Explosive Cannonballs

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sgtsquid

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Col. Batguano

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It just says "explosive charge" but I'm sure there is greater definition somewhere as to what is and isn't allowed for an explosive substance. I'm pretty sure the fireworks show guys that shoot explosive shells use BP, but I could be wrong too.

Model rockets use a discharge charge to deploy the parachutes. And I understand the 20mm Lahti anti-tank gun has explosive rounds that are right there at the 1/4 oz mark.
 
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sgtsquid

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It just says "explosive charge" but I'm sure there is greater definition somewhere as to what is and isn't allowed for an explosive substance. I'm pretty sure the fireworks show guys that shoot explosive shells use BP, but I could be wrong too.

Model rockets use a discharge charge to deploy the parachutes. And I understand the 20mm Lahti anti-tank gun has explosive rounds that are right there at the 1/4 oz mark.
I guess I read it too fast and missed the "explosive" part. I lokoed it up when I was looking at the hand mortar kit from TRS and figuring out if I could get away with shooting live grenades in it. I suspect this thread is starting to make Zonie a little nervous by now.
 

SOLANCO

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SOLANCO

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"incendiary" generally has to do with starting fires. Although you could surely start a fire with black powder that certainly doesn't define it.
I'd want something official in writing from ATF before I started messing about with exploding small charge BP projectiles.
Never met a bureaucrat who felt bound by what he said, vs. what his boss wants now.
 

sgtsquid

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"incendiary" generally has to do with starting fires. Although you could surely start a fire with black powder that certainly doesn't define it.
I'd want something official in writing from ATF before I started messing about with exploding small charge BP projectiles.
Never met a bureaucrat who felt bound by what he said, vs. what his boss wants now.
It also says explosive, but I missed that skimming it the first time.
 

smoothshooter

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Good morning.
I searched the forums here but didn't find an explanation. My apologies if this has been discussed before.

How are Cannonballs made to be explosive?
I would think loading them with powder would be problematic as the cannon discharged, the powder within would ignite from the heat.

I'm just curious how it was done.

Thanks,
Doc Ivory
The heat would be of such short duration that the temperature of the ball would be little changed.
 

Okie Hog

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Civil War artillery crews sometimes experienced an in bore premature detonation: Sometimes that would destroy the gun.
 

tenngun

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Thanks for the information but, linen and hemp fabric also burns and burning was the subject of my comment. :)
Navy ships had large crews as needed to fight the ship. What did you do with a ton of men when the ship wasn’t fighting?
0400 up, hammocks down and in to racks then swab deck.
Break fast for the off watch when done, off watch relived on watch, 0800 watch change, ships company exercised the guns, practiced sail drill, or pulled down and reset up mast. Sails were taken off and then rebent on. Lunch 1130 to 1230 then back to practice. Sails yards and mast could be all taken down in just a few hours by a well trained crew.
Sails were routinely swapped out, light canvas for heavier storm canvas.
Going back up a little slower.
unlike ships trading iron at sea bombs had removed all fire threat save the lower mast itself
 

Stephen_D

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Through most of muzzleloading cannon era cannons shot non exploding shot. Shells busting on the field of battle or explosions going on all over sailing ships is a myth. ...
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

There were definitely cannon balls exploding ABOVE Fort McHenry in 1814, 50 years before the Civil War.
 

tenngun

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And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

There were definitely cannon balls exploding ABOVE Fort McHenry in 1814, 50 years before the Civil War.
Yes there was. But European cannon started to be used cr 13-1350. Four and a half centuries before the war of 1812.
The bombs bursting in air in the poem are fired from mortars and the rocket was a new invention on the battle field at this time. Shrapnel shells had just been invented during the Napoleonic wars and most of the war only the English had them.
Cannon, though most of its history, shot non exploding shot. Even with the two centuries since shrapnel shell 2/3 of field guns history has been with no exploding shot.
 

SOLANCO

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Yes there was. But European cannon started to be used cr 13-1350. Four and a half centuries before the war of 1812.
The bombs bursting in air in the poem are fired from mortars and the rocket was a new invention on the battle field at this time. Shrapnel shells had just been invented during the Napoleonic wars and most of the war only the English had them.
Cannon, though most of its history, shot non exploding shot. Even with the two centuries since shrapnel shell 2/3 of field guns history has been with no exploding shot.
Patrick OBrians novels of the Royal Navy in the time of the Napoleonic Wars get high marks for historical accuracy. In his battle descriptions the damage done by non explosive cannon balls is illuminating. And the damage to flesh and blood is often lagniappe for the opponent who had laid his guns in the hope of dismasting or disabling his foe.
I think the great turning of the tide in the use of cannon delivery of HE and worse was the 1st World War. Did it happen before? Sure. But WWI introduced the wholesale butchery of modern weapons. In particular cannons and machine guns. And if I remember correctly, cannons delivered gas warfare to the front.
I am sorry for getting out of the ML era, but cannon delivery of HE ordinance from muzzle loaders was nothing like what we think of today.
 
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Auldjin

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There were definitely cannon balls exploding ABOVE Fort McHenry in 1814, 50 years before the Civil War.
Surely not cannon balls but shells from the bomb vessels of the Royal Navy.

In the field, I think I am correct in saying, shells were only used with howitzers in Napoleonic times although cannon would use grape and canister.
 

ugly old guy

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Both sides in the Civil War had hollow cannon balls filled with powder and steel or lead balls, and a fuse that was lit when the gun was fired.
(fuse was placed breech end when loaded. length and speed of fuse burn determined time before the ball exploded.)
Grape Shot, Canister, and Solid cannon balls were all common. The target determined which was used.
Both sides had (primitive by today's standards) rockets, too.
 

Whitworth

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(fuse was placed breech end when loaded. length and speed of fuse burn determined time before the ball exploded.)
Sorry but that's incorrect, CW fuse type balls were strapped to a wooden sabot with the timed burn fuse placed toward the muzzle, the muzzle flash from the cannon igniting the fuse when the projectile exited the bore. Loading so as to expose the fused end to the main charge wouldn't go well at all.
 

nagantino

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But how is a hollow cannon ball made. Solid ball easy enough but how is a hollow ball achieved?
 

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