NOW I want a CANNON!!!


Foto Joe
March 22, 2010, 10:36 AM
Holy cow!!! The wife and I went to a Civil War Re-enactment yesterday in Livingston Texas. Never seen ANYTHING like that before!!

Tons of BP guns (most not really well cared for), booths people tough enough to sleep on the ground in the rain and mid 30 degree temps. Let's say the weather could have been better.

Mounted cavalry, skirmishers and ARTILLARY!!! My ears were ringing most of the way home after being within a hundred yards of a 12 pound gun.

I've joked with my wife about wanting a cannon for a while, after attending this weekends festivities I think she may worry that I'll really do it now. I wish!!

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March 22, 2010, 01:15 PM
Golf ball caliber my friend. Small enough to fit into the car's trunk and not so heavy that you can't lift it in there yourself.

Dead balls from the local driving range would likely be a cheap source of ammo as well.

A golf ball mortar would be fun as well. More hang time overhead so you and the other crazy folk can enjoy watching it go up, up, up and down, down, down... :D Lay a big old blanket out at the 100 yard point and see how close you can come to hitting it from a 40 or better angle trajectory. A mortar would be much smaller and a little lighter too.

Mind you I guess that wouldn't work on may of todays ranges where there's an extended roof line with heavy beams to grab any high "over the berm" shots.

March 22, 2010, 01:33 PM
Google "swivel gun" and see what you come up with. I think they're just about the right size to mount on your back porch.

March 22, 2010, 05:17 PM
Cohern Mortar in golf ball caliber.

Texas Moon
March 22, 2010, 06:03 PM
Well? What is holding you back?:D

Iff'n you really want to rock get one in beer can caliber.
Use old beer cans filled with concrete. Sort of an uber wadcutter! :evil:

March 22, 2010, 06:17 PM
Use plastic not paper to prevent catching the woods/field on fire.

Wal-mart bags are cheap and make great wadding.

Golf ball caliber my friend. Small enough to fit into the car's trunk and not so heavy that you can't lift it in there yourself.

And still go "boom" really really well. Handful of fifty cal balls.......

March 22, 2010, 06:17 PM
One of the fellas brings oneup to the black powder shoot that's in ''V-8'' caliber.Slightly smaller than beer cans.

March 22, 2010, 06:18 PM
Too bad your in Wyoming. I have a cannon with a 2" bore I am considering selling. Mine has a 4 wheel carriage and looks like the navel cannons used on ships. It has a 24" barrel and weighs about 50 pounds. The little 6 oz V-8 cans are a perfect fit.

I agree with you cannons are super cool!

March 22, 2010, 07:00 PM
I always thought of the Howdah as a cannon. :D

4v50 Gary
March 24, 2010, 08:00 PM
Log Cabin Shop has a brass line throwing gun. It was originally used by the Life Saving Service.

March 25, 2010, 10:41 AM
Joe cannons are defantly cool. I am a civil war reinactor with confederate artillery. A six pound gun to be exact. You think theyre loud at 100 yards be on the wheel of one lol. I still jump when it goes off even with hearing protection. the smoke they make is just amazing. My suggestion go to another event and see if they live shoot anywhere and if its an event open to spectators. Up here in michigan we do 3 live shoots a year. 2 at 100 yards (I know way to close) and one at about 600 yards. we give the 12 pound napolions a run for their money.


March 26, 2010, 08:35 PM
Since we're on the subject I have made 12 golf ball cannons. I DO NOT want to take orders. If anyone is interested I have 3 left. There will be no more. I have sold the others to friends and family. The cannons ,actually mortars, are made from 416 Stainless Steel with a Walnut base. 15 grains of FFG will launch a golf ball about 50 yrds and 50 grains its gone! I am a machinist and took great care in the manufacture of these cannons. I've sold each for $150. Leave your email address if your really interested. I will send pictures.
When people see them the women ask what's the point and the men ask how far can you shoot one! Go figure.

March 26, 2010, 09:11 PM
That's some magic powder banek.

Here's my 47lbs of golf ball swivel doing about 480grs FFg - the result is a ball traveling too fast to be seen by the naked eye. It really makes a party out of a dull weekend afternoon.
It's great for holidays, or just unwinding on the course; and once your buddies know you have one, they'll bring golf balls over.

March 26, 2010, 09:14 PM
Holy Crap!!!

March 26, 2010, 09:16 PM
Here ya go. South Bend Replica Coehorn that shoots V-8 juice cans full of cement a long ways.

The loop in the cement is to tie a streamer to so you can find the projectile again.

March 26, 2010, 09:32 PM
almost makes me want to take up golf

rick spencer
March 26, 2010, 09:38 PM
Here is a link to a video on our sight, I am a living historian with the Ohio Valley Civil War Association, It is the first video on the page, i am on the left front of the cannon if you are looking at the business end of cannon, (position number one) This is a model 1841 6pounder.
Turn The Sound UP!:D

March 27, 2010, 11:26 AM
Dixie Gun Works sells both full-size and scaled down cannons.

March 27, 2010, 12:28 PM
I am humbled by your fire power. Did I mention my cannon also looks good sitting on a desk? Still it's a lot of fun and I can recover my golf balls when I use light loads.

March 27, 2010, 03:23 PM (

I have not used this little guy in a long time--about 60 years.
We used marbles & it would fire thru both sides of a wood garage.
Almost that crazy today........................................................:)

4v50 Gary
March 27, 2010, 04:05 PM
I've got one of those little 12 pdrs (44 cal) too. I also have the scaled down 12 pdr Napoleon in 50 cal. My biggest and best is the brass beer can mortar. Hey, do those three constitute the Holy Trinity?

March 27, 2010, 07:19 PM
Desidog, did you get an extra zero on that "480 grains" part or is that correct?

If that IS the right number can I be your friend too? That would be hellishly fun to see in action! ! ! :D

March 27, 2010, 08:39 PM
If you love the cannons, I suggest you go to these events to see live fire with CW era cannons and mortars.

The N-SSA has two annual live fire competitions. The first is the third full weekend of May and the second is the first full weekend in October. They are at the N-SSA range outside of Winchester Virginia. This is where you will see the most cannons in action at one time.

There is also the Grayling shoot in Michigan. This is the competition for the elite in shooting CW cannons. Carry your binoculars because some of the events are a 1000 yards. I believe it is here that they also recreate the "newspaper competition" where the winners of other events fire at a newspaper folded out at a distance of a mile.

March 28, 2010, 11:21 AM
Hawkeye I am going to greyling this year. Last year was my first with the battery and I missed out on greyling due to work. This year Im going come hell or high water lol. We do two shoots in port huron michigan too but theyre only 100 yards. port huron and i believe greyling are awca(new so thats prolly the wrong acronem) not nssa. Im excited. I think we got 3rd last year and won a few years back... and with a lowly 6pound smoothbore vs all the 12 pound guns.:)

March 28, 2010, 08:25 PM
The Grayling shoot is not N-SSA but most of the cannon there are, I think. It is actually an open shoot I believe, not affiliated with any particular group. Even a few Canadians come down for the events. There has recently been a bunch of N-SSA units joining the ACWSA in addition to their N-SSA membership. ACWSA is growing fast in the Midwest. Shorter drives than to VA.

Elbert P . Suggins
March 29, 2010, 01:43 PM
When I was 14 back in the early 60's a friend and I made a cannon out of water pipe of 2 sizes. I believe we used 1 inch pipe placed inside a 3 or 4 inch galvinized pipe and filled the gap with melted babbit. We mounted it on 12 inch wheels which were pulleys from a 1911 Case stationary thresher and pulled it around with a Honda 55. Anybody over 60 remember those gems? We went up to the local main street in town which had a pop. of 72 and shot the thing off in front of the seed house and the concussion cracked the big 4X6 windows. The mayor came walking up the street and asked "what in the hell we were doing?" and we said "we don't rightly know!". We ended up working all summer to replace the panes and never shot the thing again until 1989 and we filled the 12 inch tube full of BP and 1 inch of round shaft and blew it up with pieces everywhere. We just counted our lucky stars that nobody got hurt.

Elbert P . Suggins
March 29, 2010, 01:57 PM

March 29, 2010, 05:17 PM
Desidog, did you get an extra zero on that "480 grains" part or is that correct?

If that IS the right number can I be your friend too? That would be hellishly fun to see in action! ! !

I'd never turn an enthusiast away from cannon play; shoot me a PM next time you're in CT.

That pic above in post#13 was a shot with 480 grains of Hodgdons Pyrodex RS (the FFg equivalent), some corrugated cardboard discs cut to size with a compass and scissors, for use as wadding, and a t-shirt patch wrapped around the golf ball. We were using some cannon fuse so that no one's hand would be around the touch-hole, but you could also use some priming powder and slow-match.

My particular cannon does not have an undersized chamber drilled behind where the ball is seated. This means that in order to get an even powder-burn in the chamber, you need to have 1.75"diameter x 3.14"for area x____amount of height of propellant...making a cylindrically shaped charge to propel your projectile in a consistent manor so that you can achieve a degree of consistency and accuracy...or at least as much as possible with a smooth bore.

Since the cannon is not loaded in a vertical position, it is hard to get all that loose powder into a tightly-compacted and evenly distributed cylindrical shape - hence, the cardboard powder and imitators make a bigger boom the more compacted they are. Then, since the cardboard holds the charge in place, but doesn't really help with your accuracy at all, the rag wadding around the ball takes up the spare space so that the ball isn't bouncing down the barrel as it exits.

Since there aren't any sights on my swivel cannon, our gunnery is not "precision" per say; but it has proven accurate enough to keep competition going....although i have a spare 10/22 weaver rail around, and a p.o.s. ncstar holographic sight; which i might end up mounting if ever i get around to getting the proper tap and die...but if i had the tap and die i'd probably just put a nail on the front and file a nick or paint a dot on the barrel band.

But i digress. 480gr gets you a big boom....i like to hear echo....then silence.....then cautious laughter...then uproarious laughter. (works every time!)

That powder load, as you can tell from a look at the picture, doesn't get entirely burned up in the barrel, where the magic happens as far as the golf ball is concerned...but a few, say 8-12, extra feet of muzzle flash and ensuing smoke cloud is always a crowd pleaser.

They're a lot of fun; and if you look around hard enough you can find one or someone willing to make you one for a good price. Mine was made for me by a guy in PA for about 500 bucks, IRRC.

March 29, 2010, 08:40 PM
Back when I was a drafter at a shipyard in San Pedro, CA, I came up with a plan to make money on the side. Once a month I'd take a week's pay and buy a Lyle line-throwing gun.
One of these:
Then, when I went back home to visit my folks in southern Oregon I'd sell the guns at a rendezvous and double my money.

Worked like a charm - except for one thing: I sold them all!

Now I want one - again!! :(

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