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12bore Flash Shells

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by jamesf, Jan 5, 2012.

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  1. jamesf

    jamesf TS Member

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    Do any of you guys have a successful black powder load with no ejecta material for 12 gauge that makes a boom, has a flash and won't blow down a wall 30 feet away?

    We have a play that requires a serious gun shot on the stage and we need to impress the audience at the closing with a flash-bang!!

    Jim
     
  2. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Guns used in movies and plays are specially modified so that nothing can be shot out of the barrel. I think it might be dangerous to use an unmodified gun on stage. Just my opinion.
     
  3. jamesf

    jamesf TS Member

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    Years ago, we made flash shells with black powder, stuff the cartridge with feathers on top of the powder, then crimp them. They made a pretty good bang and flash and smoke, But I forgot how much powder to use.

    I have goose down for feathers, I have the fire department standing by and no one will be in front of the gun. Just a wall about 60 feet away. No wad, just black powder and goose down.

    Jim
     
  4. kgp912kgp

    kgp912kgp Active Member

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    Good thing you said no wad... I'd hate to be in front of a shotgun with just a wad in it.
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    You can buy blanks intended for field training dogs that make a pretty decent boom or you can make a blank with about 20 grains of 3F black powder held in place with a cardboard disc and a dab of glue.

    Great care needs to be used not to fire these things directly at a person at close range as even the burning powder can cause injury.
     
  6. jamesf

    jamesf TS Member

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    I have some old linen paper over powder wads and I bought a bag of goose down. I have 3F black powder. I don't remember using any kind of over powder wad, but I'll load one with 20gr., over powder linen wad and pack it with feathers.

    Then make 30 gr., then 40gr. then 50gr. samples.

    Next I'll make more without the over powder wad, using the same increments of powder, still using the feathers and take them to the farm in the morning and test each. I'll report back. I just need to make it bang, smoke and flash.

    I've screwed up enough stuff in my life with shotguns and I will take as many reasonable safety measures as needed. I'm also going to hang newspaper about 10 feet in front of the gun when I fire it. If it can't hurt a sheet of newspaper, I'd judge that to be almost harmless.

    The bird dog training cartridges are loud enough, but make no flash or smoke. We tested those already.

    Jim
     
  7. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    It's good you are going to test these first - then you will know what you do or don't have. I think you will be impressed even with the 20g blank.
     
  8. E. Beaver

    E. Beaver Member

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    A primed shell without anything else makes a pretty good bang.

    Charlie
     
  9. rocko

    rocko Member

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    A friend that past on long ago made "boomers" with nothing but the type of powder used in firecrackers, no wad just the crimp, the "boomers" were just about an inch long. Let me tell ya they went BOOM.

    Joe
     
  10. jamesf

    jamesf TS Member

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    Here's what I found this morning at the farm. I used FFG equivalent pyrodex, Winchester AA case, Federal 209 primer.

    Here is what I think is perfect, 50gr. powder, put a sheet of newspaper cut to about the size of a quarter and place on top of the powder. Then pack the case as full as you can get it with goose down until it is stuffed to the very top of the cartridge.

    Crimp start as usual and the crimp shut. Trim the excess down sticking out the crimp for appearance. Wonderful boom-good flash and good smoke ball.

    Feathers had stem pieces that look messy in front of the fired gun. 2 cotton balls sent 2 little fire balls burning on the ground about 12' from the muzzle. Sounds good, flash is good and good smoke, but still feather stems, too much litter the floor.

    So use my formula above, most of the explosion happens right off the muzzle and the smoke went about 8'.

    I talked to the Fire Marshall and he is happy with the test and next Friday night, that is the closing shot of the play. Oh, and I shot it in the barn (darker inside) to see the flash better. Stunning event for all my witness' this morning and the stage director was very pleased.

    Jim
     
  11. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    If the theater has smoke detectors in the stage area, you may have a potential problem should they detect the smoke and trip the alarm.

    If you have a smoke detector activated sprinkler system you might want to include some kind of rain storm over the audience in your script. :)
     
  12. jamesf

    jamesf TS Member

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    That's why we have the Fire Marshall involved, he's suppose to quiet the smoke detectors and I actually had a sound engineer to check the the decibels of the bang and they measured the volume of the theater to make sure the smoke was controlled, fire was controlled and sound wasn't harmful.

    As the curtain starts closing, the lights are dimmed and the shotgun fires into the air with a bright flash, big boom and smoke left in the air when they turn the lights back on. Everyone should be startled by the closing.

    See what happens when you make a trap shooter stay inside because of the snow and cold. Our minds start looking for more problems to solve and I've screwed up so much stuff in my life, the theater naturally came to the village idiot to help them make this closing scene memorable.

    Think how much thought and experimentation would have went into this project id Neil Winston was involved?

    Jim
     
  13. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I think you will really grab them by the seat of their pants when that 50g charge of black goes off. Lets us know what the reaction was.

    Good job - sounds like you hadd a bit of fun anyhow.
     
  14. jamesf

    jamesf TS Member

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    Cameras not allowed but the video people have sworn to get me a copy of the final closing and another view of the audience expressions.

    If I can figure out how to get the videos onto this site, I will, then we all can enjoy the show within the show.

    Jim
     
  15. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Just have someone pop an inflated paper bag in front of a mic with the amp cranked up, synched to the actor and the firearm.
     
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