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Mudwiggling through 2020

As an aside, re: the pic of the Tranter… I noted this

What’s your opinion on these (I’ve dug several in areas with a lot of pistol evidence)

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The tin in the case is merely a push on top tin and would rot away in the soil as fast as a bean can. It is a Japanned tin with shellac on it and normally holds percussion caps and occasionally whale grease for greasing the bullets so all chambers of the gun dont go off at once - which could be disastrous.

Your top is a new one to me and certainly is not part of an old pistol or gun cased accessory to the b est of my knowledge and I have seen a few of them in my life. It looks as though it may be a pewter top for something but what I do not know.

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Nice one mudwigle! Some great finds! I just just checked the lead box and found these three all different sizes? Something for ll to look at?

Hell 3 chicken teeth… Did you no what they were before this discussion? Pretty cool history

Hi Chris I had no idea at all! I’ve probably got more somewhere

To be the ‘dustbin’ bullets they all need the tail which used to have a wad attached to it and then it was attached to the ‘dustbin’ which was a copper case that held the gun powder.
The sale price of the first bare projectile without the wad or copper case is $85 US or $131 NZ.
The complete one below it has a price tag of $200 US or $309 NZ

Dustbin Cartridge 4

Dustbin 2

Dustbin 3

If the projectile does not have the tail to hold the wad in place and also the copper powder cartridge then it is a standard revolver bullet which will outnumber dustbin bullets maybe 10,000 to 1.

As you can see the standard Adams revolver bullet is exactly the same MINUS the tail. If there is an anomaly in the centre of the back of the bullet but no tail then that anomaly will be where the sprue cutter cut off the sprue.

Steptoeandson your projectiles appear to be standard percussion revolver bullets as they dont have the tail BUT they are also prized items to have as well as it is not every day that you find pistol bullets from the Maori War era and I would be happy finding them as well.


Steptoeandson - yours look as though they might be a 38 bore which is about .497 of an inch calibre, a 54 bore which is near .442 of and inch calibre and 120 bore which is about .32 of an inch calibre.
I cannot of course really tell by the photos as there are many bore sizes BUT the most popular were those mentioned above - the smallest Adams revolvers were actually made for 200 bore.

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Thanks lammerlaw the small one has the tail all were found in Dunedin. It’s great to find out the info!

I read in a book somewhere that often miners entering Dunedin would discharge their revolvers into a quarry somewhere so that they were not carrying loaded revolvers. Recently a person brought a historic Goldfield era revolver to me for identification. It had been found on the route to/from the goldfields so we presumed that it had been lost during the gold rush era as the entire gun had turned into iron oxide (rust) but of course it may have been thrown away during a later era but must have been where it was found for upward of 100 years due to its condition.

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Yes it’s amazing the history around here! I might have mentioned this before but I have been told of to pistols that were under a hut in the Waikouaiti area they are probably still in the ground somewhere!

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I lived there and used to find Maori artifacts there. I got my best coins with a metal detector there as well. The sandhills were my playground.


Different littoral sediments this time, with the expected shift in target composition [eg way more crap!]

Chucking out of the pouch



And the winners podium

Top of a 1950’s Buxton cigarette case
1944 Brit 6d
1915 Brit 3d
Eyeballed obsidian shard
…and a bling ring to keep the tally going.


@Lammerlaw I never knew such a thing as a dustbin bullet existed. Thanks or the lesson, piqued my interest!

I am an encyclopedia of shit that no one wants to know about however be warned that if no one knows what something is and you make up an identification for it - then history can be altered forever!

The Dustbin bullet was actually quite a novel item as it contained the powder inside the little ‘dustbin’ and this did away with the necessity of fumbling with a powder flask. There was however a better system during the same era and that was the paper cartridge - the paper held both the projectile and the powder.
In the photo of the green lined cased British Beaumont Adams revolver above you will see two white cylinders - they are original 1860s Eley 54 bore paper cartridges containing conical bullet plus gunpowder and they sure beat loading the components separately. These are also quite scarce today but no where near as scarce as a dustbin cartridge.


Is that an old kerosene lamp winder from an Aladdin or older Miller type lamp with the screw thread around it in the second to bottom photo?

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Roadtrip today, braving hail and angry Pied Stilts… Back into the rings with a couple of 925’s and a pair of veteran fishing spinners. Unable to locate on web, but look to be first half of 1900’s at a guess. Also a large carbon/graphite rod. First thought was searchlight, but they are surprisingly thin, so may be a brush out of a huge electric motor - which also raises questions given the location, which is far removed from any houses, heavy industry or shipping…



bloody hell so much cool stuff
.thanks for the share

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Love it. Some great stuff. Hardly any rings in the deep south. Must be the Scottish traits still existant in the population…cant be the cold weather keeping people from the beach.

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The rod might be a battery core. I am thinking old telephone batteries.

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bottom lure is i think a devon minnow,certanly pre 1950.

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