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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2010
    Saxapahaw, NC
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    Civil War bullets ID help ???

    I found these at Diggin in Virginia, and I could use some bullet ID help with a few of these. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. For number 6, it's interesting to note that there is still a bit of the brass casing on the back of the bullet. #1 is a standard 3 ringer for size reference.

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
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    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    Gtoast99 wrote:
    > I found these at Diggin' in Virginia, and I could use some bullet ID help with a few of these.

    Thank you for showing a .58-caliber (bullet #1) in your photo, to give a size-reference for the other bullets.

    bullet #2: a fired .52-caliber Spencer Carbine/Rifle
    bullet #3: .50-caliber Maynard Carbine
    bullet #4: .44-caliber Colt for Dragoon Revolver, "later model"
    bullet #5: .44-caliber Colt for Army Revolver, manufactured by the Elam O. Potter Co.
    bullet #6: uncertain, because the body-groove(s) are too dirt-clogged for 100% certainty. It MIGHT be a .25-caliber Lip-Fire. That size guess is based on the .44 bullet next to it in the photo. It appears to be a bit larger than half the .44 bullet's diameter, which excludes it from being a .22 bullet. Please gently scrub the dirt off of this bullet (with a wet toothbrush), and post another photo, so we can tell if it is a civil war or postwar bullet.

  3. #3
    us
    Jun 2010
    Saxapahaw, NC
    DFX
    201
    42 times
    Metal Detecting
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    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    Thanks!

    The other option I came up with for #2 was a 54 Merrill.
    Some other suggested .32 Smith and Wesson for the small one
    What do you think?

    I'll get a better pic of #6 shortly, I didn't do anything to it yet so I wouldn't break the piece of cartridge off of it.

  4. #4
    us
    Jun 2010
    Saxapahaw, NC
    DFX
    201
    42 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    Here's the best I could do on that small bullet
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  5. #5
    us
    monty

    Jan 2005
    Sand Springs, OK
    ACE 250, Garrett
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    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    I would be guessing that #6 is a .38 caliber more modern bullet. And I'll tell you why I think so. #1. It appears to have a crimping groove up front. #2. It looks to have a grease or lubricating groove that would fit inside a case. Since I am guessing, I would say it is most likely a .38 S&W revolver bullet. Wish I knew the diameter, but it is quite smaller than the other bullets. Monty
    Don't make me loose the hounds! If you dig, Cover up your holes.

  6. #6
    us
    Jun 2010
    Saxapahaw, NC
    DFX
    201
    42 times
    Metal Detecting
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    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    Thanks for the help everyone! Had to go out, so I picked up a pair of calipers. The small one measures ~0.284 in. Curiouser and curiouser.

  7. #7
    us
    CS IS NEXT

    Nov 2005
    MARYLAND
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    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    Might ba a .31 cal. ?

  8. #8
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
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    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    Gtoast99 wrote:
    > The small one measures ~0.284 in.

    One of the photos you posted shows some corroded remnants of the brass cartridge on one side of the back end of small bullet you dug. Because you've bought a set of Digital Calipers for precise measuring, let me request that you re-measure the bullet by placing the caliers across just its middle-section, a bit below the groove on its nose. Maybe you already did, and that's where you got the 0.284-inch measurement ...but if not, please do the midlle-section measurement and tell us what it is.

  9. #9
    us
    Jun 2010
    Saxapahaw, NC
    DFX
    201
    42 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    I took a bunch of measurements, avoiding the brass. The bullet itself is ~0.28 in.

  10. #10
    us
    monty

    Jan 2005
    Sand Springs, OK
    ACE 250, Garrett
    10,748
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    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    That would make the bullet I spoke of as a more modern bullet most likely a .32 caliber. Since it had a crimp grove, probably a .32 Colt. There was a .32 Colt revolver cartridge in both the .32 Short and the .32 long. No way to tell which one without seeing a case though. Monty
    Don't make me loose the hounds! If you dig, Cover up your holes.

  11. #11
    us
    Jun 2010
    Saxapahaw, NC
    DFX
    201
    42 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    thanks!

  12. #12
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
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    2790 times
    Relic Hunting

    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    I have no choice but to disagree that the .28"-diameter bullet is a .32-caliber (or even a .30-caliber).

    Here is why I'm absolutely certain it is not a .32-caliber or 30-caliber bullet. I am posting the following info ONLY for purpose of educating TreasureNet readers who do not already know the info. So, please do not be offended, Monty.

    1- Bullets are loaded into a gun from either the front end of the barrel (called the muzzle), or into its back end (called the breech).
    2- If the bullet goes into the front, the gun is called a muzzleloading gun. If loaded from the back end of the barrel, the gun is a breechloading gun.
    3- Bullets for breechloaders and for revolvers (which are considered a breechloader) are always slightly larger in diameter than the gun's bore-diameter ...NEVER smaller than the bore's diameter. (The bore is the tunnel inside the barrel.)
    4- Bullets for muzzleloader guns are always slightly smaller in diameter than the gun's bore-diameter.
    5- EVERY metallic-cartridge bullet is breechloader ammunition.
    6- Gtoast99's bullet has a little bit of a metallic (brass) cartridge clinging to one side of its base ...therefore it is definitely a breechloader bullet.
    7- Being definitely a breechloader bullet, its diameter (0.28-inch) is a bit larger than the bore of the gun it was intended to be used in. Therefore, it cannot be for a .32 or .30-caliber gun. It is a bullet for either a .25-caliber gun or a .28-caliber (7mm) gun.

    If any reader here wants to see actual evidence of the information given above, check the diameters of breechloader and muzzeloader bullets shown in the book "Civil War Projectiles II: Small Arms & Field Artillery" by McKee-&-Mason. With each bullet shown, the book includes the designation ML for muzzleloaded bullets, BL for breechloaded bullets, and CL for cylinder-loaded (cylinders are for breechloaded guns).

  13. #13

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, and the Tesoro Sand Shark for sniping underwater on cleaned bedrock.
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    Metal detecting for gold and Surface Suction Sluicing, AKA Triple-S mining.

    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    Great thread--great ID info. Thanks.

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  14. #14
    us
    monty

    Jan 2005
    Sand Springs, OK
    ACE 250, Garrett
    10,748
    75 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Civil War bullets ID help ???

    No offense taken cannonball guy, but you forgot to mention that all .38's for example are not of a diameter of .380", rather they are .357". The .44 Special and .44 Magnum are actually .429". If the forcing cone in the revolver in which the bullet was shot was smaller than .320" the bullet or if the inside barrel diameter was smaller it would be pressure swaged to a smaller diameter as it passed through the cone and/or the barrel. Further the bullet in question appears to be inside the case lubed with a crimping groove. I never saw a front loading bullet with a swaged crimping groove. There were dozens of different manufacturers that copied the old S&W top break revolvers that came in .32 Long or Short Colt and a very few in .32-20 even, as well asmany in .38 S&W. Also if the bore was rough it might strip away part of the pure lead bullet, leaving it in the bore, therefore, the bullet would exit the barrel slightly smaller.The manufacturer's tolerances weren't always exactly the same as the originals and the cheaper the reproduction, the sloppier the fit.....usually. So, I stick by my guns, no pun intended. If the bullet in question was in better condition it might sway me some however. Monty
    Don't make me loose the hounds! If you dig, Cover up your holes.

 

 

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