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A Whiff of the Grape

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During the Revolutionary War, Army cannoneers used a devastating type of ammunition, called grapeshot, to cut through lines of advancing infantry. It was made of a wooden base, called a sabot, a wooden rod, and a canvas bag filled with iron balls fixed around these wooden parts.
Twine was tied around the outside to help the projectile keep its shape. It was coated with red oxide paint to prevent the shot from rusting. The finished product loosely resembled a bunch of grapes covered by a quilt, giving the projectile its name.
When fired from a cannon, the bag and wooden parts would be blown apart and exit the cannon with the iron balls in a cone of destruction much like the blast of an oversized shotgun.
The effective range of grapeshot was around 300 yards.
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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Pat Riot said:

Does anyone know what size / diameter those grapeshot balls were? 



It depended somewhat on what gun it was for.  About 1.25" up to about 2" for field guns.  For the large naval guns, the balls were upwards of 4.5".




What is this? - Stand of grape? | Cannons / Artillery & Crew Served Weapons



Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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