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A01158 - Good Starter Example of Britten Shell

Item Number: A01158

Item Title: Good Starter Example of Britten Shell

Price: $260

Shipping: Not included

Provenance:

Type: Britten Segmented Shell

Size: 3.5 Inch Caliber for 12-lber Blakely Rifle

Sabot: Lead Cup

Fuse: Wood Adapter (Missing)

Book: Dickey and George (1993 Edition) Page 117

Location Recovered: Spanish Fort, AL

Description:Although made in England these were used by both sides with scattered usage on all fronts. But even then they are a rather scarce projectile. This one was probably fired from Battery F, 1st Missouri Light Artillery, USA. Official Records state they fired 1,102 rounds, mostly at Confederate Fort McDermott, with a few sailing over the hill towards Battery Old Spanish Fort. Mike bought a large collection of shells from the Mobile area some years back and there was a group of these Brittens in it. Most were near mint but almost none had fuses in their threaded fuse hole. I believe that they used wooden adapters for time fuses and the Britten percussion fuses for percussion usage. In cleaning them I found the remains of a wooden adapter inside many of them. This is supported by the fact that all the 3" Britten shells found in West Helena had no fuses in them either and I cleaned quite a number that had the remains of a wooden adapter rammed inside by impact.

This shell isn't the best quality one around but it is a good representative example at a good price. Real nice ones are $600 or so. Much more if perfect with a percussion fuse. In this case the sabot is with the shell but detached on impact. it clearly shows the cannon's rifling. The shell sits in it just fine and you can remove the sabot and see the tinning on the shell bottom that helped to (unsuccessfully in this case) hold the sabot to the shell. The fuse hole is open so you can see the threads and the segments inside the shell. There is some surface iron loss but no deep pitting. This can be a representative example of the Britten without having to sink big bucks into it.

Shell is inert, cleaned and coated.


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