SCARCE .45 CALIBER CARDBOARD “TUBE” CARTRIDGE FOR WHITWORTH & KERR RIFLES

$375.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1179-397

This is an example of the cylindrical cardboard tube cartridge. These cartridges were patented in 1859 and contains a .45 caliber cylindrical bullet with a round nose, cone cavity, and with no grooves. This cartridge measures 3.9” overall. The cartridge was placed in a recess at the muzzle, a tab was pulled out of the cartridge bottom to allow the powder out, and then the bullet and a wax pad was rammed into the barrel through the tube.

These were used in the English Whitworth and Kerr rifles.  These highly accurate rifles were imported by the Confederacy through the Union blockade.

In 1854, Sir Joseph Whitworth, a prominent British engineer and entrepreneur, patented the concept of cannons which had a twisted hexagonal bore rather than the established smooth or rifled round bore.  The combination of the hexagonal cross section of the bore, and the corresponding shaped shell added range and accuracy to the projectiles.

Whitworth applied this same concept to small arms with an eye to creating a rifle that was more accurate than the Pattern 1853 Enfield. In the subsequent Arms Trials of 1857, Whitworth's rifle outperformed the Enfield in both accuracy and range. Notably, the Whitworth rifle scored successful hits on a target at a range of 2,000 yards, while the Enfield’s effective range was limited to 1,400 yards.  In spite of this performance, the British government ultimately rejected Whitworth's design, citing the tendency of the barrel to foul more than that of the Enfield, and due to cost; the Whitworth rifle cost approximately four times more than the Enfield to manufacture.

Whitworth combined a bore diameter of .451 firing a long, slender bullet, compared to the Enfield .577 caliber. The Whitworth had a 1-in-20" twist bore, much tighter than the 1-in-78" twist of the 1853 Enfield, or the 1-in-48" twist of the later M1856/1858 Enfield.  These innovative bullets proved to have greater stability, and hence improved accuracy at longer ranges.  Two bullet designs were used in the Whitworth Rifle, hexagonal and cylindrical. The cylindrical bullets were made of soft lead and had a small hollow base which upon firing would expand to form to the hexagonal shape of the barrel. These were easier and faster to load and so were intended for military use. The hexagonal bullet, pre-formed to the shape of the bore, was made of a harder, alloyed lead and intended for target shooting.

Kerr rifles were quite similar but made by the London Armoury Company and used these same cartridges.

Condition is good overall; tear strip is missing and exterior of tube is very dark from handling.  [jet] [ph:L]

UPS SHIPPING REQUIRED.

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