What is this? Help with Identifying a Shell

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
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Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
So again at the expense of sounding ignorant, I still dont quite understand the concept of the "blind shell", was this a sort of practice shell?

My shell has a threaded opening at the tip, if it was a blind shell, there still would have been a plug threaded in the opening correct?

This is why I always thought it was a shell that did not explode and was de-armed.
No, it was used more like a bolt or solid projectile and used a great deal more for striking than for blasting. The threads would have had a brass plug secured by a brass pin in the side of the nose and as far as I know, none of these shells had powder in them. One idea behind the blind shell was that the friction of the shell passing through a target would have caused enough friction to ignite the powder, but that sounds rather far fetched to me and from that standpoint these rounds could have been considered a failure and never used, but Admiral Dahlgren was a powerful and well connected officer. Regardless, you still have a great projectile with an even better story behind it. The idea behind the Dahlgren Boat Howitzers was that they were going to be used on landing expeditions or as a light deck gun onboard ship. Photo LoC
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ucvrelics

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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
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So again at the expense of sounding ignorant, I still dont quite understand the concept of the "blind shell", was this a sort of practice shell?

My shell has a threaded opening at the tip, if it was a blind shell, there still would have been a plug threaded in the opening correct?

This is why I always thought it was a shell that did not explode and was de-armed.

You are correct. I would love to see the nose end as I'm sure its like the one I posted above. These projectiles were cast with a cavity, the casting sand was usually left in the core, unfinished hole was plugged with a small brass plug, giving it the effect of a light bolt. This was probably intended as a transitional measure to test the pattern, the shell could be drilled and fitted for fuzes at a later time. These "blind shells" never had an explosive charge, the black substance sometimes found inside is foundry sand from the mold for the core.
 

rebracer

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Location
Southern Louisiana
I dont have the shell currently in my possession, but in the future it will become mine when it is passed down.
I will try and get a photo of the nose end when I am around it again next time as I am curious as well to inspect it based on what yall have told me.
 
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