The end of the XV - the beginning of the XVI centuries. marked a new period in the development of domestic artillery. During these years, on the basis of deep political and socio-economic changes characterized by the elimination of feudal fragmentation and the formation of a Russian centralized state, the rapid growth of handicrafts, trade and culture, formed a single Russian army as a military and social support of the rising central government. Artillery of specific feudal principalities became an integral part of the united Russian army, became the property of the state, underwent rapid quantitative growth and major qualitative changes in all areas of its structure - in armament, organization and methods of combat use.
During the reign of Ivan III, the development of the production of firearms weapons has become an important part of his transformations. By supporting the mining and foundry industries, the relocation of craftsmen, he sought to organize the manufacture of weapons in all significant cities. Considering that not all craftsmen are capable of raising their own business at a new place, special huts, yards, cellars were “arranged” at the expense of government orders.
The production of artillery weapons, which previously relied solely on handicrafts and handicrafts and limited mainly to the centers of individual principalities, expanded significantly in territorial terms, acquired a general Russian significance and, most importantly, gained a qualitatively new base in the form of large state workshops based on the division of labor and use mechanical force, water or horse thrust. Taking over the best world experience, Ivan III invited weapons and cannon masters from abroad.
In 1475 (1476) in Moscow, the first Cannon hut was laid, and then the Cannon Yard (1520 - 1530-ies), on which the tools  were cast. The beginning of the gun-and-foundry business in Russia is associated with the name of Alberti (Aristotle) Fioravanti (between 1415 and 1420 - approx. 1486), an outstanding Italian architect and engineer. He was known for his bold engineering work to strengthen and move large structures in Italy. Since 1470's The Moscow government systematically invited foreign specialists to produce large works to strengthen and beautify the Kremlin and train Moscow masters. The chronicles preserved the news of foreign masters involved in cannon work, mainly Italians, written out by the Moscow government during the 1475 – 1505 period.
Gun yard in Moscow at the end of the XV century. Artist A.M. Vasnetsov
In 1475, two years after the marriage of Ivan III with Sophia (Zoya) Paleologue, who introduced modern Western European culture to “Muscovy”, “the ambassador of the Grand Duke Semyon Tolbuzin came from Rome, and brought with him the master of Murol, who puts churches and chambers , Aristotle name; likewise the cannon of the one that intends to liti them and beat them; and the bells and all the other things are lith sly velmy ”. A. Fioravanti arrived in Moscow not alone, but with his son Andrei and “Parobk Petrusha” . He laid in Moscow a solid start to the cannon-foundry business with all the requirements of modern European technology. In 1477 - 1478 A. Fioravanti participated in the expedition of Ivan III to Novgorod, and in 1485, on Tver as the commander of artillery and military engineer .
At the end of the XV century. several more Italian masters were invited to work in the Gun hut. In 1488, the “Peacock Fryazin Debosis [Pavel DeBoesis] great gun” , which later bore the name of the master “Peacock”, someone called it “Tsar-gun” also merged.
We have very little information about the device of the first cannon-foundry manufactory. There is an indication of the existence of a “cannon hut” in 1488.  The archive of the Cannon Order, which was in charge of the Cannon Yard, was unfortunately lost, so no any satisfactory description of the equipment of the first Russian manufactory has been preserved. She herself, who was at the "three bridges from the Frolov Gate to China Town" , burned down in 1498. Later, it was built on the bank of the Neglinnaya River. Nearby there was a settlement of manufactory blacksmiths, from where the name Kuznetsky Bridge originated. Melting furnaces were located in the center of the territory of the Cannon Courtyard, from which the metal entered through special channels into casting molds. According to the organization of production, the Cannon Yard was a manufactory. Masters-cannons, litz and blacksmiths worked here. All the masters and their assistants were serving people, that is, they were on the sovereign's service, received a monetary and grain salary, land for construction.
Plan of the Cannon Yard in Moscow
Almost all artisan people lived in Pushkarskaya settlement. It was located in the Earthen city behind the Sretensky Gate and occupied a vast area bounded by the Neglinnaya River, the White City, Bolshaya Street, along which the road went to Vladimir, and Streletsky Sloboda. In Pushkarskaya Sloboda there were two streets - Bolshaya (aka Sretenskaya, now Sretenka Street) and Sergievskaya (from St. Sergius Church in Pushkary) and seven lanes, of which only one was called Sergievsky (now it’s about the following lanes: on the left from the center - Pechatnikov, Kolokolnikov, Big and Small Sergievsky, Pushkarev, Big Golovin; on the right - Rybnikov, Ashcheulov, Lukov, Prosvirin, Small Golovin, Seliverstov, Daev and Pankratovsky), and the other six were numbered from “first” to “sixth” and they got their names.
The cannon-and-foundry business in Russia was widely developed from 1491, when copper ore was found on the Pechora River and mining began there. The guns were cast from an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc (bronze) with a finished channel using an iron core. Copper guns were cast without seams with a socket in the muzzle, which allowed to increase the charge of gunpowder and was the last word of the artillery equipment of that time. There were no established rules for determining the caliber.
The guns made at the Cannon Yard differed in their accuracy of calculation, the beauty of the finish, the perfect casting technique. Each of them was cast on a special wax model. Various symbolic images, sometimes extremely intricate, were engraved or cast on the plate or the muzzle, according to which the guns were named: bear, wolf, asp, nightingale, inrog, scurvy (lizard), king Achilles, fox, snakes, etc.
In the cannon-and-foundry manufactory, for sighting, piscals were cast, divided into stencil walls, of a large caliber and up to 2 fathoms long; Zatinnye or snakes, medium caliber for the defense of fortresses; Regimental or falcon, Wolfies - short, weighing 6 - 10 pounds. Significant quantities were made for mounted shooting, hafunits — more elongated howitzers and shotguns or mattresses — large-caliber howitzers for shooting stone or iron grapeshot. In the Cannon Yard began the casting of organs and batteries - prototypes of rapid-fire guns, intended for rapid shooting. Thus, the artillery outfit, which was led by A. Fioravanti during the march on Tver, included hafunits for aimed firing with stone grapeshot, small iron cannons and even organs (multi-barreled guns) capable of giving a quick fire close to salvo. At the end of the XVI century. breech-loading guns with wedge-shaped bolts were manufactured. At the beginning of the XVII century. The first rifled pishchal was made. It should be emphasized that the priority in the field of the invention of rifled tools and the wedge gate belongs to Moscow. In the XVI - XVII centuries. Bells and chandeliers were cast at the Cannon yard.
7-barrel rapid-fire battery "Forty" of the second half of the XVI century.
To manage the artillery of the Moscow state, a certain organization was required. We have traces of such an organization of the “Gun Order” since the 1570s. In the list of “boyars, okolnichy and noblemen who serve from the choice of 85 of the year” (7085, i.e. in 1577), two names of the senior officials of the order are named: “In the Cannon order Prince Semen Korkodinov, Fyodor Puchko Molvyaninov”, - both are marked: “with a sovereign” (in a campaign) 7-barrel rapid-fire battery “Soroka” of the second half of the 16th century. Since that time, the Main Missile-Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation  has its history. At the beginning of the XVII century. The gun order was renamed Pushkarsky and became the chief artillery and military engineering directorate whose activities we know from the remnants of documents from its burned archive, from the archives of other orders, as well as from contemporaries.
The order recruited people for service, assigned salaries, raised or lowered in ranks, sent to hikes, tried, dismissed from service, was in charge of building cities (fortresses), defensive lines, casting bells, cannons, producing handgun and cold weapons and armor ( the latter, apparently, for some time was under the jurisdiction of separate Armory and Bronny orders). In peacetime, the chiefs of the Pushkarsky Prikaz also were in charge of the mines and the zasechnye heads assigned to them, clerks and watchmen.
The order tested gunpowder (cannon, musket, and hand) and nitrate-based explosives (meat production). More in the XVII century. in the Pushkar order there were stored special boxes with pastry or saltpeter experiments of previous years (that is, with the samples of gunpowder previously tested). In the middle of the XVII century. in 100 cities and 4 monasteries, which were under the jurisdiction of the Pushkarsky Order, were 2637 guns .
In the XVII century. The cannon yard was significantly reconstructed. The preserved plan of the end-of-century Cannon Courtyard gives a fairly accurate outline of the borders and surrounding buildings. He already occupied a significant territory, being between Theater Way and Cannon Street, Neglinnaya and Rozhdestvenka. Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich “created a great thing for the mat, where the big weapon is business, there are guns on the hedgehog, and on it place your royal majesty a banner — the eagle is glad” .
Technical innovations have also appeared: the power of water was used to drive the forging hammers into motion (the first known case of using water energy in metallurgy in Moscow). Stone foundry barns were placed in the center of the courtyard, blacksmiths along the edges. At the gates were located large scales, not far from the barns - a well. Significantly expanded the composition of service people. The manufactory began to work bell and chanter masters, sawyers, carpenters, solders, etc. The staff of the Cannon yard consisted of more than 130 people.
The production volume of the Cannon Yard, as far as can be judged from the information that has been preserved, was never strictly limited, since no production plan existed and work orders were transferred as needed. Such a system of work is characteristic of the activities of the Cannon Courtyard in the future. From 1670, the Pushkarsky Order (later the Artillery Order) began to be located in the yard.
In the next Moscow fire 1699, the Cannon Yard burned down with most of its buildings. In the activities of the cannon-and-foundry manufactory, there was a forced break until January 1701, when, by Peter's decree, it was ordered to build wooden buildings at the New Cannon Yard. At the beginning of the XVIII century. the value of the Cannon Yard decreased in connection with the development of the cast-iron cannons and the construction of military factories in the St. Petersburg province, in the Urals and in Karelia. At the Cannon Yard there were production workers 51 people, among them: cannon masters, apprentices and apprentices - 36, bell masters - 2, smelting masters and apprentices - 8, panikadilny masters, apprentices and apprentices 5 people . When asked about the power of the cannon-foundry manufactory in 1718, the Artillery order answered: “There were no definitions on the casting of cannons and mortars, but they always poured what was needed, written and verbal e. C. at. edicts ”.
As you can see, the activities of the Cannon Yard gradually faded away, and the casting of copper cannons was transferred to the Bryansk arsenal of artillery. The cannon yard became a depository of weapons, ammunition and banners. In 1802, according to the presentation of Count I.P. Saltykov Alexander I ordered weapons and ammunition stored at the Cannon Yard to be transferred to the Kremlin arsenal, and the production of gunpowder to the Field Artillery Yard. In 1802 - 1803 the buildings of the cannon yard were demolished, and the building material was used to build a bridge over the Yauza at the crossing from Solyanka to Taganka.
The successful production of guns, shells and gunpowder in the Russian state was achieved thanks to the active creative activity of ordinary Russian people - cannonmen, foundry workers and blacksmiths. The most deserved honor in the cannon yard was used by the “cunning fire-fighting men,” or cannon craftsmen. The oldest Russian cannon master, whose name has been preserved to us by history, is the master Yakov, who worked in the cannon-and-foundry manufactory in Moscow at the end of the 15th century  For example, in 1483 in the Gun-hut they had cast the first copper gun 2,5 arshin (1 arshin - 71,12 cm) and weighed 16 pounds (1 pounds - 16 kg). In 1667, it was used in the defense of the most important Russian fortress on the western border - Smolensk and was lost. The food is described in detail in documents 1667 - 1671. and 1681 g.: “Pishchal copper in the machine on wheels, ruska casting, the length of two arshins, half past three. It is signed in Russian letter: “at the behest of the faithful and Christ-loving Grand Prince Ivan Vasilyevich, ruler of all of Russia, this gun was made in the summer of six thousand, nine hundred and ninety-one, in its two tenth year; and did Jacob. " The weight of the 16 pud ”. In 1485, Master Yakov had cast a second cannon with such dimensions, now stored in the Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineer and Communication Troops in St. Petersburg.
Some of the names of cannon casters have survived to our days, the most prominent of which were Ignatius (1543), Stepan Petrov (1553), Bogdan (1554 - 1563), First Kuzmin, Semen Dubinin, Nikita Tupitsyn, Pronya Fedorov and Others. The surviving examples of tools indicate the state of the foundry art: copper hafunits 1542 g., caliber 5,1 dm (master Ignatius); copper pishchal, 1563 g., caliber 3,6 dm (master Bogdan); Inrog pishchil 1577 g., caliber 8,5 dm (master A. Chokhov); Onagr pishchal 1581 g., caliber 7 dm (master P. Kuzmin); “Scroll” 1591 g., caliber 7,1 dm (master S. Dubinin).
An outstanding representative of the Moscow school of gunsters was Andrei Chokhov (1568 - 1632). Among the many models of guns created by him, the Tsar Cannon, cast in 1568, is particularly famous. It was the largest and most technically perfect instrument of that time (caliber 890 mm, weight - 40 t). "Russian Shotgun" called the creation of a talented master, because it was intended for shooting stone "fractions". And although the gun did not make a single shot, you can imagine what havoc in the ranks of the enemy could make this weapon.
Tsar Cannon. Master Andrei Chokhov. 1586
The replenishment of personnel went initially due to the apprenticeship. To the master students were attached, who were recruited, first of all, from relatives of servicemen, and then from free people, not assigned to the burden. Later at the Cannon yard, special schools are set up to train new personnel. So, in 1701, “it was ordered to build wooden schools in the New Cannon Yard and to teach Pushkar and other extraneous officials of children verbal and written science in those schools ... and feed and water them in the above schools, and they each put money on the stern for a day to a person, and from that money, half of them are buying bread and food: on fast days, fish, and in skoromnyh meat, and cook porridge or cabbage soup, and on another money - for shoes and coats, and for shirts ... ”. In 1701, 180 pupils studied in these schools, and subsequently the number of pupils grew to 250 – 300 people.
The cannon courtyard, being the main arsenal of the Moscow State and at the same time the school that trained the casting workers, always enjoyed the special attention of foreign travelers who wrote about Muscovy. This attention was quite natural, because all foreign reports about the Russian state served primarily for the purposes of espionage and, above all, paid attention to military targets. Foreigners who visited “Muscovy” spoke with great praise of the Russian artillery, pointing out its significance , and the mastering of the “Muscovites” in the manufacture of guns according to Western models .
 N.E. Brandenburg Historical catalog of the St. Petersburg Artillery Museum. CH 1. (XV - XVII century). SPb., 1877. C. 45.
 Ibid. S. 52.
 Nikon chronicle. PSRL T. XII. SPb., 1901. C. 157.
 Lviv Chronicle. PSRL T. XX. SPb., 1910. C. 302.
 See: S.M. Soloviev Russian history. M., 1988. Prince 3. T. 5.
 Nikon chronicle. C. 219.
 Cit. by: Rubtsov N.N. History of foundry in the USSR. CH 1. M.-L., 1947. C. 35.
 Acts of the Moscow State. SPb., 1890. T. 1. No. 26. C. 39.
 The annual holiday of the Grau is established by order of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation from 3 June 2002, No. 215.
 See: V. Shagayev Order system of the Military Administration // Humanitarian Gazette of the Military Academy of Strategic Missile Forces. 2017. .№ 1.C. 46-56.
 I. Zabelin The history of the city of Moscow. CH 1. M., 1905. C. 165.
 Kirillov I. The blooming state of the All-Russian state, which began, led and left Peter the Great unsold by works. M., 1831. C. 23.
 N. N. Rubtsov History of foundry in the USSR. CH 1. C. 247.
 See. A. Lebedyanskaya Essays from the history of gun production in Moscow Russia. Ornamented and subscription tools of the end of the XV-first half of the XVI centuries // Collection of studies and materials of the Artillery Historical Museum of the Red Army. T. 1. ML, 1940. C. 62.
 M. Khmyrov Artillery and artillerymen in pre-Peter Russia. Historical and characteristic essay // Artillery magazine. 1865. No. 9. C. 487.
 Archive of the Military History Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Communications. F. 2. Op. 1. D. 4. L. 894.
 See: I. Cobenzel. Letters on Russia in the XVI century. // Journal of the Ministry of Education. 1842. CH 35. C. 150.
 See: R. Barberini. Travel to Muscovy in 1565, St. Petersburg., 1843. C. 34.