Identifying An Old Bullet? Confederate? Early 1900s?
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Thread: Identifying An Old Bullet? Confederate? Early 1900s?

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  1. #1
    us
    Dec 2010
    Kentucky
    Fisher Gold Bug DP, Fisher F19 LTD, Minelab Safari, Garrett AT Pro, Garrett AT Pro Pointer, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche Digger, Lesche Ground Shark Shovel, 9.5x5.5 NEL Sharpshooter Coil (Safari), 9.5x
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    Identifying An Old Bullet? Confederate? Early 1900's?

    I live in Kentucky and we had a lot of Civil War activity, so it makes me wonder if this could be a Confederate bullet? I found this in a field. It made my Minelab Safari scream. It is very chunky and heavy for a bullet and has a nice natural patina to it. Being used to the more modern center fire ammo that we use today, I knew this one was older. I do not have a small scale to weigh it so unfortunately I don't have a weight for it, but I can tell you this thing would break some bone and do some damage to it's target. I did not measure either and would not have gotten the actual original length since it was not a dropped bullet but, rather one that was fired and struck something.

    I do have several good pictures and references to hopefully help in identifying it. Thanks folks for any help. Cannonball Guy please join in if you have the time and interest in my thread.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Jun 2006
    Upstate South Carolina
    Whites, Minelab, Tesoro, and custom machines
    3,410
    3179 times
    Can you get a diameter measurment on it?? Tony
    We are in a hobby that is supported by losers!!

  3. #3
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
    5,675
    8569 times
    Relic Hunting
    Your fired bullet is definitely a civil war era type. It appears to be a .577-caliber Enfield, but it could be the .54-caliber version. As Tony In SC indicated, to be certain about its caliber we need precise measurement of its diameter in hundredths-of-an-inch, because there's only about .04-inch difference between those two calibers of bullets.

    I strongly recommend that relic-diggers buy a Digital Caliper, which is what is needed for accurate identification of bullets AND old coins, buckles, and military buttons. Go Here:
    Harbor Freight Tools ? Quality Tools at Discount Prices Since 1977
    and type the word “caliper” in the search-box at the top of the webpage.
    The stainless-steel 4” digital caliper is $14.99. That’s all you’ll need unless you are going to be measuring large cannonballs. A “composite” (plastic) one is cheaper, but plastic wears out. If you don’t want to ever have to replace the battery, buy the “dial” version.

    Most of the "major" civil war military combat in Kentucky happened in 1861-1862. At that time, both the yankees and Confederates were using Enfield bullets. Therefore, contrary to what many relic-diggers believe, it is false that all of the Enfield bullets we dig on civil war battlefields are Confederate. However, the majority of Confederate-used Enfield bullets had the large cone-shaped base cavity we see in your Enfield bullet's base. So, yours is more likely to be a Confederate-used one than a yankee one.

    Sidenote:
    Enfield .577-caliber bullets which have a "plug" cavity -- a deep cavity whose bottom is wide and FLAT, and is sometimes (but not always) marked 57 -- are strictly British-made. Both the Union and the Confederacy imported them from England.

  4. #4
    us
    Dec 2010
    Kentucky
    Fisher Gold Bug DP, Fisher F19 LTD, Minelab Safari, Garrett AT Pro, Garrett AT Pro Pointer, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche Digger, Lesche Ground Shark Shovel, 9.5x5.5 NEL Sharpshooter Coil (Safari), 9.5x
    309
    146 times
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCannonballGuy View Post
    Your fired bullet is definitely a civil war era type. It appears to be a .577-caliber Enfield, but it could be the .54-caliber version. As Tony In SC indicated, to be certain about its caliber we need precise measurement of its diameter in hundredths-of-an-inch, because there's only about .04-inch difference between those two calibers of bullets.

    I strongly recommend that relic-diggers buy a Digital Caliper, which is what is needed for accurate identification of bullets AND old coins, buckles, and military buttons. Go Here:
    Harbor Freight Tools ? Quality Tools at Discount Prices Since 1977
    and type the word “caliper” in the search-box at the top of the webpage.
    The stainless-steel 4” digital caliper is $14.99. That’s all you’ll need unless you are going to be measuring large cannonballs. A “composite” (plastic) one is cheaper, but plastic wears out. If you don’t want to ever have to replace the battery, buy the “dial” version.

    Most of the "major" civil war military combat in Kentucky happened in 1861-1862. At that time, both the yankees and Confederates were using Enfield bullets. Therefore, contrary to what many relic-diggers believe, it is false that all of the Enfield bullets we dig on civil war battlefields are Confederate. However, the majority of Confederate-used Enfield bullets had the large cone-shaped base cavity we see in your Enfield bullet's base. So, yours is more likely to be a Confederate-used one than a yankee one.

    Sidenote:
    Enfield .577-caliber bullets which have a "plug" cavity -- a deep cavity whose bottom is wide and FLAT, and is sometimes (but not always) marked 57 -- are strictly British-made. Both the Union and the Confederacy imported them from England.
    Thank You CBG. I will definitely be purchasing a digital caliper as well as a small digital scale I've seen the guys on here weigh jewelry with. I have a Colt Combat Commander .45 ACP, the same sidearm that was used by the military and law enforcement and the .45 ACP bullet weighs only 1/3 what this fired Enfield does.

  5. #5
    us
    Dec 2010
    Kentucky
    Fisher Gold Bug DP, Fisher F19 LTD, Minelab Safari, Garrett AT Pro, Garrett AT Pro Pointer, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche Digger, Lesche Ground Shark Shovel, 9.5x5.5 NEL Sharpshooter Coil (Safari), 9.5x
    309
    146 times
    John Hunt Morgan in Kentucky The famous Morgan's Christmas Raid was within one mile or less of where I dug this bullet. So, I can also match a historical event with the find. This is one of the only unrestricted areas of historical significance that is around that is not banned from digging, etc. Most everything else is protected or on the historical register

  6. #6
    us
    Dec 2010
    Kentucky
    Fisher Gold Bug DP, Fisher F19 LTD, Minelab Safari, Garrett AT Pro, Garrett AT Pro Pointer, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche Digger, Lesche Ground Shark Shovel, 9.5x5.5 NEL Sharpshooter Coil (Safari), 9.5x
    309
    146 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony in SC View Post
    Can you get a diameter measurment on it?? Tony
    I will get a digital caliper and get back with the measurements. Thanks

  7. #7
    us
    Relic hunter

    Mar 2008
    Kentucky
    Whites
    1,722
    424 times
    Relic Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifes A Garden...Dig IT View Post
    I will get a digital caliper and get back with the measurements. Thanks
    Glad to see you finally got to post the bullet, I know you will be buying some, but I also have dial in calipers if you need them and ever want to use them. If this rain ever stops I have a Camp hopefully me, you and hillbilly can try.

  8. #8
    us
    Dec 2010
    Kentucky
    Fisher Gold Bug DP, Fisher F19 LTD, Minelab Safari, Garrett AT Pro, Garrett AT Pro Pointer, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche Digger, Lesche Ground Shark Shovel, 9.5x5.5 NEL Sharpshooter Coil (Safari), 9.5x
    309
    146 times
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCannonballGuy View Post
    Your fired bullet is definitely a civil war era type. It appears to be a .577-caliber Enfield, but it could be the .54-caliber version. As Tony In SC indicated, to be certain about its caliber we need precise measurement of its diameter in hundredths-of-an-inch, because there's only about .04-inch difference between those two calibers of bullets.

    I strongly recommend that relic-diggers buy a Digital Caliper, which is what is needed for accurate identification of bullets AND old coins, buckles, and military buttons. Go Here:
    Harbor Freight Tools ? Quality Tools at Discount Prices Since 1977
    and type the word “caliper” in the search-box at the top of the webpage.
    The stainless-steel 4” digital caliper is $14.99. That’s all you’ll need unless you are going to be measuring large cannonballs. A “composite” (plastic) one is cheaper, but plastic wears out. If you don’t want to ever have to replace the battery, buy the “dial” version.

    Most of the "major" civil war military combat in Kentucky happened in 1861-1862. At that time, both the yankees and Confederates were using Enfield bullets. Therefore, contrary to what many relic-diggers believe, it is false that all of the Enfield bullets we dig on civil war battlefields are Confederate. However, the majority of Confederate-used Enfield bullets had the large cone-shaped base cavity we see in your Enfield bullet's base. So, yours is more likely to be a Confederate-used one than a yankee one.

    Sidenote:
    Enfield .577-caliber bullets which have a "plug" cavity -- a deep cavity whose bottom is wide and FLAT, and is sometimes (but not always) marked 57 -- are strictly British-made. Both the Union and the Confederacy imported them from England.
    I'm not real experienced with a caliper but it appears to be .56" outside diameter and the plug cavity is .35" ID? Being a fired bullet that's impacted something makes it more of a task than a dropped bullet.
    Last edited by Lifes A Garden...Dig IT; Nov 04, 2014 at 09:40 PM.

 

 

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