Military Review

US Civil War ammunition

62

Parrott's cannons and shells for them


As long as the Union was true to principles, we were brothers;
but as soon as these traitors from the North encroached on the sacred, on our rights,
we proudly raised our sweetheart blue flag with a single star.
Harry McCarthy. Cute heart blue flag


Weapon from museums. Articles on the topic of artillery armament of the armies of the North and South of the era of the Civil War in the United States definitely aroused the interest of the VO audience. Many offered options for its continuation, directly pointed to interesting systems that appeared at that crucial time.

The tool does not exist by itself. He always needs ammunition. Although some articles of the cycle talked about some of them, it is obvious that some generalizing article on this topic is simply necessary. And since it is necessary, then it is time for her to be born!


Such short mountain howitzers hardly needed rifled shells. They fired well with old grenades!

So, ammunition for guns of the transition period: from smoothbore "Napoleons" to the rifled guns of Whitworth, Parrott and Griffen.

This was the time when the new was rapidly advancing, although the goal of this "offensive" was the most barbaric - to kill as many people as possible and with greater efficiency than before. As you know, by 1861 smoothbore guns have reached perfection everywhere. The artillery crews were so trained that they fired one shot every 30 seconds. But the firing range of the most massive field guns at that time was relatively small, and the assortment of shells was small.

US Civil War ammunition

This photo shows very clearly how (with the help of three metal bands) the cast-iron cores were fastened on wooden pallets that played the role of a wad

They used solid cast iron cannonballs, which were fired at fortifications and masses of cavalry and infantry, explosive grenades - the same "cannonballs", but cast hollow and having a hole for an ignition tube, and buckshot - linen containers with bullets to hit the enemy at close range. As a rule, "bullets" (buckshot) were larger than rifle ones, and the larger the larger the gun caliber, the larger. The largest guns used grenade buckshot, although it was expensive - bundles of small-sized grenades with wicks, which first hit the enemy with shock force, and then burst under his feet. But the “pleasure” was expensive. It was difficult to tie them into a bunch of several rows of such buckshot. In addition, 40-mm grenades in 90-mm guns in a row there were only four. They were stacked in three rows, that is, out of the trunk flew ... only 12 buckshots.


And here you can clearly see buckshot shots for large-caliber guns. The pomegranate buckshot also looked approximately the same.

Explosive cores also had disadvantages. They gave an unequal amount of shards. For example, a cast-iron grenade once exploded under the belly of the horse Alcides, on which sat the legendary cavalry girl Nadezhda Durova and ... at least that! She heard the whistling of fragments, but not one hit either her or her horse, although the goal was not at all small! From hitting a stone wall, grenades often cracked, but did not have time to explode. They came up with the idea of ​​casting them with walls of different thicknesses, but for such nuclei, flying with the heavier part forward, only the thin-walled rear part was torn into fragments. They returned to the equal-walled grenades, but "with the tide", that is, in one place the wall was made thicker. And it worked, in the sense that the impact of such grenades increased, but ... they became more difficult to cast and they required more metal. In a word, everywhere you throw, a wedge is everywhere!


"Pomegranate with the tide"

That is why the very first rifled guns were received with such joy. The oblong shells, rotating in the air, flew farther, more precisely, hit harder, and, in addition, contained a larger powder charge, and also formed a more favorable fragmentation field. The whole question now was that the projectile would enter the rifled barrel easily, but back ... it would go out, rotating along the cuts made inside it. On large-caliber marine guns on the shells began to make protrusions-rifling, coinciding in profile with the rifling of the bore. But what was to be done with the shells of relatively small-caliber field guns?

However, the gunsmiths had to solve this problem a little earlier. On rifled guns! In them, round lead bullets at first had to be beaten with hammers (because of what the nipples were called “shotguns with tight bullet driving”), but then Claude Mignet came up with his famous bullet and at once solved all the problems. That is, it was necessary to resolve the contradiction: the bullet should be easily charged and at the same time firmly enter the rifling. Now, exactly the same situation was repeated again: it was required to ensure easy loading of muzzle-loading guns and at the same time to ensure that the shells in them acquire rotation at the time of the shot.


Traditional muzzle-loading spherical grenades

Many designers have worked on this problem in the United States, they solved it in different ways, but on the whole they achieved the desired results. It hardly makes sense to talk about oblong hexagonal-shaped shells for Whitworth guns a second time, but some other designs can be considered in more detail.


Cast Impact Cores

First of all, and with the least difficulty solved the issue of firing with buckshot. Now card bullets in the form of lead or iron balls were loaded into the likeness of a tin can (hence its name - "canister") along with wood sawdust. Therefore, the rifling bullets did not damage the barrel. True, the peculiarity of such a shot was the color of the smoke, which, thanks to the sawdust, became bright yellow, and its cloud was even larger than when fired by a grenade. It was believed that if the enemy is 100-400 yards from the artillery gun, the grape-shot would be most effective in this case. But such “packages” were nevertheless more expensive than the traditional ones used for smooth-bore guns, which also had no risk of damage to the cuts when firing traditionally packaged buckshot.

For spherical grenades of muzzle-loading cannons, firstly, an effective grater igniter was invented, and secondly, ready-made round bullets (Henry Shrapnel's invention) began to be added to their powder filling, which increased their striking power, especially if they exploded in the air above heads of enemy soldiers.


U.S. Civil War Projectile Exhibition: 1 - 3,43-inch Blackley shell (Britain), 2 - 2,73-inch Whitworth shell, 3 - 30-pound Parrot shell, 4 - 4,16-pound Parrot shell, 5 - 10-pound Parrot projectile, 6 - 3,73-inch Hotchkiss projectile, 7 - 12-pound spherical projectile with Bormann igniter, 8 - 3,67-inch Hotchkiss projectile, 9 - 3,8-inch James Type 2 projectile 11 - 3-inch Hotchkiss shell, 12 - 3-inch Reed shell

Now let's take a closer look at their device. Here are two sectional shells:


A - Shankle's shell and E - James's shell

At Shankl, the projectile had a teardrop shape with developed fins in the tail. A leading cylindrical part (pallet) made of papier-mâché (pressed paper) was put on it, and in order to prevent it from getting wet, a thin zinc shirt covered it on top. When fired, the gases burst open the paper pallet, it crashed into the rifling and led a projectile over them. Simple and cheap! Look at the cross-section of the Shankle and James shells (the part of the shell that expands with gases when fired is highlighted in red). James' round resembled a spherical bomb with a metal tray attached. He was also bursting with gas pressure during a shot, which was achieved by its rotation in the barrel when moving along rifles.


Hotchkiss shell in the context - C, and a shell with a lead shell - G

Hotchkiss shells (C) consisted of three parts. The front part contained a fuse and an explosive charge and was separated from the lower base by a conical ring around the outside. The shot forced these two iron parts to join together, while they burst out an intermediate lead or zinc ring that went into the grooves. There have been attempts (G) to cover the entire surface of the projectile with lead and push it into the barrel while cutting the threads. But the rifling was quickly leaded, and it was difficult to clean them, so such shells were not successful.


In the southern states, shells were used with the so-called Tennessee pan, at the bottom of which a copper "plate" was attached, expanding by gas pressure and entering the barrel rifling


Hotchkiss shell without lead belt for Viard's gun


James' 3,8-inch projectile (large). You can well see the burlap shell covering its back. The principle of operation was the same as that of the Shankle projectile.

As for the Parrott and Reed shells (two almost identical designs from two different manufacturers), they used a soft metal cup, usually brass, fixed at the base of the shell, which was expanded by gas pressure and pressed into the grooves.
Author:
Articles from this series:
The most popular caliber of the North and South
Cannons of Tredegar and the Noble Brothers
Cannons of Brooke and Viard
James and Sawyer cannons: rifled versus smoothbore
"The parrot gun." Man and his instrument
Faceted bore gun
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 19 July 2020 06: 49
    11
    Very, very interesting, Vyacheslav Olegovich. So informative that it will be clear to a non-specialist. Thank you for the article!
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 19 July 2020 08: 59
      +8
      Thanks to Vyacheslav Olegovich for continuing the cycle!
      It would be nice to read about the cannons of the "clawed geese" and "railroad artillery" during the American Civil War!
      The period was very indicative, and not only in the evolution of armor and shells !!!!
      Good day to everyone, Vlad!
      1. Snail N9
        Snail N9 19 July 2020 12: 13
        +6
        Very interesting. The topic was not covered at all, earlier. Only, here it would be desirable, in more detail about shells and especially about fuses: their design and accuracy of operation.
  2. Antifreeze
    Antifreeze 19 July 2020 07: 28
    21
    A very unexpected topic. I read it with pleasure. thank hi
  3. Undecim
    Undecim 19 July 2020 07: 35
    11
    I will add a little.
    This photo shows very clearly how (with the help of three metal bands) the cast-iron cores were fastened on wooden pallets that played the role of a wad
    This pallet, called the spiegle, did not act as a wad. It served to ensure proper loading - with an incendiary tube inward, to the charge. Sometimes, instead of a wooden spire, they used a rope.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 19 July 2020 07: 47
      13
      And one more thing.
      Traditional muzzle-loading spherical grenades
      These are, Vyacheslav Olegovich, grenades, but not muzzle-loading grenades, but hand grenades, which were used by the grenadiers.
      1. Krasnodar
        Krasnodar 19 July 2020 09: 37
        +3
        I wonder why such a grenade was set on fire in an offensive battle? Or was someone carrying a smoldering wick with them?
        1. bk0010
          bk0010 19 July 2020 10: 42
          +5
          Isn't the aiguillette a rudiment from this wick?
          1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
            Kote Pan Kokhanka 19 July 2020 14: 41
            +5
            Quote: bk0010
            Isn't the aiguillette a rudiment from this wick?

            No, not from this!
            For the first time, aiguillers appeared in the Netherlands at the forest giza, when their Spanish crown was recognized as extant hanging! They began to put mockery on the neck of the hemp rope!
            1. bk0010
              bk0010 19 July 2020 14: 51
              +4
              Aiguillette - a noose around the neck? Original! And the demobilization is weaving, trying ...
              1. Pane Kohanku
                Pane Kohanku 19 July 2020 18: 23
                +4
                Aiguillette - a noose around the neck? Original! And the demobilization is weaving, trying ...

                Originally, but in tsarist Russia, they, EMNIP, were worn by adjutants and officers who graduated from the Academy of the General Staff. drinks
                Here is an armored car "Mercedes" designed by captain Bylinsky on tests. Range of Officers' Shooting School, 1915. A man with a beard in front, rubbing his ear and thinking hard - General Nikolai Filatov, head of the School. Great inventor, man-head! good And closer to us is a young man with an accelerant - perhaps his adjutant.

                Filatov has already left, and the brave young man is still talking about something. Commission, sir! hi
        2. Pane Kohanku
          Pane Kohanku 19 July 2020 18: 25
          +4
          I wonder why such a grenade was set on fire in an offensive battle? Or was someone carrying a smoldering wick with them?

          Albert, I too have always been tormented by this question of the grenadiers ... what drinks
          1. Krasnodar
            Krasnodar 19 July 2020 19: 55
            +2
            Greetings! hi
            And the answer to this question? ))
        3. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 19 July 2020 20: 17
          +3
          Quote: Krasnodar
          I wonder why such a grenade was set on fire in an offensive battle? Or was someone carrying a smoldering wick with them?

          Grenadier and carried. In the left hand is a wick, in the right - a pomegranate.

          The lasting thing is the wick. They got rid of him in guns, so he crawled to the grenadiers. smile
          1. Krasnodar
            Krasnodar 19 July 2020 20: 30
            +2
            Thank you very much! good It's simple - I could have lit a few grenades for them, besides.
    2. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 19 July 2020 10: 35
      +3
      Quote: Undecim
      This pallet, called the spiegle, did not act as a wad. It served to ensure proper loading - with an incendiary tube inward, to the charge. Sometimes, instead of a wooden spire, they used a rope.

      You noticed that correctly! And similar pallets were used with "pole" grenades (bombs) and cannonballs ... as it was necessary for the "pole" cannonball (grenade) to fly out at a certain "pole"!
    3. Saxahorse
      Saxahorse 19 July 2020 21: 01
      +3
      Quote: Undecim
      This pallet, called the spiegle, did not act as a wad.

      I played partly. Their meaning is also to somewhat reduce the shock load on a thin-walled grenade. They made them cast iron and destruction (with detonation) right in the barrel was often a big problem.
  4. aftbreeze
    aftbreeze 19 July 2020 10: 38
    0
    "This photo shows very clearly how (with the help of three metal bands) the cast iron cores were attached to wooden pallets that played the role of a wad."

    What kind of photographs are these in the second half of the 19th century? Maybe a diorama or a reconstruction panorama?
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 19 July 2020 10: 47
      +9
      The oldest surviving photograph. 1826 year.

      Joseph Nicefort Niepce, a French photographer, took this picture using an eight hour exposure. It is called "View from the window at Le Gras"
      1. aftbreeze
        aftbreeze 19 July 2020 10: 50
        +1
        Exactly! That's what I'm talking about!
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 19 July 2020 10: 54
          +8
          About what, about the same? 1826 - the first half of the XNUMXth century.
          There is still 35 years before the American Civil War.
          In 1861, color photography had already appeared.

          This is the first color photograph. 1861 year.
          1. aftbreeze
            aftbreeze 19 July 2020 11: 04
            0
            What are you talking about? What quality did those photos have? And how many have survived to this day?
          2. aftbreeze
            aftbreeze 19 July 2020 11: 07
            0
            Well, what is shown here?
          3. aftbreeze
            aftbreeze 19 July 2020 11: 15
            0
            The first reliable color photographic images, fixed on a physical medium, were obtained by French inventors Louis Arthur Ducos du Auron and Charles Cros in the late 1860s.
          4. 3x3zsave
            3x3zsave 19 July 2020 11: 17
            +5
            I will add the famous "Tartan Ribbon". By T. Sutton and J. Maxwell (whose name is rarely associated with the history of photography)
      2. Liam
        Liam 19 July 2020 10: 59
        +2
        According to modern research, exposure was well over 8 hours. We are talking about days.
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 19 July 2020 11: 04
          +6
          Sorry, I inserted the wrong photo.
          It was necessary.
          1. aftbreeze
            aftbreeze 19 July 2020 11: 18
            +1
            Yes, I saw this photo on Wikipedia. You cannot compare with the quality of those given in this article!
            1. Bormanxnumx
              Bormanxnumx 19 July 2020 14: 43
              +2
              Quote: aftbreeze
              Yes, I saw this photo on Wikipedia. You cannot compare with the quality of those given in this article!

              https://vakhnenko.livejournal.com/111245.html
              Lots of photographs from the period of the American Civil War.
              1. aftbreeze
                aftbreeze 20 July 2020 07: 58
                0
                Well, quite another matter!
          2. Pane Kohanku
            Pane Kohanku 19 July 2020 18: 31
            +3
            It was necessary.

            EMNIP, this is the first photo in the world. It was published in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. hi
        2. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 19 July 2020 11: 48
          +4
          It's about the days
          My respect, colleague! hi
          It turns out that Nieps closed the lens at night?
          1. Liam
            Liam 19 July 2020 18: 18
            +3
            hi
            I don’t know the technical details. In any case, the method by which this photo was taken is seriously different from photographing in the modern sense. The researchers tried to repeat the process following the notes of the author and came to the conclusion that it takes several days.
      3. aftbreeze
        aftbreeze 19 July 2020 11: 10
        0
        [media = http: // https: //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Posing_Cliff_Berryman.jpg/800px-Posing_Cliff_Berryman.jpg]
      4. The comment was deleted.
      5. Bormanxnumx
        Bormanxnumx 19 July 2020 14: 40
        +4
        You have posted a photograph of Louis Daguerre taken in 1838. There, the exposure is already about 10 minutes (the progress of the photo process smile ) and are even visible on it! people - bottom left corner, shoe shine with a client imprinted.
      6. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 19 July 2020 15: 27
        +4
        First aerial photograph, Paris 1858
  5. Trilobite Master
    Trilobite Master 19 July 2020 11: 06
    +7
    As a child, we solved the problems of buckshot as follows: stuff your mouth with green elderberry and spit out this “buckshot” into the “enemy” through a tube cut off right there.
    Green mountain ash was also used. smile
    Vyacheslav Olegovich, thanks for the material, interesting. good
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 19 July 2020 11: 32
      +6
      Green mountain ash was also used.
      In my childhood, mountain ash was also popular, but tubes from bicycle pumps were used as a "trunk".
      1. Trilobite Master
        Trilobite Master 19 July 2020 13: 24
        +5
        Yes, there was so much that was not used - from ski poles to sawn-off pens. smile
        I see the target (shoot) - I see no obstacles. Imagination, perseverance and ingenuity, plus the ingrained traditions of technical creativity and skills acquired in a locksmith (carpentry) workshop during labor lessons, allowed us to set and solve any problems. smile
        If you want to do it, do it yourself.
        And when it came to creating and using something that makes a loud babAh ... smile
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 19 July 2020 13: 49
          +5
          If you want to do it, do it yourself.
          I am still guided by this principle! Moreover, professionally.
          1. Trilobite Master
            Trilobite Master 19 July 2020 14: 30
            +3
            Still, there are things that are better to entrust to professionals ...
            In childhood, yes - then your needs could be satisfied through their own work and creativity. Now - no, unfortunately. Apparently needs have changed. smile
    2. Krasnodar
      Krasnodar 19 July 2020 11: 51
      +5
      Quote: Trilobite Master
      As a child, we solved the problems of buckshot as follows: stuff your mouth with green elderberry and spit out this “buckshot” into the “enemy” through a tube cut off right there.
      Green mountain ash was also used. smile
      Vyacheslav Olegovich, thanks for the material, interesting. good

      This is a machine gun
      1. Trilobite Master
        Trilobite Master 19 July 2020 13: 27
        +4
        Quote: Krasnodar
        This is a machine gun

        No, they fired in one gulp ... Although, of course, it can be done like a machine gun, but in one gulp it is more interesting.
        1. Krasnodar
          Krasnodar 19 July 2020 13: 52
          +4
          This is an WMD - for this you can contact the school principal laughing
          1. Trilobite Master
            Trilobite Master 19 July 2020 14: 24
            +6
            At school they shot only with chewing paper. Well, it happened that paper bombs with water were thrown from the windows, some matches were hung from the ceiling in the toilets (I - no, for ideological reasons). More darts were made of four matches, a needle and a paper stabilizer ... But, no, I remembered, they also made micro-slings and fired with paper bullets. For this к the director could only be hit if he hit it before в director. laughing
            Or for a chimney if you fall in the act. smile
            1. Krasnodar
              Krasnodar 19 July 2020 14: 41
              +4
              Democratic School laughing
              1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
                Kote Pan Kokhanka 19 July 2020 14: 54
                +5
                Bird cherry was also fired from the tubes!
                In addition to smoke boxes, they also crushed paper crackers!
                For water, they made sprinklers from various plastic cans and pens!
                The bomb itself was a bicycle camera sealed on one side and twisted in a special way on the other on the other. Water was drawn from the column under pressure. It was called a sausage.
                The panties used water balls! If this came from the fifth floor, it didn't seem enough. Such people were smoked in "buckets" - a bucket of water under the threshold of the apartment, so that the mean coward would not sit out!
                And so, Bows, crossbows, including pistol shooters, stones, ignites and scarecrows!
                What will the need be honored!
                1. Krasnodar
                  Krasnodar 19 July 2020 14: 56
                  +4
                  I remember cycling, water bombs in my time were already made from product number one))
                2. VIP
                  VIP 19 July 2020 17: 55
                  +4
                  We periodically used "stinkers": a cellophane bag was filled with urine or liquid substance from the upper floor. Of course, if such a "thrower" was combed out then. They beat me severely.
                  In fact, we didn’t have 2 for XNUMX, but if the “thrower” was caught, “football” should be done: they stood in a circle and kicked him.
                3. VIP
                  VIP 19 July 2020 18: 53
                  +3
                  "a bucket of water under the threshold" if you know where it came from, and if not, and you make a mistake? It is fraught
            2. 3x3zsave
              3x3zsave 19 July 2020 17: 01
              +5
              At school they only shot with chewed paper.
              Rice and buckwheat.
              Everything else is one to one.
              1. Pane Kohanku
                Pane Kohanku 19 July 2020 18: 35
                +4
                Rice and buckwheat.

                judging by your differences, you are a bearded terrorist! laughing Administration: this is my friend. Good friend ... Do not consider it an insult! wink drinks
                1. 3x3zsave
                  3x3zsave 19 July 2020 18: 54
                  +3
                  "Avanti ru - ru - ru
                  Bandera rossa! " (FROM)
                  1. Pane Kohanku
                    Pane Kohanku 19 July 2020 19: 00
                    +4
                    Avanti ru - ru - ru

                    You are my friend. That says it all. yes
                    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
                      Kote Pan Kokhanka 19 July 2020 19: 49
                      +4
                      Mini slingshots were made from steel wire and heating pads. The green ones were especially appreciated! Why dont know. They shot "with" shaped pieces of aluminum or copper wire. It was categorically impossible to shoot at cats and dogs, for this one could not become a handshake. In class 4 we got a double-shot pistol with suction cups. After that, they went into the lead. After the 2nd shift, we played the "chukhanka" with this gun on and around the school type! For some reason, the game was called "the wizard of the emerald city." We got the names from this book, and how bleached cockroaches ran for three months in winter!
            3. VIP
              VIP 19 July 2020 18: 49
              +4
              Did you make a microslide from wire? We used to have these in use, and we also did from our fingers: "Hungarian" was put on 2 fingers and fired with "spools" of paper or sharpened wire. True, this was our "forbidden" weapon. This was used against another street
        2. Pane Kohanku
          Pane Kohanku 19 July 2020 18: 38
          +3
          No, they fired in one gulp ... Although, of course, it can be done like a machine gun, but in one gulp it is more interesting.

          this is already ribadekin! laughing
    3. VIP
      VIP 19 July 2020 17: 38
      +3
      We did it differently: we swam corn through the tube. But such a "weapon" we had a rarity due to the low range.
  6. Catfish
    Catfish 19 July 2020 11: 49
    +6
    Thanks to Vyacheslav Olegovich, as always. hi

    A small addition to shrapnel.

    A great step forward in increasing the combat capabilities of artillery was the invention of the British officer Henry Shrapnel. He created a new ammunition, the main purpose of which was to fight the enemy with manpower. It is curious that the inventor himself did not witness the triumph of his brainchild, but he found the beginning of the use of new ammunition in combat conditions.

    Henry Shrapnel became the creator of the projectile, which brought artillery to a new level of its power. Thanks to shrapnel, artillery was able to effectively deal with infantry and cavalry, located in open areas and at a considerable distance from the guns. Shrapnel became a steel death over the battlefield, hitting troops in marching columns, in moments of rebuilding and preparing for an attack, on halts. In this case, one of the main advantages was the range of use of ammunition, which could not provide the canister.


    1. Saxahorse
      Saxahorse 19 July 2020 21: 07
      +1
      Besides, shrapnel gave birth to one of the first memes :)
      British soldiers used to say - "They say that Colonel Shrapnel hated people fiercely from childhood .." :))
  7. VIP
    VIP 19 July 2020 18: 40
    +3
    The third photo from above, I saw a similar gun in the movie "The Mystery of the Back Cap Island" "
    Vyacheslav, did the southerners or northerners have this weapon? The fact is that the men in the hat look like some kind of militia.
  8. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 19 July 2020 21: 12
    +2
    A very interesting article, and a wonderful topic, the birth of rifled artillery in pictures. Many thanks to the author!

    The only thing I would like to note is that the limited range was not a consequence of smooth bore. It's just that black powder burned too quickly, because the length of the then barrels was limited to 18-25 calibers and an initial speed of 350-450 m / s. The advent of brown powder in the 70s and 80s of the 19th century made it possible to make guns up to 35 calibers long, and the range increased sharply accordingly. Well, then, in the 90s, smokeless gunpowder and modern artillery appeared.