These three guns are the results of a project that took over two years. The barrels weigh 185 lbs, Cast Iron over a steel liner. They were cast at a foundry in Central illinois. The woodwork is a mix of woods, Oak, Maple, and Close Grain Pine. The hardware was all made by me in the shop, .All eyes were purchased and deburred and cleaned up to look scale in appearance.
They have a 2" bore. The intended propellant is Pyrodex RS. Cast lead balls will be used for shot. or machined 2" wood projectiles.
It uses 1/8" fuse.
The math for the propellant quantity must still be done.
Abbreviated text below from, "The Guns of Constitution"
By Commander Tyrone G. Martin, U. S. Navy (Retired)
Constitution’s gun batteries began with the letting of a contract on 8 August 1794 with the Furnace Hope in Rhode Island. Optimistically, it called for thirty 24-pounder long guns to be delivered by 1 May 1795 for a price of $106.66 per ton, or about $225 a gun.
A “24-pounder” long gun was a muzzle-loading long-barreled cannon capable of firing a solid iron shot weighing 24 pounds. Mounted on a four-wheel carriage, it had a maximum effective range of about 1200 yards and could be fired about once every three minutes by a trained crew of twelve men and a boy (the “powder monkey”). The Furnace Hope model was 8’ feet long and had a bore diameter of about 5 5/6″. Each unit was cast solid and bored out. On its carriage, a 24-pounder weighed about 6000 pounds. Because cannon of such size never had been produced before in the United States, the manufacturer was unable to meet the contract schedule. The full battery of thirty guns was delivered to Boston in August 1797, however, ready for the ship which had yet to be launched.
Because some of the casting and boring problems became apparent early on at Furnace Hope and the only other contractor, the Cecil Iron Works in Maryland, and because no other foundry was interested in this type of work, contracts for the smaller caliber long guns intended for the frigates’ upper decks were not let in a timely fashion. Contracts had been let, however, for twenty 8″ brass howitzers, split equally between Paul Revere in Boston and James Byers in Springfield, Massachusetts. It appears that four of these 1700-pound weapons were to go to each of the four authorized large frigates and two each to the two smaller frigates. When the builders attempted to install the howitzers in Constitution, it was found that they were incompatible with the bulwark around the after half of the ship’s spar (upper) deck. They were sent ashore, never to return.
In late May 1798, less than two months before she first put to sea, Constitution had only the thirty 24s on her gun deck. In desperation, the Federal government persuaded the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to loan the Navy sixteen of the 18-pounder long guns known to be languishing in Fort Independence in Boston harbor. And then, in the following three weeks, the ship also received fourteen 12-pounder long guns from an unreported source. No details have come down to us on these particular weapons but, in general terms, each 18 weighed on the order of 4700 pounds and was 8’ long; each 12 was about the same length but weighed about 4100 pounds. Both were muzzle-loaders. Their crews were proportionately smaller that those for the 24s, but the firing rate was the same.
To sum up, USS Constitution, rated as a 44-gun frigate, carried thirty 24-pounders, sixteen 18-pounders, and fourteen 12-pounders — sixty long guns, in all — when she entered service. She carried this huge armament through the Quasi-War with France, and until she was laid up in reserve in June 1802.
Returning to active duty the following summer, she sailed to the Mediterranean to face the Barbary pirates without the 18-pounders, which had been returned to their owners. After six months on station, Commodore Edward Preble, her commander, decided he wanted more heavy fire with which to batter the " Bashaw" (def ”PASHA, Turkish Arabic”) of Tripoli. He borrowed six more 24s from the King of Two Sicilies at Naples, who was only too glad to have someone else work on the “pirate problem.” After bashing the Bashaw through the summer of 1804, Preble was replaced as squadron commander.
Captain John Rodgers took over command early in November, just as Constitution received eight 32-pounder carronades from the United States. A “carronade” was a shortbarreled, large bore, relatively lightweight muzzleloading weapon of murderous short-range (400 yards maximum effective) smashing power. Only 4’ long and weighing just about 2000 pounds, it used a smaller gun crew and, because of its lightness, could be mounted in larger numbers higher in the ship than long guns. Unlike the long gun, it was mounted on a slide bed that was pivoted under the muzzle so it could be aimed. A weapon new to American manufacture, these eight almost certainly were cast by Henry Foxall at his Columbia Iron works in Georgetown, Maryland, a suburb of the Federal capitol. Constitution’s initial allotment was mounted in the waist (amidships), four on each side, forward of the long 12s. Her armament, then, from November 1804 until December 1807, when she again went inactive, was thirty long 24s, fourteen long 12s, and eight 32-pounder carronades.
Posted by polepenhollow on 2015-12-26 00:36:38
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