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Old October 29, 2021, 07:35 PM   #1
Chuck Bogardus
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black powder mortar/cannon

I'm thinking of making a few with a bore sized to take a golf ball. Can they be sold, or would that be considered a firearm? Fuse-fired, black powder.

A dealer I was talking to kept calling it a destructive device... Sigh... Only if you put a LOT of smokeless in it...
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Old October 29, 2021, 09:10 PM   #2
kenny53
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I have seen them for sale at gun shows with no restrictions. I would think they are no more then a short big bore muzzle loader. A destructive device is a 16 year old with a new drivers license.
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Old October 29, 2021, 09:29 PM   #3
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I've seen them for sale before.
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Old October 30, 2021, 12:46 AM   #4
Bill DeShivs
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No federal regulations at all. They are all over Ebay.
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Old October 30, 2021, 07:59 AM   #5
darkgael
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I have three of them, one of which I made myself. There was no problem buying the other two shopping on line.
Take a good look “The Complete Cannoneer” by M.C. Switlik.
Golf ball mortar minimum bore size is 1.723”. Diameter of a common golf ball is 1.68”. The extra is called windage.
The formula is (diameter of the projectile/39) X 40.
The picture is a golf ball mortar made from DOM tubing bored out to proper diameter.
This mortar follows plans from this post at Greybeard Outdoors:
https://www.go2gbo.com/threads/k-i-s...7/#post-378007
Plans by Douglas Dickens.
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File Type: jpeg C30FC7F5-20B2-4A62-A9EF-71032FB3FC99.jpeg (352.5 KB, 26 views)
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Last edited by darkgael; October 30, 2021 at 08:16 AM.
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Old October 30, 2021, 12:31 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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Golf ball is smaller than a one pounder.
Baseball is close to three pounder.
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Old October 30, 2021, 07:40 PM   #7
Chuck Bogardus
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I did my first one at about 1.75" and used old t-shirts for wadding.

FIgured 80 grains of FFG.

We popped a few.

And we popped a few more.

And I stuffed in 80 grains (by capacity) of Bullseye, figuring that if Bubba got 'hold of it, that could happen.

It bulged it a couple of thou.

Made out of Chicom 1018, 2.75" diameter solid bar, drilled and bored. 1/2" walls. Fuse size is a #30 twist drill.

Did the first one with about a 45 degree angle, 6" barrel. Going to switch to about 60 degrees (toward vertical) and a 3" OAL. Given that an inch of the back is 1/2" of solid, and a 1/2" powder cavity, the patched ball will be visible, much like the original coehorn mortars.
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Old October 30, 2021, 08:16 PM   #8
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https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/are-...uctive-devices
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Old October 31, 2021, 02:43 AM   #9
darkgael
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Patched ball

It is not necessary or desirable to patch the ball when loading it into the mortar.
The piece will fire quite well without a patch.
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Old October 31, 2021, 11:36 AM   #10
Jim Watson
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The only cannon I ever shot was a little 3 pounder "grasshopper gun" and the owner loaded it with zinc ball taped to a wood sabot. Not very accurate but loaded with a bag of musket balls it was obviously a tough short range proposition.
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Old November 1, 2021, 12:13 PM   #11
44 AMP
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A black powder muzzle loader avoids all restrictions using the "readily available ammuntion" language. Under Federal law, muzzleloaders are not legally firearms (which is why you can buy them mail order, still today)

HOWEVER, some states DO consider muzzleloaders to be firearms, so check your state's laws.

The Federal rules covering cannon are generally not about bore size but about the projectiles. Not certain about today, haven't researched it lately, but at one time you could buy a tank with its cannon intact and functional, and it was not a restricted item. The AMMUNITION for that tank, WAS restricted.

Exploding ammunition, is a destructive device under the law, so explosive tank rounds, like hand grenades, mortar rounds and such are each, individually registered, taxed and tracked under ATF rules.

SOLID SHOT projectiles are not. and muzzle loading cannon firing solid shot are not, as far as I know. IF you're going to fire exploding shot (cannonballs or other) from your muzzle loading cannon, better talk to the Feds BEFORE you do it. If you don't and the Feds find out you're firing explosive shot, they're DEFINATELY going to want to talk to you, and, they won't be happy...

This is not legal advice, its the situation as best I remember it, and is intended for discussion only! I may be wrong. Or things might have changed since I learned the rules. For valid legal advice PAY a Lawyer.
Good luck, have fun! And BE CAREFUL.

I knew of a guy, (a high school shop teacher) who was a homemade muzzle loading cannon enthusiast. He was also missing 3 fingers from one hand.

There's a good reason why the sponge is on the rammer and there's always a bucket of water handy when operating BP cannon! learn the proper procedures and (since no one is shooting cannon back at you) there's no reason to rush things...

Good Luck, have fun BE SAFE!!!
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Old November 2, 2021, 06:50 AM   #12
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Yep.

44Amp: Good advice.
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Old November 2, 2021, 09:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
There's a good reason why the sponge is on the rammer and there's always a bucket of water handy when operating BP cannon!

Good Luck, have fun BE SAFE!!!
Wet swab after every shot with the touch hole covered.
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