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  1. #1
    THing4CSA's Avatar
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    Looking for assistance with a Civil War bullet

    Hi My Fellow TH'ers

    I am posting this request for assistance for a TH'ing Friend in Northern Virginia.
    My First thoughts are that this is a Hanovarian two grove bullet. This is slightly larger than a .58 cal. The biggest difference is the base is not a standard pin-hole base cast bullet. This bullet has a cone and pin base.
    Check out the attached picture, sorry that it is not clearer and I do not have a picture of the base; had it but somehow lost it.
    Thanks ;-)
    Dave
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Name:	Mick's bullet.jpg 
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  2. #2
    rchalker's Avatar
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    Sorry Dave,

    That's an interesting find. I don't believe I've seen that style of bullet. It kind of looks to be a bullet that was turned into a game piece. Sorry I'm not more help. Good luck getting an ID.
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  3. #3
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    That's a tough one. In Mason & McKee's book, on page 26 the Saxon or Hanovarian looks very similar. But it is a flat base bullet. Then I went to the four volumes of Dean Thomas' books. In Volume 4, on page 255 there is one he calls a Hanovarian and one that he calls a Tige. Again both appear to be flat base. Looking at a larger picture of yours it appears to be a conical base. So it makes me wonder if your bullet has been "messed" with or carved on.
    Check out this site.

    <Removed Link. Leads to buy / sell / advertising links>

    Forwarded link to Thing4CSA .... Fox Forum Moderator
    Last edited by deolslyfox; 12-14-2018 at 06:34 AM. Reason: Links to Buy / Sell / Ad sites

  4. #4
    rchalker's Avatar
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    That’s some excellent research Duggap.
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  5. #5
    deolslyfox's Avatar
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    I think its a variant of a Honovarian. I didn't dig many of those up in the valley. Nice find !!
    If there's anything I hate worse than diggin' pulltabs, its missin' a gold ring.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rchalker View Post
    That’s some excellent research Duggap.
    Thank you.

  7. #7
    THing4CSA's Avatar
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    Hi My Fellow TH'ers
    Thank you for the responses. This is one odd bullet for sure. It has the outside looks of a Hanovarian 2 groove except that the base is not flat. This one has a cone and pin base. Here is a picture of the base view.
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Name:	Mick's bullet.jpg 
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  8. #8
    deolslyfox's Avatar
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    I wonder, based on the pin base, if it was a cleaner bullet ?? Never seen one like this ....
    If there's anything I hate worse than diggin' pulltabs, its missin' a gold ring.

  9. #9

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    2 part bullet?

  10. #10
    THing4CSA's Avatar
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    Hi My Fellow TH'ers
    As most of us are aware, we know more about less than we ever thought when it comes to all the many items that we find in the ground. Cleaner bullet? Multi-part bullet? All possibilities. We learn as we go. Thanks for the suggestions. As they say, 'Anything is possible!'
    Thanks
    ;-) Dave

  11. #11
    rchalker's Avatar
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    Wow, that has a thin wall. Very interesting.
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  12. #12
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    Rod: The hollow base of the civil war era bullets was meant to expand when the gun was fired. This expansion sealed the bullet in the barrel, improving both range and accuracy ...
    Last edited by deolslyfox; 12-21-2018 at 07:13 AM. Reason: typo
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  13. #13
    rchalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deolslyfox View Post
    Rod: The hollow base of the civil war era bullets was meant to expand when the gun was fired. This expansion sealed the bullet in the barrel, improving both range and accuracy ...
    I recall hearing that a few times before but that just looks very thin to me. I'm sure it's just because I'm not use to seeing them. I've never had that pleasure of hunting in Civil War fields. I've only found musket balls here and there over the years. I have only found one three ringer that was fired. It was kept at the university in PA when I was doing some digging for them. Sadly my oldest finds were during my hunts with the university and they got to keep every find. But I can't complain, I learned how to do a lot of research while helping there. I feel very privileged to have had such an experience.
    Last edited by deolslyfox; 12-21-2018 at 07:14 AM. Reason: typo
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  14. #14
    deolslyfox's Avatar
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    When I was boy hunting CW relics up in the Shenandoah Valley, "3-ringers" were so plentiful we used to melt them down and make fishing sinkers. You could just walk a plowed field and pick up a coffee-can full in a day. No detector required ....
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  15. #15
    rchalker's Avatar
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    There's a guy on YouTube and he finds three ringers like that. Mostly in rivers and creeks. It's sweet to see him finding them with only a pinpointer. Why did they make so many and then just lose them like that?
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  16. #16
    deolslyfox's Avatar
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    They didn't have ammo belts. They had pouches and paper boxes and pockets. If your solid lead ball hit soft dirt, it wasn't damaged. The vast majority of the rifles weren't terribly accurate. An unknown Confederate soldier was "quoted" as sayin' .... "I believe them Yankees are shootin' at us". His buddy says, "How do you reckon ...". The soldier replied, "That mule two fields to th' left just keeled over ...."
    If there's anything I hate worse than diggin' pulltabs, its missin' a gold ring.

  17. #17
    THing4CSA's Avatar
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    Hi My Fellow TH'ers
    Yes, it the early years of the Civil War, many of the rifles were smooth bore, thus without rifling and not very accurate. Mid-way through the Civil War, almost all rifles were 'rifled' thus they were a lot more accurate. Much of the munitions used by the Confederates were Union in origin. Much was liberated from trains and wagons that were either overtaken or were found abandoned on the battlefield. Often the Union Soldiers would hear the 'Rebel Yell' and as it was blood-curdling, to say the least, the Union Soldiers would run away and drop everything, rifles, ammo, overcoats, food, you name it. The biggest issue was to maintain order when the Confederate Soldiers would see knapsacks abandoned on the Union retreat and would stop to get food as they were very malnourished. Nothing like the Military of today, MREs and camps with hot meals ready for the taking. Many times when a 3-ringer is dug it is called a 'Union bullet' but in all honesty, it might have been a Union made bullet but used by the Confederate troops. The same holds true for some of the Enfield rifles and their bullets, there were several Union outfits that were armed with the British made rifles. The same is also true about the Snake buckles, these were used by both Union and Confederate Soldiers; mostly Confederate but both sides just the same. Many times arms and ammo would be thrown into nearby creeks and rivers as a means of destroying them and removing them from use by the enemy. They are all good in my book! LOL ;-) Dave

  18. #18
    rchalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deolslyfox View Post
    They didn't have ammo belts. They had pouches and paper boxes and pockets. If your solid lead ball hit soft dirt, it wasn't damaged. The vast majority of the rifles weren't terribly accurate. An unknown Confederate soldier was "quoted" as sayin' .... "I believe them Yankees are shootin' at us". His buddy says, "How do you reckon ...". The soldier replied, "That mule two fields to th' left just keeled over ...."
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  19. #19
    rchalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THing4CSA View Post
    Hi My Fellow TH'ers
    Yes, it the early years of the Civil War, many of the rifles were smooth bore, thus without rifling and not very accurate. Mid-way through the Civil War, almost all rifles were 'rifled' thus they were a lot more accurate. Much of the munitions used by the Confederates were Union in origin. Much was liberated from trains and wagons that were either overtaken or were found abandoned on the battlefield. Often the Union Soldiers would hear the 'Rebel Yell' and as it was blood-curdling, to say the least, the Union Soldiers would run away and drop everything, rifles, ammo, overcoats, food, you name it. The biggest issue was to maintain order when the Confederate Soldiers would see knapsacks abandoned on the Union retreat and would stop to get food as they were very malnourished. Nothing like the Military of today, MREs and camps with hot meals ready for the taking. Many times when a 3-ringer is dug it is called a 'Union bullet' but in all honesty, it might have been a Union made bullet but used by the Confederate troops. The same holds true for some of the Enfield rifles and their bullets, there were several Union outfits that were armed with the British made rifles. The same is also true about the Snake buckles, these were used by both Union and Confederate Soldiers; mostly Confederate but both sides just the same. Many times arms and ammo would be thrown into nearby creeks and rivers as a means of destroying them and removing them from use by the enemy. They are all good in my book! LOL ;-) Dave
    Thanks for the history lesson Dave.
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  20. #20
    fyrffytr1's Avatar
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    It resembles the base to a 3-piece Shaler except for the extra ring.
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  21. #21

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    I'm not that familiar with what was used then.

    Any chance this is a pistol bullet? Seems to big diameter but it's similar to to a "collar button" pistol bullet.

  22. #22
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    60 cal. one groove Hanovarian Rifle slug.
    I can't include the site because they sell civil war items.

  23. #23
    fyrffytr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrbsr View Post
    60 cal. one groove Hanovarian Rifle slug.
    I can't include the site because they sell civil war items.
    Aren't the Hanovarians a solid base bullet? The ones pictured here are. I do agree that it looks just like the one groove, maybe someone carved out the base?
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  24. #24
    I wonder if it is a cut off Carcano (Italian Garibaldi)? MM200 is a .69 caliber but they were also made in .54 and .58 calibers. TT 142, 178, and 193.

  25. #25
    rchalker's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum MDITUSA.
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  26. #26
    Thank you rchalker.

  27. #27
    THing4CSA's Avatar
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    Hi My Fellow TH'ers
    Thank you all for the thoughts and suggestions. I still have no idea as the hollow base just throws me off.
    Wishing you all a Wonderful 2019!
    Let's go a digging! ;-)

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