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


Civil War Artillery
by Harry Ridgeway

Rifled artillery projectile, Sawyer design, 5 in.
Artillery 5230 Sawyer 5in.

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:
Sawyer rifle, 5in. Caliber of the gun is 5in., 6 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 4.96 in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 5231 Sawyer 5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Sawyer design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, lead sabot with lead sleeve and pre-cast flanges, Sawyer percussion fuze, Sawyer rifle, 5 in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals, following the design of Addison M Sawyer. The sabot system was designed with a massive lead sabot covering the entire base and the sides , including six flanges cast into the shell, it apparently proved unsatisfactory because the excessive lead consumed would gum up the bore on the cannon , and the elasticity of the lead probably lessened the dispersion of fragments. These large caliber Sawyers were field trialed at Mobile Bay, but were judged to be unsatisfactory, the lead sabot had a tendency to partially peel off on firing causing directional instability, the soft lead would gum up and damage the bore of the guns, and the percussion fuze was ineffective in soft dirt fortifications. Fuze employed was the Sawyer percussion fuze, Jones pg. 33. Mark on nose, "27" is probably an indication of the powder bursting charge. Projectile measures: diameter 5.17in. from the outer lead grooves, 4.95in. from the inner lead grooves, length 9.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 25.5lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 356.

A2524...Rifled artillery projectile, Sawyer design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, lead sabot with lead sleeve and pre-cast flanges, Sawyer percussion fuze, Sawyer rifle, 5 in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals, following the design of Addison M Sawyer. The sabot system was designed with a massive lead sabot covering the entire base and the sides , including six flanges cast into the shell, it apparently proved unsatisfactory because the excessive lead consumed would gum up the bore on the cannon , and the elasticity of the lead probably lessened the dispersion of fragments. These large caliber Sawyers were field trialed at Mobile Bay, but were judged to be unsatisfactory, the lead sabot had a tendency to partially peel off on firing causing directional instability, the soft lead would gum up and damage the bore of the guns, and the percussion fuze was ineffective in soft dirt fortifications. Fuze employed was the Sawyer percussion fuze, Jones pg. 33. Mark on nose, "27" is probably an indication of the powder bursting charge. Projectile measures: diameter 5.17in. from the outer lead grooves, 4.95in. from the inner lead grooves, length 9.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 25.5lbs. Heavy lead sabot intact, showing six flanges, part of sabot is rolled. Metal solid, shell recovered from the water and has been fully treated and stabilized. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side which has been plugged. Recovered: Mobile Bay, Alabama.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 356.


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