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


Civil War Artillery
by Harry Ridgeway

Rifled artillery projectile, Schenkl design, 5.1 in.
Artillery 5370 Schenkl 5.1in.

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:
Dahlgren 50 pounder rifle, 5.1in. Caliber of the gun is 5.1in., 12 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 4.96 in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 5371 Schenkl 5.1in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Schenkl design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, Navy pattern with hook slant ribs, paper sleeve sabot, Schenkl Navy percussion fuze, 50 pounder Navy rifle, 5.1 in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals, following the design of John P. Schenkl. The sabot system consisted of a "forcing cone" paper sleeve, which was intended to expand into the rifling, then flutter away on release. Problems with the paper absorbing moisture or swelling and blocking passage of the flame on firing rendered it impractical with time fuzes and so it saw limited application. This pattern features a smooth shoulder with a slight ring near the top, base has 6 slanted ribs, shell was intended for the Navy 50 pounder Dahlgren rifle, and with a percussion fuze it was designed to detonate after striking enemy cannon or equipment. Fuze employed was the Schenkl Navy percussion fuze, removable cap had a slider and percussion cap, fuze head is 1.4in., 12 threads per inch, marked: "JP SCHENKL / PAT OCT 16 1861", Jones pg. 102, top of fuze hole is milled flat. Projectile measures: diameter 5.06in., length 13.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 37lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 367.

A0120...Rifled artillery projectile, Schenkl design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, Navy pattern with hook slant ribs, paper sleeve sabot, Schenkl Navy percussion fuze, 50 pounder Navy rifle, 5.1 in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals, following the design of John P. Schenkl. The sabot system consisted of a "forcing cone" paper sleeve, which was intended to expand into the rifling, then flutter away on release. Problems with the paper absorbing moisture or swelling and blocking passage of the flame on firing rendered it impractical with time fuzes and so it saw limited application. This pattern features a smooth shoulder with a slight ring near the top, base has 6 slanted ribs, shell was intended for the Navy 50 pounder Dahlgren rifle, and with a percussion fuze it was designed to detonate after striking enemy cannon or equipment. Fuze employed was the Schenkl Navy percussion fuze, removable cap had a slider and percussion cap, fuze head is 1.4in., 12 threads per inch, marked: "JP SCHENKL / PAT OCT 16 1861", Jones pg. 102, top of fuze hole is milled flat. Projectile measures: diameter 5.06in., length 13.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 37lbs. Schenkl percussion fuze is removable. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 367.


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