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Subdeacon Joe

OT - Artillery

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It's funny as I think back on it, but I knew I had been accepted by the gun crews when they started calling me "Doc" and asking me if I wanted to pull tail. This was about the same time I could kick back and close my eyes during a fire mission without jumping out of my seat everytime a gun fired.

 

That is a good point about the old cannons being sized by the weight of its shot.

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In WWII, the British used 2 pounders, 6 pounders, 17 pounders and 25 pounders. I believe all of those guns except the 25 pounder were also mounted in AFVs. The 17 pounder was mounted in a Sherman and called a "Firefly."

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Since this thread has already been severely hijacked, I have to say I'm surprised no one has mentioned that artillery used to be measured by the weight of its shot. The USS Constitution used 24 and 32 pound cannons. Civil War field pieces were 12-pounders and the British used a very effective 5-pounder in WWI.

 

Seems to me that bore diameter measurement became standard about the time rifling became common for naval and ground artillery pieces.

Those were all smooth bores though. The rifled guns like the 3" Ordnance Rifle were measured in linear measurments.

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Those were all smooth bores though. The rifled guns like the 3" Ordnance Rifle were measured in linear measurments.

 

Not the Parrott.

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Not the Parrott.

 

Nor the Wiard, or the Armstrong (although that was a British piece).

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Nor the Wiard, or the Armstrong (although that was a British piece).

 

Nor the other limey one, the one Sir Joe Whitworth came up with..

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Nor the other limey one, the one Sir Joe Whitworth came up with..

 

Now that was a cracker jack gun! Very long range, very accurate. Only problem was that the breech tended to jamb shut. But it could still be used as a front stuffer.

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IIRC, the 105 howitzer would become the 35 pounder, the 8" the 200 pounder and the 280 would be the 600 pounder.

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I had two ex cannon cockers on my A Team at Ft Devens.They were constantly sayin, "Huh? What?". They tended to talk real loud too.

I suspected at times their hearing was selective. <_<:lol:

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Those were all smooth bores though. The rifled guns like the 3" Ordnance Rifle were measured in linear measurments.

 

 

Civil War era guns were either rifled or smooth bore. Both existed during the war. I think perhaps you meant to delineate between them: Smooth bores were listed by the weight of their shot (6 pounder, 12 pounder, 24 pounder were all in the field then; coastal and siege artillery were bigger). Rifled cannon were listed by their bore size in inches (3 inch ordnance rifle, etc.). Of course others have already pointed out the exceptions to the rule...but those were exceptions.

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Civil War era guns were either rifled or smooth bore. Both existed during the war. I think perhaps you meant to delineate between them: Smooth bores were listed by the weight of their shot (6 pounder, 12 pounder, 24 pounder were all in the field then; coastal and siege artillery were bigger). Rifled cannon were listed by their bore size in inches (3 inch ordnance rifle, etc.).

 

You are correct Cyrus. However in further thought I must retract my statement. The Parrott comes to mind as an exception, and there are others.

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You are correct Cyrus. However in further thought I must retract my statement. The Parrott comes to mind as an exception, and there are others.

 

But since the Parrott was the most produced rifled gun, was it really the exception?

 

Add in to the ones mentioned the Blakely, which had the 12 pounder field gun, and the 10 pounder mountain gun, then some "inched" pieces, then 5 or 6 more "pounders."

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Since this thread has already been severely hijacked, I have to say I'm surprised no one has mentioned that artillery used to be measured by the weight of its shot. The USS Constitution used 24 and 32 pound cannons. Civil War field pieces were 12-pounders and the British used a very effective 5-pounder in WWI.

 

Seems to me that bore diameter measurement became standard about the time rifling became common for naval and ground artillery pieces.

 

Well, we were talking about Breech Loaders in post CW time frame. But you are correct on some of the Muzzle Loaders were gauged on the weight of a solid Iron Round Ball that was being fired. After the addoption of rifled guns and conical shells and bolts the practise changed to the diameter, in inches, of the bore.

 

ARTILLERY, THE KING OF BATTLE!!

 

GO ORDNANCE!

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I had two ex cannon cockers on my A Team at Ft Devens.They were constantly sayin, "Huh? What?". They tended to talk real loud too.

I suspected at times their hearing was selective. dry.gif:lol:

I was accidentally next to an 8 inch howitzer when it fired a round with a zone charge. Didn't hear anything clearly for three days.

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Well, we were talking about Breech Loaders in post CW time frame. But you are correct on some of the Muzzle Loaders were gauged on the weight of a solid Iron Round Ball that was being fired. After the addoption of rifled guns and conical shells and bolts the practise changed to the diameter, in inches, of the bore.

 

ARTILLERY, THE KING OF BATTLE!!

 

GO ORDNANCE!

 

This is an interesting look at how the Brits came up with the diameters for smoothbores.

 

British Cannonball Sizes

 

Albert Borgard specified that along with the weight of cannonballs the windage of the guns should be standardised. He specified that the bore diameter should be 21/20 of the gun's round shot diameter. This gives a windage value of 0.2" for a 4 lb cannon but gives a rather large 0.33" for a 42 pounder. To increase the efficiency of the guns the windage was reduced to 25/24 in the Blomefield pattern guns (1787).

 

I believe that the US Ordnance Dept. called for the shot to be 39/40s the bore diameter.

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