Indonesian Cannon -- Lantakas

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Most of these were cast in Borneo in the late 1600s to early 1700s. Borneo was a favorite place because it had craftsmen and large deposits of tin and bronze.

Bronze was the preferred metal for casting cannons. It cost three times as much as cast iron, but it did not explode into shrapnel like cast iron. And, I am told, that cast iron cannon always did explode sometime as the metal fatigued from shot after shot. Bronze just split. Bronze also did not rust, good for naval warfare.

In the first thumbnail you will see a "Spiral Cannon" I have put my YCS there for size. This cannon weighs about 300 pounds and is 61" Long. Next thumbnails show my entire collection. Too heavy to move easily for better backgrounds. The cannon range in size from 28" to the 61" big guy. Most are about 48" in length. These are the larger swivel guns.

These "swivel guns" were mounted on the rails of ships, many were pirates like the Moro and the Dyak. The cannons were used as giant shotguns to clear the decks of enemy vessels.

Cannons were also used as currency. Probably some of these were traded for wives.

One of my favorite tribes were the Moros. They were really tough. Successfully fought the Spanish for 377 Years! Never gave up.

The last thumbnails show a Spanish Lantaka. 55" and 180 pounds. I recently posted this on an edged weapons forum so I stuck a Moro spear in it to qualify as an "edged weapon." The "sea Horse" or dolphin handles were for lifting te cannon.

I hope to get some help soon to move these to better locations for photos.

If there is interest, I will post better pictures of my new hobby.
 

Nasty

Chief Cook & Bottle Wash
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*Way* too cool Bill...have you shot any of them?
 
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These have to be from that website you shared about a month ago...

and yeah. A pic or two firing one would be something to see...

Nice history lesson.

AA
 
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Bill, a question if i may: does the "spiral" one actually have files (spiral inside the bore) ? If that is the case i wonder how they got it straight so it wasn't torn out by a shot back then with tools of that era and why does the spiral stop before the end of the barrel.
 
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faramir said:
Bill, a question if i may: does the "spiral" one actually have files (spiral inside the bore) ? If that is the case i wonder how they got it straight so it wasn't torn out by a shot back then with tools of that era and why does the spiral stop before the end of the barrel.

The spiral cannon were just made that way. The spirals are all on the outside. All these cannon are smooth bore. I don't know why they have that pattern, the spiral is a rare form of Lantaka.
 
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Nasty said:
*Way* too cool Bill...have you shot any of them?

Thanks. No I have not fired any of them, but am itching to set one off. The first problem is that I live in downtown Atlanta and the police might not like it! I do live in a warehouse with about three acres around me. Neighbors can see from the rear of the property, but not from the front. However powder does make a lot of smoke.

The second problem is that under the Homeland Security act black powder is almost impossible to find.

However there is a replacement powder called Pyrodex that the muzzle loading guys are using. I just need to find it in coarse cannon grade. "FG" this should work fine. But I may have to order this because rifles and pistols use a fine grade powder that is not recomended for cannon.

I called Dent Meyers in gun-toting Kenessaw GA. He used to lead Confederate re-enactments. But he did it for 30 years and the Civil War cannons got so valuable that he sold them off.

SO I get some Pyordex and wait for New Year's Eve! Should be so many fireworks going off around here that it won't matter. I am also looking for some place nearby Atlanta where I might find a large tract of land and a friendly landowner.

Anbody know anyone around Atlanta that I might ask?

Boom
 

VML

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I would like to see any pictures of these you care to post. These are great!
 
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Really nice :) Perhaps you could fill them with a dummy charge instead of ball (or whatever it was that these things shoot). It'll be safer for you (smaller pressure buildup inside the barrel) and you won't need a long clear field to do it ?
 
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be REALLY carefull with these. there has been a recent upsurge in interest in collecting cannon, and the far-east (especially phillipines and indonesia) are filling this niche with repro's, a lot of which are either poor pot metal, or thin bronze shells filled with concrete. check the figuring on the cannon, if it looks molded (ie. not chisled & sharp edged) be wary. concrete filled ones are lighter as well, so check the density (weight/volume) is correct. bores on repro's tend to be roughly shaped, and vent holes badly formed as well. in any case these will not stand up to a proper powder charge, so, if firing it make sure the bore is in tolerance so the shot won't jam, proof test it if possible & fire it from about a mile away about 20 miles out in the desert....

linky:fake cannon

the muzzle on the one on the fake website looks a lot like the one in your photo!!!!!!
 
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Very nice Bill!:D I learned last night not too sell the old cannons short!!!!:eek:
I watched a show on the History Channel last night about the Smooth Bore Civil War Cannon, Mountain Rifles, Mortars, and the Civil War Rifled Cannon. Very, very interesting!:cool:
Low flying planes were diverted from the area because of the high flying trajectory of the mortars!:eek:
The mortars were shooting at flagpoles, don't recall the distance and the cannon were all shooting at a 4'X8' sheet of plywood as a general target at 1,000 Yards which was modified later to a single sheet of newsprint.
The winner got to fire against a new modern artillery piece at the same 1,000 yards. very cool!:cool:
What was really cool was that the old Civil War Cannon beat the accuracy of the new artillery piece but it was moot because the artillery piece would kill you anyway because of the exploding shells.
It was just neat to see 4 round holes in the plywood from the old cannon!!!!:D

There was plenty of powder going off at the meet along with all kinds of specialized shells.
Some shells for the old cannon were made of zinc that had been cast then machined to extremely tight tolerances. These were for the rifled barrel pieces. There were a couple of guys that worked together to make their own exploding mortar shells by casting the balls, maching the centers out and then loading them with powder and a fuse. These were the types of bombs used to bombard Ft. McHenry, the night Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner.
They were too dangerous to shoot at the meet but were shown being shot at another facility.
It's a wonder the Civil War wasn't bloodier and deadlier than it was!
These old cannon are Accurate!!!!:eek:

It was neat watching them load the balls into the cannon and mortars. I never gave much thought as to how they were loaded and always figured the balls were just picked up and rolled down the barrel so to speak.:rolleyes:
It seems the balls have a couple of holes in them so that a device much like a pair of ice tongs can be inserted into the holes so the balls can be lifted and gently inserted or lowered into the barrels.
Who'd a thunk it?!?!?!?:cool:
 
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Please see the 'fake cannon' website in my earlier post's linky before even thinking of firing the thing....we don't want to lose any forumites.

linky repeated
 
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kronckew said:
Please see the 'fake cannon' website in my earlier post's linky before even thinking of firing the thing....we don't want to lose any forumites.

linky repeated

Thanks for the advice. This link is something to see and be careful is the name of the day! Three of the cannons shown in my pix did come from this website.

There are several clues that are sure-fire (pardon) ways of telling fakes. Email me and I'll let you know. I have studied these indepth, but am always willing to learn a little more.

I would NEVER load a projectile in cannons this old. Could be as much as 400 years old. Some of mine were raised from ships that were sunk for 300 years. Gotta respect these old guys and not stress them too much!
 
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I dont think finding FG pyrodex will be too hard. I think I remember seeing it before. I didnt know it was getting hard to find blackpowder nowadays, I havent looked at the stuff since I got an in-line.
 

Kismet

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This troubles me:

I don't know which is stranger,

A. That you collect brass cannons;

B. That I think it is kind of neat to do so.


muttermuttermutter
 
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Kismet said:
This troubles me:

I don't know which is stranger,

A. That you collect brass cannons;

B. That I think it is kind of neat to do so.


muttermuttermutter

C. That more than one of us agrees with you.
 
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The cannon thruout the ages has been prone to this, especially in the heat of battle when loading errors are more common. not a cannon, but someone noted during the civil war that someone after one of the major battles, removed seven charges and minie balls from his springfield which he had loaded and 'fired' without using a cap. good thing he didn't.

anyway, on a lighter 'cannon' note:

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Octopus cannon targets McDonalds in southern France

SETE, France (AFP) - Armed with a high-pressure hose and a bucket of octopi, hundreds of protestors in this Mediterranean town pelted a McDonalds restaurant due to open this week with the slimy seafood.
Between 300 and 500 people gathered on the banks of the Sete canal, across from the fast-food outlet, playing music and yelling anti-junk-food slogans across the water, as police barred them from reaching the restaurant itself.

Aiming the hose across the water, they catapulted fresh octopi -- a local delicacy, known here as the "pouffre" -- towards the town's first McDonalds, which had been set to open on Saturday.

The crowd held up slogans slamming junk food, dubbed "malbouffe" in French, as well as work conditions in the fast-food industry.

Driving home their point, the protestors were serving up traditional Setois dishes -- one of which is the tielle, a fragrant octopus, tomato and onion pie prized by locals and tourists alike.

The demonstration caused the opening of the restaurant, the first fast-food outlet in the port town following years of resistance by the former communist mayor, to be put off until next week.

A group led by French militant farmer Jose Bove pulled down a McDonalds outlet that was under construction in the southern town of Millau in 1999, earning Bove a jail sentence, although the restaurant was later rebuilt.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
and then the froggies wonder why we don't like them.
 
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