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British 24-pound Cannon Ball

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This simple iron ball was a form of ammunition that could wreak havoc when shot from a gun (cannon) and blasted across the decks or into the hulls of warships in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Long guns, so-called because of their longer barrels, loaded with 24-pound balls (or shot) were referred to as “24-pounder long guns.” The weight of the ball combined with the length of the gun was an efficient and effective weapon used by many maritime nations at the time. Larger ships-of-the-line in the Royal Navy carried such guns as their secondary battery, but both British and American large frigates carried the 24-pounders as their primary battery.

This ball is engraved with the broad arrow that marks it as British government property. A casting mark is still visible where the sides of the mold met.

Date Created
1775-1840

Medium
Iron

Dimensions
[Diam]5 1/2 in.

Catalog Number
2123.1

Credit Line
USS Constitution Museum Collection. Paul and Philip Garber Gift.

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