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Thread: Cannon Ball?

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  1. #1
    us
    Apr 2015
    Glasgow, Kentucky
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    Cannon Ball?

    I found this item in at the head of a small branch on a farm. There are no residences near this area. It measures 10" around, and weighs 19 oz. the way it is. I couldn't make out a seam around it with all of the rust. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    us
    Feb 2013
    Virginia
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    Cannonball Guy is your best bet. Sure looks good for a ball . . .
    A2coins and Joe-Dirt like this.

  3. #3

    Nov 2017
    Lorain County, Ohio
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    There was another thread like this with a similar dimensions and weight and there was talk of it being an early grenade.
    A2coins likes this.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Tommy

    Dec 2015
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    looks like an iron age bowling ball lol that is really cool thanks for posting it
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  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2012
    Maryland
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    It looks like a shell to me, too big for a grenade. Maybe earlier than the Civil War, I can't tell by the pics.

  6. #6
    us
    Sep 2005
    LaFayette, GA
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    I'd say it's a Boremann shell but the weight is really confusing me, I don't know what one weights with no powder, fuse or case shots.
    Last edited by gsxraddict; Feb 14, 2018 at 02:22 PM.

  7. #7
    us
    Ben from NH, the Z means nothing

    Dec 2004
    Brentwood, NH
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    Hmm, actually the size is within the range talked about in the other thread. The 10 inch circumference mentioned above means the diameter is just over 3 inches.
    Last edited by nhbenz; Feb 14, 2018 at 03:45 PM.
    Armor9 likes this.
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  8. #8

    Nov 2017
    Lorain County, Ohio
    AT Max, Makro pinpointer
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    It looks like a shell to me, too big for a grenade. Maybe earlier than the Civil War, I can't tell by the pics.
    Well he says it is 10" around. If he means 10" circumference that means the diameter is 3.1". Now if he means 10" diameter than the circumference would be 31". So I guess the question is what is the OP's definition of "around" because 3.1" is pretty small for an exploding shell IMO.

    With it weight only 19oz I am guessing it is not a circumference of 31".
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Rook

    Nov 2013
    Mississippi
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlwood View Post
    I found this item in at the head of a small branch on a farm. There are no residences near this area. It measures 10" around, and weighs 19 oz. the way it is. I couldn't make out a seam around it with all of the rust. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    My son's father in law that lives in civil war territory out in the country was picking up trash along the road he lives on and found one this size that weighs 2.2lbs complete and was told by a war historian that is is a Grape Shot. It should measure about 3" in dia. I will try to find or get Jeff to resend me the pic of it. He found his of all places, laying on his ditch bank. A surface find. I will sent his pic asap. Nice find. Congrats.
    Words not spoken never have to be defended

  10. #10

    Nov 2017
    Lorain County, Ohio
    AT Max, Makro pinpointer
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    Quote Originally Posted by rook3434 View Post
    My son's father in law that lives in civil war territory out in the country was picking up trash along the road he lives on and found one this size that weighs 2.2lbs complete and was told by a war historian that is is a Grape Shot. It should measure about 3" in dia. I will try to find or get Jeff to resend me the pic of it. He found his of all places, laying on his ditch bank. A surface find. I will sent his pic asap. Nice find. Congrats.
    Are they usually hollow?

  11. #11
    us
    Apr 2015
    Glasgow, Kentucky
    Tesoro Lobo Super Traq
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    Thanks for everyone's posts. The 10" is the circumference of the ball. I will double check the diameter tonight. I don't know how to calculate the weight of the part that is missing. Thanks

  12. #12

    Nov 2017
    Lorain County, Ohio
    AT Max, Makro pinpointer
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlwood View Post
    Thanks for everyone's posts. The 10" is the circumference of the ball. I will double check the diameter tonight. I don't know how to calculate the weight of the part that is missing. Thanks
    Good point, I'd say 1/3 is missing. If circumference is 10" the diameter would have to be approx. 3.1"

  13. #13
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
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    Rlwood, did you get the ball's circumference measurement by using a tape, or by a caliper? The difference is very important. Here's why.

    As Armor9 indicated, 10-inches Circumference divided by Pi (3.1416) means the diameter is 3.18-inches. BUT, the ball's circumference APPARENTLY was measured with some thick rust-encrustation on it... which means the measurement would be smaller if the rust-encrustation was completely removed.

    If that ball was mine, I would use a hammer to knock off the encrustation on two spots exactly 180-degrees opposite from each other, and then use a digital caliper to get the diameter measurement.

    Until we get a caliper measurement:
    3.18 inches is in the size-range for a Colonial era French 4-Pounder cannonball, and a Colonial era British Navy "Boarding Grenade." But the photos show the ball's walls are too thin to be an explosive cannonball... so I'd have to go with a grenade, UNTIL we get the more-accurate diameter measurement.

    Also "meanwhile":
    The World War One French Model-1914 ball or rod (rifle) grenade was an 81mm (3.19-inch) cast-iron ball with thin walls, to keep it light enough for achieving good range as a rifle-grenade. So, if your thin-walled ball really does measure 3.18-inch or so, that's what I think you've got.

    More info on the French Model-1914 ball or rod grenade is available here, with photos:
    French Ball Rod Grenade - Inert-Ord.net

    It's understandable that you might ask, how the heck can a World War One French ball-grenade get dug here in the US (Kentucky, apparently). The answer is, various types of French Military Ordnance got tested by US troops here during World War One. Believe it or not, here's a photo of a WW1 French ball-grenade that was dug at Vicksburg's entrenchments. Soldiers like to train in entrenchments, and it didn't matter to them at all that the entrenchments were 55 years old.
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    Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Feb 15, 2018 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Typo-error correction.
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  14. #14

    Nov 2017
    Lorain County, Ohio
    AT Max, Makro pinpointer
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    Metal Detecting
    Excellent info there. Very interesting find.
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.

  15. #15
    Charter Member
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    DALTON

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    Iíve found very similar before. I need to relocate that dang ball Iíve got and check the circumference on it
    Digging up relics one day at a time. Always looking for fellow detectorist to go out with and enjoy this hobby. Been swinging a coil going on 24 years now this year and loving every minute of it.

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