Armstrong, during the Crimean War, made an explosive apparatus for blowing up ships sunk at Sebastopol. This led him to turn his attention to improvements in ordnance. He invented a kind of breech-loading cannon, and soon had an order for several field-pieces after the same pattern. He began with guns throwing 6 lb. and 18 lb. shot and shells, and afterwards 32 lb. shells; and the results at the time were deemed almost incredible. He had both reduced the weight of the gun by one-half, reduced the charge of powder, and his gun sent the shell about three times farther. His success led to his offering to government all his past inventions, and any that he might in the future discover. A post was created for him, that of Chief Engineer of Rifled Ordnance for seven years provisionally.