View Full Version : If you want a miniature muzzle loading cannon

January 25, 2012, 01:55 PM
Better get it now, a mishandled one caused a small boys death in Utah, read it here.


One person calls for trigger locks for cannon...how exactly would that work?

Doc Hoy
January 25, 2012, 04:54 PM
I know ZPS about this situation but I still wonder that the dad did not exercise more control.

The article misses the point (as one might expect) which should have less to do with the cannon's status as a fire arm (and therefore subject to some kind of regulation) and more to do with the engagement of common sense in anything that is potentially dangerous.

Much more to say on this one and my comments would only be filtered by my distaste for our anti-American news media.

January 25, 2012, 06:14 PM
Hmmm, a trigger lock on something that has no trigger. :D

January 25, 2012, 06:21 PM
And that person that talked about trigger locks will VOTE in November:eek:

January 25, 2012, 07:45 PM
Scary isn't it? I mean that they will vote. I'm keeping silent on this - my thoughts parallel Doc's and I'd just be accused of being "politically incorrect" . . .

As a former artilleryman and "cannon shooter" though . . everything from miniatures to full size Civil War cannons and seige mortors . . . I will always say that "safety is everything" but "common sense" is even more important . . . but you can't make someone have common sense . . . I'll just use Congress as an example and then I'll shut up . . . :rolleyes:

January 25, 2012, 08:20 PM
My brother and I built a carriage for a 75cal barrel that we bought from DGW in the 60's we wer 14 and 15 at the time and built it as a scout project and actually took it on scout trips and fired it. We also had a 69 cal ball mold and used 12ga shot capsules to fire the balls for accuracy. It never accidentally went off and we knew how devastating it could be with a ball as it went through a heavy zinc/steel trash can at 20yds during some test firing. Accidentally went off, just like all the accidents while cleaning loaded pistols!!!!!

January 26, 2012, 01:06 AM
By clicking on the "read more' link at the bottom of the page of the original article, it brings up another ABC news video report that's presented more thoroughly below:


It mentions that replica cannons are not toys and are really just like muzzle loading guns, which is true.
What's not known is who loaded it and what made it fire.
It was probably left on the display where the boy had access to play with it.
Some kids are well trained by his age, and some kids aren't as careful as they should be.
Kids can be negligent.
This death is drawing attention to the fact that the replica cannons are lethal and that the boy was an unsupervised minor.
I can't blame the media for reporting it.
Although the cannon can't have a trigger lock, it could have been kept under lock and key if loaded, or at least the powder could have been kept under lock and key if it wasn't loaded.
And that's probably what led to the boy's death.
Whether it was pre-loaded or not, a loaded weapon shouldn't be left to the devices of a child who isn't 100% trustworthy.
Is it more the boy's fault or the parents?
No charges are being filed because it's being considered as an accident.
But I doubt that the cannon just went off all by itself.
In hindsight the boy shouldn't have been allowed to play with it unsupervised when loaded, which means that it should have been kept under lock and key.
Obviously the parents trusted the boy enough to not keep it locked away, or to not keep the powder locked away.
The boy would have been better off illegally smoking cigarettes than playing with that loaded cannon.
But just look at all of the laws that prevent kids from being able to buy cigarettes.
In my state, kids can only hunt while under the direct supervision of an adult hunter.
They're not allowed to just go out on their own and hunt with a loaded gun simply because they do tend to make mistakes.
How to prevent that it is to keep the ammo and/or the gun under lock and key.
Whether that method of lock and key is called a gun lock by mistake or not is only a matter of semantics.

January 26, 2012, 09:07 AM
Not enough info to know for sure what happened. I'm guessing smokeless powder was used. I have a collection of small cannons (.31 cal thru 1.0" cal.) and have fired several for effect only, no projectiles. Using real black powder and normal safety precautions it is a safe undertaking.
Many manufacturers ship replica cannons with the fuse hole undrilled. Many replicas do not have a wedge or screw for adjusting elevation. The absence of those is a sign the item was made for display or noise only, not to shoot a projectile.
This is very sad.

January 27, 2012, 11:56 PM
A very sad situation indeed.

Ideal Tool
January 28, 2012, 01:45 AM
What a tragic story! ....The scary part is ..40 odd years ago..it could have been me!
I had found a 6" tapered nickle plated section of water supply line. Scrounging around in dads junk box, I found a round headed door hing pin, that was a tight press-fit into end of tube. This thing looked neat...with it's taper & rounded 'cascabal"..it was a dead ringer for an 1862 rifled gun.
I poured a charge of my home-grown black powder in, wadding, & dropped a 5/16" ball bearing in & rammed it home. I set up a target in front & ballanced the brl. on a short stump.
I actually got down behind it with a lit match over the primed touch-hole, taking careful aim at target....When a soft voice in my head said it might be a good idea to stand to one side..for the first shot anyways...That was the day my guardian angle must have started earning his overtime!
When the charge went off..there was a very load bang..brl. was blown about 5 feet away..target unscathed...But I started sweating when I held that warm barrel in my hands..that pressed-in "cascabal"...was nowhere to be found! But for the grace of GOD...there go I.