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Carronades and Loading Double = historical?


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as I see it there were two uses for carronades;


when they first trial'd  them on frigates they used a single ball, (and were found to be poor against ships their own size ref the Essex or rainbow)


when fitted on liners (namely the 64 nade) they had a ball and a bucket of grape, until canister came out. (ref ships like the victory, which fitted them on the forecastle and poop)



I have seen no references to the loading of double shot, because as the carronade barrel was lighter, the charge required to propel 2 balls would probably explode the gun.

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In Aide-mémoire d'artillerie navale, author reports a test with double shot for 30£ canons and 30£ caronades.

It also says, occasionally/if needed, canons and caronades can fire double shots : 2 canon balls or 1 canonball and 1 grape.






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Interesting infos.


It's Guerrière, btw. ;)


Indeed, based on penetration test figures, it seems the double shot does not bring particular advantages compared to the single shot.

It only improves the rate of fire at the cost of a seriously weakened penetration for the second canon ball and as you said, depletes quickly the ammos.

Edited by Dagann
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The reduced weight of a carronade should count for a lot on ship mass, its reduced range single shot is compensated by being probably up to triple the long gun wieght of ball for extra damage. decks of 6 lber long gun or 18 lber carronade.


They were faster to reload than their comparable long gun. They used less gun charge (better for the player if we 'buy' or otherwise have to resupply our ships with powder)


Double I would say no, the combined grape 'shell' was certainly present, but I believe even shorter range than single ball ?


long guns may have double shot, or single shot and grape, or even double shot and grape. Extra powder needed but much less range, the last only good for almost yard arm to yard arm.

Edited by Crankey
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The reduced weight of a carronade should count for a lot on ship mass, (...)


It would only weight less, if you shot the same weight from it. A 9 pounder carronade weights approximately 1/4 of a 9 pounder long gun. This difference in weight is then consumed by placing heavier carronades, giving you a higher shot weight from the same cannon weight.



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  • 3 weeks later...

It would only weight less, if you shot the same weight from it. A 9 pounder carronade weights approximately 1/4 of a 9 pounder long gun. This difference in weight is then consumed by placing heavier carronades, giving you a higher shot weight from the same cannon weight.




It's not. Even heavier calibre carronades weighed less than most long guns of a lower calibre:

  • A 6lb long gun weighed more than a 42lb carronade.


  • The 18lb long for example weighed considerably more than any mass produced carronade, even the infamous 68lbers carried by the Victory at Trafalgar.




RE: firing double-shotted...


I've read about them exploding but that was generally in testing using larger charges than was eventually recommended. In practical use they would  dismount before they would explode with the consequence that the gun was then out of action.


"The carronade was ideally suited for close actions, but it had its disadvantages. One was its excessive recoil. Robert Simmons, writing in 1812, noted that its recoil was "almost ungovernable." This was especially a problem when the carronade was double-shotted, something that could easily occur in the heat of battle. This was likely to dis-mount the carronade when it was fired, and so this procedure, while common for long guns, was thus prohibited for carronades."


Why are Carronades so bad in game?


The nature of the current 'arena style' test doesn't really highlight the benefits of the carronade. In actual fact, the only real in game difference between a Carronade and it's long gun equivalent (at the moment) is the biggest disadvantage. It's range. It doesn't really take into account sailing qualities of ships with different weight of armament besides a few fractions of knots (which I appreciate isn't relative to final game). The cost of buying and supplying guns isn't accounted for and the number of crew needed to fire them isn't either.


As well as this the roles the carronade were suited to won't truly exist until open world:


"The advantage of carronades on merchant and privateering vessels was obvious. Lighter and smaller than conventional guns, carronades allowed a ship owner to sacrifice less storage space and tonnage on guns. Carronades were light enough to be placed on a regular deck without the reinforcement needed for long guns. Carronades required a smaller crew, ideal for both privateers and merchant craft. The short range hardly mattered. Neither merchantman nor privateer was likely to fire a broadside at a foe more than 50 yards away."


Without giving mention to the fact that a crew untrained in naval combat, like you would often find on a merchant vessel, wasn't likely to hit anything further away than practical carronade range anyway.


Carronade range vs long guns


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Every source I've found suggests the carriage/slider of a carronade to be lighter than the weight of a long gun carriage of the same size shot.


Gun size         (type)             gun weight                   with carriage    (% carriage)                gun range


3 Pounder:    (long)              1050 lbs,                     1250 lbs,                                              1510 yds.

9-pounder:    (long)                                                   3528 lbs                                              1620 yds.
12 Pounder:  (Carronade)     661 lbs,                       780 lbs,             (18%)                         870 yds.
12 Pounder:  (long)               3278 lbs,                     3808 lbs,           (16%)                         1580 yds.
24 Pounder:  (long)               4800 lbs,                     5600 lbs,                                             1800 yds.
32 Pounder:  (long)               5398 lbs,                     6216 lbs,           (15%)                         2080 yds.
32 Pounder:  (Carronade)    1915 lbs,                     2260 lbs,            (18%)                         1087 yds



Edited by SueMyChin
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Yeh, shot for shot the carronade carriage is lighter but vs anything a couple calibres lower and the carronade carriage is going to exceed the weight of the standard cannon carriage.


This is probably what we're looking for Re: total weight of carronade vs long guns. it gives some idea as to the number of rounds they would carry for each (and in what ship/deck) too.


I found a lot about the Congrave traversing carriage designed 1811, "weighing 2 hundred weight (224lbs)  less than standard carriage" and wonder how often these would have been fitted post 1811. The references I found would suggest they would have been but whether they should be accounted for in game I don't know. There are plenty papers suggesting how they would improve performance in many regards and it would add further more variety to the armament selection/vs cost trade-offs if you could buy/manufacture guns with different carriages too.

It would also beg the question do we then account for guns fitted with different ignition systems (slow match vs flint locks etc) They would again increase rate of fire as there was a delay associated with many of the match 'fuse' systems, both in firing and preparation. The former would also make it harder to judge the timing of the shot with the roll of the ship, probably decreasing accuracy at the same time too.

Maybe these are considerations for further down the line but they would certainly add something for me.


Sorry for getting a little off-topic too.

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