Need Help IDing a few Artillery Shells Civil War through...?
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Thread: Need Help IDing a few Artillery Shells Civil War through...?

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  1. #1
    us
    Oct 2011
    71
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Need Help ID'ing a few Artillery Shells Civil War through...?

    Picked these up recently over the course of the past few weeks at flea markets.
    1. Shell on left is what I believe is an early Civil War era Armstrong Shell. It has 12 zinc plugs but I can't find any that match exactly.bIt has the original zinc/wood fuse. Stands 8" high, 3" wide and weighs 8lb 6oz.
    2. Shell in middle I have No idea, its a solid shot, no markings. Weighs 76lbs, stands 20" high and 5.75" wide.
    3. Shell on right, again no idea. Solid shot with fuse on bottom.Fuse is marked 10. Weighs 86lbs, stands 17" high (including fuse). Bottom marked IV. 97. 103.

    Hoping someone can point me in the right direction. There doesn't seem to be too much information on shells post civil war out there.
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    tamrock likes this.

  2. #2
    us
    WolfPack member

    Aug 2009
    New Hampshire
    Garret Master hunter Cx Plus
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    The Truth
    The two projectiles to the right look more like WW1 projectiles.The bands at the bottom of the two shells are for the rifling to grip
    tamrock likes this.

  3. #3
    us
    Oct 2011
    71
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks! I thought those were probably wwi. Or maybe Spanish american war. Any idea on what guns would fire them? What country of origin?

  4. #4
    us
    WolfPack member

    Aug 2009
    New Hampshire
    Garret Master hunter Cx Plus
    12,824
    7976 times
    The Truth
    Solid shot with fuse on bottom
    I just noticed what you said here,solid shot has no need of a fuse,hope its not live if its not a soild shot

    Any idea on what guns would fire them? What country of origin?
    No idea unless you have some calipers to do some measuring,some guns were measured in MM and some in CM some in inches.

  5. #5
    us
    When the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro...I am a wealth of mostly trivial information.....

    Jan 2011
    Formerly New Orleans.. Now Pueblo Co
    Garrett Ace 350 and Propointer
    5,124
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Can you post accurate measurements in mm? The markings on the third one look European to me, possibly French or German,
    tamrock likes this.
    "That's me, on the beach side combing the sand, metal meter in my hand, sporting a pocket full of change"...... NOFX

    I collect military relics, mainly German and American, but interested in others as well, pre 1945 .. Always interested in adding to my collection

    some of my antique photo collection : http://forgottonimages.tumblr.com/



  6. #6
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
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    Relic Hunting
    As my posting-name indicates, pre-20th-Century artillery projectiles are my specialty-area of relic study. (I wrote a book about civil-war-&-earlier ones.) However, in my decades of study, I've some across a fairly broad selection of 1870s-through-WW1 artillery projectiles... and thus I can give you at least "some" accurate information about your three projectiles.

    All three of them date from approximately the Spanish-American War era (1890s) to World War One.

    The smallest one, which has lead studs on its sides, is not an Armstrong, because Armstrong's projectiles has copperbrass studs, not lead. Although the French had a shell in the 1860s which looks similar to yours, and had lead studs, the French version had a flat base. The rounded base on yours means it is a Spanish shell from the 1890s. During the 1898-99 war with Spain, the US captured a bargeload of those shells from the Spanish in Cuba. They wound up being sold to "war surplus" dealer Francis Bannerman & Sons, and widely sold to the public via his mail-order catalog (and showroom in New York City.

    The flat-topped one is not a Solid-Shot. Its size-to-weight ratio proves it is hollow. Also, the two grooves on its flat top indicate a screw-in plug. I do not recognize that particular type of fuzing, so I think it is a European shell. In your photos, it seems the sabot-rings just above its base are made of lead (or a similar-looking "White-Metal," which actually means 'silvery"). Is that correct, or are they brass or perhaps copper? I have not seen any US or British artillery projectiles from the 1890s/early-1900s which had lead ring sabots.

    The one with a sharp-pointed nose is also a hollow shell, based on its size-to-weight ratio, in addition to seeming to have what is called a "base-fuze." I think it is European, like the other two. I suspect the "97" marked on its base means it was manufactured in 1897. You told us the width (diameter) of the other two projectiles, but not this one. What is its diameter? In the photo, it appears to be a bit wider than the 5.75"-diameter shell laying next to it.

    You're right, ID information about post-civil-war artillery projectiles is hard to find. However, the following website has many photos and info on artillery projectiles from the 1880s through the present.
    An Introduction To Collecting Artillery Shells And Shell Casings - International Ammunition Association
    At the top of that (very long) webpage, the author gives his email-contact address. I suggest you send your photos and size-&-weight measurements to him. If he is able to identify them, please let us know what he says they are. I'm sure about what the lead-studded one is, but I'd like to know the ID of the other two, for my data-files.
    Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Jul 07, 2014 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Typing-error correction.

  7. #7
    us
    Tennessee Digger

    Sep 2011
    Nashville
    Tesoro and Troy Shadow Fisher Gold Bug Pro Minelab Equinox 600.
    1,657
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    The CannonballGuy knows his stuff! Great job on the I.D.

  8. #8
    us
    Oct 2011
    71
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks Cannonballguy! You aren't by any chance the same guy who purchased an captured ID'd Whitworth shell from me last winter, were you? I sent an email over to Big Ordnance. I'll let you know what he says

  9. #9
    us
    Grant Brandenburg

    Jan 2013
    Colorado
    Bounty Hunter Tracker IV
    12,260
    21469 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Nice collection. I check out every antique shop, thrift store and flea market I get the chance to because you never know what interesting kind of thing you may end up finding.

  10. #10
    gb
    Apr 2020
    East Sussex UK
    2
    1 times

    My 'WW1' shell finally identified.

    Guys,
    Many thanks for helping me to identify my (supposed) 'WW1' shell. I have had this item for approx 45 years, and never really knew what it was until today!
    Hopefully the pdf I created today has attached to this reply, but as this is my first attempt it may have gone adrift!
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Radon likes this.

  11. #11
    us
    Oct 2006
    Connecticut
    Excalibur 1000
    150
    304 times
    Welcome to the site, and that's some really nice research!

  12. #12
    gb
    Apr 2020
    East Sussex UK
    2
    1 times
    Many thanks Radon, but to be honest I couldn't have gotten anywhere without the major clues from TheCannonballGuy!

 

 

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