✅ SOLVED Need ID’s on 2 Civil War bullets please

ModernMiner

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So I was going through some of the CW bullets I’ve dug back in 2007-2014.
As I was putting the .58 cal 3-ringers together I noticed these two bullets were different.
Does anyone know what these are?
Both have solid bases.
One has 3 rings and one looks to only have 2 rings.
I have the measurements in the photos and put them next to a common .58 caliber 3-ringer for reference.

Thanks for any help,
MM
 

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ModernMiner

ModernMiner

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Merrill carbine? It looks like your 2 ringer might have 3 rings too. Its probably the same thing, but maybe fired by the looks of it
Thanks for that input. Yeah, the one looks fired to me too.
MM
 

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ModernMiner

ModernMiner

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So here are a few more pix of the two bullets. Both are the same height of .90
but the rings really don’t line up.
Any more guesses?
 

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ModernMiner

ModernMiner

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Can you get the weight in grains?
Ok, so here’s what each one weighs in grains. See photos.

Again, I don’t think they are the same bullets because the rings don’t line up when put side by side. See photo above.

What do you think?
 

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TheCannonballGuy

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Hbot37 is on the right track. The 3-groove bullet is a .54 Merrill. The other one is a fired .52 Spencer.

They are shown as bullet #91 and #87 in the "Handbook of Civil War Bullets & Cartridges" by Jim & Dean Thomas.

What looks like a third groove on your Spencer bullet is actually what the bullet gurus call a "cartridge crimping-groove." It helped the bullet stay firmly seated in the cartridge's mouth. The photos below show an unfired Spencer bullet (removed from the cartridge) and a fired one, for comparison. Look closely and you'll see that the crimping-groove's shape is not the same as the ordinary body-grooves/rings above it.
 

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Hbot37

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Hbot37 is on the right track. The 3-groove bullet is a .54 Merrill. The other one is a fired .52 Spencer.

They are shown as bullet #91 and #87 in the "Handbook of Civil War Bullets & Cartridges" by Jim & Dean Thomas.
Nice ID! The spencer is tough to make out through the dirt but I can see it now.
 

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ModernMiner

ModernMiner

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Awesome job guys!!!👍
I really appreciate all of the help.
I’ve been trying to get my relics more organized during my down time.
I didn’t even realize that I had put these two in with the 3-ringers I had dug in the past.

Would those bullets be Union, Confederate, or both?

Time for me to buy some more books. 😀
Thank you,
MM
 

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TheCannonballGuy

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ModernMiner asked:
> Would those bullets be Union, Confederate, or both?

The Confederates did not manufacture Spencer bullets. However, because some CS state regiments were issued (pre-war) Merrill Carbines, the Confederates did manufacture some Merrill bullets. But the great majority of Merrills are yankee-made. The CS-made ones are either the same version as the US, or slightly different. The exception is the Richmond Arsenal CS Merrill, which looks very different, having only a single body-groove.
 

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ModernMiner

ModernMiner

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ModernMiner asked:
> Would those bullets be Union, Confederate, or both?

The Confederates did not manufacture Spencer bullets. However, because some CS state regiments were issued (pre-war) Merrill Carbines, the Confederates did manufacture some Merrill bullets. But the great majority of Merrills are yankee-made. The CS-made ones are either the same version as the US, or slightly different. The exception is the Richmond Arsenal CS Merrill, which looks very different, having only a single body-groove.
Thanks CBG. 👍
I’m learning. I also have some Enfields with the rosewood plugs and about five 3-ringers with the “57” base.
So many different CW bullets out there it’s amazing! 👍
MM
 

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Hbot37

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Thanks CBG. 👍
I’m learning. I also have some Enfields with the rosewood plugs and about five 3-ringers with the “57” base.
So many different CW bullets out there it’s amazing! 👍
MM
The variety of civil war bullets, even among the same type, makes them probably my favorite thing to find. Each one can really tell a story.
 

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ModernMiner

ModernMiner

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The variety of civil war bullets, even among the same type, makes them probably my favorite thing to find. Each one can really tell a story.
My too. I told my wife last night, I would love to know who was holding each one of these bullets. They are such a personal find. Especially the carved ones.
Do you prefer to clean the dirt off of them or leave them natural?
I haven’t really done much cleaning on mine.
MM
 

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scruggs

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Hbot37 is on the right track. The 3-groove bullet is a .54 Merrill. The other one is a fired .52 Spencer.

They are shown as bullet #91 and #87 in the "Handbook of Civil War Bullets & Cartridges" by Jim & Dean Thomas.

What looks like a third groove on your Spencer bullet is actually what the bullet gurus call a "cartridge crimping-groove." It helped the bullet stay firmly seated in the cartridge's mouth. The photos below show an unfired Spencer bullet (removed from the cartridge) and a fired one, for comparison. Look closely and you'll see that the crimping-groove's shape is not the same as the ordinary body-grooves/rings above it.
Good job Cannonball Guy!
 

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Hbot37

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My too. I told my wife last night, I would love to know who was holding each one of these bullets. They are such a personal find. Especially the carved ones.
Do you prefer to clean the dirt off of them or leave them natural?
I haven’t really done much cleaning on mine.
MM
I usually clean them because I like the white patina. I do have a couple that I didn’t do anything to cause they came out of the ground weird colored.
 

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Davers

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Hbot37 is on the right track. The 3-groove bullet is a .54 Merrill. The other one is a fired .52 Spencer.

They are shown as bullet #91 and #87 in the "Handbook of Civil War Bullets & Cartridges" by Jim & Dean Thomas.

What looks like a third groove on your Spencer bullet is actually what the bullet gurus call a "cartridge crimping-groove." It helped the bullet stay firmly seated in the cartridge's mouth. The photos below show an unfired Spencer bullet (removed from the cartridge) and a fired one, for comparison. Look closely and you'll see that the crimping-groove's shape is not the same as the ordinary body-grooves/rings above it.
I was just about to say I thought '90%' the 2nd bullet was a Shot Spencer , the Good Lord Knows I've dug a good bit of them here in Cobb County Ga ; Just NW of Atlanta .
 

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Davers

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My too. I told my wife last night, I would love to know who was holding each one of these bullets. They are such a personal find. Especially the carved ones.
Do you prefer to clean the dirt off of them or leave them natural?
I haven’t really done much cleaning on mine.
MM
I've cleaned or 'soft brushed' my ( Camp David Bullets ) & many others but in my last 2-3 years of digging ; those are still GA Dirt covered , some in dirt clods =Cool IMO :laughing7: & many 2018 Gardner's ( rare for my area / 2010's ) 52 cal Long Green En-field types remain as they were dug .
 

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ModernMiner

ModernMiner

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I've cleaned or 'soft brushed' my ( Camp David Bullets ) & many others but in my last 2-3 years of digging ; those are still GA Dirt covered , some in dirt clods =Cool IMO :laughing7: & many 2018 Gardner's ( rare for my area / 2010's ) 52 cal Long Green En-field types remain as they were dug .
I think I’m going to leave my bullets as-is. I like the way they look the way they came out of the ground. I guess it just means more to me. Personal taste.
Thanks for the reply. 👍
MM
 

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