View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:00 am



Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
 Gun Drill 
Author Message
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:32 pm
Posts: 2960
Location: Hawaii
Post Gun Drill
I'm sure most of the members here have heard of the practice of captains buying shot and powder out of their own pockets for gun drill.

How much did the shot and powder cost and where would those items be bought from? The Ordnance? Or private dealers?

I was also wondering how widespread this practice was. Does anyone know of any contemporary accounts which mention details?

I found a reference in the United Service Journal (1829 - Part II) in a short article on 10-gun brigs (p. 16):

"...that every ship in commission is allowed at the rate of eight rounds shotted, and the same number blank, for practice, every two months."

Does anyone know when the above allowance was initiated?

_________________
I have the honour to be, &c.
susan


Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:44 pm
Profile YIM
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
Posts: 2747
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Post 


....interesting! Yes, we're always reading how captain's had to fork out for extra powder and shot. It would be equally interesting to have some more information on the subject.


_________________
- Mil -
aka Mary ....


Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:43 am
Profile YIM
Commander

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Australia
Post 
The Regulations and Instructions of 1806 contain the following directions to the Gunner:

“XXI
He is to supply, at such times as the Captain shall direct, ammunition for the guns and musketry, not exceeding in each month for the first six months after the guns are first received on board, one charge of powder and one round shot for one third of the number of the upper deck guns, in Ships of two or three decks; or one fourth for Ships of one deck; and, twelve charges of musket cartridges with ball, and twenty-four without ball, for each man of one third part of the Seamen of the Ship's company, and for all the Marines; not exceeding, after the first six months, one half that quantity for the guns, or muskets. “

It would appear from this clause that a "standard" 38 gun frigate (Leda Class) in commission for six months with 28 guns on her Upper Deck would have been allowed 3.5 charges and round shot per month for practice purposes.


Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:11 am
Profile
Lieutenant

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:25 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Boston
Post Re: Gun Drill
susan wrote:
I'm sure most of the members here have heard of the practice of captains buying shot and powder out of their own pockets for gun drill.

How much did the shot and powder cost?...


When Captain Aubrey paid for extra practice powder, it cost him 8 guineas per barrel. Fiction, of course, but Patrick O'Brian rarely used such figures unless he had a reliable source.

Across the Atlantic, the US Navy was paying $60 per barrel, according to a line item in the Treasury budget for 1814. The exchange rate for that year was about $4.25 = £1.

Don Seltzer


Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:21 pm
Profile
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:32 pm
Posts: 2960
Location: Hawaii
Post Re: Gun Drill
Don Seltzer wrote:
When Captain Aubrey paid for extra practice powder, it cost him 8 guineas per barrel. Fiction, of course, but Patrick O'Brian rarely used such figures unless he had a reliable source.

There is no doubt POB did his research, but, as you wrote, it is fiction. I was looking for some actual references to the practice.

Is this something that actually happened or is it something that has become "fact" through authors just assuming it was done, because they read it somewhere else, without checking?

_________________
I have the honour to be, &c.
susan


Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:01 pm
Profile YIM
Lieutenant

Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:53 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Near Boston, MA, USA
Post Re: Gun Drill
susan wrote:
Don Seltzer wrote:
When Captain Aubrey paid for extra practice powder, it cost him 8 guineas per barrel. Fiction, of course, but Patrick O'Brian rarely used such figures unless he had a reliable source.

There is no doubt POB did his research, but, as you wrote, it is fiction. I was looking for some actual references to the practice.

Is this something that actually happened or is it something that has become "fact" through authors just assuming it was done, because they read it somewhere else, without checking?


I'm certain the example used by the fiction writers is Phillip Broke of the Shannon. I don't remember where I read about him spending his own money on extra gunpowder, but I do remember my reaction of "Aha! So that's where the fiction writers got that trope!" Most all the fictional heroes used this device to train their men in marksmanship and rate of fire.

Hope that helps narrow down the search!

-clash

_________________
clash bowley
Flying Mice Games - an Imprint of Better Mousetrap Games
In Harm's Way:A Napoleonic Naval RPG


Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:43 pm
Profile WWW
Commander

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Australia
Post Re: Gun Drill
Don Seltzer wrote:
When Captain Aubrey paid for extra practice powder, it cost him 8 guineas per barrel. Fiction, of course, but Patrick O'Brian rarely used such figures unless he had a reliable source.

Across the Atlantic, the US Navy was paying $60 per barrel, according to a line item in the Treasury budget for 1814. The exchange rate for that year was about $4.25 = £1.



This cost differential may have been caused by the cessation of imports due to trhe British blockade during the War of 1812.

The same thing happened in 1808 during the Embargo against Britain. The price of gunpowder in the USA almost doubled.


Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:51 am
Profile
Lieutenant
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 2:40 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Rochester, NY
Post Re: Gun Drill
Don Seltzer wrote:
Across the Atlantic, the US Navy was paying $60 per barrel, according to a line item in the Treasury budget for 1814. The exchange rate for that year was about $4.25 = £1.

Don Seltzer


The US Navy was getting some of its powder from the Bellona Mills in Belleville, NJ. The mill was owned by the firm of Bullus, Decatur and Rucker. John Bullus, was a former navy surgeon who became Navy Agent at New York. John Decatur, his partner was the younger brother of Stephan Decatur. "The mills were destroyed by explosion" in April, 1814.
PT


Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:11 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 8 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.