Author Topic: Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns  (Read 5084 times)


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Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns
« on: November 25, 2008, 10:26:19 PM »

     I am seeking information that any of you might be willing to share about the type of powder horns in the photo attached below.

     I believe that these horns are arsenal built primarily for use as "gunners/cannoneer" priming horns.  Although none of the horns are dated, I believe that this type of horn would have been used from the Revolutionary War period thru the War of 1812.

     Some of these horns are British, and are stamped with the "WD" and broad arrow marks.  Most are not marked in any way.

     One of my questions would be ,did American arsenals build this type of horn, and if so where, during what time period, and is there any identifying characteristics to an American horn of this type?

Thanks for your help,

Don Millman

« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 06:56:42 PM by rich pierce »

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 02:27:43 AM »
 I would like to know about these horns myself, so I am submitting this to get it back to the top and maybe noticed.

Thanks, Tim C.

Offline Longknife

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Re: Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2008, 06:26:05 PM »
Tim and Don, I too was waiting for some insight on these horns as I am making two of them. One is going with a Lewis and Clark Contract rifle I am finishing for a customer and the other is for myself. I tried to research these horns but could find no info on them at all. The brass valves are available from TOTW but info is scarce...Ed
Ed Hamberg


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Re: Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2008, 08:41:51 PM »
Mike Lea had horn, similar to those above, on sale a the EPR. 

He had it labeled as the OP proposed, a gunners priming horn.  I believe it had scrimshaw on it that backed up this claim.  I didn't study it too closely.  I believe it was F&R or Revolutionary War.  From some fort in NY I believe.  I'm sketchy on the details.

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008, 10:16:45 PM »
I confess that I don't know a lot about this particular type of horn, but thousands of horns were made for the Federal Government by independent horn makers and horn factories. Considering this, the gunner's horns may not have been made at the arsenals at all, but supplied by those contracted to make horns??

Randy Hedden
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Re: Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 10:50:57 PM »
Thanks for ya'lls comments.  Several interesting aspects to these horns are when they are marked in some ways.  The large horn at the bottom of the picture is marked with a painted "No. 15" on it main body.  I am assume this means that the horn was assigned to "Gun" number 15, but I might be wrong.  Possible naval cannon?  There is also remnants of what I think is original green arsenal paint on the base plug, and filling screw.

Two of the horns are engraved.  One with some British military coat of arms, and a map of the Boston area, showing various fort/battery locations, etc..  The other engraved horn
has an eagle, skeleton, bear, sun, and possible Masonic symbols.

Thanks, keep the comments coming..........

Don Millman

Offline backsplash75

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Re: Arsenal Built "Gunners" Horns
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 04:49:28 PM »
Yep. Artillery priming horns. British ones are sometimes marked RA (Royal Artillery) there were similar RevWar Light infantry horns too.

Using the terminology below in a google books search will likely be useful.

Orderly book of the northern army, at Ticonderoga and Mt. Independence, from ...
 By Pennsylvania Infantry. 5th Regt., 1776-1783, Anthony Wayne

A Calculation of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores wanted for the Army of the Northern Department, made by Order of the Honourable Major - Gneral Schuyler.  Dated in Camp at Ticonderoga, Nov. 30, 1776

"...Fifty large priming Horns, screw Bottoms, with spring Tops and Belts, A. ..."

« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 04:56:22 PM by backsplash75 »