Field artillery is muzzle-loaded cannon capable to fire 12-pound balls up to 1000 meters. Its elevation angle varies from 0° to +30°.
The process of preparing for shooting was complex and slow. First, it required to stop the horse, pul out the pin, pul the hook, move the cannon cart, push it towards the shooting spot, put down the crutch. To shoot the shell the crew must clean barrel twice, load gunpowder package and projectile into it, put drill pipe through the fuse hole in the rear of the cannon barrel, stab the gunpowder package and then insert the fuse. Trained team could shoot every 20 seconds.
12-pound cannon had its advantages and disadvantages.
- Range of fire reaches 1000 m;
- Penetrating force of iron ball allow it to hit several targets beyond the first one or fortifications, such as stone walls, gates etc.
- Cannon cart's weight limits transportation options to river or dry intercity roads, greatly impeding cart movement on moody or snow-covered roads and off-roads;
- Low fire rate;
- Barrel couldn't be lowered;
- Hard to operate on a rainy day.
- 12-pound ball
12-pound ball is a solid round projectile made of iron or lead. It's penetrating capability leave no chance for enemy to survive if hitted, but due to cannon's slow reloading and relatively low velocity balls are effective against slow, fixed and packed targets and show limited use against those who fast or scarce. Its effective radius was determined as 800 meters, though cannons are able to fire at over 1000 meters.
Canister is an anti-infantry/cavalry cannon shell, a tin filled with balls and sawdust. When fired, tin breaks and releases its content and own shards on advancing enemies, causing mass infantry or cavalry casualties within 150-200 meters.
In special firing room Roland dug out two holes 20 cm wide at top and 26 cm wide at bottom, its overall depth was 1.5 meter. Thus thickness of the thinniest part of barrel was 4 cm, while thickness of back of chamber reached 7 cm. The resulting molds Anna fully filled with melted steel ingots.
Few days later cannon billets were mined out, cleaned from dirt and polished before boring the barrel. Making the carriage and wheels took almost week. The test was successfully conducted near Redwater River westwards of Border Town.
Soon after the test was formed Artillery Squad consisted of four teams. Initially training included only positioning and loading the cannon without firing, additionally teams were trained to load and fasten the cannon on board of Littletown. One week later they tested shooting distance depending on the elevation angle.
Cannons were first used against Duke Ryan's coalition forces during defence of Border Town.