1/5 scale Cannon


July 11, 2008, 09:59 PM
I got this cannon several years ago. I had friend turn it down with his lathe so it's nice and shiny, and fired it on the 4th and New Years with a small "Naval" sled i whacked together for a few years. I recently sent off to Dixie Gun Works for their Artillery Manual (as shown), and used it to model a Napoleon Style Carriage for this gun. I've built the first one from some simple pine, and discovered some needed modifications for MY cannon, and I will build the next (and final) carriage using some nice red oak. It looks as though the wheels will be the real chalenge in this project. I simply cut some rounds on my table saw for these units. Any ideas where I might find some 12" diameter spoked wheels for the final model?

P.S. I use a max load of 250 FFg with a wadding of newspaper, and it's LLOOUUDD!!!!

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4v50 Gary
July 11, 2008, 10:31 PM
DixieGunWorks has a model cannon with wheels about the right size. MC0615 Napoleon Cannon Large Scale. You might want to contact them to see if you can buy just the spoke wheels.

July 11, 2008, 11:19 PM
I checked that unit, MC0615, and found almost exactly what I've built! I have a .68 caliber cannon, and used their manual to build the carriage. My total investment, to date, is $70 for the brass, a bottle of Jack for the machining,$25 for the Manual, and $misc for the hardware. I don't want to spend another $702 for their unit. I'll ask about the wheels only option, but I'm (blush) cheap, and would like to find some inexpensive wheels. Thanks for the hint, though.

July 12, 2008, 10:27 AM
That's so cool. I have a friend with a garage full of machine tools. I should have a talk with him....

July 12, 2008, 12:38 PM
that is so cool

July 12, 2008, 01:52 PM
I spent some time cutting some new wheels today. I think they show more of the carriage, and the cost was only the joy of working with my hands!

July 12, 2008, 02:02 PM
A friend and I shot his homemade scale (not sure what scale, maybe 1:12) cannon with newspaper in it on the fourth, what a lot of fun that was. He is pretty skilled and could maybe make you a slightly more authentic set of wheels. Yours look good by the way, but PM me if you want and I'll put you two in touch.

July 12, 2008, 04:12 PM
Some more pics. I can't wait for my next birthday, so I can light this off on the new carriage!

4v50 Gary
July 12, 2008, 05:01 PM
Conner Prairie is offering a cooper class this Oct. during their Arms Making Workshop. I think similar skills would apply to wheelwright work.

August 2, 2008, 09:48 PM
I got around to building the oak carriage.

August 2, 2008, 10:54 PM
Mike that is looking really good. you need to take some pictures of it when you shoot it.

August 3, 2008, 11:02 PM
I could use basic dimensions on that little sweet cannon. Bought one of those little 50 cal mortars to keep me dreaming until I can get a bigger lathe. Although they do have an old monster lathe at the local machine shop. Has a swing and travel of about 8 by 16 FEET. Cutter bars are 2" square. Hmmmmm. Will have to stay with smaller cannons for now.

August 3, 2008, 11:18 PM
Ever seen that website about hunting feral cats with a bowling-ball shooting Coehorn mortar?

August 4, 2008, 09:50 AM
The 1841 six pounder and Parrot guns are only allike in that they are muzzle loading cannon on wooden field carraiges.

THe six pounder was a one piece cast gun and the re enforce, that thick part at the rear, is part of the original casting.

The parrot actually has three pieces, the main portion of the tube, a breech plug and a re enfocre that is screwed on.

COmparing the Parrot to an M1841 is like saying an ENfield 1853 three band rifle is just an updated Brown Bess.

Actually there were attempts to rifle the M1841. As to their popularity.....they were what was available and by the end of the ACW M1841s were far out numbered by Ordanence Rifles, Parrots and 12 pounder Gun Howitzer "Napoleons"

Lee was so impressed with M1841s that he thought they should be melted down and recast as 12 pounder Gun Howitzers.

The ten pounder Parrot was later opened up to 3 inches to allow ammunition interchangability with the3" Ordenence Rifle.The Parrot barrel weighed 890 pounds the Ord Rifle weighed816 pounds and the old M1841 mooth bore weighed 884 lbs. the rifled guns actuall threw a 9.5 lb projectile 1850 and 1830 yard respectively on only one pound of powder while the M1841 tossed a 6.1 pound projectile only 1523 yards with 1 and 1/4 pound of powder.

Completely differet construction and capabilities for roughly the same weight.

Six pounders did there best work early in the ACW as guns for "Flying Artillery" those units where every man was mounted and generally found with Cavalry units. The Gallent Pelham made excellent use of six pounders until his untimely death for example.

-Bob Hollingsworth

August 6, 2008, 10:38 AM
Ah, carraiges, yes the Parrot and Ord RIfle DID use slightly beefed up 6pounders. One or the other initially used a 6pound carrage, but beat it up to badly so it was redesigned. Perhaps it was the Parrot after it was changed from 2.9 " to 3" for ammunition standization or maybe that "light weight" Ordenence Rifle that beat up the carraige to much requiring the change.

A battery here has an original 3" Ord Rifle they use in South Eastern Re enactments or did until black powder regulations on Federal parks got to be too onnerous for them. When the stadium at the Citadel was being improved and the graves of one of the CS Hunley submarine crews that died in training were found, this gun participated in moving the bodies to be re entered. The small brass plack commemorating the event on one side of the trail is the only non issue part on it.

THe scary part is that I am not a real live front stuffing artillery freak. I keep waiting on one to make his appearence to rant at both of us. My Artillery expereince are guns made since WWII in calibers 105mm 155mm and 8" (and Lance and Pershing) in US service.

-Bob Hollingsworth

August 6, 2008, 10:49 AM
You know....I was doing the drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway some years back (eight or nine years) and we stopped at a resturaunt and re enactment "village" that featured awater powered mill. The set up at that time included saw table set up to do work on whells about the size for a 6 pounder or common wagon. I wonder if the place might let a volunteer produce wheel parts on such a set up?

-Bob Hollingsworth

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