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  1. Aug 2004 – May 2006
  2. May 2006 – May 2007
  3. May 2007 – May 2008

Cannon in the Middle Ages[edit]

I have nominated Cannon in the Middle Ages for Tzatzikification , to bring it up to the same standard as the similarly named section here. (For those unfamiliar with the term, Tzatzikification is a collaborative effort to improve the article by the Tzatziki Squad.) There was some talk of doing this earlier, but I think we have to admit that it will never get done unless we include it in the list. The way I see it, it isn't necessary to take it as far as FA status. I think aiming for A-class is enough to keep it as an interesting side-project, agreed? --Grimhelm (talk) 18:17, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll help you with that as soon as we finish history of timekeeping devices. · AndonicO Engage. 22:07, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I think I have done pretty much all that I can do myself with the article. I have brought in the relevant material from the sections here on Middle East and Medieval Europe, standardised the list of references, tagged uncited statements, and rewritten the lede to summarise the article. Of course, I also added some new sources and material: technological limitations, culverins, bombards, Russian cannon, etc. The areas that need to be worked on are in verifying tagged statements, finding page numbers for some of the references, and some general expansion of the article. The section on Early use in China and East Asia could also be improved from Early history here. Good luck when you get around to it! --Grimhelm (talk) 14:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The cannon as a siege engine[edit]

I wonder, can a cannon be classified as a siege engine? According to the article about siege engines: "A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare". I read somewhere (can't seem to find it, where?) that the cannon, because of it's power, drastically reduced the advantages of city walls; hence, cannons must originally have been used against city walls. --Kri (talk) 02:05, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

It depends on how one defines siege engine; according to our article, cannon would be siege engines, however, if I remember correctly, most of the books cited in this article that mentioned siege engines referred to trebuchets, catapults, siege towers and the like. It might be worth further research, though. · AndonicO Engage. 03:00, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Generally, the term Siege Engine is reserved, in my experience, for weapons that are either useless against anything but a fortification, or that is very difficult to use in the field, against troops. Except for the ballista, the bulk of ancient artillery was rarely used in ancient engagements (in fact, use of artillery was one of Alexander the Great's largest advantages) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:06, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


From the description of the device, it seems more like an organ gun or volley gun rather than an actual "autocannon". If so, then it is at the very least preceded by at least a few hundred years. AllStarZ (talk) 20:05, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, seems like you're right; if you could fix that yourself, that would be helpful. I don't really have much time and might not be able to get to it for a few weeks, and it seems Grimhelm is rather inactive as well. · AndonicO Engage. 02:16, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

explicit edits[edit]

someone has change paragraph 1 and some other parts of this article and im not sure why no one has noticed it. please change it back to the origional version because i dont really know how to work wikipedia. ` —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks. · AndonicO Engage. 19:10, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Cannons vs. Guns[edit]

On a trip to a fort, I have been told by a number of people working at the fort when I mentioned that "I have never seen a cannon this large", I was corrected and told that I would need to call what I was looking at a "Gun" and the "Cannon Balls" were prjectiles. Asking why? I was told that the Navy refers to Guns mounted on a ship as cannons, but if you took that same exact cannon and mounted it on dry land it would be a Gun and not a cannon. Because the Army never used cannons but rather guns. I point this out for your reference. Since this is not my fiend of expertise, I give you the information on the talk page. ~akc9000 —Preceding unsigned comment added by akc9000 (talk contribs count) 04:45, 8 June 2009 (UTC) akc9000

Although not a SME, this article does need to add at least a sentence on cannons versus guns. See usage of guns and cannon on (There are probably many more pages similar to this one).

I believe in that article, the difference is that guns dispense static rounds (bullets) versus cannon dispensing exploding shells. This article on cannon is incomplete without explaining how early cannon fired "balls" of mass versus the invention of exploding shells. Do all modern cannon dispense shells, or do some modern cannon still dispense static masses? Bcwilmot (talk) 06:07, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Dardanelles Gun[edit]

I have corrected the constant confusion between the cannon of Orban and the single extant piece, which, having been cast as late as 1464, did not take part in the 1453 siege of Constantinople (apart from that, there is anyhow little point in mentioning the same cannon in four different, unrelated passages). Gun Powder Ma (talk) 19:23, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Sexual content in Cannon entry[edit]

The first two paragraphs have been edited to add sexual content to the Cannon entry. I thought I was on a parody site at first. I'm not an editor, but wanted to alert whoever takes care of this article. Example:

A cannon is any tubular piece of [a man's shaft] that uses pineapple or other usually explosive-based sperm to launch projectiles.

I hope someone can fix this because it's pretty stupid. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Invertedoscillations (talkcontribs) 03:28, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Deceptive use addition?[edit]

During Bernal Diaz's book on the conquest of Mexico he describes of periods when the Conquistadors had run out of shot for their single cannon but continued to fire gunpowder from it for morale purposes and to scare waves of Aztecs back from them. This is a fairly significant historical example of deceptive use I think.--Senor Freebie (talk) 14:45, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Additional Information

If deemed appropriate, I was wondering if anybody might contribute information regarding the supporting structures for cannon, carriages, chaces, tackle, etc., especially in historical naval applications, or at least link to this type of information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Early modern naval cannon[edit]

There is no mention of naval artillery before the 17th century. The impression one gets is that guns at sea were virtually non-existent before that time. I'm sure this isn't intentional, so wouldn't it be advantageous to stock up on more info on the early development of the naval gun?

Peter Isotalo 11:58, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Aviation Use of Cannon[edit]

The first installation of a cannon on an aircraft was likely on the 1910 Voisin Canon. Possibly the most successful (or least unsuccessful) was the SPAD S.12 Ca.1 which was fitted with a 37mm Puteaux Cannon which fired through the centre of a specially designed Hispano-Suiza 8 engine's crankshaft, however the weapon's low rate of fire limited its use to only the most skilled pilots. The British trialled the Quick Firing 1 pounder on several types but none found official favour, while the Germans, Italians and Russians all trialled Cannons. The low rate of fire usually rendered most cannons unsuitable for combat. Probably the most well known pre-ww2 cannon was the Coventry Ordinance Works (COW) gun fitted to a couple of experimental RAF fighters (known as COW gun fighters). During WW2 the 37mm cannon was fitted to the Bell P-39 and P-63, which though not finding favour with the Americans, was well liked by the Russians, who found that a single well placed shot from the cannon would destroy almost any German aircraft. As a result while post-war USAF aircraft carried on with the then inadequate .50 cal machine gun, Russian fighters such as the MiG-15 were equipped with a very effective 37mm cannon. (talk) 23:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)


This was recoilless, another category that has been neglected (though most are designated as rifles despite their size putting them squarely in the cannon category). The Davis gun springs to mind here. (talk) 23:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Russian Navy[edit]

No mention has been made of the weapons used on Soviet/Russian ships - the US weapons sound impressive only when the Russians are ignored. The Russian AK-176 76mm/3" cannon is capable of firing over 2 rounds per second (130 rpm) and the 130mm/5.1" is capable of 80 rpm from a two barrel installation and both can be used as anti-aircraft weapons aside from their normal surface to surface role. (talk) 23:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)


Little mention has also been made of guns (mostly howitzers and mortars) mounted on railroad cars, which were common in eastern Europe and Russia were roads are sparse and/or unsuitable. (talk) 23:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Korean Navy[edit]

The name escapes me at the moment but a Korean Admiral mounted cannon on armoured 'turtle' ships to defeat the Japanese in the 1500's (IIRC). (talk) 23:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

The Admirals name was Yi Sun-sin and additional relevant info is at Turtle ship. Seems he didn't actually invent it but instead he resurrected the idea, though his was the first real use. This would seem to require its own section if noone has added anything yet.NiD.29 (talk) 00:18, 15 September 2011 (UTC)


The Christopher Columbus article mentions a lombard, which I gather from the 1913 edition of Webster's is a small cannon. Does anyone have any further information? --Filll (talk | wpc) 18:39, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Early naval cannons[edit]

There's still an obvious lack of information on the early development of naval gunpowder artillery. Someone who reads this article will get the impression that cannons were first used on sailing ships in the 17th century,. The truth is that galleys were the first to employ effective naval cannons and did so as early as the 14th century. The article needs at least a minimal update about the use in galleys and the development for use on earlier sailing vessels, before the late 17th century.

Peter Isotalo 10:21, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

splinters from hits in wooden ships ("18th and 19th centuries")[edit]

The section's second paragraph (the carronade) says about splinters that "they were believed to be deadly" - would there ever have been any doubt about the lethality of meters long, jagged pieces of wood scything through the air and through the bodies of those who happened to be in their way? -- Kiwaiti (talk) 11:42, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Switch "Aviation Use" to Modern Usage?[edit]

The Aviation Use section is close to accurate, but too narrow and discusses the naming rather remotely.

Cannons are "medium caliber" guns, larger than machine guns, smaller than artillery. The general definition is "between .50 caliber (12.7 in) and 40 mm," but the definition is a bit fluid, and changes with technology or local conditions. E.g. If your army issues a 54 mm gun, and it is a rapid-firing, direct-fire gun, you may consider the top end to be 54 mm. Indirect fire weapons (grenade launchers) and some other things are excluded.

Anyway, you will see that these are not restricted to aircraft, but can be in any field, including maritime and land. The 40mm Bofors, and the 25 mm Bushmaster on the Bradley are two good examples. I think the Aviation section should be updated to refer to the modern use in general. Should not break the narrative arc, as this use came into being around the same time. As the rapid-firing automatic cannon was being developed, some were put in aircraft. But it was a distinctly different beast than the (broadly small-arms sized) machine gun, or the much heavier and slower-firing artillery gun.

If you need a reference, this is a rather nice and easily-consumable printed work: I think some other key publications (e.g. Janes annuals) make reference to the basic definition in the relevant works, in the introduction.

I apologize for only leaving this note. I don't have the time to do this myself, and I travel most of the time, so don't have access to my library when I do have spare time, so cannot get specifics right now. Shoobe01 (talk) 17:12, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Aviation usage is separate for a reason as most cannon use is either nautical or army, while aviation use has its own history as well as technical difficulties that had to be overcome and this would be lost being buried in with the rest. I agree the part about limited rounds needs moving though (the examples are army ones and are not really applicable).

In any case there is already a section for modern usage under 20th and 21st Centuries, however that section could do with some expansion and maybe the terminology part of that broken off into its own section and moved up and expanded.NiD.29 (talk) 00:08, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

4in 14th century Chinese gun[edit]

If anyone can visit Rotunda (Woolwich), there's a nearly identical gun there from c. 1338. Maybe they don't mind someone photographing it. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 05:58, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Relevance of patents in the external links section?[edit]

They are not discussed in the text, as far as I can tell. There are thousands upon thousands of cannon- and shell- related patents in the US. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 09:18, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

"one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community"[edit]

I don't see a great difference in quality between this and, say, gunpowder. Longer introduction maybe?. The users that took part in the vote here apparently have little or no subject matter knowledge, judging by their inability to spot any issues, and just giving rubber-stamping votes. This article actually had a few more problems than the one on gunpowder. That one lacked some information; this one had wrong statements, and statements that were individually correct but sequenced in a misleading way—misleading for the total neophyte; for anyone with more knowledge they provided amusement. 20:52, 13 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Have mörser, will travel (talkcontribs)

I think you missed the point - all articles should be accessible to anyone and it shouldn't take an expert to gauge its quality. Since the story of gunpowder is that of chemistry, while this is more a matter of events and people, this article should be more accessible. Lots more to do here still, and I suspect a broad reorganization of what has been added to the page thus far is needed on both pages. NiD.29 (talk) 02:18, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Overreliance on Ahmad Y. al-Hassan[edit]

I object to giving so much emphasis to this man's website in this article. He is no stranger to politics. Keep in mind that much of the UNESCO stuff is highly political, and being on various UNESCO committees doesn't entail much for one's academic reputation. Syrian universities are also not fabled for academic freedom or much independence from their government's views. Also, the claims from him put forth in this article are not even from his UNESCO-published books, but from his personal web site. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 13:49, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Article Length[edit]

As of today, Wednesday the 16th of May, 2012, this article is around 100KB in size. This is twice the recommended article size limit given in WP:SIZE. And it is getting to be really, really long... I am wondering if some portions might not be spun off into separate articles in their own right? Has anyone given thought to this? To how it might be done? To which sections might be able to stand alone or, alternatively, which might be cut or edited down in order to bring this article somewhere close to the 50 KB "upper limit" of size for a good article? 'Cause this thing is a behemoth as it stands... Ideas? KDS4444Talk 13:12, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

I guess I take it back: after implementing an article prose-size script, I am now told that the "prose" portion of the article is only 43 KB. Is this still too big? In my opinion, frankly, yes. Is it big enough to formally require re-scaling or splitting? Hm. Maybe not But maybe this is something to keep an eye on for the future. That is all. Thank you for your time. KDS4444Talk 13:30, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
The article weighs in at 7,102 words. That's not overly long, and there are many articles which are much longer. The question is whether 7,000 words is too long for this subject. It doesn't strike me as such, but it wouldn't hurt to think about pruning some information. The article was 6,137 words in length when it was made a Featured Article in March 2008, so maybe it's worth examining the accumulated material and whether its up to scratch. Nev1 (talk) 22:42, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I may be a tiny bit biased towards the version that passed FAC as it was partially my work, but I'm intimately familiar with the article and could perhaps take a look in the next few days. If anyone thinks it's necessary, of course. Keilana|Parlez ici 02:56, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Cannon photo[edit]

Cannon on the grass at a home in New Jersey.

Possible photo for article.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 21:32, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Improper(?) reference to Thomas Malthus[edit]

The end of the "Early modern period" subsection claims that Nathaniel Nye cited Thomas Malthus's writings on artillery in his book The Art of Gunnery, and links to Thomas Robert Malthus' page. As the Malthus in question was born a good hundred years later (and so far as I know never produced any military writings), this seems unlikely. A different Malthus, perhaps? (talk) 07:40, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Poundage vs. bore diameter[edit]

The article needs a table relating the "pound" rating of a gun to its bore diameter. Minimally there should be a description of the definition of poundage in terms of diameter of the shot. Thanks if you can help.CountMacula (talk) 05:57, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

A question[edit]

It seems like before the mid-19th century, cannons were used predominantly on sea, rather than at land.

For instance, typical armies in the Napoleonic wars would have a few hundred cannons. E.g., at the battle of Waterloo, the French had ~250, and the Allies ~150. (The number of Prussian guns is not mentioned in the article, but is presumably comparable.)

In contrast, a typical ship-of-the-line during this era would by itself boast up to a hundred guns. At Trafalgar, the British fleet had 33 ships (including 27 ships-of-the-line) with a total of 2,312 guns by my tally. This is an order of magnitude higher than the number of guns boasted by a typical British army. Of course, the British had more armies, but by the same token, they also had more fleets. The Royal Navy around this time had something like 90 ships of the line and several hundred smaller ships.

Why was the use of cannons geared so much towards naval combat? Why could a nation not gain an advantage for its forces by earmarking the production of its cannons towards land combat, thus outmassing enemies in artillery by many times? What am I missing here? The article does not answer these questions at all. (talk) 22:50, 23 August 2013 (UTC)


I could not find any information on manufacture of cannon in the article, and if there are any links they are not easy to find. Is there any particular reason for this? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:50, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

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edit needed[edit]

I suspect the following to be incorrect: "To pack a muzzle-loading cannon, first gunpowder is poured down the bore."

I am certain that the powder is placed in the chamber, which is a recess at the breech end of the bore, rather then just poured in. I, however, don't have a source to provide. Zedshort (talk) 17:59, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Would hardly be "muzzle-loading" in that case, would it? Ian Dalziel (talk) 20:10, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
In fact, the powder charge is delivered to the recessed part of the breech end by a special tool that places the powder there. It is not simply poured into the barrel. If you know nothing about the subject you should not be posting responses. Zedshort (talk) 23:26, 29 September 2014 (UTC)