15
   

Shooting a bullet into water

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:02 pm
@DrewDad,
I am pointing out that splinters caused more casaulties than did the shot itself. The Royal Navy adopted carronades in the 1770s with the specific intent of inflicting splinter damage. Bar shot was used with the specific intent of causing splinter damage. I do not have sources i can link for this, however, which is why i had not previously mentioned it--but i've read that many times over the years.

My argument is not that splinters were more lethal (although we haven't touched upon the subject of mortal wounds), but that they caused more casualties than the shot itself. References to small arms fire is, therefore, irrelevant to my argument.
mysteryman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:32 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
My argument is not that splinters were more lethal (although we haven't touched upon the subject of mortal wounds), but that they caused more casualties than the shot itself. References to small arms fire is, therefore, irrelevant to my argument.


I think this is where you are confused about what I am saying.

I 100% agree that splinters caused more casualties then the shot itself, there is no argument there.

BUT, I do not believe that splinters were more lethal (read FATAL) then small arms fire, nor have I ever seen anything that proves they were.
The example you gave involved long range gunnery, and therefore there was no small arms fire.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:35 pm
@DrewDad,
The physics would predict that. The force of the cannonball is a function of mass (of the cannonball) times the velocity of the cannonball SQUARED. Same powder loads would mean that the velocity of the smaller shot would be greater and therefore more force into the ship(deeper penetration, not sure about shards)

Now if the cannonball speeds were the same,(computed by the cannon test) the big shot would transfer much more force into the ship and cause major shards.
Mythbusters , while a really good show on physics, sometimes has to go around for second times to put the actual myth to sleep. They should have fired two weights of shot with same powder loads and equivalent powder loads and then measured the damage to the carcasses. Their problem is that they always stretch the damn show out on minor points of science (they do these damn bench scale tests all the fuckin time and in a case like this they should use the multiple weight/multiple powder loads to be stand ins for the bench scale stuff.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:55 pm
@farmerman,
Back to original query, whether bullet can accelerate after ricochet on water: I don't see how. Penetration ability of projectiles can, in fact, increase with increasing distance (the original yaw of the bullet slowly disappears, making ballistic trajectory more stable), but that's not acceleration.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:59 pm
@High Seas,
yeh, the impact of mV* is attenuated till the top of the xurve when it begins increasing again by(probably) a [g]TAN function. (I will have to look that stuff up someday)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 02:20 pm
@mysteryman,
Well, it seems that you were the one who was confused, because i've not said that splinters were more lethal--i immediately corrected that, so we were talking at cross purposes. I used the long-range gunnery example, just to avoid the question of small arms.

By the way, i've found the passage from James' Naval Occurrences which i had previously mentioned, and the captain of Phoebe reported that all that damage they did was "in the wind," i.e., the masts, spars, sails and rigging. That almost guarantees that the great majority of the casualties, fatalities included, were caused by splinters, or falling spars or tackle.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 02:34 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Same powder loads would mean that the velocity of the smaller shot would be greater and therefore more force into the ship(deeper penetration, not sure about shards)


This would not be the case. The size of the charge was determined by the interior circumference of the gun tube, and the test resistance of the gun tube (either cast iron or brass) to the powder charge. After the 1780s, artillerists knew that they needed far less powder, about half the charge, as had been traditionally used.

One of the people commenting at the blog site for the mythbusters show commented that they didn't have time to measure the powder during battle. That displayed a profound ignorance of how the ammunition was handled in battle. At the commencement of the engagement, there were only two rounds of powder per gun--one in the gun, and one being carried by the powder monkey for each gun crew. The gunner and the gunners' mates would have much more powder already loaded at the commencement of the fight, and would load charges continuously during the fight. Only an idiot would put his powder kegs on the deck--and no one in the Royal Navy nor the United States Navy, was that stupid, for however dull-witted anyone might allege them to have been. Usually, after a ship had been in commission for a few months, the gunner and his mates would recognize the powder monkeys, and would hand them charges for the size of the gun they served, but whether or not, the powder monkey was expected to know what charge he needed for his gun crew.

For a ship such as Java, with a broadside of 19 guns (she was rated a 38), she would use half of a 45 pound barrel with each shot. This suggests a charge of about one and a quarter pounds of black powder, pre-loaded by the gunner or one of his mates in a linen bag (actually, somewhat less than a pound and a quarter). If you packed a pound and a quarter of black powder into a six pounder, not only would it be about three or four times as much powder as you needed, it would very likely cause the gun tube to explode. I'd have to look it up somewhere, but i actually suspect that for the long guns, the larger the gun tube, the greater the charge and the higher the muzzle velocity.

With carronades, the case was entirely different. They had short tubes, and were usually large caliber. The most common was the 32 pounder, and although there were 24 pounders, they were not commonly used. I have read that Constitution mounted 48 pounders, but those weren't common, either. On the largest line of battle ships, some of which mounted 32 pounder long guns, 64 pounder carronades were not unknown.

But the carronade depended on proximity. There were actually loaded with less powder than a comparable long gun (i.e., comparing a 32 pound long gun to a 32 pound carronade). They were designed for high initial muzzle velocity, but not for long range. The specific intent of the carronade was to cause splinter damage, or to dismast the opponent--and for both of those, you wanted to get in close. Carronades, of course, weren't long range guns anyway. That's why Phoebe was able to punish Essex virtually with impunity (Essex's only long guns were bow chasers, and Phoebe had fewer than a half dozen men killed, and fewer than a dozen wounded). Captain Porter had complained repeatedly (the complaints are part of the written record) to the Navy about his guns, pointing out again and again that he would be at a fatal disadvantage if he encountered an enemy frigate with long guns, which all the RN vessels used.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 02:38 pm
I got out the calculator, and if a 45 pound keg of powder were used to fire two broadsides (19 guns) by a 38 gun frigate, that would be one pound three ounces (roughly) per gun.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 02:57 pm
Anyone interested in fighting ships in the days of sail cannot do better than to read The Naval War of 1812, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., New York, 1881.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 03:48 pm
@Setanta,
As I said, if speeds were the same, the big shot would do more damage (but with aforce only by an amount roughly 2 times the smaller). If the small shot travels at twice the muz velocity as the larger. the force of impact for a small (6lb) would be 4 times greater than a 12 pounder. . simple physics. Now , if they could achieve some muz velocities that we can get on , say, a 50 cal barrett, the smaller shots would have gone in and ricocheted all around the enclosed space.

As I said about the Mythbusters, they should have had 2 sizes of shot and 2 sizes of shell with 4 trials at each variable load and shot. Then they could have really projected how the splinters would react. Also, I believe their choice of wood was not shard generating
















mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 03:53 pm
@Setanta,
While trying to find another copy of A.A. Chernyshev’s first book on the Russian sailing navy, I came across a newer book by accident. Translated it is, 200 Years of the Russian Sailing Navy, by A.B. Shirokorad. Where Chernyshev covered mainly ships of the line and frigates, in his first book, the second part covered sloops and brigs. This book, in 445 pages, covers all types of vessels for the period of 1696-1891.

It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Chernyshev’s book, but as I recall, it had more information about the history of the vessels, but was lacking on hard data as far as numbers and types of guns. Like Chernyshev, Shirokorad gives the dimensions of many of the vessels, but is sparing in gunnery details. That said, I did manage to find dimensions and complete gunnery information for more vessels than I had by using Chernyshev.

In a way, Shirokorad’s book asks more questions than it answers. Case in point is the ship of the line Vsevolod (74.) His dimensions are given as 51.8 m. x 14.2 m. x 6.1 m. . Converting meters to feet, then using the formula for BM tonnage, gives about 1639 tons. That makes for a small 74. The reason this ship is important to me is that he (the Russians use the masculine pronoun for ships) fought two British ships of the line in 1808. First, H.M.S. Implacable (74) made the Russian strike its colors after thirty minutes at pistol-shot range. According to James, Implacable was then recalled, so Vsevolod was being towed to safety by the Russians when H.M.S. Centaur (74) came up and had a go at yardarm-to yardarm range. As far as I know, this is the only documented example of a battle between ships of the Royal and Imperial Russian navies.

Set,
If you havent read it, you might enjoy it.
Skibaba
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 07:16 pm
The U.S.M.C was started in a bar in 1776. Since then, we have brought more souls to the gates of St Peter than santa himself. And Marines dont ricochet bullets to kill people, we have a much more effective motto: One shot, one...
well you get the idea.

Fire those broadsides all you want, youre not gonna be able to aim them at the top of a mast to get the Marines.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:11 pm
@Jane Pagel,
No. The kinetic energy of the bullet is given by the equation

E = 1/2 * m * v^2,

where m is the mass and v is the velocity. Solving for v gives

v = sqrt(2E/m)

As the bullet ricochets, there's no way for the water to add to the bullet's kinetic energy; it can only decrease it. Moreover, there's no way for the water to change the bullet's mass in either direction. Therefore, the bullet's velocity has to be lower after it ricochets than before it hits the water.

EDIT: In other words, I agree with farmerman. Had I read the thread before answering, I could have saved y'all a lot of reading by writing just this.
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:34 pm
@Jane Pagel,
in the repechage round the dirty water was shot like the dog that it was and died in it just as the grim repercharged
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:57 pm
@solipsister,
musta been a hell of a sailing regatta...
0 Replies
 
Jane Pagel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 03:37 am
@Thomas,
Thank you for answering the question. Not that we go shooting in the back field by the pond.
It's nice to know someone supports my side of the arguement.
Jane
0 Replies
 
Jane Pagel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 03:39 am
@High Seas,
Thank you too, High Seas. I knew it made no sense. But to be safe we'll stay away from the pond when shooting. Hah!
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 04:35 am
@mysteryman,
I'm sure that i would enjoy it. The Danes, Swedes, Russians and Prussians (Prussians? don't make me laugh) formed the armed neutrality of the north to oppose the Royal Navy's blockade of French ports, and the ports of nations which France had overrun, but more particularly because the RN was stopping shipping from the Baltic to inspect their cargoes for contraband (that was one of the things that really pissed off the Americans, too, whose motto in 1812 was "sailors rights and free trade"). An Admiral, Parker Hyde if i recall correctly, was sent to deal with the Danes in 1801 (the Danes and the Russians were the really formidable opponents; the Swedes were no pikers themselves, but the Prussians were, navally speaking, a joke). His subordinate was Horatio Nelson. Nelson took most of the fleet in close to bombard the Danish ships and fortifications at Copenhagen, while Hyde stood off with the rest of fleet in case the Swedes or the Russians came out and attempted to intervene. Both sides endured terrific punishment for hours (four, five or six hours, i believe), until finally, the Danes--with an ill grace--agreed to negotiate. Nelson handled that, and finally convinced the Danes to withdraw from the armed neutrality. Parker Hyde was nervous about the whole affair, and although willing to see Nelson fight, also took the precaution of flying the recall signal. This was the event in which Nelson famously put his telescope to his bad eye and commented that he could see no such signal, and then in aside saying he was entitled to turn a blind eye from time to time (he wasn't actually bind in that eye, but everyone got the point). Hyde was recalled, and Nelson left in command of the fleet. After completing the negotiations with the Danes, he sailed east to confront the Russians, as conditions were improving to the point that the Russians and Swedes could come out of their winter bases. He kept well to the south, so as not to get a nasty surprise from the Swedes--apparently, he was unimpressed with any possibility of a threat by the Prussians. He arrived off Reval and sent in a message to the Russian commander, who testily replied that they weren't going to talk to anyone who showed up in Russians waters with a war fleet. The point was made, though--the armed neutrality of the north was ended, and the RN went right on stopping and searching neutral shipping.

I have always found the story of the Russian navy fascinating. Petr Alexeevitch dragged the Russians kicking and screaming into the then modern world of the 18th century, and there was nothing they hated so much as his navy. But the Navy certain gave him--a.k.a. Peter the Great--good service.
0 Replies
 
Skibaba
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 05:28 am
Who needs a navy, when you have siberian winters to help you. If I were a Ruski, I wouldnt even bother with boats. Maybe a few boats as bait, then when some foreign armada sails into your waters, ask good ol' mr freeze for a hand.
Bullets, cannons, shrapnel are all fine. But do they really compare to the weather?


Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 05:55 am
@Skibaba,
Petr Alexeevitch first constructed a navy to support his campaign against the Crimean Tatars, who, supported by the Turks, had raided into Russia (the Ukraine) for centuries. His use of a fleet accomplished the purpose of taking Azov. Every previous attempt had ended in miserable failure, and in fact, the two spectacular failures of his half-sister Sophia's lover, Golitsyn (sp?) had lead to the discontent which he was able to exploit to put her away and assume the imperial power. His own first attempt on Azov failed as miserably, so he went back to Moscow, rounded up every westerner with any ship-building skills (there were a lot of Dutchmen in Russia--his father, Alexei Mikhailovitch, actually started the "westernization" of Russia) and began building a fleet. The following year, he took Azov, and built a base at Taganrog. When he became embroiled in the Great Northern War, this gave him a bargaining position with the Turks. So that he could turn all of his attentions to the Swedes, he came to an agreement with the Turks, and withdrew his Black Sea fleet, and handed Taganrog over to the Turks--he would not give back Azov, and the Turks were required to agree not to support the Crimean Tatars in attacks on Russia. He would never have had such a strong negotiating position without his navy.

In the Great Northern War, he used boat actions on Lake Ladoga to drive in the Swedes, and then successfully assaulted their fortress at Noteborg, which was situated on an island at the outlet of Lake Ladoga, where the River Neva began. He then marched and sailed down the river to its mouth, where Swedish frigates on patrol got out of Dodge, because they were already aware of the what Russians could do in a boat action (a traditional and effective naval method for taking ships), and they didn't intend to lose their ships to the Russians. It was there, at the mouth of the Neva, that he established his new capital of St. Petersburg. Part and parcel of the foundation of that city was the establishment of the great naval base at Kronstadt.

After the Azov campaign, and before the Great Northern War, Petr travelled in the west, including a stint building a ship in the Dutch shipyards at Amsterdam, and visits to Venice to learn about making galleys (he established a great arsenal for his navy on the south bank of the Neva at St. Petersburg in emulation of the legendary Arsenal at Venice), and a stay in London to study ship building. He ordered Russian families to send their sons to Amsterdam, London and Venice to learn ship building. The row-galleys which were so important in naval warfare in the Mediterranean were used to great effect by the Russians in the Great Norther War in the Baltic. Building these galleys in St. Petersburg, they used them in the coastal waters of Finland in the campaign to drive out the Swedes. The Russian galleys could move without reference to the wind, and could go into waters where the Swedish frigates and brigs dared not follow them. Later in the war, Russian galley fleets would dash across from Helsingfors (modern Helsinki) and land cavalry in Sweden who raided to the very gates of Stockholm. Stockholm is situated on the islands of an archipelago at the outlet of a river into the Baltic, and it eventually became unsafe for any Swedish vessel which wasn't either heavily armed or convoyed by warships to attempt to leave or enter Stockholm. The Russians made the Gulf of Bothnia a Russian lake (when it wasn't frozen over, of course). The value of the Russian Navy in Petr's campaigns in the Great Northern War cannot be sufficiently stressed, and are ignored by far too many historians.

The Russian navy was built and became a world-class power faster than has ever been the case in any other nation. Within less than 20 years, the Russian navy became a force to be reckoned with on the terms of professional European navies of the day, and showed a flexibility that most fleets lacked. Twenty years after the foundation of the United States (counting from the constitutional convention in 1787), HMS Leopard forced USS Chesapeake to haul her wind, and when the captain of Leopard demanded the right to search Chesapeake for alleged deserters, the American captain refused--Leopard fired into Chesapeake, killing and wounding about two dozen crew members, and searched her anyway, taking four men out of her.

In 1801, the Russians would not come out to play with Admiral Nelson, but Nelson sure as hell wasn't going in after them, either. All in all, the Russians have every right to be proud of their navy, and despite disasters such as the Russo-Japanese war, her navy has served Russia well.
0 Replies
 
 

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