Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by TheRodDoc, Jul 17, 2018.
Ever wonder how they loaded such a large gun?
Thats a great episode
Muzzles were depressed and powder came up from the magazine for loading. Then the shell was loaded afterward - just like a regular muzzleloader. There is one other gun still at Gibraltar.
BTW, I've seen that gun at Malta's Fort Rinella and had the opportunity to fire a blank through a 20 pdr at that fort. If you ever go to Malta, you should see it. When that 18" gun was fired, window glass from houses far away would shatter.
Initially Britain didn't want to buy it and then the Italian Navy built two battleships with 17" guns and two (Duilio class) with 17.7" guns. This compelled Britain to buy four 18" guns with two at Malta and two to defend Gibraltar. It was reasoned that since land batteries were difficult for ships to defeat, that a two gun battery could easily take on the new Italian battleship Italia and Lepanto (read that in some article in Warship International).
I thought he would mention just how that much powder was touched off. A man standing at the breech, pulled a lanyard. Flint lock, percussion cap igniting another small powder charge???? Good thing Malta is a windy island the smoke cloud must have been impressive.
The ship I served on, USS Ingraham DD694, in the early sixties pulled in there for liberty. As a young sailor I was more interested in the sights of Valletta then I was a British fort. Malta was very much UK then.
I seem to recall that large 16 inch/50 Naval ship guns had a small blackpowder charge that set of the main charge, could be mistaken I wasn't a Gunners Mate.
In the video he said they loaded 450# of black powder and a 2000# shell.
The numbers are crazy. What’s still weird for me though is that the massive black powder cannon could be replaced with a much much smaller smokeless gun.
It was a very small charge of BP attached to the last 300 lb powder bag. it was needed because the grains of powder in the bags were quite large and thus hard to ignite.
The ignighter cartridge use in US 155 and 8 inch artillery had several large BP pellets in them that where fired while burning into the charge bag closest to the breech.....think something like a .45-70 blank, this was loaded after the breech was closed on the projo and main charge into a small removable (twist bayonet lock like an old camera lens) firing piece that featured a place for a lanyard.
The igniter on the 16" was put in place while the breech was open during loading of the 2,700 lb projectile and the 6 300 lb powder bags.
A few miles east of me is Battleship Cove in Fall River Mass. The battleship Massachusetts, a destroyer, a submarine, a Pt boat and a Eastern Bloc missile boat and several other small craft are open to the public.
The entire battleship its engine rooms and its gun turrets can entered and explored. For me its an all day excursion.
Does anyone know if the Paris guns from WW 1 were loaded with black powder? I know they weren't muzzleloaders but since we're talking naval guns that load from the back why not?
I doubt if the Paris gun used black powder. Why would they?
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