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~Common Field Pieces~
Blakely Rifles
  The term "Blakely Rifle" refers to any of a number of different artillery pieces designed by British inventor Captain Theophilus Alexander Blakely. Blakely Rifles were primarily used by the Confederacy. Blakely Rifles are perhaps the most non-standardized artillery pieces of the Civil War. Not only were Blakely Rifles manufactured in several different sizes, but there is considerable variation within pieces of essentially the same size and design. This is at least in part do to Captain Blakely's practice of outsourcing the actual production of his artillery pieces to a number of different manufacturers. In the 1960s, noted artillery historian Warren Ripley identified 11 main variations, which are generally referred to as "Ripley types."

Type 1: 3.75 in., 16 Pdr.

Type 2: 3.5 in., 12 Pdr.

Type 3: 3.5 in., 12 Pdr.

Type 4: 3.5 in., 12 Pdr.

Type 5: 3.5 in., 12 Pdr.

Type 6: 3.5 in., 12 Pdr.

Type 7: 4 in., 18 Pdr.

Type 8: (?)

Type 9: 3.5 in., 12 Pdr.

Type 10: 2.9 in.

Type 11: 2.0 in.

120 Pdr Blakely Naval Rifle: 7.0 in., 120 Pdr

7.5 in. Blakely Naval Rifle: 7.5 in.

9 in. Blakely Naval Rifle: 9 in.

12.75 in. Blakely Naval Rifle: 12.75 in.

Hazlett, James, Edwin Olmstead, & M. Hume Parks. Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War.
     (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1983).

Ripley, Warren. Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War, 4th rev. ed.
     (The Battery Press, 1984).

Thomas, Dean. Cannons: An Introduction to Civil War Artillery.
     (Gettysburg: Thomas Publications, 1985).
  ©2005 Richard McCoy. View Copyright Info or learn more About the Author.