||William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
Table of Contents
RABBET to RAISING a purchase
RAKE to RATES
RAKING a ship
RATES to To REEVE
RECKONING to RHOMB-LINE
RIBBANDS to RIGGING-OUT a boom
RIGHTING to ROBANDS, or ROPE BANDS
ROGUES-YARN to ROUND-HOUSE
ROUNDING to ROYAL
RUDDER to RUNNING-RIGGING
RANGERANGE, a sufficient length of the cable, drawn up on the deck, before the anchor is cast loose from the bow, to let it sink to the bottom, without being interrupted, that the flukes may be forced the deeper into the ground, by the additional weight which the anchor acquires in sinking. For this reason the range, which is drawn up out of the tier, ought to be equal in length, to the depth of the water where the ship anchors. See ANCHOR and CABLE-TIER.
The flight of a shot is distinguished, by artillery people, into two different ranges, of which the first is called the point-blank; and the second, the random-shot. To these also may be added the ricochet, or rolling and bounding-shot.
Whatever has been observed, in other parts of this work, with regard to the flight of a shot from a piece of artillery, is on the presumption that it describes a right line in its passage to the object. This, however, is not strictly true; because by its weight it inclines to the earth every instant of its motion: but as its velocity is very great when first discharged from the cannon, the weight does not sensibly affect the direction in the first instant of its motion. Thus the line it describes, as represented in plate III. extending from fig. 16. to the ship under sail, is apparently straight, and the extent of this line is called the point-blank range of the piece; which accordingly may be defined as the extent of the apparent right line; described by a ball discharged from a cannon.
This range is much less than the greatest range, or random-shot; but the piece cannot be levelled, or, as it is generally expressed, pointed at an object intended to be battered, if that object is not within the distance of the point-blank range; for beyond that, the stroke is very uncertain.
A piece is said to fire at random-shot, when the breech rests upon the bed of the carriage, so that the ball is carried to the greatest possible distance. But as, in this method of firing, the ball cannot be directed to any determinate object, it is rarely used in the sea-service, and only when the shot cannot sail of doing great execution in the place whereon it falls.
Besides the two ranges above described, there is the ricochet, invented by the Marshal de Vauban (Ricochet signifies duck and drake, a name given to the bounding of a flat ftone thrown almost horizontally into the water).
To fire a piece by way of the ricochet, the cannon is only charged with a quantity of. powder sufficient to carry the shot along the face of the works attacked. The shot, thus discharged, goes rolling. and bounding,. Killing, maiming, or destroying all it meets in its course, and creates much more disorder by going thus slowly than if thrown from the piece with greater violence.
© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 230, 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-1037