Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Metal detecting – found a musket ball

Posted by bunchgrasser on September 4, 2008

I was detecting at my parent’s farm awhile back and recovered what appears to be an unfired musket ball.

I’ve found a number of lead slugs and other relics of yesteryear on their farm, but this is the first musket ball that I’ve found. I don’t have a caliper, but it measures about 9/16″ across. I think that equates to roughly .56 caliber.

It would be difficult to date a musket ball, but generally the industry stopped making round-shaped ammunition in the mid 1800’s when the minie ball (invented in the 1840’s) and other conical-shaped lead rounds became favored.

I’ve also heard that lead musket balls develop a white patina after being in the earth for, say a 100 years or so. This musket ball does have a nice white patina.

One Response to “Metal detecting – found a musket ball”

  1. SY Jones said

    I found a musket ball by the front steps of my house a couple of years ago. It appears to have been fired. It is about 1″ in diameter. The home in which I live is over 100 years old. The area where I found it had been a planting bed for over 50 years and had been tilled on several occasions. I had recently eliminated the bed and I think that pulling up plants, etc., must have brought it to the surface.

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