Original U.S. Civil War Confederate Cutaway 12pdr Spherical Case Shot Cannon Ball with Borman Fuze

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This Confederate Manufactured Shell was recovered in the Virginia area.

This is a rare example of a Confederate 4.52” 12 Pound Case Shot which was originally intended to be fitted with the Borman Fuze which is still mostly present. The shell has been sectionalized in order to make the shell a “cutaway” for display purposes.

This excavated half section of a 12 pounder artillery projectile is an excellent example which had the shot removed, showing a hollow cavity. This particular case-shot would have been packed with bullets and sulfur, which formed a deadly matrix.

This shell is a rare find and will be an excellent display piece or educational tool, as well as an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War artillery or general relic collection.

This cannonball, a 12-pound Shrapnel Shell, had a distance of about 1,200 feet and was used by the Confederate army throughout the Civil War. The fuze, invented around 1852, would cause a timed burst of the lead balls after the cannon was fired, unleashing the shrapnel contained within the shell. Cannonball weighs approximately 8 pounds.

The Bormann fuse is named after its inventor, Belgian Army Captain Charles G. Bormann. The Bormann time fuze was employed by the United Stated Ordnance Department as early as 1852. The time fuze is contained in a tin and lead disk. This disk had time markings indicated in seconds and quarter-seconds graduated up to 5 1/4 seconds. The artillerist used a metal punch to pierce the thin metal at the desired time marking. This exposed a section in the horseshoe-shaped horizontal mealed powder train, which is covered by a thin sheet of tin. When the cannon discharged, the flame from the explosion ignited this powder train. It would burn in a uniform rate in both directions, but one end would terminate in a dead-end just beyond the 5 1/4 second mark (Confederate copies are 5 1/2 seconds).

The other end would continue to burn past the zero-mark, where it would travel through a channel to a small powder booster or magazine. This powder then exploded, sending the flame through a hole in the fuze underplug to the powder chamber of the projectile. The purpose of the brass or iron fuze underplug was to form a solid base of support for the soft metal fuze, which could have easily been damaged during firing.

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