Join Date: Apr 2017
Signal gun or failed experiment?
I acquired this piece several years ago and, while it is outside my usual interests, I found it compelling enough to add to the collection. I'm hoping some of the gunnery experts on this forum can tell me what it is. I presume it's a signal gun but, for all that I know, it could be a DIYer's failed attempt at barrel casting.
It measures 16 inches from cascabel (button) to mouth and has a 1-inch diameter bore, which has been sleeved with ferrous metal (iron, steel?) reducing the bore diameter to 13/16". The bore length is 12 inches. The width at the outer ends of the trunnions is 7 1/4", while the width of the barrel at its widest is 3". The gun weighs approximately 22 pounds. There appears to be a vent on the top side (highlighted with a red circle in the image provided), which is filled with sediment. The gun bears no discernable stamps or marks.
The seller told me he had recovered the gun in 1949 from the bottom of a navigable Midwestern US river where shipping was known to have been active from the early 1800s. At the time I acquired it, I did some low-level research about the the decay of bronze artifacts subjected to fresh water immersion and, IIRC, it seems there is some basis to think the pin holes that cover the gun are the result of immersion for many years (the river in question is known for its high tannin content). As seen in the photos, the metal is heavily patinated.
I'm happy to shoot additional photos or answer any questions you may have. Thanks in advance.