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Dad Builds 700 Pound Cannon for Son's Birthday

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the targets-only-no-shooting-birds dept.

Toys 410

Hugh Pickens writes "The Charleston Daily Mail reports that machinist Mike Daugherty built his son a working cannon for his birthday — not a model — a real working cannon. 'It looks like something right out of the battle at Gettysburg,' says Daugherty. The 700 pound cast iron and steel howitzer, designed to use comparatively small explosive charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories with a steep angle of descent, has a 4-inch gun barrel that is 36 inches long mounted on a wooden gun carriage with two 36- inch diameter wheels and took Daugherty about two weeks to build at a cost of about $6,000. 'I've always been interested in the Civil War and cannons, so I thought it would be a good gift,' says Daugherty's 11-year old son Logan. Daugherty said he is not worried about the federal government coming to get his son's cannon because he spoke to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and found it is legal to own such a cannon because it does not use a firing pin and is muzzle loaded so the government does not consider the weapon a threat. Two days after the family celebrated Logan's 11th birthday, father and son offered a field demonstration of the new cannon on top of a grassy hill overlooking Fairmont, West Virginia and on the third try, the blank inside the barrel went boom and a cannon was born. For a followup they popped a golf ball into the gun barrel, lit the fuse, and watched the golf ball split the sky and land about 600 yards away. 'Any rebels charging up this hill would be in trouble with a cannon like this at the top,' Logan says."

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Perfectly Legal (5, Funny)

savanik (1090193) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263135)

...it is legal to own such a cannon because it does not use a firing pin and is muzzle loaded so the government does not consider the weapon a threat.

He then continued to say, "Also, I use it to hunt deer."

Re:Perfectly Legal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263151)

And suppress royalist insurrections with a whiff of grapeshot.

Re:Perfectly Legal (4, Funny)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263267)

If you can hunt deer with a 4" cannon, more power to you. Most deer in West Virginia are killed by SUVs.

Re:Perfectly Legal (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263405)

With a 4" cannon, the number of deer you can hunt is limited only by the number you can get to stand side by side.

Re:Perfectly Legal (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263441)

They aren't mutually exclusive - what do you think he tows the cannon with?

Re:Perfectly Legal (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263747)

If you can hunt deer with a 4" cannon, more power to you. Most deer in West Virginia are killed by SUVs.

Admittedly, it's a good way to get rid of SUV's. But, my god, what kind of cannon do they use to fire SUV's at the deer?

Re:Perfectly Legal (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263745)

i know you ment this as a joke here(i thoguht it funny), but seriously it does annoy me that people try to legitimize owning a long arm for hunting .

the second amendment has 0 relevance to hunting, and 100% to having the ability to arm one self as an independent force separator from the federal government.

A arm is a weapon not food gathering device(though it may be used that way). and is something every American has the right and in some capacities the duties to exercise.

Re:Perfectly Legal (1)

Unending (1164935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263911)

No for that you need a Mountain Howitzer.
http://www.buckstix.com/howitzer.htm [buckstix.com]
(this is somewhat old so just disregard if you have seen it before)

Re:Perfectly Legal (2, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264101)

...it is legal to own such a cannon because it does not use a firing pin and is muzzle loaded so the government does not consider the weapon a threat.

He then continued to say, "Also, I use it to hunt deer."

An interesting thought.... would this "gun" qualify for the muzzle-loading hunt? Due to the higher degree of difficulty in shooting with archaic guns and more limited range, several U.S. states offer special licenses for those hunters who hunt with a muzzle loading gun that often has extended dates and additional locations where you can hunt with those kind of guns.

Seems a tad bit overkill, but wouldn't it be a sight to see on the opening day of the hunt?

Wow, news for nerds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263147)

This is totally OT.

Re:Wow, news for nerds (3, Insightful)

Zen Hash (1619759) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263395)

This is totally OT.

Not necessarily. It's just geared more towards history, or even engineering, nerds than computer nerds. I'm willing to bet any 11 year old kid who's a civil war buff gets picked on as much as the rest of us did in school. At least until he gets a 700lb cannon...

Re:Wow, news for nerds (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264089)

any 11 year old kid who's a civil war buff

Clearly we have different definitions of "11 year-old" :)

Re:Wow, news for nerds (4, Funny)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263899)

Lighten up, Francis. Just because the cannon doesn't run Linux doesn't mean its not cool.

But still, imagine a cluster of these things.

Safety first? (5, Funny)

TheRealPacmanJones (1600187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263149)

First? Is it really a good idea to give an 11 year old a cannon. Even though you will tell him not to use it unsupervised eventually theres going to come a time where his friends say something like "cmon we will just shoot it once"...... and then before you know it they are invading a nearby neighborhood...

Re:Safety first? (4, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263191)

You get about one shot every 2 minutes if you have four guys that know what they are doing, and you burn more than $10 worth of powder for ever shot. And the things are heavy. They will not get far.

Re:Safety first? (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263779)

... guys that know what they are doing

That made me think of Blackadder III, Duel and Duality:

Blackadder frantically reads instructions during duel with cannons:
"Congratulations on choosing the Armstrong Whitworth four pounder cannonnette. Please read the instructions carefully and it should give years of trouble free maiming."

Re:Safety first? (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263889)

>They will not get far.

If they point that thing at me they can go as far as they bloody please. I'm not going to argue.

Re:Safety first? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264083)

Yes, the proper procedure is to shuffle sideways and then argue.

I'm one to actually give 10 year olds a decent amount of credit, but that doesn't mean they get to make me angry without any consequences.

Re:Safety first? (2, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263233)

Cannons don't kill people. (Unless they run them over). Gunpowder and cannonballs kill people. Just don't let the son get ahold of the gunpowder and he'll be safe. The article doesn't say that he built any cannonballs at all, and you can't just buy them at your local Walmart.

Re:Safety first? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263281)

Actually, a lot of folks design cannons around available ammo... pool balls, golf balls, bowling balls, etc. And black powder is relatively easy to make....

Re:Safety first? (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264013)

You left the most important ammo off your list... PUMPKINS!

Re:Safety first? (2, Informative)

TheRealPacmanJones (1600187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263323)

Cannons don't kill people. (Unless they run them over). Gunpowder and cannonballs kill people. Just don't let the son get ahold of the gunpowder and he'll be safe. The article doesn't say that he built any cannonballs at all, and you can't just buy them at your local Walmart.

Just because you dont have cannonball doesnt mean you wont put anything vaguely round into the cannon to see if it will shoot. I know I would have done that if I had a cannon growing up.

Re:Safety first? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263475)

With that sort of attitude, it's no wonder your dad never built you one.

Re:Safety first? (2, Funny)

mustafap (452510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263903)

>I know I would have done that if I had a cannon growing up.

yea, my brothers head would have definitely gone in there.

Re:Safety first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263607)

Cannons don't kill people.

That's right. People kill people.

Re:Safety first? (0, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263983)

Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my cannon has.

Good riddance to a fat drunk.

this response does not comply with NRA propaganda (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264209)

you should have written

"Cannons don't kill people. Criminal confederate rebels with cannons do."

You'll shoot your eye out, kid (5, Interesting)

Zen Hash (1619759) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263163)

Though Daugherty said he is still stunned that he had to get clearance from the NSA for the archaic artillery piece

Why would he need clearance from the NSA?

Re:You'll shoot your eye out, kid (5, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263407)

Why would he need clearance from the NSA?

Because the American government has known, probably since Reagan, that its' constituents have genuine grounds for overthrowing it, and that it is therefore reasonably possible that they could someday try...and that they must therefore be prevented from trying at all costs. ;)

Re:You'll shoot your eye out, kid (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264035)

I'd mod you +1 Insightful if I had any points to mod with!

NSA??? (4, Insightful)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263697)

Though Daugherty said he is still stunned that he had to get clearance from the NSA for the archaic artillery piece

Why would he need clearance from the NSA?

I'm calling "bullshit" on the NSA bit. The NSA is a bunch of spys and technology geeks. They would have little interest in a Civil War-era black powder cannon. From the NSA web site "The NSA/CSS core missions are to protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information."[http://www.nsa.gov/about/mission/index.shtml]

Re:NSA??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29264039)

Nah, there's no such agency.

Re:You'll shoot your eye out, kid (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263883)

I'm betting it had a lot to do on something in a nearby location, and what that something is designed to lookat/listento

Re:You'll shoot your eye out, kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29264129)

I don't know, but maybe it's a typo, and they meant NASA? Afaik, you're not allowed to fire stuff into the air if it can reach above a certain altitude (100m or so I think), without permission from whatever your local aviation authorites are called. /me admits he has no clue what goes for usians, being a european, but feels justified speculating since this is /. after all. :>

Cost? (4, Informative)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263179)

The article didn't say it cost $6000, but that it would be worth that. It would be hard to spend $6000 in materials for a Civil war era cannon that you build yourself.

Re:Cost? (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263977)

Well, I see one person who has never priced bronze in quantity.

Not a threat (2, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263209)

So we can only have stuff as long as the government doesn't find it threatening?

Oh, I see this guy's on the Union side. Maybe they're worried about him pointing it at Baltimore's civilians and making demands, as the Union army did.

Re:Not a threat (0)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263667)

the Union Army pointed guns at Baltimore because Baltimore was a crucial border state that wasn't falling 100% on the right side of the war. There were plenty of riots, troop assaults, insurrection etc in MD immediately prior to the outbreak of the Civil War and during the first few months as Lincoln called up volunteers to more than justify putting down the state by force.

Re:Not a threat (4, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264079)

I can assure you Baltimore is not a state.

awesome (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263817)

a troll from 1861

Cannon Are Fun (5, Interesting)

Toad-san (64810) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263219)

My kid brother, the machinist, made a scale replica of the 24 pounder long guns on the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides). He didn't cast iron; he machined it from a solid piece of modern steel (so it was WAY stronger than the originals).

Then he made a scale carriage, machined (because it was so hard) from seasoned timbers from an old dock being disassembled.

It was 1/4 scale, as I recall. When fired using modern muzzle loader powder (and totally guessing at the charge), it shot a beercan filled with cement about a quarter mile :-)

He sold it eventually to a collector, but what a cannon that was!

traitor (5, Funny)

methano (519830) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263237)

This kid lives in Charleston. Why is he talking about shooting at rebels? What has the South come to? Where is the adult supervision?

Re:traitor (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263263)

It's Charleston, West Virginia. But he still shouldn't be shooting at rebels.

Re:traitor (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263437)

A friend of mine has a Canon Rebel. It shoots quite effectively.

Re:traitor (2, Funny)

MaerD (954222) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263717)

Yeah, bloody Tory. Acting all hoity toity with their tea and putting Union Jacks on everything. Just can't accept that we showed King George what's what over 200 years ago.

Re:traitor (2, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263793)

Why not? It's *West Virginia*. WV got carved out of Virginia for the express purpose of having the natives shoot at rebels.

Re:traitor (4, Informative)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263963)

The West Virginians saw the Secession for what the sham it was; protecting the property (slave holding) rights of the rich tidewater plantation owners while forcing the poor (the working class and dirt farmers) to fight for them. The south had the draft before the North. After Bull Run, the militias were effectively drafted for the duration. Unless you were a rich plantation owner in which case you were considered too important for the economy and released from service.

The West Virginians being dirt farmers themselves, and a bit ornery, seceded from Virginia and joined the Union as their own state in 1863.

Re:traitor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263293)

This kid lives in Charleston. Why is he talking about shooting at rebels? What has the South come to? Where is the adult supervision?

I think he was referring to birthers and right wing zealots.

Re:traitor (1)

methano (519830) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263495)

Ooops! Wrong Charleston.

Re:traitor (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263653)

Frankly, I'm surprised a kid in West Virginia knows which side they were on. Then again, maybe they actually teach the state's history to kids that go to school there.

Re:traitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263535)

He lives in the good Virginia. So shooting at rebels makes sense. :)

Re:traitor (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263971)

You do know that the state of West Virginia exists because the people of West Virginia sided with the Union against the Confederacy, don't you?
At the start of the Civil War, what is now West Virginia was just part of a larger Virginia. West Virginia was granted statehood when the people who lived there chose to remain part of the Union after Virginia seceded.

Golf-buggy towbar accessory? (1)

drseuk (824707) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263277)

This would be a great way finally to enjoy a good walk and maybe even get a hole in one.

My dad gave me arsenic to play with (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263279)

People nowadays are such wimps...
At random times, my dad gave me a loaded revolver, a tub of arsenic, a box of rabid weasles, a car with the brakes disabled, etc. etc
And I'm still alive
my parents also used to play this fun game where they'd drop me off in the woods naked and covered in bacon fat and I would have to find my way home
good times, good times

Re:My dad gave me arsenic to play with (3, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263373)

I've never gotten over the childhood trauma of seeing a naked child smelling of bacon fat running around in the woods in the middle of nowhere.

No one would believe me, they put me through years of therapy. I still cringe when I smell bacon.

Re:My dad gave me arsenic to play with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263791)

I don't care who you are... that's funny

Training the boy to be a manly man (2, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263287)

just so there's no risk he turns into a girlie man.

Every boy needs to learn that you have to have a big cannon and wield it with authority should any dispute come up.

(Warning: Failure to recognize sarcasm is the eighth deadly sin, specially in a world of manly men.)

Re:Training the boy to be a manly man (3, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263337)

But are those manly men men in tights?

Re:Training the boy to be a manly man (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263849)

*Tight* tights!

Re:Training the boy to be a manly man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263729)

jeeze, get a load of mister ten-fingers here

Re:Training the boy to be a manly man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263775)

right.

drink your latte there, bubba!

big cannon in W Va == time to invade Morgantown!

Re:Training the boy to be a manly man (1)

knight24k (1115643) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263787)

That is exactly correct. I found this is even included as a mandatory to do in my Manly Manual page 6251.

Let me the first say say... (1)

VoidPoint (634537) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263291)

Sweet!

Rebels? (5, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263325)

'Any rebels charging up this hill would be in trouble with a cannon like this at the top,' Logan says

Anyone else have an image of Stormtroopers firing one of these, relieved that they finally have a better weapon than those blasters?

That's Interesting... (-1, Redundant)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263381)

Where exactly does the "Right to Bear Arms" end? Could Bill Gates defend his mansion with NUCLEAR FORCE if he were so inclined?

Really, if you look at the time, America had just revolted against an oppressive government and it's my belief that they included the right to bear arms in the constitution to insure that it'd be possible for the citizens to revolt again should their new government ever go out of control and become too oppressive again. Even with that insurance in there the government has had its civilians outgunned for a very long time -- nevermind that time those guys TRIED to revolt and got bitch-slapped back into the Union for their trouble...

Re:That's Interesting... (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263445)

I'm not exactly worried about being robbed at cannon-point...

Re:That's Interesting... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263555)

I'm not exactly worried about being robbed at cannon-point...

That's just because you don't have any oil.

Re:That's Interesting... (2, Insightful)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263691)

Wait until a cannonball punches through your roof into your living room and then get back to us.

Re:That's Interesting... (4, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263677)

Of course, there's been at least one successful revolution... google the battle of athens, tenn.

Re:That's Interesting... (1, Troll)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263741)

Arms are weapons that one man can carry by himself. Cannon are arms that need a wagon or ship. Thus, he has no *constitutional* right to own this weapon, it's so unlikely he'll hurt someone with it, the authorities allow him to have it.

Backpack nules -> arms
ICBMs -> cannon

Re:That's Interesting... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264107)

It's a convenient way of looking at it, and may be as far as 2A interpretation will go, but that's historically inaccurate. There were many crew served weapons - canon - in private hands at the time of the American Revolution. You needed to be wealthy to support a canon and the crew to operate it, but they were there. That's not to mention privateers - not only were the canon in private hands, but so was the whole damned warship! :)

My evolving interpretation of the 2A is that, if the intent was to allow the citizenry to defend themselves against tyranny and/or revolt, that means the individual has the right to the same or equivalent weapons as can be expected to be used by the tyrants. Limited only by what I can afford. So if the local police have fully automatic M4 carbines, I should be afforded that same right, to the limit of my pocketbook.

Re:That's Interesting... (4, Interesting)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263797)

Technically, yes. There's nothing in the constitution that denies Bill Gates the right to own a nuclear weapon is there? Nothing even close. I suppose you can interpret the private ownership of WMDs to be unconstitutional because of their definition of mass-destruction, thus by their existence in private hands violating other citizen's right to liberty.

And now to nitpick; The Civil War was hardly a bitch-slapping. It was the single bloodiest event in US history, out classing (in sheer destruction) all other wars thus-far combined.

It could have fallen on either side at many different stages of the war. Had Davis pushed into Washington first-thing, it would have been over before it started (as DC was relatively undefended) Or had Lincoln's generals not been a bunch of screw-ups etc. And, of course, the almost million dead between direct conflict, starvation, disease etc again, a little more than a bitch slap.

Now, whiskey rebellion, fine, or even prior to that when Massachusetts or Maine threatened to secede, or Delaware considered joining the Confederacy, or (as in an above post, MD) those were mere bitch-slaps. Man, those whiskey rebellion dudes really were push-overs.

Wait until he is 12 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263449)

Good thing he didn't ask for a Tank [youtube.com] .

I announce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263509)

BEST DAD IN THE WORLD!

Famous last words in the article (4, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263567)

Daugherty said his son is very mature and would be able to handle the responsibility of owning a piece of artillery.

"He's a good kid. One thing about my son he has a great respect for guns and weapons, so he will not be firing this anytime soon without an adult present."


I'm sure that's all true. Unlike Mr. Daugherty, I actually do remember being 11 years old. I also remember not doing a very good job of thinking of the consequences of my actions. So we'll all wait for the day when 1 or 2 years from now when this "good kid" and his friends fire this cannon at other people or nearby property and cause damage that they are held accountable for.

Re:Famous last words in the article (5, Insightful)

Unending (1164935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263855)

I had a compound bow at the age of 7 and was using it without supervision within 6 months.
At no point between the age of 7 and now have I ever used a projectile weapon irresponsibly.
I think it is completely possible for this 11 year old to be responsible enough to own and use a cannon.
Do I think this is the norm? No not at all, I didn't trust most of my friends to use my bow without supervision until I was maybe 12, but to just write this kid off because of your own irresponsibility is not fair.

Re:Famous last words in the article (2, Insightful)

quatin (1589389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264153)

If the first thing a 11 year old kid thinks about when he gets a cannon is load it and shoot it at the neighbors, there's something fundamentally wrong with the kid. I could understand the consequences of my actions by the time I was 11. I may have been irresponsible with little things, but certainly not killing people or blowing up a house.

Err, no (5, Funny)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263601)

That title should read "Dad Builds 700 Pound Cannon for Himself, Under The Cover of His Son's Birthday".

Nice gift (3, Funny)

bickle (101226) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263629)

What a charming and delightful way to relive one of the darkest chapters in our nation's history. :P

"Daddy" (4, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263709)

"I want a thermonuclear device."

Re:"Daddy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29264119)

"I want a thermonuclear device."

How about a nice game of chess, instead?

Cannon are fun (4, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263743)

My wife's uncle builds and shoots them. Years ago, he competed with his cannon, in both round shot and rifled competitions, with self-cast balls and "bullets" (I forget the correct name for them). These days he just does it for fun.

You do have to be careful with them, though. Last year (2008) on the fourth of July, he took his small (2.5") cannon down to the city park like every year, to fire it as part of the city's early morning festivities. That went well, and on the way back he decided to stop off at my house and wake us all up, since my kids usually go down to the park. Unfortunately, he forgot to lower the tailgate of his pickup truck before touching off the powder. It blew an 8-inch hole through his tailgate. The cannon didn't have a projectile loaded, just gunpowder and a wad, but the force mangled his tailgate.

Re:Cannon are fun (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263815)

So let me get this straight, your uncle blew a hole in your tailgate with his wad?

Re:Cannon are fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29264113)

What a BS story. It did NOT blow a hole in the tailgate. It may have blown the tailgate down or bent it up really badly, but it did not blow a hole in it. I've been using these things for 35 years, including having them cast in custom patterns, so I know what the can and can't do. Also, what kind of idiot lights off a cannon in that way anyway? Anyone with half a brain thinks, "what is at the other end?" BEFORE firing.

What does this kid get for christmas ? (1)

Defectuous (1097475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263749)

I would love to be the kind of dad who could do this, but my daughter would prefer it in pink or come with horses & cell phone.

Liar (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29263767)

'I've always been interested in the Civil War and cannons, so I thought it would be a good gift,'

Translation"

'I've always been interested in the Civil War and cannons, so I really got it for myself even though I won't know it until my son drops his interest in it.'

Legal? (-1, Flamebait)

kuzb (724081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263807)

Daugherty said he is not worried about the federal government coming to get his son's cannon because he has spoken to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as the National Security Agency. Though Daugherty said he is still stunned that he had to get clearance from the NSA for the archaic artillery piece, it is legal to own such a cannon because it does not use a firing pin or is breach loaded. He said the government does not consider the weapon a threat.

So, the government has no problems with people building artillery as long as it has no firing pin, and you tell them first. Then it's legal to possess such a dangerous piece of weaponry which serves no practical purpose - and it's ok for your 11 year old kid to own it. America really is a backwards country.

Re:Legal? (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263909)

Historically, Americans are just very distrustful of our government. That's why the founders had to put the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution to get the people to support it enough for ratification. It's also why it's hard to get stuff like government controlled healthcare passed here.

Re:Legal? (2, Interesting)

quatin (1589389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263987)

BATFE itself is not rational. They've declared a shoe string a machine gun, they've declared double barrel shotguns machine guns, they've declared broken guns machine guns, they prohibit felons from buying .22lr derringers, but allow them to own .50cal muzzle loaded rifles. 90% of gun laws serve no practical purpose, but are knee-jerk reaction laws to show that a certain politician is "making America more safe" when election time comes around.

Re:Legal? (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264015)

There is no requirement to inform, nor an age requirement.

I'm sorry that the subject of whatever despot you live under cannot be trusted with Liberty.

Re:Legal? (2, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264047)

Oh, come on now. Most 11 year olds have access to much more dangerous stuff. The Stove, the Parent's Prescription Pills, the Family Car. I know a girl, who at around 10 or 11, stole her parent's car. They even called the cops on her and she was arrested.

A cannon just seems dangerous, but mostly it's just a heavy piece of cast iron that sits there.

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29264109)

I think you're just jealous.

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29264127)

Backwards? I have to kind of agree since Daugherty had to check that it was legal first. But dangerous? From what I understand about the cannon, it is probably less dangerous then a gas stove. I will not argue about it serving no practical purpose since there is no way it could penetrate modern armor at any significant range or pose a threat to a moderately awake person. Since the thing is so heavy and hard to load, I seriously doubt the kid will be trying to rob a 7-11 with the thing.
You are probably unaware that the 2nd amendment serves two purposes; 1)allows people to be able to own guns to do hunting and 2)allows the people to have a way of physically fighting the government if needed. Remember the founding fathers had to fight for their freedom which wouldn't have been possible if people didn't own guns.
What truly makes a backwards country is one where they outlaw protecting yourself and takes away your means for protecting yourself.

Re:Legal? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264181)

So, the government has no problems with people building artillery as long as it has no firing pin, and you tell them first. Then it's legal to possess such a dangerous piece of weaponry which serves no practical purpose - and it's ok for your 11 year old kid to own it. America really is a backwards country.

See in America, the people are the government. I know that is hard to understand in most of the rest of the world where the people are subjects of the government. On the other hand, many Americans have been working very hard to change that, so perhaps before much longer that distinction will be gone and the American people will be subjects like so much of the rest of the world.

This American Life episode (2, Interesting)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263895)

There is a really great episode of This American Life here: http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=734 [thislife.org] that is relevant to this story. Act 1 has Sarah Vowell (a liberal anti-gun person) whose father is a gunsmith who built his own cannon. She tells about going out with him to fire it for the first time.

What? (5, Funny)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263947)

You mean that somewhere, someone has NOT taught their son to be a pansy, and fear anything that has any remote chance of hurting someone? Oh, the horror! The next thing you know, he'll let the kid have his own POCKET KNIFE, for crying out loud. Won't someone please... THINK OF THE CHILDREN????

True cannon story. (4, Funny)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 5 years ago | (#29263995)

This is only vaguely related to TFA, but hey, it's Idle.

A while back I was working at a place that had both engineering and manufacturing, and I mostly hung out with the engineers but I worked on some of the manufacturing equipment so I met a lot of the manufacturing people. One guy looked like an 80's stoner, black jacket, long hair, bad teeth, you know the type. I'd never talked to him. One day, apropos of nothing, he walked up and handed me a thick sheaf of papers and said "I thought you'd enjoy this." It was plans for making a homebuilt mortar, similar in size to the cannon in TFA (but with a much less pretty and detailed carriage.) It was machined out of a piece of solid 6" thick steel stock. It's actually a pretty cool design, although my metal lathe can't manage something that big. But ever since, I've wondered if I have "CLOSET ANARCHIST" written on my forehead, that makes people who don't know me walk up and volunteer stuff like this, since this wasn't the only time that's happened.

High trajectory? Steep angle of ascent? (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264115)

I'm afraid they are describing a mortar, not a howitzer. A howitzer *can* shoot like a mortar, and it *can* shoot like a gun, but the thing that makes it a howitzer is the ability to do both.

Anyone got a video of the Star Blazers cartoon? (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#29264163)

Cause, I want my son to ask me for a Wave Motion Gun! :)

Empire: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29264179)

Somebody has been playing too much Empire: Total War

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