[Note: This entry was previously shoot the anvil.]
In phrr shoot an anvil and varr: = fire n C2; hence vbl n phrr anvil shooting, shooting an anvil, shooting the ~; agent n anvil shooter.
1869 Marion Star (SC) 13 Jan 1/5 KY, A young man . . was engaged with others in loading and shooting an anvil, when some one unknown come up and shot him through the heart with a pistol. 1875 Freeborn Co. Std. (Albert Lea MN) 21 Jan /1 (newspaperarchive.com), The announcement that Ramsey had received the caucus nomination, was the occasion of rejoicing among his friends here . . , and some anvil shooting. 1881 Rio Grande Republican (Las Cruces NM) 9 July /1 (newspaperarchive.com), The 4th of July was very quiet in Las Cruces. A little anvil shooting broke some of the stillness in the evening. 1884 Republic City News (KS) 21 Nov /5, They had a big bon-fire, and shot anvils and raised the devil generally. 1915 Greensburg Std. (IN) [17 Dec 2]/5 (newspaperarchive.com), Mr. and Mrs. Purvis, the newlyweds, received an old-fashioned charivari. . . They shot anvils and guns until Mr. Purvis invited them to march with him to George Himelick’s grocery where he purchased cigars and candy to treat the crowd. 1918 Sandusky Reg. (OH) 14 Nov 6/7, While shooting an anvil here during the peace celebration, Clyde Reed carried a powder flask too near a fire. 1930 Denton Rec.–Chron. (TX) 11 Nov 1/3, The Armistice Day program got under way early Tuesday when anvil shooting and other noise-making devices were brought into play at the American Legion grounds. 1956 KY Folkl. Rec. 2.96 wKY, “Shooting the anvil”. . . This feat was accomplished by filling the large hole in the base of the anvil with black powder, . . and driving a wooden peg in the hole. The fuse would be lighted and the powder would explode with an earth-shaking roar. 1961 Gastonia Gaz. (NC) 15 Dec sec B 1/5, In explaining how the young men shot off anvils, Dobbins said, “One anvil was placed upside down on the ground where we filled the bottom holes with about four drams of powder. A can lid was placed on top of it and the other steel-faced anvil was placed right side up on top of the lid.” 1967–70 DARE (Qu. FF15) Inf TX91, Shooting an anvil—powder was exploded in hole in anvil—done at Christmas; [(Qu. FF14, . . Kinds of firecrackers) Inf TX35, Anvils—pour powder on an anvil and light it; (Qu. FF28, . . Kinds of fireworks; not asked in early QRs) Inf TX1, Anvil.] 1968 Pt. Arthur News (TX) 4 Dec 13/4, Normally he shoots an anvil on July 4 and Christmas Day. . . Fifty years before, when the armistice was signed ending World War I, Buddy helped his father shoot an anvil to celebrate. 1975 McDonough Garden Sass 198 AR, He also recalled that “depending if anybody had any money, they’d get a keg of powder and they’d get a couple of anvils and shoot the anvils. . . They’d shoot anvils then till they used up that keg of powder.” 1978 Athens LC News Courier (AL) 24 Sept 1/3, Harrison . . one of the two known anvil shooters left, says the key link is tradition. “The folk traditions of both anvil shooting and old time fiddling are nearly lost rural arts.” 1986 Pederson LAGS Concordance, 1 inf, seAR, Shooting the anvil—on holidays; fuse; black powder. 2000 Laurel Leader–Call (MS) 5 Apr sec D 1/2, In traditional anvil shooting, two anvils are used, explained Hinton. One is placed on the ground, one pound of powder is placed in the center and then another anvil is placed on top.