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Author Topic: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles  (Read 836 times)

Joe Walker

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3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« on: September 21, 2018, 08:33:15 PM »
Any record of trying to use the other's projectiles?   I know they are not exactly alike.  I am a bit more than a novice.  However, it has occurred to me that it may be one may fit the other.

Thanks.

JW

CarlS

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2018, 08:48:50 PM »
Are you asking about the use of Parrott projectiles in an ordnance rifle?  I think not as they are too heavy for the ordnance rifle to safely fire.  But I have found a few 10-lber Hotchkiss shells with Parrott rifling (3 L&G) although most  were used in ordnance rifles (7 L&G).
Best,
Carl

speedenforcer

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2018, 01:15:24 PM »
Carl, Please explain. Why would it be to heavy for the 3"rifle? if it would fit I would think it would work, Maybe not effectively or accurately but if the tolerances were the same, well? Im not an expert however.
It's not always "Survival of the fitest" sometimes the idiots get through.

CarlS

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2018, 01:29:32 AM »
Well Jay as it turns out I know not that of which I speak.  In my mind the Hotchkiss shells were about 8lb and the Parrotts 9lb and up.  I felt the added weight would put too much stress on the tube.  And while the Hotchkiss common shell is about 8.5 lbs the case is a bit over 9lb and the bolt is 10lbs or so.  As the Parrott case shot is 10lb to 11lb and the Parrott bolt 10.25lb the difference is not that great so it doesn't appear to me that stress is the factor that keeps Parrotts out of the Ordnance rifles.  So unless Parrott didn't allow his projectiles used in anything besides a Parrott gun then I don't know.  Any one else know?
Best,
Carl

redbob

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2018, 07:27:56 AM »
I always thought that the reason that Parrott's went from 2.9" to 3" was to standardize ammunition.

relicrunner

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 04:19:43 PM »
I do have a Hotchkiss base/sabot frag that has 3L&G from being fired in a Parrott gun. Don't recall ever seeing a 10lb Parrott with ordnance rifling......

CarlS

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 04:52:27 AM »
One of our esteemed lurkers provided the images below as an example of a Hotchkiss shell fired from the Parrott rifle as indicated on his nice display legends.  Interesting he flame groove of the shell centered on the groove of the cannon.
Best,
Carl

speedenforcer

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2018, 07:00:49 PM »
interesting thread.
It's not always "Survival of the fitest" sometimes the idiots get through.

Dr. Beach

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 07:55:27 PM »
This discussion of loading of a Hotchkiss into a Parrott brought back to mind this blast from the past concerning a Hotchkiss and a 3-inch Confederate Parrott-type rifle (from our earlier Forum site).  I had a Hotchkiss that evidenced unusual rifling marks—from my catalogue:

Federal 3” brass-fused Type I Hotchkiss Percussion shell (brass Hotchkiss
Percussion Type II fuse)--designed for the U.S. 3” Ordnance Rifle--
shell measures 2.92” diameter. No patent date on the cup, and no
date on the fuse (the dated fuse “appears in mid-1863,” per D&G, p.
166)--with no date on the fuse, that implies that this is a late war
shell, and was probably from the skirmish at Coosawhatchie, South
Carolina, 9 December 1864 (Howard Alligood, Jr., agrees, based on
the location found). This shell evidences two (of three) wide
Parrott-type rifling marks (1.25”) caused by the rifle’s grooves. This
is remarkable because unusual that the stress of the Parrott-type
rifle (usually had a gaining-twist) did not rip the sabot. As from
the 1864 battle (and evidencing 3x3 rifling), it could have only been
fired from either a U.S. Model 1863 3” Parrott, or a Confederate 3”
Parrott-type rifle with three large grooves. As the sabot is
remarkably intact, this may argue for a CS rifle without a gaining twist
to the rifling. Similar to Dickey & George, p. 166. Pete George,
in correspondence 7 March 2006, helped with the above facts. Dug
at Coosawhatchie, South Carolina.

For those interested, here are two of my notes on this matter from the old Forum, Sep. 2004:

1. At the beginning of last year, I spent a good amount of time researching this one--well, at least the early CS 3-inch “Parrott pattern” rifles. The answer is that, indeed, the 3-inch CS rifles came in a variety of land and groove flavors. Many don’t realize that one of those flavors came in the form of a “3-inch rifle gun, Parrott pattern,” which actually predated the Federal version (see the OR: Series 1, vol. 15, Part 1, p. 1087, that mentions them in November, 1862--see also D&G, p. 246). Now some of these early 3-inch CS Parrotts had 12x12 left-hand twist rifling (per Cole), but many evidently had 3x3 rifling (like the Federals would have in theirs later--a straight 3x3 “wide”--see Ripley). I’ve seen sabots that demonstrate this--one CS Read found at Fredericksburg had 3x3 “wide” rifling on the sabot. The CS 3x3 came in at least three varieties: one had a right-hand twist, and the two others were straight 3x3s (a “wide” [D&G p. 246] and a “narrow” [D&G p. 129] [producing a 5/8” tab on the sabot]). Of course, there were other 3 inch CS rifle types (not to mention the captured U.S. ones!), but hope this was helpful concerning my favorite 3-inch CS Parrotts!

2. For the record, I wanted to append this information to this former post. Pete George has helped dispel in my mind the idea that a shell designed for a 3” barrel could be forced (with minimal success perhaps) into a 2.9” barrel. Here is the recent information sent from Pete (thanks again, Pete!):

“Sorry, but ‘as the barrel got very hot it would expand’ is an incorrect assumption. A widely-believed one, I know, but still incorrect. When a heated metal expands, it expands in ALL directions. A hole through a piece of hot metal actually gets smaller, not larger. This is why your car's owner's-manual specifies that new sparkplugs MUST be installed when the engine is cold - NOT hot. Contrary to popular belief, the holes in the engine-block are smaller when hot than when cold. If you screw the sparkplug in ‘tight’ while the engine is hot, come back and check when it has cooled ...you'll find the formerly-tight plug is now loose-fitting. My point is, a hot cannon-bore is actually smaller in diameter than a cold one. So, no offense, but a 2.9” bore would have to be very seriously enlarged - AND completely free of powder-fouling - to accept a 2.92-2.94 projectile. I'd think those two conditions happening simultaneously would be an extremely rare occurrence. Furthermore, since Field Artillery cannon-rifling is usually only .05-07" deep, either no rifling or very little would remain in a significantly-enlarged (a.k.a. ‘shot out’) bore. Before one got to that stage, the yanks (having an unlimited supply) would turn it back in to their Ordnance Dept. and draw a fresh one. In the final year of the war the Confederates tended to retire their enlarged-bore cannons out of active (high-use) field service into ‘quiet backwater’ fort positions ...such as Fort Branch (NC) and High Bridge (VA).”

Horace

Woodenhead

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2018, 01:09:34 PM »
I recall years ago Dean Thomas turned up a 3 inch Hotchkiss at Gettysburg with the 3 Parrott grooves. We were all excited because it meant that somebody (probably a Rebel battery) fired it from a Parrott Rifle. This theory has not stood the test of time. During July 1863, the regulation rifling of a 3 inch "Richmond" Rifle was the three grooves typically seen in a Parrott bore. During 1861, the CS 3 inch rifles had 12 left-leaning lands and grooves - ideal for a lead sabot. Starting in Jan. 1862, all CS rifles from the small Mountain Rifle Gun to the heavy 4.62 inch RIfle Siege Gun were supposed to have "sawtooth" or hook-slant rifling as described in the order pictured below. The CS Ordnance Bureau very much admired all things British and this was probably copied from the Blakely's rifling. Sometime during the summer of 1862, the hook-slant fell out of favor and Tredegar was ordered to re-rifle at least 4 of the existing 3 inch rifles from "sawtooth" to the "Parrott groove," as described in the correspondence, below. I show a typical 3 inch Read with obvious hook-slant rifling (they called for 5 grooves), below.

But how could they ream out the bore and add the 3 shallow grooves without enlargening the gun's caliber? They could not.
Among the 30 or so batteries serving with the Army of North Carolina and Southern Virginia was a battery equipped with 3.11 inch Rifles. The records include several complaints about the difficulty of getting the proper ammunition for the guns. Has anyone dug or purchased any of these?

Woodenhead

Joe Walker

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2018, 01:09:28 PM »
Since I started this mess I need to add that I am researching Reilly's battery of NC artillery and it came to me that since in his six-gun battery (ca. Gettysburg) they possessed 2- 3" Ord Rifles and 2- 10lb Parrott's.  I thought it a high probability that they would try and use one projectile (the 3" rifle's) in the Parrotts.

CarlS

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2018, 10:50:40 PM »
I've been meaning to post this for awhile but am only now getting it done.  My apologies for the delay.  I thought it might add a bit to this discussion.

I have a Hotchkiss shell I found years ago in Vicksburg that was missing the fuse and not in very good shape.  But I noticed something neat about it:  the cup was cracked and  I surmised from the way it looked that a 2nd shell must have hit it on the rear end.  Someone must have dug the top shell, didn't check the hole and left this one.  But all my musing on how the cup got cracked had me overlook a more interesting aspect of it until I got home.  The rifling on it wasn't Parrott or Ordnance but is 6 slants (also referred to as "saw tooth" or "hook slant' or "Scott Pattern").  Looking at the table in Jack Bell's book on rifling cannon the only thing he lists that might have shot this is the 2.9-inch Blakely.  While I haven't looked hard yet I haven't seen where one was listed as being in the area.  Maybe I'll make it back to Vicksburg again one day and can check it out.
Best,
Carl

Jack Bell

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2018, 12:56:29 PM »
Executive Order #99 reported that Hotchkiss sold 3,630 shells and 2,040 canister in the 2.9-inch caliber between September 1863 and June 7, 1864. Parrott reportedly produced its first 3.0-inch guns in August 1863, but they were not inspected and fielded until early 1864. So it is possible that Hotchkiss shells fired from Parrott 2.9-inch guns were actually 2.9-inch caliber.

Woodenhead

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2018, 02:08:33 AM »
In response to Joe Walker's original question, the Rebels fired tens of thousands of captured or salvaged U.S. artillery projectiles while the Federals generally stayed away from the enemy ordnance. At First Bull Run, the victorious Rebs captured all of the Yankee field artillery including thousands of unfired shells. The guns and ammo were immediately put into service. The CS Ordnance Regulations required every field battery to be accompanied by an ordnance sergeant with a wagon to pick up fired shells, shrapnel and any damaged gun parts. The South was very serious about reusing enemy projectile and fuzes which they recognized as superior. A majority of the fired enemy shells taken to CS shops were rethreaded and refused with a copper (or wooden depending upon the timing) fuze plug because the original Federal fuze could not be trusted. That was done with about 1,500 3-inch Dyers picked up after the battle of Fredericksburg, thousands of salvaged 3-inch Schenkl shells that had new copper fuze plugs and wood sabots added, and many thousands of fired 10 pdr. Parrott shells with their sabots checked with a cylinder gauge and copper fuze plugs or wood plugs replacing the original. Again, when the Rebs captured unfired enemy ammo, they generally reissued it as is.

Many years ago, I was in a New York museum that had an entire collection of rare Rebel shells in milk crates or rolling around on the floor of a backroom. I believe it was the remains of Union Gen. Gilmore's collection from Charleston, SC. I saw many odd rifle shells I've never seen anywhere else. I was in too much of a hurry photoing for a Troiani book to give it the proper attention, but I did photo a 4 inch U.S. Schenkl shell with pin thru base and wood sabot intact whose body had been turned down to a 3.67 or 3.5 inch for CS usage. I hate to say it but I believe this was one of the old collections blown up a few years ago.

Below is an important 2 page letter from the Atlanta Arsenal's Col. Wright to the ordnance chief of the Army of Tennessee discussing what to do with the artillery captures from the recent battle of Stones River. Wright was an ordnance rock star in the western theater. In 1861, he commanded the Nashville Arsenal responsible for supplying the entire CS front line in Kentucky. He later commanded the Atlanta Arsenal until captured by Sherman. His words and opinion carried a great deal of weight. He describes sending the captured Schenkl ammo back to the Army - intact except for the removal of the little safety screws in the percussion fuzes.

Woodenhead

Woodenhead

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Re: 3" Ord Rifle- 10 Lb Parrott projectiles
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2018, 02:20:48 AM »
Sorry, but I am afraid I made a mistake on the previous postings big Schenkl. That was a 4.5 inch U.S. Schenkl fired at Fredericksburg by a single battery of those big guns on Stafford Heights. It was salvaged and turned down to 4.2 inches for Rebel use in a 30 pounder Parrott gun. I believe Col. Beimeck has dug one of these somewhere in VA. They have lathe dimples in the bottom knob.
Below are a couple of additional examples of U.S. shells reworked by the Rebs.

W.H.