Civil War Cannon Replica?

Christina

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Joined
Dec 9, 2020
I recently inherited this cannon. I wondered if anyone could tell me anything about it. I assume it is a reproduction. I’ve compared it to pictures, but don’t really know enough about what I‘m looking for.
(Total length: 5’3”. Total width: 3’3”. Total height: 2’3”.)

I also received this smaller brass cannon. Does anyone know anything about it?
(Total length: 23”. Total width: 14.5”. Total height: 8.5”.)

Thank you for allowing me to borrow your expertise! : )
cannon 1.jpg
cannon 2.jpg
cannon 3.jpg
cannon 4.jpg
brass cannon 1.jpg
brass cannon 2.jpg
brass cannon 3.jpg
brass cannon 4.jpg
 

DixieRifles

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The brass one appears to me to be cast. I would not fire it. There is something going on back at the breech. Looks like a plug and then there looks to be two bolt protruding out the rear.
Get a shot of that very rear of the barrel.

Also be specific. By "shoot it" do you mean shoot a blank load of powder or shoot a projectile??

Cast 1.JPG

Cast 2.jpg
 

ucvrelics

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The brass one appears to me to be cast. I would not fire it. There is something going on back at the breech. Looks like a plug and then there looks to be two bolt protruding out the rear.
Get a shot of that very rear of the barrel.

Also be specific. By "shoot it" do you mean shoot a blank load of powder or shoot a projectile??

View attachment 384126
View attachment 384127
Awesome! Thank you! I'll attach a pic of the barrel. I can't imagine it could be fired, but it's possible. I'd fear losing life and limb : ) Do you think the smaller brass one is a Napoleon also or is it a different style? View attachment 384066View attachment 384067

Let me be clear. The brass on is a decorative piece, lawn art etc and is NOT I REPEAT NOT to be fired. The 1/2 scale Napoleon appears to have a sleeve so after I inspected it with a bore lite I would not hesitate to fire it.
 

Christina

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Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Thanks for the info everyone. To be clear - I definitely don't plan to try and fire either one. People who don't know what they're doing really should not play with explosives and the like : )

Thanks for sharing thsee photos. Is there any marks on the cannon refiring to manufacturing marks, ( ie ) Date of manufacture.

I could not find any markings on either one. Is there a specific place I should look on the larger one? It's pretty unwieldy, so I was limited to looking at places that were more easily accessible.

Regarding the "Napoleon", is it the angle in the photo or me, but the vent looks too far forward and very large.....
Is the vent the hole in the barrel towards the back? I see what you mean about it being too far forward. At least compared to others I've looked at online.
The brass one appears to me to be cast. I would not fire it. There is something going on back at the breech. Looks like a plug and then there looks to be two bolt protruding out the rear.
Get a shot of that very rear of the barrel.

Also be specific. By "shoot it" do you mean shoot a blank load of powder or shoot a projectile??

View attachment 384126
View attachment 384127

The brass one is definitely cast. (Y'all have good eyes.)

I will probably keep the brass one, but would need to part with the larger one. I can't even imagine where to put it or even how to get it there if I found a place. Some local folks have expressed interest in it. Any idea what a fair price would be?
 

Booner

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Boonville, MO.
Thanks for the info everyone. To be clear - I definitely don't plan to try and fire either one. People who don't know what they're doing really should not play with explosives and the like : )



I could not find any markings on either one. Is there a specific place I should look on the larger one? It's pretty unwieldy, so I was limited to looking at places that were more easily accessible.


Is the vent the hole in the barrel towards the back? I see what you mean about it being too far forward. At least compared to others I've looked at online.


The brass one is definitely cast. (Y'all have good eyes.)

I will probably keep the brass one, but would need to part with the larger one. I can't even imagine where to put it or even how to get it there if I found a place. Some local folks have expressed interest in it. Any idea what a fair price would be?
If you want to sell the larger cannon, and want to know what a "fair" price for it would be, you're going to have to do some research.

I did a google search for "1/2 scale reproduction napoleon cannon" and came up with some interesting results which only proves that your cannon has a pretty good value.

You may want to call the following companies that make and sell reproduction cannons to get an idea of what yours is worth.

--South Bend Replica Artillery-- (574) 514-7571 I see their price for a 1/2 scale Napoleon barrel alone is nearly $1,800. Yours has a carriage so that would add to that value.

--Steen Cannons--(606) 326-1188 In addition to making reproduction cannons, they also sell original and reproduction cannons on consignment, charging 18% for "pre-owned" cannons.

--Hern Iron Works--(208) 765-3115 They sell a 1/2 scale Napoleon cannon barrel alone for $900, the cost of a carriage, as yours has is not given.

--Dixie Gun Works sells a 1/2 scale Napoleon barrel only for $1,150. The review on their barrel as only 1 star due to poor casting with air pockets.

I found 1 cannon like yours that was sold on GunsAmerica.com auction site some time ago (2006), but no price was listed. However, The company that was offering this cannon, Robinson Light Armillary, offered similar cannons with carriage for $2,295 up to $2,995. I don't know why there is such a range in prices or if that company is still in business.

We even had someone come on this forum years ago with a 1/2 scale Napoleon cannon with carriage and all the accouterments he wanted to sell--for $20,000. I don't think he had any luck in selling it at that price.

I have no involvement with any of the above companies, and wish you good luck with whatever you do with the gun.
 
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Story

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Location
SE PA
Awesome! Thank you! I'll attach a pic of the barrel. I can't imagine it could be fired, but it's possible. I'd fear losing life and limb : )

Done properly, there's nothing to fear and all the cool kids are doing it anyway.

Some places where the Live Fire Cannon folk hang out online



 
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Christina

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Joined
Dec 9, 2020
If you want to sell the larger cannon, and want to know what a "fair" price for it would be, you're going to have to do some research.

I did a google search for "1/2 scale reproduction napoleon cannon" and came up with some interesting results which only proves that your cannon has a pretty good value.

You may want to call the following companies that make and sell reproduction cannons to get an idea of what yours is worth.

--South Bend Replica Artillery-- (574) 514-7571 I see their price for a 1/2 scale Napoleon barrel alone is nearly $1,800. Yours has a carriage so that would add to that value.

--Steen Cannons--(606) 326-1188 In addition to making reproduction cannons, they also sell original and reproduction cannons on consignment, charging 18% for "pre-owned" cannons.

--Hern Iron Works--(208) 765-3115 They sell a 1/2 scale Napoleon cannon barrel alone for $900, the cost of a carriage, as yours has is not given.

--Dixie Gun Works sells a 1/2 scale Napoleon barrel only for $1,150. The review on their barrel as only 1 star due to poor casting with air pockets.

I found 1 cannon like yours that was sold on GunsAmerica.com auction site some time ago (2006), but no price was listed. However, The company that was offering this cannon, Robinson Light Armillary, offered similar cannons with carriage for $2,295 up to $2,995. I don't know why there is such a range in prices or if that company is still in business.

We even had someone come on this forum years ago with a 1/2 scale Napoleon cannon with carriage and all the accouterments he wanted to sell--for $20,000. I don't think he had any luck in selling it at that price.

I have no involvement with any of the above companies, and wish you good luck with whatever you do with the gun.
Wow! Thank you so much for the leads! I appreciate the time you took looking into it and will get busy doing more research.
: ) Christina
 

ucvrelics

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Wow! Thank you so much for the leads! I appreciate the time you took looking into it and will get busy doing more research.
: ) Christina
Ive been building and selling full scale cannons for years and there is a market for the 1/2 scale versions but yours would need to be bore scoped and inspected before I would sell it as a firing model due to the pesky lawyer. Also, you are missing the accoutrements, ie: sponge, rammer and wormer. If you had it inspected and had all the tools I would say $3000 to $3500
 

Booner

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Boonville, MO.
Wow! Thank you so much for the leads! I appreciate the time you took looking into it and will get busy doing more research.
: ) Christina
Christina,
You are most welcome.
And thank you for coming to our forum with your questions. We like seeing things like what you have and trying to help.
 

Rhea Cole

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Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The black gun looks very much like the ones that were cast in Eagleville TN. I would would not be at all surprised that it is aluminum cast around a steel sleeve. As such, it is safe to fire with an appropriate blank charge.
 

Christina

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Dec 9, 2020
The plot thickens... Is $850 a reasonable offer? Before I learned more about the cannon from y'all and elsewhere online, I wouldn't have expected nearly that much. Now, that seems on the low side, but I don't want a willing buyer to slip away. Any thoughts?
Thank you for your input!
 

Booner

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Boonville, MO.
The plot thickens... Is $850 a reasonable offer? Before I learned more about the cannon from y'all and elsewhere online, I wouldn't have expected nearly that much. Now, that seems on the low side, but I don't want a willing buyer to slip away. Any thoughts?
Thank you for your input!
Do you think it's a fair price? Only you can answer that, as we don't know your situation. I would think at this point you have to decide what the cannon is worth to you.

There's nothing wrong with making a counter offer to the potential buyer. I gave you the phone number for Steen Cannons. They broker used cannons and charge 18% to do so. Give them a call. Maybe they have a ready buyer, or maybe they can give you an idea of what it's worth.

Or perhaps you may want to contact this guy: Jack W. Melton, Jr. (jack @jackmelton.com) and his website is --> civilwarartillery.com
He is also the publisher of "The Artilleryman" magazine and the "Civil War News."
Under his contact info he states that if you have any collection that you are interested in selling or appraising to please send photo's and a description to his e-mail I listed above.

I have no affiliation with him in any way, except that years ago I used to have a subscription to his magazine.

I think that if you do a little work on trying to find the value of the cannon you have, you'll find that it's work more than what they are offering. The barrel alone is worth $850; yours is on a carriage, and if it's in shooting condition, it could be worth a good amount more than what they are offering. But again, I/we don't know your situation; maybe you need the money now. Perhaps you don't have a place to keep it, or have the time to spend on selling it. Maybe you just want it out of your life. All of those are valid reasons to sell it, but if you want a fair price for it, you need to spend some time and gain some knowledge of what you have.

BTW, I think the other small cannon you have is a display model of a Louis XIV cannon. The price for a new model is around $200.00

Good luck in whatever you do.
Booner
 
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MuckyDuck

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Jan 5, 2021
I watched a VINTAGE TENNESSEE CROSSROADS episode on 1/5/2021
on WNPT2 cable channel and it told the story of a young father & teenage son who were making these cannons out of their home in Eagleville,Tennessee.
The barrels were cast at a forge near Chattanooga, then this father & son would assemble the custom cannons at home.
He made 3-4 different size of working cannons including the Napoleon.
The father originally got interested in making these cannons after seeing one on display in Gatlinburg TN at a local shop.
The father never had a showroom at his home, because as soon as a cannon was made it was sold immediately.
He said at the time, he had a 2-3 month waiting list and the father & son would spend as much time 7 days a week making the cannons.
He was amazed that people would want to buy his cannons just from looking at drawings on paper without seeing the actual cannon.
On this TV episode, they demonstrated firing a cannon 4 different times, using aluminum foil packed with powder, instead of cloth or paper, tamped into the cannon barrel then dropped a fuse into hole and lit it.
After each firing the father would have a good laugh once the cannon went boom.
 

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