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Thread: Small cannons/ mortars and BP subsititute powders ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Small cannons/ mortars and BP subsititute powders ?

    I friend at work was asking me about this today . How do the BP sub powders work in smaller bore cannons and mortars like .75 -gofball
    Size bores? Reason being real BP is a lot harder to find and we can get the sub stuff at Walmart I realize the subs are a lot faster in speed that what's normally used but the goal is mainly the flash and bang factor for him not so much accuracy or range .
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    If you are going to shoot Cannons that use lots more powder , and availabity on real BP is non existent.
    Try making your own BP.
    It will be far cheaper than BP or Substatutes.
    You can make it yourself with very little cost and then upgrade your tools once you get hooked on making it. ( Like I Did )

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The concern is over pressure when firing a projectile. None of the substitutes come in a grain size equivalent to 1Fg or Cannon. For making noise 2FFg equivalent is safe enough. Go to Goex website. They list all of their distributors. Find one near you. Yes you will have the fixed federal hazmat fee no matter the amount purchased. But your unit price is lower.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Subs normally use the volume-equivalent of black powder. A scoop that holds 80 grains of black powder would be the correct one to scoop the sub. Substitute the volume you will be using.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The grain size affects the pressure spike. That is why British naval cannon were blowing up in the early 1700s. The powder in the ship's magazine would shift back and forth in the legs creating more fines increasing the pressure pulse. Go to the NSSA artillery pages for a lot of info.
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  6. #6
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    Muzzleloading Cannon's require Black Powder "Cannon Powder" or if 3 /4" bore 1F Anything else would be suicide!
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Thanks all . Dang that sub powder ain't good for anything ! Lol
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

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    A few years ago at one of our shoots, the candy cannon was brought out to launch treats for the kids. It has around a five inch bore. We loaded it up with 100 gr. Pyrodex, about what we usually load for BP. Lit the fuse, cannon goes "pook", and the payload lands about a foot in front of the muzzle. Funny as all get out to see. We went back to BP and launches successfully. We also learned to not put Tootsie Roll Pops in the payload. They turn into little guided missiles on the way down and and whack a head pretty good. Little Snickers are the preferred fodder!
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    A few years ago at one of our shoots, the candy cannon was brought out to launch treats for the kids. It has around a five inch bore. We loaded it up with 100 gr. Pyrodex, about what we usually load for BP. Lit the fuse, cannon goes "pook", and the payload lands about a foot in front of the muzzle. Funny as all get out to see. We went back to BP and launches successfully. We also learned to not put Tootsie Roll Pops in the payload. They turn into little guided missiles on the way down and and whack a head pretty good. Little Snickers are the preferred fodder!
    Be sure to use real grapes for grapeshot!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Tootsie Rolls also melt. Hard candy only. One year at a CSMLA activity the cannon used wasn't a candy cannon. It was overloaded, the tootsie rolls clumped up into a single projectile and was never found. A squirrel was killed by a tootsie that flew off on its own.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Back when I was in college , we had a party in our apartment complex.
    We took a small cannon I had , put a light powder charge in it and Fired Hot Dogs off my balcony out to the pool that was about 75 yards away.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAGS View Post
    Back when I was in college , we had a party in our apartment complex.
    We took a small cannon I had , put a light powder charge in it and Fired Hot Dogs off my balcony out to the pool that was about 75 yards away.
    Now thats funny!
    six

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub flagman1776's Avatar
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    I used 3F in tabletop minis cannons. 2F up to 1" I used Goex cannon for 1 1/4", 1.5", 1.75" (GOLF BALL). I used to make up duplex loads with pine sawdust for smokey salute type loads. Gave something of a pleasant nutty smell.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Here is my little cannon, my supervisor is scrutinizing my handy Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Well, if you have one of the small bore scale model size cannons, that is around .50 caliber or smaller, then the BP substitutes ought to work OK. Not sure about .75 caliber though. But for the bigger ones you really need to use BP and Cannon BP where required. I think the main problem is the ignition source. The BP substitutes need a fairly strong and powerful ignition source, such as a 209 shotgun primer. Most all of the cannons use a flash hole or a fuse. Not too many were using flintlock adapters and I don't remember seeing anyone with a primer adapter on their cannons.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    Wow, the candy cannon. I didn’t realize that was a real thing! I’d done it myself when my older son turned four. My wife and I put on a pirate themed birthday for him. The kids were all dressed up and we did pirate themed games for them. The grand finale was when I brought out the “candy cannon”. Mine is a lathe turned steel cannon that was bored to fit the old frozen orange juice cans from back in the 70’s that were filled with cement. It’s just under a 2” bore.
    I loaded 200 grains of powder and newspaper wad and a bunch of tootsie rolls. I pointed it nearly vertical and it blew tootsie rolls higher than the trees and smoldering tootsies came raining down in the yard for the kids to pick up. Kids had fun chasing them but didn’t eat any. Tootsie rolls in sooty and singed wrappers mustn’t look to appetizing.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    We put too much powder in the cannon once and blew the candy right out of the wrappers.
    Aim small, miss small!

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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