[meteorite-list] Meteorite-wrong pics

From: MexicoDoug <MexicoDoug_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri Sep 29 01:44:18 2006
Message-ID: <001b01c6e38a$0ddb36a0$e7ce5ec8_at_0019110394>

Hello Elton, Listees, (third try to post this)

Some comments on Elton's post now that I've become so curious about the

"While I agree that the pitting is peculiar"
Elton, the "pitting" we can see in the photos, specifically the two
whitish large depressions - especially the diamond shaped darker of those
two, almost could look like a fuse insert which is actually what we are
looking for and seems MISSING to identify it as a mortar shell.

"this looks like a Civil War vintage mortar shell."
As explained above it doesn't look like a shell - but perhaps the level of
oxidation could conceal this. It is unlikely to be a shell for the simple
reason that the density was measured to be that of Iron by the poster. But
this needs to be measured carefully. Unless we were given the wrong density,
there isn't room for any hollowing out for explosive charge so rather than a
shell it would have to be a solid
shot ball.

"and if it were a couple feet under the surface could have been lobbed
Yes, though this probably doesn't mean anything much. It just as well it
could have buried itself over the years. It is not uncommon, for example,
when metal detecting, to find a 50 year old quarter (US $0.25 cent piece
weighing around 6.25 grams, 90% silver & balance copper) a foot deep in rich
agricultural lands - not touched by plowing, not to mention all kinds of
relics deep. Easily likely, it could have been rolled into a low place and
that filled up over the
years. So all we really know is it was dug up.

"I've a contact at the Civil War Naval Museum I
need to confirm diameter/gage with, but..shall we
start a contest?"

Well, there were limited production runs for ships on 9 and 10 inch bores
during the Civil War. However these cannons were many tons to haul from the
Mississippi or oceans. I guess Lake Michigan is a possibility, but it is
out of lobbing range. Curiously, 9.25" is greater than 9 inches, and way
less than 10". I mention this because those are the obvious bore sizes and
the ball would need to be slightly smaller, but I'm not exactly clear on how
much smaller. But 9.25 inches doesn't fit the mold:-)

Like Elton, I asked US War Between the States buff and collector about this
and he said right away, that it was too big to be a shot (cannon) ball of
Civil War vintage.

Finally - other possibilities include:
(1) A naval souvenir from the War of 1812, American revolution of 1775-1783
(both of these wars did have such cannons, but the technology changed to
shells by the American Civil War - the first "modern" war, or even more
likely, (2) old ballast from a ship.

This whole analysis changes, though if it is less dense than as solid iron
as stated by the poster 110 lbs with diameter 9.25 inches. I do have a
there ... the tape measure appears to show the sphere to be 10" in diameter.
Is this an optical illusion and is it 9.25"? That would make it less dense,
but probably still not enough. Just in case, exercise extreme caution as
the ball could be filled with black powder. 150 year old black powder still
ignites if dry and it will be Boris and Natasha time on the Bullwinkle and
Rocky Show! That means - don't drill into it since a spark could ignite it.
I think the density rules out this, but - better safe than limbless.

Boy, if these balls and shells really were carried in shot garlands on ship
decks, I'd hate to be on that ship in the heat of battle when it was hot
enough to melt the nose off a brass monkey, and the garlands were
PS, The Civil War buff I asked just answered me better, let me copy it

I asked:
"I'm sure he got the weight right, and if I look at the pictures posted, it
originally looked to be 10 inches in diameter against the tape measure, but
images can be deceptive, and I am sure if he says 9 1/4 inches that that is
close. I saw some shot balls that were *10 inches* and read
that the balls are slightly smaller so they don't jam, plus I considered
that it could have lost another 1/4 inch due to rusting away - though I am
winging and sure I've exaggerated that. I guess when you say it was too big
for Civil War caliber, you are considering for solid balls, then?"

He answered:

"To determine if it is a cannon ball, we need accurate measurement. A ball
needed to fit fairly precisely into the gun. If it was too loose, too much
energy would be lost and it would not fire effectively. Too big and it
would not fit into the gun, so military cannon balls are fairly precise.
When you run into a ball like this the only way to rule it in or out as a
cannon ball is to verify the measurement. Standing a ruler beside it can be
way off. Here is what you need to do. Get a flexible tape measure (like
the seamstresses use) and measure circumference. Then calculate the
diameter which is circumference divided by pi. Pi is approximately
3.141593. A 10
inch ball should measure very close to 31.01 inches (31.101 divide by
3.141593 = 9.89 inches. A 10 inch ball will measure about 1/8 smaller than
the bore for windage. You may have a 10 inch ball which is why I go through
this. So take measurements a couple different directions and see what the
calculation yields. A 9 inch ball needs to be 8 7/8 inch etc. If the ball
really is 9.25 inch then you can rule it out as a cannon ball, there were no
guns this size."

--- "Sterling K. Webb" <sterling_k_webb_at_sbcglobal.net>

> Hi, Dave, List,
> I'm fairly sure what you have there is a MILL
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Received on Fri 29 Sep 2006 01:42:26 AM PDT

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