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Anvil Cannon


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Was at the parents house with the kids this weekend, and they were watching some movie with Reese Witherspoon and during one scene they were firing anvils out of cannon and large ones at that. My first thought was how in the world do you design a cannon to fire something as oddly shaped as an anvil? Secondly, how much dang gun powder would you need to launch something 100+ pounds like 50 yards? lol.

I think the movie was Sweet Home Alabama, but who knows. Just thought the scene was funny.

Also, not gonna lie, it seems like something Thomas or Frosty would try to do.

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Sweet Home Alabama they were not firing anvils from a cannon; just using gunpowder in the recess some anvils have in their bases.  Put on anvil face down and fill the recess and run a fuse and set the second anvil base down on top of it.   Not quite as dangerous as playing Russian roulette; but you need a lot of open space to do it even semi safely.

Does anyone know if ABANA is still hard against it?  I remember the brouhaha that ended up with ABANA groups being "Affiliates" rather than "Chapters".  (Never felt the need to do it myself; my black powder cannon makes a fine boom on it's own!)

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Yeah, "Sweet Home Alabama". IIRC it was her Grandfather who had a thing for shooting anvils. I don't recall a cannon but I haven't watched it in quite a while. 

We don't encourage firing anvils, it can be dangerous though I doubt an anvil would be blown up or broken unless it landed on something really hard. 

There are or were contests and placing the bottom (call it a mortar anvil) anvil on a large steel plate got significantly better altitude, upwards of a couple hundred feet on 2-4 Tbsp of black powder. Mortar anvil upside down on the ground or plate, pasteboard strips around the edges, Some guys use window putty as a gasket/ spacer. Black powder in the caplet or spread on the mortar, a fuse, stand the shot anvil right side up on top. Light the fuse and GET WAY BACK. 

Search "Anvil Shooting."

Again it's inherently dangerous and B A D things have happened, most often the result of mishandling a quantity of black powder, not getting hit by a flying anvil or pieces.

Watch the videos but don't try this at home! Our club has pretty strict rules against it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Based on your twos description, seems like I wasnt far off on my saying it sounded like something you two would do :lol:

Makes much more sense they would fire it that way. I couldnt wrap my head around how you would shove an anvil in a barrel lol.

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Knowing HOW to do something doesn't mean we WOULD. Even if I had a couple anvils I didn't care about enough to shoot I wouldn't tell anyone. I think it's probably illegal enough to spend a little time in jail and talk to a judge over.

If you had a cannon with a large enough bore firing an anvil would be EZ. PZ., that's what Sabot are for. I bet an anvil would really whistle flying down range. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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2 minutes ago, Frosty said:

I bet an anvil would really whistle flying down range.

well theres only one way to find out:D

in canada a cannon of that bore would be illegal (crazy politicians ww1 and 2 artifacts ar now ilegal but dont get me started)

M.J.Lampert

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You are familiar with guns firing square bullets like the Puckle Gun, (second version) was able to?   Lets not get into tumbling bullets and if they contravene the Geneva Convention...

Hmm the US Civil War travelling forge had an anvil that fit inside the wooden stand for transportation. Halfway to a sabot already!  (Found one at an antique store down in El Paso; bought it and passed it on to David Einhorn author of "Civil War Blacksmithing".  Saw about 4 sq inches of it peeking out behind other stuff in a CL listing picture; it was not in the listing but years of training in recognizing stuff in scrapyard piles by just  a tiny bit showing...)

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Not very aerodynamic and may not travel very straight---which can be a plus!  Think about sending a "curve ball" in around some fortification!

The stone trebuchet ammo has the virtue of creating it's own shrapnel when it hits a hard surface. This can be a desired action.  I remember reading about the British being upset bombarding the soft coquina limestone walls of the Castillo de San Marcos in San Augustine Florida as the walls "Swallowed" their cannon balls instead of spraying rock chips all over.  They described it as "like throwing rocks at a cheese".

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ah the trebuchet built one with a few classmates for a chinse based "renaissance fair i will look around and see if i can find a pic of these (there was 2) this was also the time i built a Chinese Ge and took it to school as I was in charge of the weapons section(this was a mild steel replica that was blunted and okayed by the principal a outdoors kind of guy who likes hunting and fishing) the first in pic is what it looked like

 See the source image

M.J.Lampert

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Ahhhh, I love me a trebuchet! Maybe if I'm good I'll get to play with one someday. Below is a link to a PBS program about building a replica of Warwolf based on what little is known. It fired 300lb. stone shot a couple hundred yards and turned replica castle walls into shrapnel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVO8VznqMeQ

There was another show some years ago about IIRC college students who built one out of steel that would throw a compact car a couple hundred yards. I haven't searched very hard to find it. These guys were throwing anything not bolted down, many shots resulted in fireballs. 

 

Lastly is the "Fling" of the TV series, "Northern Exposure," fame. It was built of structural steel and lacked a counter weight, they pulled the throwing arm through with a backhoe. And they flung a lot of stuff including a casket in an aerial burial, the piano was blown into smitherines when it hit water. I miss that show and I don't see the series being live streamed on one of our channels. <sigh>

Frosty The Lucky. 

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We built a trebuchet for physics class in high school as a class. When it was all done, we launched bowling balls from the parking lot to the opposite side of the football stadium, so a couple hundred yards at least. Was all kinds of fun.

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Should there be a need for land based defense using anv-unitions: Before opening fire, it would be best to get on the horn to issue a warning, "Turn your troops about face, lest they be brought to heel and laid waist by the mighty foot of Lord Vulcan!"

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So De For-ces...

Stand back, a genius is at work.

P.S. I think they only cry "Hey Buddy" when you're invading Canada. (Sorry my Canadian friends, I mean no offense)

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I am surprised our wonderful northern neighbors haven't quietly put up a privacy hedge along the border so they don't have to look at our mess down here lol. Too nice to put up a privacy fence because they don't want to offend you, so they go hedges under the pretense they just want a nice row of shrubs.

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My my high school wasn't that cool, though we did have a balloon and rocket club. Bowling balls are also popular cannon shot. 

Nice MJ but is that actually a tankapult or a tank spatula for flipping them like a flaptank? Now that it comes up I think we should crowd source for funds and materials to build a tankbuchet. Lobbing a T80 a few hundred yards satisfies me on so many levels I get all quivery just thinking about it. 

I wonder what the math guys say it'd take to fling a Russian T80 main battle tank in a sub orbital ballistic track? If we changed the counter arm to throwing arm ratio from 1:3 to 1:4 the sling would be going several times as fast but it'd take probably 2x the weight. Hmmm. . . . Hmmmmm . . . . Hmmmm. The voices suggest we slip in some night and tip the eiffel tower over on a pivot and use one of the smaller pyramids for the counter weight. 

Ahhh, the voices have spoken, just the symbolism of flinging a main battle tank half way around the world with a 12th century siege engine just sings to my soul!

Oh GREAT, here I am coming up with a doable plan for a proper tankbuchet and our Canadian neighbor starts getting snippy. Well, doesn't THAT change everything! It won't be as long a shot, there IS that but where do we find such a handy throwing arm? Hmmmm, I suppose we can come up with what we need. How heavy is a Canadian tank?  tappetty tapp tapp tapp laughing at Google while DuckDuck goes for the info and. . . Leopards? Canada borrowed 20 Leopards from Germany? And later bought 80 from the Netherlands. 

We can set up the tankbuchet at Niagra falls, the canyon walls will make a handy booster for the frame and we can fill the counter weight with water. Now we're talking. Where to fling it is the remaining question, I'd hate to ruin a perfectly good tank, maybe fling a broken one? Yes, THAT'S the ticket the voices are happy! Where do we fling it, I don't want to damage anything unless Canada has some castle wall it wants turned to shrapnel. 

This poses different problems than a T80 fling, who cares about scattering broken pieces of broken T80 across the landscape so long as it's not occupied. We don't want to hurt anybody, not even the Russian tan crew, I'm sure they're nice enough fellows, we'll buy them dinner and a beer. We'll want the turbine revved to redline for the fling. Oh OH! we'll lock the hatches open, it'll whistle MUCH better with the hatches open!

Everybody in my head is excited, when do we start?:)

Frosty The Lucky.

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