Firing Off a 24-Pounder Long Gun


A 24-pounder gun was successfully fired at a newly-built section of the Royal Swedish warship Vasa's hull on Wednesday (October 22). The firing is part of a research project which aims to show how sea battles during the early 17th century were fought and the effect guns had in these battles. The research project, funded by The Friends of the Vasa Museum support association, will look at the firing distances chosen and the impact of different kinds of ammunition. It also seeks to understand under what conditions the gun crews were operating, exposed to blast waves, noise and smoke and operating heavy weights on a moving platform. According to The Friends of the Vasa Museum, the test firing was successful and showed that Vasa's cannon had considerable firepower and fairly good precision at moderate distances. The Vasa sank on her maiden voyage in Stockholm 1628 and was salvaged in 1961. It is the only preserved 17th century ship in the world and can now be seen in a specially built museum in Stockholm. Copies of Vasa's gun carriage, cannon, a 24-pound cannonball and a 4,5x3,4 metre section of its hull in solid oak were produced for the test. Gun powder with a similar chemical composition as used on Vasa was also made in Germany. A report will be published in 2015

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