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History of Maritime
Christopher Columbus

How do you load and fire a cannon?


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February 24, 2008 1:01AM

In the days of old sailing war ships, the cannons were on wheels that enabled them to slide it out of the gunport and back for loading. To load the cannon they had to run it inside the ship, place powder bags down the front of the barrel, place a cannon ball in the barrel and take a ramrod and push it all to the back or bottom. There was a hole drilled in the top back of the cannon that led to where the powder bags sat. A fuse was inserted in the hole. When they had run out the cannon to the gunport and they were aimed right, they would light the fuse and BANG!. Then they had to repeat the whole process again. If they were firing a lot of times, each time they ran the cannon back in they had to swab out the inside of the barrel to remove any burning coals from the last firing. Otherwise when they put in the next powder bag they were in for a surprise. BANG! Dangerous occupation.