Bullet and Shell Civil War Projectiles Forum

Author Topic: 2.5in Britten bolts -- a post Pete George might enjoy!  (Read 573 times)

emike123

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2261
    • Bullet and Shell
    • Email
2.5in Britten bolts -- a post Pete George might enjoy!
« on: September 11, 2020, 07:49:46 PM »
On my relic route of the pasty few days I picked up the 2.5" Britten bolt on the left in the picture below.  I thought it was an upgrade to the one I already had on the right.  When I got home to compare them, I noticed they are different.  Neither has its lead sabot as is usual for these, but the one on the right has a shallower round bottom and the one on the left also has two notches.  This upgrade must've been intended for sabot retention but didn't work.  I think the one on the left is from Antietam but I don't know where the one on the right was recovered.


CarlS

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
    • Email
Re: 2.5in Britten bolts -- a post Pete George might enjoy!
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 04:18:01 PM »
Really nice.   I don't recall seeing one with the notches before.  The would certainly help keep the sabot from slipping on the base but not being pulled backwards so I suspect that projectiles with the notches would have lost less sabots.
Best,
Carl

CarlS

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
    • Email
Re: 2.5in Britten bolts -- a post Pete George might enjoy!
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 02:08:33 PM »
Anyone have a complete 2.9" Britten shell without the sabot?  I'd like to compare that to the 2.5" rounds that Mike shows. 
Best,
Carl

Woodenhead

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 173
    • Email
Re: 2.5in Britten bolts -- a post Pete George might enjoy!
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2020, 11:52:21 PM »
This might help out. According to the CS invoices, Samson & Pae was the only Richmond foundry making field-caliber ammunition for the imported Blakely guns. We have their month by month records for late 1861 and early 1862 when these were produced. "Steel Rifles" or "Steel guns" was their shorthand for the Blakely and other imported steel cannon. Confederates made cast iron or bronze guns. Although I don't emphasis it in the captions, I now think its possible that some of these 2.5 inch projectiles were imported with the two guns in 1861. I'm fairly certain that the two you own, Mike, are CS-made. Fired examples have been dug from Cedar Mountain to Antietam. Afterwards, into the Artillery Reserve until sent to the Western Theater in 1863. Samson & Pae were widely respected for their skilled workforce and as innovators. It would be like them to constantly try to improve their projectiles with grooves added to the base.
Woodenhead

Woodenhead

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 173
    • Email
Re: 2.5in Britten bolts -- a post Pete George might enjoy!
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 07:03:40 PM »
Mike - is this the same 2.5 inch bolt you show from your collection? I photo'ed it about 30 years ago, I think. You can see their production in the two pages below. It appears that Samson & Pae made all of the field caliber Britten ammo that came out of Richmond. They also made a few Britten 3.5 inch shells as is seen in the final posting below. S & P later made all of the 3.5 inch Mullanes and Reads that were issued to the Army of Northern VA.
WH

emike123

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2261
    • Bullet and Shell
    • Email
Re: 2.5in Britten bolts -- a post Pete George might enjoy!
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2020, 04:03:24 PM »
Great info as usual.  The top one pictured is clearly the same type, but not the same exact projectile.  Mine does not have the distinctive marks above the notched area.

I really appreciate your terrific info.  I would've surely guessed that these were made in England, but then I did wonder how they could've been adapted so swiftly.  By the time the deficiencies of the first kind were noted and transmitted, it would take a while to get word back and a new design created and projectiles fabricated.  Shortening the distance to Samson & Pae in Richmond, instead of some other manufacturer in England, explains how this could've been done.