FRENCH 3.4” SHELL FOR RIFLED CANNONS

$450.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 154-514

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One of the earliest ideas for rifled cannon was suggested by Frenchman Cavalier Treulle de Beaulieu in 1842, consisting of a barrel with deep helical grooves firing a shell with studs on it to ride in the grooves. His idea was later successfully developed by British inventor Sir William Armstrong. The design was simple, reliable, and made for a highly accurate weapon. Armstrong supplied both armies in the American Civil War.

This unknown French example has 12 zinc studs (six pair, in two rows), where Armstrong shells used studs of a copper alloy (in three rows). The 3.4” French Rifle was not used by either side in the American Civil War, but there is evidence that the Confederates may have been evaluating it. This projectile has often been confused with the known Armstrong patterns.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Richard Delafield on May 29, 1860, this is a French rifled projectile.  A similar specimen was found on the battlefield of Solforina, Italy, in 1860.  A 3.31” cannon was imported by the Confederates and is listed in the 1863 Confederate Ordnance Manual. This French cannon was described as having six grooves.

This shell is made of cast-iron, and has studs on its sides. The lower portion of a zinc fuse remains screwed into the nose. The shell appears to have been painted white some time ago and much of the paint is worn away.   [jet] [ph:L]

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