old guns

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Midnight_Carnival
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old guns

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

I have two questions (and a background thing you don't have to read):

1) how do you convert from pounds (lbs) to kilos?
- the cannon (plural -although why people can't just add an "s" is beyond me) are classified acording to the weight of a solid iron shot they would fire, so how heavy in kgs and how large would ...say a 10 lb, a 50 lb and a 100 lb shot be, just so I can get an idea of what would be a decent size and what would be ridiculous.

2) does anyone know anything about antique firearms, handguns and artillery? also rockets? I don't mind gratuitious detial at all, nor do I mind how random your stuff is, as long as it is related to propelling propelling things at people using gunpowder and vaguely historical, although not necesarrily western, and I don't care from which time period, als long as it is before WW1. I would ask my swordmaster (who happens to be a weapons historian type guy too since he makes historical replica and 'period' weapons), but my phone was stolen and I have lost his number... so any info would really help.

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Girgistian
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Re: old guns

Post by Girgistian »

Well... I could help you if you wrote about viking-age kinda stuff, but firearms? Nope.
One lb is roughly 0,454 kilogrammes, so the answers to your weight questions would be
10 lb = 4,54 kg
50 lb = 22,67 kg
100 lb = 45,36 kg

I used this site http://www.convertworld.com/fi/ to find those out after a brief googling. It's in finnish, but it's manageable even if you don't know the language I guess.
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Jarkko
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Re: old guns

Post by Jarkko »

Girgistian wrote:Well... I could help you if you wrote about viking-age kinda stuff, but firearms? Nope.
One lb is roughly 0,454 kilogrammes, so the answers to your weight questions would be
10 lb = 4,54 kg
50 lb = 22,67 kg
100 lb = 45,36 kg

I used this site http://www.convertworld.com/fi/ to find those out after a brief googling. It's in finnish, but it's manageable even if you don't know the language I guess.
For future uses there's no need to go that far - Just type eg. "10 lbs to kg" (without quotes, naturally) in google search bar and magic happens :wink:
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Velensk
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Re: old guns

Post by Velensk »

The Chinese had rockets at least a thousand years before Gunpowder saw wide spread use in the West. Like many of their inventions they seem to have forgotten it and reinvented it a couple times over their history. I do not believe they ever managed to make them into practical weapons. Around WWII the germans started researching rockets (or self propelled bombs) but they did not become practical weapons until the cold war.

Primitive cannons (which is also a valid plural) could be ridicules in size and some of them were. At least one castle currently in existence has some of these monsters still surrounding it from when it was sieged roughly 500 years ago because nobody wanted to to through the effort of hauling them away. The problem with primitive cannons was mainly in their unreliability as they were almost as likely to blow up on the people firing them and do damage to the cannoneers rather than the targets (this is infact the reason that Da Vinci decided to design the ballista mentioned in a recent thread, he figured that he could design a machine that could throw cannon-balls almost as hard but with a ton more reliability and less danger).

By the napoleonic era they were using far more reliable artillery and much lighter to the point where they could be ported around generally without too much trouble as long as you had horses/carts. Napoleon was famous for use of artillery and so if you do research on his battles/tactics you can probably get more info on them.

Firearms are an incredibly broad field even if you give me a general timeframe. I have no idea what you really want to know about them. The best I could really do here is point you to places where you could find out more except that you have a better idea of what you're looking for than I do.
Last edited by Velensk on December 12th, 2010, 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HomerJ
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Re: old guns

Post by HomerJ »

Jarkko wrote: For future uses there's no need to go that far - Just type eg. "10 lbs to kg" (without quotes, naturally) in google search bar and magic happens :wink:
And if that doesn't work let Wolfram Alpha do the math for you.

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Midnight_Carnival
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Re: old guns

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

Thanks everyone, I now see that the weights I used for cannon shells were not that far out from what I was aiming for.

I left my firearm enquieries broad and vague becuase I was interested to see what kind of info would turn up, things which could be useful to me in the stories might not be the things I was looking for.

special thanks to Velensk! I'm really greatful to you for telling me that "cannons" is a valid plural, I got heavilly criticised for usining that before. As for the rockets, they were used in war, rockets with sharp heavy metal heads, or with thin metal blade for fins that could cut people up, rockets that could explode and ones that could set things on fire. The main reasons they were not used more extenisvely was that they were not very acurate. I seem to remember reading something about the Canadians bombarding some American city with rockets quite a while back, but I'm not sure if this really happened.
Edit: checked wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_artillery it had a lot of info on early rockets in warfare.

As in the recent thread mentioned, there is a race of people who do not use firearms extensively and also build better siege engines to launch bombs, etc... I hope the author in question does not sue me! (even thought I have paper notes made a few years back in which I wrote stuff like that down, might count as proof that my ideas were my own) :mrgreen:
Last edited by Midnight_Carnival on December 12th, 2010, 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bigkahuna
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Re: old guns

Post by bigkahuna »

Midnight_Carnival wrote:....something about the Canadians bombarding some American city with rockets quite a while back, but I'm not sure if this really happened
no, no, no, No, NO!!! :lol2:

Canada would be either off the map or annexed by the U.S. if that had happened.
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About firearms and such, the best place to find out would really be to Google it. There are TONS of sites on guns, the history of guns, new guns, old guns, etc. You could even read a history book and it would probably have stuff about guns in it. Good luck with your game/novel/whatever it is!
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Midnight_Carnival
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Re: old guns

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

bigkahuna wrote:
Midnight_Carnival wrote:....something about the Canadians bombarding some American city with rockets quite a while back, but I'm not sure if this really happened
no, no, no, No, NO!!! :lol2:

Canada would be either off the map or annexed by the U.S. if that had happened.
Me <---american if you can't tell.

About firearms and such, the best place to find out would really be to Google it. There are TONS of sites on guns, the history of guns, new guns, old guns, etc. You could even read a history book and it would probably have stuff about guns in it. Good luck with your game/novel/whatever it is!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_1812 wrote: British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed the British to capture and burn Washington, D.C. American victories in September 1814 and January 1815 repulsed British invasions of New York and New Orleans.
(the "British" here were Canadian).

:lol2: sorry, you guys got pwnd!
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Re: old guns

Post by Velensk »

Speaking as a person who is both a Canadian and an American, American history classes love to gloss over the War of 1812. The war was a mistake in the first place (the American ship carrying the declaration of war and the British ship carrying the letter saying that they would stop raiding our ships for sailors were both on the Atlantic ocean at the same time and probably passed each other), and the Canadians (still loyal to Britain) ransacked a good deal of the north including the aforementioned burning of the White House. Then the most famous battle of the war, which gave the U.S. it's national anthem, was fought after the peace treaty was signed. Suffice to say most Americans like the pretend it never happened and Canada is still on the map and not annexed.

EDIT: Though as far as any history I've read says, no rockets were used. The bombardments mentioned were ship borne cannons.
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Re: old guns

Post by wesfreak »

The grenado, basically a primitive hand grenade, the flintlock pistol, which were basically weak, inaccurate pistols that took forever to reload, (think 6-1 per pistol in wesnoth terms) (but they were small so it was easy to carry a few into combat at once) as well as the blunderbuss, which was an old-timey shotgun, were all used by pirates in the 18th century.

The Ming warriors also had some more creative, yet more primitive, gunpowder weapons (between 1368 and 1644): The three barrel pole gun was basically 3 hand cannons attached to a pole. Each one had a seperate fuse, so you could fire three times before having to reload. Reloading still took forever though. They also had the nest of bees, which was basically a bunch of rocket-powered arrows all attached to the same fuse so they all went off at once.

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Sgt. Groovy
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Re: old guns

Post by Sgt. Groovy »

I've always been fascinated by the early attempts at repeating firearms. The earliest revolvers had multiple barrels (often three) that were rotated manually between shots to bring a loaded barrel under the [censored]. Then there were the "pepperbox" revolvers, which were basically revolvers with no barrel, just an elongated cylinder. There were also attempts to load several balls and charges in the same barrel in a row, being shot in burst, roman candle type. While they didn't work well enough in real life, in fiction you could have a primitive "submachine gun" made with this principle: a sturdy frame and stock with quick-lock mechanism for detachable barrels. If the barrels are short, like less than 50 cm, a soldier could carry several pre-loaded, which would make them quite fearsome in close combat. The Lorenzoni system was quite interesting as well, it had two tubular magazines in the stock, one for balls and one for the gunpowder, and a cylinder between the magazines and the breech that would bring one ball and enough gunpowder to the chamber when the cylinder was rotated.

Few people know it, but air guns are a rather old invention, the oldest ones dating back to 16th century. Many of them were as powerful as contemporary firearms and some were even used as standard military arms, like the Girandoni Air Rifle

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Re: old guns

Post by bigkahuna »

Midnight Carnival wrote:sorry, you guys got pwnd!
Later quote:
Midnight_Carnival wrote:victories in September 1814 and January 1815 repulsed British invasions of New York and New Orleans.
The U.S. DID (informally) win the war, however. Also, when you said Canadian rockets destroyed an American city, I assumed you meant some modern day event you messed up. So yeah, the War of 1812 did not work out very well.
Velensk wrote:American history classes love to gloss over the War of 1812
Mine didn't, but true we do tend to downplay what a mistake it was and just summarize it by saying "we beat the Brits"
Velensk wrote:the American ship carrying the declaration of war and the British ship carrying the letter saying that they would stop raiding our ships for sailors were both on the Atlantic ocean at the same time and probably passed each other
:lol2: Maybe so. But for several years they DID impress (raiding ships for sailors) American sailors, which is abduction/kidnapping, so I don't believe that the war was unprovoked. Perhaps we could've come to odds, but both sides were already on the brink of war.
Velensk wrote:Suffice to say most Americans like the pretend it never happened and Canada is still on the map and not annexed.
I disagree. America did make a mistake, but it was one born out of ignorance. There was no way we could've known that the British were trying to resolve the conflict. We went through all the necessary steps to avoid conflict, but when we were met with the impounding of sailors, denying treaties, and raiding and sinking ships, I think we had no other choice. Many other countries would have gone to war with little to no provocation. I think that you are being a bit harsh on Americans.

And we don't "pretend it never happened". Your right that Canada has not been annexed, but I said that because I thought that Midnight meant that a few years back Canada tried to bomb an American city :lol2:
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Re: old guns

Post by Velensk »

Yours did better than mine. My teachers description of the War of 1812 was quite literally "The war of 1812 was short and gave us our national anthem" which to be fair was all we needed for the test she gave and we were told we would be skimming through everything between the american revolution and the civil war but it still seemed over summarized. I have met a number of americans who seem to not know the white house was ever burned down.

I don't know how you anyone can claim that the war of 1812 was a victory for anyone involved.
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Re: old guns

Post by bigkahuna »

Velensk wrote:I don't know how you anyone can claim that the war of 1812 was a victory for anyone involved.
It wasn't. I just meant to say that the U.S. came out better for it.
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Re: old guns

Post by Frogger5 »

An area of creativity is open when it comes to actually igniting the gunpowder in a gun or canon. As well as the flintlock mechanism, there were also other mechanisms for firing the gun. If you were to think up your own type of mechanism for firing a gun or canon, that could add another level of interest and help this other world seem more interesting and provide more to learn.

Another thing to bear in mind are strategies that people actually use for improving firearms and other technology. For us earthlings, it is mainly making things bigger (http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthr ... ?3245-Dora), smaller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derringer), and more portable (ummm...http://www.apple.com/ipad/).

The people in your world however, may have these things in the bag, and need to focus more on durability, stealth, whatever.
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