09 February 2014

Pirate Cannon

Actually, it's age of sail guns.

Gun on HMS Warrior.  Photo by rebmilc.

Have a look at that gun.  It's a much larger cannon than was common during the great ages of piracy, but it's mounting is essentially the same.

The large wooden carriage is just for aiming the thing.  Traverse is adjusted with the blocks and tackle on the sides of the gun carriage; although in most cases they were simply run out flat against the bulkhead and the ship maneuvered to provide lateral aim.  Elevation is accomplished with the wedge under the rear of the gun (labeled with a 13 here).

The block and tackle are also used to run the gun out to firing position, and are disconnected from the mount before firing.  A ring on the base of the carriage, below the elevation wedge, is used to drag the gun in if, for some reason, it isn't fired.

Recoil is absorbed and arrested with the big hawser running through the ring on the back of the gun.  In this case, there is also friction against the deck from the rear of the carriage.

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