Bangsite®

See also: Calcium Carbide


Bangsite is the registered trademark for powdered calcium carbide marketed by the Conestoga Co. to be used in Big-Bang carbide cannons.


Bangsite is a coarse powder similar to ground pepper. It is packaged in an aluminum tube containing 1-3/4 oz of the stuff. The tube is then sealed in a poly sleeve to further protect it from moisture. The tube is sealed at the cap end and must be pierced before use. The crimped end is is not an air tight seal so changes in atmospheric pressure will bring in moisture that will slowly consume the carbide. To give you an idea of shelf life, I purcased a dozen tubes on ebay in their display carton. The marked price was $3.00 each so by my catalogs that would date it about 1989. All the tubes were swollen (a bad sign) and some had split. I cut open an unsplit one and was suprised to find it was only half consumed (from the crimp end). From this observation I have determined the "half life" of un-opened Bangsite to be about 10 years.

Conestoga published a magazine for their dealers called The Bangster. In one issue Wily shows the chemistry involved in making calcium carbide, making acetylene from the carbide and finally the products of combustion. You can download this two page file (70KB) in PDF format by right clicking on the picture above.

Shots Per Tube

Conestoga advertises "about 100 shots" per tube of Bangsite. My measurements show this to be very conservative.

Here are the calculated number of shots per tube for different cannon models.
Model Grains per Shot Shots per tube
6F 0.55 1391
10FC 1.03 743
15FC 1.74 440
2" spoon 1.67 458
3" spoon 3.06 250
4" spoon 4.62 166
G-Gun 2.47 310

Each tube contains 1-3/4 oz. which equals 765 grains.

Values for the 6F also apply to the airplane, and both tanks.

Values for the 2" spoon are for 7F, 7D, 8F and the Gunboat.

Values for the 3" spoon are for the 11F, 11D, 10W and 12F.

Values for the 4" spoon are for the 16F.