Can I buy a cannon?


June 26, 2003, 12:39 PM
I'm interested in purchasing a non-firing full size Civil War era cannon. Mostly for yard art and to intimidate teenage boys from asking out my daughter.:neener:

Two questions:

1. Any legal reason why I can't own one.

2. Anyone know where to get one?



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Nathaniel Firethorn
June 26, 2003, 12:41 PM


- pdmoderator

June 26, 2003, 12:42 PM
1. I can't think of any, but then I'm not a BATF agent.

2. Those big civil war battlegrounds & town squares back East have 'em settin' all over the place. Got a hitch on your car?

:D :D :D :D

Serioulsy though, I know there are clubs that shoot black powder cannons, fellow here in town has one but I couldn't tell you what the regs are or where to find one.
Try a Google search and see if you can find a club or something.

Steve Smith
June 26, 2003, 12:48 PM
you can buy a REAL cannon if you wish, but I wouldn't have a $10K piece of artillery out on my yard unattended...might grow legs.

4v50 Gary
June 26, 2003, 12:52 PM
Not federally restricted. However. Besides the cannon, you may need the limber to haul around the shot & powder. That's more garage space too.

BTW, the NMLRA has reprinted its five part article on artillery. It's $5 and you may want to get a copy. It's pretty basic stuff but good to know if you want to play artilleryman. It's certainly cheaper than Gibbon's Treatise on Artillery ($75).

June 26, 2003, 01:14 PM
A rather wealthy friend of my father bought a real cannon just so he could have it fired at his daughter's wedding. He had a cherry-red Willys Jeep to tow it out with too.
Very cool, I've always admired rich guys who enjoy their money.

So you can indeed buy and own, and shoot real cannons. (Though the charge at the wedding didn't have a ball. Just lots of powder.)

Greg L
June 26, 2003, 01:41 PM
If you don't plan on firing it and just having it for lawn art you could make one. Someone a couple of streets over made one out of PVC and other assorted parts (wagon wheels and lumber being the other main ingredients). When he was done you couldn't tell that it wasn't real unless you got right up next to it. He said that the total cost was less than $300.

I'll see if I can dig up the plans somewhere.


4v50 Gary
June 26, 2003, 01:43 PM
A small mountain Howitzer is the most feasible for a non-firing PVC replica. No taper on the tube.

Tommy Gunn
June 26, 2003, 02:32 PM
Get the Dixie Gun Works catalog.

Ian Sean
June 26, 2003, 06:57 PM

WW1 surplus 155mm field gun, demilled and all yours for $7,500!

June 27, 2003, 09:47 AM
I knew an arty officer that had a fully functional scale model field gun. He would take it out and fire sand-filled Coors Light cans out of it. The cans were a perfect fit in the bore. They could also be cut and fabricated into an aluminum wad column, filled w/lead shot and fired as a big scattergun.
I always thought it would make a heckova goose gun. :evil:

June 27, 2003, 01:18 PM
A co-worker was showing me photos of a field piece he and someone else built, I'll see he he has digital photos and try to post them.

June 27, 2003, 02:22 PM
Ask Bruce H ( He thinks you shouldn't, as it's not good for popping prairie dogs. ;)

June 27, 2003, 07:53 PM
Ask Bruce H. He thinks you shouldn't, as it's not good for popping prairie dogs

Now that is funny.

Alan Smithiee
June 27, 2003, 07:54 PM
last summer a Frat at the U of Idaho decided to fire off the old cannon they had from the Land Grant Days (when the university had to raise an officers corps) as a means to attract new pledges, silly gits didn't know a darn thing and blew the barrel off. everything forward of the axel gone. (the frat has since shut it's doors due to lack of new pledges) I understand the wheels and so forth may still be avalable...

June 27, 2003, 08:34 PM
A good shooting buddy of mine built one that is pretty nice. He used a car axle which he cut and rewelded for a shorter wheelbase. He then welded pieces for the complete carriage. He used well casing for the barrel . He welded a plug in one end and had a piece machined that fits over the breech which gives it a steped appearence and also sleeves the breech for additional strength. This was also welded into place. Then he had the outside machined into the traditional shape of a cannon. It is fairly decent size. It isn't as big as a civil war piece, but you tow it behind a truck on full size car tires. He fires beer cans filled with concrete, or beer cans filled with .50 round balls. I don't remember the charge he uses, but it is some portion of a cup. It is very loud and very dramatic when fired.

six 4 sure
June 28, 2003, 12:23 AM
I say get the real thing. As suggested above check out Dixie Gun Works at


June 28, 2003, 01:05 AM
Yep, you can have a cannon, but even a replica will cause you to dig really deep into your pockets. And I suspect you'll find that it'd just be bait for some teenage guys. It's be, "Hey. I'm dating the girl that has the cannon."

June 28, 2003, 06:47 PM
Good info about cannons.

Hey Smoke get a mannequin,dress it up so that looks like it got hit with a cannonball.
Pimply faced, teenager-"whats that?". Just reply " last dude that asked my daughter out...had that 'look' about him". :D

I'd be prone to scatter some praire dogs arond too...

June 28, 2003, 07:12 PM
A range buddy of mine, who is big into civil war re-enactment, built his cannon and competes with it. He brought it to the rang one day we took turns firing it. You wouldn't believe the accuracy of those things. we could hit 5 gallon cans at 200 yards with ease. If you ever get the chance to go to some of the matches here on the east coast you will have a blast.

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