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Original U.S. Civil War type Armstrong Inert 12-Pounder Studded Shell Long Pattern

Regular price $199.95

Item Description

Original Item: The most advanced artillery in use during the American Civil War had rifled bores, which gave greatly increased range and accuracy. Since the war occurred just as rifling was being developed for artillery, a host of different rifling schemes were tried. Among the most famous and interesting was the British Armstrong studded shell, which was designed for muzzle-loading cannon that had been modified by cutting three deep rifling grooves into the bore. The Confederate States turned to Britain for weapons when the war broke out, and the South eventually fielded at least one battery of Armstrong 12-pounder rifled muzzle loaders (RMLs) at the Battle of Richmond. However, the ever-tightening Union Blockade prevented the extensive distribution of this revolutionary weapon. The battery of 12-pounder Armstrong RMLs was reported captured on May 31, 1865, by the Chief Ordnance Officer of the Union Army of the Potomac.

Although a lot of the South's detailed ordnance records were lost, some text references to the Confederate Armstrong 12-pounders have survived, and so have some projectiles. One Union officer, General Henry Larcom Abbot, found some 12-pounder Armstrong projectiles outside Richmond in 1865 and later donated his collection to the West Point Museum, where his shells are today. His collection included two types of shell, one about 8 inches long and another about 11 inches long. Also, about twenty years ago a cache of buried, unfired 12-pounder Armstrong explosive shells of the same kind that we are offering were found south-west of Richmond. It is believed these were buried when Union troops caught up with Confederate forces retreating from Richmond around April 5, 1865.

IMA is very, very pleased to be able to offer both versions of the different inert 12-pounder Armstrong shells of the same type as used by the Confederacy. The shells we offer are empty. All have a rusted finish with copper "plaques" on the exterior and are fully INERT for you to clean up. These were produced between 1863 and 1865 and sold worldwide. The British themselves finally adopted this weapon in 1869. Extremely rare, unusual and totally original!

This is the long pattern shell, the short pattern shell is available separately.

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