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Iron Musket Ball?!

Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by skb8721, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. skb8721

    skb8721 Private

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    Location:
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    I finally got permission from a landowner to metal detect in a sugarcane field used briefly as an encampment by the US 19th Army Corps (according to a hand-drawn Federal map from the period). Besides a couple small unidentifiable metal pieces, and a shell from a .38 Special, I did find the below ball, which measures .56 caliber . . . a common enough Civil War caliber. But this thing is made of iron, not lead. So I'm thinking it's actually a ball bearing. But what do you all think?

    FullSizeRender (15).jpg
     
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  3. alan polk

    alan polk First Sergeant

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    Very likely an iron Case shot ball. Search nearby for iron fragments to help confirm. Congrats!!
     
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  4. skb8721

    skb8721 Private

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    Well, the spot where I found the ball, besides being in an encampment, is about 700 feet from the site of an April 1863 skirmish. I only got to search a very small section of the field in question, but I hope to go back shortly (maybe tomorrow). It's literally about 5 minutes from my house.
     
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  5. skb8721

    skb8721 Private

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    I was trying to be skeptical by writing off this ball as "probably a ball bearing" so I'm pleasantly surprised by the suggestion it could be case shot. Is there anyone else who thinks it could be case shot, or, conversely, a ball bearing?
     
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  6. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    I agree with Allan. Canister shot
     
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  7. alan polk

    alan polk First Sergeant

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    Like I said, it is very likely. You're going to have to get back out there and search for fragments. If you find fragments to a Case shot projectile, not just regular shell fragments, then you can state with reasonable confidence that it is a Case shot ball and not a ball bearing.
     
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  8. skb8721

    skb8721 Private

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    So today in less than 45 minutes I found three more iron balls, all .56 caliber, in the same location. . . . FullSizeRender (16).jpg
     
  9. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant Member of the Month

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    Definitely canister
     
  10. alan polk

    alan polk First Sergeant

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    I think the items are much too small to be canister. I'm gonna stick with Case shot. Skb, your on a good spot. Now just dig every signal!
     
  11. ucvrelics.com

    ucvrelics.com Sergeant Major Forum Host

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    Case shot defiantly
     
  12. skb8721

    skb8721 Private

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    I plan to go back to the spot on Sunday, unless it rains. Last evening I spent 45 minutes in that hot spot, but by no means did I search the entire hot spot; then I switched for another 45 minutes to a different field owned by the same landowner but that's closer to the skirmish site (as I understand the skirmish to have happened) and there I found nothing CW-related. But I need to keep looking there, too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  13. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Well case or canister doesn't matter as long as you found it. Good luck in your searching.
     
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