Gun Wad, 9-Pounder

Object Detail

About This Object
9-pounder gun wadding. Compressed/compacted fibres. A disk shaped object with individual strands clearly visible.

A wad for a 9-pounder gun. When loading the gun, it was essential that both cartridge and projectile were retained in place. The gun wads performed this and other necessary functions. There were always two wads; The wad between the powder cartridge and the cannon ball was to momentarily absorb the pressure build up from rapidly burning black powder thereby increasing the cannon ball’s velocity. The second was simply there to keep the cannon ball in place. The wad is composed of recycled rope fibres. Wads were usually made up on board the ship and the gunner was issued with pieces of old rope and cable, known as junk, for this purpose. HMS Invincible, a 74 gun ship, would have been issued with 5 tins of junk. A 9-pounder gun calibre would require 1 pound of gun wadding to be effective.
Catalogue Number
Diameter: 102mm (4")
Depth: 45mm (1 3/4")
Weight: (0.14kg)
Production Date
Pre 1758
Production Period
Eighteenth Century