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Mudwiggling through 2020

Under it…20 characters required! Look under the harp.

Okay, now you got me curious (he said as he tried to make the 20 characters…)


Yes that is it - in my opinion the very best antique projectile you have ever found or likely to find. It is the projectile from a very early Adams revolver ‘Dustbin Cartridge’ - it dates to the American Civil War and the Maori Wars and was made for the Model 1851 Adams and 1854 Adams revolvers.

Some references for you which I found last night

A complete one at $200 US or about $300 NZ - note that this dealer has never had a complete one

Note the price being asked for this well weathered one $65 US or $100 NZ

The guns below are the specific revolvers that they were made for -

1851 Adams.

Beaumont Adams


I have ever only seen one or maybe two in the collection of an old guy and other than his I have never seen another so that is how scarce it is. A great find, Treasure it as you are not likely to find another. Your very best projectile.


Wonder who’s digging through the sinker box right now😂


Bugger… Bugger bugger bugger…


@Lammerlaw Heh, all good - I learnt a long time ago not to trash anything until it’s positively identified as purest junk. Safe and sound…


I could hear your wails from the other end of the country!


I love it - great items and now they need little labels especially the little projectile - otherwise someone might throw it in the dustbin!

Another great hunt looks a fab site treasures aplenty

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.