🔎 UNIDENTIFIED Is this a musket ball?

dagwood67

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Hello,
Found metal detecting at an early 19th century farm site, with an 18th century cabin site nearby-
Is it a dropped musket ball? If so, is there any way to date it?
Thank you
 

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Solution
Here are some that show the sprue and the little dimple I assume forms as the lead cools, also varying degrees of oxidation. I feel very comfortable saying the op’s is a musket ball. Hopefully dropped because I doubt that ball would be very accurate coming out of the barrel with that sprue bouncing around.
88C0237E-E63A-423C-840A-FBCF0B669E14.jpeg

346A64F0-9519-4880-88AC-14158EA5C347.jpeg
1C3AEBFA-BB09-452E-A3A8-6C978DDF1408.jpeg
OP
D

dagwood67

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I agree it’s a ball without the sprue cut, but I’d say more than Likely early 1800’s based on odds… far more people then casting their own bullets than now but yeah you can’t tell for sure
Thanks - the site where I found it is almost all pre 1900 relics - mostly 1820-1880 with no relics later than 1910
 
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GoldieLocks

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The mold like edge shown in one image doesn't go the full length of it's side. Are people sure its a musketball? The colors are mineral or pottery-like not metallic either?
 
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CRUSADER

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The mold like edge shown in one image doesn't go the full length of it's side. Are people sure its a musketball? The colors are mineral or pottery-like not metallic either?
That's the colour Lead goes when it oxide's in the soil.

BUT, are you now saying its an eyes only find & not a find by the detector? Or are you saying it doesn't have a metallic look? (Because it does to me)
 
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Older The Better

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Here are some that show the sprue and the little dimple I assume forms as the lead cools, also varying degrees of oxidation. I feel very comfortable saying the op’s is a musket ball. Hopefully dropped because I doubt that ball would be very accurate coming out of the barrel with that sprue bouncing around.
88C0237E-E63A-423C-840A-FBCF0B669E14.jpeg

346A64F0-9519-4880-88AC-14158EA5C347.jpeg
1C3AEBFA-BB09-452E-A3A8-6C978DDF1408.jpeg
 
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Solution
OP
D

dagwood67

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Gare

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Possibly a fishing sinker ?
 
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gunsil

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Musket by definition is a military long arm and the ball in question looks a little small for a musket. It is a round ball for a muzzle loading firearm for sure. Round ball covers all firearms so I think it is a better definition of any found ball, the one shown could even have been made for a pistol. The dimple in the bottom is a sign that the person casting the ball had the lead too hot. Having cast thousands of various size round balls, minie balls, and sinkers I am well versed in the vagaries of casting lead. I take all the old bullet found with my detector and melt them down for new balls or sinkers.
 
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TheCannonballGuy

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Unfortunately, the lead ball's finder never told us its diameter measurement. Based on comparing this lead ball's size with the poster's thumbnail in the photo, I believe Gunsil is correct, it appears to be too small for use in a musket/longarm -- and therefore, it is a pistol ball. It looks to be smaller than 1/2-inch, but bigger than 1/3-inc. So I think it is most likely to be a .44-caliber pistol ball, with uncut casting-sprue. To see how the casting-sprue was formed, examine the 1840s-through-1860s Colt pistol's bulletmold in the photo below. Also, note that it made both a roundball and a conical bullet.
 

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