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, 10in.
Artillery 4740 Parrott 10in.

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 300 pounder rifle, 10in.
Caliber of the gun is 10.0in., 15 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 9.9in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 4741 Parrott shell band sabot 10in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, high band brass sabot, Parrott 300 pounder rifle, 10in.
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. Bottom is plugged with a rivet protruding from the bottom. The shell was cast with an open hole in the base, through which a rod was placed to hold the core during casting. After casting the rod was removed, the rod was removed and replaced with a drive in plug, this while the casting was still hot. On cooling the hole would shrink thus securing the bottom plug. This is the largest Parrott shell made, 300 pounder Parrott. Fuze employed was Parrott large time fuze, (Jones pg. tbd). Shell measures: diameter 9.9in., length 22.5in., weight 250lbs. approx. with sabot.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 318.

A1278...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, high band brass sabot, Parrott 300 pounder rifle, 10in.
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. Bottom is plugged with a rivet protruding from the bottom. The shell was cast with an open hole in the base, through which a rod was placed to hold the core during casting. After casting the rod was removed, the rod was removed and replaced with a drive in plug, this while the casting was still hot. On cooling the hole would shrink thus securing the bottom plug. This is the largest Parrott shell made, 300 pounder Parrott. Fuze employed was Parrott large time fuze, (Jones pg. tbd). Shell measures: diameter 9.9in., length 22.5in., weight 250lbs. approx. with sabot. High band sabot is not fired. Threaded fuze is missing. Metal is solid, crack on side is from freezing, projectile set outside in the north, filled with water, froze and cracked, it is stable. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes the empty interior. Recovered: shell was used as a war trophy in a public building in Boston Massachusetts, until de-accessioned, however, these 10in. projectiles were used in the siege of Charleston South Carolina.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 318.


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