Can anyone help me on this?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by czndvet, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. czndvet

    czndvet New Member

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    I was using my metal detector at an old park in Montgomery, Al recently and found an old cartridge case about 4 or 5 inches deep. It's either brass or copper, as it has a green patina.

    It's a centerfire case, rimmed, and as best I can measure it, it's about 5/8 inch in diameter, and about 1 and 13/16 inches long. The upper two-thirds is mashed flat so my measurements aren't precise.

    The only markings I can find on it is a numeral, "2" on the bottom of the case.

    If anyone can help I'd sure appreciate it.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Welcome to TFF Czndvet! Is there any way you could post a pic? Is it 5/8" on the rim or on the case?
  3. czndvet

    czndvet New Member

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    The rim is 5/8". That's a pretty big bullet.

    Attached Files:

  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    looks like an old .45/70 case
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking more 50/70. 45/70 case is longer and rim is smaller.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    At first look, that is what I thought also.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Looking back im thinkin alpo may be right. The rim diameter is a bit fatter and the case stumpier. Definitely one of the 2 for sure.
  8. czndvet

    czndvet New Member

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    Thanks for y'all's help...how far back does either of those cartridges go?
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    After the War Against Yankee Aggression, the North had bunches and bunches of muzzleloading rifles in inventory. The Allen Conversion was invented, which allowed the arsenal to modify those rifles to take fixed ammo. The fixed ammo they used was the 50/70, so that would be around 1866, 1867. Little while later the military went to a slightly smaller caliber cartridge. The 45/70. That was in 1873.
  10. czndvet

    czndvet New Member

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    Thanks...reason for asking was the park, Oak Park in Montgomery, AL, had some civil war activity. I found a mini ball there, 3-ring, several years ago and wondered if the cartridge case went back that far.
  11. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Also, being that it's under 2" long would lean it toward being a .50-70 @ 1.75" rather than the .45-70 which is just over 2" @ 2.105".
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Id say its a good chance thats an original .50-70 case from the civila war era. It would have most likely been dropped by cavalrymen as they were usually the only troops issued carbines chambered for the newfangled self contained cartridges, breechloaders as they called them. Infantrymen would have carried .58 cal springfield riflemuskets if they were yankees and .577 cal enfield riflemuskets if they were rebels. Both frontloaders, id bet money the minie ball you found was for one of those 2 rifles.

    Lots of history there.
  13. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

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    Me thinks it may date a little after the WBTS...Ive got an old 50-70 copper case I found many years ago...It is unusual in the fact that it has a center firing pin strike, but no visible primer...I read somewhere this is the way they originally produced early 'center fire' rifle cartridges...The primer was actually part of the case itself, but was not a rimfire...Ill see if I can find that article...

    Im going to have to see if I can find that old case also...
  14. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Duke, what you are talking about is called Benet priming.

    Here's some 45 Colts, Benet primed. 2 ball loads, a shot load and some sectioned, so you can see how it works.

    [​IMG]
  15. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's post Civil War. First, during the war they didn't have that cartridge. And second, as Duke says, they were first Benet primed. That visible primer would be a later round. They continued to load the 50/70 for many years, even after the 45/70 came along. When the army went to the 45/70 they armed their Indian scouts and hunters, and anyone else that was vaguely connected with the Army, with the surplussed 50/70s. And, just like now, with the "The Army uses a 9mm. Why would anyone still use a 45", there were folks back then that thought the 50 was a much better cartridge than that pipsqueak 45/70, and stayed with it. Seems like Georgie Custer had a Remington roller in 50/70, at the Greasy Grass. Bill Cody's favorite buff gun was a 50/70 roller he called Lucretia Borgia, 'cause she was so deadly.
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