tiles


Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cannon

Cannon, a great gun or field-piece, as distinguished from a small-arm. Cannon were first used in England about the year 1335, and were then usually made barrel-wise, and composed of iron bars hooped together with heavy iron rings. They were afterwards made of cast iron or brass, and cast steel or gun-metal; and are now, as regards the heavier calibres, generally built up of successive tubes, coils and jackets of steel. Edward III. used cannon at the battle of Cressy, and Henry of Castile also used them in 1372 in his naval engagement with the English off La Rochelle. Breech-loading cannon seem to have been known from very early ages; but not until after 1860 did they come into common use for naval and military purposes. According to Sir William Monson, who served against the Spanish Armada, the chief cannon of Queen Elizabeth's day were: -

NameBore (inches)Weight of Shot (lb.)
Cannon860
DemiCannon63/4331/2
CannonPetro6241/2
Culverin51/2171/2
DemiCulverin491/2
Falcon21/22
Falconet211/2
Minion31/24
Saker31/251/2
Rabinet11/2

By the end of the eighteenth century the following weapons, besides carronades (q.v.), were in use on shipboard. The guns in use about the time of Trafalgar were: -

PoundersLength (ft., in.)Weight (cwt., qrs., lb.)Powder Charge (lbs., oz.)
429, 662, 1, 07.013, 0
329, 655, 2, 06.410, 10
249, 650, 2, 05.88, 0
249, 047, 3, 05.88, 0
189, 042, 2, 05.36, 0
188, 037, 3, 05.36, 0
129, 034, 3, 04.74, 0
128, 633, 1, 04.74, 0
127, 629, 1, 04.74, 0
127, 021, 0, 04.74, 0
99, 031, 0, 04.23, 0
98, 629, 2, 04.23, 0
97, 626, 2, 04 23, 0
97, 025, 1, 04.23, 0
68, 622, 1, 03.72, 0
68, 021, 2, 03.72, 0
67, 620, 1, 03.72, 0
67, 019, 1, 03.72, 0
66, 618, 2, 03.72, 0
66, 017, 2, 03.72, 0
45, 611, 3, 03.21, 5
34, 67, 1, 02.91 0

These guns, all. of course, muzzle-loaders, fired solid spherical shot, shell, grape, canister, or, sometimes, bar and chain-shot. They had low velocities and small range and penetration. In the first quarter of the present century somewhat heavier weapons, as the 42-pounder of 84 cwt., and later the 68-pounder of 95 cwt. began to be introduced; but until after the epoch of the Crimean war there was comparatively little improvement. The results of experiments which began to be carried out soon after that time led to the adoption by England of a formidable series of steel rifled muzzle-loading, built-up guns, which remained the ordinary "service" weapons until after 1880, and many of which are still in use on board ship. The chief of these may be classified as follows: -

Calibre (in.)Weight (tons)Weight of Projectile (lb.)Weight of Powder (lb.)Muzzle Penetration of Wrought Iron (in.)
16.0801,70045025
12.53881021018
12.03570614016
12.0256088513
11.0255438514
10.0184067013
9.0122535011
8 09175359
7.06.5112308
7.04.5112227
6.283.26785

In the meantime breech-loading guns, on the screw-breech-closing principle, had also been partially adopted, but found unsatisfactory. After 1880, however, the progress made by other powers obliged Great Britain to look for another system, and finally the "interrupted screw" type of breech-closing apparatus was adopted for heavy guns. The chief breech-loading guns of the leading powers are now as follows: -

British

Calibre (in.)Weight (tons)Weight of Projectile (lb.)Weight of Powder (lb.)Muzzle Penetration of Wrought Iron (in.)
16.251111,80096036.0
13.5671,25063030.4
12.04571429522.5
10.029500250
9.22238017520.3
8.01421011817.4
6.051004212.1
5.0250168.6
4.01.325127.3
4.00.65253.253.0
3.40.3521.86
3.00.3512.34

French

Calibre (in.)Weight (tons)Weight of Projectile (lb.)Weight of Powder (lb.)Muzzle Penetration of Wrought Iron (in.)
16.54751,98487029.4
14.57711,18054627.4
13.395292635725.5
13.394892625720.3
12.63876018918.3
10.82747616517.8
10.8234769214.3
7.647.81656012.5
6.494.9994010.8
5.462.6361.6137.0
3.1513

German

Calibre (in.)Weight (tons)Weight of Projectile (lb.)Weight of Powder (lb.)Muzzle Penetration of Wrought Iron (in.)
12.013572520220.5
10.332241212515.4
9.451947415218.1
8.241330810315.4
6.85.5117.930.910.3
5.87478.33311.0
3.0912.4

Italian

Calibre (in.)Weight (tons)Weight of Projectile (lb.)Weight of Powder (lb.)Muzzle Penetration of Wrought Iron (in.)
17.01012,00072532.8
17.01042,00090033.7
5.914803411.2
4.721.2324.565.0
3.0

Russian

Calibre (in.)Weight (tons)Weight of Projectile (lb.)Weight of Powder (lb.)Muzzle Penetration of Wrought Iron (in.)
12.050.573225523.6
12.04066614416.7
11.02851611515.5
11.02856213216.6
9.01524964.211.7
8.09.617231.59.5
6.048618.18.4
3.4212.12

As a rule guns of 50 tons weight and upwards cannot be worked without the intervention of steam, hydraulic, or pneumatic machinery; and, owing to the rapid excoriation of the bore, which is caused by the rush of the superheated powder-gases, the life of all such weapons is comparatively short. The newest development of the breech-loading gun is the quick-firing gun (q.v.).

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Philippians 4:6