Rigging of guns on HMS Victory

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I had looked at many pictures of guns rigging from HMS Victory museum. I cannot understand how the thin rope rigging with blocks and hooks is designed. Is each one with two double blocks or it is with one double and one single block? It also looks as the loose end is being threaded through hook rings on each end. After that end is thied over the center of the rope rigging bunch. Am I correct? Please help. Here is sample picture.

12lb long gun upper deck 30 total.jpg
 
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Also I do not know how the rope end were tied around the block. Looks mysterious. How the ends were ended so the loop does not got untied?

block.jpg
 
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Whipped eye splices for stropped blocks. I think that your second from left tackle and fall is correct as there was a balance between effort to outhaul for rapid firing that need to take precedence in over how many gun crew needed to work the tackle on each side. There is also an interesting balance in the recoil control between what the large restraining hawser allowed and shared with the side outhaul tackles before everything came to a halt with the extent of the recoil hawser which has to be long enough for the inhaul tackle to bring the barrel a short distance inboard for clearing and loading the next shot. Remember that the worm, swabbing, and ram rods were longer than that short distance aboard so that the gun crew member or members were likely partly outside of the gunport. With heave charges the whole carriage could jump off of the deck which stressed the deck and beams beneath. Think about a simultaneous broadside force and that of a rolling broadside. A lot more going on than what is often considered in a ship build. Just some thoughts. Rich (PT-2)
Also I do not know how the rope end were tied around the block. Looks mysterious. How the ends were ended so the loop does not got untied?
 
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Whipped eye splices for stropped blocks. I think that your second from left tackle and fall is correct......
Thanks. This sounds good! Now it is time to make some sheave blocks only 2 mm high and 2 mm long hooks. I figured out this is what is required to rig my guns at 1:90 scale.
 
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Thanks. This sounds good! Now it is time to make some sheave blocks only 2 mm high and 2 mm long hooks. I figured out this is what is required to rig my guns at 1:90 scale.
One actual firing process detail that is not included in any of the kit or scratch cannons that I have seen but visible in the HMS Victory cannon photo is the "apron" that was placed over the vent hole. Right after firing the gun captain would place a gloved thumb over the vent to prevent any air entering the bore for an accidental explosion of any residue while it was wormed, swabbed, and then reloaded. Once things were clear a leather apron was placed over the vent for the same purpose and only removed when the charge was pricked with a long quill and primed for firing be removed for toughing it off with a slow match rod, or pulling a flint-lock firing devise with a lanyard. Of course if the guns were not in action, as the flat coiled falls are presented, there would be no need for the apron. Likewise I don't see that coil on the deck of the Victory photo as before use the tackles and falls would have been hung up or placed tightly alongside the carriage to not present tripping problems moving about the decks. Doesn't make a "neat looking" model though like a good coil laid down does. Two hand crows (about 5 feet long were needed to move the carriage laterally as the gun captain direct in aiming. We often see ball shot but not the other implements as small scales. Maybe some other Naval Artillery SoS members with other information and references can provide. My own come primarily from Jean B's volume on gunnery and working the great guns. Always open to learn and revise as needed. Rich (PT-2)
 

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The rigging shown in the photos is no fish and no meat.
tackles are stored partly like during sailing and the gun out Ready for action.
This photo should not be a used as a template.

Usually it was a double block at the wall and a single block like @Y.T. mentioned already

12pounder.jpg 1584526095213.png

canhão antigo 10.jpg canhão antigo 11.jpg

canhão antigo 12.jpg

cannon 16.jpg
 
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Hello everybody,
Since I have an exhaustive documentation on the H.M.S. Victory (I started a model at 1:96 scale 40 years ago and is still not finished!!!)
let me give you here below an excerpt of the excellent book "The Anatomy of Nelson's ships" by C. Nepean Longridge which leaves no doubt for how the gun tackles are to be rigged (pages 109 and 110)
I don't know what the scale of your model is but in my case it was quite a challenge to do the job!!!
I hope to have been useful
Denis
Gun tackle 109.jpgGun tackle 110.jpg
 
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Hello everybody,
Since I have an exhaustive documentation on the H.M.S. Victory (I started a model at 1:96 scale 40 years ago and is still not finished!!!)
let me give you here below an excerpt of the excellent book "The Anatomy of Nelson's ships" by C. Nepean Longridge which leaves no doubt for how the gun tackles are to be rigged (pages 109 and 110)
I don't know what the scale of your model is but in my case it was quite a challenge to do the job!!!
I hope to have been useful
Denis
View attachment 194377View attachment 194378
Yes, those are excellent plan/details with accompanying text of the carriage assembly. I wonder if the same carriage design was consistent across the years or if it may have varied with different makers. . . same question with the barrels themselves as the two have to match, changing one affects the other. For consistency I think that making a small assembly/setting jig will give you consistent accuracy in the assembly. Just a thought. Rich (PT-2)
 
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Hello everybody,
Since I have an exhaustive documentation on the H.M.S. Victory (I started a model at 1:96 scale 40 years ago and is still not finished!!!)
let me give you here below an excerpt of the excellent book "The Anatomy of Nelson's ships" by C. Nepean Longridge which leaves no doubt for how the gun tackles are to be rigged (pages 109 and 110)
I don't know what the scale of your model is but in my case it was quite a challenge to do the job!!!
I hope to have been useful
Denis
View attachment 194377View attachment 194378
Hello everybody,
Since I have an exhaustive documentation on the H.M.S. Victory (I started a model at 1:96 scale 40 years ago and is still not finished!!!)
let me give you here below an excerpt of the excellent book "The Anatomy of Nelson's ships" by C. Nepean Longridge which leaves no doubt for how the gun tackles are to be rigged (pages 109 and 110)
I don't know what the scale of your model is but in my case it was quite a challenge to do the job!!!
I hope to have been useful
Denis
View attachment 194377View attachment 194378
Denis & PT-2 - Info of great help for this amateur historian. New to SoS so wondering, Denis, if you saw my query re mast heights circa 1:20 PST just now.
Thx. WmRussell
 
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Hello WmRussell and PT-2
WmRussell, no I missed your query about masts and spars but if you need dimensions/details I will be glad to scan for you anything you need.
PT-2, since Y.T. is building the 1805 version of the Victory, I think that he should stick to the documents such as C.Nepean Longridge, John McKay and Alan Mc Gowan. Here I would like to add even in these books there are differences not only for the armament but for many other features of the said version.
Furthermore, after a chat with Portsmouth curator of the Museum some years ago, I was informed that the 1954 restoration was the closest to the 1805
condition. Therefore do not base your construction on photos of the recent restorations.
As an example, the breeching of the upper deck guns should be tared and not natural rope!!!! So should also be all the external nets...
It rests with the modeler's decision!!!!!!!!
For you to have an idea of the 1:96 scale I attach the following picture....
Happy modeling to all of youIMG_3611.jpg
 
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Denis - Thanks RE HMS Victory. Long explanation follows:
For the not-to-be-published book I am writing, and even though I have extensive information on made-mast dimensions (James Lees, etc. etc.) I'm trying to get close (+/- a foot or two) to the effective working heights of the tops (the platforms), trees, and pole hounds, and trucks for Victory's mizzen, main, and foremast. These are so I can work out the effective horizon under various conditions of sea, weather, etc. Some say Victory's poop was 55ft above WL, but that would depend on whether she was in ballast, partially loaded and provisioned, or setting off with six months of water, stores, provisions and more or less a full complement.
On top of these nuances, the effective height of eye for the average 5'6" sailor would also be influenced (slightly) by the masts' being raked aft. So, approximation is needed for the waterline, and I do not know whether a draught waterline was in ballast or other. To me the most logical working waterline would have been a so-called average which would allow a man to step from, say a barge's gunwale, to the first batten -- something like that.
Masting proportions are fine, fun to calculate, and more fun to extrapolate, but it all comes down to the heel step (etc.) and mast head overlaps in relation to the effective water-line, and the fact that as built seldom follows as intended. Close it good enough, but I'd like close to have some expertise behind it.
Thanks, WmRussell
 
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Since you are not actually building a model but writing about the subject, I would suggest you to have a close look at "The anatomy of Nelson's ships (I mentioned this book before) where you can find accurate explanations of the original (1805) mast and spars descriptions. Otherwise you could contact Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as I did. They are always ready to give information.
Regards
Denis
 
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Since you are not actually building a model but writing about the subject, I would suggest you to have a close look at "The anatomy of Nelson's ships (I mentioned this book before) where you can find accurate explanations of the original (1805) mast and spars descriptions. Otherwise you could contact Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as I did. They are always ready to give information.
Regards
Denis
+
 
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Denis - Thank you for the reply.To this untrained eye for modeling (though I have rebuilt and masted an all-oceans-capable SV) the photo of the 100-gun vessel (do I assume it is HMS Victory?) looks like a fine work of masterful craftsmanship.
I will reach out to PHDockyard yet again, and, when I can afford to buy Victory's anatomy book, will do so. I hope to find from one of those sources the effective, in-place working heights AWL with mast overlaps settled to the realities of cheeks, hounds, trestles, trees, &c. Because I already have the general mast and spar dimensions issued during the 18th century and forward through the 19th it's tough to tell under which standards Victory was masted when she was finally brought into service and possibly set with one or more replacement top masts (of slightly different dimensions) on occasion prior to 21 Oct 1805.
Regard,
WmRussell
 
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Very interesting. I have a question about the gun crews. Was there a crew for every gun on the ship? It would seem unlikely to me for a ship to be firing from both sides simultaneously. Or would a crew have a gun on each side?
Also, I read here recently that a large gun would have a crew of up to 14 men! I can't imagine the chaos during battle.
 
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Tommyg - The rule of thumb for the great or long guns was 500 pounds per man. Some authors have written of 7 men and a boy for an 18 pounder and 15 men and a boy for a 32 pounder. Other sages say it took 10-15% of the "people" to sail the ship, implying that the remaining 85-90% could work the guns which, perforce, had to include carronades.
Patrick O'Brien's brief book Men-of-War (WW Norton and Co.) provides a table of long guns and carronades by shot weight and cwt (British hundred-weight) allowing some approximation from the 500lb rule.
e.g. guns: 32 lbr 55cwt 22 lb; 24 lbr 50 cwt 21 lb; 18 lbr 42 cwt 21 lb; 12 lbr (long) 34 cwt 31 lb.
e.g. carronades: 68 lbr 36 cwt; 32 lbr 17 cwt 14 lb; 24 lbr 11 cwt 2 qr 25 lb. But consider that with the carronades being on slides and having pivot pins the 500 lb per man rule would not apply. And, note that cwt "then" was not what we'd now assume it to be.
Also, any vessel fighting both sides (even one side) could not remain intact for long, so I think crew available vs crew in theory would be a moving target, no pun intended. Further, idlers, such as those at the carpenter's walk during battle, were clearly not sailing the vessel. How the foregoing percentages are derived is not clearly explained in any of the books at my disposal.
However, if you want to read up on a noteworthy frigate fighting both sides, read of Captain William Hoste's Amphion at the battle of Vis (Lissa).
Please post any more useful information or corrections you come up with.
 
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Tommyg - The rule of thumb for the great or long guns was 500 pounds per man. Some authors have written of 7 men and a boy for an 18 pounder and 15 men and a boy for a 32 pounder. Other sages say it took 10-15% of the "people" to sail the ship, implying that the remaining 85-90% could work the guns which, perforce, had to include carronades.
Patrick O'Brien's brief book Men-of-War (WW Norton and Co.) provides a table of long guns and carronades by shot weight and cwt (British hundred-weight) allowing some approximation from the 500lb rule.
e.g. guns: 32 lbr 55cwt 22 lb; 24 lbr 50 cwt 21 lb; 18 lbr 42 cwt 21 lb; 12 lbr (long) 34 cwt 31 lb.
e.g. carronades: 68 lbr 36 cwt; 32 lbr 17 cwt 14 lb; 24 lbr 11 cwt 2 qr 25 lb. But consider that with the carronades being on slides and having pivot pins the 500 lb per man rule would not apply. And, note that cwt "then" was not what we'd now assume it to be.
Also, any vessel fighting both sides (even one side) could not remain intact for long, so I think crew available vs crew in theory would be a moving target, no pun intended. Further, idlers, such as those at the carpenter's walk during battle, were clearly not sailing the vessel. How the foregoing percentages are derived is not clearly explained in any of the books at my disposal.
However, if you want to read up on a noteworthy frigate fighting both sides, read of Captain William Hoste's Amphion at the battle of Vis (Lissa).
Please post any more useful information or corrections you come up with.
This is a conversation of details well over my head but of interest in better understanding the "fog of war" during such events. Thanks to both of you for my ability to "eavesdrop" from a nook in the corner. Rich (PT-2)
 
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