Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Pivot Guns

  1. #1
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default Pivot Guns

    As I've been on the search for fun unrated vessels and reading up on War of 1812 battles on the Great Lakes, I've been coming across craft with pivot guns. Do any of you have experience playing with these?

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    13,222
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    Never tried anything other than chasers myself.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  3. #3
    Captain of the Fleet
    Master & Commander
    UK

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    South Glos
    Log Entries
    1,683
    Name
    Chris

    Default

    Dont know much about this weapon, was it a crew reduction gun or used against the vessel?

  4. #4
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default

    It was a full sized gun on a pivoting mount located above the centerline of the vessel.

    http://www.thenrg.org/resources/jour...-1_article.pdf
    Last edited by jasonb; 04-30-2019 at 06:07.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    13,222
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    A pivot gun was a type of cannon mounted on a fixed central emplacement which permitted it to be moved through a wide horizontal arc. They were a common weapon aboard ships and in land fortifications for several centuries but became obsolete after the invention of gun turrets.

    History.

    By mounting a cannon on a pivot, a much wider arc of fire could be obtained than was possible with conventional carriage-mounted cannons. Unlike the latter, however, pivot guns were fixed in one place and could not easily be moved outside of their horizontal arc; they could thus only really be used in fixed positions such as in a fort or on a battleship.

    Name:  Pivot_gun_usnavy.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  68.2 KB

    There was no standard size of pivot gun, though they tended to be fairly substantial weapons. Like other cannons, they were muzzleloaders and could fire either shells or grapeshot (or other types of shot). Their calibers ranged from a few inches to the giant 11-inch Dahlgren guns used by the United States Navy in the mid-19th century.
    Pivot guns had a major disadvantage in warfare: they were very difficult to protect in battle and were necessarily very exposed, as they lay close to the surface of a ship's deck and required an open field of view. In the late 19th century they were replaced by "disappearing guns" and ultimately by turrets, which enabled a broad arc of fire while providing the gunners with all-round protection from incoming fire.

    Pivot guns should not be confused with swivel guns, a much smaller type of ordnance

    Name:  CAN04-1-800x611.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  102.2 KB


    Frontier Swivel guns were used principally aboard sailing ships, serving as short-range anti-personnel ordnance. They were not ship-sinking weapons, due to their small caliber and short range, but could do considerable damage to anyone caught in their line of fire.




    Name:  Swivel_gun.jpg
Views: 50
Size:  133.2 KB


    A swivel gun at Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
    The term swivel gun usually refers to a small cannon, mounted on a swiveling stand or fork which allows a very wide arc of movement. Another type of firearm referred to as a swivel gun was an early flintlock combination gun with two barrels that rotated along their axes to allow the shooter to switch between rifled and smoothbore barrels.

    Swivel guns should not be confused with pivot guns, which were far larger weapons mounted on a horizontal pivot, or screw guns, which are a mountain gun with a segmented barrel.

    An older term for the type is peterero (alternative spellings include "paterero" and "pederero"). The name was taken from the Spanish name for the gun, pedrero, a combination of the word piedra (stone) and the suffix -ero (-er), because stone was the first type of ammunition fired.


    Configuration.

    Swivel guns are among the smallest types of cannon, typically measuring less than 1 m (3.3 ft) in length and with a bore diameter of up to 3.5 cm (1 12 in). They can fire a variety of ammunition but were generally used to fire grapeshot and small caliber round shot. They were aimed through the use of a wooden handle, somewhat similar in shape to a baseball bat, attached to the breech of the weapon.

    Most swivel guns were muzzleloaders, but there were some breech-loading swivel guns as early as the 14th century, making them among the first such examples of this type of weapon (see cetbang). Breech-loading swivel guns had a breech shaped like a beer mug, which the gunner would take by the handle and insert into the body of the swivel gun with the breech's opening facing forwards. The gunpowder and projectiles were loaded into the breech before it was inserted into the gun. If a number of breeches were prepared beforehand, the gunner could maintain a high rate of fire for a brief period simply by swapping out the used breech and replacing it with a freshly loaded one.

    Applications.


    Name:  _swivel_gun.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  157.5 KB

    A swivel gun mounted on the American topsail schooner Lynx.

    Swivel guns were used principally aboard sailing ships, serving as short-range anti-personnel ordnance. They were not ship-sinking weapons, due to their small caliber and short range, but could do considerable damage to anyone caught in their line of fire. They were especially useful against deck-to-deck boarders, against approaching longboats bearing boarding parties, and against deck gun crews when ships were hull-to-hull.

    Due to their relatively small size, swivel guns were highly portable and could be moved around the deck of a ship quite easily (and certainly much more easily than other types of cannon). They could be mounted on vertical timbers (pillars) which were either part of the ship's structure or were firmly bolted to that structure along either side, which provided the gunner with a reasonably steady platform from which to fire. Their portability enabled them to be installed wherever they were most needed; whereas larger cannon were useless if they were on the wrong side of the ship, swivel guns could be carried across the deck to face the enemy.

    The small size of swivel guns enabled them to be used by a wide variety of vessels, including those too small to accommodate larger cannons, and also permitted their use on land; they were commonly issued to forts in North America in the 18th century, and Lewis and Clark took one with them on their famous expedition into the American interior in 1804. Swivel guns also had peaceful uses. They were used for signalling purposes and for firing salutes, and also found uses in whaling, where bow-mounted swivel guns were used to fire harpoons, and fowling, where swivel guns mounted on punts were used to shoot flocks of waterfowl .

    Swivel guns were extensively used by the kingdoms and empires of Asia, particularly China, Korea, and kingdoms in Nusantara. Majapahit conquest (1335-1350) is fought using breech-loading swivel guns called cetbang by Majapahit navy, against more traditional boarding style warfare of other kingdoms in Nusantara. The first Chinese swivel guns were cast as early as 1520 after being introduced from Europe, and Korea followed suit by the 1560s. During the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598), Korean naval forces used swivel guns and larger cannon to great effect in interdicting the invading Japanese forces.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  7. #7
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default

    It would be interesting to play around with the strategic implications of a 360-degree firing arc dealing out weak amounts of damage.

  8. #8
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    13,222
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    The Pivot gun you show on US Hamilton, works very much like a Mortar excepting for the lack of elevation which necessitated the deck strengthening for the latter. I would think that as a medium sort of gun firing on a slide similar to a Carronade it could dole out about the same damage as a chase gun. Quite deadly at close range to any more flimsily built vessel. Just watch out for your own masts and rigging.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  9. #9
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    The Pivot gun you show on US Hamilton, works very much like a Mortar excepting for the lack of elevation which necessitated the deck strengthening for the latter. I would think that as a medium sort of gun firing on a slide similar to a Carronade it could dole out about the same damage as a chase gun. Quite deadly at close range to any more flimsily built vessel. Just watch out for your own masts and rigging.
    Rob.
    Any suggestions on range and chits?

  10. #10
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    13,222
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    With the slightly lower free board than chasers, I would guess at maybe three quarters of the range of ordinary deck guns, but this is simply a guess. I allow shore based guns on eminent headlands one and a half rulers range so that would tie in with it. For any single gun I allow one A chit.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  11. #11
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default

    Here's a picture of the 18 pound pivot gun from the Texas Navy schooner Brutus (commissioned in 1836) at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.

    Name:  IMG-0852.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  149.1 KB

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral of the Red.
    Admiral
    UK

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Norfolk
    Log Entries
    5,301
    Name
    David

    Default

    Nice photograph, Jason.

  13. #13
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    13,222
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    That is quite a reasonable size for a pivot gun in a small ship. Is it as large as it appears to be Jason? If those bricks are standard size it must be about 7 feet long.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  14. #14
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default

    It is as big as it looks, but it's not actually terribly large for a pivot gun. 18-24 pounders seem pretty typical, and the General Armstrong actually managed to mount a 42-pounder (though technically modified from a 36-pound gun) during the American Revolution.

  15. #15
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default

    I posted these rule ideas on the "Oars" thread as well, but I thought I'd put them here too. I think that for pivot gun firing arcs, I may split the base diagonally into four sections/arcs more or less like the bases in X-Wing, if anyone is familiar with that. The pivot guns could use all four arcs with a turn to reload and one to change arc if desired. Reloading pivot guns could happen simultaneously with reloading a broadside if on a vessel with side mounted guns as well, like a schooner.

  16. #16
    2nd Lieutenant
    United States

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Delaware
    Log Entries
    989
    Name
    Eric

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
    I posted these rule ideas on the "Oars" thread as well, but I thought I'd put them here too. I think that for pivot gun firing arcs, I may split the base diagonally into four sections/arcs more or less like the bases in X-Wing, if anyone is familiar with that. The pivot guns could use all four arcs with a turn to reload and one to change arc if desired. Reloading pivot guns could happen simultaneously with reloading a broadside if on a vessel with side mounted guns as well, like a schooner.
    You could also think of pivots having a blind spot like rear gunners on WWI aircraft in WoG. That is you are not firing dead ahead or dead astern. Many of the converted merchant schooners in the great lakes used them, as you noted often a 24 lb long gun. I have a set of rules at home specifically designed for the Great Lakes "Prevailing Winds". They were written for the 15mm line of ships called Sea Eagles put out by Thoroughbred Miniatures. I have all the ships to do the Battle of Lake Erie (don't ask if they are built or painted ). There are some photos on the website showing pivots click on the product links.


    http://thoroughbredmodels.com/SeaEagles.htm

  17. #17
    Midshipman
    United States

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Log Entries
    308
    Name
    Jason

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeRuyter View Post
    You could also think of pivots having a blind spot like rear gunners on WWI aircraft in WoG. That is you are not firing dead ahead or dead astern.
    That's a good idea. I wonder how best to make it work with the other arcs. Maybe the center arc dot to the corners of the base?

  18. #18
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    13,222
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    A lot of the Bomb vessels had the foremast stepped back behind the forrard Mortar to avoid having a blind spot.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •