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Civil War Cannon Ball?

Started by cmt04444 , Sep 02 2017 12:57 PM

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#1 cmt04444

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 12:57 PM

I picked this up at a flea market today for $35. It's 4 pounds and roughly 3 inches. Is it a cannon ball?

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#2 268th C.A.

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 01:30 PM

has the seam around it, looks good to me...Congratulations. 



#3 cmt04444

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 03:20 PM

Thanks!

#4 Brian from Columbus

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:30 PM

I have my doubts. The smallest Civil War cannon ball weight was 6 pounds. And then you get in the grape and canister shot. The "seam" does not guarantee authenticity. If your weight is accurate, then it is likely not a cannon ball.
Unfortunately, mixer balls have made their way into the antique market as cannonballs.

#5 dhcoleterracina

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 05:28 PM

First of all you're not going to be hurt by a $35 price. As Brian said, the smallest size was a six pounder. Did grape/cannister exist in the four pound ball size? I'm not sure.

 

There are many steel balls used in industry that look like cannon balls. I have a nice weathered eight pound ball which was used to break up ore in California's gold country in the Civil War period and later. It looks like a cannon ball but it isn't.  



#6 USCapturephotos

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 06:20 PM

Yeah I don't ever remember seeing a seam on the Civil War era cannonballs.sometimes earlier shot might have a seam but I think usually an obvious seam like this is seen on rock crushing balls.

Paul



#7 Brian from Columbus

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:26 PM

According to Jack Bell's Book on Heavy artillery a 42 pound stand of grape could contain a 4.2 pound ball.

There were no field artillery cannisters in that size, so you would have to be looking at coastal/siege guns with grape shot.

 

That being said, a mold seam is often attributed to CS artillery and their crudeness of manufacture.

 

With all that being said, my opinion is that this is a crusher or mixer ball. The seam does not resemble the "seam" seen on a cannon ball.

With precise measurements (meaning postal scale and digital calipers) you could definitively say if it is a grape shot. 

There are shot tables that specify what was used. If you have something that falls outside of that, then it is not a grape shot.

The specs on a grape from a 42 pound canister would be a diameter between 3.13-3.17 inches and 4.2 pounds.



#8 Blacksmith

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:56 PM

Does not conform to size (weight) or construction of any cannonball I have seen. Agree this is something else.

#9 4th Miss Cav

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 01:05 AM

I have dug two 6 pounders from Port Hudson LA both with seams.  They were fired from Boones Battery in a position called the Devils Elbow.  So I know for a fact that seams are period correct.  The ball looks awful smooth to be iron.  Is it possibly steel and if it is it is a ball used in mixing.  They flooded the relic and antique shops in Vicksburg MS in the middle 90's.



#10 illinigander

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 05:51 AM

My opinion is that if it is a CS projectile, it is a very crude casting with that large parting-line it would be "local blacksmith" produced.  Such a parting line would be hard to load and have to much windage.  All my CS projectiles are much cleaner castings.




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