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Blackpowder Cannons/artillery pieces

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Rusty Shackleford, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Member

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    Alrighty, so I'm pretty darn interested in blackpowder cannons. I saw a few of them fired(blank obviously) during a Battle of Cowpens re-enactment when I was a kid and I've loved them ever since.

    One day, I dream of owning a fully functional, full sized replica of either a Napoleon 12 pounder, or some sort of 3 inch rifled cannon. It would be sweet in the front yard, plus I'd be the automatic winner of the unofficial July 4th neighborhood explosives contest. I have a bunch of questions that I'm having trouble finding the answers to...

    Are they legal???
    Do I have to "get permission" and/or pay the BATFE?
    How much do they run?
    Where in the world would I find one assuming I could afford it?
    Do they manufacture functional, full sized replicas now a days?

    Any and all info you guys know would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Searcher1970

    Searcher1970 Member

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  3. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    I'll take this from the top.

    Yes, they are legal. At least at the Federal level, and usually most states.

    No, there is no paperwork associated with them.

    They are EXPENSIVE. You can get into a mortar for about $1200, but a full-blown, full-sized artillery piece will set you back ~$15K with all accoutrements. Think of it as a boat you can shoot.

    My advice is to go over to the North-South Skirmish Association BB's cannon forum at http://www.n-ssa.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=24 and ask around. Those guys shoot live rounds in competition...and have a truckload of good information that they are willing to share.
     
  4. Gambit88

    Gambit88 Member

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    Hey rusty I am one of them guys who shoot live cannons in those compititions previously mentiond, only we have a 6 pounder not a 12. Find a reenactment and ask those guys where they do live shoots and goto one if public is allowed(dont know how its run in ga). youll get a hell of a show.

    Gambit
     
  5. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    In some states anything over a certain caliber can be a problem. Zoning ordinances may control noise, there are some really bizarre things local gov'ts and state governments do when a bureaucrat gets a burr up his/her butt. Depending on what police dept is called around here, you will be told that it (1) is ok, (2) it is illegal, or (3) you need a pyrotechnics display permit to fire it.

    Some folks have no sense of humor and will do anything to prevent a person from having too much fun. On a 4th of July at a family picnic near Gettysburg, a guy was firing blanks in a home made cannon. It blew up and a family member was killed. The cannon owner was charged with criminal reckless endangerment. Don't know if the charges stuck. I do know he was looking at time in the state pen and had to mortgage his house to hire a lawyer.

    I know folks with cannons regularly gather across the river from here, but what rules and regs are enforced over there, may be completely different than here, and both sides are in pa.
     
  6. robhof

    robhof Member

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    Beware of bargain cannons or used cannons; they use enough powder to cause serious injury or death.
     
  7. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Huh?????

    In the above scenario, who was the humorless person preventing people from having too much fun, the cannon owner whose cannon killed somebody or the survivors of the person who was killed? And who was the person who got deprived of having fun by this person without a sense of humor?
     
  8. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    HUH? I got into my full size, brass, grenade sized, 18th century cohorn for about $200. Small, but I still win at the 4th of July bang-contests!

    My Revolutionary War buddies and I had a 2 pound galloper for a while, and we had it magnafluxed at the local airfield to make sure it didn't have any cracks or air gaps when cast.

    The problem with a full sized Parrot or Napoleon, in addition to the fact it's probably more expensive than a brand new compact car, are the huge amounts of powder needed to get a really nice bang. I have found that a mountain howitzer is louder with less powder, if you like CW pieces. A galloper or grasshopper is lowder than 6 pound field piece, again with less powder. Also..., much less expensive.

    LD
     
  9. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    You'll need about $1200 for a competition-grade mortar. Lots of fun.
     
  10. Hawkeye748

    Hawkeye748 Member

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    Rusty,

    See you are in Atlanta, GA. There are a couple of N-SSA teams in your area that shoot cannons. 37th GA comes immediately to mind. We do also but are further away.

    Might want to touch base with some of the 37th through the Deep South Web Site. That way, you can fire the cannon a bit before buying one. find out for sure if you want to own one.
     
  11. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    Dave;
    Really? U got a good deal -- why don't you tell everyone exactly where to go to share in it please!
    Al
    PS: Does it look anything like the absolutely beautiful authentic, bronze, reproduction in the foreground here?
     

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  12. desidog

    desidog Member

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    [​IMG]

    I had this swivel made for me by a nice guy in PA for under 500 - it shoots golf balls and is too much fun to be legal...but it is!
     
  13. rusty from italy

    rusty from italy Member

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  14. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    No mine is 1/2 that size, and was the smallest of the "full sized" used. It was to toss hand grenades farther than a fellow could chuck them.

    I got mine at the Ft. Frederick Market Fair, which is next weekend this year. Ft Frederick State park, Big Pool MD

    LD
     
  15. Searcher1970

    Searcher1970 Member

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    Hey Dave you have any pics of your mortar?
     
  16. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    Yeah, I'd like to see one too. The one in the picture (in front of our 3 lb'er grasshopper is, in fact, mine and is a French/Spanish repro F&I grenade-size (beer-can) launching steel-lined mortar. The English were almost exactly the same and there was nothing smaller. In fact, they were considered personal weapons and there is no known drill for them. There were some smaller shoulder-fired "belles" but I'd love to see the cites for a coehorn smaller than the one in the photo...

    I'm just thinkin'... Farby. And no-one is buying an authentic repro for $200. Of any "gun" come to think of it.

    Ft. Frederic is great. Better for buying pelts than crew-served weapons though.

    Al
     
  17. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Here's a dandy Cohorne.
    [​IMG]


    Shoots V-8 juice cans a couple of hundred yards slicker than a whistle.
     
  18. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    I hate V-8 also!
    Seriously, I presume you are filling it with cement...
    Al
     
  19. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Yup, Cement and a loop of wire for a fluorescent streamer so I can find them and re-use them.

    I also have a Sea Service Gun that fires 35mm film cans filled with cement or a 1/2 lead semi-wadcutter.

    THat one will go clear through a pickup body at 100 yds or more.
     
  20. Searcher1970

    Searcher1970 Member

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    Cool mortar Iggy! Whats the dimensions on it? Got any pics of it in action?
     
  21. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    Bit of a difference...
    Al
     

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  22. Searcher1970

    Searcher1970 Member

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    You guys have me wanting a mortar bad..lol
     
  23. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    I also have a small swivel gun. Great for decks and defensive positions (as well as demonstrations and display). I tell nosey people its a sun-dial...
    Al
     

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I'd like one of those for the bike. Or a small Napoleon.
     
  25. Searcher1970

    Searcher1970 Member

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    Whats the bore size on that?
     
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