Musket ball???

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by vegasbob1, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. vegasbob1

    vegasbob1 New Member

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    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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  2. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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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.
     

  3. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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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.:)
     
  4. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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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
     
  5. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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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.
     
  6. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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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.
     
  7. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The turret ring bearings for the M4 Sherman tank are about that size.
     
  8. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    ummm, a musket ball is a round ball. A minie ball is a hollow based bullet.
     
  9. vegasbob1

    vegasbob1 New Member

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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.
     
  10. vegasbob1

    vegasbob1 New Member

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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.
     
  11. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    what i meant to say was the ones during the civl war period but failed to, yes they were round and were shot from smooth bores during thier time period. i sometimes forget that there are some oldtimers still around that do shoot traditionally and not with those inlines. i myself am a flintlock smooth bore person.
     
  12. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    They were used before and beyond the C.W. period in rifled barrels. I use them in my custom Hawken. A lot of the traditional rifles have rifling that wont work well with anything but round balls.
     
  13. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    i have never heard a round ball that is used in a slow twist round ball barell referred to as a musket ball, a round ball yes a musket ball no, terminology sucks at times. my hawkens are all 1 in 66 twist and my flintlers other than my hawkin 54 are smoothbore 1750's era fowlers.
     
  14. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    Round ball or more commonly PRB is a relatively modern term. What kind of hawken's do you have?
     
  15. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    one hawkin is an old t/c i bought whe they came out in 45 percussion, about ten years ago i put a slow twist 54 on it, the other is a lyman flint with a slow twist. i also have a custom 62 caliber flint fowler, and the other one which istyled after the canoe guns i built, ita a 62 flinter also. ive had others but i got rid of them to finance another project at the time.
     
  16. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    Cool. I only have the one but it was blueprinted off an original


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