.58 Caliber Johnston & Dow Patented Combustible Waterproof Cartridge


This .58 caliber Johnston & Dow waterproof cartridge is in excellent condition and was excavated in the area of Fair Oaks, VA. The bullet itself has a white patina with some moderate surface ground action. The main body of the cartridge is complete with no cracks, breaks, holes, or repairs, however there are three very small splits in the paper where it is sealed to the side of the bullet likely due to shrinkage. The paper is still solidly attached to the bullet with no leakage and, if gently shaken, one can still hear the 150 year old gun powder inside. According to Jim Thomas, co-author of "A Handbook of Civil War Bullets and Cartridges", "the case material was paper or cloth treated with various chemicals to make it combustible. A final coat of collodion made the cartridge waterproof. The fact that complete cartridges are still recovered is a testament to the inventor's claim of them being impervious to the weather." An example of this cartridge can be found in the above mentioned handbook on page 39 as item 150B and also in "Round Ball To Rimfire, Part I" by Dean S. Thomas on page 175, specimen 244. This cartridge is an outstanding example and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War bullet, cartridge, or general excavated relic collection.

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