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Old October 23, 2017, 12:12 PM   #1
EastTexasChris
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Hexagonal Cartridge Casing?

New to the Forum here, so thanks for any help. While at a group outing around Vein Mt, North Carolina, I found an odd shaped complete cartridge while preparing for a MD hunt. It is pretty badly corroded, but it is obvious that the cartridge is hexagonal(six flat sides) shaped. The base is round and has a primer, is not necked down(like most rifle cartridges), and has a round nose lead bullet. From the corrosion, it appears that the cartridge could be made of steel. Its dimensions are: case length=27 mm, total length=33 mm, bullet diameter=10mm. No one at the MD hunt had seen anything like it and so far my internet search(pretty extensive) has not turned up any references to hexagonal cartridges, only barrels or internal rifling. The corrosion prevents seeing any stamping on the end of the cartridge. I have brushed the sand/dirt from it, but hesitate to do any further cleaning for fear of damaging it. Thanks for any comments.
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Old October 23, 2017, 01:33 PM   #2
Buzzcook
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There was the Whitworth rifle that was used during the Civil War. That was a .45 though.
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Old October 23, 2017, 01:39 PM   #3
EastTexasChris
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OK, after hearing the comments on another forum, I felt comfortable to do some more cleaning, especially where the primer would have been. After cleaning out more sand, I could see what looked like threads on the inside. Cleaning the top also reveals this to be a single cast piece and not a lead bullet on top. This would indicate that it was indeed some type of decorative nut cap. Thanks for all your help.
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Old October 23, 2017, 07:21 PM   #4
Slamfire
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Quote:
There was the Whitworth rifle that was used during the Civil War. That was a .45 though.
That was a muzzle loaded cartridge, did not use cased ammunition. I cannot imagine a hexagonal cartridge case. Who knows they may have been made, but you don't want sharp stress points on what is nothing more than a gas seal. That would surely create a high percentage of case ruptures. And, how do you extract the thing? With a rotary drill? You don't want the case clinging to the chamber and you don't want to have to unscrew the case from the chamber.

Quote:
OK, after hearing the comments on another forum, I felt comfortable to do some more cleaning, especially where the primer would have been. After cleaning out more sand, I could see what looked like threads on the inside. Cleaning the top also reveals this to be a single cast piece and not a lead bullet on top. This would indicate that it was indeed some type of decorative nut cap. Thanks for all your help.
Maybe it fell off Santa's sled?
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Old October 24, 2017, 12:48 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
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Suspect you'll find that's not a cartridge of any kind. That appears to be iron oxide, AKA rust. ONLY comes from ferrous metals. Neither lead nor brass are ferrous.
Lead, for instance, doesn't rust. Neither does any brass case. Both do corrode, but not like that. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. When it corrodes, the copper comes out of the alloy as a greenish dust. Lead usually turns grey.
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Old October 24, 2017, 02:15 PM   #6
carguychris
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Originally Posted by T. O'Heir
Suspect you'll find that's not a cartridge of any kind. That appears to be iron oxide, AKA rust. ONLY comes from ferrous metals. Neither lead nor brass are ferrous.
+1. I think it may be an unused rivet.

I think the hex shape was created by badly rusted splines. Rivets may be splined to create a slight interference fit to hold other parts in alignment during the riveting process. This makes the rivet easier to drive into place than a round non-splined oversize rivet, and it reduces the likelihood of damaging thin sheet metal in the process.
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Old October 24, 2017, 02:57 PM   #7
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Lead usually turns grey.
Oxidized lead is the thin white crystaline powdery covering you see on really old bullets the thicker the coat of lead oxide, the whiter it appears .... it's toxic, too.
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Old October 26, 2017, 10:14 AM   #8
4V50 Gary
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That T. O'Heir said. Besides, OP (EastTexasChris) already stated it was a decorative nut cap and not a cartridge. Case closed.
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