10 pdr. Ordnance Rifle
- Type: Rifled gun, 7 rifle grooves
- Rarity: Common
- Years of Manufacture: 1861 to 1865
- Tube Composition: Wrought iron
- Bore Diameter: 3.0 inches
- Standard Powder Charge: 1 lb.
- Projectiles: 10 lb. Bolt
- Tube Length: 73 inches
- Tube Weight: 816 lbs.
- Effective Range (at 5°): up to 1,850 yards
- No. in North America: approx. 1000+
- Cost in 1861 Dollars: $330 (US)
- Cost in 1865 Dollars: $450 (US)
- Invented By: John Griffen in 1855
- US Casting Foundry: Phoenix Iron Company, Phoenixville PA
- CS Casting Foundry: Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond VA (CS castings are called: 3-inch Iron Field Rifles)
- Special Notes: Lightest and strongest rifled tube. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as a Rodman gun.
More about Ordnance Rifles
Originally called a "Griffin Gun," after its' designer, John Griffen, the Ordnance Rifle was manufactured at the Phoenix Iron Company in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. It was adopted by the Federal Ordnance Department in early 1861. The design of this rifle, soon a favorite with artillerists in both armies, is recognized by the complete absence of any discontinuities in the surface of the gun. It was also a major step forward in material, being made entirely of wrought iron.
To manufacture the Ordnance Rifle, strips of wrought iron were hammer-welded in criss-crossing spiral layers around a mandrel; this was then bored out and the finished product lathe turned into shape. Though time consuming and expensive to produce, the result was a singularly tough and accurate weapon. Less precise machining and lower-grade iron gave their Confederate counterparts more trouble.
While the Napoleon was the weapon of choice for short-range fighting, the Ordnance Rifle was valued for its long range accuracy. A one lb charge of gunpowder could accurately propel a 10 lb elongated shell a distance of 2,000 yards at only 5 degrees of elevation. Longer distances, but less accuracy, could be achieved with higher elevations. Artillerymen preferred this piece because it did not have the tendency to explode upon firing as cast iron cannon did. This gun is one-hundred pounds lighter than the 10 pdr. Parrott Rifle (800 lbs to the Parrott's 900) which made it highly mobile. For this reason, it was the preferred weapon of the fully mounted Horse Artillery.
The North produced more than 1,000 3-inch Ordnance Rifles during the war at a cost of about $350 each, and were considered prized captures by the South.
This gun is sometimes erroneously referred to as a "Rodman." The process used by Thomas Rodman in casting the Columbiads was not used in producing the wrought iron barrel of the Ordnance Rifle. As far as can be determined, Rodman had nothing to do with the design or production of this gun.