Early on in my life, one of the things that made lead to my interest in machine tools, was watching my father turn a model .45 caliber 24 Pound Naval Gun on his little atlas lathe. The 24 pound naval gun is one of the guns used on the frigate USS Constitution. The designation of 24 pound is from the weight of the original projectile.
In my early twenties, he assisted me, with the turning on a .78 Caliber 24 Pounder made of solid brass. Now that I have my own south bend lathe, I thought it would be fun to build one in .45 Caliber on my own. This is a good excuse to build something fun and gives me the opportunity to practice my machining.
The idea was presented to my father from a Popular Mechanics article from February 1969 by Walter E. Burt0n. The plans in the article are for a 1/20th scale model, however with a little bit of math, we converted the plans up to about .45 caliber as it seemed to be the right thing to do.
A Very Brief History
The 24-pounder long gun was heavy caliber piece of artillery mounted on warships during the Age of Sail. The 24-pounders were utilized by the navies of Great Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. These guns were used as main guns on the heaviest frigates of the early 19th century, including the USS Constitution.
The deck gun is forged to a variety of lengths ranging between six and nine and a half feet in length, depending upon the design. These guns may seem by modern sizes, but weighed between 2,240 and 5,650 pounds. They fired a range of projectiles, each about five and a half inches in diameter. Each gun would require twelve men to operate it and bring it into battery.
|Name||Project: 24 Pound Naval Gun|
|Summary||Build a .45 caliber 24 Pound Naval Gun model|
|Cost||$25 – Cold Rolled Steel|
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