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Thread: Plans for Building a Cannon
11-24-2008, 04:38 PM #1
Plans for Building a Cannon
I have a customer who wants me to manufacture a cannon. He wants one big enough to pull behind a horse (horses?) , but he does not have plans, and does not know where to buy them. I checked Ebay, they have a few, but not what he is looking for.
He and his friends do war re-enactments, and he already has the wagon wheels for it. I remember several posts here regarding cannons, but a search turned up threads that mentioned them, but not the ones that I was looking for. He will not be actually firing anything out of it, but he does want it to work. He wants to pack it with powder only. Does anyone know where I can buy a set of plans for a cannon of this size? (Maybe 3 or 4 feet long or longer???)
11-24-2008, 04:47 PM #2
11-24-2008, 04:55 PM #3
11-24-2008, 04:58 PM #4
11-24-2008, 05:02 PM #5
I have a neighbor that builds civil war cannons. He gets about $7000.00 for a finished cannon with wheels and the whole works. As I recall he buys cast cannon barrels from Dixie Gun Works for $1500 smooth 3" bore. My friend orders the wheels from the Omish. He has a few metal parts made at a local machine shop and makes all the wood pieces himself. It is an exact repla of a real civil war cannon.
The cannon barrel comes with NO power hole that makes it legal. If you build a cannon barrel or buy a cannon barrel it can not have a power hole of fuse hole unless you register it with BATF and pay the FEES which are now about $6000. the last thing I heard. The cannon owner can drill their own hole at their own risk of getting arrected or register it them self.
The best thing to do is build muzzle load sells that have a fuse in the bullet nose or are electrically fired from a wire that comes out the end of the barrel. That way the barrel stays legal and you do not have to pay BATF the FEES to have it registered as a districtive device.
You can also put and electric ignitor down the barrel then the powder then about 8" of news paper rammed in the barrel. Set it off with a battery. BOOM....................................
If you would like my neighbors phone number and a pic of a finished cannon let me know.
11-24-2008, 05:06 PM #6
Thanks, CS223. After reviewing some of those links, I'm going to try and talk him into buying one already made. They are affordable as long as they are not brass.
11-24-2008, 05:12 PM #7
11-24-2008, 05:42 PM #8
Scan for M1841 six pounder tube.
All actual artillery wheels had felloes (on which tire goes) offset out board hubs - I.E. they were dished wheels. The purpose of this was to keep the men from bashing themselves on the hubs when guns were set up close together.
Now and then one complete for sale in the ads in this magazine:
Last edited by johnoder; 11-24-2008 at 05:58 PM. Reason: add link
11-24-2008, 06:05 PM #9
11-24-2008, 06:08 PM #10
As John said, wagon wheels are not built like artillery wheels. Most Amish wheelwrights may not know how to do it correctly, since they are anti-war.
I think there was an engineering reason (strength) for the dished wheels. I have not read about them for many years, but I think I recall that the axles were tilted down at each end so that the bottom spokes were vertical.
11-24-2008, 06:30 PM #11
I think Larry is right - positive camber the car nuts would say.
Great book on the subject if you can find one - Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War - by Hazlett, Olmstead and Parks. I used to correspond with Ed Olmstead - before we quit "writing" letters.
11-24-2008, 06:31 PM #12
Try a google search for greybeards outdoor forum,, there is quite a bit of info in the blackpowder section,,
11-24-2008, 07:48 PM #13
Any Antique Style Muzzle Loading Black Powder Cannon is Legal to make
No fears on BATF&E coming by...
Local Laws Apply of Course..
If Flashhole is not drilled, the Tube is just a Tube...
A Flashhole makes it a Blackpowder FIREARM that is all.
ATF has declared tho, that a Modern Cannon design, even if a Blackpowder Muzzleloader (Like Bull Style http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Bull ) Extra Long Range Cannon would be subject to NFA regulations as a Destructive Device...
So Stick to Original Antique designs, and you will be Fine...
11-24-2008, 08:06 PM #14
Hey, When it is finished and you would like it hand engraved with sig or logo get a hold of my good friend Tim Adlam.
Check out his page and pictures of him engraving a Howitzer cannon. Notice the pipe in his mouth. That is necessary while hand engraving a cannon.
He used an AirGraver and hammer and chisel.
11-25-2008, 02:52 PM #15
11-25-2008, 03:32 PM #16
11-25-2008, 03:57 PM #17
11-25-2008, 04:17 PM #18
"The wheels of the carriage are of very subtle design. Their 14 spokes are dished slightly inward to make the wheels more "springy" on rough ground, and the ends of the axle are tapered downward to correct for this angle, so that the base of the iron-tired wheel is perpendicular to the ground. This dishing outward also improves the cornering of the vehicle and has the salutary effect of throwing mud outward and away from the men and horses following the carriage."
I would have thought that Australian artillery wheels followed English practice. Here is a nice plan view of an English traveling Forge of 1845. The wheel dish is very visible, though no camber is shown. Traveling forges followed artillery batteries to provide repair service. The forge in the picture is hitched to the same sort of limber as a gun, and the wheels would have all been interchangeable. Caissons carried a spare wheel, since wheels were often damaged in service.
11-25-2008, 04:38 PM #19
The reason for the dish is as stated by L Vanice, it is to enable the wheels to stay together when going over rough ground, NOT this stupid idea that jonoder wrote.
Prozac is working quite well, just cant stand the BUL!$#it from persons who are swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool.
11-25-2008, 05:07 PM #20
I would think twice before building anyone a cannon. you have no control over how much powder some moron is going to use. The liability is huge. 2-3 years ago as some local Ohio people will remember a cannon blew up at a party and killed 2 or 3 people. the owner/shooter/builder got some jail time out of it. Greenie Take a chill pill... remember no one is as smart as everyone. From what I'v read John Oder is pretty sharp. we all get on this site to learn from each other. No need to be so nasty when correcting what you may think is an error.