Artillery gun : the types and range of fire .Overview of artillery shells from ancient to modern

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know what kind of troops respectfully called "the god of war?"Of course, artillery!Despite the development of missiles over the past fifty years, the role of the modern high-precision barrel systems are still extremely high.

history of

«Father" is considered to be the German guns Schwartz, but many historians agree that his merits in this case is fairly uncertain.So, the first mention of the use of conventional artillery on the battlefield belongs to 1354, but in the archives there are many papers that mention 1324.

no reason to believe that some artillery gun was not used before.By the way speaking, most mentions of such weapons can be found in old English manuscripts, and not in the German primary sources.So, especially notable in this regard is quite well-known treatise "On Duties of Kings", which was written in honor of Edward III.

Author King was a teacher, and the book itself was written in 1326 (the murder of Edward).In the text there is a detailed explanation of engravings, and therefore have to be guided only by implication.For example, in one of the illustrations depicted, beyond any doubt, it is a real gun, which resembles a large vase.We show how the neck of this "jug" big boom takes off, wrapped in clouds of smoke, and the distance is a knight, just podzhegshy powder using hot rod.

first appearance

As for China, which is likely to have invented gunpowder (a medieval alchemists discovered it three times, no less), there is every reason to assume that the first artillery general could experience even before the beginning of our era.Simply put, artillery, like all firearms, certainly much older than assumed.

In the era of Charles the Bold, these tools have been used in large quantities during the siege of fortresses, the walls of which had already been so effective remedy for the besieged.

Chronic stagnation

So why ancient peoples did not win with the help of "God of War" the whole world?It's simple - the gun early 14th century.and 18.They differ little from each other.They were clumsy, too heavy, provides a very poor accuracy.No wonder the first tools used to break down the walls (hard to miss!), As well as for shooting large accumulations of the enemy.In an era when enemy armies were at each other colorful columns, it also does not require high precision guns.

Do not forget about the disgusting as a powder, as well as its unpredictable properties: during the war with Sweden Russian gunners had sometimes three times to increase the sample rate, applied to the core enemy fortress at least some damage.Of course, the reliability of the instruments of this fact reflected frankly bad.There have been many cases where the calculation of artillery in the blast gun nothing left.

Other reasons

Finally, metallurgy.As in the case of steam locomotives, the invention is only rolling mills and in-depth research in the field of metallurgy give the necessary knowledge for the production of a truly reliable trunks.The creation of artillery shells for a long time provided the troops "monarchical" privileges on the battlefield.

Do not forget caliber artillery: in those years, they were calculated as based on the diameter of the cores used, as well as within the parameters of the barrel.Incredible confusion prevailed, but because the army would not be able to adopt something really unified.All this greatly hindered the development of the industry.

main varieties of ancient artillery systems

Now consider the main types of artillery, which in many cases actually helped to change history, breaking the course of the war in favor of a single state.As of 1620 it was decided to distinguish between the following types of instruments:

  • cannons from 7 to 12 inches.
  • Perriere.
  • falcon and minions ("Falcon").
  • Handheld tools from the breech loader.
  • Robinety.
  • mortars and bombards.

This list shows only "true" guns in more or less modern sense.But at that time in the army was a relatively large number of old cast-iron guns.The most typical are their representatives and kulevriny polukulevriny.By that time, it became clear that the giant cannon, which were to a large extent common in earlier periods, are worthless: the accuracy of their disgusting, the risk of explosion of the barrel is extremely large, and the time needed to recharge a lot.

Referring again to the times of Peter the historians of those years have noted that for each battery "unicorns" (kulevriny varieties) require hundreds of liters of vinegar.Its in a diluted form of water used to cool the overheated barrels of shots.

rarely met an old artillery gun with a caliber greater than 12 inches.Most often used kulevriny, the core of which weighed about 16 pounds (about 7.3 kg).In the field, it was very common falsconet, the core of which weighed only 2.5 pounds (about a kilo).Now let's consider the types of artillery pieces that were common in the past.

Comparative characteristics of some of the tools of antiquity

name instruments

Barrel length (in calibers)

Weight projectile kilogram

approximate range of effective firing (in meters)


There is a certain standard










About 400





Standard gun





There is a certain standard


Up to 200

kulevriny(ancient artillery gun with a long barrel)




«A half" kulevriny





No Information


About 300


No Information






If you carefully reviewed the table and saw a gun, do not be named not only clumsy and heavy guns that we remember from the films about the Musketeers, but a full-fledged artillery gun with a long barrel of small caliber.After all, imagine a "bullet", weighing 400 grams is very problematic!

Also, do not be surprised is listed kamnemetu.The fact is that, for example, the Turks in the times of Peter the vengeance used tube artillery, shoot kernels, carved out of stone.They are much less likely to break through the enemy ships right through, but often cause serious damage to the latter with the first volley.

Finally, all data are given in our table - approximate.Many types of ordnance remain forever forgotten, and ancient historians often not very versed in the characteristics and names of those guns that are used in large quantities during the siege of towns and fortresses.

Innovators, inventors

As we have said, cannon artillery for centuries was a weapon, which seemed forever frozen in its development.However, things quickly changed.As in many cases, innovations in warfare, the idea belonged to the officers of the fleet.

main problem cannon artillery on the ships was a serious space constraints, the complexity of making any maneuvers.Seeing all this, Mr. Melville and Mr. Gascoigne, who was in charge of production belonging to him, managed to create an amazing gun that today historians know called "karonada."On its trunk is not there pivots (anchorages for carriage).But it was a small eye, which quickly and easily can be inserted a steel rod.He clung tightly compact machine artillery.

The gun turned out the light and short, easy to handle.The approximate effective range of fire from it was about 50 meters.In addition, due to some of its design features the opportunity to fire projectiles with incendiary."Karonada" became so popular that Gascoigne soon moved to Russia, where talented artists of foreign origin have always been waiting for, has received the rank of general and the position of one of the advisers of Catherine.It was in those years, Russian artillery began to be developed and produced in a hitherto unseen scale.

modern artillery systems

As we noted at the beginning of this article, in the modern world the artillery had several "make room" under the influence of missiles.But this does not mean that conventional and rocket systems is no space left on the battlefield.Not at all!The invention of precision-guided missiles on GPS / GLONASS can confidently assert that the "natives" from the distant 12-13 century will continue to keep the enemy at bay.

conventional and rocket artillery: who is better?

Unlike traditional barrel rocket salvo systems installation practically do not give a tangible impact.In this they differ from any self-propelled or towed cannon, which in the process of bringing in a combat situation requires maximum dig around and securely fastened on the ground, as otherwise it may even capsize.Of course, that about any rapid change position is out of the question in principle, even if the self-propelled guns.

Reactive systems are fast and mobile, are just a few minutes to change its battle position.In principle, such machines can be fired even when driving, but it affects the accuracy of the shot badly.A disadvantage of such systems - their low accuracy.The same "Hurricane" can literally plow a few square kilometers, destroying almost everything alive, but this will require a whole battery of installations rather not cheap shells.These artillery pieces, photos of which you will find in the article, especially loved by domestic developers ("Katyusha").

a howitzer volley with "smart" projectile capable of destroying any modern tank on one attempt, while the battery rocket launchers and may require more than one volley.In addition, the "Tornado", "Hurricane", "Grad" and "Tornado" at the time of start-up will not be able to detect unless the blind men, because of smoke in the place produced notable.But such systems have one projectile can contain up to several hundreds of kg of explosives.

cannon artillery, because of their accuracy, can be used to bombard the enemy at the moment of its location close to their same positions.In addition, self-propelled artillery gun barreled able to conduct counter-battery fire, making it for many hours.In systems of salvo fire fairly quickly break in the trunks that do not contribute to their long-term use.

By the way speaking, in the first Chechen campaign used "Grad", who managed to war in Afghanistan.Wear trunks have been such that the shells flew sometimes in unpredictable directions.This often leads to a "covering" of their own soldiers.

best systems of salvo fire

The leaders will inevitably come artillery Russia "Tornado".They shoot projectiles caliber 122 mm at a distance of 100 kilometers.In one salvo can be fired up to 40 charges, which cover an area up to 84 thousand square meters.Cruising is neither more nor less - 650 kilometers.Coupled with the high reliability and gear speed to 60 km / h, it allows you to throw the battery "Tornado" in the right place and with minimal downtime.

The second is the effectiveness of the domestic 9K51 MLRS "Grad", after the notorious events in the South-East of Ukraine.Caliber - 122 mm, 40 trunks.It shoots at a distance of 21 kilometers in one go can "handle" area of ​​40 square kilometers.Cruising at a maximum speed of 85 km / h is as much as 1.5 thousand kilometers!

ranks third HIMARS cannon from the American manufacturer.Ammunition has an impressive caliber of 227 mm, but only six guiding few spoil the impression of the installation.Range shots - up to 85 kilometers at a time perhaps covering an area of ​​67 square kilometers.Travel speed - up to 85 km / h, cruising range of 600 kilometers.Well proven in the land campaign in Afghanistan.

In fourth position is the Chinese WS-1B setting.The Chinese did not waste time on trifles: the caliber of the fearsome weapon is 320 mm.In appearance resembles this MRL S-300 Russian production and has only four barrel.Range is about 100 kilometers away, stricken area - up to 45 square kilometers.With a maximum speed of these modern artillery have a cruising range of about 600 kilometers.

At the last place is the Indian MLRS Pinaka.The design - 12 guides 122mm shells.Firing range - up to 40 km.With a maximum speed of 80 km / h vehicle can travel up to 850 kilometers.Affected area - as much as 130 square kilometers.The system was developed with the direct participation of Russian specialists, perfectly proved itself in numerous Indian-Pakistani conflict.


This weapon is far removed from their ancient predecessors, who ruled in the fields of the Middle Ages.The caliber guns that are used in modern conditions, ranges from 100 (anti-tank cannon "Rapier") to 155 mm (TR, NATO).

assortment of shells used as an unusually wide: from standard high-explosive rounds to programmable projectiles that could hit the target at a distance of 45 kilometers with an accuracy of tens of centimeters.However, the cost of one of the shots can be up to 55 thousand dollars!In this respect, the Soviet artillery is much cheaper.

Comparative characteristics of the most common guns production of the Soviet Union / Russia and the Western models


Country of origin

Caliber, mm

Mass guns kg

maximum range (depending on the type of projectile), km






GC 45





BL 5.5 inch (decommissioned almost everywhere)





«Zsolt» M-68 / M-71





WA 021 (actual clone Belgian GC 45)