Bullets and Musket Balls

User avatar
PhilD
UKDN Valued Member and Diamond Supporter
UKDN Valued Member and Diamond Supporter
Posts: 13755
meble kuchenne warszawa
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:04 am
Main Detector: Makro Racer
Location: Saving North Yorks finds for future generations by recording with PAS
Contact:

Re: Bullets and Musket Balls

Post by PhilD »

Attachments
Musket ball bore size and weight.jpg
Musket ball bore size and weight.jpg (266.89 KiB) Viewed 3739 times
Click here to register with PAS
Makro Racer / ATPro Inter / T2 / Explorer II / Ace 250 / Garrett Pro Pinpointer / Etrex 10 GPS /Lumix TZ60/PAS Records - Click here

User avatar
Wigeon
Registered User
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:44 am
Main Detector: E-Trac
Location: Cambridgeshire

Re: Bullets and Musket Balls

Post by Wigeon »

Thanks for posting these items.

I have found that diameters (bore size) can be misleading, in identifying the weapon, if one is not aware of 'windage'.

An example of this is the 'Brown Bess' bore size and the size of the balls that it fired. 'Brown Bess' bore was 0.75 or 10 Bore. The balls it fired were around 0.68/0.69 and weighed 28 to 30 grams, which is 15 or 16 Bore.

In modern rifled weapons, the bullet is slightly larger than the nominal bore whereas in muzzle loading smoothbores, there was significant slack or windage.

On one of our sites we have mainly 'Brown Bess' balls with a small number of 0.605 diameter balls found too, weighing around 21 grams. We think possibly carbine or pistol but not sure. On that particular site, we do not yet have sufficient evidence of whom was doing the shooting, so could be post Napoleonic target practice by civilians ? We do have one button from the Fourth Queens Own Dragoons, but one swallow doesn't make a summer. We keep looking.

User avatar
PhilD
UKDN Valued Member and Diamond Supporter
UKDN Valued Member and Diamond Supporter
Posts: 13755
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:04 am
Main Detector: Makro Racer
Location: Saving North Yorks finds for future generations by recording with PAS
Contact:

Re: Bullets and Musket Balls

Post by PhilD »

Thanks Wigeon :g50:

I just Googled windage and it said it was 0.05'' on a Brown Bess.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=W18 ... ge&f=false
Click here to register with PAS
Makro Racer / ATPro Inter / T2 / Explorer II / Ace 250 / Garrett Pro Pinpointer / Etrex 10 GPS /Lumix TZ60/PAS Records - Click here

User avatar
Evo
Registered User
Posts: 897
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:23 pm
Main Detector: XP ADX150 + XP Deus
Location: lincolnshire

Re: Bullets and Musket Balls

Post by Evo »

Great info thanks
Embrace the sadness with a smile, and keep on swinging!

User avatar
PhilD
UKDN Valued Member and Diamond Supporter
UKDN Valued Member and Diamond Supporter
Posts: 13755
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:04 am
Main Detector: Makro Racer
Location: Saving North Yorks finds for future generations by recording with PAS
Contact:

Re: Bullets and Musket Balls

Post by PhilD »

Cheers Evo :g50:
Click here to register with PAS
Makro Racer / ATPro Inter / T2 / Explorer II / Ace 250 / Garrett Pro Pinpointer / Etrex 10 GPS /Lumix TZ60/PAS Records - Click here

User avatar
Wigeon
Registered User
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:44 am
Main Detector: E-Trac
Location: Cambridgeshire

Re: Bullets and Musket Balls

Post by Wigeon »

PhilD wrote:Thanks Wigeon :g50:

I just Googled windage and it said it was 0.05'' on a Brown Bess.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=W18 ... ge&f=false
That's interesting, however the weights and measurements that I quoted above are from more than 600 balls recovered from a Napoleonic militia musket range, so it seems they didn't read the book :D
I have weighed every ball and put them on a spreadsheet too. If I remember correctly the extreme heaviest is 31 grams and the lightest 24 grams. Most are around the 28 to 30 gram mark, which is considerably lighter (by 9 or 10 grams) than a 10 Bore ball, less 0.05''.

0.05''is not much 'slack' when a soldier is trying to speedily load a musket, with a fouled barrel in battle conditions. It would appear that estimating the bore of the weapon from a recovered ball is not an exact science, which is a shame, as it would make it so much easier for us.

Post Reply

Return to “Firearms & Munitions”