Breechloaded black powder gun
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  1. #1
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    Default Breechloaded black powder gun

    Hello! I’m making an breechloaded .50 gun which will be loaded with paper/cardboard cartridges, which in the rear will have a fuse like this:


    At the moment the breech of the barrel, where the cartridges will be inserted, look like this:


    So, I need to make some kind of locking mechanism for the breech that seals the cartridge in place. Do you got any suggestions on how this should be done?

    I’ve seen quite a few different designs, originally I thought of making a cruel cannon of medieval-style like this:



    But then i thoughts that it would be funnier to make a ”hand-cannon”/breechloaded pistol instead, loaded with cardboard-cartridges. And the old design above is clumsy and too awkward.

    I thought of something like this:


    This:



    Or maybe this


    There are also versions where the breechblock are screwed in place, but those takes to much time screwing and unscrewing, I want to be able to reload the gun fast.

    Beside fast reloading the design has to be strong, fairly sealed and not too complicated to manufacture. Feel free to give me your thoughts.

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    Look at a Money Tail breach loader. It has a piece of brass that 'obdurate'. Ie expands under pressure to seal the breach.

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    Maybe hinged, interrupted thread breach plug like some more recent arty guns?

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    I suspect the ATF will consider a cartridge firing breach loader with a bore over .500" a "destructive device" even if it uses black powder.

    You might want to look into that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenton View Post
    I suspect the ATF will consider a cartridge firing breach loader with a bore over .500" a "destructive device" even if it uses black powder.

    You might want to look into that.
    I don't believe there would be an issue with that. While not common black powder cartridge rifles are still being built for the .50-90 Sharps . It shoots a .512" bullet and is not considered a "destructive device".

    On the other hand, it looks like your barrel is not rifled and could possibly fall under the ATF "Any other weapon" designation:

    What does “any other weapon" mean?

    The term "any other weapon" means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.
    What does “any other weapon" mean? | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

    Make sure you are within the rules.

    -Ron

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    There are many salute guns of the styles shown that are of greater than 0.5" bore and they are not regulated. If you are not making this to shoot projectiles, you should be safe. Although it is always good to get a letter from the ATF, even though they can disallow permission later without notifying you.

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    I suggest making your cannon a replica of a pre 1898 military artillery piece, as I believe such copies are acceptable as reenacting guns. Fixed ammunition, that is the case powder and projectile loaded in one unit, above .50 is a "tread carefully" area, also drop fired as in a military style morter is verboten. Just what I've read over the years.

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    When I have a design ready I will check the regulations regarding that specific design and caliber before building anything, even though I find it hard to believe that an black powder gun without any firing mechanism, loaded with fuse ignited cardboard cartridges, will be illegal.

    However. I have been sketching of a design which I find interesting and I like the simpliciy of it, this is what it looks like:


    Full size: https://i.postimg.cc/ZbNzqTc0/48-A62...54-FD.jpg?dl=1

    The operation and ”locking mechanism” of the gun is simple. The barrel isn’t fixed to the receiver, so it’s able to move forward. In order to load a cartridge, you have to pull the barrel forward and insert a cartridge into the breech of the barrel through the entry-hole of the receiver. Then you simple pull the barrel back at the rear of the receiver, and the rubber bands (springs/magnets etc. or a locking mechanism can be used too) will hold it in place and prevent it from moving forward. Since the recoil are pushing backward it shouldn’t affect the barrel at all, so there isn’t any need of a strong locking mechanism in order to hold it in place. In theory the barrel could even be loose without any force holding it together, as long as it stays in place and don’t move forward. All the force of the recoil are pushing against the back of the receiver.

    If too much gasleakage between the breech of the barrel and the back of the receiver takes place it could be a problem and cause the barrel to actually move forward, but my idea is to minimize the gasleakage with the help of the cardboard cartridges which will seal against the walls inside of the chamber, the only gas leakage should be from the fuse hole.

    Any other thoughts about this design?

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    Can you put me down as a beneficiary on your life insurance before you test this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenton View Post
    Can you put me down as a beneficiary on your life insurance before you test this?
    Ditto! There is no way that the pressure will be "contained" with that setup. There is a reason that guns use breeches/bolts that are solid or locked up tight to prevent getting a face full of the aforementioned iron.

    JMHO

    -Ron

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    Since it is apparent that you are not making a cannon, we can dispense with that discussion.

    However, using rubber bands as a locking mechanism seems comedic. There will be friction between the bore and the outgoing projectile which will tend to pull the barrel forward. In addition, any gas leakage around/through the cardboard cylinder will tend to push the barrel forward, so not having a mechanical connection between barrel and receiver is risky.

    I do not understand the need for quick reloading if you are using fuse for ignition. There seem to be some relevant details missing from this discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelrod View Post
    the rubber bands (springs/magnets etc. or a locking mechanism can be used too) will hold it in place and prevent it from moving forward. Since the recoil are pushing backward it shouldn’t affect the barrel at all, so there isn’t any need of a strong locking mechanism in order to hold it in place. In theory the barrel could even be loose without any force holding it together, as long as it stays in place and don’t move forward. All the force of the recoil are pushing against the back of the receiver.
    What are you basing this on? This defies physics--even most sci-fi physics!

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    You are right, there will be friction between the bore and the projectile, and as already mentioned there will be gas leakage that will slightly push the barrel forward.

    The barrel that I’m using are heavy so I don’t think it will be an issue in reality, but it’s safer to make a mechanical locking mechanism that holds everything locked in place while firing so I will do that.

    The fuses that I will use for the cartridges are fastburning, so the gun can have a descent fire rate if it allow the cartridges to be replaced fairly fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelrod View Post
    You are right, there will be friction between the bore and the projectile, and as already mentioned there will be gas leakage that will slightly push the barrel forward.

    The barrel that I’m using are heavy so I don’t think it will be an issue in reality, but it’s safer to make a mechanical locking mechanism that holds everything locked in place while firing so I will do that.

    The fuses that I will use for the cartridges are fastburning, so the gun can have a descent fire rate if it allow the cartridges to be replaced fairly fast.

    Please have somebody film this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GGaskill View Post
    I do not understand the need for quick reloading if you are using fuse for ignition. There seem to be some relevant details missing from this discussion.
    this, if there is a point that you can make a quickly reloadable muzzleloader, there are better ways to accomplish this.


    The charge in the barrel will act as plug, no matter how temporary, so that barrel will be pushed forward blowing gas in your face.

    If the barrel is thick (which it doesn't have to be) ATF may have problem with it under the clause "easily made to fire centerfire cartridges". Don't ask me or ATF what "easily" means, no one really knows.

    There are those 38(?)mm launchers with aluminum barrels, i.e. too thin for truly lethal projectiles. They are breechloading, but are more like flare pistols.

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    I read this,dunno why,but Im waiting for the utube video......but dont forget to say...."hold my beer while I light the fuze."....


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