Item: Unfired Type Two 3-inch Hotchkiss Shell with Percussion Fuze - Unusual Rare Find
Construction: Cast iron with lead sabot.
Fuzing: Brass percussion.
Approximate size: Weight: 7.8 pounds. Diameter: 2.94 inches. Length: 7-3/16 inches.
Condition: Excellent, excavated, with light surface pitting and build-up. The percussion fuze has a very rich deep green patina and is in excellent shape. Stamped into the top of the fuze is: "HOTCHKISS / PATENTED/ JUNE 17, 1862 / FEBRUARY 24, 1863" however, the light stamping combined with some ground action in that area, make it difficult to see. This shell appears to have been very lightly clear coated at some point. It has been deactivated and there are no repairs.
Recovered: Petersburg, VA
Comments: This Hotchkiss shell is fresh to the market after having been in a collection for several decades. It is an unusual and rare find as it was not designed for use with a percussion fuze but instead for a paper time fuze. It was manufactured with three long flame grooves so as to allow the flame from the cannon blast to ignite a paper time fuze. This fuze was inserted into a brass fuze adaptor which was screwed into the nose of the shell. This particular shell is fitted instead with a percussion fuze which did not require a flame to ignite. Therefore, percussion fuzed Hotchkiss shells were designed without flame grooves. It is possible that the artilleryman may have run out of percussion shells during an artillery dual and used available type II Hotchkiss common shells with flame grooves and percussion fuzes to do the job. This unusual and rare percussion fuzed 3-inch Hotchkiss shell will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War artillery or general relic collection.
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