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, 8in.
Artillery 4730 Parrott 8in.

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
Parrott 200 pounder rifle, (Army use), 8in.
Caliber of the gun is 8.0in., 11 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 7.92in. approximately, variations will be found.
Parrott 150 pounder rifle, (Navy use), 8in. Caliber of the gun is 8.0in., 11 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 7.92in. approximately, variations will be found.

Artillery 4731 Parrott shell short Parrott percussion fuze 8in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot, Parrott one part improved percussion fuze, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The sabot, referred to as "type II", utilized a thin wide brass band which was softer and more flexible than wrought iron, secured to the base with rabbets. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. However for large caliber guns, fired from ships or forts, flying sabots was less of a problem and this pattern of sabot became the primary convention for siege guns. This is the shorter pattern of the 200 pounder Parrott. Fuze employed was Parrott zinc one part percussion fuze, "improved" design, (Jones pg. 81). Shell measures: diameter 7.9in., length 17in., weight 150lbs. approx. with sabot.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 312.

A2297...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot, Parrott one part improved percussion fuze, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The sabot, referred to as "type II", utilized a thin wide brass band which was softer and more flexible than wrought iron, secured to the base with rabbets. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. However for large caliber guns, fired from ships or forts, flying sabots was less of a problem and this pattern of sabot became the primary convention for siege guns. This is the shorter pattern of the 200 pounder Parrott. Fuze employed was Parrott zinc one part percussion fuze, "improved" design, (Jones pg. 81). Shell measures: diameter 7.9in., length 17in., weight 145lbs. approx. without sabot. High band brass sabot separated on firing, with base chip. Parrott percussion fuze is partial showing nipple and slider. Metal solid. Shell is disarmed by drill hole through the side. Recovered: Charleston, South Carolina.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 312.


Artillery 4732 Parrott shell short Schenkl percussion fuze 8in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot, Schenkl percussion fuze, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The sabot, referred to as "type II", utilized a thin wide brass band which was softer and more flexible than wrought iron, secured to the base with rabbets. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. However for large caliber guns, fired from ships or forts, flying sabots was less of a problem and this pattern of sabot became the primary convention for siege guns. This is the shorter pattern of the 200 pounder Parrott. Fuze employed was large caliber Schenkl percussion intended to detonate upon striking enemy cannon or fortifications, fuze is marked "JP SCHENKL / PAT OCT 16 1861", Jones pg. 101. Shell measures: diameter 7.9in., length 17in., weight 150lbs. approx. with sabot.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 312.

A0559...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot, Schenkl percussion fuze, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The sabot, referred to as "type II", utilized a thin wide brass band which was softer and more flexible than wrought iron, secured to the base with rabbets. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. However for large caliber guns, fired from ships or forts, flying sabots was less of a problem and this pattern of sabot became the primary convention for siege guns. This is the shorter pattern of the 200 pounder Parrott. Fuze employed was large caliber Schenkl percussion intended to detonate upon striking enemy cannon or fortifications, fuze is marked "JP SCHENKL / PAT OCT 16 1861", Jones pg. 101. Shell measures: diameter 7.8in., length 17.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 135lbs. High band brass sabot shows 11 lands and grooves, fired from Parrott rifle., sabot is partial with a base chip from firing. Schenkl percussion fuze is intact. Metal solid. Shell is disarmed by drill hole through the side. Recovered: Charleston, South Carolina.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 312.

A1228 Parrott Type II Army short shell, 200 Pounder 8in Short 200 pounder Parrott from the Federal seige of Charleston South Carolina. Fired sabot fully intact on this example. The sabots were usually thrown on these shells. Unlike field artillery these heavy shells were shot from ships so flying sabots were not a problem. There is a chip missing on the base which is typical. Armed with Schenkl percussion fuze fully intact. Recovered: Charleston, South Carolina.. Diameter 7.9 in., weighs about 150 pounds, length 17 in... Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 312.

A2547...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with flat bottom, high band brass sabot, Schenkl percussion fuze, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following development of Parrott's patent. The sabot, referred to as "type II", utilized a thin wide brass band which was softer and more flexible than wrought iron, secured to the base with rabbets. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. However for large caliber guns, fired from ships or forts, flying sabots was less of a problem and this pattern of sabot became the primary convention for siege guns. This is the shorter pattern of the 200 pounder Parrott. Fuze employed was large caliber Schenkl percussion intended to detonate upon striking enemy cannon or fortifications, fuze is marked "JP SCHENKL / PAT OCT 16 1861", Jones pg. 101. Shell measures: diameter 7.9in., length 17in., weight 150lbs. approx. with sabot. Shell measures: diameter 7.9in., length 17in., weight 150lbs. approx. with sabot. High band brass sabot shows 11 lands and grooves, fired from Parrott rifle, sabot is partial and with base chip from firing. Schenkl percussion fuze intact. Metal stable, projectile was recovered from wet ground and has been conserved.. Shell is disarmed by drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Charleston South Carolina by Jack Melton, log of his recovery accompanies the shell.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 312.


Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in., fragments

A0468.5...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in., nose section
Nose section 200 Pounder Parrott Note remains of threaded fuze hole. Recovered: Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Fragment weighs 9lbs.

A2406...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in., low band sabot
Fired low band sabot (Type III) has 11 lands and grooves. Fired sabot broke off of shell but did not break into pieces, great illustration of the firing violence of the big 8 inch Parrott. Recovered: not known.

A2492...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, Parrott 200 pounder rifle, 8in., partial ground burst

This is a "ground burst", caused when a shell burrows itself into the ground, and then detonates after impact. Because the explosion is massive and the burrow is shallow the fragments flying upward scatter out of the hole, the fragments in the hole bury deeper and can be recovered. About two thirds of the fragments were recovered from this example and were glued back together, making a terrific display. Recovered: Bermuda Hundred Virginia. Diameter 7.9 in., this fragment weighs 82 lbs.


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