Canister Shot
Etw military ordnance canister shot
Requires None
Building Needed Cannon Foundry
Leads To Improved Grape Shot
Stream Ordnance, Military
Canister Shot is a Technology in Empire: Total War.


This ammunition for cannons is a cylinder stuffed with musket bullets that bursts as soon as it leaves the gun barrel.

Any cannon can be turned into a giant shotgun using the appropriate size of round. Normal cannon balls are terrible enough when they hit, but they will usually only kill or injure a few men. Canister is a short-range weapon, and used as a last-ditch defence against a massed attack. The slaughter inflicted on nearby enemies can be fearsome indeed. Usually, canister shots are made of tin, which serves to keep everything together while it is rammed down the barrel, but it is no impediment to bursting effect. It is not uncommon for artillery crews to load a canister shot on top of a normal cannon ball, if they have time, to maximise killing the power.

Canister is still used by armies today, and has been refined over the years: beehive rounds used flechettes (small darts) rather than round shot, but the principle is the same. The 120mm main gun on the modern US M1 Abrams tank is capable of firing canister ammunition, making it a 60-tonne armoured shotgun.

General InformationEdit

Canister Shot is the second research option available for the artillery section. Canister Shot is fired from cannon and is a close-range shotgun-like blast that sweeps through infantry and cavalry lines. It is much more effective than Round Shot at causing casualties at close range. It is effective at disrupting rushing cavalry, and can be devastating against approaching infantry. However, it is worthless past its rather short minimum range.

Canister Shot is available to all artillery except Mortars, Howitzers, Rockets and Puckle Guns.

The Ottoman Empire begins the Grand Campaign with Canister Shot already researched.