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Posted: 3/11/2002 6:07:32 PM EDT
Here's a question for you legal eagles out there.

I've got a barrel from a GE M61 20mm Vulcan Cannon just sitting here, looking pretty with no real use for it. It's chopped, about 30 inches instead of its usual six feet or so, but what's there is clean, bright, and the muzzle has been turned, cleaned up, and recrowned.

I'm thinking it'd make a dandy little black powder cannon! I can get 200 of these little suckers for 175 bucks, that's only 87.5 cents each, plus powder and a cap!

The problem is, there's a 20mm M103 chamber in the breech end of the barrel. I can hardly expect to ram a bullet into the breech to the chamber (I'd have to make a breech block anyway) on the powder charger and HOPE that the bullet doesn't fall into the chamber!

So, short of DRASTIC modification to the barrel, this is going to HAVE to be a breech loader.

The question is, is it legal to make a breech loading black powder cannon in 20mm with a rifled barrel and a chamber that's designed for cased ammo? (I can manage to get the chamber modified so that it can never accept a shell casing, that't not unreasonable.

Given that the barrel is short, it'd be light loaded. I'd probably have to use a lot of buffer for the powder charge anyway, or use felt pads at the breech end to reduce chamber volume for a good pack at a reduced load. That's a BIG chamber, after all!

Link Posted: 3/11/2002 6:23:28 PM EDT
Give this fella a call.

Randy Ketchum @ Lynnwood gun. 425-774-8441. He once showed me something similar to what you are talking about.
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 8:11:59 PM EDT
asa breech loader, it wouldnt be legal. unless is was a registered DD, but thats crazy. it must load via the muzzle or trouble awaits.
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 8:29:25 PM EDT
Bob at CD surplus in Spokane use to sell the kits you describe. The rear half of a 20mm barrel with a threaded breach cap and a 5 gal bucket of inert 20 mm projectiles for around $ 500. Not sure if he's in the surplus business anymore havn't seen him around town for a while....He did have some cool photos of miniture howitzers made with his kits.
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 9:42:18 PM EDT
Anyone know of a website with laws on cannons?
Link Posted: 3/12/2002 4:58:42 AM EDT
don't know of any web sites........

but !! i do have a cannon, 1" bore, it is a replica Keel Boat cannon, those that were used on the river boats during the early 1800's, i shoot a ball that is 5 to a pound, push it wyth a 500 Gr. Fg or FFg powder load, it is a smooth bore & those are the only ones that i know of that are legal AND !! it must be loaded from the muzzle to be legal..., i have had this cannon for over 30 years, it weighs in around 60 lbs. & is one hell of a kick in the ass to shoot it from the hip....., which is somthyng i done when i was younger, stronger & far more foolish than i am today..., in fact i formed a small club, one fellow made a mortar that shot a V8 can sized projectile, we wud put two golf balls connected by a small 1' brass chain in a V8 can, then shoot it as nearly vertical as possible into the air, it wud go up about 1,000' then us fools wud try to catch the chained G.Balls b4 they hit the ground, it was fun for a whyle but the members just drifted away after a few years & i moved to Az. where i can shoot my cannon anytyme i want to........
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