Why Round Shots are ... Round

Dec 2018
70
Singapore
#2
Thank you - very interesting point of view. And reasonable as well. May be not as a main reason, but as additional - for sure
What about a naval guns? It looks like this reason will not work well for naval artillery- is not it?
 
Jul 2018
296
London
#3
Thank you - very interesting point of view. And reasonable as well. May be not as a main reason, but as additional - for sure
What about a naval guns? It looks like this reason will not work well for naval artillery- is not it?
That is a very good point. First thing i would say that in naval artillery chained balls played a very important role, and in this case a spherical round makes more sense than an elongated one.

Other than that, a fin stabilized, streamlined projectile might have had benefits in terms of accuracy, range and penetration. After penetrating the ship walls the bouncing around of an elongated body would have been as lethal as that of a ball.
One explanation is that the idea was never really developed because naval engagements tended to happen at short range and with volley fire; so it would not have been a decisive tactical advantage.
Another possibility is that nobody never really thought about it.
 
Dec 2018
70
Singapore
#4
...
Another possibility is that nobody never really thought about it.
For me, this is closer guess. History of inventions have a lot of examples when simple things just didn't come to anybody's mind.

But I have a good question also: why all (or most?) early guns (in Europe and Asia) are breach-loaded? Is it most logical way or else?
Why it was changed to muzzle-loading later - it is understandable. But why not from beginning?
 

Attachments

Jul 2018
296
London
#6
It's hard to make a breech loading gun not explode, or at least, not lose lots of power by having the blast leak out of the back
Correct. The tolerances required to build a reliable breech loader came with the industrial revolution. You can, with a lot of craftsmanship, build a non leaking and safe breech loader, I suppose, but the process, I guess, would be excruciatingly long and delicate. The gun would be difficult to repair, every gun would have been a little different than the others etc.
 
Dec 2018
70
Singapore
#7
Correct. The tolerances required to build a reliable breech loader came with the industrial revolution. You can, with a lot of craftsmanship, build a non leaking and safe breech loader, I suppose, but the process, I guess, would be excruciatingly long and delicate. The gun would be difficult to repair, every gun would have been a little different than the others etc.
Exactly! But there is where my question comes from: Why first guns were breach-loading, if it is not technologically possible to create it? Why not muzzle-loading from beginning? For me - it should be logical to create muzzle-loader first.
 
Jul 2018
296
London
#8
Exactly! But there is where my question comes from: Why first guns were breach-loading, if it is not technologically possible to create it? Why not muzzle-loading from beginning? For me - it should be logical to create muzzle-loader first.
Which they were, the breech loading technology, which may be more practical than muzzle, was abandoned because of the problem mentioned above. They tried and they failed.
 
Apr 2018
280
USA
#9
Here's William Bourne's section on skipping cannonballs over land or water from 1587:

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A...fulltext;q1=Artillery+--++Early+works+to+1800

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The popularity of early breachloading guns seems to have mainly had to do with the fact that they could more easily be reloaded in fairly tight spaces such as aboard a ship before they started figuring out how to make better compact gun carriages and rope systems that made it easier to quickly wheel the gun in and out of it's porthole for reloading. I have yet to find anything from the period that indicates people at the time ever considered breach loading guns inherently superior to muzzle loading guns or had a noticibly higher rate of fire.

Cyprian Lucar in his 1588 appendix briefly mentioned that when firing a "chambered piece" (breachloader) you should be careful about where you stand because the wedge hammered in to keep the breach in place sometimes had a tendency to fly back out and cause serious injuries.

 
Dec 2018
70
Singapore
#10
Which they were, the breech loading technology, which may be more practical than muzzle, was abandoned because of the problem mentioned above. They tried and they failed.
More practical? From modern point of view? Yes. But in 14 CE? How they understood it?
This is interesting - where this idea comes from in ancient times? The transferring from breach- to muzzle- loading in 16-17 century is clear and understandable (You have provided a good explanation above). Transferring from muzzle- to breach-loading in 19 CE is also clear and understandable.
The question is -How the idea of breach-loading appears in 14 CE? How it was developed- from what? From ancient fireworks? Flamethrowers? Muzzle-loaded guns? Spear- throwers?

Another point- how much time somebody need to understand that his own invention is failed/not working properly? For me it is weeks, months, maximum a year. So why this technology existed for few centuries? Why everybody copied it and produced in numbers? Despite obvious disadvantages?

Thank you for link- it is very interesting information for me!

The popularity of early breachloading guns seems to have mainly had to do with the fact that they could more easily be reloaded in fairly tight spaces such as aboard a ship before they started figuring out how to make better compact gun carriages and rope systems that made it easier to quickly wheel the gun in and out of it's porthole for reloading. I have yet to find anything from the period that indicates people at the time ever considered breach loading guns inherently superior to muzzle loading guns or had a noticibly higher rate of fire.
I believe that guns first appears on land, than were moved to sea- so limited space on ship is of less important factor. May be the fact, that first guns on ship/fortress was swivel guns/ fixed mount guns (due to its low caliber/recoil)? Easy reloading definitely the
main advantage of breach loading. But my question is remains: Why the story of guns STARTED from breach-loading?