Possible bullet, maybe 38 class? Stumped!


Good morning all,

I am a forensic firearm examiner, and I have received an item that has me completely stumped. I’m hoping I can get some help here on what you all may think this actually is!

This item has two coatings, nickel on the round nose portion and copper on the bottom portion. It is not magnetic. Weighs 81.2 grains. Not sure whats inside, but it doesn’t feel heavy enough to have a lead core. Seems to have flecks of brass where the nickel and copper are damaged or flaked off. Diameter is ~.330" at the bottom, ~.354" at what may be a cannelure. The marks from the cannelure(?) extend down part of the copper portion on one side. These marks get fainter and are absent on the opposite side. The base is flat and copper just like the sides, meets the sides pretty much at a 90 degree angle. Fine, faint concentric circles are present on the base. No rifling from firing!

I’ve attached pictures of the side and a picture of it in a 9mm Luger caliber cartridge case just to give an idea of the scale. It is just large enough in diameter to get stuck in it (ask me how I know). Sorry I can’t post a picture of the base, I should have taken a picture of it before I scribed the case number on there.

Any ideas are welcome. I’m looking at bullet literature, air pellets, black powder supplies (did it originally have a sabot?), decorative vehicle wheel rivets, you get the idea. Thank you for any help you may be able to provide!




Have to follow up, might have figured out what this is. Also posed this question with my professional organization. Somebody might have possibly figured out what this is. It may be a part from a lamp! Found a similar part that is a dead ringer for the top portion of this item. Thinking this may likely not be a bullet at all!

I wish the bottom portion of this part unscrewed from the top but it is all one piece. Hope somebody gets a chuckle out of this situation I’ve been in.


A “finial” - sure looks like one, although they are always threaded on the bottom to screw into something to hold a shade or glass globe, unless the lamp had some sort of symmetrical architecture about it which dictated the need for a second “dummy” finial for looks? if there is a lamp without a shade or glass globe in the building this came from, then that would explain it.


It should be threaded on the inside most likely for lamp all thread.


Hey don’t knock Finials, they were the basis for the White patent of Sept 7, 1852, drawing metal which was then applied to making cartridge cases by others.


I’m delighted to learn it is a Finial, because, as a bullet, it sure had me stumped. It won’t be the first time a Final has passed as a bullet. Over the years I have run across a number of Finals loaded into 9x19mm cases passing for experimentals. All had threads on the inside, though some were filled with lead or ???.