Bullets & Cartridges - Dug and Non-Dug
Hunk of Chewed Lead
Item #: JMS-423
Hunk of Chewed Lead Hunk of Chewed Lead Hunk of Chewed Lead Hunk of Chewed Lead Hunk of Chewed Lead
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This might have been a bullet or just a piece of lead from the back of a buckle. It clearly has teeth marks in it. But before anyone gets too excited, it's never been established that soldiers actually "bit the bullet" during amputations or other painful procedures. Such an approach simply makes no sense given the availability of leather belts and wooden items to bite down on. What's more, anesthesia was not unknown at the time. It saw a lot more use than is generally thought.

I say all this not to dissuade you from making a purchase. eek (Heaven forefend!) But simply to make clear that I will not make up elaborate stories about "pain bullets". Once I read a period diary, letter or memoir about biting the bullet, I will believe. Until then, I remain unconvinced. However...

(You knew this was coming!) Bitten bullets are part of the story of the Civil War and relic hunting today. Most of them have been chewed by animals. Wild hogs and squirrels are said to love the lead. It is also not entirely improbable that some soldiers chewed on bullets as a nervous habit...much the same way some of us might chew on a pen. There's no question that bullets have been found with clearly human teeth marks. I have a pair of these in my collection. As to why someone would gnaw on a bullet - it's anyone's guess. It is worth noting that the harmful effects of lead were unknown at the time.

Some of the "bites" on this piece of lead are larger and some are quite small. It's for the buy to decide what went on. I'm pricing this for a quick sale. This lead was dug on private property, with permission, in Fredericksburg.

Shipping Weight: 0.1 lb
Your Price... $9.95 USD

All firearms sold are pre-1898 and historic collectibles. They are not meant to be fired. Jim Stanley & Associates (cwartifax.com) will not be liable for injury incurred due to any weapon or artifact purchased from this site. All artillery projectiles sold by Jim Stanley & Associates are absolutely safe and have been professionally and safely de-activated.