H. M. Royal Artillery
"Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl"

About Us

H. M. Royal Artillery was founded in February 2000 at the Florida Renaissance Festival with one person, one cannon, one small tent and a bit of land to put it on. It has since grown to twelve people, twelve tents, fourteen cannons, two mortars (one shoots bowling balls while the other shoots golf balls), numerous small arms and a large encampment at FlaRF.

Since 2000, as a member of the cast, our commander Sir Robert Russell has opened and closed the Festival each day with a cannon shot. From 2014 through 2016, the entire crew closed the Festival daily at sunset with a small arms and cannon barrage.
Specially invited Festival participants often joined us shooting in the evening. Begining in 2017, we shoot a scheduled cannon and mortar demonstration every day near our camp and closing the festival has gone back to a single cannon shot.

We are a freelance mercenary artillery battery that is currently employed by the King, since he pays the best. He pays us well and mostly on time because he knows the kind of firepower we have and doesn't want us mad at him.

Whenever the King doesn't have a nice little land war going on with one of his neighbors, we usually have a lot of free time on our hands. That's when we'll pack up and go to sea as privateers. This lets us pillage and plunder as much as we want and as often as possible. Having given us a 'Letter of Marque', the King encourages this activity and backs us up... as long as he gets his cut.

Four of our members have the distinction of having been trained and certified by the National Park Service to shoot full sized black powder artillery. Sir Robert and his wife Lady Triskelia were certified in 2004 and 2006 respectively while Mr. Avery and Mistress Catalina were both certified in 2014. 

As acknowledged black powder experts with over 130 years of combined experience safely handling and firing muzzleloading cannons and small arms, our other main endeavor is education. We hold training courses and safety seminars for any and all types of black powder weapons along with the safe handling, storage and use of black powder.

Safety is always our primary concern since even a blank shot could seriously injure a person who happened to be in the line of fire. If we can't shoot safely, we won't shoot.

The H. M. (in Royal Artillery) currently means "His Majesty’s" but it could just as easily mean "Her Majesty's". We purposely did not spell it out since the Monarch can, and often does, change. Sometimes without warning. If and when there is a change, and the new Monarch's gender has also changed, having our name written in this fashion saves us time and money because we don't have to make up new signs and letterhead.

All battery members wear, and can be identified by, one of two distinct insignias.

The first is worn by members who are fully qualified with all of our weapons. The leather background is the traditional artillery color red, the crossed cannons are the traditional symbol for artillery and the crown
shows that we currently work for the King.

The second insignia is crossed cannons on a red leather background without a crown. This signifies that a battery member is in the process of being trained and is not yet fully qualified with all of our weaponry. When they have completed training and passed their qualifications they are issued an insignia with a crown.

A third insignia is worn by a very few select individuals who, in recognition of their unwavering and continued
support of H.M Royal Artillery, have been inducted as Honorary Members.

Although 99% of the time we fire blank shots, all of our weapons are real and fully capable of live fire.
Nothing we own is a toy.

The 1% of the time we do shoot live, it's our bowling ball mortar lobbing 16 pound balls 200 yards into the lake at Quietwaters Park during FlaRF. 

(Yes, it really is legal)

This was our one and only 500 yard shot. Using some really fancy math it was found that the ball
an altitude of 980 feet. After this we cut the powder charge in half. The ball is very
 throughout its entire flight and, because of the finger holes, it whistles as it flies.
The shot always ends with a very large and quite satisfying splash.
The lake is a great target. We've never missed yet.

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