Goex Cannon Black Powder is a special granulation for optimum Cannon performance. While Goex has improved manufacturing processes and material quality, they have manufactured black powder using traditional materials to provide the same great ignition characteristics and uniform speed that master shooters and hunters have relied on for over 200 years. Goex Black Powder is available in different granular sizes to tailor the performance to a specific firearm. From FFFFg (smallest) to Cannon (largest), Goex has a granulation size for your firearm.
All too often the folks coming here looking for blanks are really looking for pyrotechnic noise makers, not blanks. Since, this board is about shooting and building antique black powder cannons and mortars, and not pyrotechnics we won’t be able to help those people.
We can still however build some blank loads for our guns-safe blank loads.
Several months ago during one of the periodic discussions we have here on blank rounds, I sat down and looked at the safety guidelines for loads recommended by the North-South Skirmish Association and the American Artillery Association to see if I could figure out how to make safe blanks.
Reviewing those guidelines it suddenly came to me how simple it is to come up with a blank round for any cannon. Use a maximum safe charge with a filler equivalent in volume to the charge.
Our sticky’s contain references and links with all the info you need to build a blank round using this criterion.
Start by determining your maximum safe load.
For guns under 2 inch use the chart below.
National Safety Rules and Procedures for Shooting Muzzleloading Artillery, as adapted by the American Artillery Association March 2000
Powder charges should not exceed 2 oz. of Fg or 3 oz. FFA or Cannon Grade Goex powder per inch of the bore diameter. No excessive charges. Use black powder only.
Prepare powder charges in advance using heavy-duty aluminum foil. Baggies may be used inside the foil, taking care not to allow excess air in the baggies and removing excess plastic was unnecessary.
North-South Skirmish Association National Rules.
Maximum powder charges for all cannon shall be limited to that amount permitted by the chart as published below in Table 10.1. Only commercially manufactured black powder of American standard Fg granulation (150,000 granules per pound/ or 220 granules per 10 gr. wt. (and.) sample), or a coarser granulation, may be used. Charges must be wrapped in a powder “bag” fabricated of at least one complete layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
For specific load for you bore refer to North-South Skirmish Association National Rules. Page 72 of 213 in the PDF file.
Moderator note: For guns smaller than 2 inches THE MORE COMPLETE CANNONEER compiled Agreeably to the Regulations of the War Department as published in “Artillery Drill” by George Patten, 1861 and Containing Other Observations on Antique Cannon By M.C. Switlik with selected excerpts from other artillery manuals Appendix I has a load chart which is posted here by permission of the author.
To see a large view of this chart click on this link: http://www.fototime.com/90BD33C5013C58D/orig.jpg
This load chart is the maximum load of an unpatched ball attached to a sabot.
Addendum For mortars and howitzers the diameter of the powder chamber is considered the bore diameter.
Both Associations recommend for safety reasons that larger caliber cannons not be loaded with loose powder, instead use foil-wrapped cartridges. Some locales have safety regulations requiring the use of foil wrap cartridges. Mortars, thunder-mugs, and small cannons just load the powder loose.
Click on this link to be taken to the post on loading cannon cartridges:
The original blank-making instructions recommended a filler of weight equal to the weight of a standard iron round ball. Building actual blanks determined this to be impractical. The mass of most filler material is so much less than an iron ball, that a column of filler equal to the ball weight may exceed the length of the barrel and is totally impractical.
The recommendation now is that no filler material should exceed the weight of an iron ball for the cannon.
Determining the weight of round ball for Bore
Using GGaskill’s round ball calculator http://gunneyg.info/html/ShotWeight.htm determine the weight of an iron round ball for your bore. Weigh out this weight of filler.
Dry newspaper, leaves, and grass clippings need wadded tightly or tamped in place. They will increase reports if enough material is used. In dry hot conditions, they will burn and smolder on the ground and start fires.
Wet material-newspaper, leaves, grass clippings will also need tamping and will increase report, probably due to heavier mass. These items along with bread balls often leave the barrel as solid projectiles and can break the neighbors’ window across the street. No worry most homeowners insurance will cover the damages. Loose powder can be contaminated by wet material. The report of wet material is louder than the same dry. The use of wet fillers should be avoided and is not recommended
Tamp only enough to seat the material. Excessive tamping- that is what amateurs do on YouTube to hurt themselves. Tamping will not make it louder. You only need resistance to the expanding gases to make it loud.
Wads of card stock or fiber should be tight-fitting, firmly seated and the column-one caliber long. (Caliber-the diameter of the bore). Stacked wads should disperse on firing, but may stay together and act as a projectile for a short distance.
The filler should be finally powdered like flour, cream of wheat, birdseed, grain, or coffee creamer. They should approximate the volume of the load of the powder charge. Coffee creamer may or may not flashover. These fillers can be loaded ahead of the black powder in the cartridge.
To determine how much filler to use, weigh out your powder charge and measure its volume using a standard kitchen measuring cup. Make note of the measurement and load this same volume of filler into your cartridge ahead of your powder.
Make sure, when you load the cartridge, you mark the powder end and the filler end. If you load the filler in the cartridge ahead of the powder you can use a disc or two of wax paper to separate powder and filler. These fillers disperse on firing and seem to give the loudest report. This filler creates the least mess and in the case of birdseed serves a useful purpose.
Do Not load these fillers in a separate cartridge and load in front of the powder cartridge. Loaded in that manner they will fly out the barrel like a solid projectile.
Sparks and colored fire. There are a number of different chemicals that can be added to the powder to make colored sparks and fire. I am not sure what effect these chemicals have on the burn rates of the Powder. I also don’t know what effect these chemicals may have on the smooth bore of my cannons, so I cannot recommend them.
Colored/Increased Smoke. The use of flour has long been known to increase the smoke in blank loads.
If you fire a blank round in an open field, it will not be as loud as if it were fired with a wall or solid fence behind it for sound to bounce off. Think Echo!
Country of Origin
United States of America
Cannot ship via air
Cannot ship via USPS
Cannot ship to PO Box
Must ship to Contiguous US
goex cannon black powder
goex cannon black powder
goex cannon black powder