Captain Jim

Oddball Cannons

32 posts in this topic

Here we will assemble examples of oddball, no-so-bright or simply hazardous examples of cannons from the past.

I'll start. From the North Georgia tourist page:

doublebarrelcannon1.jpg

One of Athen's most prized possessions, the famous Double Barrel Cannon, was cast at the Athens Steam Company in 1862 and today stands on the lawn of the City Hall in Athens, Georgia. The Athens Steam Company was renamed the Athens Foundry and Machine Works in December 1863 and most reports name the Foundry as the site of manufacture. The Cannon is a double six-pounder, cast in one piece, with a three degree divergence from the parallel between the barrels. Each barrel has its own touch hole so it can be fired independent of the other and a common touch hole in the center is designed to fire both barrels simultaneously.

The idea was to connect two cannon balls with a chain and mow the enemy down like a scythe cuts wheat. The gun is four feet eight and one-half inches long, the bore is three and thirteen-hundredths inches and the gun weighs about thirteen hundred pounds.

The gun was designed by John Gilleland who has been identified as a local house builder and mechanic, a Jackson County dentist, a private in Mitchell's Thunderbolts and as an employee of Cook's Armory. The Cannon was financed by a $350 subscription raised by 36 interested citizens and the casting was supervised by Thomas Bailey.

The Cannon was taken out on the Newton Bridge Road in April 1862, for test firing. The test was, to say the least, spectacular if unsuccessful.

According to reports one ball left the muzzle before the other and the two balls pursued an erratic circular course plowing up an acre of ground, destroying a corn field and mowing down some saplings before the chain broke.

The balls then adopted separate courses, one killing a cow and the other demolishing the chimney on a log cabin. The observers scattered in fear of their lives.

Some reports claimed two or three spectators were killed by the firing. The reports of the deaths have not been substantiated. The Watchman promptly reported the test an unqualified success.

I will not be using this setup in my gun deck project.

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Not quite a cannon, but I've always had a hankering to build a replica Puckle gun.

For those not familiar, the Puckle gun was designed and patented by James Puckle in 1717-18, and is widely hailed as being the first machine gun. Of course, the flintlock mechanism slowed the rate of fire a bit, but at an average 9 rounds per minute sustained fire it was still a lot faster than anything else around at the time. Advertisements for the Puckle gun suggest using round shot for fighting Christians, but square shot against the "Turks".

The Puckle gun was a single barrelled, tripod mounted weapon which had a 9 shot cylinder which could be loaded up in advance and quickly switched, in order to keep up continuous fire. One of the potential uses mooted for the gun was as an anti-boarding weapon (hence the mention of Turkish enemies), possibly for use by undermanned merchantmen against pirates. Calling it a machine gun is probably going a bit far, but it was certainly the forerunner of repeating weapons like revolvers, and it was supposedly an inspiration for the much later Gatling gun.

The shortcomings of the Puckle gun were such that it was not adopted by the army or navy, and Puckle failed to raise enough investment ever to go into proper mass production. However, in 1721 Puckle did manage to raise enough capital to go into small scale production and the gun was made in at least two sizes, either in iron or brass. In 1722 advertisements began to appear in London newspapers for the Puckle gun, and the London Journal ran an article reporting a test firing; "one Man discharged it 63 times in seven Minutes, though all the while Raining; and that it throws off either one large or sixteen Musquet Balls at every discharge with very great Force"

But basically, I think it would look wicked in the bow of my boat...

james_puckle.jpg

PuckleGun.gif

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Hmmm....1717...late GAoP. A very nice addition to the Oddball Gun Thread. I suppose we could expand the definition to include all sorts of oddball stuff, not just cannons, although that is arguably a small multi-round cannon, since it fired large projectiles (or 16 musketballs at once), not standard musket calibers. I am assuming no rifling, right?

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Yeah, it was a smoothbore. The gun in the photo is quite a small one, firing musket-ish sized bullets. From the written description though they appear to have got much larger. Hmmmm... repeater grape shot gun... :P

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Out of period and definatly not a cannon but on topic I present my favorite oddball fire arm.

The Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver in .455. Known as the answer to a question no one ever asked it only had two real claims to fame.First it was used widely by early WW1 piolts as it used a large round had rapid fire and didn't eject hot cartridges into the flamable fabric aircraft. It's second note of distinction is it's brief apperance in the movie Maltese Falcon.

http://www.thegunzone.com/webley-fosbery.html

In a final thought I don't know whitch screams redneck louder the making of a double barrel cannon or the fact I have always wanted one to call my own. (Only in Georgia lol.)

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It's second note of distinction is it's brief apperance in the movie Maltese Falcon.

http://www.thegunzone.com/webley-fosbery.html

In a final thought I don't know whitch screams redneck louder the making of a double barrel cannon or the fact I have always wanted one to call my own. (Only in Georgia lol.)

Hitman, if memory serves me correctly, I think Bogart goofed in his line about it. I seem to recall him saying, when the detective commented that he didn't recognize the odd-looking revolver found at the scene of the crime (Archer's murder):

"It's a Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver; .45 caliber, 8 shots; they don't make 'em anymore."

Well, they never did: the 8 shot version came in .38 only; the .45 (.455) came only in a 6 shot version.

I'll have to look at my video again, though. <_<

Capt. William

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Here's one:

tm-13.jpg

This little item, standing about 12 inches tall, is called a thunder mug. It was used to test gun (cannon) powder, to launch fireworks or just make loud noises during celebrations. Several more examples can be found at:Cannon Manira

You may also be able to buy a new one from South Bend Replicas

the "thunder mug" name is, unfortunately, shared by another device, the chamber pot. It also is mug-shaped and under certain ah, gastro-intestinal conditions can produce a profound thundering of its own.

6503_jpg.jpg

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Capt. You may very well be right on that as it's been a while since I saw the movie. Oh and here is another odd ball of sorts the cutlass pistol (A reporoduction actually)

http://www.swordsofhonor.com/frcupi.html

Not all too common but not so much a loner as the puckle gun

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Foxe ya beat me to it! I was gonna post the Puckle gun too! It's definitely ODD...imagine Blackbeard bolting one of those to the bow of the QAR!

I recently saw a 19th century engraving featuring odd guns of the early 18th century. If I can dig up a copy to scan I will.

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Okay, that pistol cutlass is so... beyond... awesome. Pity its accuracy was poor, eh?

And the Puckle gun... that's pretty sweet.

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I've seen that type of cutlass pistol before, mostly as a non-functional reproduction, but I have also seen a few in antique auctions. a more famous cutlass pistol, but OOP for our purposes, is the Elgin cutlass pistol.

images49257.jpg

This one is available as a kit from Dixie Gun Works

14867.jpg

Someday I want to recreate this in a flint version, even though I havn't seen an authenticated example of one.

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This has kinda moved more into oddball guns than cannon...

But Here's a OOP 'hand gonne'....Pre-GAOP....

My Webpage

ANd another...

http://www.humanities-interactive.org/medi.../ex018_03d.html

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yeah, it's gone astray like many threads here, but it has remained interesting nonetheless. Maybe we could change the title.

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Collecting these oddball weapons, combination weapons, etc. is a collecting specialty unto itself.

But then, sometimes we forget that even "conventional" weapons are combinations. Look at the grenade launcher mounted on the rifle. Or the bayonet, mounted on the rifle. Or the blunderbuss with the folding spike bayonet. :)

Capt. William

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Blunderbuss with Bayonet? Like this one:

f111a.jpg

And the business end:

f111f.jpg

Yet another project to pursue.

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A blunderbuss with a bayonet would be a cool project to make.... but knowing my luck, the State of California would consider it a switchblade.......... :blink:

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New Jersey would consider it an assault rifle...

They consider my Brown Bess an assault rifle... because it has a bayonet lug on it....

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New Jersey would consider it an assault rifle...

They consider my Brown Bess an assault rifle... because it has a bayonet lug on it....

This is unbelievable! (No, not really! :blink: )

Don't they take into consideration the fact that it's a flintlock? :lol:

Capt. William

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This is a case of the law being vague, mainly because those who put it it into affect didn't think about other than 'modern firearms'...

I'm hoping an amendment will be made, for the sake of any reenactor in that state...

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I can't find the link right now... but the NRA has a list of gun laws by state... black powder weapons are exempt from a lot of the laws for modern weapons... But I might print out and carry in my cartridge box a copy, just so if I run into a overly gung-ho cop, I have the information to show him.....

Weapons laws might be an interesting topic for Capt. Twill.... sence many historic reenactors carry real weapons (as opposed to non-firing copys...)

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Here is a picture of a flint pistol/hunting sword up for auction:

18-huntingsword.jpg

And here a variation on the theme, a knife with the lock built onto the blade:

k_1_009a.jpg

k_1_009b.jpg

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When you watch Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and most especially 3, watch for a beautiful pistol-cutlass and a double-barreled blunderbuss with bayonet. There is also a grenade launcher present, and an original 4 barreled duckfoot. Pretty cool stuff, and should get some oooos and awwws from the oddball gun enthusiast. There are some pretty unconventional deck guns you might enjoy as well, but they're somewhat of a surprise. BB

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Didn't Cutthroat Island beat you to the grenade launcher? :lol:

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Billy! Pictures, man, pictures.

Meanwhile, how about a combination boar spear and pole gun? Stab the beast and shoot 'em at the same time.

spearg.jpg

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I just think the Puckle gun would be a good replacement to any swivel gun mount. Although shown with a tripod, I'm sure any halfway decent blacksmith could fashion a mount at that time. It would be as effective as many of the smaller swivels, and could fire faster and be loaded in the safety of the armory. The larger solid shot would probably have been effective against the boats the boarding party was using. I agree, great for merchants and pirates alike, though I'd want one of those babies on either side of the quarterdeck.

Coastie :lol:

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