Original Civil War Confederate 3-inch Wrought Iron Ordnance Rifle Read Shell - Excavated in Spotsylvania County Virgina

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This excavated Confederate 3 inch Read shell is in wonderful condition and still retains its sabot and fuze. 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 7.1 lbs and the length is 7 1/4 inches. The side of this projectile is painted in white Spottsya C.H. VA 1864. Indicating that it was dug up in Spotsylvania County, Virgina and that the projectile dates from 1864.

This is the most common recovered Read pattern projectile. A lathe dimple is found in the center of the flat projectile base. This pattern Read was designed to be fired from the 3-inch wrought iron (ordnance) rifle having seven lands and grooves. This pictured specimen was definitely fired at some point, as the sabot has the rifling grooves, only acquired during travel down the barrel of the ordnance rifle. A nearly identical specimen is located in the West Point Military Academy Museum, West Point, New York.

The 3-inch ordnance rifle, model 1861 was a wrought iron muzzle-loading rifled cannon that was adopted by the United States Army in 1861 and widely used in field artillery units during the American Civil War. It fired a 9.5 lb (4.3 kg) projectile to a distance of 1,830 yd (1,670 m) at an elevation of 5°. The 3-inch rifle was not as effective in firing canister shot as the heavier 12-pounder Napoleon, but it proved to be highly accurate at longer ranges when firing shell or shrapnel. There was only one reported case of a 3-inch ordnance rifle bursting in action. This was in stark contrast to the similarly-sized cast iron 10-pounder Parrott rifles which occasionally burst without warning, inflicting injury on the gun crews. The Confederate States of America lacked the technology to manufacture successful copies of the 3-inch ordnance rifle. However, the Confederate States Army respected the weapons and employed those captured from Federal forces.

DIAMETER:  2.96 inches
GUN:  3-inch wrought iron (ordnance) rifle
LENGTH:  7 1/2 inches
WEIGHT:  6 pounds 4 ounces
SABOT:  Copper ring
FUZING:  Copper fuze plug, paper time fuze

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