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  #1  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:46 PM
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Default musket ball?

I dug this in a park near my home today. It feels like lead. It has a rough seam down the middle and the 2 halves aren't even flush. I know next to nothing about firearms and ammunition Interestingly, I found it about 50' from where I dug a 3 ringer last fall. It is roughly the size of a small marble and weighs 16 grams

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Old 08-24-2009, 01:22 AM
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Default ball

It's a round ball with bad alignment on the mold when it was cast.
Designed to be shot out of a black powder rifle(not necessarily a musket)
probably dropped,not fired ..............measure the diameter to find what size bore the ball was made for.I think muskets shoot about .58 to .62 diameter ball,
.50 to .54 probably hunting rifle.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o4petesake View Post
It's a round ball with bad alignment on the mold when it was cast.
Designed to be shot out of a black powder rifle(not necessarily a musket)
probably dropped,not fired ..............measure the diameter to find what size bore the ball was made for.I think muskets shoot about .58 to .62 diameter ball,
.50 to .54 probably hunting rifle.
Thanks for the info,
As accurate as I can estimate with a standard ruler, its about 9/16 of an inch. So, about .56.
The jury is still out. I would think that it would be by weight?

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Old 08-24-2009, 10:28 PM
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Round balls are made to be used with a patch. That is, a bit of cloth wrapped around the ball to seal better in the rifling of the barrel. Therefore the balls are generally a tad bit smaller than the actual barrel caliber. As previously stated, that ridge appears to be caused by the two halves of the mold being out of alignment, probably due to a lot of use. The little bump you see along the seam is the sprue, left from the opening between the two halves where the lead is poured into the mold. When the ball is loaded, the sprue is always pointed up, and is usually somewhat flattened by the ball starter and then the ramrod. Given all this, I agree that this ball was probably a reject, destined for a recast.

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Old 08-29-2009, 04:14 PM
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This is the part of the “process” of musket ball making found whilst I was detecting in a field in England a couple of months ago. You can see the similarities with your musket ball?

Doug (England)

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Old 08-29-2009, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
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This is the part of the “process” of musket ball making found whilst I was detecting in a field in England a couple of months ago. You can see the similarities with your musket ball?

Doug (England)

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Man, what kind of molds did they use over there in England? That doesn't resemble anything I've ever seen come out of a bullet mold.

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:39 PM
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This is one half of a musket ball mold found by a UK forum member, my thanks to him for the photograph.

Doug

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Old 08-31-2009, 06:54 AM
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Yeah, that looks like a normal bullet mold. That mold would leave the balls attached to a long narrow stem. But those other balls in your first pic only look like half balls attached to an awful lot of excess lead. Almost like someone tried to only use half a mold, except that I can see the mold seam. Unless it is just a photography quirk?

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:04 AM
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Those bottom two sprues in Doug's pic might have come from a mold where each individual mold has its own pour channel. bit like the ones used nowadays. So that is the sprue after the bullets have been removed. That large sprue with one ball attached may have been a result of a bad pour, metal was too cold or something was blocking the mold.

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