A cradle is a functional component of modern artillery pieces, also known as an upper mount. In order to enable the pipe to be straightened, it is movably mounted on the lower mount . It carries the gun barrel or comprises a rear part of the gun barrel in front of its breech block in a ring shape. When firing, the barrel can slide back in the cradle in order to reduce the majority of the recoil energy through its moment of inertia . In the case of larger guns, it is also braked hydraulically and returned to its starting position by the barrel hauler .
The gun construction with a barrel cradle, which was developed in the second half of the 19th century, enables guns to be fired with a fixed mount. Before that, the entire carriage had to be mounted in an elaborate return system, or it had to be rolled back on wheels.
- John Batchelor and Ian Hogg : The History of Artillery. Heyne, Munich 1977.