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Thread: What is it like to shoot a mountain cannon??

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    What is it like to shoot a mountain cannon??

    This is something that I'm very recently interested in.

    Now I know, I may not roll a mountain cannon, wheels and carriage into the NRA basement shooting range and expect them to allow me to shoot this at paper targets.

    I was wondering about those of you who have loaded for, cast or shot, a mountain Cannon.

    What was your experience?

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Was the vent attendant on a full scale with a 4" bore once. 1 lb of cannon grade. Very loud and smokey. Damn fun.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    You should go up to Ft Shenandoah for the NSSA fall nationals they compete with them up there. Its pretty wild to see a 3" round ball sailing through the air towards its target.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    After you said that I've been reading about it, that sounds really fun to watch!!!

    http://www.n-ssa.org/shoots?tag=Fort+Shenandoah

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    I used to compete in the cannon matches at the spring and fall N-SSA at Winchester - great fun! Our group had two South Bend replica 10 pound Parrots - one a rifle and one a smoothbore. We had access to an original seige mortar as well and competed with it a number of times in trying to drive stakes - that was equally as much fun. I enjoyed - still do - shooting rifled musket but the years our group had together in shooting live fire Civil War cannons were the most enjoyable.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Having built several canons over the years this came up in the news and scared me a bit.


    A 63-year-old Garfield man will spend two years in federal prison after constructing a working red, white and blue cannon in his garage.

    Kent W. Kimberling has been in custody of the Spokane County Jail since January 2020. In August 2019, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms discovered the unregistered destructive device in the home he shares with his mother.

    Kimberling pleaded guilty in March to a single felony criminal count of possession of an unregistered destructive device. He had been facing a maximum 10-year prison sentence, and his sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge William Fremming Nielsen was held in a closed courtroom Tuesday morning at the request of his defense attorney.

    Investigators went to Kimberling’s home to conduct a welfare check. They found the cannon, which was later tested by federal agents and found to be operational. It fired a soda can, “leaving a large hole in the center of (a) target,” according to court records.

    The bore of the cannon was measured to be 1¼ inches, greater than the ½ -inch bore permissible under federal law. Two other cannons were discovered, smaller than are prohibited by federal law.

    In an interview with agents, Kimberling said he believed construction of the device was legal. Investigators also said Kimberling told them “numerous times that he believed the police and police chief were out to get him and that the Town of Garfield is corrupt.”


    Kimberling’s defense argued that the 63-year-old is in poor health and cannot receive treatment while incarcerated at the jail. He also argued that he is the sole caretaker for his widowed mother in Garfield.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    I will also have to look into this as I built a “ golf ball” cannon over 20 years ago and had no idea there was a bore size regulation ?
    It is a muzzle loading cannon using black powder and a wick.

    Jedman
    Last edited by Jedman; 08-03-2021 at 11:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    Why was his Cannon un-lawful?

    I see the mention of bore size but nothing about specific law he is breaking.

    You're right this is a chilling effect.
    Was he electrically igniting a powder charge of blue dot to send Red Bull cans full of concrete through a car door???
    What modern cannon uses soda cans as projectiles?

    I kind of assumed peoples cannons used black powder... you can't buy solothurn anti-tank gun and loaded shells from the back of Shotgun News anymore...
    It is my understanding that black powder cannons are considered antiques and then therefore not part of NFA??

    Govt better have a good reason for this if they're going to separate him from taking care of his mom.

    How ugly if this is politically motivated.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Having built several canons over the years this came up in the news and scared me a bit.


    A 63-year-old Garfield man will spend two years in federal prison after constructing a working red, white and blue cannon in his garage.

    Kent W. Kimberling has been in custody of the Spokane County Jail since January 2020. In August 2019, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms discovered the unregistered destructive device in the home he shares with his mother.

    Kimberling pleaded guilty in March to a single felony criminal count of possession of an unregistered destructive device. He had been facing a maximum 10-year prison sentence, and his sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge William Fremming Nielsen was held in a closed courtroom Tuesday morning at the request of his defense attorney.

    Investigators went to Kimberling’s home to conduct a welfare check. They found the cannon, which was later tested by federal agents and found to be operational. It fired a soda can, “leaving a large hole in the center of (a) target,” according to court records.

    The bore of the cannon was measured to be 1¼ inches, greater than the ½ -inch bore permissible under federal law. Two other cannons were discovered, smaller than are prohibited by federal law.

    In an interview with agents, Kimberling said he believed construction of the device was legal. Investigators also said Kimberling told them “numerous times that he believed the police and police chief were out to get him and that the Town of Garfield is corrupt.”


    Kimberling’s defense argued that the 63-year-old is in poor health and cannot receive treatment while incarcerated at the jail. He also argued that he is the sole caretaker for his widowed mother in Garfield.
    More to the story. Apparently it was a breechloading gas pressure cannon, not a muzzleloader.

    https://civilwartalk.com/threads/bat...-owner.187068/
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    More to the story. Apparently it was a breechloading gas pressure cannon, not a muzzleloader.

    https://civilwartalk.com/threads/bat...-owner.187068/
    Did they bust him for having an evil gun or an evil heart? And that thread they suggest that he was pointing the cannon gun at people, and made pipe bombs that he could shoot out of it. Maybe that's why the news article is so skimpy on details...

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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    2 things about this case report.
    1 Spokane ATF has a bad history, ie R. Weaver and the gun store in central Idaho and others.
    2 The Spokesman/Review has gone down hill since there problems with the South Hill rapist in the '80s, they are also very left wing.
    Shaune509

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Brassmonkey's Avatar
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    The law I read says over .5 in is ok as long as it's smoothebore no rifling.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I've never seen a 1 1/4 in. soda can. Someone is a liar.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Why was his Cannon un-lawful?
    IIRC it was threats to members of the police, he had made, that brought the police to the home and an a destructive device projectile, that was a no-no.


    I made this pneumatic bowling ball launcher to play with. Cheapest thing I reload.


  15. #15
    Fun, black powder field artillery is fun. No getting around that. You do however need friends to play as well, usually a crew of 5 on a full sized field gun like a mountain howitzer, however 4 is doable.But if you don’t giggle like a school girl after hucking a 6 or 12 pound steel ball ( or correctly sized can of concrete, lots cheaper) almost out of your line of sight you clearly have something broken inside.
    I’m not sure who is still doing it around where you live but my advice is to find an artillery unit of civil war reanactors near you and go see what it’s all about. Just making noise mind you, but gets your foot in the door. You will find them odd at first, we are odd people, you have to be to transport the quantity of black powder required to feed the guns, wear all wool in July and smell of sulfur for extended periods. But they will eventually adopt you because field guns are expensive, heavy and they need bodys to help unload them from trailers, maintain them, move them and fire them.
    If you want to be one of really odd guys find a group that fields a flying gun and is mobile horse drawn artillery. “Fire by prolong” my handle is actually the field command to fire the gun while connected to the limber and team via the the prolong rope that is normally wrapped around the tail of the gun, so as to fire and relocate the gun as rapidly as possible.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 17nut View Post
    "A minimum distance of 100 yards is a "must" for reasonable meat recovery. ( less damage ) You don't want to hit the deer with all 148 musket balls. "

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    IIRC it was threats to members of the police, he had made, that brought the police to the home and an a destructive device projectile, that was a no-no.


    I made this pneumatic bowling ball launcher to play with. Cheapest thing I reload.

    Your bowling ball cannon is incredible.

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebyprolong View Post
    Fun, black powder field artillery is fun. No getting around that. You do however need friends to play as well, usually a crew of 5 on a full sized field gun like a mountain howitzer, however 4 is doable.But if you don’t giggle like a school girl after hucking a 6 or 12 pound steel ball ( or correctly sized can of concrete, lots cheaper) almost out of your line of sight you clearly have something broken inside.
    I’m not sure who is still doing it around where you live but my advice is to find an artillery unit of civil war reanactors near you and go see what it’s all about. Just making noise mind you, but gets your foot in the door. You will find them odd at first, we are odd people, you have to be to transport the quantity of black powder required to feed the guns, wear all wool in July and smell of sulfur for extended periods. But they will eventually adopt you because field guns are expensive, heavy and they need bodys to help unload them from trailers, maintain them, move them and fire them.
    If you want to be one of really odd guys find a group that fields a flying gun and is mobile horse drawn artillery. “Fire by prolong” my handle is actually the field command to fire the gun while connected to the limber and team via the the prolong rope that is normally wrapped around the tail of the gun, so as to fire and relocate the gun as rapidly as possible.
    It would be so awesome just to shoot soda cans full of concrete just to see them fly. If only I owned a mountain as a backstop.

    I wonder what would happen to an ar500 plate if it got smacked by one of those concrete bullets at 500 yards. And I got excited when I saw what happened to the steel plate when I hit it with the 308 with cast boolits!!!

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  20. #20
    Boolit Bub Rapier's Avatar
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    I have shot a field piece that shot fruit juice, frozen juice, size cans, full of concrete. They are a calamity when shot through a swamp. I have a Naval mount gun with a 1.29” bore that I built out of steel and made the carriage to scale from oak, based on drawings from the Smithsonian.
    The BP cannons are fun to shoot, not so much to clean.
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