The standard iron cannonball. They were made in several common sizes but because of production quality, no two were exactly the same. These relatively loose fitting balls were not very accurate at long distances. But they could travel farther then other types of shot, making them a popular round at medium to long ranges anyway, especially in a defensive role. The cannonball would have been used at close range for it's overall destructive effects. Damaging enemy cannons, crew, masts, and particularly a ships hull in an attempt to sink it. They were also used against shore fortifications.
BAR & CHAIN SHOT
These odd looking shots consisted of two cannonballs or two halves of a ball attached together either by iron bars or chains. They were designed specifically to damage a ships rigging and sails. These shots could cause major damage, wrapping around masts and reducing them to splinters, or taking out whole sails by simply ripping them to shreds. This type of shot was generally not very effective against a ships hull, and did not have the range of a standard cannonball.
This was simply several short iron bars bundled together with a length of rope. The bundles were custom made to fit snugly inside each cannon. When fired, the rope would loosen and the iron bars would begin to spread apart. Once these bars hit something they would begin to tumble, creating devastating damage to flesh and bone, or wood and sail. Bundle shot was said to be quite impressive when used at relatively close distances.
GRAPE & CANISTER SHOT
Small iron balls about three quarters of an inch in diameter were packed in bags and used as grapeshot. The bag disintegrated when the powder ignited releasing a cluster of balls in a wide shot pattern. This load was very deadly against crewmen at extremely close range, and often used to repel boarders. Canister shot had a large metal container that was filled with gravel, nails, or musket balls. The container would burst when fired and scatter its lethal contents similar to grapeshot. Canister was more effective than grapeshot at closer ranges and began to replace it during the 1800s.
This anti-personnel round was basically a cloth bag filled with small jagged pieces of scrap iron. The bag disintegrated when the round was fired sending jagged bits of metal flying forward in a rain of destruction and terror. The wounds it could produce were horrible and there was little possibility of removing the jagged metal pieces from a body without causing even more bodily damage. Sangrenel like other anti-personnel loads was mainly used the most effectively at very close range.
EXPLOSIVE SHELLS & HOT IRON SHOT
These two specialty rounds came into use at the height of the great age of sail. An explosive hollow cannonball fitted with a crude fuse that was lit just before it was fired. The intent was for the shell to explode when it reached the enemy ship. Timing was critically important to be effective, and also to not have it blow up in one�s face. The hot iron shot was heated to a red hot condition just before being fired. The purpose of using this shot was to set the victims ship on fire. This type of round could be dangerous to a gun crew, as the heat of the shot inside the cannon could cause the gunpowder to ignite prematurely.