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


Civil War Artillery
by Harry Ridgeway

Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, 7in.
Artillery 4720 Parrott 7in.

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 42 pounder gun, 7in.
Caliber of the gun is 7.0in., 9 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 6.9in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 4721 Parrott shell experimental 7in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot experimental pattern without fuze, rifled 42 pounder rifle, 7in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The 7 inch guns in the Federal arsenal were modified to add rifling and areinforcement band, the idea being to accommodate the equivalent of a double smoothbore shot, hence the smoothbore 42 pounder became a "rifled 42 pounder". This 7 inch Parrott shell was a prototype to be used in the converted smoothbore guns, subsequent development was for the rifled series of Parrott guns, hence use of this weapon is limited. The small wood fuze hole suggests that this round may have been a test round, they are found at West Point, but others have also been found in Charleston, South Carolina, all missing sabots and may have also been tested at Fort Sumter. Shell was cast with a cavity and a fuze hole, but the fuze hole was never drilled or threaded to take a fuze. Sabot is missing, none of the Charleston shells have been recovered with sabot, so we do not know which type of sabot was actually employed, however based on the time of use and shape of the notches, it most likely employed the high band sabot. Shell measures: diameter 6.9in., length 14in., weight 78lbs. (empty and missing sabot).
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 305.

A2213...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot experimental pattern without fuze, rifled 42 pounder rifle, 7in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The 7 inch guns in the Federal arsenal were modified to add rifling and a reinforcement band, the idea being to accommodate the equivalent of a double smoothbore shot, hence the smoothbore 42 pounder became a "rifled 42 pounder". This 7 inch Parrott shell was a prototype to be used in the converted smoothbore guns, subsequent development was for the rifled series of Parrott guns, hence use of this weapon is limited. The small wood fuze hole suggests that this round may have been a test round, they are found at West Point, but others have also been found in Charleston, South Carolina, all missing sabots and may have also been tested at Fort Sumter. Shell was cast with a cavity and a fuze hole, but the fuze hole was never drilled or threaded to take a fuze. Sabot is missing, none of the Charleston shells have been recovered with sabot, so we do not know which type of sabot was actually employed, however based on the time of use and shape of the notches, it most likely employed the high band sabot. Shell measures: diameter 6.9in., length 14in., weight 78lbs. (empty and missing sabot). High band sabot was separated on firing. Fuze hole is not threaded or milled. Metal solid. Shell disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty cavity. Recovered: city of Charleston South Carolina. Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor was equipped with 7 inch guns, mostly using the James series of 7 inch shells, and expended their ammunition against the attacking Confederate batteries in the city. Once Sumter fell to the Confederates, subsequent Federal sieges were out of range of the city and employed the 100 and 200 pounder rifled series of guns, rendering these old smoothbore conversions obsolete, so the only time the Federals could fire into the city seems to have been during the siege of Fort Sumter on day one of the Civil War!
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 305.

A2551...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot experimental pattern without fuze, rifled 42 pounder rifle, 7in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The 7 inch guns in the Federal arsenal were modified to add rifling and a reinforcement band, the idea being to accommodate the equivalent of a double smoothbore shot, hence the smoothbore 42 pounder became a "rifled 42 pounder". This 7 inch Parrott shell was a prototype to be used in the converted smoothbore guns, subsequent development was for the rifled series of Parrott guns, hence use of this weapon is limited. The small wood fuze hole suggests that this round may have been a test round, they are found at West Point, but others have also been found in Charleston, South Carolina, all missing sabots and may have also been tested at Fort Sumter. Shell was cast with a cavity and a fuze hole, but the fuze hole was never drilled or threaded to take a fuze. Sabot is missing, none of the Charleston shells have been recovered with sabot, so we do not know which type of sabot was actually employed, however based on the time of use and shape of the notches, it most likely employed the high band sabot. Shell measures: diameter 6.9in., length 14in., weight 78lbs. (empty and missing sabot). High band sabot was separated on firing. Fuze hole is not threaded or milled. Metal solid. Shell disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty cavity. Recovered: city of Charleston South Carolina. Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor was equipped with 7 inch guns, mostly using the James series of 7 inch shells, and expended their ammunition against the attacking Confederate batteries in the city. Once Sumter fell to the Confederates, subsequent Federal sieges were out of range of the city and employed the 100 and 200 pounder rifled series of guns, rendering these old smoothbore conversions obsolete, so the only time the Federals could fire into the city seems to have been during the siege of Fort Sumter on day one of the Civil War!
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 305.


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