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cannon balls from a estate auction

Article about: Hi- I picked these cannon balls up at a estate auction (with some period recoved bullets) .What do you guys think about them? Cannon balls #1 2 tall 2 lbs 4 oz #2 2 tall 3 lbs 10 oz #3

  1. #1
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    Default cannon balls from a estate auction

    Hi- I picked these cannon balls up at a estate auction (with some period recoved bullets) .What do you guys think about them?
    Cannon balls
    #1 2 tall 2 lbs 4 oz
    #2 2 tall 3 lbs 10 oz
    #3 3 tall 4lbs 13 oz
    #4 3 tall 3lbs 8oz
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  2. #2

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    be nice to know where they came from,like them,mind your toes.lol

  3. #3
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    I have two of the 2.5 inch ones but I know where mine came from,they are used in a rotary ball mill for crushing ore......Pete.
    JEDEM DAS SEINE

  4. #4
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    Nice group of smaller balls. My collection of them run from 1 inch up to 10 inch, most are solid, but a couple are shells. I love the things, and as I have dug a few up, I know where they came from, and in 3 cases the day they were fired!!!

    Dean O
    Canada

  5. #5
    9mm
    9mm is offline
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    Pete- I have some of the rotary ball also ( I even have two 40 lbs balls)but these are difference , and what about the the larger one which feel hollow ?

  6. #6

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    I collected projectiles many years ago, and was always told that cannon balls were of very specific weights and had to be perfectly round. 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 32 and 42 pounds, etc. By my understanding, If the ball is a Shell, it would be hollow and would have a fuse hole. Going by the Borgard Scale, weights should be standard weights. 3.49 inch should be 6 pound, 3.05 inch should be 4 pound and so on. This refers to solid shots, of course. There are various other scales for other countries, era's, etc of balls, but I'm not finding any that correspond with the measurements and weights of this group here. I'm at abit of a loss as to what to make of them. There has always been, as said, round balls for crushing and grinding, as well as machine weights and counterweights. I remember finding several ball in the gravel on the side of the road North of Shelby Montana. At first, I also thought they could be projectiles, but the unusual sizes and weights precluded that, so who could say just What they were?

    I'm not saying that these balls are Definitely not projectiles, but if they Are, they are from smooth bore guns of a caliber and displacement that I am not aware of. Check out the tables on this website and see if any of the pieces you've got match any of the listings. They could Possibly be large bore canister shot balls? I'm not seeing it if they are, but perhaps with more precise measurements using calipers and sensitive scales...?

    Cannon bore, shot, and shell diameters for smoothbore guns
    Last edited by Wagriff; 04-12-2015 at 08:20 PM.
    William

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

  7. #7
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    The Problem with Cannonballs and their sizes is that many countries used different sizes at different times, not all we come across are British.
    I have seen rock Crushing balls and shot out sold as cannonballs, shot put is easy to ID as the weight is cast into the ball.

    Most real cannonballs will have a mold ring around the widest part, on better made balls these are ground, but you can usually still see a "flat" area where the seam was, but this is not always the case.

    Also with smaller balls they could be case shot or grape shot, which again does not always meet the better known Cannonball ball sizes.

    A couple of the smaller balls I dug myself show this. Had I not dug them myself and had researched the battle they were from, I would not have known they were cannonballs had I seen them for sale. I might have thought they were rock crushing balls or case shot, or grape shot.
    My research showed that there were some very small cannon at this early battle, and these small guns matched the size of the smaller balls I found.

    Here are some photos of part of my collection, I have a German belt buckle for scale in some of the photos

    There are 2 photos with a very small ball I found, not well made and not 100% round, however it is a French made small boat gun ball made here in Canada

    Just My thoughts

    Dean

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