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 Grenades 
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Lieutenant
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Location: East of everywhere, Canada
Post Grenades
I've been hunting here & elsewhere, looking for some information on grenades. As usual, have spent a lot of time wandering all over the internet & getting distracted by other age-of-sail-y things...
Can someone provide some good references with some details on the use of grenades that would apply to the 1790s? I've found references to them, (like the Bonhomme Richard sailor on the yardarm -- I like that bit :P ). But ... a good description of their use? I'm picturing an iron shell full of powder with a fuse, but also came across a rather confusing snippet from 1691 I think it was, about how to make them, out of musket balls & twine & paste...??
Is this something they could make aboard ship or were they issued with the rest of the ordnance? How many might a small ship (6th rate) have? How long to blow up, or did the fuse length vary? Lit with a slowmatch, I assume? How big a bang? Did they have anything to lob them with, any slingshotty things, or were they limited to throwing by hand?
Sorry if these are dumb questions... I know the information is out there somewhere, but as with so many of the little details I'm looking for, after hours of browsing & reading, sometimes it helps to have a hint from someone who knows "where".
Thanks for any help!

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Alison

...life on land is DRY :(


Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:47 am
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Try "The Sea-Gunner's Vade-Mecum"; Page 162, I think.

http://books.google.com/books?id=aztFAA ... q=&f=false


Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:04 am
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Location: East of everywhere, Canada
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Thanks... heh -- in between posting, & reading your reply, I had found & downloaded this. It's been very interesting, & I've found some other useful information but it's a little sketchy on grenades. Says you can fire them out of a 6-pounder; presumably you wouldn't light them first... or there wouldn't be time to load...? Would the act of firing, light them...?
And still haven't found out how many a small frigate might have.
Thanks for the reference.

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Alison

...life on land is DRY :(


Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:24 pm
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The sea service hand grenade was an iron sphere 3.49 inches in diameter into which was fitted a beechwood fuse. The diameter of a six pounder was 3.668 inches. It was customary to allow a quarter of an inch windage with all bombs/shells fired from guns at this period so this fit would be rather tighter. The hand grenade weighed 3 lb 11.5 ounces. The fuse had a burning time of 9 seconds. A Sixth Rate carried 100 hand grenades with 10 extra fuses (which indicates a malfunction expectation of up to 10%). They were carried in boxes, 20 to a box. The explosion of the charge of powder (reduced?) in the gun would suffice to light the fuse.


Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:59 pm
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Location: East of everywhere, Canada
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Cool.
I am halfway through the gunnery manual. Had got to the sizes & description, was guessing at the burning time based on what it said about other fuses & lengths. Assume the quantity is from the half I haven't read yet?
Thanks for the information :)

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Alison

...life on land is DRY :(


Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:02 pm
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I came across this page this morning. Thought it mught be of interest

http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Weaponry/Seller%281691%29_p196.html

Cy


Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:45 am
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