The cannon is a type of stationary smoothbore weapon that employs a propellant charge to fire various types of ammunition. The most common type of ammunition fired by a cannon is a cannonball; an extremely large shot made of stone or forged steel and iron.
Red Dead Revolver
Red Dead Redemption
In the single-player campaign, the player has the opportunity to utilize large smoothbore cannons in the defense of a fortified position, called El Presidio. The cannons are also in place at El Presidio for the Undead Nightmare campaign and in multiplayer Free Roam.
In multiplayer game modes, the cannon is available as a stationary weapon. The cannon appears to load a type of carcass shot which detonates upon impact. The cannons can be found in the multiplayer maps for various game modes at Diez Coronas and Tumbleweed. In addition, the Fort Mercer Stronghold map has two cannons available for the attacking team. The co-op missions "The Escape" and "Ammunition" have cannons available for the players at Tumbleweed and Tesoro Azul, respectively.
The cannon can be difficult to use due to its parabolic trajectory and projectile traveling time but is a devastating weapon. The cannon is especially accurate when aiming above a target to account for gravity. The cannon is able to damage and kill enemy players through walls and other obstructions. Even inside of a house, the player can be killed by the blast. Stagecoaches and wagons can be obliterated by cannon blasts.
Players using a cannon are often protected from fire to the front, but vulnerable from the sides. If the player is facing a cannon down the bore, wait for it to fire. If they have not died afterward they will have a split second to retaliate when the gunner becomes vulnerable while reaching for ammunition.
The Heavy Weapons multiplayer challenges (unlocked at level 45) have three challenges, with seven ranks total, involving the use of cannons to kill other players. These challenges are located under the PVP section once unlocked.
Red Dead Redemption 2
In Red Dead Redemption 2, the player must use a Cannon at Cinco Torres to destroy a warship in the Chapter 5 mission, "Hell Hath No Fury". One is used soon afterwards in the mission "Paradise Mercifully Departed", where Arthur Morgan uses one to kill Alberto Fussar, by destroying the tower that he is in. It can also be used to blow a hole in the wall of Fort Wallace, in the Chapter 6 mission "The King's Son".
- Cannonballs disappear once a certain distance from a player, any player in Multiplayer. The maximum range for a cannon shot is unknown, but one gunner and one "observer" cooperating managed to shoot a ball from El Presidio to past Casa Madrugada.
- At the time of Red Dead Redemption, conventional cannons had been obsoleted by more modern rifled cannons, howitzers, and mortars. Smoothbore cannons still found use, but were increasingly uncommon and no longer in production.
- The cannon in the game appears to be based on the 7 inch and 8 inch breech loading Armstrong Guns of the 1850s and 1860s.
- Sometimes, when shooting a cannon inside El Presidio, NPC's will sometimes aim their weapons or actually fire on the player. This is most likely because they feel threatened by the continued use of the cannon, or some splash damage could have injured an NPC inside.
The Cannon can be used to unlock the following achievement and trophy:
Kill 500 enemies with a mounted weapon in any game mode.