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Pathfinder45
November 19, 2009, 01:20 PM
What are the laws about building your own Black powder cannon? What about the Hotchkiss as used by the Cavalry in the Nez Perce campaign; is it legal to own?

grymster2007
November 19, 2009, 02:36 PM
I know a few people who have, but I don't know the legalities. I'd like to build one someday. Lately, I've been reading Alexander Kent's Bolitho series and I kinda want to make a swivel gun now.

As with most of the stuff I want to do, it will likely have to wait for retirement. :(

Tom2
November 19, 2009, 06:29 PM
Check out South Bend Replicas. I think they are still in business, I got to visit their shop once, they are about a mile or two from a relatives house. Little to big sizes. Get something maybe half scale to 2/3's, Just right size to be able to move and load quickly, to hold off the looters that get too close to your neighborhood! Disable their vehicles!

Ridgerunner665
November 19, 2009, 06:34 PM
As far as I know they are legal to own...my cousin is big into Civil War reenactments and he has one, I forget exactly what it is though...not very big but its a full size version of whatever it is. Fires maybe a 4-6 pound ball...I have seen it fired several times, its pretty neat.

James K
November 19, 2009, 07:12 PM
AFAIK, no problems as long as it is muzzle loading. But careful; a Civil War cannon, especially with a light projectile like a cement filled beer can, can fire a good distance.

Jim

Wleoff
November 19, 2009, 07:24 PM
Call Dixie Gun Works in TN. They should know since they offer several cannon kits for sale. Tried to talk my wife into displaying a CW mortar in our foyer.

pvt.Long
November 19, 2009, 07:27 PM
well becuse of what they are, they are leal to own. If not well the ATF needs to stop by a reenactment some time.

bedbugbilly
November 19, 2009, 08:31 PM
As one person replied - remember that a cannon can have quite a range when firing a projectile - whether it be a juice can filled with cement, a golf ball or something bigger. I used to shoot full size Civil War artillery - live fire - the group I was with had a full size 10 pound Parrott Rifle - we had one that was rifled and one that was smooth bore - we're talking a 3 inch projectile. At one event, we hit a junked out National Guard pickup at 1 1/4 miles - pretty much the maximum range of the 10 pound Parrott with a service load of 1 lb of powder. As with any firearm - USE IT SAFELY. I shudder when I think about what I have seen with how some gun crews operate. Yes, they are fun and they make a big bang - but, all it takes is a slight ember and someone not using a thumbstall on the vent while loading to have aa premature discharge - and folks, there were a LOT of one armed Civil War vets. as a result of this when the gun discharged while loading, thus sending the rammer out the barrel and into flight along with the #1 man's hand and arm. That is one reason why the thumb is NEVER wrapped around the rammer (it is kept straight and parallel with the rammer staff) when sponging, ramming or worming. While basically the muzzleloading cannon loads like a muzzleloading rifle, the vent MUST be thumbstalled (covered tightly) to prevent air from entering the bore from the vent when it is sponged and providing the possibility of an ember that is missed by the sponge. Normally, the powder charge is introduced first (we put our powder charge in a baggie and then wrapped it in a tin foil cylinder that was formed around a form that was just under the bore diameter size. Second, the projectile (if you are using one) is introduced and rammed. Even if the powder charge is contained in tin foil, accidents can happen and if the vent isn't thumbed, as the charge is put in and rammed, air is pushed down the barrel and up through the vent which can cause an ember to "glow and gain heat" - this could be from fouling, etc. - and thus ignite the charge early. To relate it to firearms, if anyone has ever seen a "cook-off" at an NSSA event when the muskets are being loaded fast and often during a timed event, you'll know what I mean - it ain't pretty. I really don't mean to "rant" - just realize that muzzleloading cannons are a creature all of their own and use safe practices, hearing and eye protection always. They can be a lot of fun - good luck with your project if you decide to put one together.

Dr. Strangelove
November 19, 2009, 08:36 PM
Interesting link:

http://www.buckstix.com/howitzer.htm

Rusty.it
November 20, 2009, 04:25 AM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u112/fgRusty/cannone.jpg

Something like that?
bye
Rusty

troy_mclure
November 20, 2009, 04:56 AM
make one of duct tape like the myth busters!

when i was young we made a golf ball cannon from copper/pvc pipe. used 50gr black powder to shoot a patched golf ball about 100yd.

Pathfinder45
November 21, 2009, 12:16 AM
....like the hotchkiss? Are they legal?

darkgael
November 21, 2009, 12:26 AM
My first project on a little lathe that I acquired was boring out a piece of DOM tubing as the basis for a golf ball mortar. I still have it. It will shoot a golf ball quite high and far without a great deal of powder.
Note - it is not necessary nor is it desirable to patch a golf ball or other projectile in a cannon or mortar. We tend to think "patch" because these are muzzleloaders but, as mentioned earlier these - cannons and mortars - are "creature(s) all of their own". There is a small amount of play between the projectile and the bore; it is built in and is called "windage"; it is supposed to be there.
Pete
http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/KISSmortar2.jpg

Mr.Guido
November 21, 2009, 01:27 AM
What about breech-loaders....

....like the hotchkiss? Are they legal?

No. Not because of the fact that they are breech-loaders, but rather the fact that they fire fixed ammunition.

Pathfinder45
November 21, 2009, 01:53 AM
....then if a breech-loader used separate projectile and powder, thus not, "fixed", would that be legal? Where can I read the regulations?

troy_mclure
November 21, 2009, 02:36 AM
Note - it is not necessary nor is it desirable to patch a golf ball or other projectile in a cannon or mortar. We tend to think "patch" because these are muzzleloaders but, as mentioned earlier these - cannons and mortars - are "creature(s) all of their own". There is a small amount of play between the projectile and the bore; it is built in and is called "windage"; it is supposed to be there.
Pete

i was all of 14 when we built it, we used sections of greased tshirts as patches.

....then if a breech-loader used separate projectile and powder, thus not, "fixed", would that be legal? Where can I read the regulations?

thinking of getting a 16" naval gun?

Mr.Guido
November 21, 2009, 03:05 PM
....then if a breech-loader used separate projectile and powder, thus not, "fixed", would that be legal? Where can I read the regulations?
Today 01:27 AM


Yes it would be legal and you can read it in title 27 of the codified federal regulations.

27 cfr 479.11


Antique firearm. Any firearm not designed or redesigned for using
rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and
manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock,
percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof,
whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also
any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for
which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is
not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

teeroux
November 21, 2009, 05:30 PM
Nice darkgael I was thinking of making one similar to that out of a used 4in pump liner and a blind flange from work.