1st mate

powder for cannons

7 posts in this topic

I have a 2/3 scale 6 pounder made by hern iron works. I am in the process of making the carriage. will post pictures next week when complete. what type of powder should I be using and how muck? I have installed a cannon lock as well. someone mentioned to me that you can get a bigger boom with tripple 7. I have read alot that goex is the better way to go. Which is more apropriate for a cannon and how much powder should I use and how should I pack it? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NEVER put a finer grade of black powder into a cannon barrel. Yes, you get a bigger boom with FFF grade, thats because the finer the grade the quicker burning it is. Quicker burning means more pressure in the barrel. Using FFF is a good way to blow up your barrel. Depending on the bore size, either cannon grade F or at most FF for the smaller bores should be used. I suggest you peruse

http://www.graybeardoutdoors.com/phpbb2/vi...34756e50afc6f0c The cannon forum there. It has information on blank loads for various bore sizes, safe ignition methods, making cartridges and a host of other very useful information.

I would also suggest you obtain a copy of "THe More Complete Cannoneer" by Switlik. Cannon are not small arms and need to treated with a LOT more respect. When small arms blow up, they rarely injur anyone else then the shooter. Cannon, however, can explode and spread fragments over a wide area. The key word with cannon is safety.

Any one else care to give the First Mate here some advice, so we don't loose a new member of the form?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stats on the gun we are speaking of are as below, I believe:

Scale -- 2/3 ; Bore -- 2 1/4 ; Length -- 43 1/2 ; Weight -- 250 ; Trunnion Diameter -- 2 3/4

With a 2 1/4 inch bore this well qualifies for the use of nothing finer than cannon grade, ever.

Cannon Mania, http://www.cannon-mania.com/black_powder.htm , is a specialty seller of cannons of all size, and gives a general guide on their web site at the address given.

And the rules/techniques for cannon firing from the American Artillery Association: http://www.cwartillery.com/marty/marty.html

They recommend no more than 2 oz. of cannon grade goex (real black powder) per inch of bore diameter, so a 2 1/4 inch bore would be 4 1/2 oz. of powder. Cannon Mania states 3 oz. for a 2 1/4 inch bore on their web site. I would start small and work up, remembering that excessive loads do not always mean more boom. Also, less per load means more shots per pound of black powder. At 4 oz. that's only four shots per pound. At $13.30 per pound (Powder inc. price/25 pound order min.) that's $3.33 per round! At 3oz you get five rounds and $2.66 per round.

That cannon will eat you out of house and home if you're not careful.

Also, most of us that have used substitutes (pyrodex, triple 7) always come back to black powder. Also, I don't think that triple 7 comes in a coarse enough grade to qualify for your cannon. Black powder is still the best and can be cleaned up with water without solvents or with a bit of dish soap added. Always oil yer piece after cleaning.

The best thing to do is find someone near you with BP cannon experience and learn from them. Anything I missed, anyone?

Edited by Captain Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say you got some very good advice from the the rest of the lot. I too have a hern 2/3 scale six pounder on a naval carriage. I've had it for over a year now and still haven't fired it but when I do I'm going to start what is termed ridiculously low. 800 grs. cannon grade as a blank load and 500grs with a 2 1/2 lbs. lead balls. I'm hoping Harbormaster is still around to show me the ropes and to keep me from blowing myself up. He knows of a place where I can shoot. Besides I've got alot of respect for his knowledge on cannons big and small.

Edited by Rusty Barrels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are about a 4 hour drive from Saint Augustine. The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is home to the oldest historical weapons demonstration program in the country (over 50 years). You can OJT on the cannons here starting on Saturday or attend the next cannon school in September. Call and ask for Joe who is the Park Ranger in charge of the historic weapons program, he can provide you with a wealth of information including load tables, cartridge construction, firing methods, etc.

Edit...

We use Goex

Edited by Joe Pyrat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There you go...just the ticket.

And I use Goex as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goex is used here on everything from my little Mortars to the much bigger cannons the Viceroy has. I use 1 oz in my 22 inch with a 1 inch bore as a blank charge and that is enough to make a very nice bang to show off. I can't imangine using twice the powder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now