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Thread: Williams Type III?

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2017
    Currently Ringgold, Georgia, Formerly Vaudreuil, Quebec
    Garrett ATPro, Equinox 800 ProPointer AT
    459
    587 times
    Documenting / Mapping Properties with Civil War History

    Williams Type III?

    I have had this heavily impacted bullet in one landowners case for a year now. The only discernible feature was, what I would call, a dovetail base. At the time, I attempted to search for solid base bullets online but as my bullet knowledge was infinitely less than what it is today, I miss identified it.

    So on Saturday, Davers and I got together for the CW Show in Dalton GA. I think we spent an hour in the show before we went out to the parking lot to go thru each others find cases. Over the next several hours, we had quite an informative exchange as it was digger to digger. IMHO you can't really get that information from anybody across a table with price tags on everything.

    Anyways, Davers pointed out the bullet below, as possibly having a zinc base plate. I dug into it today to discover it's possibly one of the most common cleaner bullets. This is the only specimen I have with such a base, and without the original spacing/gap profile, I had it on my list to post, along with many others, for ID.

    Only specs I can offer are 438 grains, 0.559-563" widest measurement of the dovetail feature.

    So if ya'll concur as a Williams Type III, I can update my documentation and mark it off the list.

    Thanks
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    relic nut likes this.
    ...helping to free the environment from lead contamination one bullet at a time!!!

  2. #2
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
    5,425
    7283 times
    Relic Hunting
    Definitely a yankee civil war .58 Williams "Bore-Cleaner" bullet, fired and landed with "harsh impact" on stony ground. Being dug in North Georgia, it has to be a Type 3, and that is confirmed by your bullet's weight (in grains).

    By the way, that's not actually a "dovetail base." Your bullet's base is a separately-made, inserted "thumbtack" (actually a disc on a post), made of hardened-lead alloy. The post fits into a hole which is about .20-inch in diameter. We sometimes find the thumbtack base separated from the bullet's main body, particularly in areas where Sherman's Yankees had time to sit around and play with their bullets.

    The only part of a Type#3 Williams Bore-Cleaner that was made of zinc was a thin washer which was held in place on the bottom of the bullet's main body by the hardened-lead alloy "thumbtack."
    Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Feb 04, 2018 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Added the info about the zinc washer.
    DCMatt, relic nut and 8mygritz like this.
    "Let The Christ be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out."

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2017
    Currently Ringgold, Georgia, Formerly Vaudreuil, Quebec
    Garrett ATPro, Equinox 800 ProPointer AT
    459
    587 times
    Documenting / Mapping Properties with Civil War History
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCannonballGuy View Post
    Definitely a yankee civil war .58 Williams "Bore-Cleaner" bullet, fired and landed with "harsh impact" on stony ground. Being dug in North Georgia, it has to be a Type 3, and that is confirmed by your bullet's weight (in grains).

    By the way, that's not actually a "dovetail base." Your bullet's base is a separately-made, inserted "thumbtack" (actually a disc on a post), made of hardened-lead alloy. The post fits into a hole which is about .20-inch in diameter. We sometimes find the thumbtack base separated from the bullet's main body, particularly in areas where Sherman's Yankees had time to sit around and play with their bullets.

    The only part of a Type#3 Williams Bore-Cleaner that was made of zinc was a thin washer which was held in place on the bottom of the bullet's main body by the hardened-lead alloy "thumbtack."
    Great info again CannonballGuy!!!

    So with respect to the pic below with the red background, the zinc washer is shown on the rightmost bullet, yet that couldn't be the original diameter if the purpose was to clean/scrape the barrel?

    And is the rightmost bullet would have been the original look of my piece?
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    TheCannonballGuy likes this.
    ...helping to free the environment from lead contamination one bullet at a time!!!

  4. #4
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
    5,425
    7283 times
    Relic Hunting
    Yak1366 asked:
    >So with respect to the pic below with the red background, the zinc washer is shown on the rightmost bullet,"

    Only a partial remnant of the zinc washer remains on the rightmost bullet. The washer is seen more intact on the center and left bullets. (The Williams Cleaner Type One did not have the "thumbtack"... the washer was held in place by a short peened-over stud, which often failed to hold onto the washer upon firing, so it got replaced by the thumbtack in later versions of the bullet.)

    > "yet that couldn't be the original diameter if the purpose was to clean/scrape the barrel?"

    The washer wasn't flat, it was bowl-shaped. When the bullet got fired, the thumbtack was driven forcefully up against the bowl-shaped washer, flattening it, which caused it to expand outward into the gunbarrel's rifling-grooves. You can duplicate that "expansion" effect by stepping on a cheap throwaway thin plastic picnic bowl.

    > "And is the rightmost bullet would have been the original look of my piece?"

    Yes, except that as mentioned above, a lot of the shallow bowl-shaped washer is missing on the right-side bullet in the red background photo.
    Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Feb 06, 2018 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Clarification about how the washer gets expanded outwards.
    relic nut and Yak1366 like this.
    "Let The Christ be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out."

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2017
    Currently Ringgold, Georgia, Formerly Vaudreuil, Quebec
    Garrett ATPro, Equinox 800 ProPointer AT
    459
    587 times
    Documenting / Mapping Properties with Civil War History
    Fantastic Info!! I feel like I just completed a class on Williams Cleaner Bullets.
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.
    ...helping to free the environment from lead contamination one bullet at a time!!!

  6. #6
    us
    coppersmith

    Oct 2013
    brunswick md
    WHITES 5900, MXT 300, MXT PRO, MXT ALL PRO/ 8X6 SEF COIL
    8,344
    4442 times
    Relic Hunting
    WILLIAMS FOR SURE

  7. #7
    us
    Sep 2015
    maryland
    propointer,350
    73
    227 times
    m/d,native amer.artifacts
    thanx for info u provided w/this & my find.it's interesting to note that these were shermans guys & they had a propensity to "play"around w/their bullets & remove the bases.
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.

 

 

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