To make the cost point further the cost of iron kept falling as mining and refining techniques improved and bronze became more expensive as copper and tin became scarcer. By 1670 iron in Britain was £18 per ton and bronze was £150 per ton. As tin was still relatively available in Britain bronze is likely to have been even more expensive in continental Europe. If a ship were to be fitted out with bronze cannon the guns would cost more than the ship. Bronze was used only where guns were small and weight was important - such as swivels in fighting tops. Although bronze is heavier than iron thinner barrel walls and hence lighter guns could be made.
By the 1700s Britain and Sweden were major exporters of iron cannon and by 1770 bronze cannon had largely vanished from naval ships except for the occasional prestige piece which the crew who had to keep it polished would hate.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)
Last edited by MarkV; 07 Feb 16 at 08:37..