The effectiveness of hand-cannons – page 5 – historum – history forums gas jockey

If the arrows had fletching, then it would seem a lot of the exhaust gas from the gun would slip past the arrow, reducing tne effectiveness of the charge. Arquebus/musket balls/are just slightly unsized to the bore of the gun, but qn arrow with fletching would have to be undersized a bit more to the bore to make room for tne fletching, thus reducing the effectiveness and hence speed of the arrow compared to the bullet. I suppose ithe fletching could fold over, acting as a seal, if they were feathers or leather, but the fletching might not pop back up after it the barrel, reducing the arrow accuracy.

The energy of the hand cannos I have seen given as 1000 Joules, which matches the chart HackneyScribe gave. There is no reason the hand cannon bullet speed wouldn’t be comparable to other guns, the barrel of a hand cannon functions just the same as an arquebus and musket, just has less power due to shorter barrel. Biggest factor is gunpowder quality, which varied a lot. The ideal ration of ingredients nadn’t been settled on, although even in the 14th century some formula ratios were pretty close to modern ones.

The penetrating ability of the fire arrow might be comparable or more than that of a long barrel arquebus, and accuracy possibly better. Biggest factor against it is that you need a skilled craftsman to make the arrow heads, and another craftsman to fletch the arrow, but anyone could make lead balls. And 20 arquebus balls take up a lot less space, and are much easier to carry than 20 fire arrows.

If the arrows had fletching, then it would seem a lot of the exhaust gas from the gun would slip past the arrow, reducing tne effectiveness of the charge. Arquebus/musket balls/are just slightly unsized to the bore of the gun, but qn arrow with fletching would have to be undersized a bit more to the bore to make room for tne fletching, thus reducing the effectiveness and hence speed of the arrow compared to the bullet. I suppose ithe fletching could fold over, acting as a seal, if they were feathers or leather, but the fletching might not pop back up after it the barrel, reducing the arrow accuracy.

The energy of the hand cannos I have seen given as 1000 Joules, which matches the chart HackneyScribe gave. There is no reason the hand cannon bullet speed wouldn’t be comparable to other guns, the barrel of a hand cannon functions just the same as an arquebus and musket, just has less power due to shorter barrel. Biggest factor is gunpowder quality, which varied a lot. The ideal ration of ingredients nadn’t been settled on, although even in the 14th century some formula ratios were pretty close to modern ones.

The penetrating ability of the fire arrow might be comparable or more than that of a long barrel arquebus, and accuracy possibly better. Biggest factor against it is that you need a skilled craftsman to make the arrow heads, and another craftsman to fletch the arrow, but anyone could make lead balls. And 20 arquebus balls take up a lot less space, and are much easier to carry than 20 fire arrows.

Generally they had a wooden sabot-like block before the arrow to better seal the barrel. The fletching was either feathers on the rear end of the arrow inside the gun and thus pretty short, or else it was leather in the middle of the arrow outside the gun so made no difference.

The chart shows why the Chinese liked using the hand cannons. The Mongols were probably unlikely to wear armor that was as thick as 3 mm, and for less thick armor the hand cannons were powerful enough to do the job. Arquebus, with longer barrels, were probablu slower to reload.

For Europe, some of the plate arnmor was 3 mm thick, and only the arquebus and muskets would be powerful enough to penetrate it, handgonnes wouldn’t be powerful enough, and large wheellock or flintlock pistols had energies of around 400 J to 1000 J, comparable to a hand cannons. Little need for hand cannons in Europe once other weapons came along. If you could get by with less power than an arquebus, you could use pistols instead, which were easier to carry.

One thing on fire arrows is that you couldn’t sight them like a rifle. you had to guess when aiming, so even if they had the range, and flight accuracy, they were likely too difficult to accurately aim at a long distances. Even arquebus you could theoretically sight better for aiming, and you could add sights if you wanted, to improve aiming.

No, I’m not talking about fire arrows with rockets attached…. much less the viability of rocket arrows…… What gave you that idea? I’m saying that the article experimented with shooting FLETCHED arrows out of a barrel because it sounded like you were of the mind that adding fletchings would change the result of the experiment, when in fact the tested arrows already had fletchings…

If you are going to stuff an arrow with fletching down the barrel, there will be a lot of space for the exhaust of the gun powder charge to escape past around the shaft and between the fletching. That means the power imparted to tne arrow will be signifcantly less than that imparted to the ball for the same amount of gun powder, since the gap around the ball will be less than around the arrow. Even with greater penetrating efficiency, the loss in power imparted to the arrow might offset the greater penetrating ability of the arrow.

I don’t see how this loss in power could be preventing when you fletching on the arrow. If you move the fletching toward the arrow head so it is outisde the barrel, the unfletched stretch of rear shaft would make the arrow highly unstable and inaccurate, and if you tried to add a solid disk at the end of the arrow to act as a seal for the gun exhaust, significant power would be lost to drag, and a soft cloth patch wouldn’t seal around the arrow shaft between the fletchings. No matter how you look at it, a lot more gun exhuasr is going to escape around the shaft out the barrel instead of propelling the arrow forward, and so is wasted. That happens a little with a ball on a smooth bore, but the overall gap is less, and thus the losses less, although the arrow is more aerodynamically shaped.