How to Fire a Cannon

Whether you're an avid living historian or a dabbler in heavy firearms, knowing how to fire a cannon is a must. It is important to remember that cannons are dangerous weapons and can easily malfunction, causing injury or death.

Cover the air vent to choke the barrel and suffocate any sparks that may remain from previous firings. Failure to do this may result in the cannon firing when it is not safe for it to do so.

Insert a damp sponge rod into the barrel of the cannon to clear out any hot debris that may remain in the barrel from previous firings. This may seem like a waste of time, particularly in a real war situation, but it is another necessary safety measure.

Ready a charge by removing the charge from its bag and placing it down the barrel of the cannon.

Ram the charge down to the base of the cannon's barrel using a ramrod.

Insert a cannon ball into the firearm.

Remove cover from the air vent and carefully insert a priming wire (fuse). Be certain to insert the fuse deep enough to make contact with the charge, but not so deep that you cannot light it.

Aim the cannon taking into account distance, trajectory and wind speed.

Light the fuse, and run away.


  • Aim away from friends, loved ones and allies.

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