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Thread: Civil War Artillery Shell!!! Traded silver for shell!

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  1. #1

    Civil War Artillery Shell!!! Traded silver for shell!

    Well I have been on one heck of a coin kick as of late. I have found one keeper coin each trip I made to the water but I sort of knew that this trip would end that streak. I made the comment to my dad that I hoped to at least trade the S from silver to Shell and it worked.

    I spent time with dad for the 4th and decided to hit a place that I have not been to for over 3 years. I never found a shell at this site, but I did know the possibility was there as I have found fragments and a load of fired bullets.

    About half way into the hunt I located this nice Confederate 10lb read-parrott artillery shell.

    The rest of the day was fairly slow as I only recovered a few civil war bullets (fired three ringer, fired ballard carbine, fired .5 of a three ringer, and a musket ball).

    I did find an interesting piece that I thought might have been part of a gun, it has remnences of wood on the reverse. Any ideas?
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  2. #2
    us
    Coin licker

    Jun 2013
    New Jersey
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    Looks like a "break down" pistol, I'm by far not a expert, just a stab in the dark. Those shells are scary, I think I read somewhere about some guys blowing themselves up trying to decommission them?
    Great finds, any snake run ins today in the water?
    I love this hobby so much, now I'm a coin licker!

  3. #3
    us
    Feb 2013
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    More Great War relics from you! Congrats on getting to spend some time with your father too.
    If there is no truth in your words, you may as well be mute.

  4. #4
    us
    Dec 2012
    lower hudson valley, N.Y.
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    Quote Originally Posted by treblehunter View Post
    Looks like a "break down" pistol, I'm by far not a expert, just a stab in the dark. Those shells are scary, I think I read somewhere about some guys blowing themselves up trying to decommission them?
    Great finds, any snake run ins today in the water?
    NOBODY has ever had a dug civil war projectile blow up!! Cannonballguy will confirm this, it is not a good rumor to get started.
    Dan, that is a very nice projectile find!! Can we see a top and bottom view of the tubular item??
    Ya won't find nuthin' if ya don't hunt

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gunsil View Post
    NOBODY has ever had a dug civil war projectile blow up!! Cannonballguy will confirm this, it is not a good rumor to get started.
    Dan, that is a very nice projectile find!! Can we see a top and bottom view of the tubular item??
    To be honest - yes one person in the last ten years lost their life to disarming a shell, I knew him fairly well and is a stark reminder. This shell is already inert as it is a paper fused CS shell...the paper is now gone and the cavity (powder chamber) is and has been exposed to water for over 100 years and is now flushed.

  6. #6
    us
    Zodiacdiverdave

    Mar 2011
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    Dan....think 4th of July.
    ZDD
    Living the dream

  7. #7
    us
    Nov 2012
    Nashville
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    Great find with that Parrot shell!
    Last edited by CoilyGirl; Jul 04, 2014 at 08:51 AM.
    "What if it's not just another pull tab?" - Lance

    “Fancy some lemonade Lance?” - Sheila

  8. #8
    Nice going again Dan. Since this doesn't sound like it was a colonial site I won't hold it against you that you did not dig a silver .... haha. So consider your streak still intact. Did your dad get in the water?

  9. #9
    Educator

    Feb 2006
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    Gunsil wrote:
    > NOBODY has ever had a dug civil war projectile blow up!! Cannonballguy will confirm this,
    > it is not a good rumor to get started.

    Since my name was mentioned for confirmation... here is the correct info.

    Nobody has had an excavated civil war (or earlier) artillery shell blow up from simply "handling" it, nor dropping it, nor while they were digging it -- even though the shell typically gets hit by the shovel several times during the digging-up process. I've done extensive researching of newspaper archives online, going all the way back to the year 1900, and there seems to be not even one news-report of an excavated civil war shell exploding due to digging or dropping it, in the past 114 years. We relic-hunters have dug over 100,000 civil war (and earlier) artillery shells, with no news-report of an explosion due to digging or dropping them.

    Two people have been killed in the past 100 years when they were doing "extreme provocation" to a civil war shell, by using a power-tool (such as a drill) on it. So, please don't drill into any shell! Leave the disarming work to the Professionals. (Send me a T-Net Private Message if you need to get a civil war or earlier shell disarmed.)

    By the way... ALL cannon BALLS are from before the 20th-Century... except for reproductions.

    VERY IMPORTANT:
    Please note, the above information is about pre-1890s artillery shells. Ones from later times (the 20th Century) can still be dangerous to drop.

    As I said, all cannon BALLS are pre-20th-Century. If you've got a "bullet-shaped" shell, and you are not 100% CERTAIN about its time-period, post several closeup photos of it in T-Net's "What Is It?" forum, so I can identify it for you and tell you its time-period. Credentials: I am the co-author of the 552-page book "Field Artillery Projectiles Of The American Civil War" -- and the US National Park Service uses me to identify (and disarm) shells found at their Battlefield Parks.
    Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Jul 04, 2014 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Typing-error correction.

  10. #10
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
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    HomeGuardDan, the correct name for your Confederate shell is a Read Long-model shell. A couple of books incorrectly call it a Read-Parrott shell... but Mr. Parrott had nothing to do with your shell's design or manufacture. Nearly all Read-Parrott shells were yankee-made.

    You will see your Confederate shell at the following Archive of artillery projectiles designed by Dr. John B. Read from 1856 through 1865:
    Ridgeway Civil War collection Artillery shells, Read (Confederate)
    BuckleBoy and MichiganMan like this.

  11. #11

    Jun 2013
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    great finds thanks for sharing

  12. #12
    us
    Joe

    Jan 2014
    Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCannonballGuy View Post
    Gunsil wrote:
    > NOBODY has ever had a dug civil war projectile blow up!! Cannonballguy will confirm this,
    > it is not a good rumor to get started.

    Since my name was mentioned for confirmation... here is the correct info.

    Nobody has had an excavated civil war (or earlier) artillery shell blow up from simply "handling" it, nor dropping it, nor while they were digging it -- even though the shell typically gets hit by the shovel several times during the digging-up process. I've done extensive researching of newspaper archives online, going all the way back to the year 1900, and there seems to be not even one news-report of an excavated civil war shell exploding due to digging or dropping it, in the past 114 years. We relic-hunters have dug over 100,000 civil war (and earlier) artillery shells, with no news-report of an explosion due to digging or dropping them.

    Two people have been killed in the past 100 years when they were doing "extreme provocation" to a civil war shell, by using a power-tool (such as a drill) on it. So, please don't drill into any shell! Leave the disarming work to the Professionals. (Send me a T-Net Private Message if you need to get a civil war or earlier shell disarmed.)

    By the way... ALL cannon BALLS are from before the 20th-Century... except for reproductions.

    VERY IMPORTANT:
    Please note, the above information is about pre-1890s artillery shells. Ones from later times (the 20th Century) can still be dangerous to drop.

    As I said, all cannon BALLS are pre-20th-Century. If you've got a "bullet-shaped" shell, and you are not 100% CERTAIN about its time-period, post several closeup photos of it in T-Net's "What Is It?" forum, so I can identify it for you and tell you its time-period. Credentials: I am the co-author of the 552-page book "Field Artillery Projectiles Of The American Civil War" -- and the US National Park Service uses me to identify (and disarm) shells found at their Battlefield Parks.
    Killer find on the shell Dan.It has been a long time for me.CBG I know they are harmless coming out of the ground because the powder is wet/damp.But can't they become dangerous with the powder dried after being out the ground for quite awhile,particularly shells with a percussion fuse? Happy and safe 4th to you all!joe
    Last edited by DigIron2; Jul 04, 2014 at 11:59 AM.

  13. #13
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
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    DigIron2 wrote:
    > CBG I know they are harmless coming out of the ground because
    > the powder is wet/damp.

    No offense, but in my position I have to say publically that that statement is incorrect. Although the powder is wet or at least damp in the majority of civil war shells when they are freshly dug out of the ground, some of them have a fuzeplug which has remained "sealed" well enough to prevent groundwater from getting inside the shell.

    However, even when the blackpowder in a dug (excavated) civil-war-or-earlier artillery shell has stayed dry, the apparent total lack of explosions from digging them up, hitting them with a shovel, or dropping them, very strongly indicates the civil-war-or-earlier ones are safe to dig and to handle.

    Pardon me, but I must emphasize again, that information applies ONLY to excavated pre-1890s artillery shells (and grenades). It seems that THOSE excavated ones are no longer what the EOD technicians call "shock-sensitive." But, artillery shells and grenades from the 20th Century can still be extremely dangerous.

    DigIron2 also wrote:
    > But can't they become dangerous with the powder dried after being out
    > of the ground for quite awhile, particularly shells with a percussion fuse?

    I know from doing many tests myself, SOMETIMES when the wet blackpowder inside an excavated civil-war-or-earlier shell eventually dries out, it can return to being flammable. (But also, sometimes, the powder has been so completely spoiled by RUSTY water, it is permanently ruined.) However, as I said above, the evidence very strongly indicates that the EXCAVATED civil-war-or-earlier ones whose blackpowder stayed dry (or has dried out) are not "shock-sensitive." Just don't drill into them, or use a power-tool on them, or expose them to extreme heat (such as putting them into an oven or a fire).

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCannonballGuy View Post
    HomeGuardDan, the correct name for your Confederate shell is a Read Long-model shell. A couple of books incorrectly call it a Read-Parrott shell... but Mr. Parrott had nothing to do with your shell's design or manufacture. Nearly all Read-Parrott shells were yankee-made.

    You will see your Confederate shell at the following Archive of artillery projectiles designed by Dr. John B. Read from 1856 through 1865:
    Ridgeway Civil War collection Artillery shells, Read (Confederate)

    Thanks Pete - sorry force of habit, but yes I did know that.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D. (VA) View Post
    Nice going again Dan. Since this doesn't sound like it was a colonial site I won't hold it against you that you did not dig a silver .... haha. So consider your streak still intact. Did your dad get in the water?

    Ha ha thanks Bill. Yes dad got in too - he found a few bullets

 

 
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