cannon blanks

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J.D. said:
I was taught to make cartridges and quills as you mention, with the exeption of the wax paper inside the foil.
CP said:
I prefer to use wax paper, but this is wrapped in foil. The ends of the wax paper tube are folded.
I believe you misunderstood me, as you can see, I said that the wax paper is wrapped inside the foil.

CP
 

andrellj

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CP, I don't recall where I read this but another issue with plastic bagies is when a misfire occurs, water may not reach the charge to destroy it. I even recall a particullar case where flour was used as the wad and the charge was also wrapped in a baggie, then alluminum and placed backwards down the bore. The quill set the flour smoldering for a loooooooong time and no one was about to try dumping water down the bore untill it went out, and finally when the charge was pulled (10 hours later) the powder in the baggie was still dry as a bone! BOTTOM LINE IS THESE ARE NOT TOYS, AND THERE IS GREAT RISK IN OUR HOBBY, USE COMMON SENSE AND BE VERY CAREFUL! This is artillery, there is NO surefire way of elliminating the risk factor. cb
 

TheDoubleD

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The water isn't supposed to go down the muzzle it supposed to go down the vent. Best under a bit of pressure.

I have heard the theorizing about the plastic bag matter plugging the vent and water not getting to the charge because the baggy for 25 or so odd years. I myself have never experienced a problem with the bag matter plugging the vent. And I haven't seen anyone else with the problem either. Doesn't mean others haven't had a problem. But since I only use small scale guns and smaller vents it would seem the liklyhood of there being a problem would increase.

I have seen a couple of different setups for flooding the breech. Different types of Veterinary syringes for the small cannons. Fellow in Northern California has a beautiful old brass hand pump fire extinguisher with a various different hose fitting to pump water into the breech through the vent. Some to screw into the vent liner hole or nipple hole. Most with a long tube that goes down into the charge to get the water where it needs to be.
 

andrellj

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Your absolutely right.
I should have also given more details. If the charge were placed in a baggie,then inside a tube made of aluminum foil closed at one end and the flour poured in over top and sealed. Placed down the barrel backwards, the charge was never even pricked. As to how it was flooded I don't remember all the details but I remember it saying no one wanted to go anywhere near it well after it stoped smoking and then they flooded the bore. How they flooded the bore beats me. They explained how their charge was prepared and that they won't do it like that again. Whether he meant using a baggie or flour as a damper I don't know either. But I stay clear of the muzzle until I get it fired.
I also dont have a full scale piece. My tube is only a golfball bore on a homemade garrisson truck. When I had a misfire, I crawled up to my cannon from behind and to the side so my face wasn't overtop of the vent, I pricked the charge again, reprimed with a fuse, light it and retired. My vent pick is a 16" piece of coat hanger bent 90 degrees and too short to reach the bottom of the bore through the charge. I use a 3' piece of dowel with a hole in the end for a cigarette to light the fuse. The other end of the dowel has two grooves carved around it, like the end of my Rifles ram rod. I use Facecloth's I buy at the dollar store for patches and they're reusable. Wash 'em. I wear a thick pair of winter leather work gloves, heavily insulated. A cane works for my ramer when loading only. My hands are never directly in the line of fire. Eye and ear protection are a no brainer.
When my friends watch me fire my cannons, they say I look like I'm on my way to outer space with me muffs and gloves and everything else, but the minute it goes off they see exactly why and I'm the only one laughing. :)
My friend (retired) worked for CTV station as a camera man for a show called "travel travel". He tried his hand as a stunt double once and he stood about 10 feet in front of a shotgun loaded with a "blank". The wad popped out his right eye and tore back about 4" of skin next to his eye. Through some sort of miracle his eye was put back but lost 90% of its use and the scar is something else.If only he learned somewhere other than from his mistake. That was only a shotgun. :shocked2:
 

ricklandes

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Although I did not get a sworn in testimony for the gent, I believe the conversation (with regard to alum. projectiles) came up within the context of a discussion from an item in "The Artilleryman" periodical. Specifically within the context of referring to scheduled events in the NSSA for southern Wisconsin Northern IL area events. I believe it was sopecifically the twisted "pig-tail" on the end of the charge that was of most concern, but alum wrapped charges were not allowed. I do think MR. CLAYPIPES clipping of the end has it's merits. I had used a UHMW mold form a cell to drop charges into for wrap charges. (Regardless, that's my story and I am stickin' to it :)

I have never had any "crusty-ness" from cornmeal was as wadding material, although I do agree with the potential for a fire hazzard with a bit of newsprint 'tween powder and projectile. I have heard of people using grasses, green leaves, etc. as people have many opinions.

The procedure I use was taught to me by a gent who was a trained artillaryman. His training as a cannon crew member was based on procedures from those from "The Artilleryman"

Also, does anyone weigh each charge or are you using a volume measure? I always like to scale mine. "Caution being the better part of valor..."

I main point is these are a potentially dangerous item and I appreciate all the input from the group. :bow:
 

ricklandes

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The issue of the crustiness I noted in JD's info. The cornmeal I use is quite fine, near wheat flour grade.

I may not have been clear with the earplugs in that I keep those on hand as a back-up. Personally, I prefer plugs and a gel filled set of muffs.
 
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