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This report is not a detailed history of the ^andy Hook Proving Ground itself,
but it is or. attempt to £ive an overview history of what, kind of artillery
ordnance v:us beiri£ tested at Sandy Hook botwecn 1&7^ and 1919, and what types
of ordnance have been found at the Hook cince it became a National Recreation
Area. The report includes the following sections:

Pages 1-2. .Introduction . ; -S ; Vv * '

Pages 2-15........Small Arms Ammunition K^;; .:
Pages 16-19.......Sandy Hook Ordnance Proving Ground: A n Overview;
Pages 20-32. Weapons tested at the Proving Ground from "°nh "
Information) - . ;;^V|is>s?.
Pages 33-^3 Types of Artillery & Artillery Projectiles? f i r < i ^ i t ^ e Prbv
Ground from 187U to 1919 (listing probable;
areas on: Sandy H o o k ) . ' ;•-....£
P a g e s M*-l<6 Artillery Projectiles & Fuses, a short historyj
Pages ^7-50 Smoothbore Ammunition (cannonballs) ; -
Pages 5O-6U Rifle Projectiles: Field and. Coast Artillery
Pages 65-67.. Bursting Charges in Projectiles: 1900, 1907,
Page 68. .....Types of Projectiles for U.S. Cannon;'(-191Q)» •:
Pages 69-70.......Colors for Projectiles • - .'
Pages 70-71 Interior coatings of projectiles, shell bases,;
' ' '-,.
• •
• ; . . .
• •• ' Rockets.

. • •,"'••'.•"•
, " ' • • • w . • ." -
• -
' •"^-•'-'"" :

Pa«eu72 Types of. Shells . ",

Bages 73-81 A r t i l l e r y shell's and other ordnance found'at 1
. of Gateway National Recreation Area (yith lofei
Pages'£2-87.......Sa,fety j^roceduKes to follow \-/heri .dealing with oiSdnance

^ .Large .Map shpwing ordnance ir.pact and target areas at 'the Sanfiy _
•'"'Proving Ground. (pz>c> L '>.r>"-Ji J '' • •." -\M
This report wan put together at the request of the Vinitor Protection*
Resource Management Ranger Division of the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway
National Recreation Area. The report is an effort to help the Park
Ranger Staff identify any ordnance that is bound to be found on the
beach and in dune areas from North Beach south to the surfing beach,
the old Proving Ground Range.

For ^5 years Sandy Hook served as the U.S. Army's first official Proving
Ground, from 187^ to 1919. With the passing of time the Proving Ground's

5 historical significance and myriad activities have been forgotten, but it

was here at Sandy Hook that the Proving Ground had a key role in the deve-
lopment of the weapons employed by the U.S. Coast Artillery and U.S.^Field
Artillery during the vital years (1898-I9I8) that our Nation emerged as a
world power.

Historian Edwin C. Bearss researched the Sandy Hook Proving Ground Historic
Resource Study. Historian Bearss consulted all primary manuscript materials
at the National Archives preserved in Record Groups 77 and 156, focusing on
the Sandy Hook Proving Ground from its establishment until 1891, when it was
established as a separate facility. For the period 1891-1919 the principal
sources Historian Bearss relied upon were the.Executive Documents, the
Annual Reports of the commanding officer, and the Returns for U.S. Military
.Posts. The New York JTiraes Index for the years 187^1919 were examined and
articles describing Proving Ground activities read. ' ',

Unfortunately, in regard to the many types of guns, carriages, artillery

shells, powders, etc., Bearss1 study istfeither'fcr complete. He
skipped Fiscal Years 190** and 1905 activities at the Proving Ground,' and for
Fiscal Years 1906 through 1919 gave very general outlines as to what was Sandy Hook. Historian Bearss is not to be faulted however,
'because he was facda with an enormous research tabk. In his Preface he noted
' • f i* ''. ••••'•'

>k ,«"...within;the constraints imposed by funding, there wae insulffib£«nt time

"' available to examine the huge number of documents in Record Group 156 for
(the years 1891-1919)."
When one takes into account that Bearss' study is the first of it's kind
about the Sandy Hook Proving Ground, it should be considered the most de-
tailed and complete. It appears that another resource study regarding all
the guns, carriages, artillery shells, gun powders, fuses, etc., could be
done in detail to follow up on Historian Bearss1 priceless research.

v worr ninny dirOrnil. Uindn of ordnance t«M.p donu «t Sandy

Hook, but which are not covered in Bearss1 report. A few of the teats not
mentioned are the following: From Frank Leslie'6 Illustrated Newspaper of
June 2nd, 1877, there is an engraving captioned "Testing Life Saving and
?^ . Hale war rockets in the presence of the United States Ordnance Board at Sandy
Hook." Apparently the teats took place, on May 12th and the etory appeared
in the June 2nd newspaper issue.

j-.$_ Another illustration; sketched by Rufus F. Zogbuam, shows nine soldiers

& }•'/ff^K wearing Winter overcoats getting ready to fire a field piece. This sketch
appeared in the November 15» 1&79, issue of Harper's Weekly, and was captioned
"Long Range-Target Practice. Standing Gun Drill. Artillery School for Militia-
men at Fort Hamilton with a view of Long Range Target Practice at the Sandy
Hook Proving Ground, Sandy Hook, New Jersey." As sketched by Zogbuam, the
cannon barrel strongly resembles either a 12-pounder Bronze Confederate Field
"i ;/ Gun (Figure 122, Warren Ripley's Artillery & Ammunition of the Civil War, page
v| 27) t and also the Bronze Confederate 3-inch Field Rifle (Figure 1X33-and 3*S
•J page 1?8, Ripley, Artillery & Ammunition of the Civil War). The accuracy of
;| my observations and assumptions depends, of course, on the accuracy of
''& Zogbuam's sketch. •..-•.*..'

*$• Small arms were also test fired" at the Sandy Hook'Proving Ground, 'in the
'J November-December 1977 issue of Rifle Magazine there was an article written
;| ' ' by W.'.Oohn Farquhanaon.• entitled V . A 5 T 7 O at Two Miles."- This article details
I the results of long'range tests of U.S.* Army Model 18731' .^5-caliber rifles,
I \;-:% M/'the British Army •577-/*5O Martini-Henry lever-operated,'- drop-^locfe action
rifles, and Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 rifles using 405 and 500-grain lead
bullets, including variations in muzzle velocity and penetration of lead
bullets through one-inch target boards and into sand. These tests were made
at the request of the Chief of Ordnance, whose interest had been aroused by
. reports of long range infantry fire, up to 1# miles, during the 1877-78 Turko-
Russian War.

In formation on these tests was found in The Report of the Secretary of War,
I88O, Volume III, under the chapter titled, "Extreme Ranges of Military Small
Arms." The first long range tests were made at ranges of up to 1,500 yards on
the Springfield Armory test range at Long Meadow, Massachusetts. These tests
compared the JLong distance shooting and penetration performance of the .^5
caliber trapdoor Springfield and the .^5 caliber Martini-Henry rifles. The
report of October 15» 1879* covers long range firing at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
This was done along th.e beach to make the location of the bullet strike easier
^r-^ to find. Also, the long beaches allowed shooting back to 3,200 and «ven 3,500
• •- yardsl
• . ; - . " » ' • • " . . • ' '

i . . . • * « • . . 1 . - - . - . • . . .

'M:- • • ' • •• • - v \ - . . - . - :

I ,H The lead slugs shot from these rifles were found to have struck point o n into
j ;! the sand a n d they generally penetrated to depths of k% 5t 6, 8 , a n d 1 0 inches,
>;] sometimes more, depending upon d i s t a n c e . O n the, November 13* 1879» firing test
; : *\i a maximum long range distance of 3«-68O yards was achieved with the *'&5^<?*liber
.J long range, 1-in-i8 twist Springfield rifle firing at a 32* angle of elevation!
:;^; An angle of about 25° placed bullets all around the target at 3»500''yards range.
fi: '• • 'y •• •
•'-'i Vfhile the tests may be considered oddities today, they proved extremely useful
<i at the time. The fact that a 500-grain lead bullet .penetrated through 1 to 3
;? inch thick wood plank targets and- then into 8 o"r more inches of sand*meant that
it could kill or wound enemy troops at extreme distances, even if they were
"? • . partially protected. This was significant military information in a period
; %
• « . . • • ' ' , " ^ ' • * • ' . ' ' • • i . . • • • • '

.) when it was • ^uite""usuMil for large masses of. troops to'fora ug within-view, of
•* • 1 1"* •' h •' •

' )- , ,. defendens. •. '!. • "» '"

A number of bullets and cartridges have been found at Sandy Hook over the
years. A sampling of those found here, as well as others that might possibly
be found here, are illustrated below. The illustrations and accomparing
historical information come from the book "Cartridges: A Pictorial pigest of
Small Arms Ammunition" by Herschel C. Logan.

(50 Smith, brass and paper)
length l iri i, t in.
l !Ji in. thin brass and paper
wrapped case, .630 dia.
Conical lead bullet


Used in the .50 Smith B. L,

Percussion Rifled Carbine
On Dec. 15,1863, Thorites J» Rodman
(69 Musket) and Silas Crispin secured a patent
Total length 2'/i« in. (No. 40,988) for a "metallic cartridge
Buff colored paper tied with case formed of thin gapped sheet
light colored tord metal . . . combined wijth^an.internal
Since the regulation smooth bore mus- or external strengthening disk or cup.
ket of .69 caliber gave way to the .58 Whether this disk is made of paper,
caliber musket with a rifled barrel metal or elastic material.3" This patent
using a conical bullet in 1855, the life was assigned to Thomas Poultney at
; of.t£is, cartridge must ha^ye.been very^ Baltimore, Md. Hence from the label
brief. It is known that some Of the - ft ivjll be seen that thg&'&mith'. car-
1842 muskets and musketoons were tridges were produced, ^tirtder this
patent. •• • . / ^ , ' - / • • = • ' I- V ' -
rifled to take the new conical bullets,
asja sort of experimental' prelude to i o '•%- --"••• '

Poultney's J»atent Metallic

the actual reduction of. caliber to .58. u > . •' ,'CARTRIDpES •'..'•
Patented Decf.»15thn 1863 12 caps
"u t o r > '<'••':
No.l 50-100 Caliber
Address Poultney & Trimble,
Baltimore, Md.
During the Civil War the government
purchased 30,062 Smith's carbines
when he sued Gen. Benton of th<
Springfield Armory for infringing
upon his patent. He was awardec
$20,000 by an act of Congress in 188C
for royalty on the use of his ejector

(58 Miller)
Total length. (58 Catling Gun)
l%0 in. copper case Total length 2%, in.
Dia. at head .631 1*%J in. copper, straight case,
. Dia. at mouth .621 .615 dia. ?
Conical, lead bullet 675 gr. cylindrical Mead bullet
At the close of the Civil War plans 70 grs. powder *.*
were undertaken to alter the muz- Dr. Richard Catling of Chicago i
zle-loading Springfield muskets to 1862 secured a patent on what i
breech-loading trartridge arms. Car- possibly the first maqhine gun—insc
tridges such as this were used in these far as the cartridges were fed int
early alterations. This particular the chambers, detonated and extrac
cartridge was used in the Miller ted by actual machinery operatior
swinging block rifle, an experimental In 1866 the gun was altered to tak
of 1867. A postmaster of Meriden, JL rijn fire cartridge. Thes,e guns wer
* Coifn., Miller, the'MnVentor oh the %ianuf actured by Colt up.Until aroun
Miller alteration, gained prominence' 1910. Although this, cartridge wa
Used in a light field piece rather tha
a small arm, it is included in thi
digest-as representing one of the firs
type machine jsjun partridges.

': ' r ' vi.::•-•. • /

with calibres .4f> and .42. 25 shots
of these several calibres, crimped
case, gave a mean of 2,300 lbs. per
square inch greater than the case
not crimped. The velocity is also in-
creased by the use of a crimped case,
but not in the same ratio as the pres-
sures; 15 shots of the same calibre
gave a mean increased initial velocity
of 30 feet per second.

p-N/W" lj
In a reduced or Bottle-shaped cas
The object of crimping or closing the (Service Straight case Cal. .50 re
end of a cartridge case tightly upon ' duced for ".40, ".42 and ".45 calibres
the bullet is to insure it against the as at A, the pressure Is greater tha
shock of transportation, the exigen- in a straight case as at B, both havin
cies of service and to exclude mois- the same weight of powder and bal
ture. Crimping increases the pres- A mean of 10 shots, Gal. .45, Bottle
sure and consequent strain on the shaped Cartridge Case, No. 270 an
case. With the service ammunition munition charge 70 grs. Musket Pov
the pressure with crimped case is der, 400 grs. Bullet, gave a pressui
from two to three thousand pounds ^of 18,500 lbs. per square inch.
peV square inch greialer'than without
the crimp and in about the same ratio ACmean of 10 shots, Cal/.45 Straigl
Cartridge Case, .No. 272 ammunitioi
charge 70 grs. Musket Powder, 4C
grs. -Bullet jpve a pressure of 16,3C
•'- lbs. per sfluar'e inch, .
A mean/of l(Tshotsv pal. .42, Bottl
shaped Cartridge. Case, No. 271 an
munition, charge 65 grs. Musket Po\
-;"$ der, 370 grs. Bullet, gave a pressu
of 17,150 lbs. per square inch.
Used in the-early breech-loading mus-
kets which had been altered from the
muzzle-loaders following the Civil
War—such as the Allen alteration,

(68 Musket... Martin Primed)
Total length l>yltt in.
iy l 0 in. copper case
Conical lead bullet
This cartridge has the Martin primer
pocket formed out of one continuous
piece of the case head. It, too, was
used in the early transformed mus-
kets. This type used an inside cup
reinforce . . . the object of this cup
being lo reinforce the folded rims and
(68 Musket) to serve as a gas check.
Total length l"/in in.
l^a in. copper case •CAUBER 1 in. ^
Dia. at rim .653 (1 in. Gatling Gun)
Dia. at mouth .625 Total length 3% in.
Conical lead bullet 2%2 in. copper case
8 oz. conical lead bullet
.75 oz. mortar powder
This cartridge is illustrated merelj
to show how the inside priming prin
ciple of the early center fire typei
rwaa carried over into the \arger arms
•* :.* *The Gatling gun was produced fo:
many years by Colts. Nearly 20(
shots a minute could be fired by thi
early rapid fire gun. An early bo:
t ^ label .describes-this item as follows

For Gatling Gun
Calibre 1 inch
Charge, .75 ounce Mortar Powder
Weight of Bullet, 8 ounces
FRANKFORD ARSENAL placed side by side. .The cartridge:
1867 were placed in a hopper above the
barrels, and were fed into the cham
bers by gravity. The empty sheik
were extracted by the movement oJ
a hand lever.
This gun was quite popular in Europe
during the eighties and early nineties

(1 in. Nordenfelt)
Total length 4«}',0 in.
3% in. coiled copper case
3228 gT. bullet
468 grs. powder
• i ,A> the official Brjtjsh- ammunition
for the Nordenfelt Machine Gun- it
is said to have undergone experiments
for a short time by the U. S. Navy.
The Nordenfelt,was a stationary, gun.
, ' . . w i t h from-.two to six barrels
M. *
(30 Krag-rimmed)
Total length 3>/8 »n.

(30-03 Government)
Total length 3 '!<« in.
2-yti; in. tinned, necked case 2'Ta2 in. brass, necked case
Dia. at head .459 Dia. at head .468
Dia. at mouth .333 Dia. at mouth .338
220 gr. metal jacket bullet 220 gr. metal jacket, soft point,
40 grs. powder bullet ;
This was the Spanish war cartridge After a great deal of experimenting
used in the U. S. Krag Jorgensen with rifles employing the Mauser type
rifle. Originally, they were called of action, the government finally
"30 U. S. Government," then "30 settled on the "old favorite" — the
U. S. Army" and *30 Army" and Model 1903 Springfield flifle. Car-
finally*30 U-S-A." Krags were used tridges were produced .both in full
in the service from 1894 until around metal jacket and metal jacket with
1903. It saw service as a training soft point. These cartridges were only
rifle during World War I. Many of in service for a comparatively short
them,* converted to sporters, are in time before being replaced Iby the
•vise-today by sportsntaitj.. •... • v popular V30-*)G." - .
A similar cartridge, only rimless; was - - * • • : • • • • ; * • • • •

used in one model of the Blake rifle.

This was the first sporting rifle in
' America with a cenfcrakmagazine, Thje
"rimless tCrag'Vwas* an experimental'
army cartridge which never was pro- '
•I 'duceii' to any extent commercially.
, \
(30 Ml Carbine)
Total length l - l ^ in.
lv'a" in. brass case
Dia. at head .353
I Ma. Jit month 3.'U
110 );r. rnrtal jacket rmllet
14 gr. jiowdcr
A development of Winchester at the

' request of the Ordnance Dept. . . . It

was used in the new Winchester Ml
Carbine of World War II. This arm (30-06 Springfield)
was used by paratroopers, rangers, T6tal length 3)'(,; in.
engineers and signal corps personnel. 2'-;a2 in. bras«. necked case
Dia. at head .468
A forerunner of the above cartridge, Dia. at mouth ^35
as put out by Winchester was called 175 gr. gilding metal jacket
"Cal. .30 Short Rifle M-l, Self Load- pointed bullet . •;
ing." This "commercial version" was 50 grs. smokeless powder
headstamped as'follows W.R.A. Hardly any descriptipn is needed o
.30 S. L. this American cartridge. Used sine
1906 ("06"I, through two Worh
Wars, it is the best known of ai
military cartridge. The. Springfie
•*r|fje for which this ammunition w<
developed is still considered one <
the finest and most accurate militai
rifles in the world.
(303 British)


Total length S'/J... in.

2%2 >n. brass, necked case
Dia. at head .456
Dia. at mouth .338
174 gr. cupronickel jacket bullet (44-77 Sharps)
38 grs. cordite powder Total length 3-y32 in.
The cordite powder used in this Brit- 2Vi in. brass, necked case
ish service cartridge is in the form 470 gr. paper patched bullet
77 gTS. black powder, '
•I of small sticks. In looking at a cut-
away view of the cartridge, the pow- Used in the Sharps B.'L. sporting
der looks very- similar to a large rifle. A great number of these car-
cable with the strings of powder run- tridges must have been made because
ning lengthwise and slightly twisted. they are still to be found on the lists
The cartridge here illustrated was of cartridge dealers. %. • -
manufactured by the Royal Labora-
tories, Woolwich. England has used
• A thef.303 caliber in "henmilitary Yifles
since around 1890.
While the number VII appears after
the word Mark, it is but one of a
7 variety of numbers to be encountered ' A
..,: Mark V, Jfark VI, etc
The .British also made a .303 Rimless
' . . '.experimentally used iifcthe Lewis
machine gun.


(45 A.CJP.)
Total length IVi in.
%a in. brass case, .470 dia.
230 irr. metal jacket bullet
6 grs. powder
In 1911 the army adopted the AI
caliber Colt automatic pistol as the
official side arm of the service. II
has since been known as the Mode!
1911. The cartridge illustrated here
was the type used in this arm anc
also in the Model 1917 .45 caliber re-
volver during World War I. It ij
today the official hand gun cartridge
of the United States


(44"-100-550 Remington Creed-

Total length 4'/tH in.
2'% 3 in. brass case with a
'lightly curved head
Dia. at.head .503 (45 Auto Rim>-'.t '
Dia. at mouth .469 Total length 11/4. in.
550 gr. paper patched, lead % in. brass case, rimmed,
bullet .470 dia. ;:
100 grs. powder 230 gr. flat noae, lead bullet
Used .in the Remington-Hepburn No. This cartridge wasrdeveloped to u
3 Long Range Military Creedmoor in.the 1917 service.revolvers whi<
' * rrffe . . . a gun which; was first Intro- " were' chambered forj'tMe 45 A,C.
duced in 1880. No other rifle is be- cartridge, which was rimless and r
lieved to have been chambered for quired a clip. This cartridge was
this cartridge, which is becoming in- eliminate the clip for civilian us
' creasihgly scarce1 today. ' *. They, are nqt 3 military load and we
made both with a lead bullet and
metal jacketVbujle't fThe amount ai
type of powdqii.,varies with the d:
ferent manufacturers.
CALIBER 45 the official service long arm ammu-
(45-70-500 Government) nition. Several commercial rifles were
Total length 2*%2 in. also chambered for it. It used either
2%2 in. tinned case a 500- or a 405-grain bullet and was
Dia. at head .503 originally loaded with black powder.
Dia. at mouth .478 The -cartridge is still obtainable even
500 gT. round nose, lead bullet
70 grs. powder though no rifle has been made to
handle it for quite some time.
Produced in the early 1870's this car-
tridge was for a good many years


This cartridge with tjie405 gr. bul-

let was in use by ti^iik Cavalry
under Custer when tis£y1|were wiped
out at the Battle of$|tJie^EIt«e Big
Horn on June 25,
(45 Sharps Steel Cartridge
Cases) CALIBER 45
Total length 2\U in.
! • --M
Steel case . . . Dia. at head .505
Dia. at mouth .480
Round lead ball
12 grs. powder 'I
These solid stepl shells, manufactured '
by the Sharps Rifle Company, were
used in gallery and short range shoot- ,
ing. Two sizes are known to have
been made . . . the size illustrated,
and a .40 caliber, 2>h inches in length.
Both used a Berdgn, t^o. 1 primer.
The 1879 Sharps catalog also has this -
note concerning them. "Their use in
military rifles accustoms the soldier
to his arm and will perfect him in (.45-70 Govt—Phoenix*
marksraansKip As rapidly as practice ' . wTdtal 1lenfeth 2%* i n . -
with regular/military cartridges." » "2V» in , brass case' ''h«a*s.$P2
Dia. at ,nSouth -468
3 balls weighing 108 sr. en-
closed in paper container
54 grs. black powder;^
Made by the Phoenix Cartridge Com
pany. This cartridge is a militan
guard load. It was adaptable to an\
of the various rifles chambered fo
(577-450 Martini-Henry)
Total length 3V& in.
2%6 in. brass, necked case
Dia. at head .650
Dia. at mouth .492
480 gr. paper patched bullet
85 grs. black powder
This is the later solid drawn, bras
case version of the earlier 577-45
Martini-Henry which was describe
in the preceding section, Center Fin
Fart I.

(45-70 Morse Pat.)

Total length 22%2 in.

%2 in. tinned case with de-

tachable 2-piece head and
copper primer
Dia.' at head .505
Dia. at mouth .478
500 gr. round nose, lead bullet
70 grs. black powder
These cartridges, made under the
Morse Patent of 1886, have no doubt
been overlooked many times by col-
lectors, since they so closely resemble
the regular 45-70 Govt. The cross-
section view illustrates the construc-
tion of the 2-piece head. They were
made at the Frankford Arsenal in.
1886 and 1887. The wording on an
original box reads:
Orders - Never reload except under the
personal supervision of a competent
Cautions - Never prime a loaded shell.
Never !load a.primedNshell withoutjjsing ;
Manufactured at Frankford Arsenal
• >,
4 ', *'

(45-120-550 Sharps)
Total length 4%2 in.
2% in. brass straight case (45 - 3V4 Sharps)
Dja. at head .504 Total length 4%, in.
Dia. at mouth .474 .3>4 in. brass straight case
550 gr. paper patched, lead Dia. at head ,605
. bullet Dia. at mouth .471
120 grs. powder 500 gr. paper patched bullet
Used in the Sharps-Borchardt Ex- 120 grs. black powder
. • '*, -"u <*',

press rifle which was introduced in. One of the longest .'cartridges pr
1879 and was discontinued two years duced in America. It was used in tl
later. It was designed for long range Sharps-Borchardt Express rifle whic
hunting on the Western Plains. The was, upon order, chambered for th
short life of the rifle was due to the 314 in. case. At least one Sharj
closing of the Sharps Rifle Co. in Long Range Creed moor rifle is know
October of 1881 for lack of capital. to have been chambered for this san
Cartridges wer« -jjnack by Sharps and ..cartridge.* These .45 Sharps in tt
tJMC. These large' cartridges were " 3 % in. case. are scarce .collector
for the most part loaded with 100 items of the present day.
grains of powder. They may be found,
however, with th_e 120 grain load . . ,
7 ,as was ihe .specimen illustrated',
which came out of an original 'box
•so labejed.
*'he American Civil Ivar accelerated a technological revolution in weaponry which
doomed America's brick and granite x^-nlled forts to obsolescence. This technologic
revolution saw the construction nnd development of formidable ironclads and nonito
mounting powerful rifled and heavy shell-funs.

As work stopped on our Nation's seacoast fortifications, the U.S. A m y and Navy
Ordnance Departments sought to develop lone-range breech-loading rifled guns and
depressing carriages to counter the giant cannon being manufactured by European po
Because of limited budgets, U.S. Ordnance personnel also searched for an econonica
and practical method of converting their big shellguns (Rodmans, Parrotts, etc.) i
rifles. To carry out these programs, the U.S. Army in August of I87h established
proof battery at Sandy Hook. This narked tho establishment of the Sandy Hook Prov
'Ground. The first test firing took nlace on October 2h, 187b.

In the years which followed, slowly at first, facilities were expanded, as Congres
beginning in I88I1, commenced to authorize larger expenditures for the armament pro
Guns, carriages, and projectiles developed by the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, a
companies, inventors, and thoses purchased from Foreign countries were tested in
increasing.numbers at the Sandy Hook Proving Ground.

The 12-, 10-, and 8-inch guns and carriages, and the 12-inch mortars and their
carriages that were to be emplaced in the Nation's Endicott System gun emplacement
(so-named after President Cleveland's Secretary of War Endicott who headed a board
that recommended a new system of harbor defenses for the nation in 18861 of which
^ost were built between l°90 and 1910), were tested and proved at Sandy Hook in th
' a t e 1883's and early 1890's. The machine guns and light artillery with vhich the
U.S. Army fought the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection were tested
Sandy Hook.

In the mid-18901s the Ordnance Department focused its attention on development of

rapid-fire guns and carriages for the Endicott emplacements. After guns and carri
for this "fanily of weapons" had been tested and accepted for production. Proving
Ground personnel in the first decade of the 20th Century began testing lit- and 16-
guns and carriages, and 12-inch high angle carriages.

During these years of constantly accelerating activitv at the Proving Ground, the
United States emerged as a World Power with a formidable modern arsenal-of heavy
artillery and coast defense guns. Because of space limitations restrcitlng testir
activities at Sandy Hook, and friction with the Coast Artillery torps.'and Corps oi
Engineers on Sandy Hook, the Aberdeen Provinn Ground was established in 1918. By
Summer of 1919 the Ordnance Department had phased out its activities at the Hook,
its larfe. number of structurasrjand extensive othei? i^nnrovements were transferred t
apther departments of the Army. "' ' '


A V* •'• •:%•
During the1 years, that the Ordnance Department operated the 'Provi^£ Ground at Sandy
, a number of "close calls" occured affecting and involving the U.S. Life-Savi
'ntions and the Fort Hancock Garrison on Sandy Hook.
In mid-September of 1085 Ordnance Officers pointed out to members of the U.S. Lif<
Saving Service that the Sandy Hook No. 1 Life-Saving Station was dangerously clos*
to the line of fire down range. At this point in time it niast be remembered that
the station, built in 1872, stood several hundred yards east of the Sandy Hook Lij
house and near the ocean-side beach (in the dune area roughly north of Battery
Gunnison). Projectiles, some of them weighing as much as 800 pounds, were being
constantly fired into butts of heavy timber backed by sand. Shells had been knowi
to rip through the butts and ricocket tovard the station.
The Ordnance officers, befqe firing the guns being tested, habitually notified th<
lifesavers to evacuate the stntion-house. This had been fortunate, because seven
large projectiles had struck near the station, and one 800-pound shell had plunge<
into the ground within 50 yards of the house. The flagstaff on two occasions had
been grazed. It was reconmended that the station be relocated some distance front
its proximity to the range. If this were done, it should be positioned nearer th
point of the Hook and the bay shore, where there was greater demand for the life-
savers1 assistance. There they would be able to utilize the Ordnance Deportment's
plank roads to haul their boatwagon and beach cart to the bay beach.
In November of 1885 the Life-Saving Service asked the Corps of Engineers for perm
to relocate the Sandy Hook No. 1 Life-Saving Station from its position east of th
Sandy Rook Lighthouse more than 1,000 yards north across uneven ground to a point
500 feet east of the Refl Brick House (today called the Officers Club, building #1
it was Officers quarters for officers on duty at the Proving GroundV;> This autho
^ s given, "subject to the usual condition that the buildings must be* removed whe
.jV:che site may be needed for military purnoses." The station-house was moved to it
new location in the Summer of 1886. .;:'; : -.

By 1890 the increased testing programs at the Proof Battery were affecting the su
at the Spermacti. Cove No. 2 Life-Saving Station. Early on December 22nd a telep
call came from an Ordnance officer ordering Keeper Edwards and his surfnen to get
of the station and into a place of safety, because a powerful rifled gun was abou
be tested down the beach range. Edwards routed his men out and had then head for
Sea Bright while he crossed to the west side of the spit. Finding a hillock froa
where he could see the station, Edwards waited and watched. At this;point in tie
must be remembered that the station, « • • built in 1872, stood ljOOto^feetdue east
were the present Spermaceti Cove Visitor Center stands. The visitor ^center, bui!
189U, replaced the older 1872 station. At h P.M. the last shell was: fired and".tf
lifesavers returned. • 'r- ' • '

Relaying .-yiis ^information toxics ..superiors, Captain Edwnrds' cautioned "J think JJ
they practice until they hit the target they are" shotting at they may'hit this s1
as it stands close to the range." . .'.' '

Eleven wepks later, on ;!arph,^6, 1°91, a projectile fron the Proof Battery nearly
surfman Ho. 7.t;infield'v?'hitie of the Sandy-Hook No* 1.Station.' '^Jhile enrpute froi
home to Sandy Hook, VJhite was walking up the "beach. He had reached a point 300 :
south of the station, when a shell^plowed into the ground','--withifc i^lyards of hi*
Panic-stricken, VJhite fled to the Spermaceti Cove Station. Subfeeiquently, the su:
"^recovered the projectile. It weighed about U0 pounds.

• The situation becane increasingly dangerous, when the Proving Ground laid out a
range and opened fire fron the Proof Rattery in October of 1891. Whenever, this
was fired, the station had to be evacuated. It was decided that the station mus
• .U

.,, relocated to remove it from the field of fire. A site was selected on a hummock,
i^; about 232 yards west of the station (the present site of the Spernaceti Cove Visi
Center). A new Life-S.-ivinn rotation was ntnrtod in construction during June of ln'
and completed on September 15, 1R9U.

It is interesting to note that the relocation of the Sandy Hook No. 1 Life-Saving
Station to 500 er>st of the Red Drick House (Officers Club) brought no ircprovenent
in its situation vis-a-vis the Proving Ground. On October 1, 1^87> * 600-pound
'projectile from a steel breech-loading rifle at the Proof. Bnttcry landed tfithin
50 paces of the station. Vhenever there was firing from the Proof Battery, the
crew still had to evacuate the ctation-house, and whatever they were doing had to
be suspended until after the firinf. It mist be remenbered that even though the
•'aaRJ * station stood oast of the Officers Quarters it still stood out in front of the
old Proof Battery that was established in l87h and which itself ended up situated
in front of Battery Bloomfield (part of the rt9-gun battery") when that battery we:
built in 1399. There was no suitable location on the ocean front for the station
The only safe site for the station was on the bay shore, p.nd a new station would
b*e built and completed in the Summer of 1^91. Today the site of this 1891 statioi
is.ocpupied by the Post Chapel, building S-35. v #

This information was compiled from pages 131-135, 15O-15U, 161, and-l6U of the •
Spermaceti Cove Life-Saving Station Historic Resource Study-Structure Report reset
. by Historian Edwin C. Bearss, V'ASO. Mr. Bearss obtained the information fron Reci
Group 26 in the National Archives, Letters Sent and Received," Life-Saying Service,
as well as the Spermaceti Cove LSS Log for

The soldiers of the Fort Hancock Garrison also had a number of narrow escapes froi
errant rounds fired from the Ordnance Penartment's Proof Battery during Vorld War
On August 25, 1917, a 3-inch er- t i a i r c r a f t gun was being tested at the Proof Batte:
I t was firing shrapnel at a high angle. Suddenly and unexpectedly, one of the shi
burst near the Battery Gunnison encampment occupied by Capt. Lucian Hirgins' 17th
Company. One of the fragments just missed decapitating Captain Higg.lns and Cpl.
Kenneth Gallien, with whom, he was conversing. The fragment then struck the ercnlru
cent in rear of Gun No. 1. '«„', " , •. - /
' *• • "V'
On November llith a 6-inch shell struck within ten feet of searchlight. No. 2, when
tvo men were working. Later in the day, a fragment whizzed to earth vithin 59 fo<
of the post ordnance officer. Several days e a r l i e r , a fragment had japped througl
a' shed, missing a soldier by less than ten feet. '''?'' - A
One nionth^latep, on DecerabeoxrJlRtb^another shell, £ej.1' into bantonmen^ GAnnison* 1
h.7Tinch projectile slammed into the sand within three' feet of 'Barracks' JJ, occup:
by cen of Captain niggins 1 17th Company. The investigation r e s u l t e d " ^ an accele:
ion of the transfer of the Proving Ground' s mobile a r t i l l e r y t e s t ing* activities t(
•the new facility, at Abexd^eiv Maryland. u On January 111, 1918? (Jol. .Ra'ccles- of the
P i Ground asfcwred^Coldnel Harris that the departure of thfe mobii,e a r t i l l e r y
would make a repetition'of this kind "very'rare."
» ; * •

On April 13, 1918, a 10-inch high explosive shell fired from the Proof Battery into
a snad butt, ricocheted into the air find b'.irr;t. One fragment* slammed onto the road_
behind the guardhouse, a second 1^0 feet farther up the road, near barracks Ko. 25,
and a third near a tent occupied b}"- recruits at Battery Granger.
Fort Hancock Post Commander Colonel Harris fired off a letter to the Commanding
General, Eastern Department. He demanded that measures be taken to prevent a repetii
ion. There were, he fumed, more than 3>O03 men in his command quartered in the area
"shelled on the 13th." In late August several shells, some as big as 10-inch, in-
pacted at various points on the Fort Hancock Reservation, barracks and other
structures occupied by troops hnd been endangered. Colonel Brady, who had replaced
Colonel Harris, called these incidents to the attention of his superiors.
1 When asked for an explanation, Col William A. Phillips of the Proving Ground reported
that his people took every reasonable precaution, but "Fort Hancock is in dangerous
proximity to the proof battery." Premature explosions and other accidents were im-
possible to forsee or control. As the material which caused the trouble .was for.
service with the AEF, it had to be tested, and there was no immediate remedy^ The
most dangerous, tests, he assured Eastern Departnent Headquarters, had been transferre
to Aberdeen.
This information was compiled from pages L3li-h36 of the Fort Hancock Garrison Histori
Resource Study researched by Edwin C. Bearss, Historian, WASO. Mr. Bearss obtained
information from National Archives Record Group 392, Correspondence 1917-1922,
1972, 2876, 3695, and h68h.


There was an explosion on August 29, 19?5 at the intersection of Magruder and Hudson
drives. Presumably harmless shells had been positioned for decorative purposes along'
side post roads and walkways. A barrel of burning tar had inadvertently b«en plncftd
next to one of these shells. The ensuing explosion did $Ji96.89 damage, mostly broken
glass, to the Post Exchange, Firo Station Bid. 76, Messhall Bid. 56, and\E.K. Barrack:
Mo. 25.' Needless to sa", orders were immediately issued for removal of the *decoratix
Shells. A - '

This information i:as compiled from page <60 of the Fort Hnncock Garrison'Historic *
Resource Study researched by Edvin C. Bo.-.rss, Historian, V^vO. .'Ir. Bearss obtained
the information frsyn national ArdK3vee Record Grout; 9?',ff"ortHancock, 1922-35, File

' / ' • ' ' . - ^ ' ' • • ' - . • ' • ' ' , - ' . . ' * • ' '

: <
. • • • « - • . , / • • ' • ' • ' ' '

onroiled and edited by Tom Hoffman, Park Technician, Historian, Sandy Hook Unit,
*v-ioateway National Recreation Area, February 25, 1979, from the Historic Resource
Study researched by Edwin C. Bearss, Historian, t.'ASO.

I87U: The first test made on the Sandy Hook Proving Ground Range was a series of

i experimental firings undertaken with a 10-inch (Bore diameter) smoothbore

cannon converted into an 8-inch rifle by insertion of a wroueht-iron coiled
sleeve. The piece was loaded with 35 pounds of DuPont hexagonal' powder and
a 170-pound battering pro.ioctils.

Two 8-inch and one 9-inch rifled Rodman Guns were satisfactorily tested with
battering charges of I4O to h5 nounds of hexagonal powder, and 200 to 2h7 poui

At Sandy Hook, for the first time in addition to the big guns, there were
trials and proofs of field guns, powders, and projectiles. Two Gatling guns
and one carriage were sent from the New York Armory to Sandy Hook for testinj
Large caliber experimental guns tested were the:
Mann 8. h-inch breech-loading rifle
Sutcli'ffe 9-inch breech-loading rifle
Thompson 12-inch breech-loading rifle
A new model five-barrel Gatling pun was tested, along with a Hotchfciss revol
A 3.15-inch Sutcliff breech-londlng and a Tloffatt 3.07 breech-loading rifled
cannon were fired. :

The Ordnance Department continues to convert and test fire 8-inch Rodman Rif

A 25-ton Armstrong 12.5-inch nuzale-loading rifle,.is fired 2\x times with

charges varying from 60 to 120 pounds of powder, and projectiles weighing fr
6OO to 700 pounds. '
A Krupp rifle was also tested vith 88 pounds of powder and a 66U-pound proje
lie, along with an Italian cannon with 110 pounds of povder and a 700-pound
shot. • .•',
A 10-inch rifle, converted from an 15-inch smoothbore Rodman, was satisfactc
fired 33 times. .- •
Other big guns tested at Sandy Hook were the Woolbridge 10-inch rifle, the
Thoranson 12-inch breech-loading rifle, the Sutcliffe 9-inch breech-loadine 1
and the Mann 8-inch breech-loading rifle. The Uoolbridge fired 10 rounds,
the Thompson 2 rounds, the Sutcliffe 26, and the Kann 11.
Three machine puns - the. Lynan nulticharpe gun, ..and the Lowell and( Taylor, hi
Gun, were'tested. ' '" -. - *' * 1 . •/
Lyle Guns are tested at Sandy Hook during 1"77-1^78. These guns would be u:
• ••**

for the throwing of lines to nhinwrecks.

,- ->'
"I * EY
f 1879.:

times with
533 to 506 poi
• $ •

•Riflei 27 round:
'A ' '».l8$|0: ouna
using 90 pounds of nowder and ii95-P " projectiles; 17U with 90 pounds of
1" powder and 5h3-^ound shot; and 3 v?ith 95 pounds of propellent and a 3>U0-pou:
Two 8-inch breech-loading Rodman Rifles had fired over 3U rounds of batteri
charges between 1876 r;.nd 1883.
• i '1880: Tests v;ith a 3-inch r i f l e d f i e l d piece demonstrated the advantage of providing
a cannon with a pouder chamber, so an 3-inch r i f l e was chambered^ f i r i n g 100
rounds v:ith 5.c> nound charces of powder and lflO-pound shot.
The experimental pins - 10-inch Voodbridge, 12-inch Thompson, 9-inch S u t c l i f f ,
I 8-inch Mann, and Lynan multi-charpe pun - were again t e s t f i r e d .

Uote: Forpot to note t h a t in December of 1R75 the Proving Ground^ recommendod

t h a t a 10-inch P a r r o t t be mounted a t the Proving Ground for use i n
conducting exneriments v:ith P a r r o t t s h e l l s .

1881: Two 8-inch and one 11-inch breech-loading Rodmm Rifles, respectively convertt
from 10-inch and 15-inch Rodnan smoothbores, are tested at Sandy Hook from
September thru December of 1881. One 8-inch rifle burst on the 2nd round, thi
11-in.on the 127th round, the other R-inch would burst after over 127 rounds.
In the Spring of 1"82 experiments with canister fired from 8- and 10- Rodnan
smoothbore guns taken from the Civil War Era "Fort at Sandy Hook" were made.
1882: Experimental firings continue.

Experinental firings and work on experimental guns continue. In, Aupust of 13

one 15-inch Rodman, No. 11U, was transferred from "Fort at Sandy Hook." The
hugh 50,000 pound gun vas being used by the Ordnance Board for experiment
188U: An 8-inch Rodman Rifle is test-fired 500 times during a 2-month periods
In August of 188U a 6.5-inch Mann breech-loading rifle was received at Sandy
Trial of the gun began in September employing from 37 to ho pounds of powder
109 projectiles. The breech of the pun blew off at the 2Uth round.
Tests of the Lynan-Haskell multi-charge gun were suspended when the gun becar
• permanently disabled.
F T • • . " ; . • •
1BR5: In the Spring of 1885 a 12-inch muzzle-loading, cr-st i r o n , r i f l e d mortar.was
t e s t f i r e d . The charge f o r t h e v/eanon was fixed a t 52 pounds with a 6l0-poui
s h e l l . By mid-October t h e mortar had fired 381 rounds. I t was hooped wJLth

A 12-incft breech-loading W s t - i r o n r i f l e wasf iifeceived in April 0 ^ 1 3 8 5 . . I t

f i r e d 5 proof rounds with charges of 1^0 pounds of' powder. By t h e 137 round
• bore erosions made the gun u n s a f e .
In J^ugust of I88h Snyder Dynamite S h e l l s (consisting of a brass head screwed
. a wooden baaet and'.' con,taininf. 8-l/2AT?ounds of dynijaiite) wqre f i r e d from a 2li-
pounder gun t h a t \ a d a bore of 6 i n c h e s . The sTiells^'proved to 1 be a f a i l u r e .
,x ,, In .June.of 188^ an 8-inch r i f l e b u r s t while f i r i n g at. steel^s^e,l^L f i l l e d with
. .,', explosive g e l r t i n e . "* i <*.
v A 3.2-inch breech-loading r i f l e nay have been t e s t - f i r e d as a nunber of p a r t
were fabricated for t h i s type of gun a t the Proving Ground machine shop.

FY >•'?
1836: In March of 1C86 Brown Prismatic powder was being received in 1$,000 pound 1
C j » 6 « To make space for the brown powder, 530 b a r r e l s of DuPont Hexagonal pov<er
r r
i 3-inch steel Whitworth .breech-loading rifle

Battery was a 10-inch Rodnan smoothbore fitted with

S^rh-loadinr"mechanism. I t was f i r e d with 35-nound powder chtr-ges
A ^ s t i l e s . In late Karch at t h e 312th round t h e gun buist
S h T e a t U v i o l e n e into many foments, demolishing the carriage.
with great vioxen ^ William 1!. Medcalfe and P v t . 1st Class Joseph Km
% ' w^re knied and Sgt! John Abbott and Cpls. George Clark and Walter Goodlno v,ov
£ • ed by the bursting of a l?-inch shell.

J 1887: During the Calendar Year of 1887 there were 21 t e s t s i n progress a t Sandy Hoot
Included were: breech-loading mortar and a 12-inch cast-iron breec*
V*%L rifle Both g^ns had been at the Proving Ground since 1885. and IO3
JfhlfbSin f^ed^ron the mortar and 137 from the r i f l e ,
g r o u n d s were f S d from an 8-inch Rodnan smoothbore for t e s t s o f f lark
Sawe^s°3.2-Sch°fieldSgun shield was undergoing t e s t s for endurance against
~ fire and shells. ./. "v*^. ^ -» » ,
1886 25 pounds had been fired in experiments with a modified 3-incl
* _ \ ' * ' ' • • • ' ' ' V - ' • . ' •

s e s
\ fc..•••£. ^ *™J"J~™ ; D KT« for- a 3-inch mu7Zle-loadine r i f l e had been completed.

rifles had been g ° « ^ d ; f i r e d f r o i a a n 8 -inch steel breach-load ing

Since July 1886 U9 ^ n « ^ e k a c h i l l e d A a t fed been receiTe«U
In ^pteinber 1886 five B i n c n ^ r t e d ^ ^ ^ w e r e r e a d f o r ^ ^
S ^ ' S S in 1^1887, 5 rounds had been fired fro,,the I^anit
Company's gun. . , S a w v e r ' s canister were on hand but'oone had be«
A number of rounas ox j>.t xiw-n « „
"cushioned" gun and carriage were tested.
A ^
Gatling Gun was tested Long Barrels).
Gatlin7Guns was tested (Shoret Barrels),
^ses - d Sagler' s combination fu fuses were tested. •- ,
Foundry Association Projectiles l were tested
t t d :

5S.^^^rSS3^^^ vi* ex,^ve gela.

fron a 7-inch muzzle-loading ri'fle.

FY , - +hp saletflf unserviceable and, obsolete tiaterial tJ

1868! U
^ 1 ^ ^ ' £ S d wi?f the' ^nutactux, «f *e flinch, steel breech-
^ g c h rlrSrmortar was subjeeted'to ^ i r i l W y firings
'•". ' ^ c o v ^ a l ^ r a S s ? ™ 1 t f 6*nil.s. 1» ro^ds were ftrS,-Of:?hich 76 ve:
a 5-inch oreech-ioad^ s ^ e r l T ^ a,

f j s s s a ^ si,
2? 3.2-lnch steel field guns were ordered.
,!589: 8-inch breech-loading rifle had been fired an additional 61 times.
12-inch breech-loading mortar had been fired 33 tines with charges up to 82
j The 5-inch breech-loading steel siece rifle an^ the 7-inch breech-loading sie
howitzer (also made of steel) were rendy for further testing.
The 12-inch cast-iron tubed breech-loading rifle vas enplaned and ready for t
The 12-Inch hooned rifle was n?ndy for tnsts.
On October £, 1^89, a 12-inch breech-loading cast-iron nortnr burst while und
' coin? tests on the 20th round. There vere no injuries, but the mortar and it
carriape were demolished.

Ft steel
*189O: In December of 1809 a lli-1/2 ton 8-inchAbreech-loading rifle was test fired.
In September of 1890 a 10-inch steel breech-loading rifle was test fired.
A 10-inch cast-iron, wire-wrapped breech-loading rifle, a 3.6-inch steel
breech-loading field gun and one 3.6-inch steel breech-loading ttortar and
carriage were on order from the Watervliet Army Gun Factory.
A 12-inch mu.zzle-loading mortar, which had been fired over U00 tines, was
converted into a breech-loader and rebored and enlarged to 12.2 inches to
determine a pitch of rifling that would permit firing longer shells than
those heretofore used with the piece. When test fired the accuracy of the
rebored weapon was not inferior to the Krupp 29 centimeter breech-loading
mortar. • .
300 nunds were fired from the 8-inch breech-loading steel rifle.

(^•t ' - •' ';i . -

x891: The No. 1 8-inch breech-loading s t e e l r i f l e had been fired over 3D0 times.
The No. 2 8-inch BL s t e e l r i f l e had been fired over 100 times. ' This piece he
been tested with both brown powder and smokeless powder procured froa Germany
Rottweil-K61n works. The German powder had a nitrocotton base and proved far
superior to the brown powder of American manufacture.
The 10-inch breech-loading steel r i f l e had been fired about $li t i n e s . The
. proposed charge was 250 pounds of powder for a 575-pound s h e l l .
A 12-inch breech-loading s t e e l r i f l e was awaiting t e s t i n g .
A 12-inch breech-loading s t e e l mortar was awaiting testing.
. FY . . • ' . ' . ' . • ' •

1892: By June 30, 1892 the 10-inch breech-loading steel r i f l e had been fired l£8 t i
and the 12-inch breech-loading steel r i f l e 6U t i n e s .
' No. 1 8-inch 3L r i f l e had been fired over 300 times, while No. 2 8-inch BL r i
had been fired 17h t i n e s . The accuracy of these,.puns'had been demonstrated,
at a* t-ange of one mile ~foiir tout of^five pro^ec^les struck within pi 20 by 21
inch area. At 3,00G yards six shots impacted Within a 1-1/2 by U foot target
Tests had also been continued and completed on Dr. VJoodbridge's. JtO-inch breec
' • adirig' r i f l e ; Begun. in> 1861- i t \>eip,hod about' 28 tons and ,ha4 fired 161 rounds.
• I t fired.'a ch'rfrge ^»f 160 pounds and a ^53-nound-nrojeo'tile. An1 evaluation ol
tests concluded that the gun, consisting essentially .'of af'cas't^iyon body
\;'.- ,\> •' strengthened by steel-wire winding, v»as inferior in power t-o\ stcndard guns of
.. .*• •'•' same caliber.
-^ " The 12-inch 3L cast-iron r i f l e sen4 to the Proving Ground in 1889 had been fi
. 228 times, and the "advantape thrived fron the use of a s t e e l llitfr.£ in protc
ing the bore ap,ainst erosion f-om nowder gases" had been demonstrsted.
,._. ^1892: The 12-inch breech-loading cast-iron mortar was "adjudged" satisfactory for
issue to the Array. The rate of fire for this piece, which was designed to f
a maximum charge of 03 pounds of brown prismatic powder with a 630-pound prc
jectile, was one shot every ll-l/2minutes, with "the present imperfect carrl
Firing tests were in propress v/ith the 12-inch steel mortar received in 1891
This piece was designed to fire a 800-pound shell, with a maximum charge of
nounds. A

1893: The firings for experimental and test purposes involved rapid-fire guns - li
the 6-pounder Hotchfcisses, 6-pounder Driffs-Schroeders, 6-pounder Seaburys,
and li.7-inch Armstrongs — and field and siege guns.
Test firings of seacoast guns was limited by powder shortages. The 12-inch
Breech-loader had been fired 28. times, the 19-inch BL 52 times, and No. 2 8-
BL 51 times.
The 12-inch 3L cast-iron rifle firnd 263 rounds, with the charge varying fro
to 275 pounds, depending on the quality of the nowder, with a projectile of
830 .pounds., When compared v;ith modern steel rifles of 12-inch caliber, the
weapon's performance "fell very far behind."
During the year there had been received for testing at the Proving Ground a
5-inch breech-loading rifle from the Brown Segraental Kire Gun Co.
The 12-inch BL steel mortar had b y this time fired 56 rounds. '

• ' . • ' ' ' : . • • • •

Test firings of seacoast pins w a s still limited by brown powder shortages. <
7 rounds had been fired from the 10-inch BL rifle end 19 rounds from the 12-
BL rifle.
No. 2 8-inch rifle had been fired 9h times during the year. This piece had :
fired 319 rounds and shoved "rcore or less erosion of the bore and chamber a m
the rifling." The piece was still retained.
The Brown 5-inch segmertal vire gun was tested, firing 19? rounds. After th«
final round, which was with a 36-pound powder charge, two large cracks were
pinpointed in the lining tube. U,
In 1°93-9U another Woodbridge 13-inch wirde-wound gun was tested. This piec<
was classified as a prototype of the Brown segmental gun, but its lining ext<
ed throughout the length of the bore. On the 23rd round, the inner tube rup^
ed in five places. - .
The 10-inch Crozier wire-wound rifle vras test fired. It consisted of a rath<
heavy central tube of forged steel overlaid XJith a practically continuous la;
wire from breech to muzzle. A steel jacket, carrying the breech-block and t-
.nion hoop, was placed over the vire covering with very, slight ahrinkape, and
connected, at its forvmr^end withHubn. By-thp.'end of the fiscaliyear, the
Crozier had been .fired 66 tines, with no sign of weakness.
Since 1P76 the Ordnance Dent, had tested a number of wire-wound guns, include
the Crozier. Except for the Crozier, they all failed. The Brown, the only <
not'panuffictured by t»he-*Dept.,had demonstrated great"endurance. These tests
• satisfied the~DepV« as1 to the advantages possessed byf'the built up steel gun:
those of wire-wound construction. 'h i' >, '', j.,..
•y,i The 12-ihch BL.-steel mortar had now been fired 176 tiShes w£ih varying charge:
• ••
'• Results' obtained slightly favored the erst-*iron mortar. ' •:,-.-

1895= As of June 33, the !.'o. 7 6-inch r i f l e had fired 377 rounds and would probably
admit $0 more before the tube v.onlri ha'e to be resleeved.
. O
'••' 4*895: The 10-inch rifle (its tube of Whitworth steel) had fired 26$ rounds, and it
was scored and putted. By increasing the diameter of the rotating bands on i
projectiles, the windnpe hnd boen reduced enough to retain the shot in its
original position, and its accuracy wan unimpaired. The piece hnd been subj«
to some very "heavy wave pressures" during its test.
The 12-inch rifle (its tube of Lr Creusot steel) had fired 159 rounds, and w«
still in good condition.
The Crozier 10-inch wire pun hnd been fire 210 times, nnd appeared to be in <
The 12-inch BL steel mortar f\red 335 rounds, of which 10 rounds were with si
of 630 pounds, 6 with shells of 775 rounds, 2^0 rounds vith n shell of POD pi
. and 3? rounds with a 1000-nound a"mil. In respects to endurance, the mortar
exhibited little or no erosion rnd g^ve every appearance of being able to em
an infinte number of rounds.
On February 19, 1895, a h.7-inch Hotckkiss rifle, while being test fired, bu:
• mortally wounding Lt. Fremont H. Peck.
FT t •.-..•
1896: Tests, proofs, and experiments undertaken during the year*included siege rif
and howitzers, rapid-fire breech-loading rifles, breech-loading rifled morta
t seacoast guns, field guns and tests in the explosion chamber and sand.
The experimental firings with the 10- and 12-inch BL r i A e s were finally com
ed.' The 10-inch rifle had endured 292 rounds. The 12-inch rifle held up we
also, firing 227 rounds.
/"">• "he Crozier 10-inch wire gun had fired 275 rounds. By then the bore wes too
eroded for additional firing, but the Ordnance Board concluded that the gun
suitable to be put into government service. . .
During the yenr there had been tested, proved, and shipped from Sandy Hook f
..:% installation in the seacoast fortifications 5 10-inch BL rifles,/, five 8^inch
'! BL rifles and 6 12-^.nch nortars. '^- .
3 On September 28, 1896 death struck arain. 1st Lt. George Montgomery and a £
I crew were manning a Canet rapid-fire gun. A metallic cartridge-prematurely
^i • exploded, killing Cpl. Robert Doyle and Pvt. 1st Class Frank Cqriway, and wou
M ing Lieutenant Montr ornery, ?vts. 1st Class VJilliam McDonald and; Patrick B&BX
3 - and Pvt. 2nd Class James Coyne. The remains of Doyle and Conway; •were shippe
1 respectively to Philadelphia and Troy, New York, where they wereiairned ovei
2 relatives for burial. •.>:;'.;-''

1 FT. • •':•;-: •".••

'% 1897: Proved and Tested at Sandy Hook were the following guns:
'4, -Two 8 - i n c h b r e n c h - l o a d i n g r i f l e s •..'"•
3 TWenify-elght 1 0 - i n c h BLvA-fle.s x
-**•',• . ' • / ,
•-1 53JC 12-inch BL r i f l e s
1 . Six 12-inch BL mortars .

% ' F T . •'.. ".• ' . - • - - . - • " V ',. • A {
. •' 1898: Proved and Tested1'at Sandy Hook were ,the following gyns:t< '>
•S ( i ( Two , BL r i f l e s A ' " ' \ ' ', L
1 <<; :
' » '•'.' Twenty-eight ^0-inch BL r i f l e s *' , \ •
"JL:.m "' Six 12-inch BL r i f l e s
Six 12-inch BL mortars
Thirty-two dunmy projectiles vere purchased and held for use in determining
accurate range tables for the Dyrmnite Battery.
On January 29, 1898, a 5-inch rapid-fire gun burst a t noon, wounding an emp
of the Postal Telegraph Comany.
During this Fiscal Year tests of projectiles of various "grades and calibers,"
for acceptance under contract, were greater than in any previous year. They
covered 352 lots of shrnpnel for field and siege guns, *and 128 lots of steel
shot and shell for siege add seacoast cannon. A breakdown of the lots showed:
SHRAPNEL: 7 lots 3-inch
217 lots 3.2-inch
69 lots 3.6-inch
21 lots 5-inch
38 lots 7-inch
SHELL: h lots 5-inch rnnnon
16 lots 5-inch nrrior plercvln/:
2 lots 5-inch armor-piercing shot
2li lots 7-inch howitzer
11 lots 7-inch common mortar
SHELL: 1*lots 8-inch
8 lots ID-inch
2 lots 12-inch
SHOT: 9 lots 8-inch
5 lots 19-inch
5 12-inch
S1!ELL: 26 lots 12-inch
SHELL: 9 lots 12-inch
During the year there had been pro/fed and issued to the seacoast f ortif icatic
from Sandy Hook:
56 8-, 10-, and 12-inch breech-loading rifles. /•/.-
•66 12-inch breech-loading mortars. ,
On March 20, 1*99, a 10-inch BL rifle burst, killing the recording clerk, H e m
Murphy, and wounding Pvts. Charles Diemen and James Harrington. •
On July 13, 1899, a 3-inch Hotchkiss shell exploded, wounding Pvts. p'Neill,
Czulgus, and Roberson. - V

1900; In the year ending June 30, 1900, there were proved and issued fron. Sandy Hool
Eight 6-pounder rapid-fire pins
One 15-DOunder rapid-fire^ pin : , . , . .
Nine 10-inch brj!echi-loading rifles J".- . . >' >• ' |V , ,'
Tvrenty-tw'o 12-inch T3L rifles ' ; •., .. ( ;^ ./ .
(<FLrtyrOne.l?-incjh 3L mortars . '!. ^ '•^•••f
, Proofed but not: issued were 12 '6-nounder rapid-fire guns and '$5 IJJ-pounder
rapid-fire guns. A large number of tests of armor-piercing shot and shell,
/ " " > •
representing lots subnitted by contractors, had been undertaken along with nai
tests with smokeless nowder.
'4/J?0Qi Ballistic tests of service steel projectiles received fron contractors involv
Shrapnel: Assorted lots for 6-pounder, 3-inch, and 3»2-inch.
Shell: Assorted lots for^-pounder armor-piercing, 6- a*nd 8-inch armor-piercin
7-inch howitzer, 11- and 12-inch armor-piercing, 12-inch deck-piercing
and 12-inch torpedo.
Shot: 6-, 8-, 10-, and l?-inch armor-piercing.

Experimental trials included:

A Vickers-Maxim mountain nun
A Vickers-Maxira field gun
Metallic carriages for machine funs with protective shields

New primers, exploded either by serrated wire or by electricity, were tried w


Experiments continued upon high explosives for filling shells, including wet
cotton thorite, jovite No. 2, cerberite, and explosives of the lydite and amr
nitrate classes. The desired explosive was one which was safe In the gun and
storage, but which was certain to detonate on impact. Many which fulfilled t
first condition were known and nost explosives ignited by the impact of a she
on a steel tnrget, though the energy of the explosion varied. A compound ful
filling both conditions and free fron all other objections was still needed.

During the year tests had been completed, or nearly so, on/ these guns:
Sins-Dudley ?.£-inch dynamite gun.
Vickers-Maxim 75mra mountain n 10 *
Seabury U.72-inch rapid-fire gun.
5>-inch single-forging gun (by Senbury?).
3-inch built-up field gun (by Gordon?).
5-inch single-forging gun (by Gordon?).

A new Proof Battery was built in 1900-1901. • ^'TO/'jp&flg'e' Seven armor-plate

backings were to be built for the following types of guns: 12-inch shot, 12-1
shell, 10-inch shot, 10-inch shell, 8-inch shot, 8-inch shell, and 12-inch 0.
'-•.. • s h e l l . * • • • . . . . . . .;;>;•//ix-Yv

FT . ' '• ' C : : I:: " •. ;.
. 1901: Two high explosives for use in shells, and a reliable detonating|fuse were di
loped at the Proving Ground. >•••-.•

Projectiles tested at Sajidy Jlook included: cor.isterj shrapnelj staxv shellsj

6-^, ID-,' and 12-inch armor pitf re ing shells j"i2-finch D.P. shells j'lg'-inch tori
shells; and 6-inch armor piercing shells. The canister caliber was 1.65-,
3.2-, and 3-inch. Shrapnel caliber was 6-inch. Star Shell calibers were
3.2-!« and 3.6-inches. There were also lots of 12rinch torpedo shell.
" ' . . > • > , -v • , A. . i • , . ,\
• ' w * . . ,* . • ••

Seventy-one guns off, various calibers had been proved,, 'ranging.. fr,6m .l$-pbunde:
^ 12-inch rifles, during- the year. More than 5,500 crofef rbunds'.Kad been firei
•;',» '*., during the'12 months, a 2$ percent increase over the previous. Fiscal Tear.

'" Guns Proved included: 1 15-^ounder Dripgs Seabury Rapid-fire Gun

3 S-inch rat»id fire guns
C 7-inch howitzers
19 7-inch mortars
.901: 1 10-inch rifle
13 l?-inch rifles
26 12-inch mortars
Smokeless pov.-der had been tested in 29 guns of differentkinds and calibers:
1.65-inch Hotchkiss mountain guns
6-DOunder Driggs-Seabury riapid-fire gun, Mo. 1
l5-pounder Driggs-Seabury rapid fire gun
3-inch Maxim-IIordenfelt mountain gun
3-inch Dnshiell
3-inch Stockett
3-inch Hotchkiss mountain gun
3.2-inch breech-loading r i f l e , No. 113
3.2-inch BL r i f l e , No. 13
U.7-inch Armstrong guns
5-inch BL siege rifle
,'M % 5-inch rapid-fire gun, No. 5 .•
•£| v 5-inch rapid-fire gun, Model 18°7 (Service)
•>1$j 6-inch rapid-fire gun, Model 1897
if 7-inch' howitzer
4j • 7-inch BL mortar, N o . 1
•^ 8-inch BL rifles -
•M 10-inch B L rifles • <
; !
J' ~^ 10-inch Brown sepmental gun
''"••«, ' y<^\ 12-inch BL nortars
'1 i:;:r ' . " -,;'.-V,' '
Fixed amnunition loaded with smokeless powder had been tested in:
6-pounder Driggs-Seabury rapid-fire gun, No. 1 „,
v~ 6-pounder Driggs-Seabury rapid-fire gun, Service *'
; v[ 15-pounder DrAggs-Seabury rapid-fire gun v
• ' %
3.2-lnch breech-loading rifle (converted No. 225^•
" . # . - ; • ' - . , . " • ' .

J: • - . . . ' • ' • .

^ ' Hexagonal powder w a s tested i n :

•\ 3.2-inch breech-loading rifle, N o . 1 W . A . (converted t o Model 1 8 9 7 )
"- • 5-inch B L siege rifle
•$, 8-inch B L rifles ";,.

•^ Brown ''risnatic Powder w a s tested i n :

\ki- • 8 - , 1 0 - , and 12-inch B L rifles
J&" Sa^.u^yig,Powder was testft^in a 5-inch B L rifle^ ' " • , ' •
-"tfy During the ;'ear ending June 3 0 , 1 9 0 1 , the machinists had banded 25*0 8-inch anc
,J 6 7 10-inch Parrott projectiles for tarpet practice.

• •> _ During the year on'^the -ieft flank'of' the Proof 3attery,'a 8 6 - b y ,6,7-foot platfc
."i for field and siege /guns was ^established, and peman<i»nt einplatieipents for 5-i»
J: ,, , siege.i giuiB, and 7-inch siege hov;itzers and nortars were1- established. In rear <
••-• '"".» 'Y the .batteryj a gun park was established, It included concrete skids topped b3
;• " ' iron rails, and had space for 16 12-inch rifles, 2U 10-inch rifles, 30 8-inch
• •'. ,"^~ rifles, and 10 12-inch mortars.
*!v 1902: The improved and additional facilities provided by the new Proof Battery nade
possible a greatly increasnd workload in Fiscal Year 1$02, Among the tests
that year was the Gathamann IB-inch pun and projectiles, a project conducted
by a joint board of Army and Navy officers.

During the 12 months 135 puns had been proved, ranging in size from 6-poundei
rapid-fire puns to 12-lnch breech-londinp, rifles. Issued from the Proving
Ground for emplacement in the nation's coastrvl fortifications were:
Fifteen 6-pounder rapid-fire puns
Eleven 5-inch ranid-fire puns
Six 6-inch BL rifles
Tventy-four 6-inch rapid-fire puns
One 10-inch BL rifle
Three 12-inch BL rifle
Thirty-two 12-inch BL mortnrs

FY .
1903: Many lots of projectiles were subjected to ballistic tests including:
3-inch Driggs-Seabury shrapnel
6-inch Frankford Arsenal shrapnel
6-pounder Driggs-Seabury Armor-piercing shell
6-pounder American Ordnance Gonprny amor-piercing shell •
6-inch armor-piercing shot
10-inch armor-piercinp. shell .%'.'.•'.
12-inch D.P. shell v
12-inch torpedo shell -i':••••;

Guns proved and transported were:

Nine 1-pounder subcaliber tubes
Ten 6-pounder Driggs-Seabury raoid-fire puns
Two lS-pounder Driggs-Seabury rnpid-fire puns
Eleven 5-inch siege guns • v iv •
Fifteen 5-inch rapid-fire guns f : •:•••';'
. • One 6-inch breech-^oeding rifle J
Twenty-three 7-inch breech-loading howitzers ';
One 8-inch BL rifle " '
Twenty-Seven 12-inch BL nortnrs

Firing during the 12 months had involved espenditures of 92,727; pounds of i

' .19,£>3,pounds of high, explosives, and 3,399 rounds of fixed annunition. A
of o,3*9* rounds vere f\rfed; .pr>.d !?• frftpmentnt^Lpn 'tests made.- ' 0* ;.»

On Decenber 1, 190U, CTJI. Georpe Anpler hnd his right hand mangled by exnl<
of. p. friction primer for a l?-inch rifle.
> ' t ..; • t . -V ' * i, . i • ' • • ,•:

For sor.e unexplained r ^ s o n historian BeaYjss did not« covei/ Fiscal Years l$0h and
H I ,.,. in,his Historic Resource Study. Fir.col Year 1903 ends on'.pagfr 265* ^ind i s folio
. . ^ „*•';». iiinediately .by "Fiscal Year 1 9 ^ . - '• , ',, ' '• :•;• :

•. A
i$T;/06: In the year ending June 30, 1906, r. total of 13,103 rounds had been fired.
7,365 rounds fired had been vrith fixed amunition, vhile 39 fragmentation tes"
had been made. Three guns and also shrannel had been subjected to ballistic t*
19O7t Tuo pmr, nnd nhrnpnal and omjnctllon w.-m Bulvjnc.tod t" ballistic tests. Mori
thun 6,3^0 rounds w«re ftr*sd, '',,996 T»rnjprt1"l«a And lfW rounds of fixed annun:
ion, vhile 13h frngnentntion nnd miscellaneous tests were conducted.
FY •
1908: Ballistic t e s t s for service rere rade on l o / t s of shot, shell and shrapnel,
2 puns, and lots of powder and fuses. A t o t a l of 3,7^5 rounds were fired,
including h31 projectiles and 167 rounds of fixed ammunition, in addition to
U69 explosive t e s t s .
1909: Ballistic tests of material for service in Fiscal Tear 1909 included assorted
lots of shot, shell, shrapnel, tracer shells, fuses, powder, and proof of 2J
^ guns. .The number of rounds fired during the 12 months were 7,177 from guns
of various calibers. In addition, there were fired 15,500 pounds from calibe:
.30 machine guns, and 57 explosive tests. ."
FT *
1910: During t h i s year b a l l i s t i c t e s t s of n a t e r i e l included assorted l o t s of shot,
s h e l l , shrapnel, t r a c e r s , fuses, powder, and proof of 27 guns. The.number of
: •;•••• rounds f i r e d from guns of various c a l i b e r s was h,Q73» •;
On February UU and 1 5 , 1910, Chief of Ordnance Crozier was a t SandyyHobk and
watched t h e t e s t of p r o j e c t i l e s from a 12-inch pun fired against a concrete
. target. • . •;' y y •,•-••'.:'.'.. .'•".

FT • . J . -':^"' ••',
1911: Ballistic t e s t s of materiel for service included assorted lots of;,1 shot,e w shell
shrapnel, nipht and day t r a c e r s , fuses, nowder and proof of 5 fu* **^ and
experimental mnteriel under t e s t included guns, powders, projectiles/,
' primers, prenades, and electric and pneunantic firing devices forest
cannon. The number of rounds fired from various caliber guns during the year
was 5,605. . • • • # • v--:'';"' ; •'. '.••
The lli-inch gun, Model 1907, wire-vrapned, was fired 59 times with powder
pressures of as high as Uh,30D pounds per square inch, ih-inch arraor-piercin
shot, sand-filled, and armor-piercing shell, loaded with explosive/TO^fand fu
was m^de,. against large concrete taxpets. Later.'"the sake targets iv#refattack
with navy 12-inch ainor-piercinr shell, f i l l e d vrith explosive "D'Ord-hd $Vise<L,
F T • ' 0 "•".•.;;•. .--'.'
1912: During these 12 months b a l l i s t i c tesjts of service "-and experimental materiel
. included assorted £ots-.'of shot, shell', shrapnel,, shirannel bases, shell, tracer
fixed ammunition, combination a'id detonating fuses, apd powder, «'•-• _ \'
»' ' •:'. • - "" t \ %\ " 1 •"
*. ..! Twenty armor plates were tested for acceptance and 23 puns proved. : The
^ principal experimental rviteriel under t e s t vrere the ll-inch disatppearing
carriage, Model 1907; the 12-inch mortnr carriape, Model 1908; tiirret and
barbette armor-plate for two Us-inch pun t u r r e t s to be erected on El Praile
Island (Fort Drum), Manila Br.y, Philippine Islands; the nilot 3-ihch mountain
gun and carriape; a Ji.7-inch nnd 6-inch hov' am* carriape o f ' l a t e s t ' d e s i p
and various designs of high explosive shrapnel.
FY •
1913s Ballistic tests of service and experimental artillery materiel included, as
heretofore, ammunition, nrnor-plnte, and pins. The principal new experimenta
nateriel under test consiste of a 6-inch disappearing carriage, Model 190$ M2
111-inch dissappearing carriage, Jtodel 1907} record and counterrecord system of
Ill-inch turret mount; 12-inch nortnr carriapes, Models of 1^96 M3 and 1908;
12-inch nortars, Models 193^ and 1912; lh-inch funs, Models of 190?, 1907M,
and 1909; 6-r>ounder balloon run, carriage, and sifht; 3- and 3.8-inch howitze
and carriages; 2.95-inch Denort field run; ?,%- and 2.9?-inch Deport nountai
• guns; and 1-pounder subcaliber tubes for 3-inch field puns and h.7-inch howit

F T . - " • • •
191U: Tests with assorted lots of projectiles received from various contractors,
lots of experimental projectiles, night tracers, shrapnel cases, rifle grenad
fuses, powder and armor-plates were carried out. Fort-five guns and.29 carri
we^re proof fired. During the year 6,256 rounds had been fired from guns of
various caliber. 158 fragmentation tests of projectiles were made, v

• During these 12 months the principal materiel tested included lJj-inch'guns,

Models 1907 Ml, 1909, and 1^10; lit-inch disappearing carriage, Model 1907 HI;
12-inch nortars, Models of 1900 and 1912; 12-inch rcortar •carriage's'/'Kqdels Ml
and 1908; counter record systen of l)i-inch turret mount; 3^inch;,r»6uhte|jii howl
/T~"\v and carriage, Model 1911; 3.8-inch howitzer and carriage, Model 1508)fU.7-lnc
V - ;* howitzers and carriages, Model 1908; 6-inch howitzers and carriages, JJodel IS
-•"* l-pou'nder subcaliber tubes for 3-inch field guns and U. 7-inch hovltzejrsj and
9.2-inch 50-caliber gun and nount for Bethlehem Steel Co. •'$£•:^-r]•''•'/•

This year test3 included Jt3 ter.ts against nrmor-platesj 171 t e s t s / 6 f « j

testing and retesting 7U lots of powder; arid-proof firinp. I4O guns; of various
caliber. 133 t e s t s were completed and 8,U7U rounds fired. ty |:';; -1; ; !
FT. • * • ' ':•>$&•-$.., •..•'• •

1916: This year t e s t s included 33 t e s t s against amor-plates; l51< t e s t C ^ f fuses;

testing and retestinn 133 l o t s of powder; and proof firing 39 ca^on" of varit
caliber. 113 t e s t s were completed and 6,955 rounds from cannon^red,--TlKe 1<
inch disapnenring cnrriape "war s t i l l undergoinr t e s t at Sandyv|t<jolc^^'.;'',V--•'.;
On, January h, 1916, thev^remature, e^colosion oX a'4i.-7-inth shell^^^indtergoinc
^ragjnentatfion t e s t in the' "hcwVe::plosion chahbefi" vounded• three?|ieT\:-; L t s .
Follett Bradley and Russell Kaxvell, and Pvt. Georre Reiter. .'^-';' •••)'.';.••

F * • : . , . • •• / • ' • • •

1917: This year, t e s t s inldlud'cd "51 t e s t s ' of' armor-plate t 29!; jtests of fuses; 1 testinj
' and retesting 277 lot's of povrder; and proof firing lii,cannon of 'Various calii
, ^ ,85 te,st prpfrans were completed nnd 26,716 a r t i l l e r y pound's firefi;

F* "' ' ' -i"- • •

"918: Included were t e s t s of amor-plnte, fuses, lots of nowder and other ordnance
e r i e l , as well as the proof firing of pins of various caliber.
Although Sandy Hook was being phased out as the Army1s proving ground, there
was no slowdown in the work load. Included were tests of guns, carriages,
and anminition. There had been 1,150 tests and experiments involving materie
valued at $99,950,060. For the year ending June 30, 1919, the number of rerun
fired from Seacoast guns only, h.72-inches in caliber to lli-inoh war*.
The total number of rounds fired from field and seacocst cannon "Were i6,277.
Following table of tests is in Fiscal Years:
Total number of rounds fired from field and aeacoast cannon in 1918 were U2,5
Total number of rounds fired from field and seacoast cannon in 1917 were 13*2
Total number of rounds fired from .33 cal. rifle and machine pun in 1913 - 11:
Total number of rounds fired from .33 cal. rifle and machine gun in 1517 - 13
Total number of rounds fired from cannon including fragmentations and tests:
1911 1912 1513 1911* 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
3,261 3U93 -3U1U 3631 6338 6955 26716 U28U6 10353
Total roxmds fired in connection with other tests in 191fl was 28,329 and in
291$ I483.

On February 2, 1917, Colonel C.L.H. Rufgles, Commander of the Proving Ground Comman
T e Chief of Ordnance Crozier that the nr-ed of a larger area for a Proving Ground
:coining da«ily more acute. It would become more so when the "projected large calib
mobile artillery, firing high capacity shell and the 16-inch gun andil6*inc& mortar
arrive." Due to several factors, an ertensive search for a better location for the
Proving Ground was made. General Grozier wrote that Sandy Hook, in 19lYj was too
snail an area for a Proving Ground noting that the greatest range at which guns cou
be fired across land was 6,700 yards. This was considerably less than ,the maximum
range of a 3-inch fixed gun and "entirely inadequate for the proper test of guns an<
ammunition of larger caliber." It was impossible at Sandy Hook, he explained, to f.
6-inch explosive shells, 05 those from larger pieces, at any distance on% the,beach
range without endangerinp lives and property. ".'* '"

The Ordnance Department determined that a 25,333-acre area in Maryland1 a< Harford.
County on the Gunpowder River would ansvrer its needs. Aberdeen Proving "Ground was
formally established nn March h, 15>lR. As fncilities were developed at ^Aberdeen,
those at Sar.dr Hook were Dhasad.aut. v -• •'• ' . *
On December 9, 1912, a l)-inch rifle beinr trnted at the Proof 3attery burst. Flyii
fragnents fron the piece did $333 rlrn&fe to Battery Richardson. ;

X _ >

/ .
187^-1919 (with probable location/discovery areas on Sandy Hook)

Compiled and written by Tom Hoffman, Park Technician, Historian, Sandy Hook Unit,
Gateway N.R.A., June 17, 1979.

: 8-inch Rodman Rifle - 170-pound battering projectile (oblong, pointed

artillery shell): May possibly find projectiles in the dune area east of
Battery Richardson south through the present North Beach Bathing/Fishing
Area Parking Lots and 700 yards further south on the ocean beach and back
dune area.
1875: 8- and 9-inch Rodman Rifles - 200- to' 2U7-pound projectiles: Probable
location and discovery areas same as those listed above.
1876 : 8- and 9-inch Rodman Rifles
New Model five-barrel Gatling Gun
Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon
3.15-inch Sutcliff breech-loading field gun
3.07-inch Moffatt breech-loading rifled cannon.
Large caliber experimental guns tested were:
b'.'i-inch Mann breech-loading rifle ••
9-inch Sutcliffe breech-loading rifle
12-inch Thompson breech-loading rifle
Probable location and discovery areas for field guns would be in the dune
area east of Battevy Richardson south to the beach and dune area east and
north of Battery Gunnison. '*' "
Probable location and discovery areas for the large caliber guns would be
in the same areas cited above, but possibly further south of Battery Gunnisa
' and. us far as 3 miles {if. the dune area east, of. the Radar site south to
South Beach and south to the present Spermaceti Cove Visitor Center (i89*t
Spermaceti Cove No. 2 U.S. Life-Saving Service Station).
1877: 8-iAch Rodman Rifles1: Probable location and discovery arenas sane as those
cited above. .. ' ,' ... . '.'
: 12.5-inch Armstrong muzzle-loading rifle - 600 to 700-pound projectiles.
Krupp rifle is tested - 664-pound projectiles.
Italian cannon is tested - 700-pound shot.
10-inch Rodman Rifle is test fired.
8-inch Mann B.L.R. is test fired.
9-inch Sutcliffe B.L.R. is test fired.
12-inch Thompson B.L.R. in tent fired.
10-lnch WoolbridKO Riflr in tout fired.
Lyman multicharge gun is test fired.
Lowell & Taylor Battery Gun is test fired.
Lyle Guns are test fired. :
Probable location and discovery areas for the field and heavy artillery gui
'same as those cited under Fiscal Year 1876.
1879 11-inch Rodman Rifle - shots fired weigh from 503 to 506 pounds: Probable
fc •
location and discovery areas would be in the dune area east of Battery
Richardson south'in the Ocean, beach and back-dune areas to the vicinity
n of South Beach.
."' - ^880 11-inch Rodman Rifle - 495-, 54O-, and 543-pound projectiles are fired:
Probable location and discovery areas same as cited above* -
Two 8-inch Rodman Rifle breech-loaders - fired battering charges between
1876 and 1850; Probable location and discovery areas would be i n the dune
area east of Battery Richardson south along the. beach and dune ;areas to th<
vicinity of Battery Gunnison. ^
3-inch rifled field piece - (probable weight of shell 10 to 12,pounds):
Probable location and discovery areas same as cited under Fiscal Year 1879
8-inch rifle: fires 180-pound shot: Probable location and discovery areas
same as cited under Fiscal Year 1879.
,8 - i / i c h M a n n B . L . R . - \ - j. v .•••..• , ,
9-inch Sutcliffe B.L.R.
10-inch Woolbridge Rifle
I^Ainch Thompson' BJL.R. ' . <.. . ' , . '
. ' • ' ' - ' « ' • ' • ' '" 1' , '

Lyman multicharge gun. ' . •., , ''

Probable-location and discovery areas for the fieldv and h«javy •Artillery gu
cited above is the same as those cited under Fiscal Year 1876.

• '3
880: A 10-inch Parrott Rifle may have been fired at the Proving Ground from the
mid-1870*s to 1880 for use in conducting experiments with Parrott shells.
1881: Two 8-inch and one 11-inch breech-loading Rodman Rifles are tested; Probable
location and discovery areas is the same as those cited under Fiscal Tear 18'
1882: Experiments with canister fired from 8-inch and 1O-irich Rodman smoothbore gui
taken from the Civil War Era "Fort at Sandy Hook** were made: Probable
location and discovery areas would be in the dune area east of Battery
Richardson south along the beach and back-dune areas to the vicinity of
Battery Gunnison.
1883J For experiment firing a 15-inch Rodman smoothbore gun was transferred from
"Fort at Sandy Hook.": Probable location and discovery areas would be in the
dune area east of Battery Richardson south through and in the ocean, beach,
and back-dune areas to the vicinity of South Beach* '
1884: 8-inch' Rodman Gun is fired.
5j| ' 6.5-inch Mann breech-loading rifle is test-fired* 109-pound projectiles.
* Lyman-Haskell multi-charge gun tests are suspended. • -;t ,;;
/ ) /-"> Probable location and discovery areas for the above larger-calibeir guns
fM "•-• might be in the dune area east of Battery Richardson south through and in th<
^ ocean, beach, and back-dune areas to the vicinity of South Beach*
.;'.$ 1885: 12-inch cast-iron, muzzle-loading rifled mortar is- test fired - 610-pound
;-$• shells: Probable location and discovery areas might be up to 3 miles off *
;1 North Beach in the ocean or in the ocean, beach, and back-dune areas south
;! of North Beach to South Beach vicinity.
I - 12-inch cast-iron, breech-loading rifle is test fired: Probable location
;? and discovery areas is the same as those cited under Fiscal Year 1884*
. .; A 2'f-pounder (6-inch) gun fires Snyder Dynamite Shells (consisting of a
; ,.' ' brass head screwed to a wooden base and containing 8)6 pounds of dynamite)*
A An 8-inch rifle burst whj.le firing^ steel shall'-filled with explosive
X(*f.. 'gelatine. ' -• . . .'"•.;"/, • \ t ,.
-' 3«2-inch breech-loading rifle may have been fired at this time. '"
• ' 1886: An experimental 8Tinch ateel, breechrloading Vhitwqrth Rifle is shipped to
the Proving Ground1., ' ;. ••••', ;
',:'• ••> •' O-inch Rodman smoothbore gun fitted with a breech-loa*ding jnfcchanisB is
'',.—--..' test fired - 181-pound projeatiles are used.
1887I 12-inch breech-loading mortar.
12-inch breech-loading rifle.
' 8-inch Rodman smoothbore gun.
8-inch steel breech-loading rifle.
8-inch muzzle-loading rifles.
Dynamite Gun is fired 5 times.
Michaelis 1 "cushioned" gun and carriage were tested.
10-barrel Gatling Gun was tested.
6-barrel Gatling Gun was tested.
7-inch muzzle-loading rifle test-fires the Stevens Dynamite Shell, charged
with explosive gelatine. ,..-•}, : • *
West Point Foundry* Association Projectiles were tested. -;
3«2-inch Sawyer canister is on hand for testing. ,7-/ :
8-inch Eureka chilled shot was on hand for testing. '; ^
3-inch projectiles (fuses and bursting charges) for muzzle-loading rifles
were on hand for testing. ' "'•'M$r;^-:^:.';.- ;•'
Probable location and discovery areas for the mortar might be_^-'-£o'";3Tkile8.
off North Beach in the ocean, or in the ocean, beach, and back-jiunejjareas
south of North Beach to the vicinity of South Beach. Prbbabi^location anc
discovery areas for the other field and heavy artillery 8hellj^ou3j^bei frpt
the dune area east of Battery Richardson south through the o c e ^ ,
back-dune areas to the vicinity of South Beach. i&t$fc
18881 12-inch breech-loading rifled mortar was subjected to preliminary
cover all ranges from 1 to 6 miles. ^3%-;
8-inch steel breech-loading rifle is test fired. v^
7-inch steel breech-loading howitzer is test fired. . -^^•••••^^•^••:-:
' ' •' •'•• - .••t^;*!?'^-'-. .-,!-i-:v^-^.-'v-.''..:.

• j5-inch breech-loading^siege rifle is test fired. "., v^||. " ?TH- •

10-inch breech-loading Whitworth Rifle is purchased for.,^est ^ i ^ J ^ i S ^ f
. 3»2-inch steel field guns were ordered. /'^J''*?'"-^ v •-
Probable location ax^d discovery areas for .these .artillery shells same as th
cited above." V • '• , > ' 1'' .17
5-inch breech-loading steel siege rifle is test fired.
7-inch breech-loading siege howitzer is test fired.
8-inch breech-loading rifle in test fired.
12-inch breech-loading rifles are test fired.
12-inch breech-loading mortars are test fired.
Probable location and discovery areas for the artillery shells fired from
the above cited guns same as those arena cited under Fiscal Year 1887*
1890: 3»6-inch steel breech-loading field gun was ordered.
M 3.6-inch steel breech-loading mortar wa6 ordered.
8-inch breech-loading steel rifle was fired.
10-inch breech-loading cast-iron rifle was ordered.
10-inch breech-lSading steel rifle was test fired.
A 12-inch muzzle-loading mortar was enlarged to 12.2-inches and test fired
for accuracy.
Probable location and discovery areas for the artillery shells fired from
the guns cited above same as those areas cited under Fiscal Year 1887*
1891: 8-inch breechr-loading steel rifles are test fired. ' . -
:••- 10-inch breech-loading steel rifle - 575-pound shells.
12-inch breech-loading steel rifle & mortar await testing.
Probable location and discovery areas for the arjtillery shells fired from
these rifles could be from the dune area east of Battery Richardson south
through and in the ocean, beach, and back-dune areas to the vicinity of Sout
Beach. '
1892: 12-inch BL cast-iron rifle had been fired 228 times.since 1889#-
10-inch Woodbridge BL rifle tests were completed - fired a if53*'pound project
10-inch BL rifle was test fired.
12-inch BL rifle was test fired.
.8-inch BL rifles were test fired. The accuracy.(of these guns had been
demonstrated when, at a range of one mile,'four'out of five projectiles stru
within an 20 by 21-inch area. At 3»000 yards six shots impacted: a i# by V
foot target. ^ •> . .
• 12-inch.'BL ca"st-iron mortar is test f^.red - 630«-pound''projectiles are used.
, 12-inch .BL steel mortar is test fired - 800-pound projectiles are used*
^ v 5 2 : 12-inch BL cast-iron rifle is test fired - fires 800-pound projectiles.
12-inch BL steel mortar is test fired.
5~i&ch BL Brown Segmental Wire Gun is received for testing.
The 8-, 10-, and 12-inch BL rifles are test fired.
Rapid fire field and siege guns are fired for experimental and test purposes
. 6-pounder Hotchkiss.
6-pounder Driggs-Schroeder.
6-pounder Seabury.
4.7-inch Armstrongs.
Probable location and discovery areas for the artillery shells fired fromthe
guns cited under Fiscal Years 1892-93 same as those areas cited under TX i891a
-i89f»: U-, 10-, and 12-inch BL rifles are test.fired.
10-inch Woodbridge wire-wound gun was tested.
10-inch Crozier wire-wound gun was tested.
• *
5-inch Brown segmental wire gun was tested.
, 12-inch BL steel mortar was test fired.
•5: 8-inch BL rifle is test fired.
10-inch Whitworth BL rifle is test fired.
12-inch BL steel rifle is test fired. , " ',
10-inch Crozier BL wire gun is test fired.
. 12-inch BL steel mortar is test fired - shells of 63O-, 775-* 800-, and 1000-
pounds are fired.
^.7-inch Hotchkiss rifles are test fired. ,
1896: Tests, proofs, and experiments undertaken during this year included siege
rifles and howitzers, rapid-fire breech-loading rifles, breech-loading rifled
mortars, seacoast guns &field guns. -., \ ' '
8-,M0-rf, and 12-inch BL rifles" .were Test fired* jr, . • »' -
10-inch Crozier wire gun was test fired.
12-inch mortars were test, fired.
Canet rapid-fiife_ gun', was, test fired. A'- . . '" ,' ' |V ,
1897: 8-, 10-, and, 12-inch'BL rifles were test fired. /. ("' -j ' % ;.
*'"'!» ''\'12-ineh BL mortar's were test fired. •' '*•
m i6*98: 8-, 10-, and 12-inch BL rifles are test fired.
12-inch mortars are test fired.
5-inch rapid-fire guns are test fired.
1899: 8-, 10-, and 12-inch BL rifles were test fired.
12-inch BL mortars were test fired.
. 3-inch Hotchkiss rifles were test fired.
Test of projectiles for acceptance under contract were carried out with:
3-t 3«2-, 3»6-, 5-» and 7-inch shrapnel.
5-inch cannon shells, 5-inch armor piercing shells, 7-inch howitzer shells,
and 7-inch common mortar shells.
8-, 10-, and.12-inch armor piercing shells.
5-» 8-, 10-, and 12-inch armor piercing shot. t
12-inch deck piercing shell.
' 12-inch torpedo shells.
Probable location aind discovery areas for the artillery shells fired from
•W ) the guns cited under Fiscal Years 189U-99 could be from the dune area east of
Y Battery Richardson south through and in the ocean, beach, and back-dune areas
to the vicinity south and east of the Spermaceti Cove Visitor Center and the
"critical (washout) zone" north of where the seawall ends,
19OO: In the year ending June 30, 1900, there was proved and/or tested:
. 6-pounder rapid-fire guns. •• ,..'•'/
15-pounder rapid-fire guns. ' ' - '*
' 10-inch BL rifles* *
12-inch BL rifles.
12-inch BL mortars. - _
Sims-Dudley 2.5-inch dynamite gun. ' :. ,
Vickejrs7tyaxim 75mm mountain gun. v •»*'•'*' ' 'J
5-inch single-forging gun (by Seabury?). ' -'
3-inch built-up field gun (by Gordon?).
5-inch single-forging gun (by Gordon?).. • • ' • ' ' ,s
Vickers-Maxim fieJd gun. ' ' .'•.,,. 7
jpOO; Test of projectiles for acceptance under contract were carried out withI
'•323 6-pounder, 3-» and 3»2-inch shrapnel. .. , < ., *
6-pounder armor-piercing, 6- and 8-inch armor-piercing, 7-inch howitfter. •
10- and 12-inch armor-piercing, 12-inch deck-piercing, and 12-inch torpedo
6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-inch armor-piercing shot. •.
1901: Guns proved and tested included:
1.65-inch Hotchkiss mountain guns.
6-pounder Driggs-Seabury rapid-fire gun.
15-pounder Driggs-Seabury rapid-fire gun.
3-inch Maxim-Nordenfelt mountain gun.
3-inch Dashiell. " •
3-inch Stockett. :*.
3-inch Hotchkiss mountain gun. < >
3«2rinch breech-loading rifles. "'-••• " <•'. ,'
**.7-inch Armstrong guns. 4i ; '
5-inch BL siege rifle. ,^.% ;,*
5-inch rapid-fire gun. -
5-inch rapid-fire gun, Model 1897.
6-inch rapid-fire gun. Model 1897.
7-inch howitzer. -"'„/**.
7-inch BL mortar. ' *" -*w '
8-inch BL rifles. ^ 'f , ,\
10-inch BL rifles. * V V- •*.-
..•".'..• . . t! >

12-inch BL rifles. • . • , . *
-v *

12-inch BL mortars. . '-£,. - «<•/.'

10-inch Brown segmental gun. . , "'Ar."-'' '"'<'",'
Projdctiies tested at ^ahtty!Hpokincluded:\c*nf8<ter; shrapnel; *ia* shells?
6-, 10-, and 12-inch armor piercing shells; 12-inch D.P. shells;*12-inch
torpedo shells; and 6-inch armor piercing shells. The canister caliber was
I-65-, 3L. 2-^i find'^-i^chT' Shraprfel-"caliber was 6-J.nchf -SJtar Shell calibers
? • . ' • J < «*
were 3.2-, and More than 5»500 proof roj^nds',iiad.'b.een fired
;* <* . ' * . ' . • •» «.

in.12 months. . "

1901: During the year ending June 30, 1901, machinists had banded 25Q§-inch and
67 1-inch Parrott projectiles for target practice* .

1902: Guns proved at Sandy Hook included:

6-pounder rapid-fire guns* »
5-inch rapid-fire guns*
6-inch breech-loading rifles.
6-inch rapid-fire gune.
10-inch BL rifle.
12-inch BL rifle.
12-inch BL mortars.
Among, the tests was the Gathamann 18-inch gun and projectiles, ft project
conducted by a joint board of 'Army and Navy officers. ' "'
1903: Guns proved at Sandy Hook included:
1-pounder subcaliber tubes.
6-pounder Driggs-Seabury rapid-fire guns.'
15-pounder Driggs-Seabury rapid-fire guns.
5r-inch siege guns* „ , " ' ' " « '
V 5-inch rapid-fire guns. '
6-inch B L r i f l e . • • • ". * , *
7-inch BL howitzers. - .a . "^ ••
8-inch BL rifle. ' V ' . > '" ;,
12-inch BL mortars. , l
* Projectiles subjected to ballistic tests included: *
3-inch Driggs-Seabury shrapnel. -
6-inch Frankford Arsenal shrapnel. ' .*• ,
6-pounder Driggs-Seabury Armor-piercing shell* <*'''*',
6-inth <egrmor-piercing "ahot.'.. v -t. s'•'•-.' ' . -f
10-inch armor-piercing shell.
12-inch D.P. shell.
12-inch torpedo stiell. v ; u, ' ,• ,. • f>
During the year a -total of 6,329 rourfds were f ired.. > '•. .•, .
• > . ••:/ •' ."•• :• - •' - V " •

/$HS • ' • • • ' • •

^fcTlj 1906: In the year ending June 30, 1906, a total of 13 f i83 rounds had been fired.
*" . Shrapnel wa6 subjected to ballistic tests.
1907: More than 6,360 rounds were fired. Shrapnel and projectiles were subjected
to ballistic tests.
1908: Ballistic tests for service were made of shot, shell and shrapnel. A total
of 3«755 rounds were fired.
1909: 27 guns were proved, and ballistic tests of shot, shell, shrapnel and
tracer shells was carried out. 7,177 rounds were fired from guns of variovt
calibers. In addition, 15,500 pounds were fired from .30 caliber machine g
1910: A 12-inch gun fired projectiles against a concrete target.
Ballistic testes included shot, shell, shrapnel, tracers...and proof of 2 7
4,073 rounds were fired from guns of various calibers.
1911:.Tested at Sandy Hook for service were lots of shot, shell shrapnel, night a
day tracers...and grenades. 5,605 rounds were fired from guns O f various
calibers. ~*\-
Model 190l7« 14-inch wire-wrapped gun fired 14-inch armor-piercing shot, san
] . filled, and armor-piercing shell, loaded with explosive *3)" and fused, »*
g /*^~^'> ••••'•. • • ••••'• • • • • • • . • •'•• • * •

I f '• ••• against'large concrete targets. Later, the same targets were Attacked with
navy 12-inch armor-piercing shell, filled with explosive ''D11 and fused.
1912: 20 guns were proved including: ,. . , -
3-inch mountain gun and carriage. : ,-•
4.7-inch howitzer and carriage. , " .., ^ ' #
6-inch howitzer and carriage. -;> -
. * Turret and barbette armor-plate for two 14-inch gun turrets. / "*
Tested for service and experimental testing were lots of shott shell, high-
explosive shrapnel, shrapnel cases, shell tracers, fixed ammunition,"etc.
1913; Principal new experimental materiel under test consisted of:
• 12*inch mortars, Models of 1908 and 1912. ^ . '.
14-inch guns, Modsls of 1907', 19O7M, and
. . 6-pounder balloon gun.
howitzers;,' ,v •* 1 . ' * ' ''
! 1
'.•'• w- 2.95-in?H Deport field gun.^ ".. V ' :<
-' ' ' "' 2*«56-'and
* 2«95-iach Deport mountain guns*
it n
:••>] •

AKTILLERY PROJECTILES & FUZES 1784 - 1861 & 1861 - 186.5

Between 1784 and 1861 spherical artillery projectiles used by

the D.S. Army consisted of 1) solid shot (in 6, 12, 18, 24,
32, and 42-pounder weights and 8 and 10-inch diameters),
2) Hollow shells containing gun powder (in 12, 18, 24, 32,
and 42-pounder weights and 8 and 10-inch diameters), and
3) spherical case shot (Shrapnel) in 6, 12, 18, 24, 32, and
42-pounder weights and 8-inch diameter.

To explode the spherical shells and case shot a conical

shaped paper-case fuze ( 4 ) , inserted in a metal or wooden
plug that fitted into the fuze hole, was used. The fuze
contained powder that would burn down into the main powder
charge, and the rate of burning was shown by the color of
the paper. A black fuze burned an inch every 2 seconds.
Red burned 3 seconds, green 4, and yellow 5 seconds per inch.
Since firing a shell from a 24-pounder to burst at 2,000
yards meant a time flight of 6 .seconds, a red fuze would
... . T*<T; >•
serve without cutting, or a green fuze could be cut to
1J4 inches.

With the introduction of r i f l e d cannon

during the Civil War, elongated, pointed
projectiles were permitted, ensuring their
, flight point first great increase in
range and accuracy. There were a great
variety of rifled shells used during the
Civil War varying in size & shape. The
most successful types of r i f l e projectiles ^
were those whose base expanded into the
spiral grooves of the cannon bore to impart
spinning immediately aft^r firing. Jj.5) i s
' a Confederate Read'J, 4.42-tinch, 24-pound<
, j shell with a wrought-iron rotating cup at
• .;**»

"' the base. (6) i s a Confederate Head,

3.6-inch, 1^.5-pound shell with a copper ring rotating band at the base.

These nhells used the front percussion fuze to explode the

powder charge in the shell. The shock of impact caused this
fuse to explode the shell at almost the instant of striking*
A front porcunoion fuse (7) hud « brand cnna which tier*wed
Into the front (top) of the shell. Inside the fuze case was
a plunger (A) containing n priming charge of powder, topped
with a cap of fulminate. A braua wire at the base of the
plunger was a safety device to keep the cap away from a sharp point at the
top of the fuze until the shell struck the target. When the gun was fired,
the shock of discharge dropped a lead plug (B) from the base of the fuze int
-:«a the projectile cavity, permitting the plunger to drop to the bottom of the
• V-+i

fuze and rest there, held by the spread wire, while the shell was in flight.
Upon impact, the plunger was thrown forward, the cap struck the point and ig
the priming charge, which in turm fired the bursting charge of the shell*

Some shells had the rotating band located around the central mid-section of
the projectile while others, like the English
Whitworth shell (8), had hexagonal
grooved sides machined to fit
the bore

European nations also adopted studded shells (9)* The shells

were provided with two (or more) rows of soft metal studs, so
that as the shell was placed in the muzzle, the studs were
engaged with the grooves. The shell was rammed home B O the
studs rbfe down the groove's and, on firing,"
the studs rode up the grooves and

I imparted the necessary spin

to the shell! - Inu'addition to
the ,6tuds, the shell had a "gas-
check" plate fitted at the base.
This corrugated plate was flattened
by the explosion of the charge and was forced into the rifling
grooves to seal the gas behind the shell and prevent erosion.
COMMON EXPLOSIVE SHELL - Thin shell was filled
with gunpowder and ignited by a percussion (im-
pact) fuze. Note that this shell is fitted with
an expanding gas-check at the base (for use with
rifled muzzle-loaders), along with a base fuze
at the center of the projectile base. The base
fuze was used with armor-piercing projectiles
where it was desirable to have the shell pene-
trate armor for some distance before bursting.
SHRAPNEL SHELL - Lieut. Henry ftimpnel'n in-
vention took on a new form with the r i f l e d gun.
The head was pinned to the body, which carried
a charge of lead musket balla packed in ronin.
A small bursting charge, of gunpowder was l o c a t -
ed beneath the payload and ignited by a time
fuze flashing down the central tube. The r e -
sulting explosion drove the b a l l s forward,
foraing off the head.
'1 )
I- ••*••.
Captain Palliser of the Hungarian Army invent-
ed this shell in 186*U By casting it nose
down in a chilled iron mould, the head waa .
hardened and an exceptionally successful
«. piercing projectile^was the result. Note the
holes in the ogive for removal with a special
tool (illustrated below). To unload a rifled
muzzle loader it was necessary to reach down
the bore with this devj.ce until its jaws %

clipped into the holes prepared in the shell '

. nose. Pulling on the handle then tightened
the < grip and the she 1^1 Qould be drawn out. .
.• . " - v •'.; . "• " •

Smoothbore cannon fired many forms of projectiles: shot;, shell, carcass,

grape, canister, spherical case, chain, bar, and elongated shot. ^Each
differed from the others and had its special function evolved through the
years in furtherance of the ever-changing art of war."

Bound Shot carried no explosive and were designed to cause death and destruct-
ion through sheer weight of impact. These solid, iron spheres were made in a
wide variety of calibers and weights. Identification is merely a matter of
accurate measurement although diameter will be roughly one to two tenths of
an inch less than the corresponding bore caliber. This is due to a. small
tolerance permitted the manufacturer and "windage," the reduction necessary
to allow free movement of the ball in the .bore. As a rule, shot waa designed
for guns and columbiads.

i •••"•

Shells, hollow spheres filled with powder, combined incendiary and .explosive
^.. properties. Shells could be fired by most forms of ordnance to achieve JLong-
V range destruction of men and equipment mainly through blast and fragmentation,
although there was also a limited potential from impact in cases where the
projectile failed to explode. Shells were divided into three categories:
mortar, those for longer weapons generally called "common,11 and spherical'case.
• • . • • • • • • • • . • • - • ' • • • ' • - ' ^

T r
• • • ' ' • , ' • *

• ' • ' • • • > v * •

Mortar shells, since they were fired with a light propellant which Teduced the
shock of discharge, had? relatively thin walls of uniform dimension"throughout.
This resulted in a spherical interior of larger capacity than the thicker-
walled common variety which was further reduced on the inside by reinforce-
ment of the fuse hole. Case, although the walls were thinnest of all,, were
loaded with- lead or iron b&Llte which Increased jtfie^weight. % '

Wail thickness is an excellent mode of identification if the fuse has been

removed/ If not,, anbthef mode of identiXiea'tion is the weight of the shell.
Different wall thicknesses resulted in varied weights fo£ corpnon-'aid mortar
'feiiells.of similar;caliber, differences sufficiently pronounce* for identificat-
ion purposes, particularly for 8- and 10-inch shells. ..


-FIGURE: XII-1 IDENTIFICATION: Miscellaneous Shot. Shell, and Spherical Case. SOURCE: Mordecai.

*15finch Solid Round Shot: Diameter 1^.85 inches: Weight M»0 pounds (If this
> caliber shot was cored it weighed J4OO pounds; unlike shell, which also was
hollow, cored shot contained neither powder nor fuse, and it was believed
that the 5-inch thick walls rendered the ball virtually indestructible to
afford sufficient weight to crush masonry walls of forts)•
15-inch Solid Round Shot: Diameter 12.87 inches: Weight 282.8^ pounds,
12-inch Solid' Round Shot: Diameter ;11 .fift inches: -Weifeht 222 pounds." *.»'.."
11-inch Solid Round Shot: Diameter 10.85 inches: Weight 166 pounds (Used by
Navy only,)-
10-inch Solid 'Rouhu1-Shot: Diameter 9.87 irfches: Weight 127.£ pounds., ,
, 9-rinch So^.id R.ound Shot: Diameter 8.85 inches: Weight 90 pbunds" (* Navy only
' V8-fnch Solid-Round Shot: Diameter 7.88 inches: Weight 65 pounds.' '•

42-Pounder Solid Round Shot: Diameter 6.8*4 inches: Weight ^2*5 pounds.
32-Pdr. Solid Round Shot: Diameter 6.25 inches: Weight 32.k pounds.
2*f-Pdr. Solid Round Shot: Diameter 5.68 inches: Weight 2^.3 pounds.
18-Pdr. Solid Round Shot: Diameter 5.17 inches: Weight 18.3 pounds.
12-Pdr. Solid Round Shot: Diameter *4.52 inches: Weight 12.25 pounds*
, 6-Pdr. Solid Round Shot: Diameter 3*58 inches: Weight 6.1 pounds.

'i3-inch Spherical Mortar Shell: Wall thickness about 2.2 inches: Diaraet*r
' 12.87 inches: Weight 218 pounds.
10-inch Spherical Mortar Shell: Wall thickness about 1.6 inches: Diameter
9.87 inches: Weight 88.^2 pounds.
8-inch Spherical Mortar Shell: Wall thickness about 2.25 inches: Diameter
7.88. inches: Weight Mf.12 pounds. r
- • • ' • " • ' • *


Spherical Shells for columbiads and seacoast howitzers:- {,

15-inch Spherical Shell: Wall thickness : Diameter i V S ? inches: Height

^ 3 5 2p o u n d s . •••".••'
^.|V • 10-inch Spherical Shell: Wall thickness 2 inches: Diameter 9.87 inches: Weight
101.67. ' *'
8-inch Spherical Shell: Wall thickness 1.5 inches: Diameter 7.88 inches: height
^9«75 pounds. ' 'J
•- • * • . • • • " . J V ' *

Spherical Case Shell: ' * "^V''\

8-inch Spherical Case Shell: Wall thickness .7 inches: Diameter 7.88 inches:
Weight 59.5 pounds: No. balls, Iron, .85-inch, 220. ,'"""'

The Artillerist's Manual of i860 noted that the maximum range of the,8-inch
Columbia^ (Rtfdman 6moothbor^; cannpn) was k#'\2 yards^ and. of the 10-ifact columbiac
(Rodman smoothbore cannon), 565*t yards. Dr. E.R. Lewis mentions in M s took,
Seacoast Fortifications of the United States, that the 10-inch Rodman smoothbore
cannon had a, maximum r^nge. of about ^,000 yards with A 12J-pound shot: mnd the
10-inch rifled gun of 1890 had a range of about 12,300, yards with 'a :60*i-pound
V projectile.. Lewis also noted that the 15-inch smoothbore cannon t>f the-Civil
War Period had a maximum range of 5*020 yards (3 miles) with a 315-pound
projectile, and that the same gun around 1880, when a heavier propelling charge
and a stronger carriage were used, had a maximum range of 7«73O yards (k miles)
with a Vj^-pound projectile.


R'ifle artillery projectiles offer the most difficult identification problem of

all Civil War artillery because of the numerous experimental projectiles the
North and South developed, tested, adopted and discarded. Rifle projectiles
of this period generally took the name of their inventor and were made in
numerous calibers as wall as varied forms including solid, shell, case, and
canister. They differed mainly in methods of providing rotation, a major
problem in-muzzle-loaders since the round had to slip easily into the bore,
yet follow the twist of the rifling as it was expelled, i®J; • -

•£>>, The major types of U.S. Artillery projectiles consisted of Parrott,-:|£henkl,

Dyer, Hotchkiss, Absterdam, Sawyer and James shells. Parrott shells^Were made
^ similar
in all calibers of his rifles from 2.9- to 10-inch and were general!^
in appearance, although short and long models were made for 6.4- and 8-inch. •
Bolts also fit all calibers and in most cases came in two flat-nose v&rieties-
one with a rounded ogive, the other with a marke4 step to the flat ^

The advent of rifled artillery

suddenly solved problems of detonat-
M • T-V
ion on impact. Since the projectile,
theoretically at least, landed on
its nose, a simple fulminate cap
would explode the round on striking HGURE: XIII-2 CATEGORY 1. IDENTIRCATIPN; Parrott,
and could easily be made bore safe 3.67-Inch, Shell, U.S. WEIGHT: 16.5 poundi. SOURCE: Abbot.
REMARKS: 20-Pounder. Bran cup, open type.
,by protecting it during discharge. .
,. ' <•
Time fuses were also u«ed with
rifled artillery and during the
early days, which included the Civil
War era, were often more efficient
than percussion. FIGURE: XII1-3 CATEGORY 1. IDENTIFICATION: Parrott,
4.2-Incb. Shell, U.S. WEIGHT; 25 pounds. SOURCE: Abbot
REMARKS: 30-Pounder. Brass ring sabot.
•f V

The raised nose, such as illustrated

by the 10-inch bolt in FIGURE:XII1-6,
is chilled iron and was designed for
punching ironclads, although this
specimen was fired at the masonry of
«Fort Sumter. It ia cored, but un-
like the 15-inch Dahlgren, wsn o*»r.t XIH-5 LOCATION: foil MoultrW. SC.
1. IDENTIFICATION: Miscellaoeous Parrott Shells, U.S. B
without a hole to the core. Black MARKS: Left to right:
founder's sand poured out when an 10-Inch (300-Pounder). Ungth — 12.S. Weight — 2:
identical round at Surater was 10-Inch (300-Pounder). Length — 23L5 (bcludes .25-in
drilled some years ago in the mis- nut in base similar to that on 8-inch of Fig. XUI-10). Wci^
— 250 (approximate). • '"
taken belief that it might have 8rInch (200-Pounder, Navy ISO). Length — 20. Weight
been loaded. 137 (shell recoverd from salt water and probably has •
*r r '. *
stained an estimated 13-pound weight loss). "
8-Inch (200-Pounder. Navy 150). Ungth — 16.9 (inclu*
il The Washington Navy Yard had two .5-inch nut as in Fig. XIH-10). Weight — 138.
6.4-Inch (100-Pounder). Length — 1 8 , 5 . Weight — 90.
12-inch Parrott bolts, 23.5 inches 6.4-Inch (100-Pounder). Length — 15.8. Weight — 74.
Note: Both 10-inch and one 8-inch unfired. Other 8-inch I
long, with chilled heads that like- thrown off its brass ring. Smaller 6.4-inch is badly rusted a
has sustained an approximate 6-pound weight loss. Sabots
ly were made for testing one of brass. . • ; . y ^ t . ' * , , . •.-•'''
three 15-inch Dahlgrens bored to
12-inch and rifled in three FIGURE: XII1-6 LOCATION: Fort Moultrie, S C
different forms - including 1. IDENTIPICATION: Miscellaneous Par>ott Bolts.
MARKS: Left to right: i ^•' \ _
Parrott, 10-Inch (300-Pounder). Length _ - J ; ( t 5 . Weight

KWpounder). Length - M^.W^

Surplus Civil War era Parrott 6.4-Inch (100-Pounder), Length — 13.25-Weight—-
Note: Brass, ring-type sabott.
projectiles were probably fired
from 8- and 10-inch Rodman Rifles
being»fees£$d at the SandyvHppk
Proving Ground after the Civil
War. Proving Ground records
support this bplief ^ ad ,dr> two ; ,
10-inch shells found/on Sandy
\ Hook, in tmm of 19?6 that
strongly resemble the two 10-
•3 inch shells in FIGURE XIII-5.

• The bursting charge inside Parrott

shells was black powder, but they
were also modified to fire incend-
iary materials by casting the in- Inch. Incendiary Shell, U.S. SOURCE: Abbot. REMARKS: P
terior with a partition which rott "Long" shell cast with two compartment* and bolt hole
base to accommodate Bemoy'i incendiary composition. T
separated the cavity into two cavity held a small bunting charge and'the bottom 6 pint*
incendiary material. The bolt was removed for loading. Rli
compartments. The top section type, brass sabot.
* held a small bursting charge
loaded through the fuse hoie.
The bottom was packed through a
hole in the base with cotton
then filled with liquid incendiary
composition and the hole closed
with a Qopper washer and bolt.

A number of Parrott and Schenkl.

shells have been found (in the
FIGURE: XIII-10 LOCATION: Autbort Collection. C
Charleston, S.C., area) to GORY 1. IDENTIFICATION: Parrott, 8-IndwSbell, VS. Le
— 173 (includes .3 of nut). W e i g h t y 157. REMARKS:
contain a double charge* One fired, excellent brass ring. Nut may indicate a form of is
consisted of powder mixed with diary shell although cavity is that of standard shell, tee

an unidentified substance,
which was poured into the pro-
jectile until the cavity was
about half filled, and then
permitted to harden into a
solid mass. The second
.charge, normal black powder, was
placed on top. Apparently by
making' fou'ghly half the caVlty' ••;
solid, movement of the remaining
FIGURE: XIII-I1 LOCATION: Author* Collection. C
powder .was limited. Both black GORY 2. IDENTIFICATION: Schenkl. 8-Incfc, Shell. U 5 . Le:
— 20. Weight —*L2S. REMARKS: 10 rihi Contained do
powder and' the charge, see text/ Papier-mache sabot. • •
8-inch, Schenkl (Fig.&II-1i)
;.'.were found to be in excellent ' " ^ V'
condition and burn well despite .;
their age - vivid reminders that Civil War projectiles may still be dangerous.
Schenkls were a common U.S. projectile, but were rare in this calit»er and were
used primarily, if not entirely, by the Navy.
Warren Ripley notes in hia book
"Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil

The huge projectile in Figure

XIII-28 is listed on Washington
Navy Yard records as a 12-inch,
600-pound Hotchkiss shot, but
judging from the protruding, plug :
at the top, could be a shell.
The plug presumably protects a
cavity for either a fuse or
lifting eye. If the former, the
round doubtless is a shell and
the five parallel grooves along
the side are designed to let
flame to the time train. If the '
cavity held a lifting eye during
manufacture or for insertion
prior to loading, the grooves
were intended to reduce the
strain by providing windage.
Since the grooves are not slant-
FIGURE: XID-28 LOCATION: Washington Nary: Yard, D.1
ed, they were not expected to CATEGORY 1 (tentative, see text). jDENimawiON: Hotchki
fit the lands - as did the Rod- , 12-Inch, U.S. Length — 2 4 . REMARKS: lis*ed on N«vy Y*
man 12-inch (Fig. XIII-29) - records as 600-Poiinder Hotchkiess Shot. However, m view
and the projectile likely had a protuberance in the nose, which may be * form of fuse plu
...rear sabot. Its caliber and and 5 grooves in the side, the projectile iwqr t * * &*&* *•
presence at the Navy Yard would text.
indicate it was made for one of
the experimental 15-inch Dahl-
grens bored to 12 inches and
The Rodman, also located at the
Navy Yard, is probably one of
twenty-five which the major i
reported sending to- Fort Monroe :
for use in his 15-inch, bored to
12 and rifled. These rounds, he
told the Senate Committee "...
have grooves cut in them so that
they are locked with the gun and
cannpt .get out without~jjjq)ta,ting • v.
..." The shot weighs about 6CK3
pounds and has 7 grooves, slant-
ed to conform to the twist of
the^rifling....The round is list- A
ed out of cdntext,1 for-, comparison
with the Hotchkise, for the 12-
inch Rodmans, sent to Monroevwith
a similar number of 8-inch, must
be considered experimental pro- FIGURE: XIII-29 LOCATION: Washington *favy Yard. E
CATEGORY 5. IDENTIFICATION: Rodman; 12-Jnch, Shot, t
jectiles and not general issue.
• • . /
REMARKS: Listed on Navy Yard records *x £00 pound R
man shot. Probably it was designed for the 15-Inch Rode
cast and bored to 12-inch rifle and tested at Fort Mon:
Note 7 slanted grooves designed to fit the lands.
TION:Fuse, Parroti. Percussion, VS. (Early Model)
MARKS: Parrott Shell.


' •*.'•;

t - ". FIGURE: XII-58 LOCATION: Estes Cpllectioni' MuHins, S.C
, IDENTIFICATION: Fuse.'Parrott, Percussion. VS. REMARKS:
Two forms, of Parrott Percussion Fuse used during me \tur.«;••
From about 1880 through the early 1900's many 3- and 3*2-inch rapid fire
Coast Artillery and Field Artillery guns were test fired at the Sandy Hook
Proving Ground. These guns fired oblong explosive shells and canister
projectiles with lead or copper rotating bands on the base*

One field gun, the Model 1893 3.^-inch field gun, was tested at Sandy Rook
and would be the U.S. Army's major field gun during the Spanish American War.
It appears that these guns were surplus ordnance rifles that had given exceller
service during the Civil War. Warren Ripley writes on pages 161-163 of his
book "Artillery & Ammunition of the Civil War" that!

'Most important both in number and general achievement was the U.S.
3-inch, wrought iron field rifle M-1861 known and admired on both
sides of the line as the "Ordnance Rifle" or "Ordnance Quh." The
piece also had two other names which through the years have added
confusion to its.origin and development. These are "Griffen Gun"
and Rodman Rifle," and while there is considerable justification *
for the first, there seems little or none for the second.

Since (John) Griffen's (an inventor of a wrought iron field gutt)

original models were smoothbores and....the Ordnance Board was '<
drafting a design for submission to the founder^.it seems Griffen's
connection with the Ordnance Rifle was the process of construction- '
the form was a product of the Ordnance Bureau and hence the name., ,
•» ' •' . ••'• - .'•-.-• " . • - , y '

Rodman's connection, if any, is decidedly tenuous. His method^Of'"-

interior cooling used in manufacture of certain columbiads, M .; ;f
obviously didn't apply here since the Ordnance Rifle Was wrought*
not cast, iron* He could, of course, have designed it for the ^
Ordnance Bureau, but contemporary records fail to bear out this, ' "'
supposition and the only link of the inventor with the gun found" !_,
thus far is Benton's: "The form of this the same ia ^ts'-;
general character as all the guns of the Rodman pattern..." \- '-*"•"» - , .

•ft pissiiBle explanatioxHaky-'lie (with) the M%5*%nch. siege,rifle,> /

which resembled the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle closely in appearance
and was often called an Ordnance Rifle. It was, however, cast
iron, not wrought, and thus was erroneously supposed by a number
of'Artillery and.ordnance men'to have been fabricated by^Rodman's ,
method.' Consequently, since both calibers were outwardly similar, .
it is possible that attribution to Rodman occurred through* a \ &;
• ; ' :
* 1 •
• « '' combination of confusion and>error. Despite confusi'bn of, tame, ,
the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle gave excellent service and won praise
both North and South. ;
Toward the end of the (Civil) War, Hotchkiss and Schenkl projectiles
were mainly used with Ordnance Rifles although various othera could
be fired including the Dyer with which a test piece elevated 10 #
gave 2,788 yards range and at 20°, 3»972 yards. The charge in both
cases was a single pound with a 9-pound shell.

Following the war, an attempt was made to retain use of the Ordnance
Rifles through conversion to breechloaders and beefing up the weight
of the projectile. The bore of a number of rifles was reamed to 3»2-
inch and a steel breechblock installed, but the attempt seems to have
met with little favor despite enthusiastic reports by ordnance boards
through 1881 • The Ordnance Rifle (Fig. IX-1*) in the Petersburg collect-
ion is one of these conversions.

There seems to be a contradiction, according to Ripley's research, as to

whether or not the Civil War Era Ordnance Rifles were actually the conversions
that became the Model 1893 3.2-inch Field Gun that were used in the Spanish
American War. Close study of old photographs of 3-3.2-inch field guns at the
Sandy Hook Proving Ground and in Cuba during the Spanish America* War seem to
indicate that while'Civil War Era Ordnance Riflea, which were converted into
breech-loaders, were tested at Sandy Hook, the Model 1893 3*2-inch field guns
appear to be of newer construction with slight difference in gun 'barrel desigi

In any event, surplus Civil War Era Hotchkiss, Sch'enkl and Dyer projectiles
MIGHT HAVE been fired from the 3-3.2-inch field guns when they vere being
tested at Sandy Hook from the 1880's to the early 1900' s. To Identify these
types of shells, diagrams are included with this report, and werei
Ripley's book. * .


. Rifle, Field, 3-Incb, Model 1861, Wrought Iron. Converted to
3.2-Inch B.L.R. BORE: Diameter — 3.2. Rifling — 7 x 7 ,
straight Length '— 68.75/ LENQTH O / A {excludes missing
breechblock)': 68.757 TRUNNION'S: Diameter —: 3.67.' Length
2.8. MARKINGS: Muzzle Face — J.G.B., 1866. 945, P.I. & Co.,
816 Ibis. Right Trunnion — Patented DeO.5, 1862, Phoenix
Iron Co. COMMON N A M E : 3,2-Inch B.L.R.
/ •
3-lnch. Shell. U S Weight — 9.2. SOURCE: Abbot. REMARKS:
Papier-mache mhot.

FIGURE: XIII-17 CATtooKY 2. liir.NTinCATlON:' Schenkl,

3-lnch. Shell. U.S. Weight - 7.8. SOURCE: Abbot. REMARKS:
Papicr-machi sabot.


4.5-Inch. Shell, U.S. Weight — 26. SOURCE: Abbot. RE-
MARKS: 6 ratchet-shaped ribs. Papier-mache sabot.


Inch, Shot, U.S. Weight — 31. SOURCE: AbboL REMARKS:
Lead sabot cast upon base and rev half of projectile.

. •• t


Inch. Shell, U^. Weight — 23. SOURCE: Abbot. REMARKS:
Lead sabot cast upon base and rear half of projectile.
3.67-Inch. Shell. U.S. Weight — 19. SOURCE: Abbot. RB-
MANM Sfpaiolo V««l IrOlt CU|» MlttepMHi lo«ll bund
center inlo the tiding.


3-Inch, Shell. U.S. Weight — 9. SOURCE: Abbot. REMARKS:
Separate cast iron cup squeezed lead band around center into '

*. -A ; +

• .v

n C U R E : Xm<25 LOCATION: Manassas, Va. CATEGORY S. -J

-?.; 1 / .'-v •' IDENTIFICATION: Hcftchkiss, 3.67-Inch, Shot, UJS. Length —> / .
7.25. REMARKS: Separate cast iron cup squeezed central lead
band into rifling at discharge. Bottom is marked: "Hotchkiss,
Pat. 18SS. May 14. 1661.**

Canister projectiles were for use at very short range,-when the guns of a
battery were being charged by the enemy. The projectile consisted of a
number of small balls (iron or lead) contained in a metallic envelope so
constructed that it would not break into pieces at the shock of discharge*
In U.S. Service, circa 1907, cnnister was provided for mountain guns only.
The canister for the 75nun Vickers Maxim gun is shown.

The case, c, was made of malleable iron, and was

5 a 0
solid at the bottom and open at the top. It was
weakened by two series of cuts, s, each series
consisting of three oblique cuts, each of which
extended over an arc of 120 degrees. The case
contained 2M* iron balls 5/8 of an inch in diameter
and weighing 30 to the pound. The balls were

* If. confined in the case by a tin cup, a, riveted in.

u m
Three holes, h, drilled through the bottom of the
case'admitted the powder gases to
• rupturing the case* The metallic cartridge case

was attached to the projectile by being crimped

at several points into the groove r. The copper
band, b, formed a 6top for the head of the cart-
ridge case, and served as a gas check in the gun*
The groove g, in other projectiles, was filled with n. i* i
grease for the purpose of preventing the entrance of
moisture into the cartridge case.

By1 1967,'the Ordnance Depairtment pWined not tof manufacture any more canister
Shrapnel would take its place and would be so constructed so that it would
burst within 25 feet of the muzzle of the gun.
7 ' ./ ; - v • , x . . . • • ' • , . • •:•• •
• t ~ < •' .• 1 '
V • . . • 1 «•

« ;..

M Shrapnel was a projectile designed to carry a number of bullets to a

distance from the gun and there to discharge them with increased energy
over an extended erea. It was particularly efficacious against troops in
masses and was not used against material. Shrapnel, in 1907, was "the
principal field artillery projectile. It was also provided for.mountain
and siege artillery, and for use in the small caliber guns of seacoast
fortifications in repelling land attacks.

•U*l The diagram shows the shrapnel for a 3-inch field gun..
Ths case, c, was a steel tube drawn in one piece with
a solid base. A steel diaphragm, d, rested on a
shoulder near the base, forming a chamber for the
bursting charge in the base of the projectile, and a
support for a central steel tube which extended
through the head, h. A small quantity of guncotton
in the bottom of the tube was ignited by the flame
from the fuse, and in turn ignited the bursting
T charge. The balls, of lead hardened with antimony,
were 252 in number. Each ball was ^9/100 of an
v inch- in diameter and weighed approximately 16? grains,
or kZ to the pound.
After the balls were inserted, a matrix of mono-
nitronaphthalene was poured into the case, filling
••'••''. the interstices between the balls in the lower half
of the case. When cool this substance was a waxy solid. It gave off a deni
m black smoke in burning. The purpose of its introduction was to fender the
burst of the shrapnel visible from the gun so that the gun commander could
determine whether his!~p*i*.jecAilesswere attaining the desired .range/. Resin
was used as the matrix in the forward half of the case. *

The1 matrix .fqrmett,'a "solid mass" with,the balls and.- pr^yeniped their deformatii
* " • • ¥ • ' • • • 1 • » ,
by the pressure tMat they would exert upon each othflfr, dn the, shock of
discharge in the gun, if they were loose in the case. Resin gave better
support to the balls than naphthalene and therefore no more of the naphthale
was used than was necessary to produce the desired amount of smoke* On beio
expelled from the case the matrix burned and broke up, leaving the balls fr«

The head, h t of steel was given a cellular form to make it as light as possi
The weight of the projectile complete was fixed at 15 lbs., and weight was
saved as far as possible in all parts of the case in order that the greatest
number of balls could be carried. The head was screwed into the body and
fixed by two brass pins, p. The combination time and percussion fuse, f, wa
screwed into the head. It was protected against injury or tampering by the
.spun brass cap, b, soldered onto the head of the projectile. Theprojectile
was fixed in the cartridge case as explained for the canister. Shrapnel
formed 80 per cent of the ammunition supply of the U.S. Army field gun in"
1907. .


By 1907 solid shot were no longer used in modern,.cannon except for target
practice, at least in U.S. Army Service. Certain hollow projectiles with
thick walls designed principally for the perforation of armor were denominat
shot to distinguish them from shell, which name is given to thinner walled
projectiles that djd not have as great a penetrative power, but carried larg
bursting charges, and consequently had greater destructive effect after

The diagram shows a shell which prior to 19Q7 "were formerly

made of cast iron, being: cast in one piece and subsequently,
bored for the fuse. With the adoption of high explosives
forjbursting charges, greater 'strength in the walls of shell
became aesirable^in' order to insure against acefidenttal .^
• 1•
explosion .of the projectile ^while in the gun. With "the V
exception of some of the projectiles for guns of minor

/ • :
caliber in which black powder was used for the bursting
charge, all projectiles were by 1907 made of forged steel*

The diagram shows a steel shell for a 5-inch siege rifle circa 1$K>7» Steel
projectiles for mountain, field and siege artillery of this period were
aimilary constructed. The base of the
shell was closed by a steel base plug,
p, which was screwed in after the
explosive charge had been packed in
the projectile. The plug was bored
and tapped for the base fuse, f,
which when inserted was flush with the
rear surface of the projectile. The wrench holes in the base pluj$^uo£ in
head of fuse are filled with lead in order to make a continuous f a r i n g surfa
for the copper cup, c. The cup is applied to the base of the shellto prever
the powder gases in the gun from penetrating to the interior of the projectil
by way of the joints of the screw threads. The edge of the. c_p;;^tj_,:_j-to tht
circular undercut groove, g, and the joint there is sealed a—d jtj^te xj^ip held i
place by lead wire hammered in. '<$?C!C^:f'-,•: '.'••.•
" • $ ^ ' W £ ; . ••-.

ARMOR PIERCING PROJECTILES • ' .^ ': .\ •• '.' ^ g f ^ p :-; ^-v

Armor piercing projectiles are of the same general construction ^^|fc|ie^Bteel:

. shell just described^ Their distinguishing feature was a soft metal cap.;"';:>
embracing the point of the projectile for the purpose of increasing /the power
. 'v:-:?;v;.lA^',."/./'..
44 of the projectile in the perforation of hard armor.
A 10-inch armor piercing shot is shown in Fig. 179, and a lO-in^._*£__L':.£&• -'^

•a* Fig. 180. . ^, v ^ •.-•'• • ]l?i~":i':;''' ;

'- '•
The AP shot had thicker walls knd head, and a less capacity for the bursting
charge. The outer diameters of the two projectiles were the same, and the
weight of each when, rejad^ for firings was. the same,1 6Ok pounds. To maintain
" uniformity of weigHt th'e shot was made;about UYi incheej'bho^ter, tljan the shell
'•m •• • I > ' , • * • . ' , • •
The penetrating cap was
fixed to the head of
the projectile by means
of a circular groove, a,
cut around the head of
the projectile. The cap
• before affixing is of
the shape shown half in
section and half in ele-
vation in the figure be-
tween the projectiles.
A shallow recess, b, was
filled with graphite to
lubricate the projectile
y« ae it passed through the
cap and armor. To fasten
\:i the cap, the projectile
with the cap on its point
Was put in a lathe, and
the excess metal at the
base of the cap was
mamraered into the groove
of the projectile by means
of pneumatic hammers.
In naval projectiles the
. camps were sometimes
fastened on by passing
Fio. 179. ^ 9 180.
two''w£rfes'through holes •''**• . KWic Armor Piercing (''., 10-ih. Arto^ir Piercing SJ»el

drilled in the cap and ' '

notches cut in the projectile. The soft steel cap increased the power of
4 'f • , .• f -v '' , x. .•
penetration to!the projectile in hard faced armor* '
• '. '
• . JV
. ,
• • &

By the late 1880's the Armor Piercing (AP) Shell was developed for use
against foreign warships that, by this time, were steel hulled and heavily
armored. The AP Shell may look simple but it took years of research and
trial to perfect it. The tip had to be hard to pierce
the target while the body had to be resilient enough to
withstand side-stresses during penetration. The explosii
oh«rg# hml to rnnutln in«rt during tho nhookttfarrival,
0i«> bnnn fuv.o had to wtMy lit filMG* until penetration
was completed, and then ignite efficiently at the
proper time.

Penetrating Caps (PC) were first proposed by a Lieut.

English of the Royal Engineers and then forgotten:
i- t m They were revived by Admiral Makaroff
of the Russian Navy and adopted World
wide. The penetrating cap absorbed t
shock of impact, spreading itself ont
the ahouldiers of the projectile,
supporting the tip during initial
penetration, and to some extent act-
ually "lubricating" the passage of t\
AP Shell projectile through the armor* '


, When the AP Shell.'^tr.iKes the target i t first deflects(.t6ward tlje plate, awa
from i t s line of flight (far l e f t ) . It then pierces ihe plajte'\(jjenter) and
,.'. then rotates to penetrate almost at right angles (right), thi6 convol
uted path which demands careful heat treatment of the shell body to prevent
i t shearing off.

During Fiscal Year 190C the Sandy Hook Proving Ground continued experiments
upon high explosives for filling shells, including wet gun cotton thorite,
jovite No. 2, cerberite, and explosives of the lydite and ammonia nitrate
classes. The desired explosive was one which was safe in the gun and storage,
but which was certain to detonate on impact. Many which fulfilled the first
condition were known and most explosives ignited by the impact of a shell on
a steel target, though the energy of the explosion varied. A compound fulfill-
ing both conditions and free from all other objections was still needed*

In 1907 Lieutenant-jColonel Ormond M. Lissak, Professor of Ordnance, and the

Science of Gu/inery at the United States Military Academy wrote:

The explosives used as bursting charges in armor piercing

projectiles must have a great shattering effect in order to
break the projectile into fragments and to project the •_
fragments with force; and at the same time the explosive ** *
must be practically insensitive to shock, so that is will "*-, - " '•
> not be exploded by the shock of discharge in the gun or the* :-J"
shock of impact on the ship's armor. The explosion of th«"y .'%
bursting charge of an armor piercing projectile is effected'
by a detonating fuse so arranged as to cause the projectile
to burst after it has perforated the armor. I

The explosives used by the various foreign nations as bursting

charges in projectiles are all composed principally of picric
acid or its derivatives. The French melinite, the English , " '
lyddite, the Japanese shimose powder are examples.

Some of the picrates, as the picrates of lead, calcium, ,_

mercury, and others, are more sensitive to friction and percussion
than picric acid itself. In order to prevent the formation b y "
chemical action of any of these sensitive compounds when the
• * bursting charge is^cfempoeed'*6t picric-acdyd, or of any of its. ,'
derivatives, the walls of the projectile and all metal parts that
come in contact with the bursting charge are covered with a pro-
tecting coat of rubber paint.
" f • ••• • > . - v ' ' . u . '- • ' , • ' . • ,\ • • • ' . - .

Thri wall^ olV the '-cavity of the shell, the base plug, and the body
of the fuse ate so painted; also the screw threads pf thek base •
' plug end fuse. Red or White lead or other metal" lubr^Vant'mUstV
not be used on the screw threads. ' :
...The explosives used as shell fillers are more stable
under severe heat treatment than the service smokeless
powders. The explosives should therefore be correspondingly
safer to store in large quantities.

EXPLOSIVE D, used in our service, invented by Major Beverly

W. Dunn, Ordnance Department, is safer to handle than black

High explosives used as shell-fillers in 1910 consisted on gun cotton,

nitroglycerine, picric acid, dynamite, explosive "D", maximite, trinitrotoluol,
and blasting gelatine. Gun cotton was recommended for use for mines,
torpedoes and edmolitions of all kinds. In color gun cotton varied from
white to light yellow, and was usually issued in the form of compressed
cakes or in pulp form. Nitroglycerine was used in the manufacture of
dynamite, an accelerator for smokeless powders and for blasting purposes.
Nitroglycerine was made from chemically pure ingredients, and should have
the appearance of a water-white oily liquid without any odor.. • »

Picric acid was found by experiment to be too sensitive as a shell" filler

for armor-piercing shell, but it was used successfully as a shell filler for
field-artillery projectiles. Picric acid and it6 alts were largely used
in detonating and disruptive explosives. Lyddite, melinite, shimose powder
i ft and ecrasite consisted for the most part of picric acid. Picric acid crystals
were long, flat and bright yellow lemon-colored. If heated suddenly-it would
explode, and if added to any potassium salt formed a very sensitive explosive
that had to handled with great care. The combination of picric acid with metal
bases such as lead, iron and potassium made an exceedingly sensitive compound,
and *'for*thi« reason great ^traW' to> be taken-Vhftn filling iron" shells -with '
picric acid or its derivatives. Of all the picrates of salts of picric a d d
there was only one that was suitable for use as an explosive, and that* was
ammonium picrate., which Unlike the metallic picratesi" was insensitive to' shock.

• 1 •• »
:??. •'<; '.

In 1910 Dynamite in the military service was used as a standard explosive

for submarine mines and in demolitions. Dynamite was pressed into cylinders -
about 1 inch in diameter and 8 inches long. These cylinders are called sticks
or cartridges, and are carefully wrapped in paraffine paper. In appearance
dynamite had a light brown to. reddish-brown color and resembled brown sugar*
Due to the fact that it contained nitroglycerine, which is one of the most
sensitive explosives, dynamite could be exploded by friction or shock.

Explosive "D" was a picric acid derivative. It was used extensively as a

shell filler, due to the fact that it was least sensitive to shock of all the
explosives considered. The explosive was put in the cavity of the shell in
small quantities and thoroughly tamped with either a copper or wooden tamper
or mallet, until the cavity was completely filled. Explosive "D" was
insensitive on impact and stood the maximum shock of discharge safely. It
resembled powdered sulphur very closely in appearance.

Maximite was also a picric acid compound. It was fusible (that is, it could
be melted or liquefied, whereas Explosive " D " could not be fusible) and was a
suitable explosive for armor-piercing shells. It was melted when used to fill
shells. It resembled explosive "D" except that it was much darker, having a
light brown or buff appearance.

By 1910 Trinitrotoluol was rapidly superseding picric acid as a basis for

'*. •
•. •
- ; • ' > •
. w "
. - . •
• •

• - " • . . •
. • - • ^

.shell fillers. It was slightly less powerful than picric acid, but its main
advantage was that it would not form dangerous combinations with other bodies
with which it could come in contact, whereas picric acid in contact with
m. certain metals forms very unstable and dangerous picrat'es.

In 1910 Blasting Gelatine was the most powerful explosive known. Its ingred-
ients, were nitroglycerine and soluble nitrocellulose. It was stable Under hea
And very insensitive* to'shock, but because this explosive was far too violent
• • ' • • ' • ' ' • •' • ' / V * • ' . •:•>• ' '•'-•

^for many purposes, it had to be incorporated with some '.suitable batse, such as
". .... •>' •
sodium nitrate and wood pulp, with a view of regulating the force of explosion
iL It could not be used as a shell filler, and was only suitable for purposes of

Bases StcAcns
375 Fia. 22.

By 1910 the Ordnance Department found that the best material suited for .
projectiles designed tp pierce armor without breaking up on impact or changing
shape was forged oil-tempered steel of special treatment and composition. The
jfe;;<>-!•£ .projectiles illustrated above were in use by the U.5; Army Coast Artillery
~\^x- Corps in 1910.

ARMOR-PIERCING SHOT: Are made of forged steel with a small cavity designed
primarily to facilitate the tempering and hardening process. The cavity, may_be
filled with a "shell filler** consisting of a high explosive bursting^charge.
They are armed with a delayed action fuse, thus permitting of the perforationc
of armor plate before the bursting charge is ignited. '^ ;-<i' ^
; :
• • • " ' • '. ' - * " , • • . ';' • • . " • - \ ; • ^ • ' " ^

ARMOR-PIERCING SHELL: Are made of forged or cast-steel with a larger/cavity than

that of shot. They are designed to carry a large bursting-charge of 5iigh-explos-
ive and to attack the thinner side armor of battleships or the vertical armor of
cruisers. They are also provided with a delayed action fuse. -iS, -' " .
jNI? SHELL: Are ma1d«;~jpf • fprgeti or c&strGtef]. with a cavity of .about the
same demensi'ohs as armoi-piercing "'shell. They are provided with a torpedo detona
ing pierce fuse. v-*\ .
.CAST-IRON^ SHOT: Are used exclusively f05. tests and service target practice. Thei
weight and dimensions are identical with the armor-piefcing' shot. • >
TORPEDO SHELL.:, Are made of forged _$teel and are designed to carry, a -very large
\i* b'iuLirating charge of high explosive onto the decks of war vessels. They weigh eith
. 866 or 1000 pounds, and are provided with a major-caliber base detonating fuse.

To distinguish the character of metal of which projectiles were made and their
armor-piercing qualities, as well as the position and nature of their bursting*
charge, conventional colors were prescribed for use on the exterior* \

The body color for all projectiles was to be black*

Colors to Distinguish the Character of Metal were:

Forged or Wrought Steel: Blue Gray.

Cast-Steel: Warm Gray.
Cast-iron: Olive Green. ' . . - . • ' '
Chilled Iron: Light Green.
Brass: Light Yellow.
Copper: Light Reddish-brown. ""t .

The colors above named were also used to indicate the degree of armor^piercing
quality of the projectile, as well as the position of its center of gravity, the
latter being essential to facilitate the raising and lowering of projectiles with
shot tongs. ' . * >"

To indicate the degree of armor-piercing quality, a greater or less portion of

the head is painted with the color corresponding to the metal. The band indicat-
ing the center of gravity is also of the color corresponding to the^netal. It
was one-half caliber wide and extended equally above and below the position of
the center of gravity. It was also to be employed with the smaller-calibers of
projectile^ Jto indicate thc^haractex^of the metal.v ",
_ 't-

Colors to Distinguish the Character of the Bursting Charge were:

. • t ^ '•',

Gun Cotton: White. t

"b or Dunnite: Deep (lahrome) yellow.
Miximite: Dark Buff.
Rifle or Charcoal Powder: Vermilion.
The bursting-charge color was applied to the base and the cylindrical portion
of the body in rear of the copper rotating band. Until the projectile was
filled, these portions were to remain black.
On Armor-Piercing Shot, the whole head, including the soft-metal cap, and the
center of gravity band, was painted blue gray. The charge color appeared as
stated above, if the projectile wna a cored shot.
On Armor-Piercing or Deck-riercinR Sheila, one-half of the head, measured from
the point, and the center of the gravity band, was painted blue gray. The
charge color appears as stated above. .
On Chilled-Iron Shot, one-half of the head, measured from the point; and the
center of the gravity band, was painted light green. The charge color Appears
as .stated above, if the projectile was a cored shot. ^j '
On Cast-iron Shot, the center of gravity band was painted olive green. y
'" On Torpedo Shell, the center of gravity band was painted blue gray. The charge
color appears as stated above. ,,
On Shrapnel, the entire body was painted black, with a band of vermilion on th<
T^v^X head below the fuse to indicate a front charge, or on the cylindrical portion <
the body in rear of the copper rotating band to indicate a base charge* Those
used for fixed ammunition were painted all black above the copper "band*
. On cannister, the entire body was painted black* , ,%v- *

Before these projectiles were filled with explosives they were supposed to be
. coated* The cavities of cored shot, shell and shrapnel made to contain a
bursting-charge of powder were coated with "Turpentine Asphaltum Varnish, best
quality." Cored shot or shell which were charged with picric acid compounds
" were first coated on the interior with paraffin or rubberize paint Nai» 2. The
object of these coatingsL was to prevent the generation of the sensitive ^qualit
ies produced in some explosives*'when exposed "to Iron or steel, qualities "that
could cause them to detonate from the slightest friction. These color scheme*
and copting procedures were in u?e by the Coast Artillery Corps by 1910*

•,.'.i » ,JAeut.-Col. Lissak noted in. 1907 that "Projectiles are'-so paijue4',.,fts to indict
the metal of which they are formed and the character of the 'bursting charge*
greater part of the body is black. A broad colored band around the projectile
over the center of gravity indicates by the color whether the projectile is of
iron, cast or chiller, or of steel, cast or forged. The color of the base in-
dicates whether the projectile is charged with powder or with high explosive.
In assembled ammunition the base color is painted in a band just above the band
of the projectile. The interior walla of hollow projectiles are coated with *
lacquer of turpentine and aophalt for the purpose of making them smooth and of
.reducing the friction between the walls and the bursting charge." .
By 1907 a form of base with which good results had been obtained by the Ordnance
Department wa6 in use on artillery projectiles. The metal of the shell was cut
away, beginning at a short distance behind the rotating band, leaving only a
narrow ring to support the band (see diagram below). In the perforation of
i armor the band and the supporting ring are sheared off, thus •
i relieving the projectile of the resistance due to thft greater
diameter of the band. .- -. ,

SOURCE: Bentbn. REMARKS: Introduced in JLK5. RoUtion SOURCE: Benton. REMAKKS: N e w type with t w o rotati
orifices in head.' *<'•*• v, i. • , N . O nfi C M at-ctitejriOf gravity. Shell.- ''*•*'
a — Bore and Vent. ',<:*"' •- V
b ~ Recess in base of head Hale W R o c k e t n w e r e f i e l d t e s t e d along w i t h Life^S*ving
c —Tangential vents (three). ' -
d — Head, solid In dm c*»e. ,BocHet« a t the Sandy Hook Proving Ground i n

' , ; • '
SOURCE: Artillei2« by Curt Johnson,
Octopus Books, 1975, 1*»**pp.
2: Types of Shells
Gas shell: for French 75-mm field gun M-1897
This French shell was the prototype of all successful gas
"shells used in World War I. The bursting charge was IIINI
strung enough to crack the shell open. Too large a charge
would have dispersed the gas over a wide area, rcrulcnnu it
inerTce/ivc. Gas was not used in World War II. .

World War I Shell: Shrapnel

T h i s is modern shrapnel, not to be confused with spherical
Case or early shrapnel, a type of shell invented by Licut-
enant -Henry Sh/apnel and first used in 1804. Modern
Shrapnel was developed in the 1880s and was used ex-
tensively in Word War I. It might best be described us an
airborne canistei' round. Shrapnel was of little use against
'field works or dispersed infantry and was soon discarded.

x/ f'High explosive
/ T h e standard projectile for use against personnel or 'soft
targets'. This shell depends primarily upon blast for crl'ect.
but the shower of fine steel splinters from its casing w ill kill
infantry in the open. '

HVAP: Hyper velocity armour-piercing

This is a modern composite rigid armour-piercing shot
considered to be about 50% more effective than standard
AP» although about 60% lighter because of the aluminium
sheath. It is really a sabot-type round in which the sheath
(sabot) disintegrates when the projectile strikes the target.
Only the hard tungsten carbide core penetrates. H \ \1* was
the standard Aground fo/Gcrlich A T euns. **'*• •* .
i. j

-HEAT: High explosive anti-tank

This shell'utilizes a physical priTiviplVt«>1M5netrjtc aii-.nur
%that was discovered by the American erigin^er Mnnnur (the
Sipnroe* ^effect)., VXTicn the shell strikes the target- the
jJ»o.ped charge is detonated by the base fuse and hecumet a
{ hot flame which, because of the slupc of the ch.irge,
.burst forward in a thin jet and literally sear its »a\
through armour.

I Written by Tom Hoffman, Park Technician, Historian, Sandy Hook Unit, Gateway
N.R.A., Box V57, Highlands, New Jersey 07732.

Since Sandy Hook came under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service
I have seen or heard from other rangers that a number of artillery shells and
'other ordnance have been found b.y park personnel (including myself) and visitor.1
This section of my report detailn what type of ordnance hus been found at
certain locations in the park from December 27, 1975* to June 27 « '1979- The
numbers at the beginning of each incident paragraph correspond with those locat:
marked on the accompaning three section1 detail map of Sandy Hook.

1) On December 27, 1975, ten World War Two era rifle gernades were found on
Plum Island by visitors. Ranger personnel called the 5^th Explosive .Ordnanc
Detachment (EOD) at Fort Monraouth, New Jersey, 07703 (201-532-1655 and 532-
3538), who picked them up at the park and disposed of then.

2) On Wednesday, May 5, 1976, a Bell Telephone work crew, digging a two-foot'

deep ditch for an underground telephone wire, uncovered old artillery shells
The projectiles were found on the east side of building #125 and^opposite ,
building #125's southeast corner, at distances of about 15 to 2Gyai*ds.
Three 8-inch, one 5-inch and two 10-inch shells were recovered. The"three
8-inch and one 10-inch shells were tested by the EOD from Fort Monmouth and
later returned to the park. The other two shells, upon being tested, "blew
up at the Army range located at Fort Dix. -*'
The rotating band of the 5-inch shell had rifling groove marks "on it which
•indicated it had been fired. The other shells all had smooth rotating tandt
indicating that they had not'-been fired. The Shells w.ereAapLl oblong '.vith
pointed noses and fused at the base. The 8-inch shells were about 22-inchef
long, the 5,-inch shell about IJJ4 inches in length,
g , and the 2 10-inch shells
about 16-incTfes 3s6ng
3s6ng.* ' • •• '' {' . ,
, A local .historian told me that he had once seen an o^d army* mikp!«.that. marked
the area that these shells were found in (today a sodded open field) as a
"dumping ground." A two-story, wood-frame building, which was built to
replace the loss of the first Ordnance Office Building that burned down in
1889, Stood in this open area for many years but is no longer standing*

3) On Monday, May 2*t, 1976, a park visitor found a 90mm (3#-inch) artillery
shell in the fresh water marsh located about 'tOO yards northwest of the
South Beach Parking Area. To get to this marsh, take the old dirt Jeep
„ trail that branches off the north side shoulder of the gravel road leading
to South Beach. It in the dirt trull Xocutoil juat before and went Of the
western-most machine gun emplacement (pill-box), which is also located on
the north side of the South Beach gravel road. The shell was about 8 to 9
inches in length, and was picked up by the Fort Monrnouth GOD. :>

h) "In June of 1976 I was a U.S. Coastguard construction crew digging a shalloi
ditch along the north side of Canfield Road (located between Kearney Road
and Hartshorne Drive) when they unearthed a "Torpedo Shell" (see illustrati
and description ifnder "Types of projectiles for U.S. Cannon");, 'ctrheaheli
lacked a base' fuse, the fuse hole being empty. It was an oblong pointed,
nose chell about four feet long. It's ultimate fate is not pri6aeatiy.known
to me, but it was probably removed by the 5**th BOD from Ft. MonraoutJiv :*.

\:m 5) On Monday, March 11*, 1977, a park visitor discovered a rusted unexploded 12
inch shell, lying exposed on the sand dunes*100 feet north of the South Beae
Parking Area. The projectile was removed by the Ft. Monoouth EOD unit.

6) On Wednesday, March 16, 1977, Park Technician Ed Rezetko found* a 5-ihch sh«
lying exposed on the eroding sand dunes about 30yards south of the South
Beuch Parking Area. It was oblong, heavily rusted, and the rotating band
«,had* r^,filing groove maslta which indicate the-shell was a fired roujid. The
Ft. Mor.mouth EOD unit removed the shell. ": ; * . :

7) On ^Monday;,tApril-;i8v. 1977, I found two ' 3-inch anti-aircraft shells atop

Battery Arrowsmith. I was taking pictures of 'the N/ci. 5.8-inch' disappear in
g_un emplacement for the park- slide files when I noticed tfyat Vbneone had u
earthed two shells and left their, lying on the sand next to the No. 2 anti-
aircraft gun emplacement atop the battery (To guard against air attack two
3-inch anti-aircraft guns were mounted atop Battery Arrowsmith around 1921
Both shells were oblong with pointed noaee and fused in the base; one fuse was
dated 1922. One shell's rotating band hud rifling groove, marka while th« other
had a smooth rotating band. Evidently, someone had been using a metal detector
at this site, located and dug up the shells down in the sand, but then prudentij
left them next to the shallow hole from which they were dug out of^ Ft. Monmou't
BOD picked up the shells for disposal.

8) On Saturday, May 7, 1977I H"y rcouir; found n 7S'mm (3-inch) nhell "in the
North Beach Area," This projectile wan brought to the ranger station
later picked up by the Fort Monmouth BOD unit.

9) On Saturday, May 21, 1977, A park -visitor found an oblong pointed nose
artillery projectile on the west side, shore of Plum Islands It was a 12-
.»•' inch round measuring 30-inches long encrusted with rust with no evidence of
a fuse in the base. It appeared to be missing it's rotating band, which ..
might have broken off when the projectile was fired, or it might have been
surplus ordnance disposed of by burial by the U.S. Army long ago. "Ft.
Konmouth BOD picked up the shell for disposal. . ../ , 4 • •/

10) On Sunday, February 12, 1978, park visitor Krs.'!Nora Higbee of Highlands
found a U-inch artillery shell while walking along the beach due east of
the north fence of the missile site. The'shell was found about 10 feet
above the low water nark on the beach and was about i8rinches long. It
was encrusted in rust and it's rotating band had rifling groove marks.
The Ft. Monmouth EOD picked up the shell for disposal.

11) On Wednesday, May 10, ,1978, two young men found a 3-inch (75frt) furtij.lery
shill' £bout 100 feet\»p*pofei4e '£he south sifle^ 6 f the 'dirt road ^ ^ d e a d j s
from the ocean beach to the ranger station, Bid. No. **70 (Thii$,roa<i is ^
located on the east side of the ranger station). The shell wais on the
beach-aboilV 10 ,/eet.. below the'high tide line. ,The Tjoy^, who found this
/ i ' I

1 rpundtold Investigating Park Technician Fred Harijfpn that .they "had

• \. '. T
•thrown it (the shell) against a rock to test if it was lave." "Park
• «*t- -

Technician Harnon further stated that "After that they were tossing it
back and forth like a football as they brought it to the ranger station."
Such handling is not advised!1
& : •

y'4 During the Summer of 1978 a local newspaper ran a picture of a young man
posing with a 6-inch artillery shell that he "found at Sandy Hook." I didn't
get to see this picture but I vuo told about it. Not a few months later I
happened to be talking to one of the soldiers of the Ft. Monmouth BOD who waa
visiting the park on his time off. I brought up the subject of this picture :
* - •

and the soldier said that the way he understood the story the young man found
the shell on Sandy Hook, took it home and called the local newspaper to get
his picture taken and then brought the r>hell over to Ft. Monmouth. For my
information, I was told that wheii the EOD took this shell to Fort Dix it
blew up when they tested it on their ordnance disposal range.

12) On Saturday, January 27, 1979, a park visitor reported to Park Technician
. Howard Hayden that he had found two artillery shells on the beach north-
east of the South Beach Parking Area. Two 5-inch artillery shells were
-found to have been uncovered by ocean wave action lying in the sand. Both
were encrusted in rust, were oblong with pointed noses.and their rotating
bands had rifling groove marks. About 30 yards north up the beach Park
Technician Hayden discovered the top of what appeared to be a large round
cannonball protruding up out of the sand. I dug around the object with a
shovel to unearth a rust encrusted 15-inch Rodman Gun type cannonball.
After the two 5-inch shells were removed, the Ft. Monmoutn EOD secured
permission to test the cannonball on the beach with a -shape charge* The
area was cleared and the shape charge fired, which knocked all the rust of!
the cannonball tha,t left a perfectly round, smooth surfaced, 15-inch dia-
meter solid shot cannonball weighing ^ 0 pounds (along with a'2-inch deep
hole into the ball from the sharpe charge blast). The cannonball is~nov
part of the Sandy Hook Museur. collection. ,

13) On Friday, Karch 2, 1979, Young Adult Conservation Corps* (YACCJ Work Leader
John Colberg discovered an ordnance round in Building T-167 (a wood-frame
War. Two Officers^ Barracks) *u The .round consisted, of an. elongated
sphere, approximately 6 inches long»and 3 inches in, 'diameter fct the widest
spot, with a .1 inch diameter, cylinder extending about 12 jjnchVfl from the

" sphere's base. The cylinder had five fins on the opposite end of the
sphere. The Ft. Monmouth EOD identified the round as a 2.36-inch anti-
tank (Bazooka) shell. The EOD disposed of the round, which Mr. Colberg had
found in the space under the north side central staircase landing leading
1*0 On Saturday, March 31, 1979, Park employee Arthur Robertson (Maintenance
Division) discovered a spherical metal object about 6-inches in diameter, _
partially buried in the sand on the north side beach of the Horseshoe Cove
peninnuln about 100 feet went of the southbound laneo of Hartahorne Drive,
The Ft. Morunouth MOD crime out and removed the heavily rust-encruated object,
The EOD later reported th/it. the object wan a 12-pounder solid shot cannon-

15) On Tuesday, Kay 1, 1979, Maintenance Supervisor Joe Boyle and Maintenance .
Division Carpenter Lou Hanson found a 3-inch Artillery shell in the dirt
under the old wooden porch they had removed on the north side .of Bid. #3^.
. The.projectile was only about 7 inohes long, the nose appeared to have a
small fuse in it, and the base of the shell was rounded. The Ft. Monroouth
JXDD picked up the shell and later reported that is was a "solid bolt,"
with no explosive chamber or charge inside of it. The shell resembled a

T) Civil War ear 3*-inch Hotchkiss shell minus it's lead rotating band around
the center of the shell. : .

16) On Saturday, May 12, 1979, a park visitor brought a 7-iiich artfillery shell
(weighing about 100 pounds) to the front desk of the Spermaceti Cove Visit?
Center. The shell wae found by the visitor in the back dune area aouth of
'•'. the South Beach Parking Area and behind (south of) the easternmost "igloo"
type TNT storage bunker that was built in 1938. The shell was in very gooc
condition, was oblong with a pointed nose, a fuse in it's bas^;, and it's
rotating band had rifling groove marks. The visitor spotted the fcase of
the shell sticking out of a dune and carried it into the Visitor Center.
Park Technicians Vidal Martinez and Howard Hayden removed the ahell^;out-
side 'to the rear of the'"bu&dinc where it vafei later picked u£"r1tiy,'the Ft.-
Konmouth EOD. ••' " V^."/.'vT :'•••

•17) On Friday,'ffunev'1,-1979, two young' men found prdnance'.not % qf, a aile nort
• ' • ' • • • * • • . ' '

,j of the ,South Beach Parking. Area on the beach. Fo'uhd were.' \ U

A) Ttte bases' of two 3~inch shrapnel shells. '•
B) A 3-inch iron canister shell (much like the one displayed at the Sperm-
aceti Cove Visitor Center). ' -
• • • • " < • !

•<.» C) A 2-inch oblong pointed nose artillery shell which did hot appear to
have a base fuse.
D) A heavily encrusted 5-inch artillery shell, oblong with pointed nose <
: rotating band that had rifling groove marks. A base fuse could not b<
discerned at the time of discovery.
E) An odd-looking and probably experimental projectile that had a round
cylinder body about 2 to J feet long with u round warhead nnd 6 fins
at the rear of the cylinder body. Sticking out from the rear of the
main cylinder body was another shorter cylinder body that was also em
in diameter. It vaguely resembled a World War II era "hedgehog" type
depth charge. The Ft. Monmouth EOD picked up this ordnance for dispo*

38) On Wednesday, June 27, 1979, a construction crew was laying in a pipeline
oh the northeast side shoulder of Atlantic Drive (and opposite - west of
Battery Gunnison's south - No. 1 - gun emplacement) when their back hoe
machine unearthed thwo shells, one 7-inch and one 6-inch, which appeared
have been buried side by rdde. They were oblong with pointed noses, cov«
with rust, and located about 2 feet down in the construction ditch* Shoj
thereafter, two more similar 6-inch shells were discovered||iried side-bj
side further along (to the west) along the northeast ahoulSer; curve of
Altantio Drive. The shells did not appear to have rotating^ bandUs, which
. seemed to be missing, nnd they appeared.not to have base fuaeo. The For1
Monmouth EOD removed the shells for disposal.

MISCELLANEOUS '> : :2, '••' ••' A

During May and June of 1977 a construction crew dug k to 6 foot deep ditches
for a sewerage pipe line through the North Beach Area. I have, heard. JUri-cqnfi
reports from Sandy Hook Unit park personnel that, artillery shells were-found
during $h>e excavation wbrk*. t. .., '^ - ^ g \' ' • .• •' > \;
During the demolition of the old Quartermaster Wharf (in the Coast Guard Dock
in the Spring of 1979 artillery projectiles were said to have been found down,
the water around and under the old dock. . ;-
Ther£ are two locations -on Sandy, Hook that appear' to "be .artillery shell "crat
holes: one is-located atop the old dune.ridge northwest of the South Beach Pa:
Area near and just •'south of the Scotch Pine Grove, th'e otfter m^gh/^ be a shell
crater in the Holly Forest and referred to by the park staff as the "nv
pit." • ' : , " '
Past Post Commander Lt.-Col. Jack Pearce, Ret'd., informed me that in the ear!
197C 1 s a 15-inch Rodman Gun type cannonball vas found at South Beach. I have
personally hiked through the back dune area north from South Beach to North o.
North Beach and have come across, both chell fragements and shrapnel balls.

Usually it is a park visitor (ie. beachcomber, fisherman, boy scouts, etc*)

who come across old artillery shells or other ordnance on the beach or in
dune areas. Incredibly, some visitors will want to keep and take artillery
shells home with them as souvenirs, but this is strictly forbidden because
there is no way of knowing whether or not the ordnance is "alive." Take
, for example the latest tragic incident that occured at Fort Dix, New Jersey,
in June of 1979* A group of National Guardsmen from New York City had
finished firing their weapons on a firing range when one of them spotted
a 3.5-inch anti-tank round laying nearby. He picked up the shell and put
it in his knapsack. When this soldier returned to his tent he dropped bis ' /
knapsaqk to the ground and it turned out to be the last thing he ever did*
Vii,. • •. • . ' ) % . ' '.;'•: .;,".;• -.•]!'•.•••.'"

Two soldiers died and four or five were wounded. One of the wounded-men/;.* ;. -,v
later explained that the soldier who had picked up the round ^tfiought^it^w^t^
/§£^\a dud." What was the soldier planning to do with the round when he ^pt |t^ •'
••? vfc':» • * '-...-.• ., -, •; :. •;.<•--. . ^ - u \ ^ ^ c r ••;,. ,-
^ home?: "He was going to make a lamp shade stand out of it." An Inc^j^ib^fr ; ; '
, but true, and Ead, story, because we should all know better! Remembe^':it£'''V><J
i 1
••- ' • ' ' • • - • »-. . . , ' • • ' . ' . .'•••j-;V'i'--:'".'V'." ,--j.! r\!''!

a l w a y s t h e • " d u d s " t h a t g oo f f . . , '' •' •' ..•;.•" '.^:M'i^h'$:^:''y'•.:••'

.'••• •'••'-'%.. • '"•'• ••" .-: •• 1 •':& I K i l l W

.Hopefully, a person or persons who find ordnance at the park will le^yerit.;. .< >•
where found and not attempt to move it. They should report their findvC»)'sl:^-:^
to the Ranger Station (Bl^i. 470) in person and give the ranger on d^t^"t^ ; v ?-'t
* following information: ' v^^y'", ^
,. • .'•• • • . ' • • • • " - • ^ v s' • • - • ' • • • - • • - V ' ' - . ' - " - "

1)-The exact location of the ordnance: If at all possible have rthe person .\.v;'
wha finds any ordnance accompany rangers back to the .location of dipcoyery. :
This can save valuable tine in lbcating ordnance instead of wasting"tiae-:•]''-i^' •'•'• -,i"' ' ••• - i ' " ; .-..'

looking "on the beach" or "near the bunker" where the visitor SAID it wats; ,.;•
-" ," , found !,»If the, person, cannqt accorapany^a ranger to the location pt;ordnance
ask the person to naiHe a reference pointior specific landmark (^e*'the Visitor
vC,enter,.'South .Beach, Battery Gurtnison, etc.) which mighf be nei^r tfte location
6f discovery.
From here it is a matter of which direction to go, and I have personally
found that people in general cannot tell direction fro- a reference point,
even at Sandy Hock I I've used a sixple approach to solve this probler.:
Since most ordnance is found on or near the beach aBk the person if f from a
given reference point, they walked UP the beach (which would have to be north),
or if they walked DOWN the beach (which would have to bp south). Better still,
to determine the direction to go in from a reference point, ask the person if
while facing the ocean which way they went, left or right, and thijs simplifies
whether the direction is north or south.

Once you start out in the right direction be on the lookout for the ordnance.
Try to find out from the finder whether it was on the beach near the water,
up on the beach far from the water, up on a sand dune, back behind a sand dune
in vegetation, etc. Something interesting to remember is the fact that what ii
presently ocean beach and dunes was back-dune areas that were once hundreds of
yards f^om the beach 50, 60, 70 or more .years ago when the Ordnance froving
Ground was in operation at Sandy Hook. Hence, artillery shells found on the
beaches or dunes have not washed up,but rather out of eroding sec%ions'.of ;
Sandy Hook. It is visually wind and wave erosion action that uncovers ordnance

2) It'is important to obtain a description of the ordnance found, \3jicluding

the diameter of the artillery shell at it's base (if it's an ojblpng shell),
along with the length of the shell. This information proyes valuable to
the 54th Explosive Ordnance Detachment Dispatcher at Fort Moni^tttfe, New •
Jersey, 07705 (201-552-1655 and 532-3538).' \T'•' ^;-r

3) Part of the description of the ordnance found is it's appe;araJic««,:'.;.is,i-'i:ti':;:;;.

encrusted in rust or relatively clean, is it oblong or round, ;a%out,how ;
heavy is it, is the rotating band near the base of the sli^il intact showing
rifling groove marks (which indicates that the shell has peea^fijsed), and
"'do'efe thfe shell or cann^TAball.. hav> a fuse?, -^These' are' imp'pr^tant^^iljthings to/ r
4 " • ' • • •

notice, if possible, and tell the Ordnance Detachment Dispatcher so that/

* ' , .•" V . ; •; & ; * ' , • '•'' '

f .
their personnel w i l l have some definite knowledge about the ordnance when
'f • . / • f

they arrive J:o deal .with i t .

- s ' L. •

' '
• -


• f-
•' '

* • . , . - , » . , ' • • . s 1 > •• • • . : '

., .;*. .:• 4) When ordnance is located doriH try to move or tamper with 4t or "clean it
. s—>. off." (See accompaning Ordnance Safety Memo dated June 20, 1979* detailing
••' recovery and safety procedures). *
A 7615
June 20, 1979
Assistant Superintendent, SHU
Ordnance Safety
k .» I

Deputy Superintendent, GATE

v • • : • • . v -

Unexpioded ordnance 1s not a new problem at Sandy Hook," and the park staff v ,
currently has standard operating procedures for dealing with such ordnance.
When ordnance Is found, the following procedures are Implemented: ^
»• 1. The area Is Immediately closed to the public, incl«dl'ii'"tl»*parl:..';S' v
staff. A park ranger 1s assigned to maintain a watch over the «f^ancc..-'. -^V;:>- v
from a>safe distance/preventing o t ^ r . people from straying c l o s t t p ^ i t ^ ^ J / T
*' 2 . The 54th Explosive Ordnance Disposal ttetactrohV^EODp^
New Jersey, 1s notified Immediately.. .. r^ <._M^_ •» ^^t^'' "'•.'„.'S
3 . ' The beaches, t r a i l s , roads, structures, and other areas surrounding r f :
the discovery area are cleared of people and secured. The distance cleared .':;
'-•:\t a minimum of 400 yeards from the discovery s i t e , per instructipnS^lof^^the^i
Fort Mpnmouth EOD. ' • • • ''V.....,- -v;:-'' ;;-.';:.- [Wc^i^^Mri
4 / Fort Monmouth EOD removes the Item from the park to a secut^'area a t ;• j,
Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, for examination or detonation. If EOD^ibelteyes '?^>-
It Is too dangerous to move, they may detonate 1t In place. Part JRangers
follow EOD Insturctions for area evacuation In these cases. -•;;. ' ^/,;'¥f^- : ' i ::S::
*ia 5. A Case-Incident Report Is prepared, detailing the date, '"timf./a\nd"••:">Tj;y
location t»f the'discovery; the type of ordnance* I f known; indi,tl|ff.^Betiipi|'-o.f;ivi
v / : /
d i s p o s a l . "'• - .- • " • . • :•: •;;:• '•:••..'-v-''•''•• y . ^ - M ^ l - - ^ '

••*<. The beach clean-up crews o f the Maintenance Division traverse a l l active beach
and dune areas d a l l y . They have been alerted t o the poss1b1l1ty-of^ordnance*
being exposed and have been Informed o f the great variety of-shapes r tt may have
Upon the discovery o f t h e ordnance, these crews Immediately c l e a r and securerth
area-and notify the Ranger Station.. ^ .%';. ,'. ; ; >?"'• :/g."y;;i W^:^"-
The current potHferut Ion o f signs a t the park entrance would make a sign "about
ordnance Ineffective. Rather, we will Install sigga a t points-where-v1s1tors v
enter the shell-Impact area. The f o i l wolng 1s-a draft sign proposal:


This area was an impact.zpne for n i H t a r y
"i explosives f o r over 45 years. These Items
are extremely dangerous. If any suspect
object I s found or discovered, contact Park
personnel immediately. Do not fry t o move or
A 7615
June 20, 1979
P 2

If this be
a'dopted wording.
nottoadequate, I would suggest that whatever language Is .

Park Technician Fred Harmon has contacted Lt. Hoore, Coamander of the Fort :-%.
Momaouth tOO. She has agreed to conduct a survey of all active beach and dune
. areas to determine the best method for an Insediate temporary clearance of --'
ordnance. This survey 1s scheduled for Wednesday.. June 20. 1979, {this survey
was conducted today and I t . Moore will i>e forwarding .her findings).'"^^g'^'.j
Coordination with nllitary E00 units will continue to determine the best
procedures for sub-surface* clearance of areas slated for construction. Such
clearance ray be prohibitively expensive jpd nay cause extensive daaage'1 to
surface natural resources.,-Further. Infoirotlonforthcoia1n5*fi^ > ^' < ltfiviiV: v
Show^at SODS areas are I t ^ s s i l l e to clear safely vith existing techTwloflr.
.We are keeping In constant contact with the Army •* sfte plans progress. -.
I will update these procedures and plans as new Information 1s received-

: '


• ••• - = , , , . t,

• ! _ t' .•

'.-•: r.1*
Illustrated to the left is an oblong, pointed nose
artillery shell, which is the type commonly found
at Sandy Hook with base (rear) diameters measuring
from 2 to 16 inches, and lengths of 1'tb V feet*

A smooth copper, brass or lead rotating band wrappe

around the base of the shell expanded into the
fspiral grooves of the cannon bore to impart spinnir
immediately after firing. Rifled cannon using
elongated, pointed projectiles ensured their flight
point first with great increase in range and accura
If the rotating band of a shell is smooth it usuall
indicates that it hasn't been fired, fet.lf It is
marked with rifling grooves it is a good indicatior
that it has been fired!, ^VuTv*" *-./'

Many of these Post-Civil War era artillery shells of the 187^-191$ period .were
V H ••' $jj
designed to pierce armor plating on warships, hence the fuses that-detonated
the shells were screwed into the base and not into the nose. These 'base fuses
• • • ; • > >. s

were made of brass and were sometimes marked where and.when made»t>,JtJnder any
circumstances do not attempt to remove a fuce, from an artillery projectile.
This will almost certainly ignite the explosive charge within and blow-up the

- \

For the sake of expediency the Army EOD at Fort Monmouth uses a ^»»all -shape
charge to determine whether or not artillery shells are "alive"*or ?dud; M
When detonated, the shape charge breaks through the walJL of thePsiiell wnd, if
the explosive inside the projectile is active, €ill explode and "destroy the
round.. If the explosive inside the projectile has.'leached out over the "year*
the charge will usually blast a,email hole into th,e shell and creak it open,
• leaving the round Relatively intact. ' . •• • i1' -. .
"<• l -, * •

. • • ' • - " " • - .

^•""ULC'-''•''*; .'-''t'••••'

&-J §
Spermaceti Cole Visitor Center
(built in I89p as Spermaceti Cox
No. 2 U.S. Lijfe-Saving Station)

Impact area If 3»?5 mil* rang* I


End of seafall
af (July <
FisherraansyParking Area II

• • • . ' • .

•••••.•' • '•':.' ..i '' •".-.•.; '""**- *."' '••'••fr;

••• -^r--;:. '•• :*"'&'•• '^.'.j'^'t-J?'

* « • • •

i ar.^""*"
In the old smooth bore cannon round cast iron shot and shell of diameter nearl
equal to the caliber of the gun were used. The shrapnel Bhells, like the
oblong pointed-nose projectiles Inter used, contained fuses to ignite the
explosive charge within. In its first form shrapnel contained a number of
lead balls with loose powder in the interstices. The walls of the shell were
made thick to resist deformation by the movement of the contained balls. In
its later forms (see illustrations below) the spaces between the balls were
filled with melted sulphur, and a chamber for the bursting charge was provided
as shown. By this arrangement the walls were no longer subject to the impact
from the loose balls, and therefore could be made thinner, thus providing room
for a greater number of bullets. Therconfining of the bursting charge in a
chamber.made its explosive effect greater and permitted a reduction in its