a real cannon

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by RevSee4, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    Hello all. Well I did not know where to post this so I will inflict my dreams on the smiths' ha ha. There was a time say maybe 20 years ago if you mentioned that one day there would be a popular .50 BMG semi automatic built and sold, you might get funny looks. So don’t laugh too hard when I ask this; Would it be possible to build a fairly lightweight say comparable to common .50 BMG's 20 mm shoulder fired or bi-pod rifle or smooth bore?

    I know that it would have to have a mother or all dampers built in somewhere ! And it probably would have to be built from some exotic metals and composites. I am not asking if it would be practical (most fun things aren’t eh) …just asking if it would be semi practical ! Would it be legal?

    Thanks in advance for your opinions.

    Rev
     
  2. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Attached Files:


  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Anything using a self contained cannon type shell is a nfa weapon considered a destruuctive devvice all nfa rules apply.

    I donnt think a cannonbal type gun you find on pirate shipss fall underr those rules.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    When you exceed .50 cal, unless you can demonstrate a "sporting use", such as the 12 g shotgun, or .600 Nitro Express, you are building a "Destructive Device." This is a Class III firearm, regulated by the BATFE. If you do not do the paperwork first, no problem. You will have 10 years to fill out the paperwork. :rolleyes: Your new roomate, Bubba, may help with the paperwork.

    There WAS a gent building a single shot that fired the 30mm round used in the GAU-8 gun on the Warthog. He came to the attention of authorities when he had an accidental discharge and blew up a gas station in Northern VA. :eek: Not joking, it happened. Put a round into the gas pumps.

    Anzio Ironworks is currently building a 20mm rifle.

    As far as exotic materials and buffers- no, not really. Check the Mauser 1918-T Gewehr of World War I, and the Soviet PTRD or PTRS-41 of WW II.
     
  5. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    Hi my friend. I am ex military (101st airborne) and I also worked at aero jet in Jonesborough TN as an machinist metallurgy ‘consultant’* making the (first that I know of ) 20mm anti tank rounds from depleted uranium in the mid 70‘s. Which were basically a big plastic coated bullet made from DU.

    Then in the military I shot a 20mm cannon and this one anyway, the ammo looked like a huge .50 cal. Anyway its different than a cannon ball! However a shotgun type device did shoot whatever one could cram in the barrel back in the day of Mr Blue Beard and on up into fairly modern history, the 1800’s (just guessing). Thanks for your reply!

    * A fancy name for someone the machinist asked technical questions, I was still a student back then!

    rev
     
  6. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    Ha ha yes, man blew up a gas station! Wow Additionally, I think I would have checked the laws before attempting a prototype. 30mm eh? Is the 20mm round now obslelete? I was fairly sure one would have to have a 'tax stamp' for something like that. Thanks for the good info and I will hit the web after this!

    Rev
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    No, the 20 mm is still around, in a couple of forms- mainly aircraft cannon. But the GAU-8 designed around a 30 mm round for punching holes ALL THE WAY THRU a tank- and it seems to do that quite well. There is also a 25 mm cannon in the form of the Hughes Chain Gun used on the M2 Bradley.

    As long as we are looking at doing really insane things with firearms, there was the 40 mm Bofors cannon from WW II........
     
  8. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    40mm! Ear protection mandatory! (even with my AR). Man 40mm! That almost makes me emotional, in a love way! Ha ah ...I am into extreme things. The only bad thing is my age and my fat is now severely limiting my adventures!

    The reason I was interested in a fantasy 20 or 30 mm firearm was except for my love for firearms and anything mechanical, is that I think it would make a splendid addition for a Jeffersonian defense. I suppose I am paranoid, but I simply don’t trust government. Not that I think they will try anything dumb, no, our slavery will be won by a thousand cuts enabled by our apathy and ignorance. But I am getting off topic, and thanks for the info and especially the trivia..

    rev
     
  9. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I may or may not know a person who may or may not have built a cannon out of an old Cat D8 dozer axle two pieces of angle iron and some pins.

    The axle may or may not have been cut to aprox 24" in length and using a deep hole drill or small boring bar it may or may not have been bored to just over .690" in dia for 22" of the the axle length. Then 2.250" forward of the rear of the axle it may or may not have had a flash like hole sized to fit typical cannon fuse you can buy in the sporting goods store. It may or may not have been used on the fourth of July for noise. It has never fired a projectile other than wadded up paper.
     
  10. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    Fantastic...er I mean...Wink wink ha ha...I have often wondered if axle steel would make a good gun barrel, of course you wouldnt know!

    As a side note I would love to get into making 'ceremonial' cannon, I have some black powder experience as well as some rocket motor making experience, but every time I give it serious thought I remember how forgetful I am and that does not go well with explosives eh?

    rev
     
  11. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    You can legally build muzzle-loading cannons. Bore size does not matter. Deep hole drilling is a real pain. Some people use pipe with one end welded shut but these are for light loads only and even then many don't trust them. Few have the facilities to cast their own cannon barrels. Actual useable cannons can be purchased and can be found on Ebay and other sites(both antique and new manufacture). Often sold as "signal" cannons for liability reasons. Shooting cannons is fun entertainment for the whole family. Maybe not the best thing for heavily populated areas. I would suggest shooting south across the border.
     
  12. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    "I would suggest shooting south across the border" My kind of guy! Ha ha. I am pretty much live and let live. I know the Mexicans and south Americans want to come here to make a life for their kids and family. If done legally I haven’t a problem with that if we have enough resources for our own first. I do think we need a stricter means test for ALL nationalities that pine to become Americans. I admire those people that have saved up cash and truly want to become American citizen, its flattering by proxy.

    What I detest is those Mexicans etc that will not learn English and that couldn’t care less about THEIR new country, their new culture and history etc. Or even worse I truly detest* the MS-13 type of murderous gangbanging thugs that terrorize our long term citizens…ahhh’ reckon I digress eh?


    *(I know this hate harms my Christian faith but sometimes making a whip out of cord is necessary)

    rev

    Oh almost forgot the on topic thing! Yes I toyed with the idea of making low yield cannon for the bang. Then there was the time I was interested in HARP…Hey thanks for the technical advice! I have decided if I really want a large cal. Weapon I will save for a couple decades and buy a .50 BMG and wait on someone to do the development work on the 20 > 30 mm. By then I might be safely in my grave by them where my wants won’t hurt me…
     
  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Legally (as far as the Feds) a cannon that uses loose powder, is loaded from the muzzle, etc, is not a firearm, nor a destructive device. If you want to sit down with 500 pounds of brass, and a really sharp pocket knife, and whittle yourself a Napoleon smoothbore, you can do it. I made a canon for salutes for a friend when he got a boat (48 footer). Lathe turned the barrel from brass, bored with a .750 bit. While is intended for signalling, it will hum a 12 g slug thru a few 2x6s. If you want to scale it up, select a bore diameter that will accept an aluminum beer can. Other than stealing the pile of cannonballs from the cannon down at the courthouse, ammo is very hard to find- and a beer can filled with concrete will do a 1000 yards easy.

    Of course, there IS the Bowling Ball Mortar- start with a scrapped oxygen tank and a bowling ball.......
     
  14. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    An oxygen tank eh? Yes they would have to be made from good steel! I would be afraid I would may hurt someone with that (accidentally of course!) bowling ball mortar, the range would have to be a half a mile or more! I love pyrotechnics, rocketry and even chemistry that is related to those things, still they make me nervous if they of my own design! The reason I was thinking smooth bore is because many of the the hi velocity tank cannon does not use a rifled bore, and of course the ease of making a sooth bore vs. a rifled bore. If I were going to really attempt to make a 20mm I would probably search out a salvageable cannon barrel, and a few choice parts from surplus, then maybe use a .50 BMG bolt action 'receiver'. Unless I had won the lottery, and could design and have built everything from scratch!

    Part of the reason I began thinking about the 20mm rifle or high velocity smooth bore is the success of the .50 BMG, especially as a sniper rifle. It seems if a .50 is good a 20mm would be very good! Maybe the .50 is the limit of a snipers needs. However we see constant development of faster, more powerful, more accurate and sometimes smaller cal. Bullets and firearms for sniper use.

    As a layperson I don’t even know if the ballistics and range of the 20 mm is better than the BMG, I was just guessing. I do remember asking a similar question around 35 years ago to a knowledgeable person (in the army) why a .50 bmg sniper rifle is not on the market etc. The reply was that the .50 was too big, too heavy, and not practical (between laughing at me) Ha ha.. So I am still asking those questions eh?

    Thanks for all your replies and advivce* this is a great forum.

    RevC4

    Advice this good usally costs me!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  15. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    There is nothing illegal about building a muzzle loading cannon of any size.
     
  16. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    any testing of home built jobbers should be done using a very long slow fuse to give you time to get away and into cover before the bom....errr cannon goes off.

    then you got the pleasent task of deciding just when or if it is safe to reload as there could be a hot spark or two hiding in the bore. common issue with canoneers way back when.

    hurling toilets with a trebuchet sounds more fun to me than old timey canons heh.
     
  17. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    Yes that makes sense however I would guess that laws vary from state to state and from city to city about the amount of powder and where one tests it ?

    RevC4
     
  18. RevSee4

    RevSee4 New Member

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    QUOTE=JonM;519878]any testing of home built jobbers should be done using a very long slow fuse to give you time to get away and into cover before the bom....errr cannon goes off.

    then you got the pleasent task of deciding just when or if it is safe to reload as there could be a hot spark or two hiding in the bore. common issue with canoneers way back when.

    hurling toilets with a trebuchet sounds more fun to me than old timey canons heh.[/QUOTE]

    Yes I agree! I love the pumpkin throws and anything mechanical, pyrotechnics, firearms, explosives, rocketry (one of my favorites, esp hi power rockery) aeronautics, too bad (or maybe luckily) I don’t have the funds to pursue very many hobbies!

    Most of the hi dollar fireworks use mortars. As a kid I was lucky to have a mentor that steered me away from making black powder bombs and rocket motors to the pre packaged Estes rockets schooling that would steer me in the direction of chemistry etc. In the army (101st) I applied for sapper (Hence my screen name Rev C-4), but due first a colorblind situation I was relegated to and talked into ranger training and then after blowing out a knee on my first jump I was steered to a PsyOps Mos working on AG row in various posts.

    What I am getting around to is that I belive sweet Jesus has been active in my life steering me away from explosives ha ha ~ eh?

    RevC4
     
  19. triggerman770

    triggerman770 New Member

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    20 MM rifle

    here ya go. get 'em while there hot!
    20MM Take-Down Rifle - Anzio Ironworks
     
  20. PalmettoShooter

    PalmettoShooter New Member

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    keep in mind said firearm would basically be shooting 300 dollar bills...