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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I purchased an old Uberti Model 1861 Navy and for an extra $5, this mold became part of the deal. I didn't pay much attention to it because I figured it was another "burn the crap out of your fingers" repro that originally came with the repro gun, c. 1963. But, when I finally cleaned it enough to read the horseshoe stamp, it turned out to be a genuine Civil War era Mannchester Firearms .36 bullet mold.

I then noticed a craterlike impression between the pour holes--looks curiously like something round hit it at very high velocity. Another bullet? It did come from Fredericsburg VA.
 

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Did you mean 1851 Navy?

It is hard for me to imagine how a bullet would have caused that circular marking. Wonder if thermal stresses might have caused it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Did you mean 1851 Navy?

It is hard for me to imagine how a bullet would have caused that circular marking. Wonder if thermal stresses might have caused it?
No, 1861 Navy--smaller, lighter version of the Model 1860 without the rebated cylinder and in .36 cal. It was a refined version of the 1851 Navy.

I've often seen this type of crater in metal from a bullet. Here's damage to a metal target:
 

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Did you mean 1851 Navy?

It is hard for me to imagine how a bullet would have caused that circular marking. Wonder if thermal stresses might have caused it?
Go somewhere that they are shooting steel challenge and look at the
targets----that's a bullet hit on that mold. Whether in combat or
"I'll bet you can't hit this old bullet mold if I stick it in this stump"
we will never know.

'61 Navy is a sweet gun. One of my favorites. I actually like the
'61 better than the '51. Just feels better in the hand, points better
for me--and has the improved loading lever of the 1860.

eta: Ya know--that hit didn't displace any metal to the vertical side
of the mold. I suppose it could be the result of a rust blister---but
lets go with the bullet hit theory. I like it lots better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
... Ya know--that hit didn't displace any metal to the vertical side
of the mold. I suppose it could be the result of a rust blister---but
lets go with the bullet hit theory. I like it lots better.
Thanks--it isn't a rust blister. What the picture doesn't show very well is that there is a raised ring of metal round the indentation where metal was displaced. True, there is no damage to the iron mold, but velocity and distance could account for that.

Yes, I wish it could talk. I suspect whomever may have been carrying this thing in a pocket or pouch had quite a bruise...
 

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I'd love to get my hands on one of these. I have an old Navy .36 cal cap and ball revolver that I've never had the pleasure of firing. That's quite a deal-sweetener you got thrown in there!
 

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Soldiers in the Civil War did not cast their own bullets, like today's military do not Re-Load their won shells, they are brought to them. They were cast in factories ( both sides ) ans shipped to the people in the field. So, it may be damage from a lead bullet, but not from civil war battle.
 

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Soldiers in the Civil War did not cast their own bullets,
Some most definitely did. Some took issue bullets and melted them down and recast them as different calibers. I've dug bullet molds from campsites.
Here's a .36 round ball mold I dug. Sorry for the glare on the glass case.

 

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I'd be willing to bet that the mold saved someones life. I agree that I would like to hear the mold tell its story.
 

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I beleive that there is a very strong possibility that this mould was in a combat enviornment. I do not believe the arguement that because ammuniton and pre-cast bullets were widely issued that your mould has been ruled out.

I posted - in error - that MANY .58 round balls had been recovered from battlefields. I apologize for doing that, because I am not an authority on that subject. Never the less, I do continue to belive that this mould may very well be an authentic war relic.
 

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A lot of smooth bores were used in the beginning. I'm not sure I've ever dug a .58 roundball but I've dug 62's and 69's. Here's a pic of a few of my finds. I had a shoebox full but gave most of them away over the years but still have 100 or so.



Second row 6 from left. I dug that one out of a campfire. It had just started to melt so was probably dropped just before the fire was put out. Bottom row has two cleaner bullets with zinc scrapers.
 

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No, 1861 Navy--smaller, lighter version of the Model 1860 without the rebated cylinder and in .36 cal. It was a refined version of the 1851 Navy.

I've often seen this type of crater in metal from a bullet. Here's damage to a metal target:
And the craters in the steel target in the pictures, are from a soft lead round ball or even a conical soft lead projectile, traveling at relative low velocity? A gold 20 dollar gold piece, being hit by a soft lead muzzle loading projectile will only bend and not crater. Not battle damage unless the shooter was using a 30-06. And all flintlock pistols are " Pirate Guns belonging to Captain Kidd ". Sorry, saying so does not make it so. JMHO and I have more out in the garage :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Don't you love it when someone speaks in absolutes and then signs off with "saying so does not make it so"?

The $20 gold piece you refer to, like .Capt. Dixon's gold piece recovered from the Hunley, was most likely backed up by someone's thigh (as Dixon's was) and would likely bend rather than crater (as did Dixon's). In this particular case, thin steel was backed up by an iron mold, not flesh. We don't know the velocity, weight, or composition (not all CW projectiles were lead) of the object that made the crater. So, who's to say?
 

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Just going from the pic it looks like a casting flaw. Having it in hand to visually inspect might make a difference. Or maybe pics from another angle would help.
 
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