Anvil Shooting?


September 12, 2003, 08:56 PM

Has anyone here tried this? It looks like a lot of fun! :)

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September 12, 2003, 09:05 PM
Wow, I didn't know that was a real tradition. It was featured in the movie "Sweet Home Alabama" (I watched it with my wife, okay?), and I thought it was something Hollywood made up to mock Southerners (no offense intended). Very interesting.

September 12, 2003, 11:53 PM
Makes the old 9mm vs .45 argument seem kinda puny! If you only need 10 feet from launch, I could try this in my back yard.

September 13, 2003, 08:56 AM
"Firing the anvil" was a for-real tradition, from what I've read it was mostly done on Independence Day or other special occasions, and was firmly established well before the Civil War - I've seen mentions of it as early as 1800. The re-creation I saw done used 2 anvils, the one on the bottom was turned upside down so that more powder could be packed between the two - also I suspect to protect the face of the bottom anvil which is a real bear to repair if you mess it up. It was really a fun event - watching 350 pounds of steel fly through the air ringing loudly is a very novel thing, and the kids liked it even more than than the adults. I won't be firing my own however anytime soon, I had to work too hard to afford the thing to play with it.

El Tejon
September 13, 2003, 10:04 AM
Man, I was forced at eye dagger point to see that awful movie. I thought that it was fictional to dig at Southerners as well.

Learn something new every day, especially here on THR.

September 13, 2003, 10:50 AM
That ain't cheap. Gotta be about $35 a pop. And two years' worth of powder for me. But look like a real gas!

4v50 Gary
September 13, 2003, 05:17 PM
I've only read a couple of books about Sherman's "Great Picnic" and have never seen anything about anvil shooting.

One book in particular was by a "bummer" who was so unuse to discipline, when he met up with the Army of the Potomac, he, along with other bummers, threw the guards over a bridge just so they could go into town. When the guards came back reinforced and with an officer, they, also reinforced with more bummers, ran the guards & the officer off. Bummers also served as a "vanguard" and could number in the hundreds in an unorganized but cohesive force to seize towns on the march before the regular troops got there. Thievery? Well, Ali Baba & his forty thieves would have been left in loin cloths if the Bummers got to them.

Don Gwinn
September 13, 2003, 11:06 PM
It's real, it's real fun, and it's a real good way to get a crushed skull if you're not careful about it. I also don't think I'd care to try it with one of the all-cast cheapie anvils you get at Harbor Freight. . . . .

D.W. Drang
September 14, 2003, 02:34 AM
When I was back east recently visiting my folks in TN I learned that they do it there every 4th of July:

Apple a Day
September 14, 2003, 08:35 AM
Cool, something I can use in my physics class. I'll have my students calculate the initial velocity and the height (neglecting air resistance).

September 14, 2003, 05:31 PM
My Hometown volunteer fire department has for many years had a tradition of "shooting the anvils" early every Fourth of July.

We used two anvils, the top one inverted and placed over the bottom one. We used a steel ring about four inches in diameter in which the black powder was placed (a rather large charge). Heated a v-e-r-y long steel rod red hot and placed it through a flash hole into the ring.

Result: a very lusty and satisfying B-O-O-M-! Top anvil didn't move very far.

Firemen loved the tradition. They especially liked to arrive at the home of a very pretentious person about 4:30 or 5 in the morning and start the snob's day off with a real bang.

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