Cannon ball skip??

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chawbeef

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Just a question here. I am wondering how far a cannon ball "might" travel after it hits the ground and possibly skips a distance. Reason is, I have an opportunity to metal detect a field about half a mile from a war of 1812 battle ground, and hoping to find a ball or two................................Chawbeef
 

Rifleman1776

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You might find some. Cannons can shoot, and skip, far. When I was bushogging and hit a rock and it skipped, I swear, they picked up speed and power and went even faster than when they first hit the ground. The skip and fly aspect of cannon balls was a big part of why they were so effective against a mass of men. The human bodies did almost nothing to rob the balls of energy.
 

tenngun

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I’ve seen lots of reports of such and such cannon having a range of so many yards Often something like 1500 or 1700 or 2200 ect. I often wonderd if that was max elevating on a field gun or skips.
I understand at Waterloo Napoleon postponed attack on the Brits because it had rained in the night and he needed the ground to dry abut so he could skip ball across the field
 

Treestalker

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I read something years ago in my misspent reenacting adventures that the maximum range of a smoothbore 6pdr or 12pdr solid shot (Ball) was about 1700 yards, and the expected additional 'skip' over was another 1700 yards. There was a report of an artilleryman (Confederate) who saw an oncoming cannonball skipping across the ground 'like a rabbit' and attempted to stop it by stomping on it. It took his leg off just below the knee. With the residual potential energy from the shot, it didn't have to be moving fast at all.
 

Melchi577

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i think a lot of the variation in stated ranges is from the different guns and what they were trying to do, William Eldered in Dover castle (1640's) was expecting to hit shipping as hard as possible from as far as possible while his contemporary's inland didn't need the range so a lighter drake with its smaller charge was a good option yet both would have the same round shot. and then the accounts are spread over hundreds of years.
 

Loyalist Dave

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I have an opportunity to metal detect a field about half a mile from a war of 1812 battle ground, and hoping to find a ball or two..
IF you can find a record of the diagram of the battle position, you will do well to find where the artillery was pointed..., and if there were small pieces used by the combatants. You may also have luck if there is a treeline marked opposite where a gun position was located. While people are squishy and don't slow down the iron, a ball fired direct, that is high and hits hardwood might then drop close and shallow after passing through trees. ;)

The really small cannon that likely were purposely skipping a shot, alas would've been very mobile. These often maneuvered close to the infantry and had no set "battery" position during an engagement. So in that case if you can find where the opposing line of infantry was, and then calculate a rather oblique firing angle at that line..., you may find some skipped shot.

In the illustration below a good angle vs. open infantry in two ranks (War of 1812 formation) won't disrupt more than a couple privates in the line, BUT with an extreme angle, you can mess with the whole group, so, if you can find where the line was, and figure such an angle, then you up your odds at finding where the skipped shot came to rest. Good luck! 👍

SKIPPING SHOT VS FORMATION.jpg


LD
 

okawbow

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Look up the Mythbusters episode with their home made cannon. The ball went through several 55 gallon drums, a concrete block wall, and skipped a half mile or more and went through a house and the minivan parked outside.
Be careful with them things!
 

Essayons!

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Just a question here. I am wondering how far a cannon ball "might" travel after it hits the ground and possibly skips a distance. Reason is, I have an opportunity to metal detect a field about half a mile from a war of 1812 battle ground, and hoping to find a ball or two................................Chawbeef
Research period battery locations and direction of fire the best you can to get azimuths/deviation fans..
 

JoJoLesh

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Ah so that's also when the she went downhill?

Instead of "humm maybe we should use a small part of our huge budget to do this at a safer place," they went with, let's do less interesting stuff."
 

Davey Boy

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Look up the Mythbusters episode with their home made cannon. The ball went through several 55 gallon drums, a concrete block wall, and skipped a half mile or more and went through a house and the minivan parked outside.
Be careful with them things!
Wow

Yesterday I went to the gun store in Ft Walton Beach Florida and got to talking with the fellow there who made a cannon, two inch bore I think. He told me about the Myth Busted event !

I fired my 1.5" smoothies at the range at Beaver Lodge and it knocked down small trees past the berms.

I also tried steel slug cylinders and lead balls, 1.5" diameter fired over the ocean. Never got them to skip. But if the elevation was low you could see a violent splash at a quarter mile.

I used about a quarter to half cup of FF BP

Great fun
 

tenngun

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I was in early teens and in a doctors office and waiting.
There was a Readers Digest and I looked through it. It had a story about a woman driving on a coastal free way that was shot on the road. The police investigating found a very lucky wound. An almost spent .22 passed between her neck vertebrae and came to stop in her spinal cord killing her. After some months the police found a pleasure boat about a mile away from the freeway had a .22 aboard the owner carried for sharks.
he shot a tin can floating in the water and the bullet skipped. It just barely cleared a sand fence. Then another cinder block wall.
the girl had her passenger side windows down. That safety glass would have stopped it. A half inch high or low it wouldn’t have got through her bone.
That was a .22, not a twelve pounder.
 

Sam squanch

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If that was in a medical report or police report I might believe it. But not Readers Digest.
 

SOLANCO

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Patrick Obrien's novels of the British navy in the early 19th century are famous for their researched historical accuracy. My recollection is that he includes cannon balls skipping on the sea surface more than once.
I was amazed, as a young boy, when my .22 cal bullet skipped off the surface of a stock pond and broke my uncle's truck window.
 

Many Klatch

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I don't normally comment on Cannons, because I don't have one. But I can comment on skipping ball on water. I have competed at an event where there was a fairly large gong hung at the waters edge. We had to shoot at the water and bounce the roundball into the gong to get the point. Almost all of us were able to do that once we realized that we had to hit the water about 2/3 of the way to the gong. My .62 did a credible job on the gong.
 
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