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Dating musket balls metal detecting, recovering Musket Balls

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Could this be my first musket ball? - Friendly Metal Detecting Forums

Taverns were frequented by soldiers all the time during any time period, whether it was war or peace. Measure a round ball If the ball is round, measure its diameter in inches with a set of calipers, but do not take the measurement on the mold seam.

The firelock was also known as a fusil, and this is the origin of the term fusilier. This coating is usually white or light tan. They were of different calibers and belonged to different time periods.

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Musket balls are manufactured by pouring molten lead or another alloy into a two part single or a multiple cavity mould. However not all dropped musket balls have a mold seam or casting sprue.

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Some dating can be acomplished by determining the caliber of the ball. However, intro email dating site the presence of tannic acid from trees or high levels of iron oxide in the soil can darken the color of an authentic musket ball to a deep reddish-brown. The musketeer then fired his weapon as before.

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Tip A gray-colored ball with a blistery surface may be authentic, but it was molded from an alloy of lead and pewter or lead and tin. The abundance of gunpowder in the artillery train prohibited the use of burning objects glowing match in the vicinity and the firelock became the preferred weapon for the artillery train guards. Overall, finds were understandably rather sparse.

The flint struck against steel over the pan, emitting sparks. The lead from the channel is usually clipped off using a sprue cutter and leaves a medial ridge on the sprue. The rifled muskets of the American Civil War were much more accurate and combat ranges of yards were practical.

Then he rammed the ball down the barrel until it was well seated into the chamber. The ball was retrieved from his teeth and placed into the muzzle. The smooth bore muskets of the Brown Bess period had considerable hitting power and were able to penetrate the armor of the day, but had limited accuracy due to the lack of rifling in the barrel.

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Authentic musket balls are not shiny gray lead. Lead is a very dense metal, and a musket ball will feel heavy for its size when compared to something like a glass or clay marble.

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Matchlocks require more distance between individuals because of the glowing match and the necessity of moving ranks after each salvo, whereas the flintlock allows a close ordered formation. When the diameter is measured this can be used to determine the caliber. It was therefore softer underfoot, less likely to break ankles, and quite a lot easier to dig. This is usually clipped off close to the surface of the ball, If you excavate a musket ball that is round, has a mold seam and a casting sprue then it was probably dropped and not fired. Look at the color Examine the ball for a patina.

The Swedish combination of lighter, handier muskets, with paper cartridges, and salvo tactics enabled the Swedes to reload at one-minute intervals. This was a common practice used by the American army during the American Revolutionary War, since lead was in short supply. The flintlock decreased the reload time, but was more expensive than the matchlock mechanism. Together with its large size, this meant it could cause large wounds.

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The musketeer would grab a cartridge from the box, then bite down on the ball and tear the cartridge open. It would be impossible either to date a musket ball by just measuring its diameter or determine whether it was a musket ball or a pistol shot. He would pinch off a small amount of powder in the cartridge and pour the remainder into the muzzle of his musket. Musket balls buried underground for years develop a coating of lead carbonates, sulfides and oxides. Generally, the balls are more clearly identified as to time period by those items that are found with them.

Check for surface characteristics Look for evidence of a mold seam. Not good, especially as both troughs and crests were liberally scattered with great clods which made swinging the detector decidedly problematic. Usually the mold also leaves traces of the mold seam around the circumference of the ball. With its soft, all-lead composition, the ball would easily flatten or burst on contact, much like a modern soft point bullet. The difference between the ball and the caliber is known as windage.

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The lead is melted and poured into a two-part mold, down a channel in the mold called a sprue. You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post. Look for evidence of a casting sprue made from the inlet channel of the mold. Flintlocks became more popular over time as the cost diminished and reliability improved.