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Swivel Gun

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Swivel guns were small cannons carried naval and many merchant vessels.

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As the name implies, the swivel gun was a small cannon mounted on a swivel or pivot, usually on a ship’s rail, allowing a wide arc of fire. Swivel guns could fire a small ball or lead shot into boats attempting to board a vessel.

In close engagements, swivel guns could be mounted in a ship’s rigging in order to fire down onto the enemy’s decks.

On Cook's voyage of discovery the Endeavour carried 12 swivel guns.

 
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Prepared by: Turnbull, P
Created: 4 October 2001
Modified: 5 May 2004

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000042

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