For the Napoleon: Total War technology, see Rifled Cannons (Napoleon: Total War).

Rifled Cannons (Empire: Total War)
Etw military navy rifled cannons
Prerequisite Carronades, Machined Rifling
Research Points Needed
Building Needed Naval College
Leads To Sheet Lead Cartridges
Stream Naval, Military
  • Enables rifled naval cannons
  • Enhances National Prestige
  • +2% recruitment cost for all naval units
Rifled Cannons are a Technology in Empire: Total War.


Rifling a barrel increases the accuracy of a weapon, and this principle can be applied to large cannons as well as small arms.

Ordinary naval cannons are smoothbore weapons, meaning that the barrel is a simple tube to contain the explosion. The limitations of casting mean that cannons are quite crude and windage, the gap between the barrel and shot, is always a problem. A shot often "rattles" down the barrel when fired, making it inherently inaccurate. The loss of accuracy with a smoothbore makes its maximum range of academic interest only, simply because it becomes a matter of luck rather than judgement to hit anything far away!

A rifled cannon solves these problems. By using machines to bore out the barrel from a blank casting, one inaccuracy is removed. Another machine cuts a helical pattern of grooves into the barrel wall. This imparts a spin to any shot as it travels down the barrel, and a spinning projectile flies true. This makes the effective range of a rifled cannon shot much greater than one from a smoothbore, although the maximum range for both is similar.

Historically, rifled cannons used manufacturing techniques developed for making accurate steam pistons and cylinders.

General InformationEdit

Rifling makes cannons significantly more accurate, particularly at longer ranges. However, despite in-game descriptions, it does not increase the maximum range for any ship.

Empire: Total War Technology
Philosophy Abolition of SlaveryCitizenshipClassical EconomicsEmpiricismFree Trade DoctrineGovernment by ConsentJoint Stock CompaniesNational DebtPhysiocracyRights of ManSecular HumanismSeparation of PowersSocial ContractUtilitarianismWealth of Nations
Military AirgunsCadenced MarchingCanister ShotCarbinesCarcass ShotCarronadesCopper BottomsDiamond FormationEuropean DoctrineExplosive RocketsExplosive ShellsFire and AdvanceFire by RankFlintlock CannonsImproved CopperingImproved Grape ShotImproved GrenadesLight Infantry DoctrineLime Juice and SauerkrautLongitude WatchMachined RiflingMilitary SyllabusNaval Architecture AdvancesNaval Shore FacilitiesNew Model Bayonet DrillPercussion CapPercussion ShellsPlatoon FiringPlug BayonetQuicklime ShellsReformed Naval AdministrationReorganised ProcurementRifled CannonsRing BayonetScrew BreechSeasoningSextantSheet Lead CartridgesShortened CarbinesShrapnel ShotSocket BayonetSquare FormationTop GallantsWedge Formation
Industrial Advanced IrrigationBasic Steam PumpCoke Blast FurnaceCommon Land EnclosuresDivision of LabourFlying ShuttleFour-Field Crop RotationImproved Animal HusbandryMachine ToolsMass ProductionMeasuring ToolsPower LoomPuddling FurnacePunch-Card LoomSeed Planting DrillSelective BreedingSpinning JennySpinning MuleSteam EngineSteam-Pumped Land DrainageThreshing Machine
Warpath Campaign Mystic Call of the WildDreamwalkingRiding the WindsSpirit MedicineSpirit of the Forest
Warpath Campaign Military Ambush TacticsCannon CastingGun DealingImproved IronworkingIronworkingPowder MakingSharp ShootingWinter Clothes
Warpath Campaign Economy and Culture Improved FarmingImproved FishingMoney EconomyWritten LanguageHunting Techniques

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