Original U.S. Civil War Federal 3-Inch Hotchkiss Cutaway Shell with Fuse Adapter - Recovered Winchester Virginia

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Very well done cutaway display made from a U.S. 3” Hotchkiss Explosive Shell. This is a shell which would have been fired from the 3” Ordnance or Parrott Rifles. The shell is fitted with a Hotchkiss Fuse adapter and fuse, which is still present. Recovered from the Battlefields of Winchester, Virginia!

This shell has remnants of original black powder, which has now been rendered inert. The fuses are plainly visible in the cross section.

This item was excavated so the iron surface is pitted. Lead/zinc fuse band shows ground action on exterior, so no numbers remain visible. However, the embedded powder train within the band remains evident in the cross-section. The hole that lead to the inner charge from the fuse is also visible on this specimen.

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.

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. One of these was the Model 1861 3 Inch Ordnance rifled muzzle loader, usually called the " 3-in. Ordnance Rifle."

The 3 inch Ordnance gun was made of hammer-welded, formed, machined iron. It was popular because of its accuracy and reliability, at least those examples built in Federal shops. There were several different shells available for this gun, and one of the common makers used by the Union Army was the Hotchkiss company, founded by Benjamin B. Hotchkiss of Connecticut.

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