Quantcast

School Me On Black Powder Cannon Ownership

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Justin, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19,328
    Location:
    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    I'm bored and daydreaming, so indulge me a bit.

    Who can tell me what it takes to get into black powder cannon ownership?

    And I mean an actual black powder cannon, not a golf ball thrower.

    What does it cost?

    Is there NFA paperwork, or is all of that negated because it's black powder?

    What kind of range/accuracy can be expected?

    What's maintenance like?

    Who makes cannons and carriages?

    What about ammo, can you order cannon balls in bulk?

    Are there clubs or competitions held? If so, what are they like?

    What cannons are the best? Are most of the ones available just replicas of Napoleonic or Civil War models, or are there modern designs in the same way that there are "modern" inline muzzle loaders?
     
  2. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    4,000
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I hope it's OK to have one because I have been shooting mine occasionally for 30+ years. It's just a 12 ga. smoothbore miniature Napoleon cannon that I bought as a kit back when. I shoot 0.715 patched lead roundballs from it on Independence Day and New Year's Eve. I use about 100 grs. of 1FG black powder.
     
    robhof likes this.
  3. jmar

    jmar Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2016
    Messages:
    262
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    19,811
    No paperwork wanted by los federales. Find the Amish and provide them with plans for the carriage. They can make you a carriage. You'll also want a limber (more $$$) to hook the cannon up to. It carried a limited amount of ammunition plus some tools (gunner's quadrant, leather thumb, vent hole pick, etc.).

    If you want instructors, you should find someone in the NSSA. They have full size cannon teams and can tutor you to be a redleg.
     
  5. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,770
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    And, a logical next step is a caisson, which is specifically and ammunition carrier. Some caissons replace the limber, some are stand alone--the type/model of the gun you are looking at determine this.
     
  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    7,566
    Location:
    Middle Tn
    Don’t skip the mule team. For mules you need a farm (convenient to shoot on too) and a barn (convenient storage location for the cannon). I just went through the mental excercise recently. I own the property, but would be buying everything else so my cost to play would be in the 30k range. Add to that if you don’t have a truck and access to a utility trailer and stock trailer for the mules.
     
  7. dave951

    dave951 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Where to start....

    No, you don't need any special permission from the king to own one. The are treated just like any other muzzleloader.

    Ammo- folks who own them also generally make their own ammo. Our team does, keep reading.

    Sources- Steen for one. Hansen for the carriage, limber and other stuff.

    Competitions- well funny you should ask. We in the North South Skirmish Association compete with Civil War era weapons, including ARTILLERY!! One of our team has a cannon and we compete with it. After the competition, we break out a quality metal detector and work through the backstop to retrieve our shot. It's melted back down and recast for the next match. Powder is easily had from Back Creek in Winchester VA, right outside our home range and most cannon owners get their supply from them.

    Our artillery competition is broken down in to guns, howitzers and mortars and there are a couple subdivisions within those main groups. We compete in the rifled howitzer group.

    Best thing for you to do is to explore this topic on our board where some of the more enthusiastic cannoneers hang out.

    http://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/activity.php
     
    Mike OTDP likes this.
  8. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    6,879
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    ****READ READ READ****

    A lot of good info in the advanced search results for "cannon" in the black powder forum:--->>> https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?search/33597336/&page=2&q=cannon&o=relevance&c[node]=12

    This thread below mirrors your question and is worth reading.
    Just because there are no Federal laws against BP cannon ownership doesn't mean that a person can't get into local trouble for shooting one off.
    And it mentions groups that may be able to provide training to learn how to shoot a cannon safely:

    Cannon Legal to own? --->>> https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?search/33597336/&q=cannon&o=relevance&c[node]=12
     
  9. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Messages:
    486
    Location:
    OR coast
    As long as it's muzzle loading there's no issues other than maybe locally in owning black powder cannon. I've had cannons and mortars for at least 30 years, to me the biggest thing is finding cheap projectiles that fit them. Cannon is one of those places where you pretty much get what you pay for, ebay is full of well meaning pipe bombs. Do your research on builders before buying anything, it's a serious peice of equipment. Greybeard outdoors has a black powder cannon section that has a wealth of knowledge and people who live to promote responsible cannon shooting. I will also warn that it's really hard to have just one.
     
  10. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Somewhere in Maryland
    Dave951 is 100% right.

    Short form: Bring money. A full-sized gun will run 10k or more. Plus an ammo locker or (more expensive) caisson. Possibly a trailer for moving it all around.

    But it’s great fun if you can get enough people together to shoot it properly.
     
  11. Bill Raby

    Bill Raby Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Messages:
    176
    I looked into buying one once. Realized right away that the biggest requirement is money. Plenty of idiots out there building pipe bombs that sort of look like cannons. Get one that is well made by someone that knows what they or doing or just forget about it. Carriage and limber look to be nearly the same price as the cannon. Suppose you could build that yourself if you have the skill. All the accoutrements are going to add up also. Any foundry should be able to cast a bunch of cannon balls. No idea what they charge for that, but it is probably a lot. Cannons use lots of powder. If you want a big cannon it will cost a lot more.

    If you do the NFA stuff the modern cannons are classified as a destructive device and you can get anything that you can afford. I am sure that there is a shipyard out there that would be happy to build you a full scale working replica of a WWII battleship with 16 inch guns. All that is required is a gigantic pile of money and a $200 tax stamp.
     
  12. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    South Western, OK
    Yep, that usually buys a display model that can't be fired.

    A friend is into this stuff. Several years ago he bought a 12 pounder, something like this one. He says the replicas capable of being fired have steel barrel liners.

    http://bronzecannons.net/gettysburg_gun.html
     
  13. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19,328
    Location:
    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    That bronze is gorgeous!
     
  14. Its 45 Colt

    Its 45 Colt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    I have a 1/2 scale Napoleon on a navel carriage that I purchased from a fellow reenactor and artilleryman. I believe that it is the one that Dixie sells. I have only fired blanks of around 3oz in it but I am looking into making rounds to live fire it.
     
  15. desidog

    desidog Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,459
    OP, What do you have against golf balls? As far as ammo goes, they're cheap and plentiful. They're also a lot lighter than iron or lead balls so the pressure is lower, and therefore safer to shoot.

    My Swivel Cannon is convieniently chambered 1.75" - That lets me shoot golf balls (1.68"), and 1# lead balls, and occasionally I'll caste some plaster balls too... they make a nice cloud on impact.

    sammy2.jpg

    This is a 1# lead fishing weight mould.

    IMG_0643.JPG

    It's fun.
     
  16. grter

    grter Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    661
    "School Me On Black Powder Cannon Ownership"

    Try not to wake up the neighbors and try not to lob huge cannon balls within the town limits.

    an interesting article from a cannon owner

    http://www.buckstix.com/howitzer.htm
     
  17. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Messages:
    486
    Location:
    OR coast
    Be wary of any information you get from buckstix. A good idea would be to double check with a different resource
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice