Charge, in gunnery, the quantity of powder and shot which is necessary to load a piece of ordnance, in order that when fired it may produce the intended effect. For proving guns the weight of the powder is always equal to that of the ball; but the charge of powder generally esteemed sufficient for service is one-half or one-third the weight of the ball, or even less. Dr. Hutton found, from many experiments, that the length of the charge producing the greatest velocity, in guns of various lengths of bore, from 15 to 40 calibres, is as follows: -

Length of bore.

15

calibres.

20

30

40

Length of charge.

3

10

the length of the bore.

3

12

3

16

3 20