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Old 07-13-2018, 09:20 PM
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DCCraftsman DCCraftsman is offline
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Default Found 2 odd sized musket balls, any thoughts?

I found both these musket balls (pics attached below) about 20yds apart. Doing a little research I found that the British Brown Bess was a .75 cal. but shot a .693 ball. Both items I found are .040" and .070" larger? The Brown Bess was the largest caliber I could find during my research. Am I missing something?
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:29 AM
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Waterhead Waterhead is offline
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Default Sweet

I think its probably for the Brown Bess based on the size. I see your from NY so if you dug them in that state, there was a ton of Rev War activity there. It help some.

I hit this spot along the James River here in Virginia several years ago and dug a bewildering array of cast round balls up to 80 caliber. Some were crazy field cast with both sides of the ball being offset due to a bad hinge pin in the bullet mold. Even smaller caliber balls with the cast sprues still attached. I'm talking 40 caliber balls on up to the 80 cal. Those extremely large balls had me pretty perplexed. I figure they were for very large bore imported flintlock.

I think you're on the money and they're rev war balls.

Pretty sweet!
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Waterhead View post
I think its probably for the Brown Bess based on the size. I see your from NY so if you dug them in that state, there was a ton of Rev War activity there. It help some.

I hit this spot along the James River here in Virginia several years ago and dug a bewildering array of cast round balls up to 80 caliber. Some were crazy field cast with both sides of the ball being offset due to a bad hinge pin in the bullet mold. Even smaller caliber balls with the cast sprues still attached. I'm talking 40 caliber balls on up to the 80 cal. Those extremely large balls had me pretty perplexed. I figure they were for very large bore imported flintlock.

I think you're on the money and they're rev war balls.

Pretty sweet!
Thank You for the reply and the information about your finds. It's really incredible to think that the last person to touch these did so 150+ years ago. If you ever run across any info on these large caliber flintlocks I would be grateful if you could pass that along, while I continue my search for additional info as well.(and more artifacts!) Happy digging Waterhead.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:51 PM
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Waterhead Waterhead is offline
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Default Here ya go

Those balls are probably 240 years old if they're rev war period.

Just Google 80 caliber flintlock and there are a bunch of rifles and pistols listed. Huge hunk of lead. So many imported flintlocks back in the day. Get back in there and find some more.

Good job!
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:05 AM
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Nice finds!

The Brown Bess shot .72 until the British bean counters figured out that .69 was cheaper. It didn't help accuracy any but they saved on ammo costs. I use .72 in my repro but can get a fairly accurate shot with a properly patched .69.

I'm not sure what production gun would use .75 but it was common for a gunsmith to build a musket and a mold to match. Most guns came close to a standard size but few would be exactly the same.

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Old 07-18-2018, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BaldAssCat View post
Nice finds!

The Brown Bess shot .72 until the British bean counters figured out that .69 was cheaper. It didn't help accuracy any but they saved on ammo costs. I use .72 in my repro but can get a fairly accurate shot with a properly patched .69.

I'm not sure what production gun would use .75 but it was common for a gunsmith to build a musket and a mold to match. Most guns came close to a standard size but few would be exactly the same.
Thank You for the info BaldAssCat, I appreciate you chiming in.
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