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Old 25th February 2009, 05:20 AM   #24
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Originally Posted by M ELEY
Thanks Michael for posting that pic from the web. You are a better web-searcher than I am, because I haven't been able to find many pics of chain or bar-shot.

Steve, I have also wondered that same question many times. It would seem the force of the blast would have broken these relatively delicate-looking chains. Perhaps the chains were wrapped in protective material that would come apart in flight? Or perhaps the charge used wasn't as powerful due to it being more of a close-range shot? I have heard that hot shot was fired using low charge so that the ball would embed into the decking and burn rather than shoot right through. Comments about this, anyone? Anyway,check out the following link about what I mentioned concerning the anti-personnel chain shot. Rather interesting, if ineffective

Interesting thoughts Mark! It seems that I have seen references noting that the chains did in fact come apart or shatter in many cases, creating a notably gruesome cluster of shrapnel, but often not carrying out the scything effect intended with the whirling projectiles.
I would think also that brittle iron in these might account for such shattering and separating effects with these joined cannon balls crashing into the chain at ignition. If the chain was draped outside the barrel as suggested, the force of the cannonballs would seem to tear loose the attachments.

These obviously produced for effect chained cannonball projectiles seem like they must have been used as described, but with low charges and very close range. It would be interesting to hear narrated accounts of these weapons as actually used.

All best regards,

Michael, in rereading this thread I just noticed your kind comments on my grandfather, thank you! He sounded like quite a character, and was still being interviewed as a Civil War veteran in the late 1930's, he died at 102.

All the best,
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