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#1 BrightStar

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 02:49 PM

Last month I happened to visit Charlestown in Cornwall. In the harbour they maintain a small flotilla of tall ships, often hired out for training or filming. The boats themselves are an ingeneous mix of old and new (a Garmin GPS attached to an antique radium painted compass...) but clearly make for a successful enterprise.

One ship was being painted and prepped for filming Treasure Island in the Canaries and interestingly I found these on the quayside:

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As a dedicated pyro, I tried to work out whether they could be fired. My guess is yes (and indeed that they might have been proofed and pressure tested recently). What do others think? Are these genuine or mere film props? Would you consider hand firing them?

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Edited by BrightStar, 20 November 2010 - 02:49 PM.


#2 whoof

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 04:44 PM

I showed that to a neighbour who used to be in the sealed knot.
She said yes to both.
Used a 2 pounder herself.
That touchole does not look origional so i am guessing they may have been reactivated for the film.

#3 RFD

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:12 PM

Judging by the steel lugs welded on to the trunnions and as snert said the touch hole being oversize i would think they are film props,genuine cannon barrels were usually cast iron or bronze,welding steel to cast iron is not easy so i would think these are cast steel, repros or film props,as for firing they probably Chuck a bit of black in to make a bit of smoke and noise,to fire a cannon ball proofing would be a must .

#4 Deano 1

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:34 PM

They're probaly licensed for blank firing for films, due to the enlarged touch hole. A puff of smoke out of the touch hole adds to the effect on film. To your question would you concider firing them, my answer is yes, all day long.


Our saviours : In the ninth century, a team of Chinese alchemists trying to synthesize an "elixir of immortality" from saltpeter, sulfur, realgar, and dried honey instead invented gunpowder.

#5 dogsbody

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:14 AM

have 2 sealed knot guys here, they like the look of them but would prefer to stick to their own canon!!

#6 Arthur Brown

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:48 AM

From my understanding of the law, if they have a barrel they ARE either shotguns or firearms and need to be licensed as one or the other, and licensed to someone! SO with all the requirements of licensing they might as well be real ones, and it appears that here is current manufacture of canons for re-enactors' use.

If the Bore is under 2 inches then it's a shotgun, if the bore is over 2 inches it's a firearm. Apparently there is a 14" canon somewhere in re-enactor land.

There are also some canons that are lightweight GRP that have a LeMaitre two pin connector in the "muzzle" which suffice for theatre work -they have no bore down the barrel so no tickets are needed though VCRA would still apply.
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#7 Re-enactor

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:15 PM

Looks like fibreglass outer with steel core- this allows a 2/3 saving in mass compared to cast iron and yes they will fire BP fine. The law is a bit hazy on cannons- you can own one as a decorative piece but any intention to fire it makes it a shotgun if bore at least 2 foot long and up to 2" diameter or a firearm if any other size.

Got my cannon on order for spring (3 foot swivel gun)....




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