Possible cannon purchase? Update 11/25/2018 - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Default Possible cannon purchase? Update 11/25/2018

Back in June, I came across a listing for a 1/3 scale 10 lb Parrott on a historically accurate field carriage. I talked to the seller at the time and found out that his late father had built it. The barrel is a 1 inch bore steel sleeved cast iron model from South Bend replicas. He said his dad used ordinance plans to make the carriage. The deal also included a completed extra set of wheels and steel axle since his dad had planned to eventually construct a matching limber, but never got around to it before he passed away. Along with a ball mold and loading implements, the sale also includes a telescopic sight that his dad used for aiming. Supposedly the sight is from a WW II model 1903-a4 sniper rifle. The seller said that he had no interest in cannons, but had only kept it because his dad had made it.

I was close to buying it at the time, but then found out that the seller did not want to contend with shipping--I really didn't either, but the issue for direct pickup was that he lived out west about 1650 miles from Arkansas. However, in our discussion, he did mention that his wife's family lived in Amarillo, TX and that about once a year they would visit, so he wouldn't mind bringing it with them in their SUV. Amarillo is still 8 hours from Little Rock, but that knocks about two thirds off the distance to his home. He just didn't know at the time--if and when they would schedule a visit, but he promised to contact me if they were going to make the trek and he still had the cannon.

The cannon and painted carriage looked to be as described in the listing picture, but shortly after we talked--the seller removed the listing from the site. Unfortunately, I failed to make a copy the picture at the time.

I had all but forgotten about the deal until Sunday when out of the blue, the seller sent me an email that he and his wife were going to visit her family in Amarillo for Thanksgiving and asking if I was still interested in the cannon. I have asked him for a couple of photos, and will post them if he is able to do so.

His initial asking price was $2000, but when we spoke back in June, he came down to $1700. Since we didn't really agree to anything firm at the time because to the shipping/distance issue, it's possible he might be willing to negotiate some more.

I have a fairly recent South Bend price list (2014), which lists that 1/3 scale Parrott at $630 plus shipping. Of course it may be more now. However, I guessing a custom historically accurate scale carriage might be worth as much, if not more than the barrel. Then when one adds in the value of two extra custom wheels, mold and tools plus a potentially valuable WW II sniper scope, the price might be pretty reasonable. I just sold one of my antique model 92 Winchesters a few weeks ago for a little more than that, so I have the cash on hand. (always a dangerous thing for me)

I told him I wanted to mull it over and would let him know by Wednesday.

I would welcome any opinions on the deal and my value estimation at this point

Cheers

Artillery brings dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl!

Last edited by double d; 11-25-2018 at 07:37 PM. Reason: Merging same subject topic
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forward Observer View Post
Back in June, I came across a listing for a 1/3 scale 10 lb Parrott on a historically accurate field carriage. I talked to the seller at the time and found out that his late father had built it. The barrel is a 1 inch bore steel sleeved cast iron model from South Bend replicas. He said his dad used ordinance plans to make the carriage. The deal also included a completed extra set of wheels and steel axle since his dad had planned to eventually construct a matching limber, but never got around to it before he passed away. Along with a ball mold and loading implements, the sale also includes a telescopic sight that his dad used for aiming. Supposedly the sight is from a WW II model 1903-a4 sniper rifle. The seller said that he had no interest in cannons, but had only kept it because his dad had made it.

I was close to buying it at the time, but then found out that the seller did not want to contend with shipping--I really didn't either, but the issue for direct pickup was that he lived out west about 1650 miles from Arkansas. However, in our discussion, he did mention that his wife's family lived in Amarillo, TX and that about once a year they would visit, so he wouldn't mind bringing it with them in their SUV. Amarillo is still 8 hours from Little Rock, but that knocks about two thirds off the distance to his home. He just didn't know at the time--if and when they would schedule a visit, but he promised to contact me if they were going to make the trek and he still had the cannon.

The cannon and painted carriage looked to be as described in the listing picture, but shortly after we talked--the seller removed the listing from the site. Unfortunately, I failed to make a copy the picture at the time.

I had all but forgotten about the deal until Sunday when out of the blue, the seller sent me an email that he and his wife were going to visit her family in Amarillo for Thanksgiving and asking if I was still interested in the cannon. I have asked him for a couple of photos, and will post them if he is able to do so.

His initial asking price was $2000, but when we spoke back in June, he came down to $1700. Since we didn't really agree to anything firm at the time because to the shipping/distance issue, it's possible he might be willing to negotiate some more.

I have a fairly recent South Bend price list (2014), which lists that 1/3 scale Parrott at $630 plus shipping. Of course it may be more now. However, I guessing a custom historically accurate scale carriage might be worth as much, if not more than the barrel. Then when one adds in the value of two extra custom wheels, mold and tools plus a potentially valuable WW II sniper scope, the price might be pretty reasonable. I just sold one of my antique model 92 Winchesters a few weeks ago for a little more than that, so I have the cash on hand. (always a dangerous thing for me)

I told him I wanted to mull it over and would let him know by Wednesday.

I would welcome any opinions on the deal and my value estimation at this point

Cheers



F.O.
For what it's worth, a "custom historically accurate" 1/3 scale carriage is certainly worth at least 5 or 6 times the $630 cost of the barrel.
The wheels alone are probably about $400 a pair if they compare with Custom Wagons and Wheels pricing.


With no pictures, it's hard to confirm the historical accuracy of the carriage. Just because someone says it is really doesn't prove anything.
Personally, it sounds like a good deal to me but I would want to see some really good pictures of the carriage.
I don't think that's too much to ask.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Zulu

That helped confirm my thinking. From what I remember the carriage looked right, but it was just a single picture taken from the muzzle end, so the carriage detail was a bit obscured. I just sent the email requesting additional pictures this evening, and haven't heard back yet. I'll post them if and when.

Cheers

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Just an update. The seller sent me some extra pictures he took some time back. These are obviously cell phone pictures so they're a bit grainy. I think the device on the top rear of the barrel is a bracket for the scope he mentioned. I asked about that and to describe the bore condition as best he could.

I should hear back from him tomorrow since He is going to take an additional picture of all the extra stuff which includes:
Quote:
Original prints, catalogs, lots of fuse, (20) cannon balls, lead mold for making more ball, various wheel parts, chain, screws, 2 completed wheels and axle for limber, which match the cannon carriage. Bore brushes, bore swabs, "The Complete Cannoneer" second edition 1979.
The carriage looks pretty well done to me and the 14 spoke wheels seem to have a bit of dish. I can probably correct anything that's not exactly right. All it may need is a bit of cleaning up and/or maybe fresh paint. If I don't hear anything bad tomorrow, I'm probably going to commit to the deal and then look forward to spending the 16 hours on the road to Amarillo and back a few days before Thanksgiving. I will keep the option open to walk away if I get there and see something in person that isn't right.







Cheers

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 07:45 AM
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Better pictures would be nice, It does look okay though.
Look at the last picture. Ir seems that the leveling screw is pretty far back on the barrel.
Can't really tell if it is making contact properly.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Original prints, catalogs, lots of fuse, (20) cannon balls, lead mold for making more ball, various wheel parts, chain, screws, 2 completed wheels and axle for limber, which match the cannon carriage. Bore brushes, bore swabs, "The Complete Cannoneer" second edition 1979.
Looking at pictures and this description and say the prices asked is more the than fair. If you don't jump on this, i hope you will pass the details to someone here.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 10:22 AM
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Looking at that bracket, it looks like a flip up vernier sight.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 12:55 PM
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I like it and having made a couple of larger carriages I can tell you that is a very good price. Hardware looks great and Southbend makes a good barrel. Got a 3/4th scale one that I'm still working on, wish I could find hardware as nice as yours in 3/4 scale.

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Last edited by little seacoast; 11-06-2018 at 12:59 PM. Reason: correct poor composition
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 06:17 PM
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I think it is a well done Nice little Cannon. Cannot say anything as to its value. But if the price looks good from your end. Do it.


I do know, even if I could build one that nice for you. I am not doing it for that price.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the comments.

Double D, you were correct about the rear sight. Below is a close up with it flipped up. It appears to be a type 1 ladder style rear sight from a Springfield 1903.

These were the ones used in WW I and saw a little use in WWII. They were later revised to the 1903a3, which has a more modern aperture sight similar to the one use on the Garand. What I was concerned about is that the WW I ladder sight for the Springfield has a flat bottom since it mounts on a flat that is milled into the receiver. I was worried that the seller's dad also filed or machined the top of the reenforce on the barrel flat to mount the sight. However, in talking to the seller this afternoon, he took the sight off and confirmed that the base of the sight had been machined to fit the curvature of the barrel. Of course there are a few shallow screw holes, but I can fill those and paint over them if I desire.


There is only one final issue. In talking to the seller, I repeated my inquiry as to the condition of the bore. It evidently had not been cleaned in years, so last night he took a shotgun bore brush to it. He said most of it cleaned up quite well, but that about 1/3 to 1/4 of the way from the muzzle there appeared to be some light pitting. He has a guy who works on his guns who has a borescope, so he is going to see him tomorrow to try to get some pictures. He said he didn't think that it looked bad, but then he also was honest in saying that he also was no real judge. We agreed to talk again after his gunsmith friend looked at it. He also told me he didn't want me making an 18 hour trip for something I was unsure about. He seems like a straight shooter to me.

It could be that the pitting could be polished or scrubbed out, but at this point that's sort of an unknown factor.

Here are some more shots

Detail of the right cheek


Carriage and extra wheels


Lunette and pointing rings


top down view of front of carriage


extras


I'd welcome any opinions on the pitting?

Cheers

Artillery brings dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl!

Last edited by Forward Observer; 11-06-2018 at 07:02 PM.
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