History of Winchester Cannons:
The Bellmore Johnson Years (1975-Present)

1975: Winchester Cannons Return

The Bellmore Johnson Tool Company (then) of Hamden, Connecticut, obtained trademark licensing rights from the Winchester Division of the Olin Corporation to revive production of the Winchester signal cannon after an absence of 17 years. At the time, the Bellmore-Johnson Tool Company employed about 40 and specialized in the design, engineering and prototyping of firearms. The reissuing of the Winchester Cannon was well received in the firearms community and was featured in two separate articles in the November 1976 issue of Gun World magazine. Read more on Winchester Cannons for the Bicentennial...

Production of the cannon by the Bellmore Johnson Company remained virtually unchanged since the later Winchester years except for the roll marking on the barrel which required changes due to the licensing with Olin. These differences in the barrel roll marking make it easy to differentiate cannons that were manufactured by Winchester (from 1903-1958) and the Bellmore Johnson Company (1976-Present). This also is a benefit to collectors who seek original Winchester units.

Brass Winchester Cannon

1976: Brass Winchester Cannon

Bellmore Johnson Tool Company unveils a new cannon to commemorate the Bicentennial. A Presentation Model featuring a solid brass barrel and undercarriage, rubber-tired wheels and a mahogany storage box. Read more on the presentation brass Winchester cannon...

Brass Winchester Cannon

2001: Naval Edition

Through a little experimentation the Bellmore Johnson Company assembles the Naval Edition cannon. With a combination of the black and brass parts, the Naval Edition cannon has become the second most popular cannon behind the standard black model.

Naval Edition Winchester Cannon

2002: New Websites

The Bellmore Johnson Company launches two websites: a new, modernized Bellmore Johnson Company site and an online store, The Cannon Store, which sells our Winchester Cannons, and a variety of other signal cannons and accessories.


The Bellmore Johnson Company is now entirely dedicated to the production of the Winchester Signal Cannons. As they have been for over a century, Winchester Cannons are entirely made and assembled in the United States, we use no foreign outsourced parts or labor. The raw parts required for the cannon are supplied by a variety of businesses in New England. Many of our parts vendors have continually supplied us since the cannon's reintroduction in 1975. Read more on modern cannon manufacturing...

Winchester Cannon Barrel turned in a CNC Lathe

Over one hundred years after its design and introduction the Model 98 Signal Cannon is still crafted with the same precision and quality that defined the Winchester Repeating Arms Company as an American industrial legend. The Bellmore Johnson Company plans to carry on the Winchester tradition with the production of the Model 98 Signal Cannon for well into the foreseeable future.

< Back: The Winchester Years (1901-1958)

Winchester Cannon Drawing