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Code Slinger
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Short Answer:
It's an old bullet. :)

Long Answer:
This is one of the first bullets that came with a self detonator. The hammer smacked that firing-pin looking thing causing the shell to fire off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got some smart people here!
"In 1836 E. LeFaucheux of Paris introduced the first successful breech-loading cartridge: the pin fire. The pin fire consisted of a cylindrical metallic cartridge containing the powder and internally placed at the base a cup with fulminate. Protruding from the cup through the wall of the case was a pin. The pistol had a notch into which this pin would align itself. The hammer falls striking the pin forcing it into the fulminate thus igniting the charge and sending the projectile on its merry way."

This is an example from circa 1840 - 1850 of a 12 gauge pin fire shotshell, with cardboard casing and brass base.
 
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