✅ SOLVED What cartridge do you think this is?

Mason Jarr

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I know what my guess is, but it doesn't seem to fit the area where I found it....well, not exactly. It was found at an Indian War era fort (late 1860s - mid 1870s). It appears that the rim has separated from the base so keep that in mind. The bullet diameter is .54 inches. The cartridge base is .55. The cartridge length is 1.2 inches (without the missing rim) and the overall length is 1.9 inches (again, without the missing rim). There weren't many .54 caliber metallic black powders and I'm thinking this is a .54 Ballard. I know they were used in the later part of the Civil War, but have not heard of them used in the Indian Wars. Any thoughts?

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crashbandicoot

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I know what my guess is, but it doesn't seem to fit the area where I found it....well, not exactly. It was found at an Indian War era fort (late 1860s - mid 1870s). It appears that the rim has separated from the base so keep that in mind. The bullet diameter is .54 inches. The cartridge base is .55. The cartridge length is 1.2 inches (without the missing rim) and the overall length is 1.9 inches (again, without the missing rim). There weren't many .54 caliber metallic black powders and I'm thinking this is a .54 Ballard. I know they were used in the later part of the Civil War, but have not heard of them used in the Indian Wars. Any thoughts?

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Cool cartridge, I,d think your line as a .54 Ballard is a good one. Maybe a Civil War vet took his Ballard West!
 
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Charlie P. (NY)

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Since it lacks a rim I'm going with a 12mm pinfire cartridge that has lost the pin. Check that area of corrosion for a possible hole.

 
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Mason Jarr

Mason Jarr

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Charlie P. (NY)

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Another option - a Maynard that the rim solder joint gave way.

But I don't think they went above a .50 cal(?)
 

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TheCannonballGuy

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Charlie_P is correct... It is definitely a Maynard cartridge. The pinhole in the center of the "rimless" casing's bottom (for ignition) is the key ID-clue. That ID is buttressed by the corroded solder on the casing's bottom, which attached the Maynard's characteristic thin brass disc.

Charlie_P is also correct, the largest Maynard used in the civil war was a .50-caliber. However, larger caliber Maynard rifles and cartridges were produced after the war ended. The image below shows several calibers of Maynard bullets which were available in 1882. Notice that the scale in the image shows Maynard bullet #14 is larger than .50-inch.
 

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Mason Jarr

Mason Jarr

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Charlie_P is correct... It is definitely a Maynard cartridge. The pinhole in the center of the "rimless" casing's bottom (for ignition) is the key ID-clue. That ID is buttressed by the corroded solder on the casing's bottom, which attached the Maynard's characteristic thin brass disc.

Charlie_P is also correct, the largest Maynard used in the civil war was a .50-caliber. However, larger caliber Maynard rifles and cartridges were produced after the war ended. The image below shows several calibers of Maynard bullets which were available in 1882. Notice that the scale in the image shows Maynard bullet #14 is larger than .50-inch.
That makes sense, CG. Do you think this was likely a military issue round or maybe something used by a freighter, guide, scout, etc? I can't imagine an odd sized Maynard rifle was standard issue at the time....at least logistically speaking. Most cartridges I find at these fort sites are .50-70, .45-70, .56-.50 or .44 Henry.
 
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