Fire in the hole

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on May 06, 2005

In Reply to: Fire in the hole posted by Lewis on May 06, 2005

: : What does it mean when someone said "fire in the hole"?

: It is a term used by naval gunners - the old cannons on warships were fired by igniting the powder through a hole on the top of the rear of the barrel which had been muzzle-loaded with powder, shot (either ball or other) and wadding.

: the term continued to be used even after breach-loading guns replaced cannon. (breach loaders load from the back and have shells rather than balls - they are not fired by igniting a fire-hole).

: It is used to warn other crew that that a naval gun is going to fire, which in a confined space is more dangerous than a normal artillery piece in the open.

I believe this warning is also used in mining, construction, demolition, and other persuits that require controlled blasting.