21 October 2014

Metal Detecting Post #115 - Relics In The River

This video includes some still shots from recent river artifact recoveries. It also includes some video of a live recovery of an *unexploded Hotchkiss artillery shell. I have 5 full days of relic hunting scheduled between now and the end of November, so I should be posting some more relic hunting videos soon.

*Due to the design of this shell and the fact it was submerged in water for 150 years, there was no risk of it exploding accidentally. Nonetheless, these shells should ALWAYS be handled with care and caution and disarmed by someone who knows what they're doing. Such was the case with this shell.


ropelight said...

I'd double check on the identification of that shell. As I understand it Hotchkiss didn't start producing 3" rounds till well after the WBTS was over.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

RL - I'm no expert, but the 3" Hotchkiss was prominent during the WBTS.


ropelight said...

RGW, you're correct, it's a Hotchkiss shell, the type with 3 flame groves and likely fired from a 3" wrought iron Ordinance Rifle.

I confused the Hotchkiss
which was patented by Andrew Hotchkiss in 1855, with the Hotchkiss Gun manufactured by Andrew's brother Benjamin well after the War.

(From Wikipedia)
"Andrew Hotchkiss patented this pattern of projectile on October 16, 1855, patent #13,679. Andrew's patent states "...shot consisting of three parts, two of which parts are of hard metal and the other of some flexible expansible material in the form of a band or ring attached to one of the hard-metal parts and overlapping the edge of the other, in such manner that either by the act of loading or of firing, or of both, the said ring shall take the impression of the grooves and be made to fit the bore, as described."

In all Hotchkiss patterns used during the Civil War, the flexible expansible material was lead. Andrew Hotchkiss died in 1858."

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks RL -

"the flexible expansible material was lead"

Yes, known as "sabots" - I dug a complete one (rare) a couple of years ago and, since then, several frags of lead sabots - most likely all from Hotchkiss shells as well.

RightsideVA said...

Pretty work !!!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Steve. The Shenandoah has lots of secrets.

D. Hill said...

Looks like fun, but you need a better videographer!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

You did fine partner!