Bullet and Shell Civil War Projectiles Forum

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1
Artillery / Re: Off center shell cavity.
« Last post by CarlS on September 17, 2021, 04:36:34 PM »
If you look at cut in half shells you'll often see this variance in the wall thickness.  They used a sand core to make the powder cavity and it had to be suspended while the molten cast iron was poured around it.  They seemed to move during this process to varying degrees.   If you look at the half shells you'll often see it not being centered.

Here is one on BulletAndShell.com that Mike is trying to find a home for that shows the core shifted right:
     http://bulletandshell.com/Items/item.php?id=F00326
This left a thinner wall on the right and a thicker ledge under the Bormann fuse on the left side.

Here are a couple already sold that also shifted:
Cannon Ball: http://bulletandshell.com/Items/item.php?id=F00282
Hotchkiss: http://bulletandshell.com/Items/item.php?id=F00166

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Miscellaneous / Re: Thank you Carl
« Last post by CarlS on September 17, 2021, 04:22:07 PM »
You are most welcome.  Glad to do it and I learn a lot here as well.  I've also made a good number of friends on this forum.  Hopefully we can get more active on it again.

One thing I noticed while looking it over is that the last post appears to be from August 7th.  It is hard to believe it has been that long and I'm wondering if they recovered with the most recent database.  Does anyone recall any posts since then?  I think I do but I'm not positive.
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Miscellaneous / Re: Thank you Carl
« Last post by Selma Hunter on September 17, 2021, 09:03:24 AM »
DITTO!
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Miscellaneous / Thank you Carl
« Last post by misipirelichtr on September 16, 2021, 09:24:22 PM »
I suspect a number of Forumites noticed the Bullet and Shell web site was a bit off its feed this week.  I am the last person who could tell you what technical snafus caused the problem, but i do know Carl spent a lot - a lot - of time and effort to get it straightened out.  Carl, thank you for all of your efforts - I can now drool over some of the iron and lead you and Mike post and also gain a wealth of knowledge from the experience and expertise of all who post on the Forum.  And it is always good to take a moment to thank you and Mike for what has to be a labor of love to host the Bullet and Shell web site that helps so many of us learn and further our collecting interests
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Artillery / Re: ID Help fuse on undrilled 12 lb case shot
« Last post by Woodenhead on August 07, 2021, 09:01:30 PM »
The Rebs put a limited quantity of "zinc fuzes" in their rifled shells and round cannon balls. Your Vicksburg relic could be one of those whose fuze was apparently filed down or otherwise messed with after the war. It appears to be surrounded with white lead which is something the arsenals occasionally did to prevent early explosions from flame passing around the fuze. The two shells below are candidates for having those zinc fuses although it appears to be some lead alloy. Maybe the zinc was mixed with lead and a little tin to harden it.

The two page letter below is filled with important information from the Augusta shell trials in January 1864. Written by Col. Oladowski, ordnance chief of the Army of Tennessee, he had personally attended the Augusta trials where they fired 20 ten pounder Parrott shells equipped with Girardey percussion fuzes. Seventeen of them exploded properly. Most were set in copper fuze plugs. Five were set in zinc fuzes like the example below. Of the three that failed, two tumbled badly because their sabots did not take the rifling, one exploded as it left the gun. In another report from Augusta, they tested many of Col. Broun's concussion fuzes and fewer than 50% exploded properly. At the time, the Broun fuze was being mass produced in Richmond for the forthcoming spring campaign. Olandowski asks for the Girardey fuze the become the standard regulation fuze for his artillery. In Richmond, it was ignored in favor of the inferior Broun fuze until sometime around May 1864 when largescale use of the Girardey began.

Another important clue in this missive is the description of a proper copper sabot with three holes in the top. This strongly suggest that Read shells were still regulation items at the end of January 1864. Another letter from late March 1864 talks about the single wide band on their 3 inch ammunition. We're getting closer to pinning down the timing of the switch from Reads to 3 inch Brouns. And a final noteworthy item is the letter's mention of the 3 inch Reads they tested with holes in the sabots to allow flame to pass to the fuze. Mallet advises against using the copper sabots with flame grooves. These are positively the mysterious Reads with four flame grooves. Even though an intact example has recently been dug in Richmond, this was a Deep South shell I believe made by Augusta at the end of 1863. I suspect Richmond's find was at a test site. Asa Snyder made all of those well known Reads with three flame grooves in Richmond at the end of 1862. Col. Mallet included a sketch of this Augusta sabot in his notes from the trials showing the four separate flame grooves. Enough for now.

Woodenhead
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Artillery / Re: Off center shell cavity.
« Last post by speedenforcer on August 07, 2021, 12:47:57 AM »
I too believe there may be some stability issues. But obviously it didn't effect its explosive abilities. It may not have hit the intended target but it probably still took out something.
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Artillery / Off center shell cavity.
« Last post by XRdsRev on August 06, 2021, 02:55:50 PM »
Pic 1 shows two fragments of 6.4” shells.  The fragment on the left is a typical example from Fort Fisher.  The fragment on the right however has a severely off center shell cavity which resulted in a great discrepancy in shell wall thickness.  I assume this shell was very unstable in flight.

Pic 2 shows the fragments stacked for additional perspective.

I eyeballed the “off center” fragment back in the late 1970’s when roads were cut through Redoubt (Fort) Dutton on the Bermuda Hundred Line.  I assume the fragment is from a Confederate shell but I honestly do not know who or where it was fired from.  Dutton is a long way from either the James or Appomattox rivers and I did not think the Battery Dantzler’s big guns could traverse that far inland.
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Bullets / Re: MM-475/TT 116/RBTRF IV 218 Belted Sharps
« Last post by LeonVa on August 06, 2021, 12:52:42 PM »
So even this blind hog found this acorn recently.  I have only seen a handful of these over the years and this is the first one I have ever seen with some semblance of a patina.
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Miscellaneous / Re: Come One, come all!!!! NGRHA Marietta Show! 8/14/2021
« Last post by CarlS on August 05, 2021, 04:20:58 PM »
Hope everyone can make this show.  It is sold out but for 2 or 3 tables last time I asked so looking good.

Remember to bring any drilling or cleaning you'd like us to take care of.
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Bullets / .54 caliber MTE
« Last post by aggiereb on August 03, 2021, 04:48:48 PM »
The .54 caliber variant of the .577 caliber Marshall Texas Enfield has always been thought to have been produced alongside the .577 bullets at the Marshall/Tyler TX Arsenal.

Recently I acquired a batch of bullets dug from the Greenwell Springs (Baton Rouge) area.  This is the area from which CSA forces advanced on Baton Rouge proper.  Once defeated, they retreated to this area to lick their wounds. 

Many of these bullets are .54 caliber MTE's.  The battle took place in 1862, but the Marshall/Tyler TX Arsenal was not in production until late 1863.

So where were these bullet manufactured?  It certainly was not Texas!!!
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