Ammo Cored out cannister shot?

UncleBourbon

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Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Location
Massachusetts
Years ago when I was younger my grandfather gave me five projectiles he found on the fields of a Civil War battlefield.
The name of the battlefield escapes me after all this time, as does the State, but what doesn't was his and my interest in one of the five projectiles. Other than the two are rifle bullet and revolver balls, there was what seemed like a massive musket ball with a curious hole through it that I now recognize as most likely being canister shot.
I still remember he said what I was thinking, "Imagine what that'd do if it hit a person with that hole in the center"
I've thought on it off and on for years, and recently have been able to identify it almost certainly as canister shot, however the origins of the hole still escape me.
If it was something it struck, what could it have hit that would core out just it's center?
Pictures bellow. I've also included the other four projectiles for scale.

Projectile 1.png
Projectile 2.png


In these two images showing the different sides, it can be seen the hole is different sizes on either end, which again makes me think it struck something.
Either that or if it was made into a "dumdum" round, it was done so in a very crude way.

Projectile 3.png


A side angle showing deformity, again making me think the coring was from a hit.

If anyone has any ideas on the general origins of the hole, either what it could have struck or if it was an "expanding bullet" canister shot, I'd be very interested to hear.
 

Frederick14Va

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Location
Virginia
Initial impression is that it might be a homemade musket cone/nipple protector. Using a soft metal like lead was common. These were placed on the nipple, with the hammer resting upon it to help protect it from damage. Ive excavated quite a few of them from both battlefields and encampments over the years. Lead was also used in many different applications other than just firearm projectiles, it could have been made from many other different things. There were some period fishing sinkers, and lead washers, that also were quite similar.
 
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UncleBourbon

Private
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Location
Massachusetts
Initial impression is that it might be a homemade musket cone/nipple protector. Using a soft metal like lead was common. These were placed on the nipple, with the hammer resting upon it to help protect it from damage. Ive excavated quite a few of them from both battlefields and encampments over the years. Lead was also used in many different applications other than just firearm projectiles, it could have been made from many other different things. There were some period fishing sinkers, and lead washers, that also were quite similar.

Very interesting, all this time I hadn't thought it could be anything other than a projectile.
The musket cone/nipple protector angle makes a lot of sense. How many of those had holes from one side through to the other, though?

Welcome to CWT from the Smoky Mountain side of North Carolina.
Welcome From THE Heart Of Dixie.

Thank you both.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I initially thought cone/nipple protector until I saw it in relation to the Minnie balls, that would make it more than twice the size of a normal nipple protector and the hole in the middle is too large for even the largest nipple that I am aware. I think it was as @Frederick14Va says a soldier made piece for fishing or other pastime.

For it to be a nipple protector there would be hammer marks as that would be the only way to keep the monster on the nipple, but who knows...….now the round balls in the grouping are what made excellent nipple protectors.
 

James N.

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Feb 23, 2013
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East Texas
Welcome From THE Heart Of Dixie. I don't believe its a canister round as they were made in a factory and all balls were the same size. As @Frederick14Va was made into all kinds of items by soldiers in the field.
And weren't they iron or steel? The one I bought at Perryville certainly appears to be.
 
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