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Greene Carbine bullet identification?

Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by thewarning, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. thewarning

    thewarning Cadet

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    Hi everyone. I purchased this not too long ago and the description said, ".52 caliber bullet that was used in the Greene Carbine (it actually is just over .51 caliber and measures 1.14 inches in length) was recovered at Petersburg." Can anyone confirm this is accurate or give any information?
     

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  3. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

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    You need to see pages 124 - 132 of Dean Thomas' Round Ball to Rimfire Part Two. These pages cover the ammunition for the Greene rifle and carbine.
    The bullet in the photos is what was listed in the old McKee and Mason book as a "Greene Carbine" but is an Enfield type bullet for the .54 Mississippi Rifle or Austrian Lorenz. For this see Dean Thomas' Round Ball to Rimfire Part Four which covers Confederate bullets. Dean Thomas' extensive research has determined the actual use of many previously misidentified/mislabeled bullets. The bullet is undersized because it was probably intended for an English-style cartridge in which the bullet was loaded with the lubricated paper.
     
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  4. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Welcome, enjoy
     
  5. Legion Para

    Legion Para Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    While the Internet can be most helpful, it's not the same as having key reference books close at hand.

    download (2).jpg

    download (3).jpg

    91A4ZmpuyeL._AC_UL320_SR246,320_.jpg

    91uLgbzoR0L._AC_UL320_SR236,320_.jpg
     
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  6. ucvrelics.com

    ucvrelics.com First Sergeant Forum Host

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    Welcome From THE Heart Of Dixie. @tbuckley is spot on. Back in the early days of digging we would find strange and unusual bullets and didn't know what they were. We knew what the majority of them were ie 3 ringer, enfields etc and when McKee & Mason came out with their book it was in the early days and the amount of info was limited. Its still a VERY good book to have.
     
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  7. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

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    A good quick reference for Civil War bullets is A Handbook of Civil War Bullets and Cartridges by James and Dean Thomas. This is an inexpensive but detailed little book, one that I carry with me when I'm fortunate enough to get out to a relic show.
    I have heard a rumor that Dean Thomas is retiring and may be selling the publishing business. Does anyone know if this is true?
     
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  8. thewarning

    thewarning Cadet

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    tbuckley,

    So to recap you're saying this bullet is not for a Greene carbine, but rather for a .54 Mississippi Rifle or Austrian Lorenz?
     
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  9. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

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    thewarning, Yes. There are photos in Dean Thomas's Round Ball to Rimfire Part Two. The bullet for the Greene Rifle, not carbine, does look like an Enfield but with a blunt nose and no base cavity, a solid base. The dimensions for the bullet are diameter .545 and length 1.00. A bullet for a breechloader would be larger than the bore.
    Dean Thomas has a photo of a possible Greene Carbine bullet and cartridge that are similar to a Sharps but there is a ? by the photo so I assume that even the acknowledged authority on Civil War bullets may have some doubt about this one. A Greene carbine bullet would be very rare.
    As I said, in the old McKee and Mason book, the long Enfield bullet for the .54 Mississippi Rifle and Lorenz were listed as Greene Carbine bullets but later research has proven that wrong.
    You may wish to check Amazon for a copy of Jim and Dean Thomas' A Handbook of Civil War Bullets and Cartridges. This is a great quick reference and not expensive.
     
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  10. thewarning

    thewarning Cadet

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    Thank you so much!
     
  11. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

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    You're welcome.
     
  12. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

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    I wish I could remember where I read this but, I recall that a Confederate ordnance officer complained about the excessive length of .54 Enfield bullets one arsenal was producing. Maybe he was referring to these bullets. Most of the bullets I have seen referred to as Greene Carbine bullets were long .54 Enfields. Several years ago I was in a tourist shop in Gettysburg and bought 4 fired examples for $1.95 each. Those boxes of bullets in the tourist shops in Gettysburg are a good place to find an occasional uncommon bullet. I've done well looking through them. :smile:
     
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  13. thewarning

    thewarning Cadet

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    tbuckley,

    The seller said it was ".52 caliber (it actually is just over .51 caliber and measures 1.14 inches in length)." So now that I know it was used in a .54 Mississippi Rifle and Lorenz, does that mean it's actually a .54 caliber?


    Thank you for your patience. I'm relatively new to the hobby.
     
  14. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

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    It was probably made in a Southern arsenal but intended to be used in an English-style cartridge. English made Enfield cartridges had the bullet reversed and the cartridge paper on the bullet end was lubricated. When the bullet was loaded, the lubricated paper was loaded with the bullet. Some, but not all, Confederate made cartridges with Enfield-type bullets were made in the English style. Bullets for muzzleloaders were smaller than the bore diameter and the Enfield type bullets to be used in the English-style cartridges were even a bit smaller diameter.
    I hope I explained this correctly. If not, I'm sure I'll be corrected (I hope).
    If you are collecting CW bullets, you should try to look at Dean Thomas' books. You might be able to borrow them by interlibrary loan.
     
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  15. thewarning

    thewarning Cadet

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    Thank you for the explanation. So it could very well be a. 52 caliber since that is smaller than the bore diameter of a Mississippi and Lorenz.
     
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