Siege mortars for reenactors?

major bill

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#1
I am not a reenactor, but do off and on go to watch reenactments. I have never seen a siege mortar at a reenactment and wondered if any one uses them.

Also what is the most outrageous piece of equipment you have seen at a reenactment?
 

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#2
While not having seen one at a reenactment, I do know that they do have mortar competitions at artillery competitions such as the North South Skirmish Association holds. Also, a member of our forum StarkvilleCivilWarArsenal has made one out of a log ala the gum tree mortars used at Vicksburg and it is on youtube.
 

archieclement

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#3
A unit at Athens had an exploding log cannon they used, I thought it was kinda neat

In the real battle the MSG had log cannon made of of either a cottonwood or sycamore log, then had a blacksmith hammer reinforcing bands around it, the real one got off several shots before exploding, the reenactment one was one shot, blow up
 
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#5
In addition to the difficulties associated with transporting mortars (coehorns excepted) the safety issue comes up. More specifically, the NPS will not allow chambered pieces to be fired - either blank or live - at NPS sites. Mortars fall into this category. Despite the fact that with many pieces, 18th century 5.5 inch howitzers, for example, it is very easy to see if there is any fouling or embers in the breech. The concern is that because the gunner has to place his/her hands inside the bore, an accidental discharge would be catastrophic. The NSSA has specific rules/procedures, but even as good as those are, in our litigious society, they're apparently not good enough. Events on non-public property may/not fall under this prohibition.
 
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#6
Siege mortars have no reduced chamber.they are commonly used at live fire competition events.and the participants loosely dress period.they won't call what they do reenacting in any way to stay away from the petty farby b.s. that gets heated topics going for hours on threads.for instance used at N.S.S.A. mortar competition. Camp greylung live fire competition.and will probably see some future use at the John Pelham long range artillery competition.guys who own them like him bender from the loomis battery may do small events for schools or festivals with the mortar and implements as static display
 
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#7
James Brenner I think you need to research YouTube videos.siege mortars have been fired at Gettysburg( again no chamber. But so have coehorn( with reduced chamber) and I recall other videos of both at mps sites
 
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#9
Coehorn mortars were very common and cheap back in the early days of reenacting, the 60s and 70s. They require a safety fan that not only is in front of the firing piece, but also above it. The concussion will knock tree branches above the piece down, for example. As the hobby became more history and safety conscious, a slow movement to get them off open field reenactment events began. By the 80s, they had become the 2-band muskets of the artillery world: it seemed that only units with serious historical issues and questionable safety practice (I.e. farbs) would drag one around. Pity really, because there is a time and place for them, and they're still fairly inexpensive, as artillery goes.
 
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#10
I am not a reenactor, but do off and on go to watch reenactments. I have never seen a siege mortar at a reenactment and wondered if any one uses them.

Also what is the most outrageous piece of equipment you have seen at a reenactment?
If you are interested in the use of mortars and siege operations please take a look at my thread called Shooting A Sweet Gum Mortar Part 2 on the Weapons and Ammunition Forum.
 
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#11
James Brenner I suppose all the different articles on the web as well as YouTube videos are faked of siege mortars being fired at Gettysburg? And from so many different folks at different times.and might you suggest why the big dupe to pull the wool over our eyes? Here is a novel idea, call Gettysburg, ask to speak to a ranger that deals with artillery events- and ask. I saved and saved for mortar, I studied every article on the web about their history, read copies of original ordnance manuals detailing serving the gun, watched every video of repels and originals nearly daily for 5 years dreaming of this gun.and I have friends in artillery units that participate at Gettysburg.and they see siege mortar demos there.maybe not as part of Gettysburg reenactment.but they do hold live fire demos there for the public
 
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#14
Kinda shoots the park service won't allow it theory out the window.they have a competition shooting live rounds .44lb hollow iron shells.

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#16
Only a septor speaking, but I've always been under the impression such reenactor groups choose to portray mortar units as it's much cheaper than trying to recreate an authentic 10 Pounder Parrot battery.
 
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#19
Charlie Southall collection.Have a sneaking suspicion they cost as much or more than a Parrott battery.of course Charlie probably owns more parrots than anyone.he would know
 

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