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Old February 1, 2011, 08:14 AM   #1
101fwc
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cannons

Hello to all
I have found what i beleve ton be a cannon.
It was found by my metal detector ,its made of steel and is 9" long it has a half inch bore.
i know nothing about this and dont know where to find info on it as i collect ww1,ww11,nam
any info on any thing to do with it or where to find it i will be realy greatful
thanks noel
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Old February 1, 2011, 08:24 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Pretty neat find.

Given the size my guess is that it's either a decoration, or a signal gun, although it's a lot more elaborate than most signal guns I've seen.

From its overall size it doesn't seem as if it would be an actual functional cannon.

Can you tell us a bit about where you found it? It seems to be a very odd thing to have been buried.

There are no markings at all on it?
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Old February 1, 2011, 10:00 AM   #3
Rifleman1776
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twin?

Have you found my cannon's twin?
I collect miniature cannons. I acquired the barrel to this one in a long forgotten trade more than twenty years ago. Later I built the carriage.
When I got it the barrel was not bored and the touch hole was not drilled.
I feel certain yours is a genuine antique.
There are stories that small cannon were for: signal; training; salesmen's samples.
I lean towards the signal and training theories.
Whatever you have it is neat. If you are interested in selling, please PM me.
BTW, mine is bored to half inch and the 'cannon balls' are .50 cal. muzzle loading lead round balls.
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Old February 1, 2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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Some years ago, maybe in the 1950's, someone was making those barrels and selling them as novelties. Some had the barrels bored and were shootable, others just had shallow bores or none at all. In any case, I would not recommend firing such a gun, with its unknown metallurgy.

They were strictly toys, even the shootable ones, are not antique or historical, and had no serious purpose.

Jim
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Old February 1, 2011, 04:10 PM   #5
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yep I have one around somewhere ( I don't have the fancy wheels & chassis pictured ) mine looks nearly identical to the O.P's... was my father in laws... no eye deer where he got it... ( likely at a gun show )
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Old February 1, 2011, 04:55 PM   #6
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OK, may, or may not, be antique and rare.
However, there have been some excellent cannon makers around for almost always that made small cannons for either signal, shooting and/or decorative use. South Bend Ordinance Works is one.
Mine is cast iron and no air pockets or defects were found when bored. I would not hesitate to shoot it.
BTW, I made the "fancy" carriage. And it is deliberately made to not be a shooter. Neither strong enough and lacks a means to elevate for aiming.
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Old February 1, 2011, 05:03 PM   #7
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I also have a really nice all brass cannon I think custom made ( probably... looks like a college level machining project ) the spoke wheels are doweled into the hubs & wheels, it's really nice... that one hasn't been shot

... & one in a basic wood frame that is .360 bore, & I've shot that one with cast 357 / 38 bullets...

... also have an interesting black powder tool... an original black powder wedge... drive it into a log, fill with powder ( I use an empty 50 A.E. case ) stick a bit o cannon fuse... light it & run like heck... I had it with me one year we went to my wifes cousin's black powder rifle shoot, & we got rained out... one split log, & I had all the old guys out hunting logs in the rain to split, just so they could play with it...

I don't think this is us... but it could be...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Uz1Oo0AYJA
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Old February 1, 2011, 06:00 PM   #8
Rifleman1776
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Do you mean something like pictured below?
I made this from a left over hunk of a .50 cal. muzzle loading barrel. I put a big steel breech at the end for hitting.
I used this as my primary wood splitting tool for ten years when I heated with wood. Got the idea from seeing an antique one a friend showed me. His was quite a bit larger.
Works great but at the price of black powder today would actually be expensive to use. I used with a 120 grain charge of bp.
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Old February 2, 2011, 06:39 AM   #9
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mine was actually forged & manufactured as a blackpowder wedge... I've never taken a pic of it, but know right where it's at... you're gonna make me dig it out & get a pic of it now...

maybe I should get one of my brass cannon, just to keep this on topic
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:25 AM   #10
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
you're gonna make me dig it out & get a pic of it now...
Yes, pic is mandantory. Otherwise I might have to send my cousin, Rocco, from Chicago to pay you a visit.
Actually, would love to see a pic. Brass cannon also.
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:27 AM   #11
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Rocco ain't getting out of Chicago any time soon ( you seen the weather ) & it's not much better between Chicago & southern MN...

I'll see if I can remember to take my old didgi camera home this week & get some pics ( I do most of my posting from work )
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:28 AM   #12
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Rocco is snowed in on Lake Shore Drive, so I wouldn't count on him anytime soon.

How in the hell does a blackpowder wedge work? I've never heard of anything like that.
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:36 AM   #13
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Mine is like a regular heavy steel wedge, with the middle void of enough metal, that it allows room for a chamber ( open at the top ), & has a hole for standard cannon fuse... above the chamber the metal is flared so the force diverted to the sides, causing the splitting action when fired...

I'll look around & see if I can find a pic of one similar, since it was actually manufactured, there should be one somewhere... I hear that they are kinda rare, if over charged, they can break... but I'd bet most of them got lost, because if not pounded in tightly, the wedge can go flying quite ways... & get lost in the brush or leaves of the woods...

... I mostly just play around with mine once in a while, & use lighter charges, & use it in the yard, where it's easier to find after it's used...
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:38 AM   #14
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Mike, with mine, one simply puts a charge of blackpowder into the splitter. I would use leaves or newspaper as a tamper just to hold the powder in. The splitter is then pounded into the end of a log just enough so it stays there. I would then place a hunk of wood behind the splitter to keep if from flying off. Some models had a chain you could tie a piece of red cloth to so you could find it. Then I inserted a length of cannon fuse into the touch hole, light and get away.
There is no projectile. The force of the blast is sufficient to split the wood. Some older ones with bores of about 1" could split a long, large log. Really they were quite efficient. And, for me, the best part they could be carried in your hand. I had about $10.00 invested in mine and, at one time, they were very cheap to use. Powder is more expensive today but probably still a more economical method than buying a $1500.00 gasoline splitter.
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:50 AM   #15
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this doesn't show much of the splitter, & it's not really like mine ( at least from what you can see ) but it appears to be manufactuered... these guys know how to use it, & the results are quite impressive...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHJuR...eature=related
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Old February 2, 2011, 10:14 AM   #16
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I have never heard of such a critter.

But now that I have, I want one. I want one bad. And I don't even have a fireplace.
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Old February 2, 2011, 10:44 AM   #17
sirsloop
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reminds me of the ol carbide cannon
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Old February 3, 2011, 07:27 AM   #18
Magnum Wheel Man
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Save Rocco the trip from Chi town...

didn't round up the brass cannon... yet ( I think Mrs Magnum has that one tucked away in a curio cabinet somewhere, cause it's "pretty" )

but here is my wedge ( been tucked away for a couple years in my black powder box ) was thinking it loaded from the top... but appears I must have also loaded it before driving in the log... don't remmber what I used for packing to hold the powder in... but would suspect paper towels or something similar... note how deep the chamber is from the nipple to the loading hole ( I used a 50 A.E. case as a powder dipper last time I used it... quite a bit less powder than it would hold ) also note the replaceable nipple, & the company name molded in ( which appears to read... Huchison Manufactering Co. PGH. PA. )





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Old February 3, 2011, 09:57 AM   #19
Rifleman1776
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Very interesting. Until the last pic I didn't understand how it would work.
What is the nipple for? Surely, you don't stand there and hit a cap with a hammer or something.
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Old February 3, 2011, 10:00 AM   #20
Magnum Wheel Man
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it's not really a nipple like for a cap & ball gun... probably just allows enough length / friction, so that the fuse doesn't fall out before she blows???

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