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I have..... a cannon.....


Coytee
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as in, a real cannon.

The story is almost at a conclusion so I thought I'd post here thinking some of you might get a kick out of this.

This cannon has been in my family for probably over 50 years.  Went with my dad as a kid to some long forgotten location in Indiana.  Brought it home, put in basement (walk out basement to concrete back driveway) and we'd roll it out every now & then to fire it.  (I have stories about parents divorcing, me finding the "Charles Chips" can that held the gunpowder and fuses and making my personal little bombs, but that's for another thread)

Folks divorce, dad takes cannon with him.  Puts it in his office for YEARS (he's going to be 93 this year if he makes it to October).  His office staff bought some cannon balls for him and some tools (tamper, cleaner...)

SOMEWHERE along this path some dufas put not one, but TWO lead balls in the bore....  Today, my 92 year old fathers 68 year old wife, said cannon has to go, time to give it to Richard.  Now I have it.

Discovered a ball in it.

 

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Got my wood boring drill bit out, put on extension.... needed a hone, so cobbed a hone into an extended hone.

 

 

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Got the first ball out and WHAT?

Some moron put a SECOND ball in there?

 

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I've oiled bore, used hone to some degree, the only thing that did it was just drillint into the ball.  It's evidently lead so was easy to drill in.  The SECOND ball however, would NOT budge.  I need a slide hammer but don't have one.

 

So, I cobbed one by taking a 2x4, put hole in it for end of drill bit extension, clamped drill back on and it pushed the drill off.  I could not tighten it enough.  So, took drill off, clamped some vice-grips onto end and used board as lever....ball moved....  did again..moved again....  finally took 5-pound hammer to board and pounded the ball out.

 

here's my home made slide hammer and the second ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Put flashlight back to bore, vefified there were no more balls in there.  Put some oil in and took hone to it.  Started to thunder so shut things down and that's where it currently stands.

I bought 2-pounds of gunpowder today.  They didn't have fuse material.  I have some fuse material but don't know yet that it will work.  It might be 30 years old for all I know.  Might light some of it over weekend to see what happens.

I'll not fire one of these balls out of it.  I was told, I could maybe go to store, buy some orange juice....take container, fill with concrete and use it as projectile (as long as container fits inside 2 1/4" bore of course)

Be nice if I can get this done in time for the 4th.  Not sure yet but now that the balls are out, I'm much closer.

Wife is just rolling her eyes at me.

 

 

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Might add, as a kid, we'd stuff a rag into bore and simply shoot the rag a hundred feet.  (no idea of actual measurement but it really put it out there)

My intent is really to only shoot a rag out of it.

 

 

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This would have likely been south east Indiana as I grew up in Hamilton, Ohio....  not too far from the border.  That said, it was 50 years ago so I'm clueless.

 

I DO recall the day we brought it home.  We went "somewhere" and went to a guys house.  My dad and the guy were yaking doing "old people" stuff while I was out in their yard playing on their zip line which I thought was really cool.....  today, I don't care so much about the zip line and think the cannon is pretty cool.  (though it WAS fun 4 months ago when wife & I went zip lining and at one point, were 400 feet above the ground as we went side to side in a canyon)

 

 

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Your living my dream! I want a cannon so badly! 
what am I going to do with it? Well I dunno, but i am betting a cat or 2 might disappear 🤔

we have big 18” swing 12’ bed Economy lathe.  The fellow we got it from wanted to build his own cannon, got it all set up, then priced brass billet. Thats where the dream died😂

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43 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Your living my dream! I want a cannon so badly! 

 

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46 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Your living my dream! I want a cannon so badly! 
what am I going to do with it? Well I dunno, but i am betting a cat or 2 might disappear 🤔

we have big 18” swing 12’ bed Economy lathe.  The fellow we got it from wanted to build his own cannon, got it all set up, then priced brass billet. Thats where the dream died😂

They why they cast em!

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A  4th of July 20 some years ago saw my first potato gun.  PVC pipe with cap, potato, Aquanet hair spray. 

 

Maybe shot potatoes and other vegetables out of the real one.

 

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37 minutes ago, Steve C. said:

 

i think my neighbors would not like me if i got one of those for the 4th

but i bet they wouldnt give me any lip !!!

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1 minute ago, searcyfarms said:

i think my neighbors would not like me if i got one of those for the 4th

but i bet they wouldnt give me any lip !!!

It'd sure freak out a coyote.

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1 hour ago, Coytee said:

This would have likely been south east Indiana as I grew up in Hamilton, Ohio....  not too far from the border.  That said, it was 50 years ago so I'm clueless.

 

I DO recall the day we brought it home.  We went "somewhere" and went to a guys house.  My dad and the guy were yaking doing "old people" stuff while I was out in their yard playing on their zip line which I thought was really cool.....  today, I don't care so much about the zip line and think the cannon is pretty cool.  (though it WAS fun 4 months ago when wife & I went zip lining and at one point, were 400 feet above the ground as we went side to side in a canyon)

 

 

cool story sorry about your parents divorce - i dont know a think about gunpowder and canon balls so be careful, like someone said below potato gun is all I have worked with and boy those are a hoot i have one sitting in the barn ready for assembly but havent gotten around to it 

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1 hour ago, vtfireman85 said:

Your living my dream! I want a cannon so badly! 
what am I going to do with it? Well I dunno, but i am betting a cat or 2 might disappear 🤔

we have big 18” swing 12’ bed Economy lathe.  The fellow we got it from wanted to build his own cannon, got it all set up, then priced brass billet. Thats where the dream died😂

I bet grape shot would work good on cats .😁

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4 minutes ago, ky966boy said:

I bet grape shot would work good on cats .😁

I was just thinking of tamping the whole cat in, like a catapult, only more fun. 

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56 minutes ago, Steve C. said:

It'd sure freak out a coyote.

Imagine sitting or standing in a great big metal tub with four of those going off at the same time.  Huh, what'd you say?

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We use a similar cannon as a salute after the national anthem each morning at our local steam/tractor reunion. A high school chemistry teacher built it years ago. He sure had stories about shooting it. He always went into the restroom and grabbed a large wad of used paper towels from the trash. It shot out like confetti. 

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Not quite a much fun as the real cannon but the town of Petersburg, NE has a harvest festival that features "pumpkin chunkin".  Folks have built these using compressed air to launch a pumpkin quite a distance.  I haven't been there, but the distance is quite a feat.

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My son and I made a golf ball cannon, round pipe in a pipe, 5 feet long, set it up to take shotgun primers as an ignition system as apposed to fuses. Works great. Anything from shop brooms to gophers have been shot out if it, no cats, sorry too small 😂. Make sure to use black powder as any other gun powder burns too fast, to high of pressures. Ask me how we know 🤔

Did I mention we border a well know golf courses 9th hole?  They "might" end up with a few random balls on their green 😂😂

Mark 

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8 hours ago, KWRB said:

They why they cast em!

 

(not that I'm an expert) but I agree.  This appears to be, an inner liner that has the exterior around it.  Think of a 2" piece of PVC where the walls of the pvc are 1/4" thick (though this is metal of course).  Put that tube into a mold I guess...and pour (I'm guessing bronze?)  The cannon does NOT hold a magnet so it's non-ferrous.  

I was told if the liner is compromised, I can put a sleeve in it....taking it down to 1 1/2" bore and with that size, I can shoot golf balls all day out of it.  My neighbor smiled and said he's got 1,000 golf balls (he made a driving range on his field that's no longer used).  I said are you SURE you'd want to give me 1,000 golf balls?  I don't want to go pick them up in my yard/field....so I'd have to aim it back over your way and they'd all come back to you as projectiles.

If you look at the 3rd picture down at the muzzle, you can see the outline of the liner.

 

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8 hours ago, Big Bud guy said:

I have a neighbor that made his own cannon to shoot bowling balls with.  

 

For work, I help state/county people with their pensions & 401K's.  By pure happenstance, the other day, the local Sheriff called me.  (preparing his path for retirement).  Went over his stuff....and figured I had a good opportunity with "the boss" on the phone, so told him about this and asked if this would get me into any trouble?  (don't want black helicopters hovering around with dark clad Ninja's repelling down on ropes)

He said I was good to go.  Might be good to call dispatch as SOMEONE will likely call them and they'd have to investigate.  (I live across lake from a fancy retirement community so yeah, someone would certainly hear this)

 

He went on to say that, he's got a neighbor who's "into this stuff".  The neighbor is a city policeman.....so I happen to also be HIS retirement representative!  Told the Chief to feel free to give his neighbor my number.  I ended up talking to the guy.  He's got FIVE cannons, one of them he fires bowling balls out of.  He said the bowling balls don't LAUNCH like it might in another cannon, they more "lift off" as I guess takes more energy to fling them and, being much larger, are easy to see/follow.

 

Went on to say, you can drill holes into projectile (or use finger holes in bowling ball) and fill them with ???  I forget what he said, but think of something like a crushed up sparkler that you waived as a child.  Said cannon ignition will light these off and they'll burn while in flight adding kind of a "sparkle trail" as the projectile goes its way, allowing you to follow it.  Much like a tracer bullet I suppose.  He is also the armorer (sp?) for the police force.  He reviews/repairs all their firearms.  He ALSO has a bunker at his home that has something like an 8" steel door and inside there he's got hundreds of guns.  For someone who's into firearms (I'm not to be honest, at least not to THAT degree) none the less, he sounds like a very interesting guy.

Said he'd be more than happy to swing by and check this out for me.  So now that the balls are out, I'm going to reach back out to him and see how that develops.

 

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