Military Review

Pipes and rings


In 1861, American engineer Robert Parker Parrott patented a new method of making gun barrels, which made them much lighter and stronger than the iron castings common to those times. Unlike Thomas Rodman, who developed a sophisticated method of casting with a cooled core, the trunks of the Perroth cannons were cast in the usual way, but they were much thinner and lighter than Rodman's. To increase the strength of their breech, where the pressure of the powder gases when fired, is maximal, wrought iron "cuffs" were worn by the method of hot landing, which protected brittle cast iron from cracking.

In the same year, Parrot's rifled guns were put into mass production on a number of armory factories and during the American Civil War - were widely used by both warring parties. In total, several thousand of these guns were fired, which were in service with the army and fleet USA until the end of the 1880s.

The caliber of the guns varied in a very wide range - from three to 10 inches (10 - 300 pounds in the then American system for determining the caliber by mass of the projectile). Light field three-inches weighed 400 kg and fired at 4600 meters, and heavy siege and ship ten-inches - more than 12 tons and threw 140-kilogram shells eight kilometers.

Parrot cannons were produced not only in the north, but also in the southern states. Small-caliber guns Southerners made without any problems, but with larger problems arose due to the lack of powerful forging equipment for the manufacture of wrought iron rings of considerable thickness and large diameter required for such guns. Solving this problem, a naval officer and inventor John Mercer Brooke suggested making the “cuffs” composite, picking them up from narrow rings, or putting relatively thin tubes on each other.

Brooke guns were successfully tested and produced during the civil war at the metallurgical plant in Richmond and in the sea arsenal of Selma. However, the production capacity of these enterprises was small, so for three years they produced just over a hundred rifled guns in caliber of six, seven and eight inches, as well as 12 ten-inch smooth-bore and several 11-inches.

The production culture was also lame, which is why a high percentage of marriage was noted. For example, of the 54 made in Selma Brook seven-inch sevens only 39 successfully passed the test, and of the 27 six-inch - 15. However, Brook's guns were considered a very valuable weapon and were used at the most critical sites. In particular, two such guns were installed on the first battleship of the southerners Virginia. Two more guns were received by the battleships Atlanta, Columbia, Jackson and some other ships of the Confederate fleet.

On the screen saver - Brooke's gun from the battleship "Jackson" in the American Naval Museum.

Loading the X-NUMX-Pound Parrot Cannon. To lift the projectile is used folding unit in a rope loop, mounted on the barrel.

X-NUMX-pound Parrot cannon on the deck of the Constelle.

On the left - a muzzle cut of the gun of Parrot with factory marking. In the barrel channel are clearly visible rifling. On the right is the patent drawing of the Perroth high-explosive fragmentation projectile with a leading copper “skirt”, which expanded when fired and ensured the projectile movement along the cuts.

The unexploded projectile Parrota, found on the ground fighting the civil war.

American confederate reenactors demonstrate their maturity from the Perrow field 10-pound.

Gun Parrot on the deck of a sail-steam frigate of northerners "Washb".

The coastal battery of northerners, on which the smooth-bore 15-inch Rodman bottle and the rifled 10 inch Parrot are adorned with.

Battery 30-pound long-barreled guns of the Parrot, which 10-11 on April 1862, fired at the fort of Pulas Confederates. As a result of the shelling, the fort received significant damage, and almost all of its guns were disabled. Two days after the bombing began, the garrison of the fort capitulated.
This battle episode clearly showed the inefficiency of the fortifications, built on the assumption of “nuclear” guns, against rifled artillery.

Damage to Fort Pulaski. Thick brick walls of the casemates in many places pierced through.

Due to undetected casting defects, the Parrroot cannons sometimes exploded when fired, as is the 10-inch siege gun. According to official data from the US Navy, 703 exploded from 21 guns of this design that stood on warships and coastal batteries during the civil war. On average, one accident accounted for 500-600 shots. Approximately the same statistics was in the army artillery.

This is called "bombanulo"! Eight-inch Parrot, who had a breech knocked out during a shot.

Brook’s cannon drawing with two thin rings put on each other.

Eight-inch Brooke in coastal position. Looking closer, you can see that the outer barrel of the barrel is made up of three rings adjacent to each other closely.

Smooth-bore ten-inch Brooke, captured by unionists in Richmond after the capitulation of the southerners.

Brooke tools, preserved to this day.
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  1. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich 26 December 2015 07: 36
    With the development of artillery and the transition from smooth-bore muzzle-loading guns to rifled breech-loading guns, various systems and methods for producing barrels were tested and tested. And metallurgy could give what it could give. Therefore, accidents with ruptured trunks occurred.
    Interesting, informative good
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 26 December 2015 07: 44
    This is called "bombanulo"! Eight-inch Parrot, who had a breech knocked out during a shot.... Yeah ... impressive ... bombed ... so bombanulo ... Thank you ... good ...
  3. Mooh
    Mooh 26 December 2015 08: 20
    A terrific article, for a long time there was no such high-quality work, and even on an uninhibited topic.
  4. AlNikolaich
    AlNikolaich 26 December 2015 09: 00
    Technology, however ... A cast iron barrel is tin! Given the technology of the time, especially in the United States, the reason for the failure of these guns is clear! This is the inability to accurately maintain the chemical composition of cast iron during casting, and the poor accuracy of manufacturing casing steel rings ... On the other hand, these are rifled trunks, with corresponding accuracy and power! Thanks to the author!
  5. martin-159
    martin-159 26 December 2015 10: 08
    Thank you for the article. Less and less articles about weapons, more about politics.
  6. Alex
    Alex 26 December 2015 10: 42
    I join, the article is fresh and interesting. And, like many, I would like to read something else as interesting about the development of artillery technology.

    Thanks to the author!
  7. NeRTT
    NeRTT 26 December 2015 11: 02
    I was pleasantly surprised by the production methods of these guns !! I never went into details, but then again !! And I found out on my own !! Article to the plus sign to the author Thank you !!! good
  8. Razvedka_Boem
    Razvedka_Boem 26 December 2015 11: 51
    With pleasure I plus good
  9. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 26 December 2015 12: 02
    And how many problems there were when they started switching to steel trunks! Metallurgists had to work hard before they mastered the production of steel for gun barrels.
  10. lilian
    lilian 26 December 2015 12: 21
    Thank you, it was interesting, special thanks for the photos.
  11. Tiger4
    Tiger4 26 December 2015 14: 38
    Class !!!! This is a topic for Military Review! Thanks to the author!
  12. moskowit
    moskowit 26 December 2015 15: 05
    I express my general opinion, excellent !. The article clearly expresses the originally conceived theme of the site. Thanks. More articles of such a plan are desirable.
  13. NIKNN
    NIKNN 26 December 2015 20: 59
    Author Vyacheslav Kondratiev

    Thanks Vyacheslav. It was very nice to be educated. good
  14. Ajjh
    Ajjh 27 December 2015 11: 08
    Article plus! it is because of such material that I think many sit here, including me! good
  15. Denimax
    Denimax 27 December 2015 12: 40
    The loading unit could, in principle, be used on many guns, and if it is not shown anywhere else, it may have been removed before a shot.
    Most likely the shell remained in the barrel of the cannon with the torn breech, otherwise it would have stood on the gun carriage like a normal recoilless.
    Author write more!