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Old May 26, 2018, 04:59 AM   #1
blackwidowp61
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Is this possible?

Would it be possible to make a gun out of newspaper pykrete? I actually think that it could be done. Could it be molded on a steel rod with lands and grooves cut on it or a smooth rod for the barrel? Or am I just crazy?
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Old May 26, 2018, 05:50 AM   #2
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Mythbusters made cannons out of all sorts of junk. None worked.
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Old May 26, 2018, 06:15 AM   #3
Nathan
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Like concrete, I would think you would find its tensile strength too weak. I think you would find it impossible to build a barrel loaded in compression.
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Old May 26, 2018, 01:30 PM   #4
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OK, ain't the first time that I've been crazy. My fishing buddy swears that if I ever mention dog and fishing license in the same sentance, ever, he would string me up, but that's another story!
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Old May 26, 2018, 01:42 PM   #5
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Maybe one shot, but almost certainly too brittle. Would crack.

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Old May 26, 2018, 10:17 PM   #6
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First off, let me say that this thread is NOT meant for anybody to get the bright idea to actually try this. It is meant to just stimulate discussion.

That being said, here is some info I found online. The first two I would need somebody a whole lot smarter than me to interpret, but it looks like pykrete is pretty tough. The printed material kind of supports it (I think).

http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...ow_temperature

http://w.andreasbastian.com/pykrete/...nal_report.pdf

Ballistic History: Bullet Resistant Barriers From Ice And Sawdust
SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 BULLET RESISTANT BARRIERS
During WWII Geoffrey Pyke–a somewhat eccentric British journalist and inventor–had what, at first glance, was a crazy scheme: To supplement the British Navy with floating, bulletproof iceberg islands.
Allied navies and merchants were sitting ducks for advanced German submarines. Pyke envisioned “berg-ships” up to 4,000 feet long, 600 feet wide, and 130 feet deep, made from forty-foot blocks of ice. They’d be slow-going ships, but their extremely thick, naturally buoyant hulls could endure lots of bullets and torpedoes. And, unlike steel vessels, they’d be floating in a sea of raw material ready for repairs or expansion.
THE CHALLENGES OF BUILDING BULLET RESISTANT BARRIERS FROM ICE
Of course, there were a few hitches in this plan. Obviously, icebergs–even enormous ones–don’t hold up well as they travel south, and even a very large burg can be steadily chiseled away by a concerted barrage. Worse yet, ice is a very unpredictable building material; it fails at loads ranging from 5 to 35 kilograms per square centimeter (kg/sq-cm).
But Pyke had stumbled on a possible solution. He’d discovered that by adding impurities to water–such as sawdust–he could significantly improve the material qualities of the finished ice.

2 Million Ton Pykrete Aircraft Carrier In WW2 – The most popular videos are a click away
BULLETPROOF BLOCKS OF ICE
Through grueling hours working in an undercover meat-locker laboratory, Pyke and a team of military researchers discovered a mixture of water and sawdust that, when frozen, was as strong as concrete, could be preformed as easily as ice cubes, and could be worked with hand tools like blocks of wood. One scientist on the project, Max Perutz (who would later go on to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1962) wrote:
“Blocks of ice containing as little as four percent wood pulp were weight for weight as strong as concrete; in honor of the originator of the project, we called this reinforced ice ‘pykrete.’ When we fired a rifle bullet into an upright block of pure ice two feet square and one foot thick, the block shattered; in pykrete the bullet made a little crater and was embedded without doing any damage.“
Pyke ultimately settled on a mixture of 14 percent sawdust and 86 percent water (by weight). The sawdust significantly lowered the material’s thermal conductivity, which meant that once the outer layer melted slightly and went mushy, it functioned as an insulating jacket, helping to keep the pykrete core frozen solid. These opaque, tan blocks consistently held loads of 70 kg/sq-cm, and were almost uncrushable (a one-inch column could easily support an automobile). A bullet resistant barrier made from pykrete performed as well as brick against small arms fire, and even high-powered rifles. But the real selling point: Not only was pykrete easy to make and form with conventional tools, it was cheap.

PYKRETE BULLET RESISTANT BARRIERS
As is the case with conventional bullet resistant barriers–like steel and DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber–the secret to pykrete’s power is in its tensile strength, which is nearly three times that of poured concrete, and five times that of conventional ice. A 7.69 mm rifle bullet fired at pure ice will shatter most blocks (due to the material’s brittleness). Even if you had one of Pyke’s 40-foot blocks, a rifle shot would still burrow more than a foot into the ice. That same bullet fired into pykrete won’t make it more than six inches.

A six-inch thick ice-wall might seem a little inconvenient–especially if you’re building a bank in Georgia–but it’s hard to beat the price. And don’t worry if you don’t happen to live near a lumber yard willing to part with hundreds of pounds of sawdust: In 2009 MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage experimented with “super pykrete” made with newspapers instead of wood pulp. It performed even better than Pyke’s final formula.
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Old May 26, 2018, 10:30 PM   #7
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Mythbusters tried making an ice cannon and after several failed attempts finally succeeded in making one that would hold together for light blackpowder loads.

As far as I know, they never tried making one out of pykrete which I found disappointing.
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Old May 26, 2018, 11:05 PM   #8
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Just because something might could be done doesn't make it a good idea.
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Old May 29, 2018, 03:01 PM   #9
J.G. Terry
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True Magazine

True Magazine: I recall reading about Pyke in True magazine. This would have been in the late 1950's or so. The guy was a true eccentric.
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Old May 29, 2018, 03:05 PM   #10
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Sure, it would make for a great six-hour gun. And if something comes off,
you can, like, glue it back on.
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Old May 29, 2018, 04:30 PM   #11
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The mythguys did make a black powder cannon exclusively out of duct tape. It shot an orange colored (maybe a bowling ball) successfully and held together quite well as I remember. Can't recall if it was shot only once or not, but it was "confirmed" by the M Busters; you can make a working cannon out of duct tape.
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Old May 30, 2018, 06:01 PM   #12
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I don't know about pykrete or concrete as a cannon barrel material, but the siege of Orleans (1429) featured cannons with wooden barrels held together with metal hoops (just like a wine barrel). And yes, I know wood is not as brittle as concrete, but it makes a concrete cannon seems possible at least.
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Old May 30, 2018, 06:12 PM   #13
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It absolutely is possible. You just have to figure out the tensile strength (and other parameters) of the material and keep the pressures, temperatures and other factors within that as a design range.

If you get over to Kathmandu Nepal, they have a couple of leather cannons from long before the Europeans tried leather cannons (ala Mythbusters discussed once).
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Old May 30, 2018, 11:14 PM   #14
blackwidowp61
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I like the idea that, if the darn thing blew up, you're not out a heck of a lot. I would say pykrete made with newspaper and water would work the best. Small charge of black powder, a LONG fuse (have to have enough time to walk away to a safe distance) and see what happens.

Perhaps if contacted the engineering dept. at the UW to see if they thought it was possible...hmmmmm. You guys are really tempting me now.
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Old May 31, 2018, 01:01 AM   #15
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This is hearsay really, but I worked with a retired swat officer. I found him to be a reliable honest guy.
He told me
That some gang bangers would tape something to The primer of a shotgun shell, roll it up in a magazine or newspaper and bang it against a brick wall as a person walked by.
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Old May 31, 2018, 11:29 AM   #16
blackwidowp61
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And the swat guys would pick the idiot up in the ER after getting treated for hand injuries?
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Old May 31, 2018, 03:32 PM   #17
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Yep , your just crazy.
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Old May 31, 2018, 11:53 PM   #18
blackwidowp61
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Yup, just look at my signature and you'll see that I've lost a marble or two in 64 years (and 16 surgeries). But then again, I did say that I would need a long enough fuse to walk far enough away for safety! Doesn't that count??
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Old June 1, 2018, 03:04 PM   #19
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A man that went through 16 surgeries an is still above ground , can do anything he wants . Hopefully you don't go through anymore . Be Well .

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Old June 1, 2018, 03:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Would it be possible to make a gun out of newspaper pykrete?
Probably - but - it would also probably require something other than black powder or smokeless powder as a means to propel the projectile.

A "tennis ball" or "potato" gun type would probably work.

A centrifugal gun is another possibility.

Maybe a compressed air mortar.

Or steam maybe?

These all operate at hundreds of pounds per square inch - not thousands.

Quote:
Just because something might could be done doesn't make it a good idea.
Yeah - I think that's the best idea...

This thread sort of reminds me of the "Bullet in a microwave" question .
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Old June 1, 2018, 05:09 PM   #21
blackwidowp61
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Unfortunately number 17 is already on the books (eye surgery).

The bullet (cartridge?) in the microwave scares the hell out of me. Wouldn't try it. (The Madison police chief knows what happens when you preheat your oven with your backup weapon in it however.)
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Old June 1, 2018, 09:42 PM   #22
Hal
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Quote:
The bullet (cartridge?) in the microwave scares the hell out of me. Wouldn't try it.
My bad actually...the title of the thread was:

"What would happen if you put a live round in a..."
......
microwave oven and started it?
Sorry, but I've always been curious.
Way back in May 2000.

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...ight=microwave

Pretty fun & funny thread.

Years later, on Youtube, some people actually gave it a try.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6NcD2rZ9H4

That same guy also stuck a loaded Glock 19 in a microwave. Funny stuff.
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Old June 2, 2018, 06:38 AM   #23
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Firework mortar shells are essentially muzzle loading cardboard cannons using a light black powder charge for the lift charge.
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Old June 2, 2018, 02:06 PM   #24
blackwidowp61
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I sent my idea in to the guy at Demolition Ranch. He was the guy who put the 50 cal in a microwave, so maybe he'll give it a try. If he doesn't (I'll keep you posted), I might have to give this a try myself.

By the way, just about split a gut with that old thread! And here I thought I wasthe only idiot willing to try stupid things. THANKS!
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If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.
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If you need a real belly laugh, try this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFCrJleggrI

Last edited by blackwidowp61; June 2, 2018 at 08:07 PM.
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Old June 4, 2018, 03:17 PM   #25
Hal
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Ha!

You think that one was good...

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...highlight=fudd

(The Law Dog files are classics that - -on the TFL of today would be locked and tossed away...)

I let you search for this one....the immortal "assault tuna" thread.
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