Round Shot

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Round Shot is the earliest form of projectile for all types of Cannon (Artillery). In it's earliest stages, Round Shot was made of chiseled stone. The name Round Shot is termed as being spherical in shape. Normally solid in composition, the goal of this form of projectile was used to attack an enemies fortifications. The Stone Round Shot (which would splinter on impact, had the secondary effect of creating stone shards (shrapnel), which could additionally injure (or kill) personnel. Although impractical, Shot shot could be used at lower barrel elevations for fire at advancing troops. This would kill or injury several groups of soldiers at once (one early battle documenting around 40 or so killed and injured from a single “rolling” shot).


Around the 16th/17th Century,  iron Round Shot was perfected. Used the same way, this form of projectile would not shatter on impact (thus creating a bit more damage to fortifications and structures than stone). Iron Round Shot was also a more effective round when implemented by early Navies against wooden ships. Round Shot also could be designated “Heated Shot”. This tactic involved heating the solid shot in a furnace. Removed by pinchers or tongs, they could be fired to cause fires at or of an enemy target. A disadvantage of iron Round Shout was “rattling”. This was caused by shells being slightly smaller in diameter to the barrel (exact fits would cause jamming). This “windage effect” often effected exact range and trajectory. Round Shot was designed almost exclusively for Smoothbore guns.