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Competition Long Guns Muzzleloaders

Cannons Roar At the 123 N-SSA Nationals

by Scott E. Mayer   |  May 26th, 2011 6

Guns & Ammo was on the line and at Sutler’s Row at the recent North-South Skirmish Association’s 123 National Skirmish. Here is some of what goes on at Ft. Shenandoah.

L. Romano Rifle Co. showed its reproduction of the very rare Tarpley's carbine.


"Deadeye Dave" tries Romano's Spencer on for size. Maybe in a few years Dave!


That's more your speed little guy!


Carpetbagger were around long before modern politics.


There was plenty of quality, hand-made period clothing for sale and being made or mended on Sutler's Row.


Headed back to camp after a carbine relay.


Only at Ft. Shenandoah can you find a person chatting on a modern cell phone standing next to a guy getting a Civil War cannon ready to shoot.


Ready on the left for the "fire" command.




Team carbine competition is one of the faster-paced relays at the Nationals.


The firing line looks a lot like it does at Camp Perry, only the shooters are in period clothing and the guns are blackpowder.


This is one of the smaller cannons shot at the Nationals. The "cannon ball" looks like a huge wasp-waist air rifle pellet.


Taking a break between relays.


"Artillery to the firing line!"


It's not uncommon to find N-SSA shooters using original arms from the Civil War in competition.


Almost 20 teams competed in the cannon division.


"Load and make ready!"


"Great shot!"




Five shots touching at 200 yards--with a cannon!


It's about to get really loud!


...and smokey!

  • Ian

    I had no idea that Cannons of that era had that level of accuracy.

    Thanks for the insite.

  • Randy H

    First weekend every May the Brushy Creek Rangers has a frontier days get-together near Yuba City (maybe 60 mi. N or Sacramento), and 25+ first-class blk powder cannons, most replicas but some original, shoot several hours on Sunday, the last day. The accuracy of some–and the quality and appearance–is outstanding. BANG!–then CLANK! when the shell or ball hits the metal target on hillside opposite. Of note is a Civil War mortar replica that shoots bowling balls up up and up–and if you were on that target hillside, you could pretty easily dodge them. Not recommended, however….. Flyer:


    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View

    BRUSHY CREEK RANGERS 2011. Rendezvous May 6-8. Events. Rifle, Pistol, Hawk and Knife Trails. Trade Gun. Long Gong, Shotgun. Old Coot Shoot (55+ years) …….

  • Jim

    It's been 40 yrs since I once was a N-SSA member…However by the looks of the current 'skirmishers' one would presume that entry is based on girth and weight;hardly the image of those who fought in that war 150 yrs ago,

    • Steve

      >However by the looks of the current ‘skirmishers’ one would presume that entry is based on girth and weight;

      And age – most of the skirmishers are far older than your average Civil War solider.

      But then, there is much about the N-SSA that is not historically accurate. The bullets usually are not correct, nor do they use paper cartridges.

      • David

        The bullets certainly ARE accurate. You must be a re-enactor.

  • Wolfgang Shaffer

    A few years back…I was a guest of Terry's Texas Rangers down at the NSSA Nationals down at Winchester, Va. What impressed me most was the accurate cannon target shooting. The morter crews were great too…They were lobbing balls HIGH at "Horse-shoe" stakes. Two of the crews hit the stakes dead on…..smack on the TOP of the stakes !

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