Cannon & Ball

This is not related to the comedy duo in any way.

After the recent find of a huge collection of cannon balls on the sea bed at Falmouth I thought I’d just do a little bit about cannon & cannon balls.

The cannon balls we found were all 6.25″ across, 32 pounders. So one would have to assume that the cannons on Pendennis Castle were mainly 32 pounders. Originally the full cannon in the British armoury was the 42 pounder, but these were soon dropped in favour of the Demi-Cannon, the 32 pounder. Cannons had a range from 1200 yards to 2000 yards across all sizes commonly used.  As well as the 42 and 32 pounders there were also a lot of other sizes including 24, 18, 12, 9, 8, 6 pounders and smaller. The amount of cannon balls that have been recovered over the years and the amount we recently found and left still down there, target practice must have been common, it must have been deafening

When on board a warship a cannon is called a gun, while a cannonball is a roundshot.

In the British Royal Navy, a fourth-rate Frigate was a ship of the line mounting from 46 up to 60 guns. Standard 32 pounder long cannons weighed in at over hefty 3 tons. Ships soon introduced the 32 pound Carronade, these were shorter with a much lower muzzle velocity which made them less accurate but very handy in broadside action. Carronades were never listed as standard armament of a ship of the line, so classification of Naval vessels of the time could be misleading. 60 guns at 3 tons each, not including any Carronades at just under 1 ton each, plus the weight of the round shot would make it a considerable vessel or maybe not, a first-rate Frigate would have over 100 guns! British ships were not given enough powder to use cannons for practice, so finding cannon balls fired by a ship is rare.