Maxwell J. Toms                                                                                                   

49 Julian Street, Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada, K7C 3W7   (613) 257-7290


Replica British 9-Pounder SB-ML: (2007)




A 9-Pounder for the Boy Scouts: ~BOOM~


Every September, dozens of Scout Troops, from all over Ontario and some northern states take part in War of 1812-14 re-enactments at Fort George, Niagara, Ontario.  This year, 2007, there were 2338 Scouts, Venturers and Leaders registered for the campaign, including some 750 Americans.


The armies are organized, as in the real war, with scout troops representing the British 49th and 8th Regiments of Foot, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (RNR) of Fencible Infantry, the Royal Artillery and battalions and companies of the US 6th Regiment. These represent the actual units that fought at Fort George.


More information on the Scouts Canada re-enactments can be found on website:


My interest in this project came as a result of my interest in military history and through conversations with Scout Leader Terry Honour, a long-time friend.  Terry currently leads the 2nd Sidney Scout Troop and they represent the Grenadier Company of the RNR at Fort George.  Terry is also front-and-centre with attempts to build up the artillery contingent, basically a diverse collection of ‘potato’ guns, of all sizes, on wheels, also of all sizes. Very good efforts to be sure, but to me, it seemed to be missing much of the imagery, drama and ballet-of-motion of horse drawn artillery.


After the 2006 campaign, Terry decided he needed a limber. We discussed it at length, and decided that, as his gun was small, perhaps he would need a new gun too. After a search for suitable limber wheels was in vain, we decided on the more ambitious project, to build a new gun and limber. Of course, since I am a Newfoundlander, and his troop represents the RNR, well, I was ‘honour’ bound, pun intended, to help.


We set about developing a design that could be built in typical garage workshops with normal consumer tools. Our field piece needed to look approximately like a 9-pounder brass cannon of the period, and had to be able to simulate firing. All the materials had to be available from local hardware and lumber stores. No hardware or craft item was left un-turned. Further, there was no attempt to make a museum piece, but rather a reasonably correct looking gun that could be easily manoeuvred and safely fired by the Scouts & Venturers.


The design called for a wooden shell, enclosing an ABS 'potato' gun. The gun shell and the wheel hub would be fabricated from 30 degree wood segments rather than turning them on a lathe. This, surprisingly, was not difficult, and the results exceeded our expectations by a considerable margin.  The 2007 campaign verified all our calculations and again expectations were exceeded. We have a gun and limber that looks good and travels very well across country, even with passengers on the limber. The kids were extremely pleased, and gave a very good account for themselves.


For a pictorial trip through the building effort, click on the gun or limber thumbnails above. Each shows the build stages respectively, in detail.




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