World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Grapeshot

Article Id: WHEBN0000627999
Reproduction Date:

Title: Grapeshot  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mitrailleuse, Carronade, Naval artillery, 13 Vendémiaire, History of cannon
Collection: Artillery Ammunition, Projectiles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Grapeshot

Close-up of grapeshot from an American Revolution sketch of artillery devices
Model of a carronade with grapeshot ammunition

In artillery, a grapeshot is a type of shot that is not one solid element, but a mass of small metal balls or slugs packed tightly into a canvas bag.[1] It was used both in land and naval warfare. When assembled, the balls resembled a cluster of grapes, hence the name. On firing, the balls spread out from the muzzle, giving an effect similar to a giant shotgun.

Grapeshot was devastatingly effective against massed infantry at short range. It was used to savage massed infantry charges quickly. Cannons would fire solid shot to attack enemy artillery and troops at longer range and switch to grape when they or nearby troops were charged. When used in naval warfare grapeshot served a dual purpose. First it continued its role as an anti-personnel projectile. However, the effect was diminished due to a large portion of the crew being below decks and the addition of hammock netting in iron brackets intended to slow or stop smaller shot.[2] Second, the balls were cast large enough to cut rigging, destroy spars, blocks, and puncture multiple sails.[3][4]

Canister shot, also known as case shot, was packaged in a tin or brass container, possibly guided by a wooden sabot. Canister balls did not have to punch through the wooden hull of a ship, so were smaller and more numerous. The later shrapnel shell was similar, but with a much greater range.

Scattershot is an improvised form of grapeshot which uses chain links, nails, shards of glass, rocks or other similar objects as the projectiles. Although scattershot can be cheaply made, it is less effective than grapeshot due to the lack of uniformity in the projectiles' mass, shape, material, and resultant ballistics.

Field-expedient Claymore mines, consisting of a container, projectiles such as ball bearings or used ammo links arranged to project in one general direction, and explosives are often called grapeshot.

Contents

  • Use in conflicts 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Use in conflicts

An example of grapeshot
A small cannonball and holder for a grapeshot recovered from the CSS Georgia in 2015
Munitions at Fort McAllister, showing a grape shot

Conflicts in which grapeshot was effectively used include:

See also

References

  1. ^ Old Humphrey (1799). The old sea captain. p. 227. 
  2. ^ Charles Gerard Davis (1984). American Sailing Ships: Their Plans and History. p. 109. 
  3. ^ Henry Burchstead Skinner (1853). The Book of Indian Battles from the Landing of the Pilgrims to King Philips War. p. 141. 
  4. ^ Martin, Tyrone G (1987). Isaac Hull’s Victory Revisited.  

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.