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OK, so I thought I was finished rigging the carronades on the Constitution's spar deck.  I have the breech rope, the train tackles for swiveling the gun and the inhaul tackles for bringing the gun to the firing position after it's loaded.  All the references I've seen (until yesterday) show only those ropes.  However while trying to answer another question about binnacles I stumbled upon an illustration in "All Sails Up and Flying" which also shows a single inhaul tackle between a ring bolt on the deck inboard the gun and an eyebolt on the sliding portion of the carriage.  It makes sense, how else would you move the sliding portion inboard inboard if it hadn't moved there from recoil?  Maybe it wouldn't be needed often but if there were some misfire problem you might need to move the barrel inboard to fix the problem.  Maybe the tackle wouldn't be attached all the time (hooks?) but kept at the ready?  Anybody have anything to contribute before I go off and rig up another 48 blocks?!

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The Syren had the inhaul rig as you describe so being of the same period I would suspect so did the Connie. Not sure if I would rig all 48.I would put the Rings in the deck and rig one gun P&S other wise it gets way to congested and would be almost impossible to transit the decks with all that gear laid out. Would only take seconds for a gun crew to throw a hook on the ring and the slide and pull the gun back.

Edited by Jim Rogers
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Since the Cannonades and guns were stored outboard with the muzzles through the Ports, it would require tackle to haul them inboard for maintenance and initial loading. The guns being in he stowed position, a ring in the deck, convenient for that position makes sense. Having the tackle rigged full time does not, so a double block rig needs a place to hang, clear of deck and gun when not in use, could be stored horizontally from the sides of an overhead beam, handy and out of the way. Another thing to think about, the ways would have been greased and like a wheeled carriage, protection of the serving crew would be needed when working the gun during battle when unexpected rudder shifts could cause an unsecured weapon to run without warning. I suspect the gunners of old did many common things when handling their guns, than never got into the record which was written by observers who were not doers.

jud   :pirate41:

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See the eyebolts on the aft end of the sliding portion of the carriage?  That's where the inhaul tackle would attach.  I've seen these photos, and others, many times before but it never dawned on me that something should attach there!  Most ( in fact almost ALL) drawings of carronade tackle don't show the inhaul tackle.  Some show just the breech rope, obviously incomplete.  But even those that show a "full" rigging omit the inhaul tackle.  Curious.

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Inhaul tackle would just get in the way.  If needed, one or both can usually be unhooked pretty quicked from the outhauls and used.  Some ships did have inhauls hanging about on the bulkheads or overhead.   From my view, the more "stuff" on the gun deck, the worse it is for those crewing the guns.   Pretty chaotic during a battle with the 7 to 10 men per gun, powder monkeys, and the equipment for serving the guns so the less laying on the deck, the better.

 

I good example if you wish to see the chaos is to go look at Dafi's log for his HMS Victory kit (towards the end) and you'll get a good visual of how crowded things were.

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  • 1 month later...

Evening everyone;

 

It's not the USN I know,  but in the Royal Navy for many years Gunners were only issued with two tackles per gun.  If they needed a train tackle,  they would unhitch one of the two gun tackles,  and make do with that.   They did eventually get issued with three,  though.

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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