wadding for blank loads

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I have a naval cannon coming and wanted to hear about blank loads. Barrel is steel .75 caliber and about 15 inches long. 75 grains of FFg Goex should do it but I always read about newspaper for wadding. I live in Southern California. I spent 9 days at the forest fire in Julian a few years ago and don't want to shoot flaming newspaper out of the barrel. Any suggestions for non-flamable wadding? Thanks GS SDFD
 

donk

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I have a one inch navel gun. I try to be very careful when shooting parade loads. I usually use a little damp newspaper. It can still smolder a little so you want to find your wade and stomp it out. With your .75 cal you might try shot wads for a Brown Bess trade gun. The key is just to be careful about where you shoot it and never use dirt or wet grass and leaves as a wad. This is the makings of a pipe bomb and can me very dangerous.
 

robinghewitt

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donk said:
never use dirt or wet grass and leaves as a wad. This is the makings of a pipe bomb and can me very dangerous.
Could you explain that a bit? :hmm:

I'm a great believer in grass clippings, thought it was 100% safe :shocked2:
 

Cpt Ed

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The Cannon School and Matt Switlik's book "The More Complete Cannoneer" all recommend not using any wadding at all.

A well-wrapped charge in heavy-duty aluminum foil will give you enough of a report to safely keep you happy.

In over 30 years of shooting muzzle-loading cannons of all calibers I have never used any wadding.
 

coehornboy

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I have read and have been told that WET anything as wadding is not safe, as it greatly increases bore pressure the same as a projectile, and this can be extremely dangerous as many folks load more powder in for a blank than what they would use for a projectile. In many cases, wet wadding may be even harder to push out of a barrel than a projectile.

I have fired many blank loads without wadding (I just gently tamp the powder in place) with a resulting loud report. For wadding, I have only used dry clover (oxalis), which grows like a weed. There is something in the oxalis that prevents it from igniting, and according to a "knowledgeable source," it was used in medieval times as wadding for such a reason.

Anyone else heard of the clover as wadding theory, or is it yet another old wives tale??
 

robinghewitt

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coehornboy said:
In many cases, wet wadding may be even harder to push out of a barrel than a projectile.
It will certainly obturate, unlike an iron ball, but in the UK ML cannon barrels are proofed with lead shot which also obturates.

If the only worry with fresh grass is that some twit will put in more than the service charge of powder, I feel surprisingly safe :winking:

To get a boom with a powder only charge I believe the blast front moving up the bore has to try and exceed the speed of sound. That's a lot of powder when you go above 2-3 inches :hmm:
 

HarborMaster

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Personally I have never gotten much with powder only pfwooooothit :blah: We have used newspaper successfully and not a problem. however to use a non flammable you picked a funny sport. Grass I have heard is what some in the civil war used for wadding., in some cases thats all there was and plenty of it. Myself I dont want to polute our marina therefore we will be using Nipa palm., shredded and a few days old dry time. This will not polute the marina and provide some more pressure than powder alone.,and get a bang., we will start with a small amount and work our way a little more till we get the report that we are used to hearing.,then stop. And we will know what that particular gun needs. I have to play with 4 differant bore sizes on 11 cannons for the resort.
You cant hurt yourself if you start small and work up a bit from there keeping track of the loads. KNOW YOUR GUN. :thumbsup: and remember the easiet way out is thru the bore. Its pretty hard to compromise the breech of a cannon if its built pretty heavy at the breach.
 

John Taylor

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I used paper at one time but after setting a good size fire with some home made powder things had to change. It wasn't the paper that started the fire but some real slow burning powder. fire from the muzzel to the target 100 yards away. Most of the time for blanks I use grass, no mess to clean up. I have never had much luck making a boom without wadding.
 

donk

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I was told of a story a couple of years ago where some anibriated cannoneer at a large rendezvous was shooting parade loads using a combination of dirt and wet grass. The combination created a blockage in the barrel and it exploded destroying about a dozen lodges. fortunatly no one was badly hurt but it could have turned out very bad had there been alot of people around when it happened.
 

robinghewitt

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I hear what you're saying, but wouldn't it be a shame to stop everyone using a good wad like freshly mown grass on anecdotal evidence.

For all we know the exploding cannon might have been made out of car body filler and bailing wire.
 

robinghewitt

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In a .75 you can get a good bang without wadding. As soon as the blast wave hits the speed of sound the air will start to push back hard and you'll get a good pressure up by the time it reaches the muzzle :thumbsup:
 

andrellj

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I don't use wadding in small replicas either. They don't take very much powder. But my 1.75 bore uses 600gr. and damp newspaper or else it's no longer practical. Even 600 gr. doesn't always work, sometimes it goes swoosh and there's more smoke than anything. When it goes good, there's a loud bang and alot less smoke. My Yorktown mortar is only a 1 inch bore with a half inch sub-chamber and even that takes 150gr ffg to make a bang without paper. The thing has to be filled up to a half inch from the muzzle! Otherwise it just makes a woosh. My .50 cal 1:8 scale 6pdr. takes 60grns to make a nice pop. The max recommended load for the mortar is 20grns with a projectile and 10grns with a projectile for the 6pdr. These loads are a lot more than double the max, but they don't pop otherwise. I guess lenght of barrel makes a difference. The mortar is maybe 3 1/2 inches and the other's maybe 8 inches at most.
I know this doesn't sound too safe, but I wear eye & ear protection, leather gloves and lay behind a small rise when firing.
 

HarborMaster

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I only use 140 gr. in our 1" bore guns and get a Huge Bang everytime.,enough you can feel a bit of concussion. We use 1/2 a sheet of newspaper., 2 -1/4's one and tamp twice then the other and tamp twice. And it consumes far less powder. Unless we are at the marina or on the water., then Nipa Palm. But either way we prepare a wadding of some type. You get lots more pressure and its far more conservative.

Also we use aluminum foil however there is always a piece left in the barrel for us so we worm it out between rounds (The piece seating at the breach). :thumbsup:
 

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