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Chain shot vs. Bar shot


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I think you are right on target with your assesment Brigand.


One thing I forgot about is that the actual shot was less likely to bring down an upper mast than the loss of support. Chain shot brings down the stays, gravity and wind bring down your t'gallant mast.


In the battle of Trafalgar Victory's fore topsail was holed by over 90 rounds of shot or other projectiles. What I can't find easily is if her upper masts toppled. I do know many ships were dis-masted completely as the engagement was fought under full sail as the wind was dying and Nelson was eager to get up to the French and break their line.

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  • 1 month later...

bar shot i believe was used to destroy wooden components in the rigging, spars, masts. etc..

chain in addition to cutting ropes; would wrap around ropes and rigging making it useless or slowing the ability to raise/lower or trim sails

this would force crew members into the rigging to remove, clear away the chain. Putting them at greater risk to anti-personnel shot and sharp shooters.

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i have a feeling one whould have to aim high with those, i mean if you hit a mast on a large vessel it can be 1 meter at the lowest section, probably och will crack the chain on a good hit, now starshots or crosshots whould be better to rip the sails, and just cannonballs i think whould be more effective to demast something large =)

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