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Old 22nd March 2021, 10:31 PM   #1
pbleed
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Default Filipino cannons

Dear Friends,
I am a long-time lurker on the Ethnographic Arms and Armour Forum, but I have little skill in this medium, so I rarely have spoken up.
I write today because I am developing a paper on a couple of cannons that I think deserve documentation. I own them. They were brought to the US before America’s involvement in WWI by an early and distinguished officer in the Philippine Constabulary. They both exhibit an interesting break action design. And both are made of older bronze muzzle loading guns.
The smaller gun seems made to accept a 37mm shell. It has a very light inscription on the barrel extension that may say something like “El D??? Baro”. It also carries the number “3” on the wood base. The barrel measures 36.5 cm. I believe that this gun was made of a small Spanish cannon. I would appreciate suggestions and guidance on this topic.
The other gun seems to be a modified lantaka that was adjusted to accept a 1” (Nordenfelt?) round. The barrel is 77 cm long.
I would appreciate any and all advice, but I am especially interested in the break action design of these guns. Is this type at all common?
Thank you. If I can figure out how to do it, I will post some pictures
Peter Bleed
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Old 22nd March 2021, 11:06 PM   #2
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Thanks, and let's see some pictures please!
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Old 22nd March 2021, 11:25 PM   #3
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I'd love to, but I can't figure out how to do it.
Peter
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Old 22nd March 2021, 11:34 PM   #4
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Peter,

Welcome to the Forum. Please see the following document located on the Ethnographic main page (third item down from the top):
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13631
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Old 23rd March 2021, 01:41 AM   #5
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Let's try these!
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Old 24th March 2021, 01:39 AM   #6
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Peter, can you show pictures of the breeches open and maybe a picture from the rear of each gun looking down the barrel/s? Also what is your opinion of the current mountings; display, or functional?
The larger cannon looks like it was cut from a gunwale which would be a reasonable way to mount a gun of this size. The only thing that puzzles me is how the gun was elevated or depressed.
Thanks.

37mm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/37_mm_gun_M3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordenfelt_gun

Last edited by Rick; 24th March 2021 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 24th March 2021, 06:48 AM   #7
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I agree with Rick. These appear to have been mounted on the railing of a vessel, which is why they were sometimes called "rail guns." Additional pictures would be very helpful, especially if you could show a scale to indicate the size of what we are seeing in the pictures. I've not seen a breech loading lantaka before.
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Old 24th March 2021, 07:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbleed
They both exhibit an interesting break action design. And both are made of older bronze muzzle loading guns.

The other gun seems to be a modified lantaka that was adjusted to accept a 1” (Nordenfelt?) round.
Hi Peter,

Are you sure that they were muzzle loading guns? and not breech-loading swivel guns? It is just a question, I know nothing about these cannons.

And are you sure that the second one is a modified lantaka and not an old Portuguese cannon? I wonder if the lantaka were local copies of Portuguese cannons? Close photos would be good.

Kubur
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Old 25th March 2021, 12:09 AM   #9
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I agree with the call for close ups. They don't look like traditional antique lantaks to me, but more late 19thc - early 20thc. IF the second one is an old lantaka, it is such that the lantaka was modified to work on a rail.
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Old 25th March 2021, 06:26 PM   #10
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I appreciate the responses that have been offered. Thank you and please forgive my ham-handed attempts at communication.
I also failed to communicated in my initial post that these are MODIFIED guns that were altered to make them BREECH LOADERS. I think the smaller gun started as a Spanish mountain gun. The other one looks like a "lantaka", but I wish there was a grand synthesis of those guns. Apparently there isn't one.
Both are mounted on large - but movable - wooden bases. They are absolutely NOT gunwale sections. They look to me like man-handles field artillery.
These guns are both BREAK ACTION breech loaders that were fitted in iron frames that let them pivot open and be firmly closed when they pivoted down. I was hoping to find some precedent for that design somewhere in Asia. More than anything they look to me like BIG shotguns
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Old 25th March 2021, 07:23 PM   #11
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Are the barrels rifled? They may be ships signal guns.

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Old 25th March 2021, 08:19 PM   #12
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Indeed they are NOT rifled. There isn't even a distinct shell chamber so the could be anything. They were brought home by a decorated combat officer with the Philippine Constabulary. Why couldn't they be artillery pieces?
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Old 25th March 2021, 11:22 PM   #13
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The wood mountings make absolutely no sense to me; they cannot be elevated or depressed. Might they be for display or perhaps they were fitted to some sort of carriage and those were removed to facilitate easier shipping back to the States.
The one on the left looks like it was modified to take a rimmed cartridge; 37mm cartridge is what was used as an anti-tank round; I can't imagine putting a round that size in a gun approximately 14.5 inches long. Then again...
Edited to add link:
http://www.landships.info/landships/...chutz_M15.html
The Lantaka I can't tell about the breech as the photo you posted does not really show the rear, or breech end of the barrel clearly.
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Last edited by Rick; 26th March 2021 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 26th March 2021, 02:12 AM   #14
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Rick,
Thank you for your comments. You are correct is saying that these tubes do not have direct means of elevation. Perhaps they were used with an element that ain't there now. I also wonder if they were intended for direct fire from a prepared situation much as coehorn mortars were, but instead of shooting a "up" they may have been intended to for direct, short range bombard
Both of these guns had the breech plate set into and all the way through the base so that they have a large bolt/nut protruding from the base. They do NOT sit comfortably on a hard flat surface.
The 37mm round you showed us is one of the enhanced anti-tank rounds. The first generation 37's - as used in Manchuria and them thru out WW1 - were simply cylinders.
Please excuse the shortcomings of these images of what I will call the "Lantaka"
First the muzzle. Note that it is essentially flat, but that it has a cast front site.
Next consider the breech from the top. My interpretation is that instead of simply cutting the end of the barrel off, the shortening was done to leave a "barrel extension" that would lock into the breech plate. In this view the gun is closed with a replacement brass pin since the original ain't there.
Okay, now take a look down the barrel. Note the cartridge extraction system.
Next look at the rear of the gun. Two things catch my eye. First, look at the feature at the extreme back end of the barrel extension. Do you see it? I have to wonder/guess that this may somehow be a remnant of the touch hole of the original "uncut" lantaka. It is easier to also see that this gun has a forges iron ring driven into the base. Clearly, it could have been tied down in position. There appears to have been another of these fixtures on the other side of the rear surface. There appear to have been a pair of them in the front of the base as well, but they ain't there now.
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Last edited by pbleed; 26th March 2021 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 26th March 2021, 11:00 PM   #15
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQEs6i4fwLA
Ian has a nice treatment of the first phase of 37mm history. The Spanish made extensive use of 37mm "1 pounders" against Admiral Dewey so that surplus rounds would have been available to Inserrectos - ahh, pardon me, I mean freedom fighters!
Peter
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Old 27th March 2021, 11:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
.. I've not seen a breech loading lantaka before.
Its alleged predecessor, the CETBANG ... was .
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Old 27th March 2021, 03:13 PM   #17
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This does look like it was a lantaka that was cut and modified to this form.
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Old 27th March 2021, 03:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
This does look like it was a lantaka that was cut and modified to this form.
Which do you mean by this, José ?
You are not referring to the Cetbang of the Majapahit era from my post previous post ...

.
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Old 27th March 2021, 04:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
This does look like it was a lantaka that was cut and modified to this form.
Thanks for the referenced to "cetbang", clearly there was history to breech loading artillery, but this weapon is certainly of the early 20th century in several regards.
I would appreciate specifics that make it look like a modified lantaka. Please tell me what you are keying in on. Thanks
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Old 27th March 2021, 06:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
...I wonder if the lantaka were local copies of Portuguese cannons? ...
No, rather the other way round. The Portuguese later reproduced them ... eventually for local trade, and also as a currency means.
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Old 27th March 2021, 06:50 PM   #21
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Peter, may i assume that the (non lantaka) gun also has an extraction system ?
Could you then shows a photo taken from its back so that we may discern how that system works; visibly not like the one in the lantaka ...
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Old 27th March 2021, 07:04 PM   #22
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It might be informative to do a chamber cast and extended into the first part of the barrel. This would give an idea of the round along with bullet diameter used. Cerrosafe is the casting material used by gunsmiths and ammo reloaders and is available from Brownells among others. It doesn't mess up the gun.

Best,
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Old 27th March 2021, 08:27 PM   #23
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Red face Talking nonsense ...

With your guys tolerance, let me wonder the reason why two guns of so different universe were modified to serve the same purpose; as if different calibers and dimensions did not make it an ureasonable task.
It certainly required an imense work done by someone skilled; not to raise questions on how those inventions ensure tight gas sealing on the rear plates ... even their bursting; we are talking deflagrating ammunitions here.
On the other hand, it appears inconceivable that a person goes through all this laborious work to set up a work of decoration; yet …
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Old 27th March 2021, 09:10 PM   #24
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It occurred to me that the short one could have been used as a man trap; but then I considered the loss of such a weapon to it's owners and I discarded that idea.
I would guess that both are center fire weapons, but I don't see any mechanism to fire them, nor obvious firing pins present as they are now.
I'd imagine that the 37 cartridge would hold a heck of a lot of large buckshot.

I'd be willing to bet that the Lantaka has also been modified for a foreign round much as the 1873 MAS revolver was modified for 45acp in WWII.

A little more complicated in this instance.

Last edited by Rick; 27th March 2021 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 27th March 2021, 09:27 PM   #25
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This is my second attempt to respond to the last couple of posts. Thanks for your interest!
Cerrosafe will be a challenge for this application since the 37mm gun as bolts into the chamber that will make removal of the castings difficult.
Second, I attach another view of the breech end of the 37mm gun. On thus gun - as on the "lantaka" the firing - "denonating" mechanism - the"TRIGGER" -is the button in the box attached to the back of the breech. The guns were fired (it appears) by a blow to that button - OMG!
The lantaka has a similar device and it IS visible in early images.
Peter
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Old 27th March 2021, 09:41 PM   #26
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Better pictures always help.
From the appearance of the blocks they are mounted on they could have been mortised into a larger block that was on an axle with a wagon type tongue attached, wheels of course. Aim, elevate, depress.
A field piece
Pass the hammer.
I've never seen the like of these before.

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Old 27th March 2021, 11:45 PM   #27
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Rick,
You have just answered the question I was trying to ask. These things seem to be odd enough not to be on the collectors' radar.
Peter

Last edited by pbleed; 28th March 2021 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 28th March 2021, 02:22 AM   #28
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Yes, they do, but you never know for sure.
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Old 28th March 2021, 11:19 AM   #29
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Rick, i see that you conclude that these are operational shooting weapons. Then my next question would be; were these made for the entertainment of a single user or were they part of some armed force arsenal ?
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Old 28th March 2021, 01:37 PM   #30
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Peter,

You say "since the 37mm gun as bolts into the chamber that will make removal of the castings difficult."

This suggests that a 37mm round could not be effectively inserted into the breach. Maybe a subcaliber insert was used to fire a smaller round. Also, a cast breach/barrel was likely made to take black powder pressure and not that of a modern round. Just a thought.

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