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Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 6:35:40 PM   
Orm


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They have built a replica of a gun from the 17th century ship Vasa. They use the same kind of gun powder and cannon ball as was used when Vasa sunk. Here is the result when they fire it against a reconstructed ships side built out of English Oak.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGd5HLl3GwE

They have continued to fire the gun since then for scientific purposes.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 6:45:06 PM   
Zap


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Hmmm, first they did a great job in manufacturing the gun, down to the emblems. When I saw what it did to the side of (what would be ship)I was surprised! Now I better understand why it would take many cannon hits to sink a ship. Glad you posted that Orm.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 6:51:18 PM   
Orm


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Fun thing is that the cannon ball went a further 500 yards and then hit, and went through, a large tree.

----

What is not really shown in that video was the huge amount of tree splinters that could wound the crew.

Edit: Almost impossible to sink the ship by hits underwater since the cannon ball is likely to bounce on the water.

< Message edited by Orm -- 4/6/2015 7:52:36 PM >


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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 6:51:36 PM   
Josh

 

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Thx that was interesting to watch. I remember seeing other similar videos where the balls just bounced off the oak shiphull, only leaving a small dent.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 6:54:57 PM   
Orm


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This is a 24-pounder gun.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 7:02:05 PM   
warspite1


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Thanks for sharing!

It's great to see something like that to bring home what naval warfare must have been like in those days....

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 7:20:45 PM   
Philippeatbay


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Is there somewhere where we can read the results of the study?

I'd really like to know what the rate of fire on one of those naval guns was, though I doubt that they could test that for safety reasons.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 7:29:50 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Philippe at bay

Is there somewhere where we can read the results of the study?

I'd really like to know what the rate of fire on one of those naval guns was, though I doubt that they could test that for safety reasons.

They have just finished test shooting the gun and are now analysing the results. The study is expected to be published the coming winter.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 7:45:43 PM   
Zap


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Fun thing is that the cannon ball went a further 500 yards and then hit, and went through, a large tree.

----

What is not really shown in that video was the huge amount of tree splinters that could wound the crew.

Edit: Almost impossible to sink the ship by hits underwater since the cannon ball is likely to bounce on the water.





So I would imagine that the distance between ships could be more then 500 yards. That could explain why some shots would only dent(distance slowed the velocity)

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 8:02:17 PM   
Twotribes


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Actually ship combat in the age of sail happened at a much lower range.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/6/2015 8:06:13 PM   
Zap


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That would make sense. Longer distance would be a waste of shot.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/7/2015 3:16:44 AM   
oldspec4

 

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At the Erie, Pa. naval museum (home of the Niagara) they have a display showing the effects of wood splinters on the ships' crews. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. IIRC, most of the casualties were from wood splinters and not the actual cannon ball.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/7/2015 4:59:02 AM   
Ranger33

 

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Interesting about the wood splinters. I know on Mythbusters they tested it and found the opposite result, the wood splinters were more or less harmless in their experiment. Most of the splinters simply bounced off the pig carcass they used as a test dummy. They were surprised at the result as I recall. Of course, I would not be surprised to find that their methodology was lacking.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/7/2015 5:24:12 AM   
warspite1


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That seems strange, and is inconsistent with everything I have ever read on the subject. Look at the video and the speed those jagged pieces of wood would have been travelling at - even if you didn't receive the pointy end somewhere about your person, its going to flippin' hurt when they smack into your face or elsewhere.

Also the recoil on that thing! You'd have to hope aboard ship that the guncrew opposite you had secured their gun properly!

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/7/2015 7:10:44 AM   
Zap


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Not sure but is pig skin thicker then human skin?

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/7/2015 12:18:08 PM   
Orm


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The mythbusters apparently used a lighter gun for their test. A nice discussion about that test can be found here.

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode71

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/7/2015 12:20:38 PM   
Josh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zap

Not sure but is pig skin thicker then human skin?


They use sometimes pig skin to simulate human skin, say for when testing arrows, bullets and swords and such.

I saw the Mythbusters episode about the woodsplinters as well. Maybe it really is a myth. All I've read about it is indeed that most of the casualties came from the splinters...then again I've read somewhere else that it's all a myth so maybe the Mythbusters were right.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/7/2015 12:25:22 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zap

Not sure but is pig skin thicker then human skin?


They use sometimes pig skin to simulate human skin, say for when testing arrows, bullets and swords and such.

I saw the Mythbusters episode about the woodsplinters as well. Maybe it really is a myth. All I've read about it is indeed that most of the casualties came from the splinters...then again I've read somewhere else that it's all a myth so maybe the Mythbusters were right.

The mythbusters used a peashooter compared to a gun that the real navies used at that time. Even frigates had heavier guns than they used.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/26/2015 5:18:58 AM   
Orm


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Here is another video showing when they fire the Vasa cannon. 2 minutes into the video they show pictures of the effect that the cannon ball had on a couple of trees standing 500 yards away from the gun. Unfortunately, this video is in Swedish. The video also show the cannon-ball with a high-speed camera.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMM8BtpqGzE

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/26/2015 5:39:19 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Here is another video showing when they fire the Vasa cannon. 2 minutes into the video they show pictures of the effect that the cannon ball had on a couple of trees standing 500 yards away from the gun. Unfortunately, this video is in Swedish. The video also show the cannon-ball with a high-speed camera.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMM8BtpqGzE
warspite1

Nice. Sorry but seeing that again, I simply fail to understand how those splinters could have been said to have been harmless. Look at the mess (and what happens to the wood) going in (1:24) let alone the much larger mess in 2:31 - when travelling out. Those sailors had no protection whatsoever, so the idea that those splinters would have simply bounced off human flesh is very difficult to believe.

By the way, why is Eddie Jordan in the video


Eddie Jordan - Ex F1 Team Owner




Alf Prytz - Militarhistoriker




Attachment (2)

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 4/26/2015 6:40:10 AM >


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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/26/2015 5:56:01 AM   
Orm


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I am sure that when the analysis and report is done we will learn a lot more about the effect of the splinters.

But they talked some about the effect of the splinters and their conclusion was that the splinters dealt a lot more damage to the crew than the actual cannon balls. Imagine the horror of being on the receiving end of a broadside. On the gun decks there must have been splinters flying everywhere.

quote:

Eddie Jordan - Ex F1 Team Owner

He explained what horror it must have been on the gun deck during a battle. Darkness, smoke, the sound, and splinters flying as shrapnel.

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/26/2015 6:02:10 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

I am sure that when the analysis and report is done we will learn a lot more about the effect of the splinters.

But they talked some about the effect of the splinters and their conclusion was that the splinters dealt a lot more damage to the crew than the actual cannon balls. Imagine the horror of being on the receiving end of a broadside. On the gun decks there must have been splinters flying everywhere.

quote:

Eddie Jordan - Ex F1 Team Owner

He explained what horror it must have been on the gun deck during a battle. Darkness, smoke, the sound, and splinters flying as shrapnel.
warspite1

Exactly. With space so crowded, some of those splinters are going to hit pointy end first (and that is not going to end well for the recipient) but pieces of wood, even if side-on, travelling at that speed, are going to cause injury / serious injury / death to sailors with no means of protection.


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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/26/2015 12:02:55 PM   
rhondabrwn


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This is very interesting as I've been reading Eric Flint's 17th Century alternative history novels (Ring of Fire series) beginning with this one:

http://www.amazon.com/1632-Ring-Fire-Series-Flint-ebook/dp/B00BEQLQNE

which is FREE on Amazon at the moment. So far I've read 1632, 1633, and am half way through 1634. Lots of discussion about weapons and their effects. This is a fascinating read. I never knew (or cared much about) The 30 Year's War, but now I'm immersing myself in the history behind these novels.

There seems to be quite a cult following and a proliferation of co-authors, short story anthologies, and parallel novels. Not sure how far I'm going to be able to follow along!

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 4/26/2015 12:11:12 PM   
wings7


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Interesting...thanks for sharing Orm!

Patrick

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RE: Firing a 17th century gun - 5/8/2015 2:01:50 PM   
ronweasley

 

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Geez...amazing it still worked :/

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