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My answer to a colleague's challenge for this old dog (that's me) to blog. I hope I've proven that 'every old dog could do a good blog'.
The 68-pounder cannon was an artillery piece designed and used by the British Armed Forces in the mid-19th century. The cannon was a smoothbore muzzle-loading weapon that weighed 95 long cwt (4,800 kg) and fired projectiles of 68 lb (31 kg). Colonel William Dundas designed the gun in 1846 and it was cast the following year. It entered service with the Royal Artillery and the Royal Navy and saw active service with both arms during the Crimean War. Over 2,000 were made and it gained a reputation as the finest smoothbore cannon ever made.
The gun was produced at a time when new rifled and breech loading guns were beginning to make their mark on artillery. At first the 68-pounder's reliability and power meant that it was retained even on new warships such as HMS Warrior, but eventually new rifled muzzle loaders made all smoothbore muzzle-loading guns obsolete. However, the large surplus stocks of 68-pounders were given new life when converted to take rifled projectiles; the cannon remained in service and was not declared obsolete until 1921.