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RARE - Revolutionary War Artillery Cannonball Gauge


Product Description

This is another rare and early piece coming out of a 60-year collection of French & Indian War/Revolutionary War artillery. Being offered is a Revolutionary War forged iron gauge to check that cast cannonballs were of the proper diameter. This gauge measures approximately 19 1/4” long overall, the outside diameter of the ring is 7 ¼”, the inside 5 ½” – the size was for a 24-pounder ball. The handle is forged of round iron stock and the overall weight is 4 pounds. There is an example of this gauge in the Ft. Ticonderoga Museum (see pictures).

All cannonballs had to be very carefully manufactured to be perfectly-round, so they would not jam inside the cannon's barrel during firing -- which could cause the cannon itself to burst. Usually, one artilleryman would be designated to double-check the balls before being fired. I tried this on a 24-pounder British ball, and it had a perfect fit (see picture).

This gauge remains in very nice condition, having some slight overall roughness, but no chipping or flaking. This collection began in the late 1950s and was created by private acquisitions, closed museums, and from lake divers. The collector meticulously displayed and cataloged every piece along with its provenance. His markings were crude at the time, but now they have proved to be very important. Many of the pieces went through electrolysis to remove crusted rust.

This is the first time this ring gauge has been on the open market, and it is truly a great piece of early American History. It definitely merits a place in an advanced collection or museum. This is one of those artillery tools that you just never see available. As with all the pieces in this esteemed collection, a Certificate of Authenticity will be included. As with all items on the website, the very friendly layaway is available.

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$12.50 (Fixed shipping cost)