Talk:Naval artillery in the Age of Sail

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About gunlock retrofitting on older cannonsEdit

This was done (there are examples in the Invalides museum in Paris of older cannons with holes drilled for fitting a gunlock, for example). It required just the drilling of the holes to bolt or rivet the lock on the touch hole. According to naval historians like O'Brian, diffusion of the gunlock was mainly limited by deep-rooted traditionalism in the Royal Navy (and most of contemporary navies). Just to put things in proper perspective, consider that ship guns were elevated with a wedge long after land artillery started using screws or other much more accurate elevation mechanisms. On a rolling ship anything fancier than a wedge would have been just a waste of money (fine elevation was set by skillfully timing ignition with the ship roll), and could have been jammed by rust in the salty environment, while the humble wedge did the job amazingly well. In the same way, compared to the slight increase in accuracy of a smooth bore cannon on a moving ship, the gunlock added quite a lot of complication, while the simple slow match did its job well enough and was much more reliable, hence the use of slow match long after the introduction of the gunlock, and the keeping of slow match as a backup means of ignition. - 99octane - 12:57, 31 March 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.239.53.196 (talk) 12:57, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, the articles discussion about Gunlocks pretty much comes from Nicholas Rodgers discussion of them in his book, Command of the Ocean. And the fact that gun locks did take over suggests there were worthwhile advantages in them. Rodger also gives an impression of a Royal Navy that was quite keen to embrace innovations, at least once they were proven to be worthwhile. The introduction of the Carronade in the 1770's and the huge sums of money invested in putting copper bottoms on the fleet in the 1780s are examples of this.Catsmeat (talk) 20:48, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, If you've ever seen a cannon being fired, you will notice 'the delay' will be less than the blink of an eye. 195.241.94.239 (talk) 20:55, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Inaccuracies in the picturesEdit

The diagram of the loaded cannon does not include wadding, (the ball is in direct contact with the ball which it shouldn't be. Also the diagram: Tir.jpg, which allegedly shows the firing of a 18-pound gun would result in injuries of some of those around the cannon as it rebounded. In particular the man on the right holding a pulley block would have his arm ripped off. --Dumbo12 (talk) 21:31, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


Image searchEdit

If someone has time, a search through existing Wikipedia images regarding naval artillery from the right time period might help... Georgewilliamherbert 03:30, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

suggested sourceEdit

this article needs extension and sourcing. I suggest the long and detailed book from Elmar Potter and Chester Nimitz: Sea Power: A Naval History Wandalstouring 21:59, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Attention Tag RemovedEdit

This article has been much improved since the tag was placed on it. Buckshot06 08:23, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


Possible sourceEdit

Although it takes forever to load there is a lot of information on smoothbore gun at this link:

http://www.sha.org/documents/research/Parks_Canada_Resources/British%20Smooth-Bore%20Artillery%20-%20English.pdf

©Geni (talk) 04:39, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Reconsider "Age of Sail"Edit

The period referred to as "Age of Sail" is very poorly defined as far as I can tell. It coincides roughly with development of more complex sailing rigs and the declined of oared ships, but it does not follow any other known periodization in the field of history. "Age of Sail" is tied to the development of a specific type of technology, and therefore excludes (or subordinates) other technology. It's geared towards a historical perspective that views the ship-rigged vessel as the epitome and natural consequence of all previous devlopment. The notion of the "Age of Sail" is also heavily biased towards the development of naval power in the Atlantic and beyond, ignoring previous development that was driven by Mediterranean powers. And, of course, it's completely Eurocentric without actually defining it's main area of interest.

Consider changing the article title to a period that is more appropriate to the topic and better defined.

Peter Isotalo 09:30, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Running outEdit

"This took the majority of the gun crew manpower, as the weight of a large cannon in its carriage could total over two tons, and the ship would probably be rolling."

Not only that, sailing ships heel when the wind is coming somewhat from the side. Apparently lower gun ports (with the heaviest guns) often had to be kept closed when firing towards lee, and firing windward the canon needed to be manhandled up an up to (I guess) 15-30° inclined deck, given enough wind ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.23.125.177 (talk) 22:05, 4 September 2016 (UTC)