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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for ideas or help on making or sourcing large moulds for lead. Miniball type 3" muzzle loading riffled cannon.
Reenactors help needed please.

Thank you for your help, Aaron
 

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Are these for display, or do they actually intend to fire them? Period rifled artillery ammunition was usually cast iron with either a lead base (Parrott) or center band (Hotchkiss) that was forced into the groves of the rifling upon firing. The Shenkl projectile used papier-mache. Iron is going to be much less expensive.
 

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Great Beard`s is a very knowledgeable forum like here only the focus is Cannons ,Mortars ,medieval Handggone`s ,life line launchers of the past . Quite good resource for BP artillery owners .
About the mold two blocks of iron/steel ,keyed and the profile lathe cut in them ,i would make the pour spru the nose , then a round plug that fits the ID of the blocks goes in the bottom of to form the hollow base just like some shot gun slug mold only Bigger much Bigger LOL !! I have been around the forum there for a long while and i have never seen someone suggest a Minnie ball projectile ,solid bolts yes !! Personally i would ask those guys about it and show them what you are shooting (material , thickness at critical points .....) i would Love to see some pictures :cool: !! They will be able to give you a really well thought out assessment of the idea and safety in shooting with what ya got , they are to muzzle stuffers what we are to 1919`s and the like !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have read many of the posts longer ago when I was researching about cannons in general. Had the hope to build a sliding breach loading 40mm using a section of Bofers barrel and a 1 ton military Axel. I made a big regrettable mistake I should have bought one of the cannons from John's collection. Springfield Aresnal invited me over to check out an MG tripod he had I might be interested in. I was blown away by the whole experience getting the full tour of his artillery collection and demil and ordinance surplus warehouse. Then he drove me to two more warehouses of more cannon and ordinance material. I ended up with three tripods over several visits and then stopped running into him and could not reach him anymore. I hoped maybe one day I'd find one of those little 50mm mountain guns. Three years later I see a poster inside of Knob Creek for his cannon collection getting auctioned and assumed John was downsizing. Many of you may have seen and enjoyed his youtube videos by the user ( cannonmn).
He was a neat guy not your typical , who knows more about military rocketry and ordinance than anyone I knew, but that is not saying much. But his real passion was antique cannons. The one thing you walk away from seeing a cannon collection is you have to have lots of storage space, trailers a place to shoot and a helpful dedicated team and good health before you go down that rabbit hole, oh and alot of play cash. You might have some of those things but you need them all or it doesn't work.

That said last year a friend who own's the property and hosts the Lost River MG shoot in WV tells us someone stopped by and wanted to offer a cannon for sale. Sunday afternoon this huge trailer rolls in and this guy opens the trailer and there is something quite big inside, it didn't take long before everyone stops and walks over to see our jaws drooling. We thought there was going to be some homemade tiny tube cannon. Well, dang strapped down taking up most of the room inside of the trailer is a 3" ordinance cannon on an extra beefy #1 field carriage maybe a #2 I dont know. A deal gets cut and he rolls it out and its beaming beautiful. The guy has about 16 cast shells with charges proof tested at three distances and guarantee to hit a two foot / two foot board at 1000 yards repetitively. The guy leaves and we ask the new owner he is going to shoot it. He said he didn't know anything about cannons but maybe one day, well the guys with us are shooting BP mortars and mini golfball cannons aren't going to let this golden opportunity disappear. So we volunteer to check it and shoot it, yes I happen to have a new roll of cannon fuse because you never know when someone will roll up with a 3" ordinance cannon and no fuse. First shot blows out the cross member between windows on a car. The second shot blows a 10" hole through the door and 8" out the other side. Third shot places high on the fender and buckles the hood. There is no way to describe the involuntary smile that instantly gets forced on your face after every shot of a big cannon.
Essentially we are looking to match the same dimensions of the shells we have and already have the powder charge to match a good load. We need to make more shells this is too much fun. Sorry for the long story but you can see my enthusiasm has breed new life for cannons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here it is. I dont have any pictures of the shells but they were not complicated in form. Similar in fact to some casting I've seen on John's video's. Maybe minnie ball is the wrong term for cannon ordinance diffinately hollow base. Gas pressures forces the skirt or base to expand biting into the riffling and creates a more positive gas seal. Also you dont need a patch around the projo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks osier. I'm more interested in a mould at the moment I think this cannon deserves that as a critical piece of equipment. I'm on the right track, been discovering NSSA artillery and want to be adopted by an artillery crew.
 
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