DIAMETER: 3.44 inches
Bashley Britten patented this projectile's segmented interior construction dated
March 8, 1861, British patent #585. His patent describes the method of manufacturing the
interior: "I construct this projectile in the following manner:--I make a core of
loam or sand of such form as to fill the interior space. Round this core I place numerous
pieces shaped and arranged somewhat like the natural divisions of an orange. Each of
theses pieces is cast with several cores or plates partially dividing them so as to weaken
them at those places, that they may easily break up when the shell explodes. The surfaces
of these pieces are dressed over with a coating of loam or such like material, and they
are bound round with a wire, or otherwise secured round the inner core of sand....Round
this combined core I cast the external shell, which may be or iron or other suitable
The interior has nine long wedges of iron with lines of weakness cast in each wedge. Ideally, the bursting charge broke the 9 long wedges into fifty-four fragments, and the outer shell body into many fragments as well. Note the Britten percussion fuze with its distinctive brass anvil cap. The Britten percussion fuzes have a left hand thread pattern.
Examples have been recovered from Spanish Fort, Alabama, and the Battle of Seven Pines, Virginia.