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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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Table of Contents

C

CABIN to To CALK, or CAULK

CALL to CANNON

CANNON to CANOE
CANNON
CANNONADE
CANOE

CANOE to To rig the CAPSTERN

Surge the CAPSTERN to CARPENTER of a ship

CARTEL to CATS-PAW

CAULKING to CHANNEL

CHANNELS to CHEARLY

CHEEKS of the mast to CLINCH

CLINCHER-WORK to COASTING-PILOT

COAT to COLLIERS

COLOURS to COMPASS

COMPASSING to COVE

COUNTER to CRAWL

CREEPER to CROW-FOOT

CROWNING to CUT-WATER


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CANNON to CANOE

CANNON

In the modern pieces, a little gutter or channel is framed on the upper-part of the breech, to prevent the train from being dispersed by the wind. This channel reaches from the touch-hole to the base-ring.

The cannon being pointed to it's object, or the place which it is intended to strike, the train is fired, and the flame immediately conveyed to the powder in the touch-hole, by which it is further communicated to that in the piece. The powder being kindled immediately expands so as to occupy a much greater space than when in grains, and thus dilated it makes an effort on every side to force itself out. The ball making less resistance than the sides of the piece, upon which the powder presses at the same time, is driven out by it's whole effort, and acquires that violent motion which is well known to the world.

In plate VII. all the instruments necessary for charging cannon are exhibited. Besides these already described, there is the spunge, fig. 10. which is used to clean the piece after firing, and to extinguish any sparks that may remain behind. In the land-service, the handle of the spunge is nothing else than a long wooden staff; but in ships of war this handle, that usually contains the rammer at it's other end, is a piece of rope well stiffened by spun-yarn, which is for this purpose firmly wound about it. By this convenience the rammer becomes flexible, so that the piece is charged within the ship, as the person who loads it may bend and accommodate the length of the rammer to the distance between the muzzle and the ship's side; being at the same time sheltered from the enemy's musquctry, to which he would be exposed when using a wooden rammer without the ship. To spunge a piece therefore is to introduce this instrument into the bore, and thrusting it home to the furthest end thereof, to clean the whole cavity. The figures 8 and 9 represent spunges of a different kind; one of which is formed of sheep-skin, and the other of the strongest bristles of a hog. See the article EXERCISE.

Plate 7

Plate VII

The worm, of which there are also different kinds, fig. 6. and 9. is used to draw the charge when necessary.

The bit, or priming-iron, is a kind of large needle, whose lower end is formed into a gimblet, serving to clear the inside of the touch-hole, and render it fit to receive the prime.

The lint-stock is a kind of staff about three feet long, to the end of which a match is occasionally fastened to fire the piece.

The fluctuating motion of the sea renders it necessary to secure and confine the artillery in vessels of war, by several ropes and pullies, which are called the gun-tackles and breechings, without which they could never be managed in a naval engagement. The breeching has been already explained, as employed to restrain the recoil. The tackles, fig. 18. are hooked to ring-bolts in the sides of the carriage, and to other ring-bolts in the side of the ship, near the edges of the gun-ports, and are used to draw the piece out into it's place after it is loaded. Besides these, there is another tackle hooked to the rear or train of the carriage, to prevent the cannon from rolling into it's place till it is charged: this is called the train-tackle, and is exhibited in fig. 17.

In ships of war, the cannon of the lower-decks are usually drawn into the ship during the course of an expedition at sea, unless when they are used in battle. They are secured by lowering the breech so as that the muzzle shall bear against the upper-edge of the port, after which the two parts of the breeching are firmly braced together by a rope which crosses them between the front of the carriage and the port; which operation is called frapping the breeching. The tackles are then securely fastened about it with several turns of the rope extended from the tackle and breeching, over the chase of the cannon, as represented in fig. 19.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 64, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-refs-falc-0266