Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A gem from Wm. Britains - the three-inch ordnance rifle in 54mm

New to the toy soldier table is a pair of Wm. Britains American Civil War
m.1861 three-inch ordnance rifles.

The ordnance rifle was a favored gun for both Union and Confederate armies.  Although all of the nearly 1400 guns produces were for Federal forces the Confederates did prize those that they were fortunate enough to capture.

Union General George D. Ramsey, Chief of Ordnance US Army said of the three-inch ordnance rifle: "The experience of wrought iron field guns is most favorable to their endurance and efficiency.  They cost less than steel and stand all the charge we want to impose upon them..."

The m.1861 fired bolt, shell, and case shot.  Canister was also carried in the limber although canister was not as effective in rifles as it was in smoothbores.

The detail is incredible on this little gem.

The ordnance rifle had a maximum range of 3972 yards at 20 degrees of elevation
and fired projectiles with great accuracy.

 The splendid detail includes the hanging bracket for the pendulum-hausse rear sight.

The trailspike is at the perfect height for the Britains Swoppet artilleryman.

Collectors avert your eyes.  On one of my parrots I removed the trailspide and drilled out the large and small pointing rings to allow the gun to be towed behind a Swoppet limber. I'll probably do this with one of the two ordnance rifles

as well as one of my Napoleons.

In 2002 Britains produced its first-generation ordnance rifle and the difference between the two editions are obvious even upon the most casual inspection.

The current issue is on the left and the 2002 on the right.  Compare the width of the trail as well as the thickness of the wheels. 

The current issue is painstakingly accurate, still, the 2002 was a workhorse in my
tabletop battles for many years until the better one came along.

Left to right are the Britains12 pounder light-gun howitzer (Napoleon), the 2.9-inch Parrott rifle, and the three-inch ordnance rifle; a delightful addition to the Britain's family of
American Civil War light artillery.

Until next time...

Soldier on!


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