This came up in a discussion of reasonably-hard SF space combat. I probably read this book a bit more than 20 years ago; early-to-mid 1990s. Note that I was buying a lot of used books in that period, so it may date back to the mid-1960s. I only really remember part of the climactic battle scene, but I'm hoping it's distinctive enough.
The revolution has scraped together a fleet of mostly cargo haulers and working ships, though I think they also have 1 captured government frigate. The government has a fleet of comparable ship count (probably around 40-50 ships) but they are all military ships. The warships have missiles as their primary weapons, and possibly secondary point-defence weapons. The revolution has not had the time or the parts to build their own supply of missiles, so they equip their ships with kinetic weapons.
Fleet combat doctrine is to close in line astern, so as to present as small a target as possible for incoming missiles. The government fleet is deployed in a long line, orbiting towards the revolutionary fleet.
The revolutionary fleet, expecting this, have fired hundreds of (bowling-ball sized?) masses from linear accelerators mounted on their largest ships on an intersecting orbit. As the two fleets approach head-on in opposing orbits, the masses hit the government fleet from a perpendicular orbit. The survivors of the government fleet then run straight into a cloud of smaller (fist sized?) masses that had been launched with small solid-fuel kick motors before the fleets were in range. The revolutionary fleet is able to mop up the remaining government warships.
It seems to me that the kinetic attacks should have shown up immediately on radar, and I don't remember how that was finessed.