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The Pennsylvania State Navy began using full-scale English 3 pounders in early 2000.  The tubes were manufactured by Cannon LTD, with a slight design modification over the normal artillery pieces made at the foundry.  Because of the Navy's propensity for live-fire demonstrations, the use of the typical 3/8" steel liner that is standard in most modern artillery reproductions was changed.  The full-scale English 3 pounders were reengineered to utilize a 1/2" steel liner, making these cannon far stronger than any other in their class.

In addition to the battery of 3 pounders, two full-scale 1 pounder bronze swivel guns were ordered from Godwins.   The first arrived in June of 2006 and the second in August .  These guns are cast of naval gun bronze with a 1.75" bore, are 24" long, weigh 65 pounds each and come with a cast bronze swivel yoke.


The effect of canister fired at life-size targets from 100 yards.  The canister impacted in front of the target and burst open, hitting all four targets in the line.

In May of 2006 the PSN had the opportunity to do some live-fire shooting with one of the 3 pounders.  A QuickTime video clip (11MB) is available at right showing one of the guns being fired on a 300 yard range (click on the photo to see the video.)  The ammunition is a dogfood can filled with concrete.  The charge is five ounces of 2FA black powder.  In addition to solid shot, a number of canister rounds filled with fifty 75 caliber lead musket balls packed in sawdust were fired at infantry targets placed at 100 yards.

You'll need broadband and the QuickTime viewer installed on your computer to watch this clip.   If you don't have QuickTime, you can download it here.


Damian Siekonic and Don Becker researched John Muller's "Treatise of Artillery", printed in 1780.  The only detailed technical drawings for a naval or garrison carriage depicted in that publication were for an English 24 pounder.  Although the book's text provides calculations and rudimentary measurements for most of the guns of the time, the two found a more accurate way of devising suitable plans for the size carriage they needed.

Taking a piece of plywood, one of the 3 pounders was laid on top and traced  using a square and a pencil.  The outline was then cut out with a jigsaw and painted black.  The result was a silhouette cut-out of the cannon barrel. 

Becker and Siekonic employed the use of an overhead projector, a laptop and a VGA projector.  Muller's plans for the 24 pounder were scanned at high resolution and then projected onto a white painted 4'x8' sheet of plywood.  Adobe Photoshop was then used to adjust the plans to accommodate the length and width of the 3 pounder barrel.  The plans for the carriage were now life-size and proportional in every detail.

The convenience of using an overhead projector was obvious.  By moving the projector nearer or farther away from the plywood, the plans for the carriage were enlarged or reduced as needed.  The cut-out of the cannon barrel was held up to the projection, and when the silhouette of the cannon barrel fit the plans exactly to scale, the cut-out was removed and the plans were traced onto the plywood.  The result was an accurate set of building plans custom-fit to our barrels.

Instead of using solid oak, which was an option, it was decided that the carriages would be built using laminated mahogany.   Mahogany, although not as hard as oak, has the same waterproof qualities without all of the weight, and when laminated using four pieces of 1"x8" and set counter-grained, it provides more strength than oak with an increased durability over any one piece of wood.

The two carriages shown here took just over two months to build, which included custom blacksmithing.  Two more carriages are being built for cannons three and four and should be ready for service sometime in 2007.

~ Technology Resource ~

Carriage plans for both the naval gun carriage and the garrison carriage can be downloaded HERE.