Unknown dug cartridge


Any help you all can give on this is greatly appreciated. I live in Columbia, SC and I was walking in the park behind my house the other day on an old road bed (I believe it is the original main street as current main street is not far) and found a bullet/casing right on the surface. I have looking in a couple books on cartridges without anything similar so I thought I would put it up on here. The bullet is worn so I am unsure of its caliber but the casing just above it measures a little over .36 so .36 or a little less is my best guess for the bullet. The casing tapers at the end and has a solid end. I am unsure how to clean it so I am unsure if there is any writing on the end. Does anyone recognize this cartridge? Also, is it advisable to clean it in any way or just leave it in dug condition.



Far from my area of “expertise”, but that looks like some kind of Gallagher cartridge.


This is not a Gallager. They were .50 caliber. It does appear to be a percussion primed round of some sort. I would also guess it is for a rifle or carbine not a pistol. Is it iron (magnetic) or brass (non-magnetic).

I would not clean it beyond using a little dish soap and warm water and maybe a careful light scrub with an old tooth brush.


I am a little confused about the possibility of it being a percussion primed cartridge as the end is solid, not with a hole like the Gallagher. It has a brass or copper casing, non-magnetic. I also thought it was probably a rifle cartridge due to the length but due to the size I was wondering if it could even be some odd Colt revolver conversion cartridge or something.


Sam–Please post a picture of the base. When using Photobucket to post a picture click on the last choice (IMG) then go to the forum and click on CTRL-V to make the image appear directly in your post. Note-Only the link will show up until you use “submit”. You should use “Preview” first to make sure you have what you want.

Please give us the dimensions of the case length and overall length.


Could this be a 35/30 M1865 MAYNARD missing the rim? Years ago on a very remote Civil War Battle Field,I dug several of the 36 Cal. Maynard’s cases that the rims were missing from ,along with several that still had the rims,and if my “Ancient” memory still serves me,they looked a lot like the item shown.
Charles.J.Wells (Jack)


Here are a couple pictures of the base. I think it is made this way without a rim broken off but I cannot say for sure. Overall length is 1 13/16" length of casing is just over 1 1/2"


do any of the 1865 Maynards had a tapered end like the round I found? I supposed it is possible that some solder modified this one and cut the rim off.


There would be no reason to cut the rim off as it served to aid in the extraction of the case when fired,also it formed a gas seal against the rear of the receiver.
Suggest you post this on :" bulletsandshells.com" this is a site dealing with Civil War Ordnance.You might also try contacting Dean Thomas he’s listed in the IAA directory.
The 36 Maynard had an overall length of 2.10".As yours is missing the rim and the projectile is some what flattened on the nose your measurement of 1.8125 for the case would be close if it were a 36 Maynard.
The ones I dug (1962),was so long ago that I do not remember details of the ones missing the base,other than all were dug,along with an iron back block “C” button with in a 2Ft area.which would indicate possible Confederate used.
Try the site I’ve listed and perhaps they can help
Charles.J.Wells (Jack)
SGM. USA. Ret.


If the rim had broken away from the body of a Maynard M-1865 cartridge the hollow body or powder cavity would be revealed those were just a tube with the rim soldered to the base.

It looks like a soft nose bullet / projectile to me, perhaps for an 8mm or 9mm European rifle?


Just purely on the basis of size this looks more like a hunting round than a military round of the era. Military rounds tended to be bigger. Hunting rounds tended to be smaller to keep down cost. Stick it in some vinegar and see what comes off.Do it sparingly.


Pete the ones I dug that were missing the rims were solid base w/a micro small hole in the base,all had traces of solder around the base to hold rim,possibly C.S.Mfg?also found C.S.Selma mfg. 54 Cal.Minnie’s in the area,and two 50 Cal Morse cases.Now I wish I still had my Civil War Bullet Collection (487 Different)
Charles.J.Wells (Jack)


Jack is 100% correct, I was thinking of something else when I commented. Thanks Jack