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So, due to reasons magical, civilization has aversion towards metals which are above antimony in reactivity series. Yet, that doesn't stop them from developing gunpowder and wooden cannons. But while wooden cannons made of hardened wood with a copper tube inside is cool, one wishes for more than just that, even if these special cannons would be rare.

So my question is, among the metals and alloys consisting solely of these metals, is there any that would compare to bronze in terms of both simplicity of making guns of(that is, it doesn't have too high a melting point), and does have qualities of cannon metal comparable to the gun bronze? Rarity of the material is not an issue, only the simplicity of working with and quality of the final product.

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  • $\begingroup$ Should I use hard science tag here? $\endgroup$ – Failus Maximus Dec 20 '19 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ The chemical properties of an alloy are not similar to the properties of the components. Bronze is very different from copper, and very different from tin. Why would the magical properties of an alloy be similar to those of the components? $\endgroup$ – AlexP Dec 20 '19 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ Tbh, I am still adressing how I solve the effect of alloys, so I am looking of whether it is possible for me to do without the tin. $\endgroup$ – Failus Maximus Dec 20 '19 at 23:27
  • $\begingroup$ tungsten can be used to make even advanced firearms, they will be heavy however, and you need a way to work it. If you just want something unreactive after it is made, gold-iron alloy is thing. keep in mind reactive is not a great predictor of how they will behave in the real world, both copper and silver is low on the table but corrodes very quickly. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 21 '19 at 17:31
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Monel or its naturally occurring counterpart Cupronickel is probably your best bet. They are nickel-copper alloys that melts at 1300–1385C (hotter than bronze, but doable by your standard medieval blacksmith) and it's highly resistant to corrosion from acids, salt water, and high oxygen environments; so, it should be at least on par with antimony for corrosion resistance and fairly easy to to cast like bronze.

Monel 500-k vs Bronze 510 shows us that Monel has about 50% more yield strength than bronze; however, this is a comparison of high-end modern alloys that include trace amounts of aluminum, titanium, phosphorus, etc. which you would not expect to find in a fantasy setting.

If you are looking at possibilities for earlier firearms, you may be more interested in the relationship between Tin Bronze and Cupronickel as seen on this chart. At these values, the naturally occurring Cupronickel is still about 50-80% better than your basic non-modernized bronze. Both of these alloys were already in use by the time gunpowder was invented.

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  • $\begingroup$ "due to reasons magical, civilization has aversion towards metals which are above antimony in reactivity series" Nickel is above antimony in th ereactivity series so can't be used. $\endgroup$ – Slarty Dec 21 '19 at 21:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Slarty Yes, but nickel makes extremely non-reactive alloys that are more stable than antimony. IRL, we use highly toxic materials that require special handling in the process of making non-toxic materials all the time. As long as these beings exercise proper caution in the manufacturing process, the end result will be safe for them to handle. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Dec 21 '19 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ Also, Cupronickel is naturally occuring; so, they should be able to handle it without exposing themselves to any toxic pure nickel. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Dec 21 '19 at 23:44
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How about using silver? It has a similar melting point and would be subject to a degree of corrosion from sulphurous compounds as bronze is. Might need to be a little thicker as silver is not particularly strong but then again bronze isn't that strong itslef and at least silver is a very good conductor of heat.

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    $\begingroup$ gun bronze is a LOT stronger than silver. especially in the relevant metrics. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 21 '19 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ Bronze is ~50%-550% tougher than pure silver depending on what quality bronze you are talking about. Silver is also 18% more dense; so, you'd need to make a barrel ~80% heavier just to compete with low grade bronze. There are some silver alloys you could probably make a decent gun barrel out of, but they are not going to be more corrosion resistant than antimony. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Dec 21 '19 at 21:14

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