Let's Make Robots!

Supersonic Golf Ball

Well, good news everybody! I have managed to get a team of people together that are willing to pool resources together for construction of a high energy supersonic Golf Ball cannon, complete with remote electrical control and operation. The Cannon will feature complete autonomous reloading of the barrel. I will have to create large quantites of gun cotton, otherwise known as nitrocellulose. Nitrocellulose has been used as a propellant and explosive for many years. The gun will also feature a passive recoil system consisting of the barrel mounted to a triangle plate with a system of springs to dampen the enormous recoil encountered by the barrel upon firing. Once fired, the compression springs will return the barrel to normal firing position, and will prevent dangerous whiplash. On the end of the barrel, a flash supressor will help reduce the enormous fireball that will be created when fired.




A .50 caliber bullet fired from a Browning M2 machine gun travels from the gun at 887.1 m/s, and the round weighing approximately 45g (or .045kg) will have an approximate Kinetic energy of 17706.294J. The golfball, weighing close to a .50 cal bullet at .0459 fired at mach 2 (about 700m/s) will have a kinetic energy of 11,245.5J of kinetic Energy. That means that this golf ball will have the power close to a .50 cal bullet.

Table of comparisons to Golfball

Supersonic Golfball (Mach 2) = 11,245.5J
.50 Caliber Bullet = 17,706.294J
.44 Caliber Bullet (Magnum) = 1904.4J
9mm bullet (Typical Handgun) = 640J

As you can see, this golfball will have a LETHAL amount of force behind it.


(These are rough calculations, taking the velocity of the bullet and mass into consideration only)

cannon.jpg25.81 KB

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This sounds delightfully illegal! Haha. How much do you plan on it costin? Also may I ask why you are doing this?

Dear Krumlink,

I like you, and I have known you in 2 years.

Sometimes you can be a bit aggressive, but so can I, so I think I can relate to you.

However, this playing with guns.. are you sure? Some of us are worried!

Here is an experiment tutorial how to make nitrocellulose (in German language - maybe you can use Google translator): http://www.experimentalchemie.de/versuch-010.htm

I remember I did this experiment more than 20 years ago. Be very careful if you mix conc. nitric and sulfuric acid insofar you can get it.

I also remember if you light off nitrocellulose it's not very spectacular. A short jet of flame without any bang, that's it.



Maybe this inspire you. Here is a video of a very small oxyhydrogen cannon I made during research for the Google Lunar X Prize: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytBtRiDPNB0

Some theory behind the oxyhydrogen cannon you can find here: http://www.seleneteam.com/files/oxyhydrogen_cannon.pdf

At your calculation you have to take the air drag into account. More information about the drag force here: http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~vawter/PhysicsNet/Topics/Dynamics/Forces/DragForce.html

Your golf ball has a drag coefficient of approx. 0.47. To accelerate a golf ball to 700 m/s is not so easy as the air drag will be very high (air drag increase with v²). That's one reason why bullets have streamlined bodies.

You can calculate now how much chemical energy you would need to accelerate a golf ball to 700 m/s.


Thanks. The biggest hurdle was finding Sulfuric acid that wasn't contaminated with buffers or any other crap. Good clean Lab grade stuff was found online. I think the most important ingredient goes to both Sulfuric and Nitric acid, since without either you wouldn't be able to produce Nitrocellulose. I suppose Nitric Acid is needed more however, since you need the Nitric Acid for the Nitronium ion.

Nice Cannon btw, Problem is that it will require an air tight seal, and I don't think we will be able to produce a sabot that will be able to achieve that.

I plan on making a sabot out of nitrocellulose with ammonium perchlorate as the booster.
Basic boxframe cad is done, added to first post.

Since I do not want to be put on the DEA list for buying Sulfuric Acid, I will produce my own. This is a complicated and dangerous proceedure, and I will not release details. I have a knowledge of chemistry that is higher than the typical average joe. I understand the dangers involved with concentrated acids, and I know the proper proceedures to handling these dangerous substances.

 Anyways, I will be producing large amounts of con. Sulfuric Acid, so we will see how this goes.

Another way is to extract Sulfuric Acid from Drain opener, but I will have to filter out the buffing agents.

You could use car battery acid. This is nothing else than dilute sulfuric acid. By boiling you can remove the water. But even you have some chemical skills I would keep my hands off!

BTW, to produce nitrocellulose you need above all conc. nitric acid. Most explosives are nitrogen compounds.