I am using this piece of tragic news to remind everyone of the dangers involved with using ANY type of firearm. I don't know whether this is a case of the boy not recieving the proper instruction, or it is a matter of the boy not paying attention to what he was taught.
My Father when he was a lad picked up the barrel of my Granfather's fowler & took it outside. The barrel had just been cleaned & apparently the breech plug had been removed. My Father propped the barrel on top of the low garden gate & was looking through the bore at kids playing on the village common. My Grandfather saw him & gave him the biggest wopping of his life.
My Father told me this story when he was instructing me in the safety & cleaning of firearms at an early age. I never forgot. Firearms whether longarms, pistols or miniature cannons are NOT toys, they are a very serious piece of equipment & deserve to be handled with the greatest of care.
If you have children, please teach them while they are young & continue to remind them to take care EVERY time you see them handling a gun. I made toy guns for my boys to play with, but they knew the differnce between playing with a toy, and handling a real gun.
I had a Friend in the Territory who owned one of these working miniature cannons. He used to bring it out to my property, & it was a lot of fun. These cannons can shoot a .50 calibre round ball, that is a pretty large calibre. If you have one of these, & you have kids, do NOT let them play with it! It is not a CHILD'S toy, loaded or unloaded.