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Old 01-24-2022, 10:27 PM
Barneymartin3 Barneymartin3 is offline
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Default Old cartridge shell found at civil war site

Found this old cartridge shell in a known civil war site today. Itís length is .855 and the shell diameter is .456. The rim diameter is .524. The base has a large circular raised center which looks to have a raised letter of number in the center. It has several very long firing pin strikes on it. Any one know what type shell it is? Is it civil war error?
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:26 AM
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UT_Dave UT_Dave is offline
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Pretty sure that's a .44 Henry. Dimensions you list are within .005 of the unfired example I have. The raised headstamp indicates late 1860's, I believe? The letter would be an H.

I've found several of these with multiple firing pin strikes. My guess is misfire on the first try.

- Dave
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Old 01-25-2022, 10:20 AM
atomicbrh atomicbrh is offline
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Originally Posted by UT_Dave View post
Pretty sure that's a .44 Henry. Dimensions you list are within .005 of the unfired example I have. The raised headstamp indicates late 1860's, I believe? The letter would be an H.

I've found several of these with multiple firing pin strikes. My guess is misfire on the first try.

- Dave
Yep. With 1800's manufacturing techniques, it was difficult to distribute the priming compound evenly around the rim of the cartridge. So it was extract cartridge from the chamber, spin cartridge and insert into the chamber again.
Repeat until you found where the primer compound had settled.
Today the rimfire primer compound is water based so it is inert and easy to distribute in the rim uniformly. When the compound dries, it becomes explosive.
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