Naval Arty Dahlgren Shell Guns

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In 1841, the United States Navy had begun to adopt the French style of "shell gun", a large 8-inch bore muzzleloading gun that fired shells on a reasonably flat trajectory. Dahlgren was determined to design a new generation of shell gun that would be capable of firing explosive shells at higher velocity and greater range. They would also have the capacity to effectively fire solid shot. The ability to fire sold shot would become increasingly important as armored warships appeared on the scene. All of the Dahlgren shell guns were cast in iron, had a distinctive soda bottle shape and all but two had an elevating screw running through the cascabel.

DAHLGREN SHELL GUNS
WEIGHTS & MEASURES


Gun ClassBore
Size
WeightOverall
Length
Shot
Weight
Shell
Weight
Service
Charge
Crew
...Size *
Range
(Yards)
No.
Made
32pdr._M1855​
6.2"​
3,200 lb.​
93.7"​
32 lb.​
26.5 lb.​
4 lb.​
6 + PB​
Few​
32pdr. M1864​
6.2"​
4,500 lb.​
107.5"​
32 lb.​
26.5 lb.​
6 lb.​
10 + PB​
383​
VIII
8"​
6,500 lb.​
115.5"​
65 lb.​
52.7 lb.​
7 lb.​
12 + PB​
355​
IX
9"​
9,000 lb.​
131.0"​
90 lb.​
73.5 lb.​
13 lb.​
16 + PM​
1,185​
X
10"​
12,000 lb.​
146.0"​
124 lb.​
101.5 lb.​
12.5 lb.​
20 + PM​
10​
X (Heavy)​
10"​
16,500 lb.​
145.0"​
124 lb.​
101.5 lb.​
18 lb.​
20 + PM​
-​
34​
XI
11"​
15,700 lb.​
161.0"​
166 lb.​
133.5 lb.​
20 lb.​
24 + PM
Turret=7​
465​
XIII
13"​
36,000 lb.​
162.0"​
276 lb.​
216.5 lb.​
40 lb.​
-​
-​
3​
XV (Short)​
15"​
42,000 lb.​
162.0"​
440 lb.​
352.0 lb.​
35 lb.​
Turret=10​
34​
XV (Long)​
15"​
43,000 lb.​
178.0"​
440 lb.​
352.0_lb.​
35 lb.​
Turret=10​
86​
XX
20"​
100,000.lb.​
204.0"​
1,080.lb.​
-​
100 lb.​
-​
-​
4​
* Crew Size abbreviations: PB for Powder Boys, PM for Powder Men, Turret for Crew of a Monitor Turret



APPROXIMATE RANGE & TABLE OF FIRE
FOR
DAHLGREN SHELL GUNS

Class
of Gun
ShotShot WeightCharge WeightHeight
Above Plane

Elevation
Yards/Sec.

Elevation
Yards/Sec.

Elevation
Yards/Sec.

Elevation
Yards/Sec.

Elevation
Yards/Sec.

Elevation
Yards/Sec.
XV
15 inch
Solid
Shell
-
400 lb.
350 lb.
-
35 lb.
35 lb.
-
-
300yd
-​
-
620yd
-​
-
920yd
1.9sec
-
1,200yd
3.7sec
-
1,470yd
4.3sec
-
1,700yd
5.7sec
XI
11 inch
Shell

Shell

Shell

Shrapnel
-
136 lb.

136 lb.

136 lb.

141 lb.
-
15 lb.

20 lb.

15 lb.

15 lb.
-
10'

20'

10'

10'
-
306yd
0.84sec
421yd
1.16sec
410yd
-
295yd
0.8sec
631yd
1.72sec
679yd
1.96sec
665yd
1.9sec
620yd
1.7sec
918yd
2.8sec
992yd
3.0sec
1,000yd
-
910yd
1.9sec
1,208yd
3.88sec
1,257yd
3.94sec
1,340yd
4.1sec
1200yd
2.7sec
1,472yd
4.9sec
1,542yd
4.99sec
1,660yd
-
1,465yd
3.7sec
1,712yd
5.81sec
1,757yd
6.04sec
1,975yd
-
1,710yd
4.7sec
X
10 inch
Shell

Shrapnel​
103 lb.

101 lb.​
12½ lb.

12½ lb.​
11'
-
-​
340yd
0.1sec
-​
705yd
2.0sec
-​
970yd
2.9sec
-​
1,230yd
3.9sec
-​
1,490yd
4.9sec
-​
1,740yd
5.8sec
-​
IX
9 inch
Shell

Shell

Shrapnel
-
72½ lb.

72½ lb.

75 lb.
-
10 lb.

13 lb.

10 lb.
-
10¾'

-

-
-
332yd
0.9sec
350yd
0.9sec
332yd
0.8sec
718yd
1.96sec
740yd
2.08sec
718yd
1.9sec
962yd
3.0sec
980yd
2.84sec
960yd
2.9sec
1,218yd
4.0sec
1,275yd
4.04sec
1,215yd
4.0sec
1,471yd
5.1sec
1,520yd
5.2sec
1,470yd
5.0sec
1,710yd
5.96sec
1,750yd
6.24sec
1,690yd
5.9sec
Table Data From: ORDNANCE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES NAVY, 1866.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
By United States. Naval History Division
https://books.google.com/books?id=J...=onepage&q=cost of dahlgren shell guns&f=true
1630082800328.png

Although some Dahlgren shell guns were tested to failure, no Dahlgren shell gun burst during service, a notable distinction for the time. All of the Dahlgren shell guns in service fired shot, shell, shrapnel, canister, and (with the exception of the XV-inch shell gun) grape-shot.

VIII-inch Dahlgren shell gun: 355 of the VIII-inch Dahlgren were cast by Alger Builders, Fort Pitt Foundry, and Seyfert, McManus & Co. between 1864 and 1867. The VIII-inch Dahlgren had a crew of 12 and a powder-boy. This gun would most likely have been intended for small riverine and estuarine gunboats, which the navy scrapped as quickly as possible after the war.

IX-inch Dahlgren shell gun: 1,185 guns were cast at Alger, Bellona, Fort Pitt, Seyfert, McManus & Co., Tredegar, and West Point foundries between 1855 and 1864. Fort Pitt Foundry also made 16 for the army in 1861. The IX-inch Dahlgren was the most popular and versatile of Dahlgren shell guns made.

The IX-inch Dahlgren was the most popular and versatile of Dahlgren Shell guns made. The IX- guns served as broadside armament on larger ships such as the USS Susquehanna, which carried 12 IX-inch Dahlgren guns in broadside mounts in addition to her two pivot guns and the USS Powhatan which carried 10 IX-inch guns in broadside mounts in addition to her 2 XI-inch Dahlgren pivot guns. These broadside guns would normally be mounted on a Marsilly carriage.

The CSS Virginia had six IX-inch Dahlgren guns. Smaller coastal blockade ships such as the USS Fort Henry and the USS Hunchback mounted IX-inch Dahlgrens on pivot mounts. IX-inch Dahlgrens were used on several river gunboats such as the USS Essex and the USS. Benton. If mounted as either a pivot gun or a broadside gun the IX-inch Dahlgren had a crew of 16 and a “powderman.”

X-inch Dahlgren shell gun (light): 10 were cast at Seyfert, McManus & Co. and West Point foundries between 1855 and 1864. Pivot mounted on board ships such as USS Cumberland, USS Brooklyn and USS Merrimack (pre-CSS Virginia) with a crew of 20 and a powderman.

X-inch Dahlgren shell gun (heavy): 34 cast between 1862 and 1865. Designed from the beginning to fire shot against armored ships with heavier powder charges. Mounted on a pivot mount with a crew of 20 and a powderman.

XI-inch Dahlgren shell gun: 465 were cast at Alger; Builders; Fort Pitt; Hinkley, Williams & Co.; Portland Locomotive Works; Seyfert, McManus & Co.; Trenton Iron Works; and West Point foundries between 1856 and 1864. This is the only Dahlgren gun to have been designed both with and without a muzzle swell.

The gun was typically mounted on a pivot or in a turret on a monitor. When mounted in a turret, the crew for an XI-inch Dahlgren was seven including powdermen. The crew for the gun when mounted on a pivot was 24 men and a powderman. XI-inch Dahlgrens were carried on Neosho, Marietta, Casco, Milwaukee, and (1 XI-inch and 1 XV-inch short) class monitors. USS Kearsarge, USS Powhatan, and many other conventional ships carried XI-inch Dahlgrens on pivot mounts. A few larger river gunboats, such as USS Tuscumbia and USS Indianola also carried XI-inch Dahlgrens.

The original USS Monitor famously had two XI-inch Dahlgren guns which sank with her. Those guns were recovered from the Atlantic Ocean in 2004, and are undergoing restoration before going on public display at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

XIII-inch Dahlgren shell gun: The XIII-inch Dahlgren was originally intended for Passaic-class monitors but proved unsuccessful and the XV-inch Dahlgren was used instead.

XV-inch Dahlgren shell gun (short or Passaic): 34 were cast by the Fort Pitt Foundry between 1862 and 1864. The first XV-inch guns' barrels were about the same length as the XI shell guns, but unfortunately they couldn't extend their muzzles through the monitor turret. The resulting blast and fumes inside the turret on discharge would have made it impossible to service the gun. Engineers designed smoke-boxes inside the turrets of the monitors to solve the problem with the short XV-inch gun, but the smoke-boxes made reloading much slower.

When mounted in a turret, the crew for a XV-inch Dahlgren was 10 including powdermen. Carried on Passaic (1 XI-inch and 1 XV-inch short) and early Canonicus-class monitors.

XV-inch Dahlgren shell gun (long or "Tecumseh"): 86 were cast by the Alger, Fort Pitt, and Seyfert, McManus & Co. foundries between 1864 and 1872. The new XV-inch gun was lengthened 16 inches so that the muzzle was flush with the outside of the turret when fired, eliminating the need for the smoke-box, Carried on later Canonicus-class monitors.

 
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