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Old 02-11-2014, 08:04 PM
papaharley03 papaharley03 is offline
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Default Musket ball?

I found this in my front yard the other day. It's heavy, and at first I thought some type of fishing weight since I'm not far from a lake. But I happened across a picture that led me to look at more pictures. I'll leave it to you experts to weigh in, but it seems to have the characteristic markings of a musket ball.

HH,

Papa
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:27 AM
papaharley03 papaharley03 is offline
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Attention moderators. Can you move this thread to the Help Me ID My Finds forum. I put it in this area by mistake.

Thanks.

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Old 02-13-2014, 10:27 AM
gunsil gunsil is offline
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It looks rusty. Will a magnet attract to it?? If it is steel or iron it is not a projectile from a firearm, and it is too small to be grapeshot.

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Old 02-13-2014, 11:40 AM
papaharley03 papaharley03 is offline
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It looks rusty. Will a magnet attract to it?? If it is steel or iron it is not a projectile from a firearm, and it is too small to be grapeshot.
Thanks for taking a look, gunsil. No, it's not magnetic, and has the weight for its size to feel like lead. I realize now the lighting on that picture was not good because it has no rust appearance. More of an off white appearance.

I'll try to get a better picture up later today.

Papa

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Old 02-14-2014, 08:44 AM
gunsil gunsil is offline
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If it's lead it is most likely a projectile. Kind of small for a musket if the 1/2" on your tape is accurate. Could have been for a rifle or pistol, not really possible to ever be sure. The sprue mark is huge, but I still think projectile here.

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:06 AM
papaharley03 papaharley03 is offline
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If it's lead it is most likely a projectile. Kind of small for a musket if the 1/2" on your tape is accurate. Could have been for a rifle or pistol, not really possible to ever be sure. The sprue mark is huge, but I still think projectile here.
A really interesting thing happened yesterday. This is of course no conclusive determination, but my elderly neighbor from across the street came to visit my mom who is visiting me. I told her I had something to show her and produced this object. Her exact words, "Looks like you found a musket ball". I nearly fell over because I had not said anything about what I thought it might be. Her late husband used to metal detect and she said they had found a few back in the day.

Thanks again gunsil for your advice. Although I wouldn't expect to find something like that native to this area, I added some bermuda tiff sod over my yard a few years back and there's no telling where that sod came from.

regards and HH,

Papa

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Old 02-15-2014, 10:04 AM
gunsil gunsil is offline
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I use the term "projectile" since a musket is actually a military firearm, and usually of a large caliber. May folks call all the old lead round balls they find "musket balls" as a generic term. All old muzzle loading firearms used lead balls, and there are many in use today. These balls were used in muskets, rifles, smoothbore long arms, shotguns and pistols which is why I prefer the term projectile, or just plain "round ball". I see you're in the Dallas area and it is quite possible your find was originally dropped there since they were widely used in hunting. Yours appears unfired, so it is often called a "drop".

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Old 02-15-2014, 01:12 PM
papaharley03 papaharley03 is offline
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I use the term "projectile" since a musket is actually a military firearm, and usually of a large caliber. May folks call all the old lead round balls they find "musket balls" as a generic term. All old muzzle loading firearms used lead balls, and there are many in use today. These balls were used in muskets, rifles, smoothbore long arms, shotguns and pistols which is why I prefer the term projectile, or just plain "round ball". I see you're in the Dallas area and it is quite possible your find was originally dropped there since they were widely used in hunting. Yours appears unfired, so it is often called a "drop".
Much appreciated. I have some knowledge about guns and muzzle loaders but I'm not the scholar that you are about the historical variety. When I was reading about musket balls, I read that they were often hand poured in the field. One thought I had initially was that it might have been a buckshot pellet. However, I dismissed that idea due to the visible mold line and sprue mark, unless this was a characteristic of early shotgun shell pellets too. This item, btw, is not perfectly round. It's slightly flattened along the axis of the mold line. But I guess that could have happened by any number of means after it was dropped.

So, I agree with projectile and see what you mean about using the musket ball term loosely.

Regards,

Papa

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