Reply To: Range of 12-pounder carronade

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Nicholas Blake

    Here are the War Office’s figures including a 12pdr carronade. They were always intended as a short-range weapon. The shorter barrel gave them a lower muzzle velocity, which was useful in close actions because a solid shot would penetrate one side of the enemy’s ship then ricochet, where a shot from a cannon would punch through both sides. They were also intended for use as deck-clearing weapons in close action, firing canister shot (musket balls in a tin case) or grapeshot (balls in a tarred bag) from a height at which a cannon would be too heavy and destabilizing: the Victory’s use of grapeshot at Trafalgar is also attached (from The Trafalgar Companion by Mark Adkin, which is invaluable). You can imagine the effect of sixty-eight one-pound balls at a minimum of 650ft/sec.

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