Want a Lighter Field Cannon - Mountain Howitzer?

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CrufflerSteve

36 Cal.
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I'm going to have some money soon, assuming my son and car stay out of trouble.

I have some fun blasters but I've been thinking about a historically correct field gun that I could take to shoots
and re-enactments. My car can tow 1800 pounds so that rules out full size field guns and pushes me in the mountain
howitzer direction. I'm not overly thrilled about that. In my part of the country, if you have a small field
cannon, it is a mountain howitzer, usually on a prairie carriage. I'd like something different.

I'm thinking about buying the whole deal, barrel & carriage to have one that I can use as model for future
projects.

Wild Imports has interesting guns at a good price. There are problems. The tubing is not seamless. They are not
NSSA approved and have no plans for that. Even with my amateur eye, there are some differences between their
carriages and 'correct' ones. I've looked at some of their barrels and their casting around a tube seems to leave
quite a few voids.

I looked at the King howitzer. Its very nice looking but it is small. From the quoted weights of the barrel,
a ball round would be darned near sticking out the bore.

I've been looking at other, more expensive manufacturers. Cannons Online has a cool looking Pack Parrot. I
checked with the fellow who runs 'The Artilleryman' and he feels this is historical fiction, that not a
single Pack Parrot was ever issued and the short barrel would have made the Parrot's progressive rifling useless.

Cannon Ltd. has a ductile iron mountain howitzer barrel with a 3" ranter than the usual 4.62" bore. If I'll
be casting zinc balls, that would save a lot of material and make me feel better shooting lighter balls.

It is looking like a mountain howitzer by default but I'm open to suggestions about cannon and suppliers. I'm
not totally attached to US Civil war cannon. If I get one of those it would be union. I'm a northerner. Whatever
I get should be historically correct and made to NSSA standards. I do think subcalibering is fine and a good
safety feature.

Steve
 

Will Bison

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Steve;

The Army of the Missouri asked similar questions when selecting artillery. They never did come up with a good answer until the little Hotchkiss gun was introduced and then only a handful were purchased.

Faced with the same dilema several years ago, I purchased a full scale Mt Howitzer from South Bend Ordnance. With the bore reduced to about three inches it was a heavy gun. I eventually sold it because it was too much gun to handle alone. My towing limit was around 2,000 lbs and after deducting the trailer weight, all the associated junk and the gun, I found that around a 600 lb gun was top end for me.

Another possibility would be to look at the Southwest and California. Remembering that Russia controlled Northern California and Spain the Southern area, opens up some interesting options. Quite a bit of artillery was left behind when Russia pulled out in '42 and Spain a few years later.

I know I didn't answer your questions but I did want to point out some possible options.

Bill
 

CrufflerSteve

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How about a captured Confederate Bronze Mountain rifle
Cpt Ed, thanks for the suggestion.

I prefer Union but that is a tempting little gun. One was actually used in The Battle of Honey Springs. That's pretty amazing how one made it to Indian country since only 18 were made. It could always be explained as a 'captured' piece.

A 2.25 exploding shell would not have been that impressive before the days of high explosive so I can see why a 4.62 inch 12 pound Mountain Howitzer would be preferred. At that battle the Confederates did use its accuracy and range to make it a super sniper rifle and picked off officers.

Steen & Cannons Online make them.

It would be tempting to have a small cannon capable of serious accuracy.

Will,

I can see the issue with weight. I wouldn't want to lift a mountain howitzer barrel by myself. I have seen one fellow's little trailer where he adapted a Harbor Freight engine hoist to lift his howitzer barrel. When in the carriage they aren't that hard to maneuver.

I'm not too sure that I've seen any other country's designs that would make good small field guns. If you go way back there is the falconet. I'm open to suggestions. Some of the older guns do seem to have simpler carriages than the 19th century field guns. If I do way back I do have some limits. I won't wear tights or whatever they were called.

Steve
 

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