Scale model of a Civil War mortar shoots steel golf balls

[Sir Keyboard Commando] just emerged from his machine shop to show off the 1/6th scale model of a Civil War mortar which he recently finished fabricating. It started with some bar stock that measured four inches in diameter and accepts steel balls the size of golf balls as ammunition.

The bore diameter is 1.725″ which gives just a bit of clearance for the 1.685″ golf ball specs. Each of the steel balls weighs in at just over 11 ounces. You get a really good look at the finished mortar in this test-fire video. It’s quite small but [Sir Keyboard Commando] reports that the full assembled unit still weighs in at a whopping forty pounds.

This certainly isn’t an improvised weapon, but we’re quite surprised to see it being test fired. We’d bet it turns some heads that the local firing range.

[via Reddit]

Comments

  1. electronics says:

    Dude, I have seen the exact same thing last night on History Channel (Pawn Stars) and it was shooting out bowling balls :)

    This is great :)

  2. Mark says:

    That’s incredible. Next step: high explosive rounds.

  3. styl życia g'oja says:

    In europe you can get 25 years for that.

  4. SirKeyboardCommando says:

    Hah! I open up Hackaday and lo and behold my mortar is on here!

    It’s perfectly safe to fire because it follows all the safety rules of thumb reenactment groups specify. 1:1 wall thickness to powder chamber at the breech, tough metal that doesn’t easily work harden, proper windage between projectile and bore, and sensible charges.

    I’m not going to claim it can’t blow up, but it’s not going to blow up without some work.

  5. zing says:

    <=.37mm rounds with <.5 ounce of explosives and <4 ounces of propellant are not regulated

    Anything larger in size, payload, or propellant needs a tax stamp for EVERY round. So $cost+$200 every time you pull the trigger.

    And ATF wants the pieces so they can finish the paperwork.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful work, and then he paints it all black?! Why? Oh why?

    • charles says:

      It’s a replica. Real gun bluing agent is expensive. It would cost several hundred dollars for the fake stuff, closer to a thousand for the real hot process.

      The alternative is paint.

    • SirKeyboardCommando says:

      It’s painted mainly because it would have been painted black in the Civil War.

      • gregg4 says:

        Close. The Rodman mortars which were made in their Cold Spring NY based foundry were made from a steel formulation which just happened to be that color. They made the best guns for the Union Army during the entire period. And I’m only stating that because I definitely recall reading the reports from the period via American History.

      • SirKeyboardCommando says:

        Actually Rodman never made any mortars. He focused on strengthening large columbiads via his hollow cast, water cooled method. Some (all?) of the 13″ seacoast mortars were hollow cast and water cooled, but they would have been painted. Check out the 1861 Ordinance Instructions and there are chapters devoted to preserving metal.

    • anon says:

      the paint on the steel makes sense, but the wood looked great prior to paint. the bondo is what made me go: “Why? Oh why?”

    • anon says:

      that thing is great btw

  7. gregg4 says:

    Very good!

  8. Grovenstien says:

    That’s some impressive windage!

  9. crgintx says:

    You could build a pneumatic cannon that would easily exceed the power, accuracy and range of this gun from common hardware store parts. Can’t stop the signal!

  10. TOM says:

    WTF are Grains? is that another of you weired imperial units?
    When will you switch over to Metric System?
    Only US, Liberia and Burma are using it….

    • Jon says:

      Grains is a measurement used all over the world Tom if you bothered to Google…because even half a gram of gunpowder would exceed several SAAMI recommended loads in many calibers of firearms. Some of them to the point of destroying the firearm it would be used in.

    • qcn says:

      Grains are the standard unit of measurement for bullets and gunpowder practically everywhere in the world, even down here in Aus where we use the metric system.

      • TOM says:

        Oh, I did google that… But a “7000th of a Pound” is not quite based on a natural constant ;)

        But ok, I’ll stop trolling… I see it’s just still common to use it for Ammunition… Although mg is much more easy to calculate with

  11. Hirudinea says:

    Now there’s a hacker with big steel balls, and a mortar to fire them from! This is very impressive work, and not an arduino in sight, even more impressive, and while the paint job does make it look authentic I wish he had left the wood natural, but hey its still a blast.

  12. dbear says:

    Hey! Kid! GET OFF OF MY LAWN!

  13. Ralph says:

    Want. Please put a kit together for sale.

  14. Doktor Jeep says:

    Little mortar projects always rock. But remember it’s very easy to put your face over one of those things.

    I wonder why nobody ever invents a cannon that uses steam?

    (hint hint)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93,533 other followers