Large Antique Navy Nickel Plated Deck Breech Loader Cannon

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Nickel breech loader deck cannon of WW II or earlier image at near zero elevation
Nickel Breech loading deck cannon at zero elevation image

A Signal Cannon Relic from WW II or Earlier

 Shown above at near zero
elevation from the front and elevated at 15 degrees from the breech. This high quality cannon replicates the design of an
American breech loading deck gun used in both World Wars. Except for the Grey painted iron base, the cannon
is Nickel plated making it a superb presentation piece.

Presented is an unmarked, iron barrel breech loader which is different from others of this
genre in that it is a cleaner design and has been nickel plated. We were told that it was fired in the past and designed
to use 12 gauge blank shot gun shells. The barrel is not rifled, but the breech has machined interlocking interrupted
threads just like the real gun. The swivel yoke and the base are castings. The rim of the base has four mounting holes. There
is an adjustable recoil cylinder under the trunnions. A knurled thumb screw allows for limited adjustment in  elevation
from minus 8 to plus 15 degrees elevation. The lanyard is said to be original.
The design has many features of the 5″
38 caliber deck guns that were used on numerous classes of U.S. Navy warships in both the World Wars. It was handed down in
the same family for the last 51 years.

Open breech of deck cannon image
the interrupted threads of the open breech & firing pin


Cannon Length overall   29″

Bore .74″ or 18.74 mm = 12 gauge
Length Barrel    28″
Maximum diameter of
tube  1 3/4″ 
Dia. At 1st step 1 1/2″  at 2nd step 1 3/4″     Weight of cannon 22 pounds
Diameter of base 7 1/2″

Miniature cannons like this were made for for actual use by the military so that gunners could learn the theory and
practice of their ordinance. The foundry used the miniatures as an example of its work. There are no foundry markings
on this example, but the various parts clearly show this was made in one.  Navy Apprentice machinists were
likely given the making of cannons such as this as a test if their capabilities before graduating.

The lever on the closed breech locks the block of the deck cannon image
OPen breech showing the extended firing pin image
      Closed breech above showing
the lever that locks the block.  Open breech below showing the extended firing pin

  This cannon is being offered for display only and should not be fired unless inspected by a gunsmith

Open breech of deck cannon image

Beneath the circular trunnion is a foundry casting irregularity                                    

CONDITION:   The nickel plating covers any marks of machining,
but leaves evidence of some minor pitting. There are also some waves in the surface of the tube. There is a
casting imperfection on the left side of the yoke that holds the barrel and some other minor imperfections elsewhere.
From a foot away it makes a dramatic statement as a conversation piece. The bore has no lands, and as would be expected
is dirty, but there is no rust in the chamber or tube. The lanyard dates from about 1964. The cannon cocks
and fires as it should, but we have not tried to fit a 10 gauge cartridge in the chamber.

This  fine example is being sold for display purposes only. No attempt should be made to fire it
without inspection by a gunsmith.


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Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

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