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My 1/3 scale black powder 1861 Parrott rifle

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    Posted 6 months ago

    (2 items)

    Here are some shots of my 1/3rd scale model 1861 Parrott rifle of the type used during the ACW. The red oak carriage and ironwork were done in the late 1970s by a gentleman in Washinton state who used to compete with it in small scale shooting events. I got it from his son who inherited it after his father passed on. The barrel is made of cast iron but has a seamless steel 1-inch bore liner. This was cast by South Bend replicas back then although the company is still in business and still offers this barrel.

    The original 1861 Parrotts had a 2.9-inch bore so the bore on this model is almost to 1/3 scale. However, the 1861 Parrots were eventually replaced later in the war by the model 1863 which did have a 3-inch rifled bore. This was done so the Parrott could fire the same ammunition as the popular 3-inch ordnance rifle. While the bore sizes of two different Parrott models were clearly marked on the breech of each to prevent the use of the wrong ammunition, one can also tell the difference visually since the M1863 did away with the flare at the muzzle.

    The Parrott gets a bad rap for safety during the war, but my study of the subject has revealed that barrel failures were mostly confined to the larger bore sizes and especially the larger 60 and 100 lb naval Parrotts. There are relatively few if any recorded instances of the 10 pounders failing (blowing up) in the field.

    The last picture includes another scale cannon made by South Bend. That of an IX or 9-inch Dalhgen naval gun on a Marsilly deck carriage. It represents a 1/7th scale model of an original.

    I have fired the Dahlgren on numerous occasions, but have not had a chance to shoot the Parrott yet. I hope to do so this summer on a friend's farm.

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 months ago
      Very accurately made. Nice collection too.
    2. cannon_jockey, 6 months ago
      Thanks for the kind words. I noticed that you posted pictures of 1/5 scale model of the M1841 six-pounder. I have one of the same models and although I intended to, I have never drilled out the vent hole. I've got at least 15 to 20 other models that I shoot anyway. That particular model is sort of rare. They were made and marketed by a company that makes all kinds of reproduction swords and armor and which goes by the name of CAS Hanwei.

      CAS Hanwei started out over 20 years ago mainly making fine Samurai swords and armor, but then expanded into Medieval/European swords and armor also. I have one of their Norman one-handed swords and also one of their Japanese Kabuto helmets of the 16th century.

      Anyway, they first started selling this particular cannon model maybe 10 or 12 years ago. They also made a matching limber for it. Their mistake was listing it as only a decorator since it came without the vent drilled. I think the original price was around $500 each for the cannon and limber. They were also mostly only sold through online stores that specialized in reproduction arms and armor.

      A friend, in another state, happened to be able to inspect one at a local brick & mortar store and realized that since the barrel was steel and not pot metal that it was perfectly safe to vent and shoot. He let me know, so I got mine on closeout around the time they decided to discontinue the models. I missed out on getting one of the limbers, but I don't think they produced as many of those as the cannons.

      Anyway, some enterprising company in Canada I think, purchased all the remaining stock from CAS Hanwei (also listed as CAS Iberia) at a great discount,
      then bored out the vents, and remarketed them as shooters for about the same retail price. They sold out in a relatively short period of time since that was an absolute bargain for such an accurately made model that could actually function. A custom made model like this would generally cost one 2 or 3 times what they were selling these for.

      Anyway, they are really fine models and also a bit rare now. You were lucky to snag one. I haven't seen another for sale in the last 10 years or so.

      I may post some more. I also have a small collection of sundial cannons that I bet most people have never seen. These are elaborate sundials with a small cannon that can be set to go off at noon utilizing the rays of the sun through a magnifying lens

    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 months ago
      Thanks for the come-back. I didn't even know where to start finding out who made them. It looked real good on Evilbay and was happy to get it cheap. I mean: $299 total after delivered by ship from MIA to SXM ! When I opened it, I could hardly believe the detail. Only the ramrods were funky. I should know since I have an original 1863 ord. rifle that I built the carriage for. I was estimating value @ $1K- 1.2K. Now you have handed me the manufacturer's name ! Thank you very much ! Want a 3" ord. rifle ? Stay in touch. You have a nice collection & would luv to see more of it.
    4. cannon_jockey, 6 months ago
      You did extremely well for that kind of money. I paid just over $400 plus shipping for mine on a closeout deal. It's a shame they chose to make the barrel out of steel instead of the more authentic bronze or even brass.

      I'd love to own a full scale piece again, but after retiring 12 years ago and getting divorced, I downsized to the point that I just don't have the room. Thanks though.

      I will be posting more as I get the urge.

    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 months ago
      Get the Urge ! You are in my field. I can't thank you enough for filling me in on the source and orig. selling price etc.. That made my week. Of course you know that I am now on the search for one of their limbers. Any ideas where to look ? Did you know Hume Parks, Armistead and that group ? When I left the States in '73 and leased my Ordnance rife to them, I insisted on liability insurance (naturally), and they bit*hed about it, untill a hurricane collapsed the roof on their shop & busted up the wheels. The insurance paid enough for 2 new sets of wheels and then they were blessing me because they were able to build a limber. I guess they have inherited it since I don't plan on moving to the States and don't know what to do with it. What area do you live in ?
    6. cannon_jockey, 6 months ago
      I live in Little Rock, Ar now. I retired here back in 2007. I have no idea where one would find one of the Limbers. I searched every site that carried the CAS Hanwei merchandise and found none. Even if they listed it, it would always be out of stock and since I knew that the company had discontinued both items, I knew there would be no restocking. I got one of the last cannons from the online store I bought my from and as I said it was on closeout. I even thought about buying a second one, but the next time I checked they were also out.

      Where were the gentlemen you named located? The names sound familiar, but then I guess I keep remembering Lew Armistead who was one of George Pickett's commanders who died in the doomed charge at Gettysburg. I'm currently rereading "The Killer Angels" which was basically the script for the movie "Gettysburg" so his name is fresh in my mind.
    7. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 months ago
      I had to get out my records to ck this out. Hume Parks was near Nashville, I believe, and (correction) Edwin Olmstead of Mt. Holly Spgs., PA. Three of the experts got together and put a book together. I had one of the 1st offered, but it is lost or misplaced when I had my heart attack. I saw a copy of that book listed for $850 !!!! C'est l'vive ! My gun was captured from the 14th Indiana light artillery at Brice's Crossroads.
    8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 months ago
      Cannon, I keep coming back to this for the pure pleasure of site-seeing ! Sure you don't want a 3" rifle ? It was captured from the 14th Ind. Light at Brice's Crossroads, MS by Forrest's men. Lot of AR men served there.
    9. cannon_jockey, 5 months ago
      Thanks for the offer BB2, but I got no room nor the budget for a full-size ACW field piece. I need another large cannon like I need a 3rd wife to have to give another house to--LOL

    10. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 months ago
      What a bummer ! Had you figured out that I was going to include my Finnish girl as part of the deal ? You're a wise man. Have you ever tried to converse in Finnish, with a woman no less ? LOL ! Yeah, 1 lb. of powder per round can get expensive and shells even more so.
    11. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 months ago
      When are you going to share the rest of your cannons with us ?

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