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Constitution Gunport Covers Options
tnequette
#1 Posted : 20 May 2017 15:56:55

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I have some questions regarding the ship's gunport covers as well as the positioning of the guns when under way.
The book competition just held opened up a lot of good sources but my questions were not answered completely. We know that this ship has undergone many evolutionary changes during her life and some illustrations show her with one piece covers and some with two. Today she has split covers and the new kit has her this way.

The split covers with gun barrel cutouts allowed her to sail with her guns run out. On display today she is shown in this configuration. The gun barrels sealed the cover opening and tompions sealed the muzzles in weather. I can think of advantages to all of this, such as more deck space and even more lateral stability. Is this the way it was?

Normally we see these ships with single port covers and guns retracted into the ship except for use of the guns.

Any thoughts on this from anyone? Confused (The use of the yellow ocher hull stripe looks sort of neat.)Cool

Tom

darbyvet
#2 Posted : 20 May 2017 17:18:39

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I found this on modelshipworld


On all flushed deck American corvettes like the Wasp, Peacock, Frolick, Argus, Hornet, etc., all the guns were, by definition, open to the elements. Yet in the US Navy, at least, all spar-deck gun-ports were fitted with "Half Lids and Bucklers", so called. These were split ports that fit around the gun barrel, or in this case, the carronade barrels. The lower halves dropped down on hinges, while the upper halves were completely removed inboard and held in place with two pair of sliding bolts on either side. On American frigates of 1812, the gun-deck ports were fitted with them too. Only after the war, did the upper halves of the gun-deck ports get hinged upwards (as is currently shown on the Constitution.) At no time did American frigates, or sloops of war, ever have full, one-piece upward hinged gun-ports like the Victory has. Even during the Revolution, the Continental frigate Confederacy was noted as having been fitted with half lids and bucklers. The was the French naval practice at the time.



Carl

tnequette
#3 Posted : 20 May 2017 23:48:48

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Carl,

So far so good. So the ship ran with her guns extended?

Tom
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