SOLD FOR: $6094
Model: Lyle Gun
Year of Manufacture: 1929, ATF Antique
Caliber: Approximately 2 1/2?
Action Type: Muzzle-Loading Black Powder Fuse-Ignited Cannon
Markings: The right trunion is marked “U.S. / L.S.S.” (United States Life Saving Service). The muzzle is marked “WVTARS”, “No 1471”, “1929” and “H.W.S.”.
Approximate Overall Dimensions, Assembled: W: 13?, H: 14?, L: 37?
Stock Configuration & Condition: The gun is mounted on an iron-strapped wood trunion mount with four iron handles. The wood of the mount has been painted white. The mount has light wear in the wood with scattered oxidation on the metal components.
Type of Finish: Brass & Iron
Finish Originality: Likely Original
Bore Condition: The bore is fairly smooth with some fouling and residue.
Mechanics: There is nothing to indicate that this cannon will not function properly. We do not know the proper load for firing this cannon. Its design is consistent with other line-throwing cannon. It may also have been used as a signaling cannon. We did not fire this gun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This gun comes with its installed mount and a wood handled tool (we do not know the purpose of the tool).
Our Assessment: Cannons are objectively cool, but they are not always used for destruction. This cannon was developed by Captain David A. Lyle of the US Army, a graduate of both West Point and MIT. The gun was intended to fire a ball which was connected to a line and fired to a foundering ship. Heavier hawsers could then be run on the line to pull the ship in, send out rescue equipment, or to guide rescue vessels. This example was made in 1929 and is marked as being used by the U.S. Life Saving Service, a precursor to the Coast Guard (along with the Revenue Cutter Service). This is interesting as the merger creating the USCG was in 1915. This intriguing Lyle gun shows its age but will display well in any collection, especially one focused on maritime artifacts or more specifically on Coast Guard items. Please see our photos and good luck!