✅ SOLVED Is this a authentic Cannonball?

bbheigle0605

Sr. Member
Feb 9, 2013
295
102
Ok y’all I need your help. This is a local ad on Facebook. Several people are interested in it. The person who is selling this is elderly and doesn’t have a weight or measurement. It belonged to her husband. My husband thinks it is 4.5 inches in diameter by looking at the squares on the paper. Hoping it’s a real 12 pounder. I have the worst luck in buying authentic cannonballs. That’s why I’m very hesitant. The mold line is very distinct. I was thinking it’s possibly a ore crushing ball but idk. What do y’all think? It’s only 1 picture

Thank you!
 

Attachments

  • 2D2DBF6B-99B7-4BE5-871B-1DBD0E084E1A.jpeg
    2D2DBF6B-99B7-4BE5-871B-1DBD0E084E1A.jpeg
    75.8 KB · Views: 101
Last edited:
OP
bbheigle0605

bbheigle0605

Sr. Member
Feb 9, 2013
295
102
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Thank y’all! It’s so difficult because I don’t have precise measurements. Blowing a 100 bucks on a possible mill ball doesn’t bother me but the drive does lol! I know I’m going to need measurements to accurately identify it. Just trying to see what the chances are of it be real before I commit.
 
Upvote 2

TheCannonballGuy

Gold Member
Feb 24, 2006
6,388
12,263
Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
Detector(s) used
White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
The presence of a casting-mold seam on a "maybe-cannonball" is not a 100%-qll-the-time disqualifier for being a cannonball. Many RevWar cannonballs have a distinct moldseam, especially the ones made by the Colonials. But of course, more often than not, a ball with a moldseam is a 20th-Century Industrial ball, such as a rock or ore-crusher ball ("Mill-Ball").

So, since you cannot rely on a moldseam telling you a definite yes or No, you'll need to get precise weight and diamter measurements for that Facebook "maybe-cannonball." Most people do not own a digital caliper of a P-tape (diameter-measuring tape). But most people put the ball into a small paper sack and take it to a local grocery store's Produce section, and weigh the ball on the vegetable-weighing scale their. Although a produce-weighing scale is not as accurate as a Postal Shipping scale, it does weigh in pounds-&-ounces. The grocery's scale might be an ounce or two off, but that is close enough to tell you whether or not it is an actual cannonball.

Note:
I specified a grocery scale of Postal Shipping scale because typical household bathroom weighing scales are notoriously inaccurate, and thus are worthless for cannonball identification.

To view very-precise diameter and weight charts for civil war and RevWar cannonballs (and grapeshot balls, etc.), go here:
www.civilwarartillery.com/shottables.htm

While we wait for the ball's weight:
What's more "worrisome" to me at this point is the fact that the Facebook ball is rusty but shows basically NO PITTING-CORROSION at all. You very rarely see an excavated civil war cannonball without at least SOME rust-pitting corrosion. But industrial Mill-Balls are always quite smooth, like this ball.
 
Upvote 4
OP
bbheigle0605

bbheigle0605

Sr. Member
Feb 9, 2013
295
102
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
The presence of a casting-mold seam on a "maybe-cannonball" is not a 100%-qll-the-time disqualifier for being a cannonball. Many RevWar cannonballs have a distinct moldseam, especially the ones made by the Colonials. But of course, more often than not, a ball with a moldseam is a 20th-Century Industrial ball, such as a rock or ore-crusher ball ("Mill-Ball").

So, since you cannot rely on a moldseam telling you a definite yes or No, you'll need to get precise weight and diamter measurements for that Facebook "maybe-cannonball." Most people do not own a digital caliper of a P-tape (diameter-measuring tape). But most people put the ball into a small paper sack and take it to a local grocery store's Produce section, and weigh the ball on the vegetable-weighing scale their. Although a produce-weighing scale is not as accurate as a Postal Shipping scale, it does weigh in pounds-&-ounces. The grocery's scale might be an ounce or two off, but that is close enough to tell you whether or not it is an actual cannonball.

Note:
I specified a grocery scale of Postal Shipping scale because typical household bathroom weighing scales are notoriously inaccurate, and thus are worthless for cannonball identification.

To view very-precise diameter and weight charts for civil war and RevWar cannonballs (and grapeshot balls, etc.), go here:
www.civilwarartillery.com/shottables.htm

While we wait for the ball's weight:
What's more "worrisome" to me at this point is the fact that the Facebook ball is rusty but shows basically NO PITTING-CORROSION at all. You very rarely see an excavated civil war cannonball without at least SOME rust-pitting corrosion. But industrial Mill-Balls are always quite smooth, like this ball.
Thank you so much cannonballguy!! I’m going to contact the owner and see if she or I can measure it. Hopefully, she will so I don’t have to drive 2 hrs lol. Really appreciate it! I’ll let y’all know if I get the measurements.
 
Upvote 2

TheCannonballGuy

Gold Member
Feb 24, 2006
6,388
12,263
Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
Detector(s) used
White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
Pepperj, thanks for the enlargement. To my admittedly elderly eyes, the small very-dark spots seem to be casting-flaw airbubbles, rather than corrosion-pitting. But the ball's precise weight (and exact diameter) will tell us whether or not it is a $100 Historical Artillery ball or 25 cents worth of scrap iron.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 3

Gare

Silver Member
Dec 30, 2012
4,738
9,038
Canton Ohio Area
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
2
Detector(s) used
Presently using Deus's have Minelabs, Nokta's Tesoro's Have them all . Have WAY to many need to get rid of some
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Pepperj, thanks for the enlargement. To my admittedly elderly eyes, the small very-dark spots seem to be casting-flaw airbubbles, rather than corrosion-pitting. But the ball's precise weight (and exact diameter) will tell us whether or not it is a $100 Historical Artillery ball or 25 cents worth of scrap iron.
Is there books we can purchase that describes the ypes of cannon balls ?
 
Upvote 0

TheCannonballGuy

Gold Member
Feb 24, 2006
6,388
12,263
Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
Detector(s) used
White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
Gare asked:
> Is there books we can purchase that describes the types of cannon balls ?

Unfortunately, the 553-page book I co-wrote, "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War, Revised & Supplemented 1993 Edition" is out-of-print, because my co-author passed away, and he held 50% of the Copyright. Currently, the most-extensive book (384 pages) at the cheapest price is "Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War" by Warren Ripley. It covers the various types of projectiles (cannonballs and bullet-shaped shells) and the various types of cannons. You can now buy a copy on Amazon for just $19.96. I should mention, it contains many hundreds of close-up photographs of the different types of shells, and also the cannons which fired them.

Here's a link to the Amazon page which has the $19.96 price for the book. It is higher on some other Amazon pages.
Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War: Warren Ripley ...

I should mention, Ripley's excellent book was written back in the 1970s, so the ID of some of the shell types in it is outdated/incorrect. Nonetheless, due to my 553-page book being out-of-print, Ripley's "A&AotCW" is the book I recommend for giving you the most extensive information at the cheapest price. (Similar books cost around $50.)

Click on the thumbnail image below to see the complete cover.
 

Attachments

  • book_Artillery-and-Ammunition-of-the-Civil-War_by-Warren Ripley.jpg
    book_Artillery-and-Ammunition-of-the-Civil-War_by-Warren Ripley.jpg
    39.3 KB · Views: 15
Last edited:
Upvote 1

Gare

Silver Member
Dec 30, 2012
4,738
9,038
Canton Ohio Area
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
2
Detector(s) used
Presently using Deus's have Minelabs, Nokta's Tesoro's Have them all . Have WAY to many need to get rid of some
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Thank you Cannonball Guy !!1
 
Upvote 1

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Metal Detecting Stuff
Top