|USS Passaic testing her XV-inch Dahlgren towards the Palisades.|
|Inside Passaic's turret, the XV-inch gun is on the far side.|
The new gun did have its problems. The barrel was purposely built short to protect the muzzle from being exposed to enemy fire. This led to the issue of smoke from each shot fired building up inside the turret. To deal with this issue, Ericsson designed a special "smoke box" to protect the gunners. While it worked, the box did slow down the rate of fire.
After launching at the Contential Iron Works (same builder as Monitor), Passasic steamed up the Hudson river to the Palisades cliffs, north of New York City, in early November 1862. Here, to a booming echo up and down the river, gunners test-fired the monster XV-inch gun with increasing amounts of gunpowder (topping out at forty-five pounds of gunpowder per shooting) and shot. Observers deemed each test a success, and determined Passaic was ready for action. The Passaic soon set sail for Hampton Roads to join up with Monitor. The Northern press boldly and brashly claimed that the Navy finally had its weapon against the forts of Charleston.