Object of the Month - March 2022

30 March, 2022

The Falconet - 1.9 inch SBML Field Gun  

This French, wrought-iron, 1.9-inch smooth-bore, muzzle-loaded, light gun dates from the early 17th Century. It is assumed to have been manufactured in Germany because of the animal decorations surrounding its muzzle; however, the fleur de lys emblem indicates a French connection. It is mounted on its original carriage which was refurbished in the Royal Carriage Department in Woolwich in 1826.  

17th Century light cannon were known as ‘Falconets’ because they were small, manoeuvrable guns whose round was about the weight of a falcon and the size of a golf ball. As such, this gun’s barrel length and bore size equates it to a sniping-type weapon, but it would have had a recoil of around ten to fifteen yards. It would have required at least six men to move it onto the battlefield and manoeuvre it back into position once fired.




"Falconet wrought iron 17th century" by martin_vmorris is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.


"Firepower - Royal Artillery Museum" by CarolineLD is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.