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Cannon Rigging Question


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Does anyone know of a table that gives the lengths and sizes of the three different lines used to rig a cannon (gun tackles, train tackle and breeching line)?  It varies depending upon gun size, but I'm looking for the data on a typical 9 pounder.



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Hi Dave;


Brian Lavery,  in 'The arming and fitting of English ships of war,'  states,  on pages 139 & 141,  that ropes were as follows:


Breechings were 4" for 9 & 6 pdrs in 1716.  He does not give a later figure,  but states that they tended to thicken through the century.  For example,  in 1716 5" rope was used for 12 & 18 pdrs.  By the 1780s,  these were using 5 1/2" rope (all sizes are circumference)


In 1716,  gun tackles used 2" rope for 9 & 6 pdrs,  which was unchanged in the 1780s.


Lavery does not give a figure for the size of the train tackle,  attached to the rear axle of the carriage,  but I have seen references in his work and elsewhere to the effect that 3 tackles were issued per gun,  whereas previously only two tackles had bee authorised per gun.  This seems to indicate that the train tackle was the same size as the gun tackles.


Hope this helps.


Mark P

Previously built models (long ago, aged 18-25ish) POB construction. 32 gun frigate, scratch-built sailing model, Underhill plans.

2 masted topsail schooner, Underhill plans.


Started at around that time, but unfinished: 74 gun ship 'Bellona' NMM plans. POB 


On the drawing board: POF model of Royal Caroline 1749, part-planked with interior details. My own plans, based on Admiralty draughts and archival research.


Always on the go: Research into Royal Navy sailing warship design, construction and use, from Tudor times to 1790. 


Member of NRG, SNR, NRS, SMS

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