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 Posted: Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 08:53 pm
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Doc C
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I volunteer part time at the Talbot County Historical Society catalogueing articles, photos, etc. which individuals have donated. An individual recently donated what she said was a device for making civil war bullets. First, I don't believe the box containing tools, various circular molds, etc. was authenic but most probably a reproduction. Secondly, though my knowledge of armaments/ammunition is limited, I don't believe that the majority of bullets were manufactured, i.e. minie balls, etc. I do know that bullets were made by molds by revolutionary and war of 1812 soldiers. Any comments. I have mentioned to the curator that she should take pictures of the divice and I would share them with the board members here.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Apr 8th, 2009 05:45 pm
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Henry
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Doc- The U.S. Civil War was a war of transition in many respects. Manufacture of armaments was one of the areas that saw machinery come into play as production tools. The use of steam engines powering a shop floor full of presses was not an uncommon sight by 1865. The best projectile the Confederacy had for the 1853 Enfield used as service issue was the Ludlum bullet. It was machine pressed from lead wire cut to length. Thomas' work on the small arms projectiles found at Gettysburg has a chapter on period manufacturing.



 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 11:40 pm
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gizz07
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i really dont know how to use this web site so sry if im butting in on a conversation i found a cannon ball this past weekend and im trying to talk to someoneto find out more about it the ball weighs around 8.9 pounds it is 4 and 1/4 in diameter and ive only found one marking on it that reads 4kg can u help??



 Posted: Thu Aug 27th, 2009 12:39 pm
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j harold 587
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grizz 07,

Without seeing the item I am guessing it is a shot put. You can check army ordinance records to determine what the size and weight of ordinance should be. Once again I am guessing it is solid, is there a mould line? It could be a cast iron ore crushing ball. The location where it was recovered will also help in determining the identity.  All due respect a cast iron ball does not = canon ball.

 



 Posted: Thu Aug 27th, 2009 12:51 pm
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j harold 587
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Doc,

The moulds may be ACW era bullet moulds. More than likely they are reporoductions. If they are round balls I doubt they would have been used by troops in the field. I am sure shot towers were being used to produce round projectiles. The molten lead dropped from differing heights produced different size balls when dropped into water. This method would produce buck and ball for smooth bore weapons. As already stated most munitions for rifeled  shoulder held weapons were more rapidly produced by pressing lead wire into projectiles.

 



 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2009 03:20 am
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19bama46
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j harold 587 wrote: Doc,

The moulds may be ACW era bullet moulds. More than likely they are reporoductions. If they are round balls I doubt they would have been used by troops in the field. I am sure shot towers were being used to produce round projectiles. The molten lead dropped from differing heights produced different size balls when dropped into water. This method would produce buck and ball for smooth bore weapons. As already stated most munitions for rifeled  shoulder held weapons were more rapidly produced by pressing lead wire into projectiles.
Were/are shot towers used for balls or just shot? I am aware of balls being either cast or swaged, but not dropped from a shot tower.Shot for shotguns however is made via the shot tower...Ed
 



 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2009 10:29 pm
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gizz07
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i found it in williams burg v.a. i dont see a mold line but there is still some dirt and rust on it so it may be there some were also on the ball there is an indinted circle on it about the size of a quarter



 Posted: Sun Aug 30th, 2009 05:46 pm
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19bama46
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An indented circle the size of a quarter COULD be a fuse... Call the police department, tell them what you have and where you found it... in the event that is a fused shell, you could be in danger of it exploding... don't think it can't happen to you.... it has happened as recently as a year or so ago...

It may be just a solid shot or a shot put, but don't bet your life

 

Ed

Last edited on Sun Aug 30th, 2009 05:47 pm by 19bama46



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