Musket ball or pistol ball

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Hello everyone, I found this ball at between 4 and 6 inches deep. I believe it is a .36 cal. It measures around 3/8" I'm wondering if it is old or not and what type of fire arm was used to shoot it? Any thoughts? Thanks!!
 

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Older The Better

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I would think with the sprue it was hand cast which would put it mid 1800’s or earlier, not a lot of patina but that could just be due to the soil it was found in. Also you can weigh the ball and convert the weight to get a rough caliber, there’s a chart out there on the internet, I haven’t needed it for a while so I couldn’t tell you where
 
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Thanks, sounds about right, I found it close to or on an old wagon road in Montana(trail long gone just going by old maps). I'll weigh it, measuring the ball it is almost 3/8" which is very close to a 36 cal. I believe. Does that make it a pistol round or did they make muskets that caliber? The dirt it was in is about 6" of top soil and then hard packed clay and rock. I did rub it off quite a bit with my fingers when I found it, my bad, probably shouldn't have done that.
 
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l.cutler

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Too small to be a musketball, but that doesn't mean it is a pistol ball either. Could be for a pistol or rifle, they were both made in almost any caliber. rifles however were much more common than pistols. An accurate measurement will tell the caliber, and it could be anywhere from 200 years old up until yesterday, these are still in use today. It is a roundball for sure, but that is about all that is certain!
 
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Too small to be a musketball, but that doesn't mean it is a pistol ball either. Could be for a pistol or rifle, they were both made in almost any caliber. rifles however were much more common than pistols. An accurate measurement will tell the caliber, and it could be anywhere from 200 years old up until yesterday, these are still in use today. It is a roundball for sure, but that is about all that is certain!
Too small to be a musketball, but that doesn't mean it is a pistol ball either. Could be for a pistol or rifle, they were both made in almost any caliber. rifles however were much more common than pistols. An accurate measurement will tell the caliber, and it could be anywhere from 200 years old up until yesterday, these are still in use today. It is a roundball for sure, but that is about all that is certain!
Thanks, not 200 years old, history of area It was found doesn't go back that far and found too deap, in undisturbed ground, to be dropped yesterday. Somewhere in between. Im going back out this weekend to see if I can find more.
 
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Retired Sarge

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Colt Model 1851 Navy is the first gun that comes to mind.

But there are vintage and modern muzzleloader rifles/pistols that were/are chambered in 36 cal also. So narrowing down to a type of gun could be difficult.

Cool find regardless.
 
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Any thoughts on this cartridge, no headstamp not sure what caliber or age. I found it in the same area.
 

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Possibly a 45-70 Government casing, or a 28 gauge or 410 shotgun shell.

Good measurements would narrow that guess down.
Thanks, the dia. is 17/32". the length is 2 1/32" long. It is smashed so hard to get an exact measurement
 
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Mason Jarr

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I'd also say .45-70. The early cartridges were internally primed (you'll see a crimp near the base on those). Second iteration was externally primed, but no headstamps. The problem with that was the carbines couldn't safely shoot the cartridges made for rifles so if they got mixed together it was a problem. Third series came with headstamp markings...R for rifle, C for carbine. It also had the month and year of the lot and a letter for the manufacturer. Most are F for the Frankford arsenal in PA, but there are others. I believe the first with headstamps were in March 1877.
 

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Mason Jarr

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I'd also say there's a high chance that particular casing was a military round. If you can find a copy of General Order #13 issued in the early 1870s, soldiers were directed to flatten or mutilate the fired rounds so that the Natives couldn't pick them up and reload them.
 
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Retired Sarge

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I'd also say .45-70. The early cartridges were internally primed (you'll see a crimp near the base on those). Second iteration was externally primed, but no headstamps. The problem with that was the carbines couldn't safely shoot the cartridges made for rifles so if they got mixed together it was a problem. Third series came with headstamp markings...R for rifle, C for carbine. It also had the month and year of the lot and a letter for the manufacturer. Most are F for the Frankford arsenal in PA, but there are others. I believe the first with headstamps were in March 1877.

From my reading US made 45-70s were not headstamped (Marked) between Sept 1873 and March 1877, so your 1877 date is dead on!

Great recollection there Mason Jarr!
 
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eyemustdigtreasure

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Good info guys....!
My find was an unfired cartridge found along an old road, used by emigrants and military. Impressive shell, it would make a BANG that would rattle anybody's' teeth...!
4570.jpg
head4570.jpg
 
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