Original Civil War Confederate 3-inch Ordnance Rifle Read Shell
Original Item: Only One Available. Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This excavated Confederate 3 inch Read shell is in very good condition and still retains portions of its sabot. This fine Confederate shell has been disarmed, has no repairs, and is ready for display. It will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War artillery or general relic collection. Approximate weight is 6.8 lbs and the length is 7 1/4 inches.
The 3-inch (76 mm) rifle was the most widely used rifled gun during the war. Invented by John Griffen, it was extremely durable, with the barrel made of wrought iron, primarily produced by the Phoenix Iron Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. There are few cases on record of the tube fracturing or bursting, a problem that plagued other rifles made of brittle cast iron. The rifle had exceptional accuracy. During the Battle of Atlanta, a Confederate gunner was quoted: "The Yankee three-inch rifle was a dead shot at any distance under a mile. They could hit the end of a flour barrel more often than miss, unless the gunner got rattled." The 1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery converted to the 3-inch Rifle on 5 March 1864; they were described as "3-inch Rodman's guns" in an 11 Nov. 1864 letter from 1st Lieutenant Henry S. Hurter to the Minnesota Adjutant General.
The 1st Minnesota Light Artillery took part in the Atlanta Campaign. It was retained in service after the war, with many converted to breechloading weapons as 3.2-inch converted rifles or 3-inch saluting guns. It was eventually replaced by the 3.2-inch gun M1885.The Confederates were unable to manufacture the wrought iron barrels for the 3" rifle, thus captured ones were prized items. Despite the effectiveness of this weapon, the Confederacy did produce various bronze 3" rifles and cast iron pieces with a straight tube; however, none of them were reliable and the latter were often prone to bursting at the breech.
DIAMETER: 3.63 inches
GUN: 20-pounder Parrott rifle, 3.67-inch caliber
LENGTH: 10 1/8 inches
WEIGHT: 18 pounds 1 ounce
SABOT: Wrought Iron Ring
FUZING: Parrott zinc fuze plug, paper time fuze. Fuze is absent.
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