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I use to know a real old lady many moons ago and one day she gave me some cannon ball's.

She said those came from the civil war days..she was born back in the 1890's. Now my cannon ball's if i remember correctly were like 2 1/2 and 3" in diameter.

Now i seen these on CL and wonder....did they really makesome this small? They're advertised as

"Civil War" cannon ball's.

What ya'll think?

post-26159-0-31983600-1378679854_thumb.j

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Rimmy,

First you need to have an exact measurement of the "cannonball", and also weight, these need to be very precise, e.g. to 100th of an inch/and lbs, as all cannonballs had to be precise to work in cannons as far as the measurements go.

Then compare your results to this data taken from the Civil War United States Ordinates Manual printed in 1861, if the results are not within a couple of 100ths of an inch (usually smaller due to corrosion) of these specs then you most likely don't have CW cannonballs, the weights should relate to the projectile measurements in the linked charts below, e.g. a "3 Pdr" measuring 2.84" should weight 3.05lbs.

Also if you post these measurements and weights I can forward them to a fellow that partnered in writhing a book on such projectiles of the history of the USA and he can confirm or deny them being any cannonball that was made and used in the history of USA artillery, his book is one of the references used by most to ID USA artillery projectiles.

http://www.civilwarartillery.com/shottables.htm

That all being said you could have what is known as "canister shot" or "grape shot" which is listed as well.

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Well thats just it Skip. I don't have the cannon balls anymore. This was back in the latter 50's when she gave them to me. We moved and not sure if we left them there or what happened to them. So the the grape shots where fired like buckshot?

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not a good enough photo but because they seem to be all not round and odd shaped i am thinking that they all came out of a tumbler or ball mill from some huge mine operation the chance of having that many of them for 150 years is just unbeliveable

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Grumpy,

That's the first thing that came to my mind. Someone would be awful lucky to find that many in a lifetime.

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Grape shot would be my guess or 000000buck shot

0000000 Buck shot??? WTH is that?!? There is no such thing . Shot is simply not sized like that.

0000 Buck is .38 Cal and the step above that is "tri ball" at .60 or a little better than 1/2".

I thought you were a rifle and shotgun guy??

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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When in turkey, I found a Granit Cannon Ball. Ya, a Rock Cannon Ball. Found it at Iskenderun Castel. Al long with a few Copper coins along the wall. All by Eye! Back then a Guided tour was a buss ride to the Castel and the driver would smoke his hash , eat lunch and beep the horn in four hours. If you missed the Buss you was more then Screwed. About two PCS 's later it went missing.

The coins were from the Crusader days. 1400's Like any good Arab they used what they had. Rock was Good! Rock would fly faster then a Iron ball and hitting the wall would shard out messing up more then a few people.

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A good thing to note about cannon projectiles is they are made of cast iron and mill balls are steel. So that should help differentiate.

Grape shot was large...only a few in a cluster and was in a canvas wrapped with rope or chain. Cannister shot was in a metal can and was substantially smaller than grapeshot. And scrapnel shot was a bundle of scrap in a metal can that fit the bore.

Cannon shot was designated by pounds...the weight of the shot. This allowed the right powder charge as propellant is determined by the weight of the projectile to be launched.

So when calling out shot sizes they were #4 (Four pound) , #3.5 (three and a half pounds) etc. Grapeshot and cannister shot was loaded to a specific weight as well because too heavy a projectile would overlressure the barrel and burst it.

S while there were diameter tolerances for each shot size projectiles were designated by weight for each size cannon.

The shot sizes for shotguns use an archaic system of measurement with numbers that descend as the shot size increases. Buckshot is a term for large shotgun shot larger than "BB" size for hunting large game and defense. The shot is a specific diameter but is called "BB","Buck", "OO Buck", "OOO Buck", "OOO Buck", and "Tri Shot" depending on the actual diameter. And like a cannon the charge of shot is measured by weight and that determines the powder charge.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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When I was living just a few clicks South of Lebanon on the coast, I found a cannon ball. Took it to the local museum and was told it was from Napolean's Navy. Sure wish I could have kept it......

Edited by El Dorado
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Well i was young and dumb when the old lady gave them to me...sure wish i kept them. I can remember we use to throw them like a shot putt (sp)....lol...they're probably buried in my old yard in Athens, Texas....sniff

Well thank's for the info guys!!

Edited by Rimshot
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Bore is how many shots make a lb. Only one shot gun is measured in Caliber. the .410! By the way, you can shoot 40 caliber pistol out of most modern ones.

Some will even take 45-70! Now that there is a Hoot.

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In the Glorieta strewn field there are many cannonballs as well as a couple cannons. There are two cannon barrels sticking out of the ground from that battle.

There are hundreds of minnie balls too. Several calibers are common. I was told the Union troops used a ball with three grease grooves and the Confederate forces had two grease grooves. I have found three minnies that have deep teeth marks where a soldier had bitten down on them.

The cannon balls were all given to Al Sanchez to be donated to various museums in the area.Before his death he erected a shrine to the battle on his property and was a big supporter of the Pecos National Historical Park which encompasses the various battlefielfs and ancient pueblos in the area.

There are several graves there too. About 7 years ago a flood uncovered a bunch of bodies still in boots and uniforms. Al arranged for burial after they were unearthed.

That is a cool spot. Tons of artifacts from the ancient civilizations as well as two historic battles and the only route over the rockies. From Spanish artifacts to rare meteorites it is all found in one area. What a hoot!

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Bore is how many shots make a lb. Only one shot gun is measured in Caliber. the .410! By the way, you can shoot 40 caliber pistol out of most modern ones.

Some will even take 45-70! Now that there is a Hoot.

You can only shoot a rimmed casing in one. Not a .40 cartridge. A shotgun headspaces on the rim as did all the old cartridges. A shouldered case or a rimless case like .40 S&W headspace differently and WILL NOT WORK in a firearm designed for a rimmed cartridge. So don't even try it!!!

.44 special and shortened 30-30 casings I believe are the standard brass casings suitable for .410. A pistol or rifle cartridge will split a barrel unless you handload special. Just because it fits does not tell the story. Bullet size varies widely and if you get the wrong bullet in that bore you will blow the shotgun up.

Choke makes a big difference too. A .410 is generally full choke and will have a huge pressure spike with a bullet. Most shooters who fiddle with bullets in a .410 cut the end of the barrel off to remove the choke taper and load cases with fast shotgun powder like "Bullseye" or "Unique". A slower rifle powder at loads designed for the casing should not be used under any circumstances.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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You are 100% right about the .410 shotgun Homie. But I just did not want someone to go out and try it with a .40 round!!!

I think the brass cartridges suitable are .45 Colt and cut down 30-30 cases now that I see the clip. Anyhoo don't try this at home!!! There are some combinations that just won't work and a lot of variance in bullet size and choke that can get you in trouble. I know there are a few shotguns made to handle centerfire pistol ammo of some type too...Probably .45 Colt...Not .44 special...

..and I think you will find that is only for break open shotguns and not pumps or autos. It seems I remember something about how they go into battery and how the bolt locks up. It is done all the time but is not as simple as stuffing your shotgun with pistol rounds out of the box.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Hey, speaking of projectile sizes...

I found an old iron block about 3" x 3" x 2" with a hole in the center. I tossed it into the junk pile of items found with a detector. Later on a friend of mine saw it and asked if I knew what it was. He said it was a bullet swage.

When bullets became conical and barrels became rifled the diameter of a bullet was important. Some barrels of the same caliber were slightly loose or tighter and most shooters had abandoned the patch to fit the projectile to the barrel. A swage was a tool that was used to size the bullet cold for an exact fit. High quality barrels were often "tight" and came with a swage. The shooter started the bullet in the block and pushed the lead through with a wooden dowel. That way every bullet fit perfectly and performed uniformly.

I have found lead bullets at that spot that were very crudely cast as well as chunks of lead that had been whittled. I think someone was using any lead that was about the right size and pushing them through the block to manufacture projectiles. You could easily turn a .45 or .50 cal bullet into a perfectly sized .44 with this swage.

When we cleaned up the bore a bit it measured about .430. It sure seems that the thing is indeed a crude bullet swage from way back when. My guess is turn of the century or so judging by the rest of the stuff found there.

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Actually, the 460 S&W Magnum cartridge is the best one for the .410......the .45 Colt is second best

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Why Steve? Is it dimensionally closer or some other reason?

Seems like a lot of case volume for a little powder...doesn't it get lost in that cavernous case??? Seems like it would need a wad or a buffer to take up some space. A roomy combustion chamber is more like a bomb than a casing sometimes. Pressure spikes easily with room to expand in oversized cases. Combine that with a gun designed to shoot shotgun shells and there is a potential for problems.

The length is the only difference between the Colt, Casull and S&W mag isn't it?

Aren't they all out of the same brass as a 30-30 or another very similar rifle case? There is an outfit here that makes them from sawed off rifle cases loaded for the .410 and I thought it was a 30-30 case but I am not 100% sure about that.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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I seen a guy in a Wheel Chair shoot 45-70 out of a Judge. It Rolled his hands up over and back into the Glass Barrier Glass an broke it. He never did come back. Ge Wonder why? If you dought the True bullcrap story just call the Place and ask about it. I was there.

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One day I was at the Marksman Range on 29th Street Tucson. A guy with a Judge shot a 45-70 out of it and being in a wheel chair his hands went up and over his head. Into the Glass barrier and broke it. If you don't believe this ThrewBS story just Call the Place and ask. I was there.

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