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Old 03-10-2004, 02:42 PM
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Blue, the standard method of carrying minie balls was to have them placed in a tin lined leather cartridge box that was designed to hold 40 rounds. Each round was hand rolled in a factory. It consisted of a piece of paper, string, 55 grains of black powder and the minie ball. The minie ball was placed in the front of the cartridge that was closed by the string. Powder was behind the minie ball. The paper was long enough to be folded over to keep the powder from spilling. Sometimes they were issued 60 rounds , 20 of which were stuffed in pockets. Stingy officers often did not give the men a proper amount because they thought the men would waste the ammo if they had too many rounds.

When the round was loaded the soldier performed a ritual known as load in 9 times. I won?t bore you with the details but the long and the short of it was that the soldier tore the paper cartridge with his teeth and poured the powder down the barrel, next step was to push the paper down the barrel and then the minie ball. Now the ramrod was removed from the stock rammed the charge home and returned the ramrod to the stock, seating it with the heel of his hand. He then put a percussion cap on the nipple and put the musket on half cock (their equivalent to a safety) then waited for the order to fire.

A good soldier was expected to be able to fire 3 rounds a minute.

I have seen factory produced minie balls with wax still in the rings. If you can find it look for Francis Lords Encyclopedia of the Civil War. He had a lot of great photos in there of ammunition of all types.

Bill
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2004, 03:59 PM
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Thanks Bill...

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Old 03-10-2004, 06:40 PM
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Default Mike...

...the "slug" rounds being referred to here are what is properly known as RIFLED SLUGS.

It's a standard shotgun cartridge (paper or plastic tube with a brass base) but instead of having multiple pellets inside, it has a rifled slug.

The rifled slug is kind of like a Minie except that it has angled lands and grooves on its bearing surface. When fired the slug will spin enough to stabilize it in a smooth bore shotgun.
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Old 03-10-2004, 07:11 PM
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Post Steve

I use a breneke slug. (From Germany) It also has a felt wad attached to the back of the slug. It maintains compression and velocity better than American slugs. When living in the Olympia area in Washington, some of the best deer hunting was in slug only area. A gunsmith introducted me to breneke slugs. (I believe the spelling isn't quite right but its close.) They are also rifled slugs. Got two deer with them.

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Old 03-10-2004, 07:20 PM
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I've got about 15 original .58 Cal Cartriges from the old Schuylkill Arsenal in Phila (Torn down in the mid 1960's) and the minnie ball appears to be covered in bees wax or tallow. When I cast my own I dip them in melted Wonder Grease which is a yellow waxy lube that helps keep the powder fouling soft enough to swab out after every three or four shots. During the Civil War every tenth round fired was supposed to be a "Cleaner" round which was a solid base bullet with a circular iron scraper attached to the base. This was supposed to shoot out the powder fouling but was not very effective. Most soldiers would fire their 5 or 6 rounds and then swab the bore with a wet patch to get the fouling out.

I've also got a few "Buck and Ball" loads for the .69 cal. Mod. 1819 Musket that was converted to percussion and used during the opening years of the Civil War until enough rifles had been made to issue out. It has one 69 cal ball and 3 OO buckshot pellets with around 70 grains of black powder behind it. I guess the theory was that if you missed the guy you were shooting at you stood a better chance of getting the guys on either side of him.
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Old 03-10-2004, 09:22 PM
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Amazing...
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BLUEHAWK

What would happen if a shotgun DID have rifling, using the same "slug" round?
Guess it wouldn't be a shotgun then. It'd be a shotrifle.

It's generally considered a bad idea to shoot shot (little balls) from a rifled barrel. Ruins the rifling, so they say.

Noncoformist that I am, my main piece is a 13mm Mauser 1886 model, basically a second-generation bolt action and pretty primitive. Don't know where Grandpa got it from, but it's mine now. Because of the age of it, I use a slightly reduced load for safety. Because of its gargantuan (by modern rifle standards) caliber, it makes a respectable fouling piece, so I did up some shells with what's basically a .410 birdshot load, soft lead only. Works just fine.

Don't expect I'm doin' it any good, but haven't noticed any loss of accuracy with regular ammo from usin' it that way yet.

(Historical gun collectors having a heart attack now can relax - the original battle sites were hacked off long before my time and replaced with home-made groove sites. The gun prolly ain't worth the wood it's sittin on.)
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:20 AM
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Default Shot in a rifled barrel

I can't imagine lead shot causing any damage to a rifled barrel. Might leave lead deposits which can be a bugger to clean out of the barrel.

As far as I know the biggest problem in shooting shot in a rifled barrel is that the rifling messes up the shot pattern (spread).

You don't get a nice even distribution of pellets...the pattern can have large "holes" which means misses.
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Old 03-11-2004, 04:59 AM
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The .69 cal musket was smoothbore. At some time during the war they re-bored some and put in shallow rifling but it did not work very well due to the thinness of the metal.
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:38 AM
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Hmmmmmm...

-What about that question of whether ALL rifling is curved or is any straight, on shoulder, side or them humungous Naval "guns"?

- I was REALLY amazed to see that shotgun slug, never in my life would've imagined such a thing... that goes INside the shotgun brass/cardboard/plastic "shell" thing, right?
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