research on the action sequence of firing a cannon

Gun Drill aboard USS Constitution

I am at the scene in my pirate novel where my heroines, who have just been made midshipmen (yes, midshipmen), need to be trained in how to fire cannons called 12-pounders.

As I mentioned before I’ve read several of the Master and Commander book series by Patrick O’Brian. There is a detailed description in the fourth chapter of the book by that title. But even after having read it several times, I still found it difficult to visualize what the mechanisms looked like and exactly how the crew performed their tasks. The best representation I found was a youtube video of the crew of the USS Constitution running through the identical drill. The ship is of a later date than my Velocity, and the cannon is a 24-pounder, but the process is exactly as O’Brian describes it. Cannon technology didn’t significantly change until the advent of the breech loaders in the mid-nineteenth century. Click on the image below to see the video.