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The carronade was a short gun developed by the Carron Company, a Scottish ironworks, in 1778. Known as a "Smasher," it was half the weight of an equivalent long gun, but could throw a heavy ball over a limited distance.

Because of irregularities in the size of cannon balls and the difficulty of boring out gun barrels there was usually a considerable gap between the ball and the bore -- often as much as a quarter of an inch -- with a consequent loss of efficiency. This gap was known as the "windage." The manufacturing practices introduced by the Carron Company reduced the windage considerably.

The carronade was mounted on a sliding carriage with ropes to restrain the recoil. Lack of range against an opponent who could keep well clear and still use his long guns led to its disappearence.

Originally from http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/gen1.htm, with the author's permission.

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