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12 Pounder Field Gun

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The 12 pounder field gun was developed in the 1850s in France, and nicknamed the Napoleon after Emperor Napoleon III. It was capable of firing shot, case shot, shell, and canister. This variety of ammunition allowed the Napoleon to be very effective in long-range dueling, as well as short range against on-rushing infantry. The Napoleon had a 66 inch long tube of bronze with a bore diameter of 4.62 inches. This tube weighed 1227 pounds. The range at 5° elevation was 1619 yards with 2.5 pounds of powder charge.

On December 5, 1862, Confederate General Robert E. Lee* wrote to secretary of war, “The best guns for field service, in my opinion, are the 12-pounder Napoleons, the 10-pounder Parrotts, and the approved 3-inch rifles…. The contest between our 6-pounder smoothbores and the 12-pounder Napoleons of the enemy is very unequal, and in addition, is discouraging to our artillerists….”

1/3 Scale: $4,950


*Source: Cannons, An Introduction to Civil War Artillery. Dean S. Thomas. 1985. Published by Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, PA.

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