First post and question

Discussion in 'Cannon' started by Dirk Pitt, Jun 16, 2019.

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  1. Jun 16, 2019 #1

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

    32 Cal

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    Like the title states this is my very first post here I just joined today looking forward to all the good information on here .

    Now for the question I sort of inherited a small black powder mortar. It is a nice little set up with the barrel fixed at 45° and the walls of the tube itself are at least a half inch thick steel. It has a small flash hole in the bottom that accommodates common cannon fuse. I have not fired it but I saw a video of it being fired it shoots tennis balls which fit perfectly inside so it’s roughly 3 inches in diameter and the barrel is only maybe 10 inches long. Sorry no pics as of right now. Looks fun and all the goodies came with it except for powder, but my question to you guys does this require some type of a license or whatever some paperwork ? It is definitely a garage build type device but before I did anything with it I want to make sure that I don’t need some type of paperwork with it.
    Thanks for the help
     
  2. Jun 16, 2019 #2

    arcticap

    arcticap

    arcticap

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    I don't believe that you need any paperwork but I don't know what your state or local laws are about buying one and shooting it off either.
    Some states treat any muzzle loader the same as a regular weapon so you should never trust the internet to answer legal questions, even my advice, do you understand?
    It's legal in most states and places.
    Rather than asking where you live, you can always ask your state or local police, and if you don't like the answer then ask for a supervisor or call the state attorney general's office.

    The most important thing is to realize that there can be local ordinances against firing it off just like with a weapon, and also noise ordinances.
    For instance, if a neighbor complains that you're firing it off too close to their house or a dwelling.
    If it's considered to be like a gun, then you may need to be a minimum distance away by law, if it's allowed to be fired off within your town limits at all.
    So why not ask your local police what the law is in your jurisdiction?
    Call from another phone if you feel safer asking anonymously.
    A person needs to make sure that any projectile stays on their property or off other people's land unless they have the owner's permission, preferably in writing.
    Bombarding a neighbor's property without permission can lead to a complaint and possibly charges of reckless endangerment by preventing others the full use of their property or by creating a risk of injury.
    So one needs to be very careful to respect the property rights of others and local noise ordinances where they apply.
    Also, just as if a rock band were playing and disturbing the neighbors, they can complain about nuisance noise and not being allowed to enjoy the peaceful use of their property.
    That can happen if people make too much noise in the wrong setting.
    If you live in a rural area, have your own land or have friendly neighbors then none of this may apply to you.
    But since you asked, then beware of shooting it off even on public land.
    If someone complains or gets injured then you can be held liable.
    Welcome to the forum! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  3. Jun 16, 2019 #3

    Treestalker

    Treestalker

    Treestalker

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    Hello, Dirk; please be aware of how little powder it takes to fire a mortar; just a little bit can send a projectile hundreds of yards. Also be aware of peripheral areas, mortars can shoot to one side or the other easily. Also be aware that the projectile can remain in the air for up to say, 30 seconds, and reach a considerable height. Please be careful, you can get in a pickle faster with a mortar and good intentions than you can with any other type of muzzleloader. We want you to be around. Alive. And free.
     
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  4. Jun 17, 2019 #4

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

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    Thanks to all, I will follow all the advice written here starting tomorrow!
     
  5. Jun 17, 2019 #5

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    In an of itself, owning it is probably not a problem.... as Arcticap wrote, the noise might be a problem and you might be considered using a pyrotechnic device [fireworks] if you fire it on July 4th.

    Liability for launching a tennis ball..., I don't think the mortar matters. Just ask yourself if you tee'd off with a driver and a golf ball in your back yard, and it came down in the neighbor's yard, would you be responsible for anything it damaged? A kid hits a baseball in the neighborhood, and it breaks a window? Same idea with the tennis ball mortar, though the tennis ball probably wouldn't cause that much damage as a tennis ball, but if it ignited from the powder charge :confused: that might change what it did on impact.

    OH and you can launch fireworks shells from such a mortar so long as they are not super snug. The problem is they will come down very close to the ground or actually land before they burst. Which IS fun, but when not in a country setting with high fire danger, not a good idea. and Yes they do go odd directions. Best to use shells with a long fuse.

    LD
     
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  6. Jun 17, 2019 #6

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    I might say, don't try to experiment with your mortar and try to shoot something heavier than a tennis ball.

    With a small powder load the tennis ball won't create much internal barrel pressure but with a heavy object like a can of pop, those pressures can be very high and that 1/2" barrel wall may not be strong enough to contain it. If the wall blows out you have the makings of a grenade complete with shrapnel.
     
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  7. Jun 21, 2019 #7

    Capn' D

    Capn' D

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    I wanted to double down on tree stalkers comments! It takes about 25 grains of powder to push a 3lb lead ball 200 yards. It is extremely easy to throw one downrange, far beyond where you can see it or control where it falls. Once in the 80's, firing five mortars in a battery and with a mountain as a backstop we fired one over the mountain and landed the ball somewhere over into an uncontrolled area of National Forest. We could not figure it out because the angle and charge were the same but it traveled about twice as far. We kept firing mortars for years but adopted lightweight projectiles unless we had a mile or so of visible field in front of us. Also, you mentioned "garage build" in your first statement. Be very, very wary of home built tube of any kind.
     
  8. Jun 21, 2019 #8

    Stony Broke

    Stony Broke

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    I built one once and had a lot of use out of it. I took a tape measure to Wal Mart with me, and settled on some larger cans of chicken noodle soup as projectiles. I bought a good quantity of them and they were fun. Using a measure that held about 100 grains of powder it would normally put the can up out of sight, but we could normally see them on the way down. Occasionally one of the cans wouldn't hold together and we could spread noodles out over a large area and the air would smell of soup for a while.
    I lost a good friend about 10 yrs. ago, and we spread his ashes over a muzzleloading range using the same mortar....it just took about half a dozen shots with the ashes in zip lock bags.
     
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  9. Jun 22, 2019 #9

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

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    Thanks for all the great advice, while I live semi rural still too many neighbors. I will just take it to the desert next time I go and try it there. And that won’t be for awhile.
     
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  10. Jun 22, 2019 #10

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt

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    And Stony Broke sorry about your friend, sounds like you gave him a great send off.
     
  11. Jun 23, 2019 #11

    WRustyLane

    WRustyLane

    WRustyLane

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    And welcome to the forum, Dirk Pitt. Yeah, the desert is a good place to launch tennis balls out of a mortar.
     
  12. Jun 27, 2019 #12

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    Does your mortar look like this one? I shot pop cans full of concrete out of mine. a 1 oz charge of Fg gives me a range of about 450 yards. mortar.jpg Mortar 2.jpg
     
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  13. Jul 3, 2019 #13

    Capn' D

    Capn' D

    Capn' D

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    Hardest thing about these is that the correct charges tend to be so small that when a tiny powder bag is placed in the breech, you almost can't hit it with a vent pick or fuse. I've never figured out a really, safe way to load these. Currently, I use tons of water between shots, clean completely, dry completely, and now have a short tweezers like tool I can use from the muzzle end to insert a tiny charge with the fuse already in it. Firecracker-like
     
  14. Jul 4, 2019 #14

    steam1993

    steam1993

    steam1993

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    Dirk

    I agree with the above comments. My mortar is 5.8in bore, and i do live fire demons here in my home state of Minnesota, i have lost 5 cannon balls at $75 each due to wind and they weigh 20 pounds.
    In my mortar, 1oz powder is for appox 100 yards and i have a max range of 1/2 mile.
    As for powder you can use 1f or 2f black powder only, pyrodex does not work in my mortar.

    Any questions just ask

    THE photo is part of my collection, as i have added another ships cannon to it.
     

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