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Thread: BP Bowling Ball Mortar

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    BP Bowling Ball Mortar

    This is a replica of a 1840's era costal defense mortar.

    The pictures show the construction from when I built it in 2011 as a Winter project,
    with much planning, council, the right materials, and machines to make it as safe as one of these things can be.
    It was getting dull, so last winter I took it apart and repainted it.

    The barrel is made from the correct gas cylinder for these, and the band on it is a second layer made from the same tank.
    The breech plug/powder chamber is a 7" piece of 6" round stock. The trunnion bar is 2" round stock.
    It's hard to see in the picture, but the barrel band was extended. The elevation rod is 1" Stainless 'all thread'.
    and 1/2" x 3" flat bar was added to the trunnion and the base of the barrel for additional support before it was finished.
    All panels on the base are 1/4" steel plate. The fuse liner is a grade 8 bolt, 1/2" x 3" that stops short of the powder chamber.
    It weighs about 400-450 pounds or so. I haven't weighed it, but have to move it around with a engine crane.

    1/4 pound of 'F' will launch a bowling ball about 1,000 yards.

    To palletize and ship this thing would cost SEVERAL hundred dollars.

    Price is $2500 set in the back of your truck.
    Location is in East Texas, about 75 miles South East of Dallas.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-11-2019 at 02:45 PM.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.


    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

  2. 02-10-2019, 08:13 PM
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    Not a discussion thread

  3. 02-10-2019, 08:30 PM
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    Not a discussion thread

  4. #2
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    have you actually shot it and how much movement of the base occurs
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  5. #3
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rancher1913 View Post
    have you actually shot it and how much movement of the base occurs
    We fired it in Oklahoma 8 times in 2011 with full 4oz. charges of 'F' cannon and mortar powder.
    The base jumped and slid back a few inches. We didn't have the trunnion caps on at the time, and
    for that high of a barrel angle, it really should have a snubber put on so the barrel doesn't flip backwards.
    The date stamp on the barrel picture is wrong. I didn't reset it when I put new batteries in the camera.
    The ball goes out of sight, but on landing, it bounces back up about 30'. You can see/locate it then.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooqFOxkKTBU
    give me a minute, I'm working on this link


    I can't get the link to work. To see a video of it firing:
    On youtube's search- put in- 'Bowling Ball Mortar Day shot #2'
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-11-2019 at 02:55 PM.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.


    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

  6. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    For a legit accuracy question, what's your high score on ten pins?

  7. #5
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Good morning
    Can this mortar be "down loaded" to fire at a reduced range of 300 yards or so ? Thank you
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  8. #6
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    OP, I think this is your video.



    Looks real good. How far are you from Canton?

  9. #7
    Boolit Master
    Ed in North Texas's Avatar
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    I suspect he's somewhere around Athens.
    Ed

    CW3 USA (Ret)
    VFW Life
    NRA Benefactor
    TX State Rifle Assn Life
    SAF Life
    NY State Rifle and Pistol Assn Senior Member because I don't have to fight that fight in TX
    JPFO Member

  10. #8
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missionary5155 View Post
    Good morning
    Can this mortar be "down loaded" to fire at a reduced range of 300 yards or so ? Thank you

    I've never done it, but yes, they can be down loaded. One ounce of 'F' is supposed to launch a heavy bowling ball 100 yards,
    then it goes up from there, but not exactly porportionatly. Four ounces will launch a light weight ball about a mile.
    We did 7 heavy ones that went about 1,000 yards, and one light one we never found.
    It was on a working farm, and we had to recover them so one of those ga-zillion dollar machines wouldn't eat it.

    I've never fired it for accuracy, but it's built to be legal in the competitions they have for these out in the desert states.
    It would just need a snubber strap to keep the barrel from flipping over backwards if the angle is set too high.

    Athens, Texas is about 25 miles on farther South & East from here. I'm in Tool, Texas.
    Its about 2/3 of the way down towards the dam on the West side of Cedar Creek Lake.

    Thanks for fixing the video. That's it. I wresteled with it for 30 minutes, and it couldn't get it to work on here.
    That long whistle noise is from the finger holes during the 'hang time' of the ball flying.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-11-2019 at 07:33 PM.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.


    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

  11. 02-11-2019, 03:55 PM
    Reason
    Not a discussion thread

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check