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Old 2nd September 2018, 08:02 AM   #1
AHorsa
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Default Canon barrel

Dear All,

I got this small canon barrel recently.
The over all length is nearly 65cm. Diameter inside is c 3,3cm.

Any ideas of its age and use (ship canon maybe?)

Kind regards
Andi
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Old 2nd September 2018, 02:10 PM   #2
Pukka Bundook
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Good morning Andi,

I am No expert, but first thoughts say a swivel gun from a ship.
The condition says it was in salt water for a long time too.

Very interesting find!

Richard.
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Old 2nd September 2018, 04:39 PM   #3
M ELEY
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Richard nailed it completely. It is a swivel/rail gun.

It still has the remnants of the swivel bar near the cascobel. Hard to tell from the pics, but the trunnions appear to be slightly lower than the mid-way point of the barrel, another indication of a swivel to allow for angling down. My metrics are horrible, so I'm not sure what the length is in inches? If it is less than 15", it is probably just a signal gun, also mounted on the rail. With that bar, however, I think this one was a true "murderer" as they used to be called! Very cool find and a true piece of history! Do you know where it came from/was found?
Mark
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Old 2nd September 2018, 09:17 PM   #4
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Perfect. Thanks guys!

The length in inch is nearly 25". Do you have an idea on how to date it? I think 18th or 17th century. But thatīs quite vague.
The owner got it from Antwerp many years ago, together with a large cannon. Sadly he stored it outdoor, sticked inside the barrel of the large one. This is why the back is "newly" rusted and crusted.
Due to this I think I need to preserve it somehow (if it was the original condition as the rest of the cannon I think there wonīt be much need). What do you think about removing the loose rust with a steel brush and than conserve the condition with Owatrol Oil?

Best
Andreas
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Old 3rd September 2018, 04:59 PM   #5
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Hello,

Not expert in cannons but it seems to me a british design cannon, sec 18 or 19.

Regards,

BV
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Old 4th September 2018, 03:10 AM   #6
M ELEY
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BV is right that it could be as 'new' as early 19th century, possibly British. I would place it between mid-18th to first decade of 19th. As far as cleaning it, everyone has different opinions on that. Because this piece is already in a deep state of corrosion (stabilized), perhaps just oiling it? If you really want the brown rust gone, perhaps steel wool or fine grip sandpaper with oil. I would be afraid the wire brush might clean away the dark patina and leave a 'shiny area' unpleasing to the eye-

Here's a British swivel, circa War of 1812. Note the elevated block surrounding the firing hole, similar to yours...
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Old 5th September 2018, 12:31 PM   #7
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Thanks guys!
Here is another similar piece, which shows the same remains of the swivel bar as mine:
http://nautarch.tamu.edu/CRL/Report10/gun.html

Best regards
Andreas
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Old 6th September 2018, 01:12 AM   #8
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Perfect! As the article mentions, these could fire a small ball (Rev War pieces even a 2 pound ball!) and small clusters of shot (partridge shot). It was not unheard of to load with nails, bits of scrap and even broken glass if in a pinch!
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Old 6th September 2018, 12:32 PM   #9
fernando
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Perhaps to use a single ball but, with a bore of 33 m/m. Deducting the windage, would lodge an ammo with less that 30 m/m, resulting in a weight of, roughly speaking, less than 80 grams iron (or some 120 grams lead), as fit for short-range anti-personnel ordnance.
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Old 6th September 2018, 12:50 PM   #10
fernando
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Red face If i am correct ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
...I am No expert, but first thoughts say a swivel gun from a ship.
The condition says it was in salt water for a long time too...

Perhaps the cause for such excavation, Richard, is more due to it not having being immediately treated after being rescued than the time it stood under water.
As i read, while bronze pieces can be brought in (relatively) less chaotic conditions to contact with open air, those in iron tend to quickly disintegrate if not sank in water tanks and submitted to treatments like electrolysis.
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Old 6th September 2018, 01:01 PM   #11
Pukka Bundook
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Dear Fernando,

Yes indeed you may well be right on this.
We sometimes see exactly the same thing where swords are concerned.
Excavated in good condition, not cleaned, and go to pot very quickly!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on after-find treatment!

Best wishes as always, :-)

Richard.
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Old 6th September 2018, 03:23 PM   #12
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As being discussed HERE, Richard .
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