10 gauge signal cannon question.

Boatninja

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I have a 10 gauge signal cannon shooting Black Powder blanks that we use for starting boat races, sea burials and various other events. My question, is there some way to create more smoke when the cannon is fired?
 
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Srgt. Hulka

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    I know nothing about that cannon, and I’m not at all advocating this, but, at the civil war re-enactments, they mix flour with the powder to get more smoke. At least that’s what one of the re-enactors told me.
     
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    lonegunman762x51

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    It makes a ton of smoke anyway. I've owned one for fifteen years. Smoke is fine but loud is better. We fired mine in a Marine reserve center parking lot to entertain the cannon cockers, it set off car alarms over 100yds away in the next buildings parking lot. My buddy then asked to borrow it for their Dining In and they fired it from the main table over the crowd. My wife worries it will crack windows so I fire it away from the house.

    Be prepared for recoil, they do roll backwards a couple of feet. They are easy to catch with your hand and stop, don't hold it when firing. The instructions point out that plenty of them rest under water after firing from a boat with no regard for recoil,hahahaha.

    Cleaning it afterwards with a bore brush, soapy water and then oiling it will make insure it lasts for years, black powder will rust the crud out of it if you are not careful.

     

    sirhrmechanic

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    I have a 10 gauge signal cannon shooting Black Powder blanks that we use for starting boat races, sea burials and various other events. My question, is there some way to create more smoke when the cannon is fired?
    Definitely need a picture. The answer is yes. But I will respond in more detail when I see a picture of the canon
     

    Downtown

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    I've heard Winchester, who produced 10 Gauge black powder blanks for years, has discontinued production and replaced them with smokeless powder.
     

    sirhrmechanic

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    Here is my 10 Ga Strong Signal cannon. It's the same company as the famous one from "Magnum" which is floating around the Interwebs with an insane price on it. I got this from a place in PA that also had a 1/3rd scale Parrot rifle by a known maker that I bought for a song! This was sitting next to it and I scarfed it up as well. Was missing parts and pretty sad. But it's all restored now.

    strong 1.jpg

    Here it is sort of for scale. Barrel is about 16" long.

    strong 2.jpg


    Here is what I use to shoot it.



    Their recipe is very good. And, voluminous clouds of smoke. I simply use cornmeal as the 'filler' But make SURE you clean your barrel very well if using black powder, especially if using a cast-iron Winchester cannon. Bronze (or in this case brass) ... it matters a lot less. But BP still leaves a mess. Warm water and dish detergent and scrub, scrub scrub!

    And, of course (and this should go without saying... but I am saying it anyway) DO NOT fire one of these with a live shotshell of any kind. Blanks only! Period! A live shotshell is a big no-no!

    Beware the Winchester cannons, BTW. The originals and the Winchester 'later production' or continuation production cannons are very good. And strong. But if they have been allowed to rust, they can have weaknesses in the barrels. Also, I have heard that there are really poor-quality replica Winchester cannons from China showing up at flea markets and antique shops/fairs. Beware of these because they are made with very inferior metal and castings. And are often sold as original. Kind of like the ripoff mechanical piggy banks that were all in vogue in the 1980's until the Chinese destroyed that market with fakes.

    Anyway... I look forward to seeing pictures of the OP's cannon! I love 'things that go boom' of all kinds!

    Cheers,

    Sirhr
     

    BullGear

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    Are you using real Black Pwoder? I don't see how you would need it more smoky than that. I cna think of a few ways but they would be dangerous.
     

    jrhtx

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    Here is my 10 Ga Strong Signal cannon. It's the same company as the famous one from "Magnum" which is floating around the Interwebs with an insane price on it. I got this from a place in PA that also had a 1/3rd scale Parrot rifle by a known maker that I bought for a song! This was sitting next to it and I scarfed it up as well. Was missing parts and pretty sad. But it's all restored now.

    View attachment 7616778

    Here it is sort of for scale. Barrel is about 16" long.

    View attachment 7616779


    Here is what I use to shoot it.



    Their recipe is very good. And, voluminous clouds of smoke. I simply use cornmeal as the 'filler' But make SURE you clean your barrel very well if using black powder, especially if using a cast-iron Winchester cannon. Bronze (or in this case brass) ... it matters a lot less. But BP still leaves a mess. Warm water and dish detergent and scrub, scrub scrub!

    And, of course (and this should go without saying... but I am saying it anyway) DO NOT fire one of these with a live shotshell of any kind. Blanks only! Period! A live shotshell is a big no-no!

    Beware the Winchester cannons, BTW. The originals and the Winchester 'later production' or continuation production cannons are very good. And strong. But if they have been allowed to rust, they can have weaknesses in the barrels. Also, I have heard that there are really poor-quality replica Winchester cannons from China showing up at flea markets and antique shops/fairs. Beware of these because they are made with very inferior metal and castings. And are often sold as original. Kind of like the ripoff mechanical piggy banks that were all in vogue in the 1980's until the Chinese destroyed that market with fakes.

    Anyway... I look forward to seeing pictures of the OP's cannon! I love 'things that go boom' of all kinds!

    Cheers,

    Sirhr
    What is in the cabinet behind the cannon?
     

    pitspitr

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    ...but, at the civil war re-enactments, they mix flour with the powder to get more smoke....
    +1 That was what I was going to say
    Here's my signal cannon ;)
    B5pFEa.jpg
     
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    Boatninja

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    Can we get this moved into Vintage? It will have a long life there and is too good a topic for the Bear Pit!

    Cheers,
    Sorry it took me so long to reply I was out of town for few days let’s see if I can’t remember how to post pictures. It’s nothing fancy very plain. A friend of mine is building some wooden wheels for it.
    Sirhr
     

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    sirhrmechanic

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    Nice Model 98. Missing wheels, but they are easily procured. And if using on a boat... wheels are not a great idea!

    Looks to be in nice shape! Real black powder will give good smoke. A corn meal mixed with flour can enhance it a bit more. But BP shells smoke a lot!!

    To the person who asked why they can’t fire loaded shot shells... blanks make a nice report with little pressure. Shot gives a huge force both in chamber pressure and back against the breech. A 10 ga shot shell would create so much recoil force and chamber pressure, the cannon would go off like a grenade. Blow the breech right off and might even explode the barrel. Do NOT fire projectiles in report cannons.

    Sirhr
     
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    Jscb1b

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    Nice Model 98. Missing wheels, but they are easily procured. And if using on a boat... wheels are not a great idea!

    Looks to be in nice shape! Real black powder will give good smoke. A corn meal mixed with flour can enhance it a bit more. But BP shells smoke a lot!!

    To the person who asked why they can’t fire loaded shot shells... blanks make a nice report with little pressure. Shot gives a huge force both in chamber pressure and back against the breech. A 10 ga shot shell would create so much recoil force and chamber pressure, the cannon would go off like a grenade. Blow the breech right off and might even explode the barrel. Do NOT fire projectiles in report cannons.

    Sirhr
    That is what I wanted to know. Thank you!
     

    Boatninja

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    I live on an Island and sea burials of cremated remains have been the norm for Islanders for many years and I seem to be one of the people that is always involved. One of the local Deckhands has been reloading our shells. We used to just shoot it off when we scattered ashes.
    When my dad passed a couple of years ago we loaded a bunch of his ashes in the shells and took them around to all his favorite fishing holes and shot them out over the water.
    Now everyone wants their loved one's ashes shot out of the cannon and I would like to make it better somehow. Shooting the cannon at the end of the service seems to lighten the mood and start the return voyage party.
     
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    sirhrmechanic

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    I live on an Island and sea burials of cremated remains have been the norm for Islanders for many years and I seem to be one of the people that is always involved. One of the local Deckhands has been reloading our shells. We used to just shoot it off when we scattered ashes.
    When my dad passed a couple of years ago we loaded a bunch of his ashes in the shells and took them around to all his favorite fishing holes and shot them out over the water.
    Now everyone wants their loved one's ashes shot out of the cannon and I would like to make it better somehow. Shooting the cannon at the end of the service seems to lighten the mood and start the return voyage party.
    That’s definitely cool. Have the guy who loads the shell switch to black powder. And it will be fine. He can order black powder FFG for a 10 gauge. Best place to order is Dixie gun works in Tennessee. They can ship no problem with a hazmat fee. As long as you are storing less than 25 pounds you don’t need a special facility. 2 pounds loads a LOT of 10 gauge. Cheers Sirhr
     

    Boatninja

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    That’s definitely cool. Have the guy who loads the shell switch to black powder. And it will be fine. He can order black powder FFG for a 10 gauge. Best place to order is Dixie gun works in Tennessee. They can ship no problem with a hazmat fee. As long as you are storing less than 25 pounds you don’t need a special facility. 2 pounds loads a LOT of 10 gauge. Cheers Sirhr
    Thank's for the info Sirhr. I want to explain a little more about the nature of what we are doing here. We don't do a huge amount of burial, thankfully, and this year we have been talking about using it to start a fishing tournament. The smoke is important for people farther from the cannon to have a visual signal in addition to an audible for a fair signal to boats farther from the cannon. On sea burials we seem to always end up shooting it multiple times because people are trying to photograph the smoke coming out. I can't stress or verbalize how and how much shooting it at funerals lightens the mood and starts the return voyage party that is customary in these otherwise solemn and sad events. A small amount of powder maybe a pound would probably last years. I am going to chase down the guy that loads the shells and find out exactly what and how much he is using. I was in on the purchase and am keeper of the cannon but didn't see what came with it, I believe powder a powder measuring device and some primed cartridges.
    A friend is making the wheels (really just cosmetic) with a flat so they don't roll. The boat we use is an excursion/nature tour type vessel USCG certified for 99 passengers so recoiling it overboard isn't a concern.
    As word has spread to mainlanders that we do these services we are having many calls from families and friends who want this kind of service, so much so that we are probably going to need to start charging a small fee.
     

    MK20

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    Honestly if you want more smoke and know a guy with a lathe you could have him spin up a bigger cannon for you.
    Or a welder who knows what he is doing can do it with DOM pipe.
     

    Boatninja

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    Nice Model 98. Missing wheels, but they are easily procured. And if using on a boat... wheels are not a great idea!

    Looks to be in nice shape! Real black powder will give good smoke. A corn meal mixed with flour can enhance it a bit more. But BP shells smoke a lot!!

    To the person who asked why they can’t fire loaded shot shells... blanks make a nice report with little pressure. Shot gives a huge force both in chamber pressure and back against the breech. A 10 ga shot shell would create so much recoil force and chamber pressure, the cannon would go off like a grenade. Blow the breech right off and might even explode the barrel. Do NOT fire projectiles in report cannons.

    Sirhr
    I have found out that my bud's are not reloading the shells, only loading the ashes in them. The shells are blanks that came with the cannon, so what powder they are loaded with is unknown.
     

    Bio

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    To bad your not a bit closer to me. I have many cases of 10 gauge bomb marking shells made for the Navy. Red phosphorus and magnesium is the load. Visible both day and night.
     
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    Boatninja

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    To bad your not a bit closer to me. I have many cases of 10 gauge bomb marking shells made for the Navy. Red phosphorus and magnesium is the load. Visible both day and night.
    That sounds intriguing, is it the flash or smoke or what? and what exactly is their purpose?
     

    Bio

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    Both. They can see where the planes drop the practice bombs day or night. Magnesium is the fuel and burns very fast is fine enough and RP can go either way in pyro