I need information about a Howitzer at a garage sale

I’m writing a short story that involves a Howitzer purchased at a garage sale. I want it to be sold at a price that is a great steal, but not ridiculously low so as to be unrealistic. Right now I have the protagonist buy it for a grand.

How are my figures? Is that a realistic price (for a great steal but still realistic?)

The Howitzer in question is a 75-millimeter, WWI-era cannon. If there’s a smaller Howitzer than that, I’d prefer to use it instead, so tell me how much that would cost also, if you know.

Have you checked ebay?

[url="http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m8.htm"Here is an older 75mm Howitzer

Price the garage sale unit at $ 175.00

Link fixed

We have such dull garage sales here. :smiley:

Here’s a surplus Finnish 152 mm howitzer selling for FIM 2,500.
Using the 17,000 FIM = 3,000 EUR from this related site, the howitzer sold for about $450. The gun in question is an antique, dating from the 1920’s. A newer model, with all the bells and whistles, maybe a shell or two, ought to be worth two to three times that amount. Then there’s the garage sale markup for odd items. I’d label a nice howitzer at around $3,000, and let the customer bid me down to about $1,500; close the deal, but complain about losing my shirt in the process. :wink:

Too late, and too big. Oh well.
It was a great question!

So there is no smaller Howitzer?

The story involves a guy who buys a Howitzer at a sale which he is told by the proprietor is de-commissioned. (He buys shells too.) A friend knowledgeable about guns realizes there’s nothing wrong with the cannon and that it is in full working order. They buy it and set it up in the protagonist’s beach-front backyard. One night, in a drunken frenzy, they load the Howitzer with a shell and fire it, hitting a boat across the bay which sinks, killing someone. The next day the protagonist frantically goes about hiding all the evidence of what they did, then (maybe, I don’t have the whole story worked out) he realizes that it never happened and that it was all part of some kind of drug-induced delusion.

Maybe use a LAWs rocket instead? That could be something that someone could have smuggled out of the service, and would be a lot less likely to be seen by the Authorities before the events of the story. I mean, towing a howiyzer behind your F-150 is bound to cause talk! :smiley:

What you probably don’t want to do is google “WW11 artillery”.
Unless, of course, you want to take your story in a whole new direction.

Would a 75mm Howitzer (with the wheels taken off) (or even with them) fit in the back of an F-350 with a super-high cap? That’s the scenario I have planned for the hauling home of the cannon.

No. Towed - yes. Hauled - no. There is one in front of the local American Legion hall, so I see it every day.

Paint the PU with camo (the wash-off kind) and no one will even pay it any mind.

If the wheels were taken off, the cannon set at a level angle and the entire contraption hoisted into the back of an F-350, a very large truck, it still would not fit?

Were it to be towed, what would it be set on? Could it be towed by its own two wheels?

I sit corrected. If totally disassembled, you could haul one away in an F-350. After all, it was designed to be transported by mules, fer Og’s sake!

See here for details: http://members.aol.com/ItalyWW2/Equipment/Trucks.htm

Does it have to be a howitzer ? A WWI Stokes mortar will fire a shell about 1200 yards, could be transported quite handily in a pickup truck and the shell, being about 10 pounds of HE and cast iron, will definitely spoil the day for most yachtsmen.

A friend of mine who lived on the coast north of Copenhagen actually did have a neighbour who outfitted his balcony with a small cannon, used to fire blanks across the Oeresund at (of course) Sweden. (I can’t explain why this would make perfect sense to a lot of Danes, but it does…)

I’m about 99% certain that Federal law requires that an decommissioned artillery must have its barrel plugged before being sold. So depending on how accurate you want your story to be, I’m not sure how it would be possible to be mistaken about whether there’s a big plug of lead in there. But then, it’s super unlikely that they’d be selling live shells with the howitzer either.

He could buy a Mountain Howitzer. Barrels are available from Dixie Gun Works for a kilobuck. :smiley:

Or, since he sinks a boat, how about a carronade? :wink:

He could load a blank charge; and someone, unbeknownst to him, could load a projectile. Or maybe in his drunken state, he accidentally loads one himself.

Some more cannon web pages