Here are the pictures of a 'full scale' copy of the Gonzales Come and Take It cannon that Tom Moss in jefferson, Texas made, as it was test fired and then at the field where the annual celebration of the battle is done in Gonzales, Texas.
Fwiw, despite firing "the little cannon that could" at least three or possibly four times on the day of the skirmish at Gonzales, especially given that the cannon was loaded (at least one of the 3-4 shots) was "filled to the brim" (According to a private letter by Herman Olds, who was a "cannoneer".) with scrap metal, horseshoe nails, rocks, etc., it's wonder that it didn't EXPLODE & injure or kill the "cannoneers".
(None of the "cannon crew" had actually ever loaded or fired a cannon, so they "learned by doing"!)
Incidentally, the ONLY "casualty" of the skirmish was a broken nose suffered by a Texican, whose own horse reared up & struck him in the face. = It really wasn't much of a skirmish & certainly NOT "a battle" in any true sense of that word.
Note: The "officer commanding the Mexican forces" (when the soldados returned to base later the next day) reported to GEN Perfecto Cos that he had "faced 3 or 4 hundred soldiers, armed with rifles & a section of heavy guns". = That completely false report of "enemy strength" definitely "gave General Cos 'great pause to consider' sending troops to Gonzales again". = GEN Cos could truthfully be described as "timid", "terminally naÃ¯ve" and "willing to believe any report, regardless of its likelihood of being correct".
Having actually helped fire "the little cannon that could" (start a war!) with BP & wadding only, I cannot imagine that the barrel would long survive being loaded "with several handfuls of powder, an old shirt & then filled to the muzzle with lead balls, rusty horseshoe nails, bits of scrap metal & rocks".
(Truthfully, I'm surprised that the barrel survived ONE shot, when loaded that way!!!)
I'd guess that it just was NOT "the cannon crew's" turn to die.
(The fall of The Alamo Fortress WAS that sad day for several of those brave men. Others died at La Bahia.)
We have actually fired steel railroad wheel bearings from this cannon into large round bales of hay at 300 to 400 yards. It's pretty impressive when a ball hits the ground in front of the target and dirt flies everywhere.
If left elevated the ball keeps going into the woods behind the target...no idea how far it would actually go.
Steel railroad bearings? - I know ZILCH about those or what they are.
What diameter? What load? How much BP per shot?
The ORIGINAL was NOT designed for anything but shooting "blanks". - It's a NOISEMAKER for fiestas & I'm always surprised that it didn't just "blow up", as was Pat Wagoner, MD who owned the little cannon.
Yes...it's likely that the original was probably just a 'signal cannon' to alert the village of indian raids and so forth. With the simple loose straps mounting the tube to the carrage it is certainly not safe to fire with a real load.
Tom's gun has solid straps and the tube is securely inletted and it is machined from good steel.
I understand that 'RR Wheel bearings' are 2" steel ball bearings used in the wheels of freight cars.
The BP load as I recall was around an ounce or so of powder in a foil pack. When shooting 'blanks' he adds another couple of ounces of flower on top of that.
This is one of two guns that Tom made. It has a 2" bore, and the other one has a 1.5" bore like the original in the Museum.
He also has the touch hole drilled to fire with regular cannon primers and a lanyard.
If you're ever up in Jefferson I'm sure Tom would be glad to take you through his museum and show you some of the other cannons he has made.
FWIW, I'm originally FROM Pittsburg/Camp County, raised in Morris/Franklin/Titus counties & occasionally "get up that way".
What's the name of the museum? And where in Jefferson is it located?
Note: The original little cannon was willed (in 1986) to "The Elementary School Children of Texas" by Dr. Pat Waggoner, MD (who was a friend of mine years ago) & who found/authenticated/kept/toured schools with the cannon for years (after the City of Gonzales refused to take/exhibit it).