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  • French Unknown Inventor

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    French Unknown Inventor -

    DIAMETER:  3.325 inches not including studs
    GUN:  3.4-inch French rifled gun
    LENGTH:  6 1/4 inches
    WEIGHT:  65 pounds
    CONSTRUCTION:  Shell
    SABOT:  Zinc studs
    FUZING:  Threaded time fuze (brass)

    According to a letter located in the National Archives that was written by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Delafield on May 29, 1860, this is a French rifled projectile.  A similar specimen was picked up on the battlefield of Solforina, Italy, in 1860 and is located in the West Point Military Academy's Museum, NY.  Based on the diameter of the projectile and not the studs, no Confederate or Federal manufactured cannon known to the authors could have fired this projectile during the American Civil War.  However, a 3.31-inch caliber cannon, exterior of 61.8 inches, bore of 54.3 inches and weight of 670 pounds,  was imported by the Confederates and is listed on page 472 in the 1863 Confederate Ordnance Manual.  This French cannon is described as having six grooves, .118 inch deep and a projectile that weighs 8 pounds.  This projectile has been confused with the known Armstrong patterns, which had three rows of copper studs.  There are two rows of six lead studs, for a total of twelve studs.  This type of projectile is also found in additional calibers. 

    The projectile used in the French field-service is made of cast-iron, and has twelve zinc studs on its sides, arranged in pairs, so as to fit the six grooves of the gun. For the larger cannon-projectiles but three studs are used, and these are cast on the projectile, nearly opposite to its center of gravity; the bearing sides of the studs are faced with white metal to diminish friction against the grooves of the bore. The shape of the grooves is such as to center the projectile. The latter projectile is used with increasing, the former with grooves of uniform, twist.


    Inventory Number: ART 111