Ridgeway Civil War Research Center,
A virtual examination of artifacts of the American Civil War


Civil War Artillery

by Harry Ridgeway


Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, 3.67in.
Artillery 4350 Hotchkiss 3.67in.

This is the "Ridgeway Civil War Research Center...", a research tool for educational purposes only, and is provided at no cost to the reader. Some of the relics listed are retained in the author's collection, most reside in other collections and are not owned by the author. None of the items listed in this section are for sale, please refer to relicman.com sales listings for items offered for sale. This is a work in progress, I list items as I get to them, there are many patterns that are not listed yet, this list will be regularly updated as I get pictures and descriptions for more items. I will also correct mistakes, so if you see any please tell me. All items listed are believed to be authentic to the Civil War or as otherwise described. Any excavated relics have been recovered from private property with owners permission. This information is available for research purposes, pictures may be used by permission only.
All projectiles listed have been disarmed.

Most information on this page is from:
Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War, 1993 Edition. by Thomas S. Dickey and Peter C. George.
Civil War Heavy Explosive Ordnance, A Guide to Large Artillery Prjectiles, Torpedoes, and Mines, by Jack Bell.
Artillery Fuses of the Civil War, by Charles H. Jones.
Pictures are by the author, unless otherwise indicated.
Weapons used:
Rifled 6 pounder gun, 3.67in. Caliber of the gun is 3.67in., 7 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 3.62in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 4351 Hotchkiss bolt 3.67in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, pattern without flame grooves, pointed nose, lead band sabot, rifled 6 pounder gun, 3.67in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three parts, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Shell is solid casting, or "bolt" and was designed to be used against opposing cannon by striking the equipment, use of this light bolt had limited applicability and is relatively scarce in the smaller calibers. Nose of this pattern is pointed. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861", and is typically weak. Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.5lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 171.

A1628...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.5lb., not verified. Sabot is not fired. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: Shiloh Tennessee campaign.

A1629...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.5lb., not verified. Sabot shows 7 lands & grooves, fired from rifled six pounder. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A1630...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.5lb., not verified. Sabot shows 7 lands & grooves, fired from rifled six pounder. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A1834...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.5lb. Sabot shows impression from linen and 7 lands & grooves, fired from rifled six pounder. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: not known.


Artillery 4352 Hotchkiss shell West Point percussion fuze 3.67in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern without flame grooves, pointed nose "common" (standard), lead band sabot, Hotchkiss iron percussion "West Point" style fuze, rifled 6 pounder gun, 3.67in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three parts, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Some of these shells were "common" or standard rounds, explosive charge only, or "case shot", filled with balls. This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), it does not contain balls, and with a percussion fuze it was designed to be used against enemy cannon. The nose section is pointed, containing an open cavity for the explosive charge only, without a separator bolt. Nose section contains a plugged hole centered on the bottom, presumably this hole was used to secure the core on casting, then a plug was installed to seal the bottom. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861 ", and is typically very weak and may have been omitted entirely as the molds wore down or were replaced. Flame grooves were not used on this pattern, with a percussion fuze the flame groove was not needed. Fuze employed was a Hotchkiss iron percussion fuze, "West Point style" which means anvil and slider operated independently, Jones pg. 92 . Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.0lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 174.

A1634.

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.0lb. Sabot shows faint signs of 15 lands and grooves, fired from a James rifle, this is 3.67 caliber so it was fired from the wrong gun of slightly larger caliber which is why it barely took the rifling! Hotchkiss iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A1635...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 12.0lb. Sabot shows 7 lands & grooves, fired from rifled six pounder. Hotchkiss iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side, (not photographed). Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A2761...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 5.5in., weight 6lb. Nose section only, sabot separated on firing, bottom rivet is visible. Hotchkiss iron percussion fuze is partial, top is missing. Projectile is disarmed by drill hole through the damaged center of the fuze. Recovered: Shepherdstown, West Virginia.


Artillery 4353 Hotchkiss shell case shot lead time fuze 3.67in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern without flame grooves, rounded nose, "case shot" iron balls packed in sawdust, iron separator bolt, lead band sabot, Hotchkiss lead time fuze, rifled 6 pounder gun, 3in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three parts, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Some of these shells were "common" or standard rounds, explosive charge only, or "case shot", filled with balls. This is "case shot", with a time fuze it was designed to be used against troops by spreading large volume of fragments and balls over the open field of fighting. Iron balls were packed in sawdust only. The nose is rounded to accomodate the extra load of balls and the casting in the nose is thin to encourage breakage forward in the nose. There are two chambers in the nose, all of the powder is in the lower chamber, all of the balls are in the upper chamber, there is an iron seperator bolt in the middle, with a hole and a narrow metal channel to allow the flame to pass from the fuze to detonate the powder in the lower chamber. On detonation, the exploding powder in the base was expected to push the seperator bolt and the balls forward and out the weak top section of the nose. The nose was cast as one part, the bottom is solid, the separator bolt apparently was precast and imbedded in the core, then positioned after casting once the core was removed, it is larger than the fuze opening. This early design did not have flame grooves, these were added in later patterns so that flame from firing would pass through the sabot and ignite the fuze. Fuze employed was a Hotchkiss lead time fuze, with spanner holes, early pattern did not have a flange, Jones pg. 86. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861", and is typically very weak and may have been omitted entirely as the molds wore down or were replaced. Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 13.9lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 177.

A0589...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.6in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 13.9lbs. Sabot shows 7 lands & grooves, fired from rifled six pounder. Hotchkiss lead time fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.


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