Friday, February 17, 2012

2/17/12 Report - Bullet Find & Researching Detector Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Variety of Bullets.

I posted this photo a few days ago to show a variety of bullet finds. I thought the one at the bottom might be an "anti-aircraft" bullet. Someone once told me that. I guess that is partly right.

Anyhow, I received a great email from Kevin B. He said it was probably a Browning 50 caliber machine gun shell and added the dimensions for that type of shell in red on my photo.

I measured the shell and found that the measurements were correct. So now I know more about that bullet. It is a Browning 50 caliber machine gun shell.

But that isn't the end of the story.

Kevin also included photos of some similar shells and showed where a lot of additional information could be found on the shell casing.

Here is that illustration.

Information on Shell Casings.

He said, There will be some numbers and letters on the head of the case where the primer is that should give you loads of info, more than likely the year and place where the shell was made at a minimum.

My shell had some crust on the case, so I cleaned it off and found the letters and numbers.

By the way, I found that when there is just a little crust or corrosion left, a touch of 3 in 1 oil will take just enough off to quickly make something like this more readable.

I could easily see the 44 early in the cleaning process, but it took a little oil to make the letters pop out. I didn't get the letters to show in the photo as clear as they are in real life.

Shell Casing Showing Letters L C and 44.

As Kevin explained, the numbers indicate when the shell was loaded (on my shell it would be 1944), and the letters indicate where it was manufactured.

Kevin provided this web site that shows the WWII manufacture codes.

As you can see, LC = Lake City Army Ammunition Plant - Independence, Missouri.

Now I know when the shell was made and where.

My main point today is about more than bullets. It is about how all kinds of finds can become much more interesting if you do the research. Digging something up is just one part of the process. Doing the research and getting to know your find is the next step, and in many cases can be the most worthwhile.

A piece of metal is a piece of metal, but when you get to know more about it's history, it becomes more meaningful and significant. Furthermore, the information you gain can sometimes point you to more treasure.

One reason that I very seldom use discrimination, is that even junk can provide useful or valuable information.

But again, that is not the end of the story. The bullet is not the only thing I learned about. I also learned about the gun. Kevin sent me a link to more information about that.

Here is the link.

As you can see the gun was not only an anti-aircraft gun, but it was also sometimes mounted on planes and tanks. I guess it could have possibly been used to provide fire to make the landing exercises on Hutchinson Island more realistic.

I don't know all of the details, but my appreciation for the bullet is greater, I learned a lot, and my imagination about the military activities that took place on Hutchinson Island was definitely enriched.

But this isn't only about one era. Any artifact you find can become much more interesting and valuable when you learn more about it. If you find a nice spike or shipwreck artifact, you'll learn a lot by doing the research. And you'll be better prepared to interpret the various signs of treasure that you might come across in the field.

Not much to say about the local conditions. Things will remain the same until the next front comes through Sunday.

They are about ready to start dredging the St. Lucie Inlet.

And thanks to Kevin and all of you that contribute from time to time.

Happy hunting,