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Military History/identifying unusual cannon ball ?


SPLussier wrote at 2012-10-24 23:59:11
It seems to me that many nodules are not doing a good contact with the shell, as if they were nails hammered in the shell.

Also, the brass filling seems to plug a hole in the ball, where powder and fuse would be inserted - otherwise, if it was designed for ornament, I don't see any other use for the hole than to attach the ball to something else...and it would not be filled with brass.

What I'm thinking is that we have a shrapnel weapon that has been spiked and because the irregular surface it would not suit a cannonball, the most likely use was a hand grenade.

Gareck in Jersey ci wrote at 2013-01-20 10:11:32
Hi I also have an identical hollow iron studded ball with brass plug , I purchased it at a market in France , the vendor was not sure what it was but suggested part of a game like boule .an archeologist friend is also unsure !  

Shadedoc wrote at 2015-05-05 03:15:00
I would like to join the line of owners of one of these. It;s exactly like the picture, and has a brass covered hole at one end with a numeral 1 on it. I did not know what it was, but theorized it was some sort of shrapnel explosive device. It had to be labor intensive and so ended up being rejected for military use. It appears to have some age, and mine has some damage on one side so it was used or dropped. A great conversation piece.

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Keith H. Patton


I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.


I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
historical periods.

B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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