and even shoot one if possible. I dream, unrealistically of owning a 13 incher). I haven't been able to find anyone who actually owns a 10 incher to talk with and that would be great but till I do maybe somone out there can help me with some more answers.
1. Steel lined vrs just gray iron barrel? I keep hearing that one should not actually shoot a cannon/ mortar unless it has a steel barrel liner for safety reasons. One reputable company makes their big mortars with steel liners and another reputable cannon maker makes theirs as they were made origionally out of gray iron. I hear the folks in Wisconsin with the gray iron mortars shoot real iron heavy cannon balls not zinc lighters ones like I saw at the N-SSA a while back ? Are the steel liners that important.?
2. Do any used repro 10 inch mortars ever come up for sale at a price less that a newly made one from a cannon maker or am I hoping for something that most likely will never happen?
3. Is there a better way of finding someone to talk to who owns or knows alot about big mortars. I've tried every site on the internet and talked to anyone I can think of but I've run into a dead end of information. I'm dying for information. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Scott Springston
 

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You could probably have one made from malleable iron (a heat treated type of cast iron) which is substantially less brittle than ordinary gray iron. I would think that would be more than sufficiently strong. Another feature that would drive up the price. This is definitely a field where if you have to pay someone else to do the work, it is going to cost you.

Also consider that a 13" mortar weighs 17,000 lbs, both from a materials cost perspective and a moving perspective.
 
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