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Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

Article about: I have a cannon ball that I originaly thought was a reproduction but after showing it to a couple of people they said It was real. someone painted it but it looks like it was done a long tim

  1. #1

    Default Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    I have a cannon ball that I originaly thought was a reproduction but after showing it to a couple of people they said It was real. someone painted it but it looks like it was done a long time ago. Can anyone tell of it is original and if so how old is it. Thank you so much. It weighs 19 poinds 8 oz. It measures measures 24 inces around. Thank you so much for your help.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    I'm the polar opposite of an expert on these, but judging from what you said, it seems to be a projectile from a 20 pdr cannon. The hole at the top is probably a fuse. That would mean this cannonball is an antipersonnel projectile that would explode before impact, covering an area with shrapnel. It is probably from the mid-late 1800's.

    regards,
    Corey

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    great thank you so much. So it is probably civil war era?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    That's what I would guess. We have a Civil War fort a few miles from me, the cannon balls at the museum and the local antique stores are very similar to this one.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    CW projectiles can be extremely tricky. The fuse hole on this one looks to be plugged, but is it De-activated? Quite often, the old timers would simply get rid of the fuse so that it wouldn't bump against things and set off the explosives inside, but they wouldn't always Remove the explosives. It is quite common to hear that old cannon shells that have been rolling around for 150 years are found to be still viable and potentially dangerous. It may be well worth your while to have an ordnance person take a closer look at this shell. Usually, the ones that I've come across have an open Hole that you can poke your finger in and look inside, but This one....? Hmm... Old does Not always mean Safe. Just so you know...a 20 pounder going off inside your house would likely total your home...and your next door neighbors would Not like it much Either..
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    If it does still have powder in it what would make it go off. Would it just go off if it got to hot or could it go off it it was droped.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    Sudden jarring, intense heat, vibration...or no reason at all. The older explosives get-the more unstable they become. Many a person has been shocked to find out that the old CW cannon shell that's been painted a thousand times and has been rolling around their front porch or sitting by their fireplace as an ornament has been found to be still viable. I remember a number of years ago that 2 Veteran's display pieces painted white many a decade ago and sitting quietly in the Vet's lodge house were, indeed, still as "hostile" as the day they were made-if not more so, due to instability. Family's have had their old "heirloom" shells for generations and their children played "war" with them many a time, only to find out to their shock that what they had grown up playing with was the real deal. The same goes for old WWI shells or WWII and beyond grenades brought home by old Uncle Phil as a memento that were still ready to go.

    Mind you, there's no Particular reason to panic-it could very well have Been emptied before someone plugged it shut, but it never hurts to have things looked at anyway just to be safe. I just don't particularly like the appearance of the plug-it looks crude and amateurish-like someone who didn't know what they were doing sealed it.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: Can Anyone Identify This Cannon Ball

    If it is a CW cannon shell, it'd most likely be a Union one, yes? Everything I've read (not a lot, mind) suggests Confederate cannonballs and shells were more crude and usually the casting mould seam is visible- Union ones were well-made and usually seamless.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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