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Weapons maintenance at Castle Argghhh! a never-ending chore, thankfully.  In addition to small arms maintenance (mainly pistols and one machine gun [DEWAT for any interested LEO types]) this weekend, I did a little work on the Howitzer of Argghhh!.

There is some new kit for the cannon.  New sponge and rammer, vent cover, and, for you people who simply get *offended* because I use cannon fuse on *koff* my cannon... a percussion lock.  The lock will still require drilling and tapping the vent for a nipple, and some custom leather work for a harness to secure it for firing.  There is also a new tompion, which will get tricked out with a disc bearing the Castle logo on it before it gets sealed and painted.  There has been some touch-up work done as well, though again some of the purists will be distressed that I haven't corrected the color scheme.  That's going to have to wait until spring.  The tube has been thoroughly cleaned and rust-proofed, and the exterior rust spots cleaned up and painted over.  I need to get a hand spike yet, and I've ordered a 3-high 14-ball stack of round shot for her.  I need to get a sponge bucket, too.  And a quadrant.  All in good time.


Hey, let the nitpickers pick as they will.  That is looking pretty good!
Nice looking cannon.  The chocks are a bit of an anachronism, though.  :-)
Nothing to nitpick. I does look good.
Well, QM, nice to know your self-image is in good shape...  ;^)
Cleaning your own weapons is not work.  Its an addictive action on par with crack cocaine and peppered bacon, but much healthier.

Even in basic training, OCS, etc, I never minded cleaning firearms.  I liked how they went back together and the sense of accomplishment when the Drill Sergeant, Tac Officer and/or Armorer couldn't find any faults.
Very, very nice, and jealousy inspiring.
I see you have a prolonge already. Really a necessity with no limber and not enough horses. Wait, you don't have enough gunners, either. Oh, and what's wrong with a quill and a linstock?
I'm not sure if I'm envious or jealous.
And a Brass Monkey?  For weather purposes af course.


Arte et Marte
Heath  - while I will probably build a rack for the balls, it won't be a brass monkey.  I might put in a ready rack near the muzzle, too.
 "... drilling and tapping the vent for a nipple ..."
... this is a scene from "Venus In Furs"?

Sometimes I think that Mr. (formerly Captain) Heinrichs is even worse than I am.
So, Mr. Heinrich,  if you had to decide which of the famous works of the Marquis de Sade you liked best, would you pick "Juliette" or "Justine"?
Oh, to get back on topic: That percussion lock seems to be the kind with no springs in it, getting its initiating energy entirely from the yanking of the lanyard. Is that true? 
If your piece is not a boat howitzer, your percussion lock is anachronistic, and if it is a boat howitzer, it's on the wrong carriage for shore duty, but far be it from me to tell you how to make your gun go boom.

"Boom Boom" Sieglein  
A linstock is so much simpler, #4, as you know. However, the Armorer loves the gizmos, as do I.
Oh, and yer spellin it wrong; it ain't tompion, it's tampon!
Hmmm.  Where to start?

1.  Sometimes I think that Mr. (formerly Captain) Heinrichs is even worse than I am.
Perhaps, but he's more clever - you take the 16 ton weight approach.  John builds victim-operated traps. To put it another way - JMH is the bad guy in the Saw movies. You're more... Jason.

2.  Cannoneer #4 - Oh, we're going to talk anachronism now, are we?  I know you don't hang around here as much as you were wont, but... as described in earlier posts the gun is a *rifled* 3 incher made from the tube of a naval 3"/50.  On a steel carriage that is *similar* to a 1st Model Prairie Carriage and the gun is *similar* in shape and overall dimensions to the M1841 12 pounder mountain howitzer, but it ain't no artifact.  Then there's those anachronistic Archambault hub wheels (which were a feature on US artillery equipments in the late 1800s and early 1900s).
The wheels are original, at least, if badly off-era.

Since the entire set-up is "farb" why the heck shouldn't I go ahead and use a percussion lock?  Much cheaper over time than using friction primers - and a lot less messy than using a linstock (which would require drilling the vent hole a bit larger, JTG, in order to reliably pass the priming powder all the way down to the charge).

As for the purist's question of "Whyever would you waste money on a farb piece of trash like that!?!"  a question I have received in email - the answer is simple.  I wanted a gun that I could shoot that was robust enough for year-round outdoor display.  And, while it may not seem like it, there *is* a budget to consider.

So, I get what I want, without risking an artifact, or paying tens of thousands for an accurate reproduction (which will still be... a reproduction) and in fact have a much more structurally sound gun, it being made from a tube intended for modern ammuntion and pressures, and I don't have to worry about blowing out the sleeve, etc.

Good grief, guys (this isn't just you #4) I can only assume all this caterwauling on authenticity is envy-based! 

/exasperated look

Oh, and yes, JTG, the lock is of the simplest type.  There is a flintlock version out there, but it's pretty spendy and even more anachronistic for the purists among us.
A Ranger, SEAL and Marine Recon stood around a campfire.......... Package check, fellas.  My money's on "82".  Inside joke.


 "Justine", although Romina was very wooden ....

Mike L, it's "#81", just for reference.

You mean you really couldn't find a suitable historic piece to acquire through mdnight requisition?  Have none of your coterie been associated with Logistics whilst in the service?
You know what happens when you assume, John.

Some  of  this "caterwauling on authenticity" likely comes from people who fancy themselves serious living historians with significant chronological, financial, emotional and ego investment in honoring the artillerymen of 150 years ago by accurately interpreting the material and military culture of that period to a mildly interested but generally unknowledgeable public. 

Your attitude towards authenticity as posted on what may be the most artillery-centric  blog on the internet threatens their worldview.

I hear nail gun blanks are cheaper than percussion caps.

Yanno, #4, if I had obtained either an artifact or a good repro, I would share their concerns.  But this truly is "Castle Argghhh! Artillery" and I find the gnashing of teeth to be intriguing (and, yes, at times a bit annoying, but I get over that pretty quick). 

This seemed a perfect fit - a farb gun, for a farb purpose, that I wouldn't feel guilty for leaving out in the elements.

Heh.  I *am* honoring the Gunners of old by not pretending this gun is anything than what it is - an anti-Zombie gun protecting the approach to the Inner Bailey.

Mark - No, I'm not a Marine, so I didn't have to steal stuff from others for fun, profit, and from a sense of envy. I like a clear title.  (That ought to bring out a whole new crowd of Screaming Mimis...)