British Whitworth Gun

  • Artillery Thru The Age
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Invented by Joesph Whitworth in England, The Whitworth Gun was a rarity during The American Civil War (and saw limited service). Used by both sides of the conflict, it was an innovative weapon - in that it was a breech loading gun with incredible accuracy. Capable of firing 10-pound shot projectiles to an effective range of 1,600 yards (with a shot group variance of 5 within a 24-inch target). Many called it a "Sniper Cannon". The weapon (for some unknown reason), was not popular as an anti-infantry weapon. One theory was it it was incapable of using shrapnel rounds (Grape, Canister, etc). Barrels for The Whitworth were unusual in that they were hexagonal (requiring specially designed shells). Whitworth Guns were also known for their unusual metallic "whizzing" noise they made when fired. Although the guns remained in Federal inventory for many years after the war, they were seldom used.