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


Civil War Artillery
by Harry Ridgeway

Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, 6.4in.
Artillery 5170 Read 6.4in.


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:
Smoothbore 32 pounder, 6.4in. Caliber of the gun is 6.4in., round projectile diameter should measure 6.25 in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Rifled 32 pounder gun, 6.4in. Caliber of the gun is 6.4in., 7 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 6.3in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Confederate rifled 32 pounder gun, 6.4in. Caliber of the gun is 6.4in., 5 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 6.3in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Confederate rifled 32 pounder gun, 6.4in. Caliber of the gun is 6.4in., 10 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 6.3in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Confederate rifled 32 pounder gun, 6.4in. Caliber of the gun is 6.4in., 13 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 6.3in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Parrott 100 pounder rifle, 6.4in. Caliber of the gun is 6.4in., 9 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 6.25in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Brooke rifle, 6.4in. Caliber of the gun is 6.4in., 7 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 6.33in. approximately, variations will be noted.


Artillery 5171 Read shell 6.4in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with smooth sides wrought iron sabot, experimental blind shell not fuzed, rifled 32 pounder gun, 6.4in.
Projectile was an experimental pattern developed before the war employing John Read's design. This pattern has smooth sides, The sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring. This was apparently used as an experimental round, it was never drilled for a fuze, and interior cavity contains mostly foundry casting sand. Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 9.5in. (excluding fuze), weight47lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 346.

A0718...
Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 9.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 47lbs. Wrought iron sabot intact. Blind shell there is hole for a fuze but it was never drilled or fitted with a fuze. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: presumably West Point New York, but this is not confirmed.


Artillery 5172 Read bolt 6.4in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, solid bolt, short pattern with pointed nose and single wide bourrelet ring, wrought iron sabot, rifled 32 pounder rifle, 6.4in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured following the prewar invention of John Read , the sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring. This Confederate design, employed a relatively light version of the wrought iron sabot was likely manufactured at Selma. The base israised and milled to a bevel leaving a depressed ring between the base and thesabot, there is no lathe dimple although this could have been milled out of theflat bottom. This short tapered design, referred to as the "tear drop " design by collectors, was used with other Selma arsenal products and saw limited success, it was intended to be used in the old 32 pounders that had been converted to rifle. Projectile measures: diameter 6.4in., length 9in., weight 47lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 343.

A1648...
Projectile measures: diameter 6.4in.,length 9in., weight 47lbs. This pattern employed a stiff iron sabot whichdid not take the rifling well, this example could be fired or unfired. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had acavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Mississippi campaign.

A2355...
Projectile measures: diameter 6.4in., length 9in., weight 47lbs. This pattern employed a stiff iron sabot which did not take the rifling well, this example could be fired or unfired. Metal solid with some areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Mississippi campaign.

A2359...
Projectile measures: diameter 6.4in.,length 9in., weight 47lbs. This pattern employed a stiff iron sabot whichdid not take the rifling well, this example could be fired or unfired. Metalsolid. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity orbursting charge. Recovered: Saint Charles Arkansas, battle in 1862. More information about the battle can be viewed at this link: http://civilwaralbum.com/misc/stcharles.htm.


Artillery 5173 Read shell 6.4in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with bourrelet rings, wrought iron sabot, percussion fuze, rifled 32 pounder gun, 6.4in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured following the invention of John Read , the sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring. These 32 pound short projectiles were intended to beused in the old 32 pounders that had been converted to rifle . This pattern utilized two bourrelet rings, as a labor savingdevice, only the rings had to be accurately machined, the rest could be leftrough. The nose is relatively pointed, and the width of the bourrelet rings varies considerably, presumably this is operator variance in the finishing process. The wrought iron sabot was cast much thinner on these large caliber patterns, the rifling is not precast into this sabot, and the relatively weak sabot is often sheared. The base is raised and milled to a bevel leaving a depressed ring between the base and the sabot.. Fuze employed was Archer percussion fuze, Jones pg. 55. Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 9.5in., weight 43lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 348.

A1568...
A1568.jpg (20513 bytes) A1568B.jpg (21226 bytes) A1568C.jpg (16572 bytes) A1568D.jpg (27536 bytes) Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 9.5in.(sabot sheared), weight not determined. Fired sabot is sheared. Percussion fuze intact. Metal is solid with light to moderate pitting. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side. Recovered: Richmond, Virginia campaign.


Artillery 5174 Read shell 6.4in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with bourrelet rings, copper ring sabot, wood time fuze, rifled 32 pounder gun, 6.4in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured following the invention of John Read , the sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring. These 32 pound short projectiles were intended to be used in the old 32 pounders that had been converted to rifle . This pattern utilized two bourrelet rings, as a labor saving device, only the rings had to be accurately machined, the rest could be left rough. The nose is relatively pointed, and the width of the bourrelet rings varies considerably, presumably this is operator variance in the finishing process. The copper sabot was cast thick. The base is raised andmilled to a bevel leaving a depressed ring between the base and the sabot.. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 10in. (excluding fuze), weight 43lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 349.

A0171...
Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 10in. (excluding fuze), weight 43lbs. Massive copper sabot is intact. Wood fuze missing. Metal quality solid, pitting in some areas. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: Mobile Alabama.


Artillery 5175 Read shell 6.4in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern with bourrelet rings, iron sabot, re-saboted by adding Mullane copper disc sabot with 3 studs in the sabot and flush mounted bolt, Confederate Navy watercap time fuze, Brooke rifle, 6.4 in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war probably employing John Read's design. This pattern utilized two bourrelet rings, as a labor saving device, only the rings had to be accurately machined, the rest could be left rough. The nose is relatively pointed, and the width of the bourrelet rings varies considerably, presumably this is operator variance in the finishing process. This shell started out as a long pattern Read, with iron sabot, Bell pg. 347. However the sabot performance was unsatisfactory, and a Mullane or Tennessee copper disc sabot was installed on this shell by affixing to the bottom scabbed over the iron sabot. Presumably there are studs cast onto the sabot, (type II) and inserted into the shell body, the studs are not visible from the exterior, so it is assumed that there are studs. The sabot is secured with a center bolt, typical of other sabots of this type. Fuze is Confederate Navy watercap, Jones pg. 19. Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 12.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 64lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 421.

A0285...
Projectile measures: diameter 6.36in., length 12.5in. (excludingfuze), weight 64lbs. Both sabots intact, and Confederate watercapfuze. Shell is disarmed by drill hole through the side.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 421, actual example photographed.


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