Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Navy - Military - Battleships: => Topic started by: Martin [Admin] on May 05, 2009, 09:07:34 pm

Title: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on May 05, 2009, 09:07:34 pm
There's a program about the Mary Rose on TV at the moment, (Channel Five 20:00) another
sensational new reason why she sank....

Anyway, I've been doing quite a bit of reading about USS Monitor, other monitors, early Ironclads,
big canons, big guns, effectiveness of such and the blast effectiveness guns gave off. Now I've
never seen a big gun go off ( I would love too.... from a very safe distance!) but with that much
power instantaneously expelled, how on earth do such small "straps" hold the barrel in place on
the carriage time after time when firing?!?!?


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/Grand_Turk%2828%29.jpg/800px-Grand_Turk%2828%29.jpg)
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: steve pickstock on May 05, 2009, 11:50:32 pm
Newton.

The straps that hold the trunnions in place are working with gravity and the weight of the gun to hold it in the slots. The blast - and the recoil - are straight back away from the muzzle Normally the gun is free to run so there is no force acting on the straps in an upwards motion as the motion of the gun is the force exerted by the barrell.


There must be better ways of explaining it but it's late and my eyes are going.

Go to a re-enactment and see the guns go off there, Most sakers or six pounders (I know they aren't the same) will give you ample experience of what real heavy metal music is liike. And that is on a reduced charge.
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: RickF on May 06, 2009, 04:43:52 pm
Martin,

There are a couple of videos here http://www.cerberus.com.au/videos/callvideo.html - check out "Firing 9inch RML Gun"

Rick
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Inkmark on May 06, 2009, 05:24:36 pm
Martin
Also look at where the trunnions are placed, below the centre line of the barrel.
When they recoil they always kick down at the muzzle end.
As for the Mary Rose programme there are a lot of anomolies.
For instance when a gun fires it runs in until the breaching rope catches it.
To reload it is sponge out, powder and then shot, all using long sticks poking into the barrel.
If the ports were shut the gun crew could not reload the gun unless it was turned round, something they did not do.
All this from the wise lads at Portsmouth dockyard who will tell you that during side to side
engagements guns were prevented from being reloaded by the ship laying alongside.
And black powder does not make that much of a bang.
Saw a demo in America, low powder charge agreed but not as loud as you would expect.
Modern guns are much louder.
I am no expert but the guys at Portsmouth are a wonderful source of information.
Cheers
Mark
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: jviewing on May 07, 2009, 04:21:33 pm
Hi Martin, you will have to try this if you ever go to Malta, at Fort Renella they have one of the Armstrong 100 ton guns and also a field gun which you can fire! highly reccomended and very loud. Attached pictures of son Johnathan firing said gun.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Jimmy James on May 07, 2009, 09:22:50 pm
If you check the lead of the breaching ropes you will see that they run from the cascabel through a large ring bolt lower centre of the carrage and then to a large ringbolt set into the bulwark .... then the gun is fired and it recoils against the breaching rope the effect is to force the gun down..... the square caps are bolted down to the carriage and help keep the trunnions from jumpring out of their slots
Freebooter
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on May 07, 2009, 10:27:18 pm
I was always under the impression that most cannons fairly leap into the air when fired but from what you guys are saying the weight of the big guns helps absorb the recoil of the.... recoilless guns!

Next question, what where the first cannons not to be made in one solid casting?
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: RickF on May 07, 2009, 11:20:54 pm
Actually, I believe the early medieval cannons were made from metal rods bound together with hoops - perhaps that's why they were called barrels? Solid casting came in later.

Rick

Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: steve pickstock on May 08, 2009, 07:29:04 am
Recoil is a funny thing - well may be not so funny if you get hit by the gun but that's why you stay out of the way!

The recoil - Newton's equal and opposite reaction - drives the gun back against the ropes or across the ground but it only works in one direction - generally, if it doesn't - you've done something wrong.

So on board ship it brings the gun inboard so you can serve the piece, before you run it out to fire it again. On land, it depends on the carriage if it's a wheeled carriage it drives the piece back - and the canny gunner will place stops behind the gun to stop it going too far. But contrary to naval practices you run it up to position before you serve the gun, not after. Obviously with a wheel-less carriage you have to have the stops in place before you fire as running up is a much more difficult process but the stops have to cope with all of the force involved from the recoil as none is lost in the motion of the gun.

The first small guns were cast pots, the technology did not exist to cast bigger ones so they made the barrels by placing iron strips around a former and then shrinking bands around them to hold them in place, and then sometimes they repeated the process. It wasn't an ideal method as the barrels of these stave built guns weren't of an even strength and were quite liable to blow up.

Incidentally marine archeaeologist Mensun Bound has discovered that the Elizabethan navy were using a uniformly cast gun, instead of guns of all different sizes, all of the guns on the ship would be the same weight of shot.

http://www.alderneywreck.com/node/62

That's about 70 or so years before it was thought that was done.

Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: plugger on May 08, 2009, 04:00:21 pm

Next question, what where the first cannons not to be made in one solid casting?

The Fremantle Maritime Museum Shipwrecks Gallery has a cannon recovered from a wreck on the Western Australian coast dating from the 1600s - from memory it was a Dutch East India vessel. This gun was an experiment in different casting. It was made from 30 or so iron bands wrapped around a copper tube. The lot was sheathed with I think copper (but could be brass - did not take a photo last visit) and the gaps in  between filled with molten lead. A section along the barrel length has been removed - you can clearly see the different metals used.

Plugger
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Jimmy James on May 10, 2009, 10:01:16 pm
Peter the Great I believe used guns bound in leather with a metal bore in his army this made them very light and easy to transport BUT they only had a limited life. The Chinese used guns made of bamboo wrapped tightly in raw hide the shot was a steel tipped bamboo arrow which is said to have had a range of up to .75 of a mile
Freebooter
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on May 11, 2009, 01:52:23 am
So when were the first cast cannons?
 And what was the next stage in cannon development after casting?
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: steve pickstock on May 11, 2009, 07:28:43 am
As for the earliest cannons - it depends who you ask - the chinese probably had the earliest sometime in between the 5th and 10th centuries AD, simple bronze pots or arrow firing bamboo devices. In the west hand cannon appeared around the 1260s, probably brought from the east by the Mongols. Artillery was first used in Spain in the 13th century before becoming more widely used in the 14th.
By the 15th the designs had been ironed out to pretty much what you would call a 'cannon'
http://www.st-max.org/images/woodcuts/unmodified/Landsknecht_Artillery-2.jpg
http://www.st-max.org/images/woodcuts/unmodified/Landsknecht_Artillery-1.jpg
Ship board guns were getting there too.

 
Breech loading - after a fashion - was an early development alongside the stave built guns. You often see early artillerists carrying a small 'mug' shaped device which is the charge and/or ball, and sat at the back of the barrel, wedged in tight.
But the biggest development - in my opinion - was rifling. Things like the screw under the barrel for elevation and the Gribeauval system of carriages that Napoleon brought in, or the various types of guns like long guns, carronandes or the like were just evolutions of the same thing - but rifled guns allowed more consistent accuracy and because of the complications of loading virtially forced the designers to work out a sensible breech loading design. From there cartridge based ammunition was a logical next step.
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: derekwarner on May 11, 2009, 10:21:03 am
Hi all....Steve....please consider & take another step backwards in that rifling of barrel created a projectile that "spun" during its intended trajectory toward the intended target...........

The simplest way to consider this is a comparison to the gyroscope...........which in it self is a spinning device passing through space.....Derek
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: steve pickstock on May 11, 2009, 11:29:54 am
Derek - I did consider that - hence my comment about consistent accuracy.

However important as that was - and it was very important, it was not as crucial in the next step as what rifling MADE people do next.

Napoleonic smoothbore gunnery was pretty good. The best gunners were accurate within the limits of windage and powder. Rifling - as it had been developed for handheld firearms was a logical development of this, although there were earlier rifled guns, nothing of any major size it had been done before.

However as industry developed in the 19thC and screw/thread technology developed it became easier to rifle a cannon barrel, however at the same time it became easier to create an interrupted screw breech block. Introducing the charge and projectile at the rear allowed for the develope of the artillery shell as we know it. And that is the step forwards - if you look at a modern gun as fitted on an RN warship in 2009 it is still the same basic gun as was fitted in 1914 - just a few more whistles and bells.

What I'm trying to explain - badly - is that rifling as a step in the development of artillery was important in terms of accuracy, what it led onto was more important.

The next stage in artillery will need to be a move away from propellant/shell/tube technology to something like electromagnetic propulsion rail guns or something like that.
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: derekwarner on May 11, 2009, 12:24:39 pm
Hi all....Steve ...

a) we have systems & satellite's which confirm where our respective enemy is
b) we have systems & satellite's which confirm where our next threat is from.....& in how many minutes time
c) we have systems in place to counter any aggression  - Let us pray & naturally this woud include ~~~ as required ....an  ICBM multiple launch from any designated site

We could ask ourselves ....in hindsight....? are we any different than our waring navies of 200 years ago?............apart from a little time?.........Derek
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Inkmark on May 11, 2009, 12:30:27 pm
Hi Guys
Gun development history is a bit hazy.
As for the first cast guns do we consider relibility in this? Lots of the first cast guns exploded so the technique was abandoned for a while.
So do we consider the first or the first reliable?
Mary Rose has breach loading guns with the pot cannister that Steve describes, held in place with wooden wedges.
This must have been unreliable because we see guns going to muzzle loaders after that.
With rifling, Warrior had 'rifled' Armstrong guns but these were unreliable and abandoned, we sold them to the Confederates.
There is still an Armstrong on the battlefield at Manasas.
Then there is the ammunition. A bag of powder and a big iron ball is a lot more reliable than a shell made in a factory and stored for a while.
I have seen figures that suggest that up to 40% of WW1 ammunition did not behave as expected.
So there a lot of modifiers here, just like today, something that works well in trial may not suit the rough and tumble of battle.
The gun or any other device has to be easy to use, reliable and not fall apart when used hard.
Interesting thread.
Mark
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Jimmy James on May 11, 2009, 10:25:51 pm
If I remamber correctly one of the largest caliber guns ever built is still fired on certain holidays ... It is one of the forts in Malta and has over a 20" bore
 One has to remember the range of the old smooth bore cannon gave the world the international boundaries at sea (3 N/Miles) untell someone discovered oil under the sea now its between 200 & 2000 N/M depending where you are.    Mr Shrapnel (He was a Brown Job can't remember his rank) invented the shell that is named after him & the French invented the breach block that is used almost universally on large cal. guns with the interupted thread though some of the smaller & mid cal.quick firring guns use a sliding breach block
Freebooter :-)) {:-{
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Wasyl on May 27, 2009, 11:10:08 am
I have a working model of a ships cannon,its made of cast iron,and is approx 400mm long and has a bore size of 18mm,it is on an oak limber,and weighs approx 12kg,and i have test fired it using synthetic blackpowder,it works,the 18mm soft lead ball, ended up as a flat lump approx 75mm dia,this was after it hit a steal plate


Wullie
(http://www.postimage.org/aVBZw0J.jpg) (http://www.postimage.org/image.php?v=aVBZw0J)
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on May 27, 2009, 12:23:23 pm
I bet you don't get many burglaries around your way Wullie!!!!   :o
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Wasyl on May 27, 2009, 12:57:16 pm
 {-)Being in the middle of nowhere,a man needs protection,mind you the next time i fire it,i,ll have to make sure i secure the limber to something solid,because last time,the cannon went backwards as fast as the ball of lead went foward,and the cat s**t itself so did i, i did,nt think the bang would be so loud,
its quite hilarious,really,we tried to make our own black powder,i.e.sulphur,charcoal,and a magic ingredient
 %%i hate the smell of rotten eggs,all we got was a big puff of acrid smoke,and that smell,

Wullie
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: tobyker on May 28, 2009, 12:20:12 am
I suspect jviewing's lad would have been squashed by the field gun if it had been shotted. Have y'all seen the film of those WW1 howitzers climbing up their recoil ramps?
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Wasyl on May 29, 2009, 11:08:34 pm
The guy who made my cannon, he also has made a a working model of one of those WW1 field guns,its a 12th scale model of a 4.5in gun and fires a 9mm blank??but can also fire a round,it too recoils well,


Wullie
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: farrow on May 29, 2009, 11:36:01 pm
Hi Martin, you where asking about the development of cast guns. In England King Henry VIII was the father of the development of efficient iron caste smooth bore muzzle loaders. He spent a vast amount of money/time and interest in the subject, it is believed it his development which brought about the demi culven cannon which proved so effective against the Spanish Armada. The later guns in the Napoleonic wars where a simple development of the Tudor cannon, the main development being the British technick to caste the gun in a whole then bore out the barrel. This gave a good reliable gun which did not explode when it got hot with heavy use, the French caste theirs with the hollow bore in one go, which made them liable to explode under heavy use, which explains why the English ships got more rounds off to the French who where known to abandon hot guns in fear. Also with the mention of land guns leaping up, I thought I should mention to you that from late Napoleonic times, some field pieces and later all had spades fitted into the bottom at the rear of the gun carriage to reduce the distance of recoil by digging into the ground, which encourage the gun to leap up at the front.
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on May 29, 2009, 11:47:36 pm
Quote
"caste the gun in a whole then bore out the barrel. This gave a good reliable gun which did not explode when it got hot with heavy use"

In layman's terms...... why?
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on May 29, 2009, 11:52:38 pm
Just found these, this should answer a few of my questions...
http://www.melfisher.org/cannonsurvey/cannonhistory.htm (http://www.melfisher.org/cannonsurvey/cannonhistory.htm)

http://www.bobhenneman.info/HeavyGun.htm (http://www.bobhenneman.info/HeavyGun.htm)
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: farrow on June 03, 2009, 08:51:51 am
Hi Martin seems you have found most of your answers, but I belief the solid casting prefered in this country, was because it removed imperfections in the caste metal and importantly removed stress in the metal which would be built in if caste with a hollow bore.
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: steve pickstock on June 03, 2009, 09:06:14 am
Less imperfections in the barrel.

Cast with the bore in place meant that the casting might develop cracks or weaknesses, whereas if the barrel was a one piece casting and then bored out - it would be one homogenous block.
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on June 03, 2009, 12:55:14 pm
AHHhhh! I see! I was wondering why.   :-))
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: olthump on June 05, 2009, 05:20:02 pm
 :-)Hello to Martin and all members of this wonderful forum. I am a new member, and hope this post is appropriate to the topic. My experience with forums is limited, and I've certainly never found one as full of considerate, friendly folk as this one. Now to the topic...
Shortly before the film "Master and Commander" opened, I heard an interview on Public Radio with a special effects technician from the movie. It seems that the producers actually went to the trouble to locate collectors with the appropriate cannons and projectile loads, and fired them over a digitally mic'd range. They even went so far as to fire them into various targets such as oak beams, canvas sails, and allegedly, several (dead) cows. If you are able to see the film with a good sound system, the effect is truly stunning.
Once I figure out the mysteries of posting photos, I'll have a few of my Victor V-32.
Thanks again to ya'll.
Greg :-)
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on June 05, 2009, 06:09:21 pm
Topic renamed to LOUD bangs as opposed to load bangs as previously....  :embarrassed:
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Perkasaman2 on June 05, 2009, 06:43:45 pm
A solid casting has no voids for air to be trapped and less chance of fracture/weakness in pouring/moulding. Boring the gun tube later was expensive/time consuming but since bores were small in diameter relative to the bulk of the casting the finished guns were much stronger/more accuate/safer  than those guns where the bore tube was cast in situ. British gunpowder was also considered to be far more consistant/superior in quality than that of other navies. 
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: SteamboatPhil on June 05, 2009, 09:49:29 pm
100 ton gun on Gibraltar,

It must have been really LOUD  O0

Those eagle eyed ones will note the beard, (only grown for a documentry I was in----what we go through for art)
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on June 05, 2009, 10:07:58 pm
Come on, details of the documentary?   <*<
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: tigertiger on June 06, 2009, 03:25:13 am
Come on, details of the documentary?   <*<


I am guessing it was a bit 'steamy' in places.  ;D
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on June 26, 2009, 10:35:31 am

Only a little to do with this subject but what agreat read: Memoirs & Diaries: When Tank First Fought Tank.

http://www.firstworldwar.com/diaries/whentankfoughttank.htm
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Perkasaman2 on June 26, 2009, 01:29:40 pm
This huge 100 ton gun looks like one of Messrs. Arstrong's early products from their Elswick Works on Tyneside. If I remember correctly - they were very successfully used in the Crimean War during the Siege of Sebastapol - shipped in  to devastate those defences . This family and other manufacurer's on the river Tyne ( Parsons - steam turbine) dominated/revolutionised early warship design and supplied their products to other navies of the world.
Martin's link give's a vivid record - real/immediate experience of that first tank battle - heroic men in horrific circumstances.  Well worth a look. :-))

Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Jimmy James on June 27, 2009, 11:35:04 pm
Martin
Re; Tank vis. Tank  :-)) :-))
Jimmy
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on July 15, 2009, 07:49:45 pm
100 ton gun on Gibraltar,

It must have been really LOUD  O0

Those eagle eyed ones will note the beard, (only grown for a documentry I was in----what we go through for art)

Found this on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3KcLu6_TLE&feature=related
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: steve pickstock on July 17, 2009, 08:19:39 am
That is a  big b*gger, init? One of them bricks could really spoil your day.

Nice pyro though, gives a good idea of what it could do.
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Perkasaman2 on July 17, 2009, 12:45:23 pm
There's a lot of interesting info on these guns  on Wickipedia, type 'RML 17.72 Gun'. This gun fired a 910kg projectile (3 types) and at maximum power  required 255kg of propellant This max charge limit was reduced to 204 kg of propellant after one  gun barrel cracked.  :o
BTW. Since the British government only purchased 4 (2-Gibralter "+ 2-Malta sited in forts) this gun type could'nt have been at Sebastopol.
Armstrong gifted his early rifled,breech loading field gun (No. 1) design patent to the British government and was himself 'elevated' thereafter for his generosity. 'Lord Arstrong' was  soon producing far more powerful breech loading designs in his Elswick Ordnance Works.  An elderly friend's father was a foreman in these famous Works and he was bodily 'thrown' across the 'test shop' in an accident (failure of the hp test gear  :o ,) luckily, he survived without serious injury.  :-)
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Martin [Admin] on October 18, 2010, 01:56:13 pm

Not sure if I've posted this before......

 Definitions and Information about Naval Guns - http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/Gun_Data.htm (http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/Gun_Data.htm)
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: Albion on October 20, 2010, 05:56:24 am
Interesting to see this thread at the top again, i recently watched a show called ancient discoveries, history channel I think. They try and prove various bits of history, by making modern replicas. The show the other week was about guns in general, and started with a chinese device using bamboo, wrapped with binding that made a quite effective flame thrower / come shot gun. Anyway the fun part was someone had cast a replica of Roaring Meg, complete with imperfections to try and see whter it could lob shot over a castle wall, which it did with a bit of fine tuning. They also touched on the fact that the Ottomans developed an early tracer shell for their cannon, so they could continue firing all night, and see what they were hitting. Firing at night, being beneficial because it was cooler and they could get more rounds off.

Carrry on
Title: Re: Cannons, Big Guns, Monitors and Loud Bangs....
Post by: steve pickstock on October 20, 2010, 07:38:02 am
I love these programmes.

"We're going to rediscover such and such!"
They always give out the air of 'we're not sure how they did it (because obviously they were less sophisticated than we were, and we have much better technology so they were probably lying when they said they did this'.

I found it with Time Team when I worked on one of theirs buiding gabions. After we had fired a 2" ball from 25m into them and they had stopped it, Phil Harding said "OH! It worked!"
I wanted to say "Well of course it worked - these things were in use for nearly 800 years (even today they use galvanised steel mesh gabions, but filled with rocks in Afghanistan)."

I watched another one on a reconstruction of an Egyptian vessel from the time of Queen Nefertiti. The academics argued for days about the way the mast was stepped on the deck - basically the pictures and existing evidence 'couldn't be right'. Until they took a walk down to the local harbour and found the same arrangement still in use.

I just wish they would give people a bit of credit, for having the brains to do stuff.