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 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 06:04 pm
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calcav
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Joined: Sat Jan 28th, 2006
Location: Corinth, MS
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Doug,

A 6ponder smoothbore (or a columbiad) could never be mistaken for a Napoleon. By definition a napoleon is a 12 pounder smoothbore gun. It was originally designed to fire the spherical case shot or shell of howitzers, the solid round shot of guns, or the cannister of both. In essence, a piece that could fire anything in the caisson. It was intended for the horizontal or direct fire of a gun as well as the curved or indirect fire of a howitzer. It didn't quite work out that way though; there is no powder chamber in a napoleon therefore it cannot operate as a howitzer.

In almost all cases a Union napoleon was bronze, had a flared muzzle, and weighed about 1,200 pounds (but not always). A Confederate napoleon often looked like its northern counterpart but could also be iron with a tapered barrel and a banded breech (looking quite like a Parrot).

The easist way to tell for sure is with a tape measure and a flash light. Look down the barrel and confirm there is no powder chamber then measure the muzzle. If its 4.62 inches you got a napoleon.

By the way, great idea for a board. I just love to talk artillery.

Tom

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