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Military History102 of 114Original WW II Kriegsmarine Press PhotoThe Tank Bank
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Posted 2 years ago

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blunderbuss2
(123 items)

3 inch ordinance rifle #548, made by Phoenix Iron Co. in PA. that won't fit in my map box. Sorry about the quality of the pics but these go back to the late '60's & early '70's. This was a rifled muzzle-loading field cannon that was used in the Amer. Civil War that was captured by the Confederates in it's 1st battle at Brices Crossroads by Gen. Forrest's Morton's battery.
The tube (barrel) weighs 816 lbs & fires a 9 1/2 lb projectile. The bore is in very good condition & lettering as small as seen on modern guns are as clear as when stamped. I obtained the tube back then, got orig. blue prints & proceeded to build the carriage with help from friends. It was a monster job but we did it. A friend found a pair of orig. wheels which took major work with the help an guidance of a few surviving wheelwrights.
BRIEF HISTORY
The tube was inspected & proved Jan. 16,1863 & made it's way to the 14th Indiana light artillery who had lost 2 3" ord rifles at The battle of Lexington, TN to Forrest & Morton's Battery. The 14th went into battle at Brices Crossroads in N. Miss. on June 11-13, 1864 & lost the 2 new 3" ord. rifles to Forrest & Morton's Batt.. This gave Morton a battery of 4 3" rifles. I have a list of the actions the gun was in until it was found buried in 1901 in Selma, AL in the old Confederate positions. It was displayed on private property until I obtained it.

It is very accurate after we experimented with different loads(orig. load was 1 lb blk. pdr.). At 200 yds, it will hold a 3' group but because the shell hasn't stabilized at such distance we found it was more accurate at longer ranges. Unluckily cannon matches are held at 200yds. but we still did fine.
If you look at the 1st pic. closely, you can see where the newspaper photographer caught the projectile coming out. Last pic. is the range table & 2nd page gives 5,280 yds @ 45 degree elevation.
Talk about fun! Steve, it's not a vase.

Comments

  1. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Now that is what I call a REAL black powder, muzzle loading piece!!! What a fantastic project, researching and then building the carriage and gear. What with your recent "Seaman's Chest" post and this reconstruction project; you have a superb skill and knowledge set! I think we both agree that there is something very special in being involved with large scale restoration projects, and it shows from the sequence of documentary photos you took at the time...superb! I would've loved to be in on this one!

    So many questions!!!!............ I won't monopolise the post, just ask a question now and again, depending on how the flow goes!

    P.S The wife say's..... "If blunderbuss hit the Ferret with THAT...it'd make more than your ears ring!!!!" LOL
  2. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    I agree...it's NOT a vase...and fun......without any doubt! Do you still have it?
    Steve
  3. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    GREAT gun!

    Do you still have it?

    scott
  4. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Just what I asked scottvez....do you still have it ??? Perhaps keeping it ready for a French uprising?
  5. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    How did you go about renovating the bore?
  6. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_artillery_in_the_American_Civil_War#3-inch_rifle

    Are the top three photo's the same model as yours? If not just delete this comment... I'm trying to find more out, about your piece
  7. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    I've lived out of the States for 39 yrs so title can be an issue but don't think I will pursue as it is being put to good public use. Actually it is leased.
    2nd row of 2'd pic. is where we got the name "Hole in the Wall Gang". It had been loaded for 109 yrs. Oops! The base of an 1864 Absterdam's shell was used to "spike" it when it was buried & a little too much prd. in the touch hole & voila, quick ventilation in my gun room. Shot thru the sling of that Bergman.
    The bore was in fine condition as it was buried in clay. To clean it we went to the car wash, & put the "magic-wand" in the bore. It's in the States waiting for the revolution.
  8. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Nice.... LOL re: the "hole in the wall gang" :) bet that made you jump!

    Regarding the revolution...as a muzzle loading expert can you advise on converting the main tube of a T55 to black powder?? ;)

    How did you find the gun in the first place, do you have any of the original find history (when it was dug up etc)
  9. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Steve, same as the 2nd & 3rd pics. The 1st says it is a repro. Found that a pure lead ball would deform & take the rifling well & accurate. Rolls back 9 1/2 ft with the 5 lb. ball. M/V same as a .38 spec..
  10. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Made my wife jump, out of the shower & run into the room nude to the delight of some friends.
    The Confederates were over-run in the battle of Selma,AL & now way to know if it was spiked & buried by the Federals or Rebs. Was dug up in 1901 while digging the foundation for a house on Arsenal Place. Ended out along with a Confederate made tube flanking a nat'l guard armory that belonged to a friend who gave them to me. After we got the 1st tube the friend said he had sold the property so it is uncertain if we legally stole it or not. We didn't go back after the other 1 & nothing was ever said about it.
  11. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Nice restoration!
  12. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Thank you walksoftly. Done by the specs.
  13. Harborguy Harborguy, 2 years ago
    Wonderful piece of history! Could have used it to get my daughters up when they were teenagers!
  14. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Steve, getting back to your conversion question. You need to cut the back off of an old casing or turn something that would fit tight as a gas seal. I wouldn't weld the breech as blk. pdr. is a B to clean & being able to open it would be easier cleaning. If it is rifled you will get a lot better accuracy as a breech-loader & really simplify the making of projectiles that are cheaper. otherwise drill a touch hole that comes out in front of your gas seal. It probably wouldn't be too hard to make your gas seal to take a rifle or shotgun primer but be careful of the firing pin fit so that pieces of it don't blow around it. If you go touch hole style then it is fuse or making friction primers which is another lesson completely. I used silk organza powder bags or tinfoil. Tell me which route you want to go & we can get together on the side.
  15. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Harborguy, answer is yes but be prepared to replace windows. I was asked to show my gun at a Boy Scout meeting & let the scoutmaster talk me into firing a blank charge. Little too much powder, the police arrived fast & I had to pay to replace a few broken windows in the neighbourhood. The Scout budget didn't cover things like that.
  16. kerry10456 kerry10456, 2 years ago
    I LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!
  17. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
    blunderbuss2,
    I like your toys!!!
    Dave
  18. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Dave, to play with this toy is a lot of work!
  19. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Thanks everybody. Hope I brought a bit of enjoyment & history to you.
  20. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Small world & I wanted to throw these 2 tidbits in the orig. post but didn't want it to get too long.
    My mother asked me to watch for references to Ross's Texas Brigade while doing research of the history of the gun as a distant relative had been in that brigade which spent most of it's service with Gen. Forrest. I was happy to show her where Ross's brigade were named as being brought up to support Morton's Batt. in at least 2 battles.
    Several yrs after restoring the gun, a developer friend who was building a shopping mall in Selma was brought a 3" Hotchkiss projectile that was dug up in the grading. He brought it to me as it was a dud & needed it deactivated. When I got home I went over to my gun & it matched the rifling perfectly. Research showed that it was found in the union lines opposite from where my gun was later found. There were only 2 3" ord. rifles on the Confederate side in the battle so it gives a 50% chance it was fired from my gun.
    Small, small world!
  21. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Hi Lucas...thanks for posting comment 20. Thats just the sort of history that gets the juices flowing! Fantastic bit of detective work and just what are the chances/odds. Love it!

    Re: The T55 and B/Pwdr.....Yikes" you're actually deadly serious! :O ..........Trust me it was a JOKE....if we did that...even if we still had the damn Ruskie tank...."they" would put us in a very deep and dark hole and throw away the key!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jeee... You ARE a dangerous man! ;)

    Steve
  22. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    You are not the 1st to ask about how to do that, but the 1st to be kidding. You know I have no sense of humour! I once bought a 1/4 ton of black powder from Dupont & friends thought I was joking when I mentioned it.
  23. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  24. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Steve, it was the only reasonable thing to do after the Dupont b.p. rolling mill blew up. That was their last stock and we were using 1 lb. per rd. thru the ord. rifle. It came 2-25 lb bags (cement style) to a box. Came to 50c per lb that way! Great deal but storage was a problem.
  25. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Steve, I've got something that is driving me bonkers over here on "THE FRIENDLY 'F---ing' ISLAND. There is an old wreck in about 10' of water that has a pile of bronze cannons. Bronze almost always means a warship. There are in excess of 10 tubes. I have friend who have the equip. to bring them up & will do it for free but I can't get the historical/hysterical society to let us bring them up. They would look great around the island & I've offered to mount them at cost of materials. What do you do with people like this? The dutchman(knighted) seems to be more interested in indian artifacts & letting this island treasure just sit there. The Dr./Sir --- is a good friend & am about to launch a new appeal. Pics of that retrieval would make a great post.
  26. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Thanks everybody for the appreciations.
  27. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Blunderbuss2: We had JUST the same problem on the Channel Island of Jersey...these were German WW2 tubes that got heaved over the cliffs from thier gun emplacements by order of the Island Government at end of conflict/liberation. They did in the end relent....and all because we persuaded them that "WW2 TOURISM" would boost island coffers....Boy did it work!!! And if you talk to anyone who knows recent/current background Re: Jersey...they will certainly back me up...WW2 Tourism has "gone through the roof"....bringing in HUGE annual income....USE THIS ARGUMENT...... it would certainly work from the ?16th ?17th century historical perspective you would be bringing up surely??? The Island coffers would be bulging at the seams...well perhaps not as much as in Jersey as that has DEEP WW2 history without the guns recovered.
    PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!... I am deeply involved in recovery, restoration, preservation and curatorship.....and DEEPLY INTERESTED in this situation you have brought up!

    Steve (my email is in my profile)
  28. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    You've got me thinking again...dangerous...I could do a post about the day those German Guns were discovered on Jersey! If I can find the photographs from way back when!
  29. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    I'll try that. Been talking to a couple of the earlier volunteers & they are still interested. Most don't have papers here & helping in civic things makes them look good.
    I believe this is a dutch warship that was blown into the bay by a hurricane. The musee' was looking for a bronze gun that a marina salvaged illegally yrs ago. I happened to know where it was, on the Fr. side & took pics to the musee'. It was made by Christian Bros., Amsterdam, about 10' long but only had about a 4" bore which was really small for a gun that large as I estimate it weighed well over 2,000 lbs.. To my knowledge, nothing was ever done about it.
    I have full sized blueprints for all the diff. carriages & accouterments which I donated to the musee' & they just used them to construct a carriage for a 32 pdr. columbiad. The prisoners in the island prison did the work & enjoyed the diversion.
  30. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Brilliant!! Keep the updates and info coming. I have always been really interested in naval cannons/carronades, since I was a "tiddler"... I got it from my much loved "dad" who was a Technical Officer and Curator with the Bournemouth (English South Coast) Museum Service (Russel Cotes Museum & Art Gallery) and before he died, he undertook consulting on raising, then assisted in recovery and conservation work on the "Mary Rose"; the huge, much feted, flag ship of King Henry VIII... which mysteriosly sank 19th July 1545 with the loss of 500 souls! It was surmised the massive armament of cannon was too heavy for the ship and/or a heavy sea, or unskilled manoeuvre swamped the lower gunports which were open!

    I would dearly LOVE to own a "long nine" (an long held ambition of mine!)

    See this website for some "Mary Rose" history (click the first link on the headline grey bar for ship info):

    http://www.maryrose.org/
  31. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Very interesting Steve, especially about the archers. Guess it was a little early for blunderbuss's.
    They had that bronze gun for sale. I can ck on it if you are interested & send pics if still there.
  32. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    blunderbuss2:.....archers....what archers?

    Confused ;)
  33. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    According to the info you sent & other searching that I did, there were a lot of archers. Think they said about 200.
  34. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Well there you really have me....I thought archers went out with triremes!

    :O
  35. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    I obviously wasn't paying enough attention......... when long guns were mentioned around the table I musta' have started daydreaming and stopped listening when the archers were talked about! Ooops!

    200 Archers!!! THATS probably why it sank! How much ballast weight is that?
  36. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Hi Blunderbuss2: I have looked out the Jersey guns photos, marked them up with red arrows and posted them if you want to have a look (Re: Comments 27 & 28 above):

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/71714-the-lost-guns-of-jersey
  37. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Hi blunderbuss2: I've been looking into "black powder" owning & shooting over here...there are major hurdles (more so than I was aware!!) We have to have not a Firearms "licence" (which I have) but an "EXPLOSIVES" "licence" if you want to store any amount of B/P...AND you have to have specially constructed WOODEN super secure safes to store your powder!...I think I'll stick to cartridge firearms..it's simpler!! Do you have these constraints on using and keeping B/P in SXM ????
  38. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Steve, my blunderbusses have been declared "non-guns" in the past but now we are a country & I hope that ruling is still valid. The police etc. know I have guns but also know I am no threat. Well, unless somebody breaks in! Then better alive & in jail than dead! I have a very good working relationship with the police and musee's.
    Now, powder? That's another thing. I keep most of my powder in the gun vault of the Fr. Duane/Coast Guard. I am not legally permitted to keep powder on the dutch side. Fr. laws state that each person can possess 500 grams. I live about 1/4 of a km from the Fr. frontier so don't worry about it much.
    I am running low on priming powder for my flintlocks as the synthetic merde won't work for priming pans. Was actually thinking about making some Blk Pdr but even getting the ingredients has proved to be a problem. I'm down to about 60-70 shots. Plenty of synthetic for the load but need real blk pdr for the pan. I searched my usual contacts & found the usual AK's, rpg's, MAC 10's,C-4, det. cord, M-16's, TNT blocks etc. but am told it isn't easy to get potassium nitrate or the right sulphur. A friend who used to shot blk pdr says he has some if he can find it & hoping it isn't the synthetic merde. Can trade my syn. for it as it works fine in percussion like he has.
    Wish me luck!
  39. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Hope I am getting something moving on the cannons in our bay today. Am told that the laws have to be checked & they can only bring up bronze guns because they don't have vats large enough to treat iron guns for the years it takes. I've been told repeatedly by divers & lobster/conch divers that they are bronze but now have to show proof. Maybe we just bring 1 up & that will be proof enough. W are almost into "season" her & then I can't get my volunteers because they will all be busy. If mama ever told you that life was going to be easy, I'm sorry to tell you that she lied to you. She could have at least given some kind of warning though!
  40. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Blunderbuss2...the getting of real kosher black powder and priming powder is not a problem...plenty of suppliers (well not plenty...but enough!). The problem is the restrictions on licencing in the first place then correct legal storage (Firearms & Explosives Officer comes to home address and checks on regular basis)....I'm going to have to look into it more. With current ant-terrorist, "public fears" and "government services" aroused over here, it is very "problematic" to get started in this new pursuit.

    I know from chatting to them, many B/P shooters won't use the new synthetic powders at all, so you are not alone in your preferences.

    Re: the bronze cannon project; I really hope you get somewhere...what a Collectors Weekly series that would make!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Steve
  41. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Steve, nobody seems to remember that I don't live in McDonald's Land, U.K. or a large piece of land. St. Maarten is a small rock surrounded by water with no local demand for these chemicals except for me. I figure that since the 3 ingredients cannot be shipped together that by the time I finish, it will cost about $80-100. It would have been easier 300 yrs ago! So much for progress making life easier.
  42. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Hi B'buss...Just read your last comment. I'm genuinely sorry that you can't persue your hobby without all the hassle. We moan about the restrictions placed on us in UK but there are other restrictions not placed by interfering governments, that do not touch us like they do in your location. I forget it's not all sunshine and drinks on the veranda for you out there.
  43. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Last time I looked, it was all sunshine and drinks on the veranda! Did they pass a law against that that I haven't heard about??!
    Shotgun powder doesn't work but bet flash powder for firecrackers will. That friend who used to shoot b.p. has a can from long ago & I can trade him my powder as it is good for his guns if he gets into it again. Need to call & see if he found it yet.
  44. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    LOL....keep feeding them guns!
  45. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    They have an appetite unlike v-ass's.

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