Musket ball???


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Old 01-16-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Musket ball???

My wife and I were walking along the Old Spanish Trail near Las Vegas with our metal detectors. We found an iron ball approximately 3/4" in diameter. It appears old as it is all rusted and we're really not sure what it is. Brought it home and it is attracted to a magnet. Again this was found on the old Spanish Trail in the middle of nowhere. Attached photo, does anyone know what this is? I'm not sure.



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Old 01-16-2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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well....Musket balls are most commonly made of Lead, which is NOT magnetic...maybe if there are impurities within the ball then it could be attracted...but it would have made it harder to form the actual ball. Dont really know whatcha got there.



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Old 01-16-2011, 09:40 PM   #3
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Could be a projectile of some sort. More likely grape or cannister shot
from a cannon than a ball from some sort of musket. Any known battles
been fought in the area?

Better chance it's a ball from a ball mill used for ore grinding, or a ball from
a ball bearing from some old piece of equipment. Balls are also used for
the pivots in some types of scales---I've got one that looks like
an old cannon ball but it's from a set of drive over truck scales.

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Old 01-16-2011, 10:12 PM   #4
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ball bearing makes alot more sense...can me made from iron or nickel or combinations...both of those are metallic. and yea ball bearings are steel....iron+carbon=steel=magnetic

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Old 01-16-2011, 10:33 PM   #5
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My guess is ball bearing because it's misshapen. Grape or cannister shot wouldn't be. No matter how hard it hit or how corroded it got it would still be pretty much round.

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Old 01-16-2011, 11:12 PM   #6
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the term musket ball (mini balls) refers to the bullet used in a musket, they were hollow based bullets that had the base filled with lube that would expand and engage the rifling when fired. what you found if it is really old would be grape shot i belive.

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Old 01-16-2011, 11:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
My guess is ball bearing because it's misshapen.
+1
The turret ring bearings for the M4 Sherman tank are about that size.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whtsmoke View Post
the term musket ball (mini balls) refers to the bullet used in a musket, they were hollow based bullets that had the base filled with lube that would expand and engage the rifling when fired.
ummm, a musket ball is a round ball. A minie ball is a hollow based bullet.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:16 PM   #9
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Thanks for the information. I don't believe there were any battles in this area; however, John C. Fremont and Kit Carson may have had a battle with Indians at one time. I have no idea what it is and there is nothing but flat desert where it was found. I guess I could use it for a fishing weight.

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Old 01-16-2011, 11:26 PM   #10
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You know, you may be right. Back in the 40's, General Patton, who was stationed in Barstow, California with his Sherman Tank Battalion, had summer maneuvers near Boulder City, Nevada. He could have had his battalion travel another fifty, sixty miles to where the item was found. So Sherman Tanks could have been close to or in that area.



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