10 pdr. Parrott Rifle
- Type: Rifled gun, 3 rifle grooves (US); 7 hook-slant rifle grooves (CS)
- Rarity: Common
- Years of Manufacture: 1861 to 1865
- Tube Composition: Cast & wrought iron
- Bore Diameter: 2.9 inches (Model 1861); 3.0 inches (Model 1863)
- Standard Powder Charge: 1 lb.
- Projectiles: 10 lb. bolt
- Tube Length: 78 inches (US); 81 inches (CS)
- Tube Weight: 890 lbs. (US); 1500 lbs. (CS)
- Effective Range (at 5°): up to 1,900 yards
- No. in North America: approx. 630
- Cost in 1862 Dollars: $180 (US); $ 300 (CS)
- Cost in 1865 Dollars: $187 (US); $3000 (CS)
- Invented By: Robert Parker Parrott in 1860
- US Casting Foundry: West Point Foundry, Cold Springs, NY
- CS Casting Foundry: Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, VA
- Special Notes: Easy to Manufacture, Inexpensive, and Accurate to Shoot.
More about 10 pdr. Parrott Rifles
Parrotts, invented by Robert Parker Parrott, were manufactured in different sizes, from 10-pounders up to the rare 300-pounder. The 10- and 20-pounder versions were used by both armies in the field.
The family of Parrott rifles is easily recognizable by the reinforcing band of wrought iron, in the case of the 10-pounder about 13 inches wide, covering the breech and reinforce. The M1861 10-pounder Parrott weighed about 890 pounds or so, and was one of the most economical artillery pieces the U.S. Army would purchase during the war.
The U.S. M1863 10-pounder Parrott was slightly modified from the M1861 pattern; the bore was increased to 3.0 inches, to make its ammunition consistent with that of the new 3-inch ordnance rifle, and the muzzle swell was eliminated.
Parrotts were manufactured with a combination of cast iron and wrought iron. The cast iron made for an accurate gun, but was brittle enough to suffer fractures. On the Parrott, a large wrought iron reinforcing band was overlaid on the breach. Although accurate, the Parrott had a poor reputation for safety and they were shunned by many artillerists. (At the end of 1862, Henry J. Hunt attempted to get the Parrott eliminated from the Army of the Potomac's inventory.)
Confederate cast Parrott rifles used seven hook-slant or "Brooke" type rifle grooves, and can be identified by the taper on the trunnion side of the reinforcing band.
Several hundred Parrott gun tubes remain today, many adorning battlefield parks, county courthouses, museums, etc. The ones made by Parrott's foundry are identifiable by the letters WPF (West Point Foundry) found on the gun tube, along with the initials RPP for Robert Parker Parrott.